State of the Nation – Part 2

I, like many others, believe that our economic policies are flawed. It is quite amazing how much damage these policies can do. For example, as Niranjan Rajadhyaksha explained in an article in Mint recently, NREGA has put Indian on an inflation treadmill. And the coming Food Security Bill is going to make the situation even worse. No one in the government seems to have an idea about what to do with inflation other than keep raising interest rates.

This situation is not new. We have been singularly unfortunate in our choice of leadership and the resulting economic policies since Independence. With most governments focused on extraction and exploitation of the economy and an electoral system which needs votes, it becomes quite clear that the maximum votes are with the poor. So, policies have generally been directed on short-term measures to give the poor some handouts so they vote and stay poor.

Talk to people in the know and they will tell you about the tens of thousands of crores amassed by our top politicians. Not surprisingly, that greed is insatiable. Politics intersects with many sectors of the economy given the deep government controls that still exist – and each control is an opportunity to extract rent and loot the economy.

For the most part, Middle India has not bothered. It doesn’t vote in large numbers, and it helps quite helpless in doing anything. And so, it is business as usual for those in the power ecosystem.

Continued tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “State of the Nation – Part 2

  1. So you are saying keep the poor in poverty and we will not have to pay more money for stuff! Thats wonderful.

  2. I think the more Rajesh thinks the more he gets it wrong. In fact our choice of leadership in the initial years after Independence were the best of the lot.

    The rest of the crowd were parochial, narrow minded, insular, and what not, a bunch of politicians interested less in India than in real politik, the first tigers who tasted the blood of democracy. The ancestors of the petty traders who hold the reins of government today.

    The successors of the petty kings who drove India to the ground. All the Rajgiras, the Rajmatas, and the Rao Bahadurs, the Nizams too, I should add, all self seeking politicians and wimps.

    Modern day Marans and their companies, are not in politics for politics, they are here for business, and this was what the rest of the leadership was, in the time Rajesh alludes to. We really got the better ones, even if they were a trifle wool headed.

    Rajesh should really retake his history lessons, not rely on Gautier alone. That guy is bunkum!

    I am sure that the others have misunderstood Rajesh’s implication, they have mistaken it to say that the poor should remain poor. I would not indict him of such crass opinions, he has a good head albeit on bad shoulders.

    Any right thinking government, legislative government will do what the Congress has done, understand that a runaway economy tends to leave a lot of people behind. In the long run this forms the tinder for future revolutions.

    You have to keep them in the right spirit, and if NREGA is the way, so be it. This economy has proved that it takes more than a little inflation to unsettle it.

    Yes, it is bad, but in the long run, it is good. Rajesh and the other guys who did IIT while the others struggled for blackboards should realise that it is good, it is only through such sacrifices that a family rises up as a whole.

    It is clear that the BJP cronies with whom Rajesh discusses his economics are still not up to date, they are yet to understand why they lost when everything seemed to be going well. A more funnier bunch is yet to make its appearance in Indian politics. I wonder why he bothers with the crowd.

    As long as politics is driven by money and not ideals, the situation of politicians taking bribes will continue. They are at the crux point where the seas of power and wealth meet, and it is natural for them to dip into it. As long as they do not over do it, it is more an irritant than a problem.

    I doubt that any form of government or civil activism will remove these cliques, the environment gives rise to them, it is natural for power to seek wealth, the reverse is also true.

    I for one am disappointed with the approach that Rajesh is taking. There is a path which may look more arduous, but infinitely more satisfying.

    It is to abhor the present structures and strike out into new ones, and to keep it short, I would say that while Rajesh’s principles are strong, his yen to act is weak, and I see more theatrics than performance, in this blog at least….

    Should this continue is a question that Rajesh has every right to ask himself, and I think he should…

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