Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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The Right Fight – Part 4

September 1st, 2011 · No Comments

As Atanu wrote recently in an article in Pragati:

I argue that the interests of the people in the government are antagonistic to the interests of the citizens. To make the case, we have to distinguish between two types of governments: one is a development-oriented government which is committed to economic freedom, individual freedom, and political freedom; and the other, a predatory government which denies citizens freedoms for extractive and exploitative (E&E) ends.

It is both an analytically and empirically well-established fact that economic and individual freedoms are necessary for development. It is also beyond doubt that a “license control permit quota” regime—a command economy in other words—is inconsistent with economic growth and development. The explanation for India’s dismal economic performance can be explained almost entirely if one posits that the Indian governments have been of the E&E kind.

What India needs is a fundamental transformation, a change in the rules of the game, not a mere change in the set of players. The independence that Indians should have fought for should have been about real economic and personal freedoms. Granted that Indians have the political freedom to choose but it is more a matter of servants choosing which master they wish to serve, rather than free people choosing who is to serve them. My contention is that the independence of 1947 was at best a partial one. Because Indians of the previous generation avoided a real war of independence, it remains for us to fight and win the upcoming war.

This fight is not over. It hasn’t even begun. Are we ready for the Right Fight?

Continued tomorrow.

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