India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: Sone Ki Chidiya movement

Two short videos on what a government should (and should not) do. An updated SKC agenda for comment. And more.

Copy of my email circulated widely yesterday. Feel free to share this blog post widely.

====BEGIN EMAIL===

Dear Friends (I’m also addressing those bcc.d)

1) Videos:
I’ve recorded two short videos today – on what a government should do and what it should not. I’ll make around ten or so more videos, one each on major policy areas. Do provide feedback.

(7 minutes)


and (4 minutes)

2) SKC agenda:
I had sought comments on the draft Sone Ki Chidiya agenda by 30 September. I have received numerous comments which I’ve now reviewed and incorporated into the next draft [I am unable to share the tracked changes version on the blog]. The ‘clean’ Word and PDF versions can be downloaded from here: http://sonekichidiya.in/. If you haven’t sent your comments yet, please do so by 30 September, to allow me time to revise the document for printing.

3) Invitation to endorse the agenda
If you broadly endorse the agenda and are happy to have your name published as a supporter of the agenda, please write directly to me (sabhlok@gmail.com). We will print 1000 copies of the agenda for distribution to the media. Together we’ll make the agenda even better in the coming months/years.

4) In revising the agenda I reviewed Kumaraswamy’s recent book on governance reforms (see my review) and Prof. PV Indiresan’s policy reform book/ articles (see review here). I’m currently reviewing Madhav Godbole’s Good Governance: Never on India’s Radar, and will review Bibek Debroy’s Getting India Back on Track before the agenda is prepared for print. Do alert me to any other good book I should review.

I was happy that Prof. PV Indiresan promoted state funding of elections, school choice, shift to urbanisation, and many good things which are already part of the SKC agenda. He would surely have supported this work.

5) On a related note, I’m now developing RTI applications regarding Ramdev’s business empire. I had requested Ramdev to provide me relevant information, which he did not. Now it is time for RTI. Please volunteer to assist me if you have some time. For the good of the country one hopes Ramdev is an honest man, but given the information I’ve received from multiple sources, it is necessary for me to personally confirm this.

===END EMAIL===

Continue Reading

Hansal Mehta finds government the biggest barrier to high quality film education in India

I don’t watch films (or too few  to count) so it was by accident I came across this youtube video.

But it is not the main topic of the video (the film Shahid) that I wish to comment on. Instead, I want to comment on a side question asked of Hansal Mehta. Watch this 1 minute snippet:

Hansal Mehta is right. If such an enterprise as FTII were fully privatised (like any other good education institution), India could produce some of the best film makers in the world.

But this will not happen till the Modi government continues. These BJP socialists have NO IDEA about good governance. They will continue to have bureaucrats run our educational institutions.

Sorry, Mr Mehta, if you wish to see change you’ll need to get involved in the Sone Ki Chidiya movement. Please review the agenda and let us work together for genuine reform in India’s miserable governance.

Continue Reading

Two short videos explaining the political and bureaucratic reforms desperately needed in India

I’ve found time today to produce two more short videos While I can communicate in broken Hindi (as my first attempt, last week, surely confirmed), I’m better off explaining policy details in English, so I’ve switched to English.

I’m following a ‘pyramid’ structure. The first video (last weekend) was the overarching video (in Hindi) which condensed all reforms into two simple categories (1) governance system reform and (b) policy reform.

Each of these two categories conveniently splits into two more categories. motivating four high level videos. I’ve now produced the first two of these four: one each on political and bureaucratic reforms. Next will be two separate videos on the principles of (a) what a government should do, and (b) what it should not.

After that I’ll address the detailed policies (in around 10 odd videos). The result of all this should be around 15 videos in the next few weeks.

Please watch/ share/ comment on these next two:

1) Electoral/political reforms: 8 minutes:

2) Bureaucratic reforms: 5 minutes:

Do see the first one if you’ve not yet seen it (http://youtu.be/h1Vmn0JpcSs), to set things in context.

Continue Reading

My key message on system reforms for India, in a nine minute Youtube video

I've recorded and uploaded a short 9-minute video on youtube today (in Hindi). It explains the two major reforms needed in India: who" (should govern) and "what" (they should do). India's system ensures that criminals and incompetents govern us and our governments do what they should not (while avoiding what they should).

This is a home production but is perhaps functional enough. I aim to do more of these – on different reform topics. Please provide your thoughts/ feedback. And share widely so the message of system reforms percolates to more people.

 

Continue Reading

Political commitments that Ramdev made (but never kept), and request for information about his activities

I've recently started looking at probity issues regarding Ramdev. 18 months ago I had tried to get basic financial information from Balakrishna and Ramdev but decided to hold off given their view that data is open to the public and that the GOI had failed to find anything

It is important to emphasise that I've switched off Ramdev after the April 2014 incident in which he clearly and publicly supported black money use by a BJP candidate. For a man who said he was against black money to hide the seizure of black money by a BJP candidate was extremely shameful.

I led a 4-day reform summit in Ramdev's Patanjali campus in April 2013. The entire strategy for this summit, including the role of Sone Ki Chidiya Federation, was discussed in great detail with Ramdev's key nominated person: Jaideep Arya, prior to the summit. Also with Ramdev briefly over the  phone (from Melbourne). I also met him in a private meeting (with Shantanu) in Delhi in early April before leaving for Hardiwar where the entire political strategy was discussed. Around 100 people attended. The summit launched the SKC federation and the SKC agenda.

After the summit I met Acharya Balakrishna on 9 April 2013 to discuss progress – particularly regarding the political party. Ramdev was out of station in this period. I believe Ramdev changed his mind re: forming the party sometime during this period. This was the time when Modi was to visit Acharyakulam (on 26 April 2013). Maybe Ramdev had come to a deal with Modi by then. All I know is that during April 2013, he supported the 4-day summit but kept pushing back decisions (already taken in the past) regarding the launch party (including its registration).

Upon returning to Melbourne, I documented the perplexing situation in which actions were no longer proceeding as smoothly as they should have. I'm publishing my email to Acharya and Ramdev's gatekeepers, below. Members of my group were told by him (in person) in late May in Haridwar that we should go ahead and register the party (later renamed Swarna Bharat Party), and that he would support it in due course. Of course, that was a lie

The reason I am providing this information publicly now is that I am increasingly convinced that Ramdev's activites are not above board.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing has been lost through my engagement with Ramdev. The liberal movement has continued to advance. We (FTI) are the creators of the Swarna Bharat Party and Sone Ki Chidiya movement and will continue to advance these institutions. We believe in TOTAL INTEGRITY and will never associate with someone of questionable integrity.

Let me add that if I find after my investigations that Ramdev is innocent I will say so publicly. But at the moment my job is to ask questions – like I did in September 2013 to investigate Modi publicly. Help me find out the truth about Ramdev by providing me information you may have. I also ask Ramdev to provide me the information I asked him more than 18 months ago – and the further information I asked Jaideep in April this year.

Continue Reading

International strategy for the Sone Ki Chidiya reform movement: Melbourne, Sydney, London

The SKC movement needs a number of levels of action. Farmer cells are being established (more about these later), but internationally we need to establish cells of the Sone Ki Chidiya reform movement I am hoping that some work can begin in Australia and UK, two countries with a reasonable presence of SKC/FTI members outside India.

The cells would comprise people who are interested in liberal reforms in India. These cells could meet periodically, but mostly would operate over email.

I'd like to invite those interested in such activity in Melbourne, Sydney and London to write to me, in the first instance.

More later once these cells are formed.

Continue Reading