October 26, 2014
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When we became independent and when we declared ourselves a democratic republic, it was hoped that India would make unprecedented progress. India started with a reasonably good liberal democratic Constitution, based on principles of classical liberalism.
However, this foundational liberalism was the first casualty of statist and illiberal forces. At each stage liberty was pushed back, till today virtually none exists. But even after the liberalization of the 1990s, when one form of illiberalism (statism) has slightly receded (leading to spectacular improvements in many aspects of life), other forms of illiberalism (e.g. religious bigotry) have strengthened. India can be said to be independent but is definitely not free.
On most international benchmarks of good governance and liberty, we rank near the bottom in the entire world. Our democracy has almost entirely decayed, with corrupt and criminals entering Parliament and good people shunning politics. Many of the best Indians continue to flee India for lands with higher levels of liberty and opportunity. This is not a good news story.
A fundamental overhaul of our governance system and policies
To recover the purpose of gaining independence (liberty), we need a complete overhaul of our governance systems and policies. This agenda presents a comprehensive package to bring about world-best levels of integrity, freedom and prosperity to India. It can be conservatively stated that if the recommendations of this agenda are followed these would be worth around $50 trillion to India by 2050.
This agenda, underpinned by the philosophy of liberty, proposes:
- a two-pronged reform of the governance system: first, to ensure that only honest politicians are motivated to join political system, and second, to ensure that our bureaucracy is accountable and competent; and
- economic and social policies that will enhance the liberties of the common man while bringing to India the world-best regulatory models and frameworks.
The combination of these reforms will drastically change the incentives in our governance system. These will also radically liberate Indians and enable them to achieve their potential.
Following this agenda will quickly put India on the path to becoming with the world’s most prosperous people (on per capita income basis), underpinned by the highest levels of liberty in the world, which are priceless. Our very existence is undermined when liberty is taken away.
Detailed reforms are outlined in the agenda but the key reforms include (subject to appropriate transitional arrangements):
1.Governance machinery and system
a)State funding of elections on per-vote basis, fast track courts to dispose all cases elected representatives within one year, and high salaries (but no perquisites) for politicians to ensure good people enter politics and criminals and the corrupt are put behind bars.
b)Consolidation of departments into ten, contractual appointment of each secretary (selected from the open market), and all further senior appointments made by the secretaries on contractual basis with no natural justice rights upon dismissal. Incremental replacement of the IAS and all other tenured services by contractual, accountable executives at senior levels of government.
c)Strong and entirely independent tier of local government with complete powers to employ CEOs on contractual terms to deliver high quality local services.
d)Implementation of world-best policy and regulatory frameworks (including regulatory impact statements, cost-benefit analysis independently validated and prepared in consultation with the public; and competition policies that maximize competition and ensure that government enterprises maintain competitive neutrality). This will mean that in general, the government will directly provide almost no service but allow the private sector to do so, subject to stringent incentive regulation.
e)Total elimination of corruption within three years, with an end to black money in all vitiated aspects such as real estate, through complete modernization of the governance system and checks and balances, independent third party monitoring, and transparency.
f)Pruning of the state to reduce the burden of government indebtedness and unnecessary taxation (while broadening the tax base to bring into the system those who do not pay taxes). This would significantly reduce inflation, achieve AAA rating of government debt, thus allow rapid funding of key infrastructure.
g)Economic reforms to further enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs, including removal of all unnecessary obstructions on production and trade, thus creating vast job opportunities. For farmers, this would involve untrammeled freedom of access to market and technology while eliminating MSP (incrementally) and suspending agricultural loans during the policy restructure period.
2.First order functions:
a)Urgent establishment of law and order and the rule of law, including security for everyone, particularly women; and quick and effective justice for all. This would include ensuring freedom of speech at the level of the First Amendment of the American constitution, and religious freedom with the state and religion being kept entirely separate.
3.Second order functions:
a)Equal opportunity for all, including access to high quality school education even for the poorest (through entire privatization of the school system and targeted vouchers for the poor), health cover for the poor (with the government getting out of direct supply of health services) and total elimination of extreme poverty in three years through targeted negative income tax.
b)Procuring (not directly creating) or motivating (through private enterprise) the creation of high quality infrastructure including transport, power, water, sanitation and broadband.
The Sone Ki Chidiya Federation believes that no approach other than that outlined in this agenda can help India become free. Without the radical change in its governance system outlined in this agenda, India will continue to be a Third World country, losing its best minds to the West – which offers dramatically higher levels of freedom and accountability.
We invite you to:
- actively debate these policies (and if you are from the media, consider raising this debate through your newspaper or magazine);
- if you are persuaded, demand these policies from all political parties;
- join the Sone Ki Chidiya Federation to spread the message of liberty across India;
- contribute funds to help spread the message;
- if you are willing to lead India to directly deliver this message, join the Freedom Team of India. 
The agenda is work in progress, subject to continuous improvement. In 2015 detailed policies on various issues will be prepared. Suggestions for improvement are invited (and proposed detailed policies) and can be sent to Sanjeev Sabhlok at email@example.com.
The Sone Ki Chidiya Total Reform Movement
Preparatory work for the reform movement began at a 4-day National Reform Summit in April 2013 during which around 100 reformers from across India discussed a preliminary version of the agenda. Since then, thousands of people have been consulted and tens have contributed detailed inputs to this agenda. The movement was launched on 4 June 2013 at Jantar Mantar to take these reforms to the people. Since then, the agenda has been further refined and early drafts of the agenda circulated to major political parties.
We respect India’s democratic process, and believe that the people of India have a right to choose their policies. We also believe that to date, the Indian voter has been presented with a set of extremely poor policies, with self-evident poor consequences. Continuing such policies will, at best, lead to India having a GDP of around $4 trillion by 2050 (at least ten times worse than if the polices in this agenda were followed). Through prachar over the course of the next five years, we hope India will become ready for genuine reform.
Sone Ki Chidiya Federation
The movement is managed and coordinated by the Sone Ki Chidiya Federation (‘SKC Federation’), a trust registered in New Delhi in March 2013. The Federation (with around 170 members as at December 2014) is a creation of the Freedom Team of India. In addition to promoting the reform agenda, the Federation undertook significant work during Uttarakhand flood relief work in 2013. You are invited to join the Federation. Currently there is no joining fee (details at http://sonekichidiya.in/).
To take this message to the people, significant funds will be needed. Please contribute generously to:
Account Name: Sone Ki Chidiya Federation
Bank: ICICI bank
Branch: Laxmi Nagar Delhi
RTGS/NEFT IFSC Code ICIC0000831
Account No. 083105000859
1) No income tax exemption is available (given the early stage of this work) but we aim to seek appropriate permissions in 2015.
2) Please note that the SKC Federation believes in transparency and reserves the right to publish the names and township (not detailed address) of donors.
For any questions regarding the Federation, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
 The Freedom Team of India (FTI) is a team of leaders committed to contest elections under the banner of liberty. FTI has also separately formed (on 1 June 2013) and registered (on 19 June 2014) Swarna Bharat Party: a political party committed to liberty and to implementing this agenda. FTI’s website: http://freedomteam.in/
 The Trust deed of the Federation was based on certain assumptions which did not flow through. The deed will therefore be revised during 2015 in consultation with members.