India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: Uncategorized

A template/form for Indian RTI application in Word and PDF

I am preparing RTI applications to be lodged by Indian citizens to help secure information re: Ramdev’s empire from various government agencies. In this process I’ve found that prescribed forms are hardly present, and those that exist are insufficient. I’ve therefore created a draft RTI form in Word (and PDF) which can be downloaded below.  This is uploaded on the Sone Ki Chidiya Federation website.

APPLICATION FORM

In Word

In PDF

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RTI Act in PDF | HTML

FAQ

Continue Reading

What am I ACTUALLY saying about disbanding the IAS? #2

In the previous blog post I provided comments by Rajput and Vinay Shankar (IAS, retired) on my strong recommendations regarding revamping the governance system of India.

Essence of Rajput's view

"IAS has become a bunch of "BABOONS", totally subservient to the corrupt rulers and politicians, who have shown no initiative, no new ideas and no improvement to reform the crippling system of red tape and bureaucracy that waste years of a citizen's life making him a coolie or moron in the end. Like the ministers, they, too, are corrupt, dishonest and unreliable.

"Nehru, instead of liberating the natives from the crushing load of red tape and bureaucracy he let the IAS create more and more ingenious ways to tie the natives down under pestering rules and regulations. Bribery and corruption flourished. Countless capable Indians (NRI’s) left the native shores, seeking freedoms abroad.

Vinay Shankar

"I do not agree that IAS should be abolished. I am not clear whether you endorse what Sanjeev says or Sanjeev echoes your views [Sanjeev: These are my views based on learnings both academic and practical. My father - because of whose regard for the IAS I joined it, instead of becoming a painter or doctor which were my first preference - has incrementally learnt about them and understood them. He now strongly endorses them].

By simply wishing that an alternative system will be free of corruption, be epitome of efficiency and effectivenesss, it will not become so.

In a democrcy, it is the collective character of the people that is reflected in all institutions – political and bureaucratic.

Even if you abolish IAS, other central services will remain.

In a democracy, the craftsman is the political executive. If he is skillful, he will sharpen the tool and make it fit to do difficult job easily. If he is inefficient, he will blame the tool.

My thesis is that our consitution was unsuited to the socio-economimc conditions of the country prevailing in 1950 and it continues to be so. It has thrown up in to power the scum of the society and the really talented, sincere, committed people in to resignation and helplessness. It needs to be rewritten by a new constitutent assembly. new Constitution will come up with a new scheme of bureaucracy."

SO WHAT PRECISELY AM I SAYING?

First, I'm NOT saying that the IAS must be abolished in one go. I've clearly outlined a transitional plan in which the senior roles of the IAS will be incrementally replaced with highly paid but fully accountable contractual positions. Thereafter a thin layer of permanent service will remain – perhaps promoted (maximum) to the rank of Under Secretary to the GOI. But there will be NO tenure, even at this level. Whether it will be called IAS or something else is a matter to be considered in the future. Details are provided in BFN.

Second, there is absolutely no intent to retain any tenured central service. These too, will be incrementally replaced by a modern, performing service.

In each case, the best officers of these services will be eligible to be appointed (upon resignation from their tenured service) to senior roles – as part of open competition. This competition will NOT be run by the government but will be run by the concerned Secretary or his/her delegate for EACH individual post.

Third, I'm NOT saying that the IAS reform is the only solution that will fix India's governance. In terms of political reforms, and the urgency for change, it is ELECTORAL REFORMS that take priority. I've put them first in my book, for that's the soul of reform. Without creating a system in which good people are able to participate we can't possibly hope to clean up India's governance.

Fourth, I'm with Rajput. I left the IAS after meeting MANY senior IAS officers to whom I offered reform proposals. NONE of them were either willing to ask questions or discuss these proposals. Their entire "contribution" to India was to tell me that none of my proposals can be implemented in India because the politicians won't agree to them. But they REFUSED to undertake ANY due diligence to examine such reform proposals (e.g. negative income tax model to eliminate poverty – in the well-thought out manner I had proposed).

The IAS is the most incompetent bureaucracy in the world. That is totally undeniable.

Fifth, I agree with Vinay Shankar that a new Constitution is needed in India. I've thoroughly critiqued our Constitution in my book. However, we can't wait till such an assembly is established, to reform India's governance. Most reforms I've proposed can be implemented without any major change in the Constitution. Only Article 311 is one major stumbling block which should be eliminated as soon as possible. We need the SAME labour laws for the private sector and public sector. India is perhaps the only nation in the world with different labour laws for public servants (these are called service laws) and private sector employees. Across the world there is only one type of employee. All employees should have the same rights and obligations under the law. Not two different set of laws.

In brief, I'd urge everyone to read BFN carefully, particularly chapters 4-6, and also read the SKC agenda.

I had personally given a talk to Vinay Shankar and other senior retired officers of Palam Vihar, Gurgaon, a few years ago, but none had the patience to ask questions. They are typical babus who have long ago shut their mind and are of no particular use to India.

If ANY babu asks questions, he, too, is capable of learning. But babus are "know-alls". And that's how they destroy India, each day of their life.

THE GOOD NEWS: It is not just me who's been harpring on this for the past 15 years. I discovered that T. Chatterjee, Director (and head) of the Indian Institute of Public Administration has also recently published a note promoting the idea of dissolution of tenure.

Well, now there are two of us (former IAS officers) demanding the end of the IAS (tenured). I hope others like Vinay Shankar will soon see the light of day and ASK questions, instead of shutting their mind to new ideas.

Continue Reading

Cuba, ruled by ULTRA-VIOLENT murderers, is no role model for India! The truth about Cuba & its blatant LIES about healthcare.

Last year while I was in India I was surprised to hear someone say that Cuba should be role model for India. I brushed aside this preposterous idea. But this idea has not yet died. It is essential to kill it completely.

Someone has asked my opinion on these youtube videos, from Michael Moor's Sicko. Do watch them. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia7jMgTWh14 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRPkpiGiuOM)

The man Michael Moore is a bogus clown who has ZERO research capabilities. He is the hero of "pop-socialists" who never care to study any issue in detail. Michael Moore has become a multi-millionaire by taking millions of gullible Americans (and others, worldwide) for a ride. Just like Deepak Chopra. These are dangerous people, like India's many bogus magicians and "godmen".

The truth of about Cuba is extremely bitter. Let me outline a few points first. To save time, I've cut/paste and/or paraphrased from here and there:

MASS KILLING OF POLITICAL OPPOSITION
In 1959, Castro held “war crimes” trials that targeted wealthy Cubans and the political opposition. As the news cameras rolled, Castro coldheartedly condemned prisoners to death. Castro and Castro-appointed judges threw countless other opposition members into prison or exiled them. Firing squads executed more than 600 people after these mock trials. Castro had the trials televised live.

SEIZURE OF PROPERTY WITHOUT COMPENSATION
Castro seized landholdings of large U.S. companies, such as the United Fruit Company. In the summer of 1960, he seized U.S. and British oil companies for their refusal to refine Soviet petroleum. In August 1960, the Cuban government seized the American-owned telephone and electricity companies and sugar mills.

MASS EXODUS FROM CUBA
From 1989 onwards hundreds of thousands of Cuban political refugees have poured into the United States. In 1980, Castro announced that 125,000 Cubans could legally depart for the United States from the Cuban port of Mariel. Over the next several months, a large number of “boat people” died trying to cross the Straits of Florida in unsafe boats and rafts.
In August 1994, food shortages and prolonged blackouts caused Cubans to riot in Havana. The Cuban government responded by allowing 30,000 more Cubans to leave by boat for the United States. A large number of “boat people” died trying to cross the Straits of Florida. In May 1995, the United States and Cuba agreed to permit 20,000 Cubans to immigrate legally to the United States each year. To encourage legal immigration, the United States also began sending all boat people found at sea back to Cuba.

CUBA WAS SUPPORTED BY SOVIET UNION AS A PLATFORM AGAINST USA
In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved. Since then, Cuba’s economy has suffered severe shortages of food and oil (products Cuba could no longer import from the Soviet Union). Today Cuba lives off Venezuela and tourism. It is a BEGGAR NATION.

FIDEL CASTRO HAS PARTLY ADMITTED THAT HIS LIFE WAS A DISASTER FOR CUBA

In announcing the “Draft Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy”—upon which the reforms are based—at the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in October 2010, Cuban officials acknowledged inefficiencies in the economic model. These included: low economic growth, especially in industry and agriculture; inefficiencies in investment; low levels of investment in productivity and infrastructure; the gap between workers’ incomes and the rising prices of goods and services, both in markets free from price controls and the state foreign currency, and convertible peso markets; lack of connection between workers’ productivity and salaries; excessive economic centralization; increased state restrictions on certain goods and services; the low level of housing construction; and the foreign and domestic deficits. [Source and this]

CONTINUOUS OPPRESSION OF THE PEOPLE

There is NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH in Cuba. You can't speak your mind unless you wish to be killed. There are "systematic human rights abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial executions" [Source]

CHE GUEVERA WAS A BLOOD-THIRSTY MASS MURDERER

Che's daughter makes out her father to be a great man. In reality he was one of the greatest butchers of innocent people, a man who should be ranked among the greatest monsters of mankind.

"Soon after overthrowing Batista, Guevara choreographed the executions of hundreds of Batista officials without any fair trials. He thought nothing of summarily executing even fellow guerrillas suspected of disloyalty and shot one himself with no due process." [Source - including MUCH more detail - here]

Watch this for more gory details (I'll publish a separate blog post only on Che):

DOCTORED STATISTICS

There is no doubt that Cuba spends relatively more of its budget on health care than many other socialist countries (the rest it spends on guns). As a result of the total control it exercises over its doctors (who are paid a paltry $30 per month – Rs.1500 per month!), it has been able to provide a modicum of healthcare to its population.

But because there is NO independent source of data from Cuba, and because ALL socialist governments (including India) tell lies, the "data" about Cuba's great health achievements must be discounted by half. I would be surprised if its actual figures come even close to that of Third World India, leave alone any developed country.

LIES, LIES, LIES ABOUT HEALTHCARE

Hospitals and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If they do have to go to the hospital, they must bring their own bedsheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs — even toilet paper. And basic medications are scarce. In Sicko, even sophisticated medications are plentiful and cheap. In the real Cuba, finding an aspirin can be a chore. And an antibiotic will fetch a fortune on the black market.

A nurse spoke to Isabel Vincent of Canada’s National Post. “We have nothing,” said the nurse. “I haven’t seen aspirin in a Cuban store here for more than a year. If you have any pills in your purse, I’ll take them. Even if they have passed their expiry date.”

The equipment that doctors have to work with is either antiquated or nonexistent. Doctors have been known to reuse latex gloves — there is no choice. When they travel to the island, on errands of mercy, American doctors make sure to take as much equipment and as many supplies as they can carry. One told the Associated Press, “The [Cuban] doctors are pretty well trained, but they have nothing to work with. It’s like operating with knives and spoons.” [Source - do read this in full]

There are PLENTY of videos on the internet that demolish the LIES touted by Michael Moore and the MENTALLY SICK DAUGHTER OF GUEVARA. I'll provide a few, below.

Cuba is a joke nation – We don't need to listen to the FALSEHOODS OF the daughter of a butcher, who is part of the elite of a nation that has ENSLAVED millions of its people. Under no circumstance should India – gifted by Ambekar with at least a modicum of liberty – follow in the footsteps of such MURDERERS AND BLATANT LIARS.

Start with this video.

SOME OTHER REFERENCES

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/cuba

http://business-econ.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/why-cubas-economic-model-failed.html

http://therealcuba.com/

Continue Reading

Gandhi’s economic views: His battle against a real economist. Posterity will judge him as the loser.

Looks like Gandhi staked his ENTIRE reputation on the charkha and swadeshi. It is clear that he has lost.

The charkha is NO WAY to eliminate poverty in India.

Let me add that I retain my great regard for Gandhi.

VOL. 25 : 27 OCTOBER, 1921 – 22 JANUARY, 1922 213

———————Page 12107———————

91. INDIAN ECONOMICS

A friend has placed in my hands a bulletin on Indian Piece- Goods Trade prepared by Mr. A. C. Coubrough C.B.E. by order of the Government of India. It contains the following prefatory note: The Government of India desire it to be understood that the statement made and the views expressed in this bulletin are those of the author himself. If so, why has the Government of India burdened the taxpayer with the expense of such bulletins? The one before me is 16th in the series. Do they publish both the sides of the question?

The bulletin under review is intended to be an answer to the swadeshi movement. It is an elaborate note containing a number of charts showing the condition of imports and home manufacture of piece-goods including hand-woven. But it does not assist the reader in studying the movement. The painstaking author has bestowed no pains upon a study of the present movement or its scope. That the Government of India treats the greatest constructive and co-operative movement in the country with supreme contempt and devotes people's money to a vain refutation instead of a sympathetic study and treatment is perhaps the best condemnation that can be pronounced upon the system under which it is carried.

The author's argument is:

1. The movement if successful will act not as a protective but a prohibitive tariff.

2. This must result in merely enriching the Indian capitalist and punishing the consumer.

3. The imports are non-competitive in that the bulk of the kind of piece-goods imported are not manufactured in India.

4. The result of boycotting such piece-goods must be high prices without corresponding benefit.

5. The boycott therefore being against the law of supply and demand and against the consumer must fail in the end.

6. The destruction of hand-spinning which I have deplored is due to natural causes, viz., the invention of time-saving appliances and was therefore inevitable.

7. The Indian farmer is responsible for his own ruin in that he has indolently neglected cotton culture which was once so good.

8. The best service I can render is therefore to induce the agriculturist to improve the quality of cotton.

9. The author concludes: If instead of filling homes with useless charkhas he were to start a propaganda for the more intensive cultivation of cotton and particularly for the production of longer-staple cotton, his influence would be felt not only at the present day but for many generations to come.

The reader will thus see, that what I regard as the supreme necessity for the economical salvation of India, the author considers to be rank folly. There is therefore no meeting ground here. And in spite of the prefatory note of the Government of India reproduced by me, the author does represent the Government attitude. I have invited them and the co-operators definitely to make common cause with the people in this movement at any rate. They may not mind its political implications because they do not believe in them. And surely they need not feel sorry if contrary to their expectation, the rise of the charkha results in an increase in the political power of the people. Instead of waging war against khadi, they might have popularized its use and disarmed the terrible suspicion they labour under of wishing to benefit the foreign manufacturer at the expense of the Indian cultivator. My invitation is open for all time. I prophesy that whatever happens to the other parts of the national programme, swadeshi in its present shape will bide for ever and must if India’s pauperism is to be banished.

Even though I am a layman, I make bold to say that the so-called laws laid down in books on economics are not immutable like the laws of Medes and Persians, nor are they universal. The economics of England are different from those of Germany. Germany enriched herself by bounty-fed beet sugar. England enriched herself by exploiting foreign markets. What was possible for a compact area is not possible for an area 1900 miles long and 1500 broad. The economics of a nation are determined by its climatic, geological and temperamental conditions. The Indian conditions are different from the English in all these essentials. What is meat for England is in many cases poison for India. Beef tea in the English climate may be good, it is poison for the hot climate of religious India. Fiery whisky in the north of the British Isles may be a necessity, it renders an Indian unfit for work or society. Furcoats in Scotland are indispensable, they will be an intolerable burden in India. Free trade for a country which has become industrial, whose population can and does live in cities, whose people do not mind preying upon other nations and therefore sustain the biggest navy to protect their unnatural commerce, may be economically sound (though as the reader perceives, I question its morality). Free trade for India has proved her curse and held her in bondage.

And now for Mr. Coubrough’s propositions:

l. The movement is intended to serve the purpose of a voluntary prohibitive tariff.

2. But it is so conceived as neither unduly to benefit the capitalist nor to injure the consumer. During the very brief transition stage the prices of home manufactures may be, as they are, inflated. But the rise can only be temporary as the vast majority of consumers must become their own manufacturers. This cottage manufacture of yarn and cloth cannot be expensive even as domestic cookery is not expensive and cannot be replaced by hotel cookery. Over twenty-five crores of the population will be doing their own hand-spinning and having yarn thus manufactured woven in neighbouring localities. This population is rooted to the soil and has at least four months in the year to remain idle.

If they spin during those hours and have the yarn woven and wear it, no mill-made cloth can compete with their khadi. The cloth thus manufactured will be the cheapest possible for them. If the rest of the population did not take part in the process, it could easily be supplied out of the surplus manufactured by the twenty-five crores.

3. It is true that non-competitive imports are larger than those that compete with the manufactures of Indian mills. In the scheme proposed by me the question does not arise, because the central idea is not so much to carry on a commercial war against foreign countries as to utilize the idle hours of the nation and thus by natural processes to help it to get rid of her growing pauperism.

4. I have already shown that the result of boycott cannot in the end be a rise in the price of cloth.

5. The proposed boycott is not against the law of supply and demand, because it does away with the law by manufacturing enough for the supply. The movement does require a change of taste on the part of those who have adopted finer variety and who patronize fantastic combinations of colours and designs.

6. I have shown in these pages, that the destruction of hand- spinning was designed and carried out in a most inhuman manner by the agents of the East India Company. No amount of appliances would ever have displaced this national art and industry but for this artificial and systematically cruel manner of carrying out the destruction.

7. I am unable to hold the Indian farmer responsible for the deterioration in cotton culture. The whole incentive was taken away when hand-spinning was destroyed. The state never cared for the cultivator.

8. My activity, I am proud to think, has already turned the cultivator’s attention to the improvement of cotton. The artistic sense of the nation will insist on fine counts for which long staple is a necessity. Cotton culture by itself cannot solve the problem of India’s poverty. For it will still leave the question of enforced idleness untouched.

9. I therefore claim for the charkha the honour of being able to solve the problem of economic distress in a most natural, simple, unexpensive and businesslike manner. The charkha therefore is not only not useless as the writer ignorantly suggests, but it is a useful and indispensable article for every home. It is the symbol of the nation’s prosperity and therefore freedom. It is a symbol not of commercial war out of commercial peace. It bears not a message of ill will towards the nations of the earth but of goodwill and self-help. It will not need the protection of a navy threatening a world’s peace and exploiting its resources, but it needs the religious determination of millions to spin their yarn in their own homes as today they cook their food in their own homes. I may deserve the curses of posterity for many mistakes of omission and commission but I am confident of earning its blessings for suggesting a revival of the charkha. I stake my all on it. For every revolution of the wheel spins peace, goodwill and love. And with all that, inasmuch as the loss of it brought India’s slavery, its voluntary revival with all its implications must mean India’s freedom

Young India, 8-12-1921

FURTHER

He lost even during his own time:

256       THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI
———————Page 19484———————
But unfotunately for the toiling millions of India, hand-spinning is even now struggling for its very existence. Many economists brought up in the European school even laugh at me when I advocate spinning as a scientific thing and a sign of beauty and art. And believing as they do, in the system of competition reigning supreme in this world as the final word on economics, they believes that spinning is merely a toy of mine, verily to be destroyed as soon as I retire from this world. You will, therefore, appreciate my great anxiety for this child, struggling for its very existence and you will forgive me if I warn you against mishandling this thing for me and I say this after a careful study of the subject since 1908; spinning is not one of the many handicrafts that boys and girls may learn or our people may take to, but it is in my opinion the central fact of the life of the starving masses of India. I have come to the conclusion that no solution of the deep and ever deepening poverty of the masses is possible without giving hand- spinning a central place in any scheme. Whilst, therefore, I tender my congratulations to the State for countenancing hand-spinning in the manner I have seen and whilst I congratulate the boys and girls, whom I saw today, as well as the teachers, on their having taken up spinning, I must beseech the State authorities and the teachers and the boys and girls and all those who have the welfare of the State in their keeping to give this subject their very serious attention.

 

THE IMPRACTICAL GOAL

The maxim of khadi economics is: ‘Equity for all.’ It therefore rules out the present soul- killing competitive method. Khadi economics are designed in the interest of the poorest and the helpless, and khadi will be successful only to the extent that the workers permeate the masses and command their confidence. And the only way of commanding their confidence is doing selfless work among them.

Continue Reading

Is democracy a Ganges which “cleanses” crime? No, Modi’s sins have NOT been cleansed.

Some people have asserted that Modi has been "exonerated" by the people of India. Consider this, for instance (apparntly his critics have been “silence”):

Actually, that's not the purpose of democracy. Democracy is NOT a court. An election victory is not a win in any court. The illiterate voter who has been heavily bribed by cash by BJP (or Congress), who has never read or understood the enormous proofs against Modi, is not well-placed to dispense justice.

Yes, Modi is an elected PM and just like I asserted in relation to his rights to visit USA as an elected representative, he MUST receive due recognition of his position as elected PM of India. 

But that doesn't mean he is respectworthy. Or that his crimes or corruption have been "washed away".  Had he gone to prison and atoned for his crimes, I would have treated him as respectworthy despite many difference with his approach. But he has sabotaged the justice system, making it impossible to ever "exonerate" him. 

Now, someone mentioned to me that Modi is "liberal". I almost choked. Liberalism is committed to TRUTH AND LIBERTY. Modi is committed entirely to the opposite attributes.

- liberty means the protection of free speech. Modi has banned a book in Gujarat and not come out against those who want to ban books, etc.

- liberty is not licence to disrupt the justice system through bribery. Modi has bribed his judges with crores of rupees worth of land at throw-away price. He has bribed Nanavati and given him 21 (TWENTY ONE) extensions on the public exchequer, with only a half-baked report filled with lies and nonsensical garbage to show after 12 years of Nanavati's "hard work". He has hired Nanavati's two sons in Gujarat government – despite the obvious conflict of interest involved. He has subverted the entire Mansi Soni case by first calling it "discreet security", appointing a judge who was supposed to report by 26 February 2014 but – of course – that was never intended.

- liberty is not licence to cheat on the tax system. BJP has used hundreds of crores of black money in this election, widely distributing it across 'voters'.

- liberty is not licence to sell government land to industrialists without public auction, effectively gifting them hundreds of crores of free money at taxpayer expense.

- liberty means total absence of corruption. My wager to Modi stands (re: removal of black money/corruption in land transfers). The moment I published that wager, it was confirmed by a commentator that you HAVE TO pay in black money in Ahmedabad, to transfer land.

- liberty means not creating ghettos for Muslims which were systematically created by Modi (including through the use of laws).

- liberty means being consistent about support for liberty under all circumstances. It means BJP's manifesto must reflect the issues of liberty that we stand for.

I'm not even referring here to the direct complicity in inciting and supporting the murder of hundreds of people.

I don't want to get into making predictions for what will happen in Modi's regime. But this is clear: the need for a genuine liberal party in India remains as strong as it ever was.

I remain as committed as ever before to an agenda devoted to truth, integrity, liberty and good governance. 

But given the experience of 15 years now (more than 15, actually), I will only deal with those who FULLY UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF LIBERTY. For only such people can explain the concept to the people. Anyone muddled up enough to think that Modi is "liberal" is part of India's problem, and we should let them go their way.

Continue Reading

Alphons Kannanthanam #8: I differ on 1) ideology, 2) system, 3) population, 4) corruption

It is a long time (1996) since Alphons wrote his book. He may have changed his views in the meanwhile. Or maybe not.

Let me highlight a few things on which I differ from the thoughts expressed in his book. 

1) Need for ideological clarity

At various places, Alphons demonstrates a commitment to economic liberalisation and genuine competition. But then he goes off on a tangent. While talking about Jana Shakti, an NGO he has started he says that Jana Shakti has no ideology. I'm OK with an NGO not having an ideology. But then he says: 

Jana Shakti stands for anything that works, that produces results. When I talk about eliminating corruption, people laugh at me. They say I am talking in the air because corruption is a universal phenomenon. Therefore, corruption cannot be eliminated. I say 'All right, let us be pragmatists then.' The only objective of globalisation and liberalisation is to create a competitive economy. If this objective is not achieved liberalisation does not make sense. The extent of corruption here is much higher than elsewhere in the world. Due to this Indian projects costs are far too high; if our project costs are too high our products will be more expensive than others; we will be priced out of the world market. I have suggested a pragmatic solution. 
We should study the global corruption rate scientifically. If our study shows that global corruption rate is 5 percent, our corruption rate should be +/-1 of 5 percent. This would ensure that we are competitive. I have called this rate 'competitive corruption rate'. I am applying for a patent for the concept and terminology. Maybe I will end up making tons of money! Perhaps every minister and bureaucrat should be made to take an oath that he will stick to the competitive corruption rate when he assumes office. The finance minister can announce the competitive corruption rate for the year in his budget speech. 

Now this is the purest form of nonsense anyone has come up with. If one doesn't stick to an ideology of liberty and integrity, this is the kind of nonsense one is likely to come up with. I do hope Alphons has thought further and has rejected this confused and immoral position.

2) Systemic change vs. individual change

Alphons has a post-graduate degree in economics but states:

Many people say that the system does not allow anyone to do what he wants to do. Therefore, nothing much happens in this country. I have never blamed the system. I believe that I am the system. I believe that every officer in the all-India services should create systems under which he can function effectively. Instead of blaming the system, if people get down to applying themselves, they can achieve miracles. One does not have to be a revolutionary, or to have revolutionary ideas either. One merely has to play around and create the system wherever one is functioning. This is what I have tried to do. 

Well, India remains precisely where it was in 1996: one of the world's most "third rate" places, with intense corruption, racism and violence. There is no concept of justice, and law and order is almost non-existent. No matter how many Sanjeev Sabhloks or Alphonses apply themselves, the system will defeat them. Because it is the design system that dictates individual behavior.

This kind of confusion in Alphons's mind is surprising given he correctly identifies lack of transparency and low salaries of key decision makers as a part of the systemic causes of corruption.

3) Population "explosion"

At a number of places in the book, Alphons brings up India's population as an issue. 

We implemented family planning with the same zeal as literacy. Even though Kottayam district has a 40 percent Christian population, mostly Catholic, whose church forbids any form of family planning, the district became the most successful in family planning. It became the first district in the country to go under ten in birth rate, under ten in infant mortality rate and under one in maternal mortality rate. Infant morality rate in India is 77 per 1,000 and maternal mortality is 4 per 1,000. 

Then, he mentions "population explosion" as one of the fundamental issues "that require immediate action". 

Now, I have no issues with reducing infant mortality or maternal mortality. That's an absolutely essential health service. But it is absolutely intolerable to reduce the birth rate through campaigns of the sort that Sanjay Gandhi undertook. Alphons is well-advised to read BFN where I've outlined the way population works, and how self-adjusting forces are at work in this area, and the key, therefore, is NOT direct family planning action but focus on equal opportunity and economic growth, as outlined in BFN.

One more issue:

4) Corruption

As a corollary to Alphons's lack of understanding of the systemic causes of corruption, his NGO planned to do the following:

2. Increasing awareness among the citizens about the magnitude of corruption … and organising them in groups to take on the system from the panchayat to the national level. 
4. Targeting all violators of anti-corruption laws and reporting incidents where functionaries and others demand and accept bribes to the concerned authorities. 
5. Establishing accessible and responsive enforcement and judicial process to expeditiously handle corruption cases including improving the existing institutions with adequate resources. 

This is a wasteful plan. It is NOT going to eliminate corruption (I will accept nothing less than that). First we need to change the incentives in the system. Just like the IAC's concept of Janlokpal is meaningless without systemic reforms first, this idea of running after individual cases of corruption is totally pointless.

By all means do so AFTER the system has changed to allow for 99 per cent integrity.Then 1 per cent can be removed through these things. But not under the current system with incentives that COMPEL people to be corrupt.

Consider Alphons's own party, the BJP. I've repeatedly shown how this is a DEEPLY corrupt party. Leave alone the big things on which it is second to none, it undertakes "retail" corruption as well as any other. it handed out Rs.18 lakhs recently in cash a just a few wards during the recent elections (see this authentic source). And Ramdev was caught trying to hide BJP's corruption/black money recently. Can it EVER happen that these people/parties won't make PILES of corrupt money after they come to power? Alphons will benefit from reading BFN and – next – DOF.

Continue Reading