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Do Indians have a right to permanent residency in Australia?

Do Indians have any birthright to migrate to Australia? Is it obliged to let all of them in based on what Indians want, not what Australians want?

So it would seem from a reading of the news in the Australian "Student cutback 'threat' to India ties" (28 July 2010).

‎"Education agent Sonya Singh said Mr Abbott's proposal to further reduce Australia's annual immigration uptake by cracking down on family reunion and student visa applicants would harm not only education links, but also hurt tourism and future business relationships."

Utter nonsense! There can't be a one-way relationship where people leave India to come to a better managed country but do nothing to reform their own country and make India a better place in consequence. There is no birthright to permanent residency in Australia! Fix India is what I say. And make it a better place than Australia, so that Australians make a beeline for Indian residency. That's the ONLY solution.

Sometime ago I wrote a draft article arguing against a mindless increases in Australian population. That article has been lying with me for a few months now and I am thinking of publishing it in draft form on this blog soon, to see people's comments. That article makes it clear that economic growth (which CAN'T be the objective of a free society: the objective being freedom) has not relationship with population size (India being a VERY good example of that). [Addendum: I've published it here, now].

So Australia is right to avoid swamping the country with hairdressers or cooks which they don't need in such abundance (a LOT of Indian engineers and post graduates were coming in to get trained as hairdressers because for some reason it was easier to get PR that way! Fortunately that idiotic policy has been modified. Now only highly skilled Indians who are GENUINELY useful to Australia are being brought in. What's wrong with that!) 

I have argued a case for reform very clearly in Breaking Free of Nehru. I have offered to reform India by setting up the Freedom Team of India. I'm even happy to help launch a major national liberal party in India (Freedom Party of India).  But I keep getting Indians who tell me that we Indians are DIFFERENT! The laws of economics don't apply to us! We must therefore invent our own policies, and not 'copy' from others. 

But I don't believe that to reach the moon you have to reinvent physics within India. That would be an outrageous waste of time. So also for social performance and economic prosperity. I am 100% committed to world-best practice reforms, and don't care for where a good thing is invented. My books are my message. I distill the best from the world and offer these ideas to India. That's my goal. Whether Indians take it or use it is not my business. That's their problem! I can't force a horse to drink.

I will write a bit more on this as time permits. In the meanwhile I urge you to read:

a) My comments re: Racism in Australia (6 blog posts).

b) My call for Action to India (15 blog posts)

Many of my posts, such as this one, are 'penned' in a few minutes given acute shortage of time. So ignore the typos/etc. I can write better, when I find time!

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Getting the biggest bang for the buck

Here's the entire range of responses from people who face misgovernance in India. The responses are listed in order of the response with the feeblest impact to strongest impact. This list excludes joining the corrupt governance system or working as a clerk to the corrupt leaders of India.

  • Do nothing, say that this is 'fate', or 'this is India'.
  • Join an internet group (e.g. Facebook) – basically a useless activity unless you do something well beyond it.

Focus on specific case

  • Whinge and talk/ write about it to a friend e.g. on email/Facebook.
  • Whinge and write about it to a newspaper (e.g. my letter to editor, Time – and I published perhaps about 200 letters to newspapers 30 years ago, mostly non-specific, i.e. on general issues)
  • File an RTI application 
  • Help trap a particular corrupt person (e.g. video him/her) (I trapped some corrupt people during my work in the IAS)

Moving from specific case to the broader issues:

As you will note, I have spent most of my time – particularly as I have grown older – focusing on actions which will yield the largest impact: after realising that trying to change small things (or individual cases) simply won't help: it is like removing one piece of rubbish from a dirty nullah while others are pumping in huge amounts of rubbish from behind! You have to stop the INFLOWS of rubbish, not the individual rubbish.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Indians still insist on the most ineffective use of their time: by doing useless tinkering around the edges. 

Let it be clear to all Indians that tinkering around the edges will NOT make the slightest dent to the system. I suggest that they think more broadly and strategically. I suggest that it is vital for us to get the biggest bang for the buck from one's time. 

Let me repeat: There is NO long-term value in focusing on tiny issues – even things like RTI. The governance system in India can be easily reformed, once the people's mandate exists, to ensure that RTI type things becomes irrelevant.

All we need is sufficient number of good leaders to defeat the bad leaders that rule India. Why not just do that and finish this whole rigmarole or jhamela? Why suffer poverty and misgovernance for even one minute longer? Why tinker at the edges?

Let's just fix the whole thing! That would be much easier! And a far better use of our limited time.

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Can’t force a horse to drink!

A friend wrote to me suggesting, among other things, that "if we want to become super power, we shall have to create things that are unique, and not restrict ourselevs to what is already used or implemented. Copying something already done we can not become leaders.. to become leaders we will have create something of our own.."

That set me off. I thought that's information worth publishing on my blog. I have had very similar debates with so many others. It seems Indians have a mania to try to prove that they are different from others. I totally disagree.,

Because all humans are exactly the same, within, my proposals all require very minor change from current systems in India to achieve wonderful results. In particular, I always recommend that a detailed understanding of human incentives should inform the design of governance structures. To the extent that we can incorporate natural human tendencies (desire to avoid accountability, lack of effort, arrogance, not consulting others, etc.), we'd have created something of interest. We basically need to ensure that bad people don't hijack such structures? Failure to do that dooms all 'systems' to failure. 

And yes, everything that works in the West can (and indeed has!) worked beautifully in India. Indians have the same DNA as any other human being. That proves the point. That is why they perform so beautifully in the West – because it rewards excellence and punishes bad performance. In India we do the opposite. That is not a creative 'solution'  but destruction. 

I don't believe that to reach the moon you have to reinvent physics within India. That would be an outrageous waste of time. So also for social performance and economic prosperity. I am 100% committed to world-best practice reforms, and don't care for where a good thing is invented. My books are my message. I distill the best from the world and offer these ideas to India. That's my goal. Whether Indians take it or use it is not my business. That's their problem! I can't force a horse to drink.

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A list of good Indian economists

The purpose of this list

Everyone in India must be economics literate. Else India is doomed to repeat its mistakes again, and again. I therefore advocate a dramatic increase in economics education in India. I’m listing below Indian economists whose work should form the basis of a program in economics eduction in India.

Courses in economics should include the world’s best economists (particularly Hayek) [see also my list of the world’s best living economists]. This work of these Indian economists should (in my view) be included in reading lists for undergraduates. Note that I’m not restricting to “qualified” economists. I don’t support all work of the economists listed here, but that shouldn’t detract from their contributions.

I’m happy to add more names: If you think I’ve excluded any major economist, please make recommendations through the comments section (please exclude leftist “economists” – of which there are too many in Indian colleges, universities, and “Planning Commission”). The list is in alphabetical order by first name. Not all economists listed are alive.

Chanakya, the world’s first and India’s greatest economist

Chanakya (Kautilaya). See this blog post for his works and discussion re: his work. Over the past two years I’ve shifted my view on Chanakya and now believe if his ideas are better understood, India can overthrow the fools and socialists who govern India.

Join this Facebook page I’ve created for Chanakya. Also join this Facebook group that discusses Hindu Capitalism.

Professional Economists (not just PhD in Economics, but published in peer reviewed journals)

  • Bellikoth Shenoy – the doyen of Indian economists
  • Sudhir Jayantilal Mulji (1938-2005)
  • Deepak Lal
  • Jagdish Bhagwati [see my comment here]
  • Nirvikar Singh
  • Avinash Dixit
  • T. N. Srinivasan
  • Pranab Bardhan
  • Subroto Roy
  • Meghnad Desai


Good economic thinkers (not necessarily with PhD in Economics).

Most of these have published extensively but not in academic peer reviewed journals.

  • Ashok Desai
  • Parth Shah
  • Bibek Debroy [I now question his understanding of public choice – on watching brief]
  • Barun Mitra
  • Sharad Joshi
  • Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar
  • Gurcharan Das
  • Atanu Dey (PhD Eco)

Budding young economists

  • Balakrishnan Chandrasekaran (Planning Commission)
  • Yazad Jal (USA) – no further contributions so deleted.

Candidates under review

I’m not familiar with all Indian economists. The following are interesting candidates for inclusion in this list:

  • Surjit Bhalla  (not an economist worth considering, given his magical claims about the effects of demonetisation; has ABSOLUTELY no clue about the incentives that operate in the goverance system).
  • Suresh Tendulkar – on watching brief. Have not been persuaded about him yet.

International Indian Economists Association

I’m thinking of reviving the International Indian Economists Association I started in 1999 (but which came to a premature halt due to my severe RSI). Please let me know if you wish to participate in the revival of the association.


1) Why is Amartya Sen not listed here?

I’ve often been asked this, so I’ve explained at length here.

2) Why is Kaushik Basu not listed here?

See details here.

3) Why is Montek Singh Ahluwalia not listed here?

See details in my blog post: Montek, you’re a fool if you imagine you can “predict” inflation

Related post

The deplorable state of India’s economic education.

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