Thoughts on economics and liberty

India the nation of clerks

England is a nation of shopkeepers. India is a nation of clerks.

I was born in a nation where the brightest students were encouraged to become IAS officers, engineers, or doctors: mere clerks, reporting to “street smart” politicians who were known to be ruffians without moral sense or policy capability. I was born in a nation where we were encouraged by our parents and teachers to relinquish our citizenship in favour of job security. No one said that directly, but they said that politics was dirty, so stay out of it.

Ancient Athens, however, was fortunate to have citizens (something the current crop of Greeks are not). Pericles said about Athens that ‘this is a peculiarity of ours: we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all’.

Let educated Indian clerks dip their nose in the proverbial cup of water, in shame. Or, much better, join the Freedom Team or become a Freedom Partner. Become a citizen. Take charge of your own nation. Wrest it out of the hands of the ruffians who rule India.

We can do better than this. (Of course, you, dear reader of this blog, will have to become a citizen – quite a challenge for those brought up in India – but together we can do it).

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4 thoughts on “India the nation of clerks
  1. Sanjay Mehrotra

    In Bangalore a girl died a few days back as she was buried under a rubble from a wall collapse. She remained under the rubble and then breathed her last in 3 hours. She could manage to call the police/ambulance from her mobile though. An ambulance was on the way but was stopped in a traffic hold up, due to a politician for who was on way to attend a marriage !! This can happen only in India. The girl died of suffocation.

  2. Sanjeev

    Dear Sanjay

    Following from my draft manuscript DOF: “So-called VIPs in India with their flashing red lights block traffic to get precedence in the traffic over others. For someone who is seriously ill, getting stuck in the traffic jam under such circumstances can mean the difference between life and death.”

    Such is life in India, and yet there is no revolution.

    I don’t understand. Are people waiting for things to hit them personally before they will react? Won’t it be too late then?


  3. Bhanu

    It might sound a little abstract, but I feel that the attitude of citizens matters a lot in the development or fall of a nation. Corruption in India is definitely about its age-old policies and reforms and corrupt politicians n people in power. But it continues to exist because people “think and let” it exist. I cant seem to think of a way to change people’s attitude to how they think in competitive and corrupt-free ,clean countries like America, Singapore, Norway , Finland,etc. Perhaps if FTI really hits it off and manages to win the elections in 2014, bang on, then that seems to be the only HOPE.

  4. Sanjeev

    Thanks, Bhanu.

    The reality is that US, even UK were as corrupt (and definitely Singapore and South Korea and Hong Kong were) as India currently is, at different points in their lifecycle. System change eliminated (actually dramatically reduced, not eliminated) corruption.

    Indians are reacting to incentives. That’s all.

    However, their lack of citizenship is a serious defect of the education system. That can’t be fixed so easily. They have to wake up but find it impossible to wake up. That’s why we need to shake them up hard and pour water on their face, till they wake up.


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