Thoughts on economics and liberty

Such confusion won’t get us far

It is disappointing to hear the shallow and confused analysis of India’s problems from some highly educated and experienced Indians. It amazes me to hear that ideas are immaterial and everything is relative. Here’s an example of a recent email communication to illustrate this point. My forthrightness in this communication probably hasn't won me a friend, but I'm not seeking friends. I'm looking for LEADERS who can take India to freedom. India needs clear headed thinking, that drills down the root of problems and fixes these problems; not shallow 'analysis' that takes us round and round in circles.

Extract from an educated Indian’s comments (to me)

I am not very inclined to join any organization because I do not believe in adopting a particular ideological position. Different situations seem to warrant different responses and I feel India is too vast and complex to fit in the confines of any one set of policy options. 

I also see the main problem as being one of implementation, not policy formulation – there is much that slips between the cup and the lip in India!!

Extracts from my response

The first, on which I was 100% clear fairly long ago but more so now after working for 5 years inside the Australian government in a position related to regulatory policy, is that India's problem is of bad policy. Bad policy can't be implemented. So when I hear that India's problem is of poor implementation not policy I feel the person doesn't understand the ABC of the problem. What you see in India is the result of socialist overlay on every possible policy, operating under a change to colonial governance arrangement. The result must necessarily be a total disaster.

Second, when I hear people say they don't have an ideology, they don't know themselves. They are actually accepting the default ideology of India which is socialism. So that line doesn't work well with me, either, as a worldview. We ALL have ideologies, worldviews. Just that some of us are clear about it, others are happy to muddle along.


As expected, this person (I'll name her now), instead of seeing this as an opportunity to check her beliefs and ask why I say what I say – such as read the book BFN and ask questions – wrote the following today (see email below)

Marie-Lou Fernandes is a former IPS officer and batchmate of Shatanu. I trust Marie Lou will realise the huge difference in her response and the response that Shantanu chose to make, based on a pretty much similar – harsh but truthful comment I had made to him some years ago. Shantanu took this on as a challenge and realised the validity of what I was saying. It is up to us to make India work – we can't keep blaming others.

Let me assert once again that I am NOT in the business of making friends. I am NOT beholden to anyone nor anyone to me. I am here because I believe I must, in this lifetime, speak the truth as I see it (whether others agree with it or not). And all I say is this: through our actions (or inactions) we are either supporting the socialist corruption of India or we are fighting it. We can't have it both ways (we can't pretend to fight by writing articles but then say that 'everything goes'; that there is no fundamental problem with what we are doing – as Marie-Lou has been trying to suggest). 

Email to me dated 14 February 2011
Hello again Sanjeev,
Your last email made for some fascinating reading and was a wonderful example of how a polite response could be met with such rudeness. It is now apparent to me that you neither have much tolerance for opposing  viewpoints nor the capacity to acknowledge them courteously. In such a scenario, I do not see the necessity of any further collaboration. Since you claim to possess all answers to India's multitudinous governance issues, I wish you good luck in addressing them conclusively and finding "leaders" of your ilk to carry your freedom movement forwards.
Please do not bother to respond to this email as all future correspondence from you will be marked and sent to my SPAM folder.
Marie-Lou Fernandes 







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