Thoughts on economics and liberty

Get real, India. Pick fights with the ENEMIES of India, not with journalists

Shantanu posted this interesting email from Nandini to an article by Shekhar Gupta. I thought this is just the kind of thing we need to avoid. Wasting our time fighting with journalists. 

Let's conserve energy and plan the big fight – with the ENEMIES of India: the corrupt incompetent bad-policy mongering politicians of India.

So here's an edited extract from my response on Shantanu's blog.

I challenge all these Nandinis of India (the smug middle-classes of India) to stop babbling and to start focusing on ELECTORAL VICTORY. 

There is a system in India to oppose corruption: Get into parliament and change the system. Why does our civil society not understand this basic fact of life?


I was curious about Shekhar Gupta's article (I barely ever read his work), and regardless of this email from Nandini, two things stand out clearly in his article:

1) "our civil society, media, intellectual and ideological discourse are all still thin and shallow. They have a long way to go before they can match the depth and maturity of our voting classes."
2) "Anna Hazare spiked his own movement’s football by explaining why if he contested elections he would lose his deposit, because our voter, the corrupt, drunken idiot, would merely trade her vote for cash, a sari, a bottle of liquor."
I totally agree on these two statements, regardless of the other parts of Shekhar's article.
I've said this from the beginning and continue to say this: The voter is SUPER-SHREWD and smart. He wisely discharges his role in providing India with a STABLE government. He knows that stability with a modicum of law and order is of FAR GREATER importance than having a corruption-free government. Anarchy is the worst outcome of all. And so our voter insists on voting for credible parties that can provide India, overall, with a modicum of stability. 
Most of these EPs (Eminent Persons) are utterly arrogant and therefore held in great contempt by the voter. They imagine that by coming from the outside and lecturing to voters or doing fasts-unto-death they will change the system. They can't. They must get in. And using a fast-unto-death method is not appropriate, anyway. The voter will not be coerced.
The problem with EPs is that when they do decide to get into the system they do so as individualists, not as a team. Either they run as independents like Meera Sanyal and get booted out, or run a fake party (like Lok Satta) without ANY depth of leadership. 
These EPs seem to take the voter to be a fool. The voter, without fail, kicks them into the dust-bin each time. That's what they deserve. 
I've said from day ONE that let those who cast a stone on India's democratic model first stand elections and then talk about it. I hold the MOST corrupt Indian politician in higher esteem than the "smartest" intellectual who harangues the voter but does not do them the courtesy of offering a CREDIBLE alternative.
I'm not interested in the Nandini's of this world. I'm not interested in the Hazares. 
I'm interested in those with the CALIBRE to offer the voter with a CREDIBLE alternative. That means offering no less than a full-fledged national party comprising the BEST possible leaders India has to offer – and the BEST policies.
Let the Nandinis of India not pick fights with idle journalists. Journalists' job is to write and report. They don't count in the life of the nation. Just spectators with good language skills.
Let, instead, the Nandinis of India show their capability by working as a SINGLE TEAM to offer India with a true alternative government. Then their words will mean something. Till then all this is just wasted energy. Please refer to my blog post on this issue of energy.
The Freedom Team of India is precisely focused on this NATIONAL ALTERNATIVE. The voter expects nothing less. If you have capability and not mere foolish "desire to change the system", then join FTI and show your true worth to India.

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