Thoughts on economics and liberty

Is it time for the forces of good in India to come together on a minimum agenda?

The more I think about the huge challenges India faces, the more it is becoming clear that the time perhaps has come explore a truly radical option: to form a political coalition of the willing on a minimum (as opposed to comprehensive) reform agenda.

Given the socialist institutional history and education system of India, vast differences in understandings of the functions of government among those who oppose corruption, and the very limited availability of classical liberal leadership in India today, it may now have become necessary to take a more pragmatic approach in the first instance, with a view to a more comprehensive (classical) liberal approach in the longer term.

Perfection is the enemy of the good. I don't think we can afford to wait till everything lines up perfectly before storming Bastille.

The rule of law could become the key pillar of the minimum agenda. Along with freedom of vocation, freedom of expression, and equal opportunity for all.

And of course, a corruption-free India.

There is a huge desire among the people of India to oust both Congress and BJP. But there is no clear alternative available to them which they can trust.

That alternative can be formed among the forces of the anti-corruption movement and classical liberals working together, if a minimum reform agenda can be agreed.

I know that's going to be very hard, but I'd rather work with some members of Team Anna, for instance, than with ANYONE from Congress or BJP.

The much more long term approach being taken by FTI will need to continue, but FTI members and a variety of others could initially come together, in the first instance, to to discuss the feasibility of a common platform. In my judgement FTI can easily offer over 100 HIGH QUALITY MP candidates for 2014 should the right agreements be arrived at. Some FTI members will easily be among the BEST leaders India has ever had, in its entire history.

This approach may not fit the current FTI strategy, nor be in the longer-term interest of India (which will benefit most from a comprehensive, not miminal reform agenda), but should a focused POLITICAL MOVEMENT be arrived at, I think it is time to get on with the TASK OF REFORM and not wait too much longer.

I'd be willing to return full time to India to work with other like-minded people to give good governance a chance, with a clear political goal and a strong set of leaders.

India can't afford its good leaders being OUTSIDE the Parliament. They must ALL get into parliament. That is the minimum necessary first step.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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6 thoughts on “Is it time for the forces of good in India to come together on a minimum agenda?
  1. Amil

    Dear Sanjeev, I do agree with your views and concern, your vision about the role of FTI in the future in Indian context is appreciable, but… But,,,as we have seen the issues, agenda, doctrines are hijacked by ????? How to safeguard it?

  2. Polevaulter Donkeyman


    1. What aims of FTI would you be willing to compromise in a pragmatic alliance with other parties?

    2. What aims and tenets of FTI are non-negotiable?

    3. Do you think e.g. Team Anna, believe in the freedom of expression as much as you do?

  3. Shailesh


    heartily welcome and appreciate the change in approach. we need to work with reasonable people despite disagreements. An ‘all or nothing’ approach only strengthens the existing established parties, particularly since we do not have ‘instant run-off voting’.

    Jan Lokpal, for example, is essentially about establishing the rule of law. It’s not a new offence…corruption is already a crime…Jan Lokpal Bill only seeks to implement the existing ‘Prevention of Corruption Act’. Classical liberals, like us, should understand that while there are easier and better solutions available, Jan Lokpal is only positive.

    Focussing on the faults of Team Anna is somewhat like lambasting you for the harsh language you use while ignoring your great ideas!

  4. Lara Prerna


    “I don’t think we can afford to wait till everything lines up perfectly before storming Bastille.”

    Now you are talking.

    I am glad you decided not to wait 50,000 years.


  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    Ultimately reality dictates what gets done. I will keep pushing in the right direction, but we will possibly will need to re-adjust the speed to suit India’s stages of development. Even 50,000 years later things wouldn’t have moved if we don’t directly participate in political processes.



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