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Introducing myself

I wrote this self-introduction with someone today. Sharing here.


I joined the IAS in 1982 and worked in various capacities, such as Professor of Management at the Lal Bahadur National Academy of Administration and Commissioner and Secretary to the Government in the State Government of Meghalaya. However, since February 1998, my focus has been on bringing essential governance reforms to India. I finally decided to take the political route and resigned in January 2001 and left India, after my first (failed) attempt to form a liberal party.

Since then I have worked in the Victorian Government in Melbourne in various capacities, including over the last 11 years as an economist in the Department of Treasury and Finance. (I have a doctorate in economics from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles – in addition to various management qualifications).

My thesis is that Indian governments have failed to understand the skewed incentives of India’s governance system. We need far more liberalisation, but without fundamental governance reforms, economic reforms cannot succeed.

I was fortunate that finally, a few years ago, I helped form India’s only (classical) liberal party, Swarna Bharat Party. (Please refer to my recent Times of India article regarding the party.) My detailed message and arguments are found in my 2008 book, Breaking Free of Nehru (download here) – the book is highly commended by Gurcharan Das, author of India Unbound. (He has also, earlier this year, joined Swarna Bharat Party.)

I wrote a detailed article on bureaucratic system reforms in India’s Cabinet Secretariat newsletter. I also published a shorter article on the topic in Times of India(here). And have written on electoral reforms in The Wire (here).

India’s economic future remains bleak without such reforms. Our governance system is close to the world’s worst. With such a system we can do nothing to uplift India.


Sanjeev Sabhlok

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6 thoughts on “Introducing myself
  1. Raj

    Hi Sanjeev. Just read Sanjay Sonawani is on a hunger strike.

    Can I please tell ya that he needs to stop KILLING time doing non-sensical s***. And if he’s got time to kill anyways, he might as well create fliers, take a walk to the local university, and talk to students there.

    Nobody gives a hoot if he’s alive or dead, such sympathy-begging techniques are a mere waste of time, energy and life. If he wants Freedom, he needs to fight for it. Not threaten to kill himself if people do not stop infringing on his freedoms.

    If people cared about him anyways, they wouldn’t be tyrannising him in the first place. The way to go is to raise awareness, to get into politics, to become the rulers and to change the darn Law. Not to go hungry!

    I reiterate, we need to stay away from Gandhian ludicrousy in times when they do not help achieve our goals. The point of a hunger strike is “Look, I’m so important, so you better change, or my holy arse will leave this Earth”. We need to convince people why they must change for THEIR own betterness, not threaten them to change with a sense of almost arrogant self-importance.

    So no, no hunger strikes.

  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Raj, unless he is threatening fast unto death (which is coercive), I’m OK with any form of self-expression. Let’s allow liberals the freedom to do what they think is right for a cause they believe in.

  3. Raj

    Sure, he can do whatever he wants. I’ll call him out for it is though — a sheer waste of time, and a show of arroganct self-aggrandisement.

  4. Joyson Fernandes

    Sanjay Sonawani is really wasting his time over something that will not yield any results. Since it won’t, why do it? Had he actually been on a fast unto death and provided there was significant media attention as well as state-wide mass participation, I would have seen the point – namely blackmailing the state government into abolishing socialistic controls over agriculture.

    But this is purely a waste of time! Anyway it’s his time. He can spend it how he likes. No harm done to the party’s reputation!

  5. Robin Kalita

    Hi Sanjeev, good to see you do great work. Smita must be inspiring you in ample measure. Convey my regards to her. It’s a difficult task you have taken up. But knowing you as I do, I’m sure you are enjoying every bit and will certainly put your foot prints well entrenched. Best wishes. Please keep in touch.

  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Robin, good to hear from you. I’m actually looking for people who wish to totally change India, so if you’re able (which I think you are) and interested, please join SBP and start an Assam branch.


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