Thoughts on economics and liberty

Rajesh Jain seems to have given up on hardcore socialist Modi. My suggestions to him.

Thanks to the SBP leadership team that finds out information on all relevant new developments, I’ve been made aware of Rajesh Jain’s further work (and presumably Atanu Dey’s) on political liberalism.

A BIT OF BACKGROUND

In 2010 I met Atanu Dey along with a few members of the nascent Freedom Team of India at dinner in Mumbai. It seemed Atanu and his friend Rajesh Jain (whom I’ve not met) were genuine liberals who wanted fundamental changes to India’s governance system. Neither joined FTI but I asked Atanu to join FTI speakers panel. I also exchanged a number of emails with both of them over the years.

By 2013 things had become very problematic. Both Rajesh Jain and Atanu Dey had become actively engaged in promoting Modi – a man whom I have proven at length was a major abettor of mass murder in Gujarat, apart from being a hardcore socialist.

Atanu Dey objected to my truthful characterisation of Modi as an abettor of murder. I provide him with detailed proofs but he was smitten with Modi and dissociated with the only liberal political group in India at that time: the Freedom Team. I understand that Atanu has since recanted but he has not reverted to me. One must assume therefore that he is a Hindutvawadi at heart and supporter of the murder of innocents.

I kept Rajesh Jain in the loop on a further emails as FTI formed Swarna Bharat Party. But upon not getting many responses, I assumed he too is basically an illiberal man like Atanu – who had no problems with the massacre of hundreds of innocent Muslims and was willing to support Modi. (Btw, JP’s support for Modi cost him my belief in his being liberal, as well. I CANNOT TOLERATE ANYONE WHO PURPORTS TO SUPPORT LIBERTY BUT WHO ALSO SUPPORTS KILLING INNOCENT INDIANS).

Anyway, things seem to be changing and I’m not one to hold a grudge if people change their mind and accept the truth.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW

Apparently Rajesh Jain is now thinking of supporting candidates AGAINST MODI. (See this news item.)

His new website is Nai Disha: https://www.nayidisha.com/

It states that: “The core objective is to unite us on an agenda of freedom, equality and wealth creation. Nayi Disha’s Prosperity Principles and Mission 543 will usher in a new model for governance and politics in India”.

The Nayi Disha’s plan of action is unclear- or whether it is a political party or a generic platform.

Moreover, it currently has the hands of only one man on the website – Rajesh himself. It appears to be a one-man show on the lines of Anand Prasad’s “work”. Its “manifesto” is a shade better than Prasad’s but demonstrates ignorance about how governments work. It is also (therefore?) extremely light on detail and one can’t make out how any of it will ever get implemented. The devil is always in the detail.

NEXT STEPS

I will forward this blog post to Rajesh and Atanu with the following comments:

Rajesh, I’ve come across Nai Disha. I appreciate your attempts to improve India’s policies over the past decade (even though I differ viscerally with your erstwhile support for criminal socialist Modi) but am disappointed that you have chosen to bring forward a one-man document instead of working with the only team of political liberals that exists in India – the Swarna Bharat Party. The broad principles of Nai Dissha are not bad and I support them, but the devil is always in the detail.

That’s why Swarna Bharat Party’s 100-page manifesto (which is continuously being improved) is the way to go – where all key high level policy and governance changes are detailed. This manifesto follows from my 2008 book, Breaking Free of Nehru in which I detailed the precise reasons behind India’s colossal failures. SBP’s manifesto represents the best ideas consolidated from around 1000 persons over 20 years (including the extensive discussions on India Policy Institute in 1998-99 and Sharad Joshi’s excellent manifestos – and some of the world’s best manifestos).

Good governance is a highly developed skill and a matter of great detail. One reason Modi failed is that he knows NOTHING about governance. The West is where it is not because of the broad principle of liberty but because of the detailed design of its institutions – which are continually being improved.

I invite you to study SBP’s manifesto and the work we are doing in UP to awaken the youth and the people – see our Facebook page.

I will be holding detailed (interactive) training camps for SBP leaders across India in the coming months and if you are interested, you can join in as observer/participant.

There is no short cut to political and policy reform in India. All those who have taken short cuts (including you in 2014-2017) have badly failed.

I had organised a major 5-day workshop of all Indian liberal leaders in 2004 and told them that this is going to be a long journey, but some people wanted shortcuts. That failed. Can never work.

In 2014, RK Misra and Shekhar Tiwari started their one-man band called Navbharat Party and bombed badly. They spent a lot of money. Likewise, JP of Lok Satta tied up with Surendra Srivastava (both well-to-do persons) but both bombed badly and lost vast amounts of money. These two political enterprises have shut down and we don’t hear a peep from any one of them. They refused to listen/ work together as a team. That’s a sure way to fail.

I’ve been in this business of liberal reforms for OVER 20 years now and have seen many liberals take short cuts at each step. Unfortunately, this is a very long journey. It has be preceded by 10 years of serious grassroots evangelisation.

If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. We need a very detailed and powerful manifesto. We need a candidate selection system, a training system, a mass education system.

I suggest you review your new approach and if you are really serious about liberal reforms, join Swarna Bharat Party and help build the institutions that are essential before electoral success can be achieved. We need a national liberal party, and SBP is it. See my TOI articles.

I have a 20 year time horizon for SBP (from 2018). If you can join hands, we can shrink it to 10 years, but don’t expect to form national government before 2029.

This (serious) work should have been started in 2004 but the (few) liberals of India were all busy taking short cuts. If the work had been started then, we would have formed government by now.

But now, let’s get on with some serious work and target 2029.

ADDENDUM: RAJESH’S RESPONSE ETC.

Rajesh responded promptly to my email. His aim is “to form the next government by garnering support of 15+ crore Indians in the next few months.”

I think this is pretty much as delusional as it can get. Clearly Rajesh is completely divorced from the Indian reality in which the socialists are entrenched badly all across India, along with feudal forces (in the bureaucracy/ general community).

I know of many “wealthy” persons who have struggled to get even 2000 votes in any constituency no matter how much money they throw into the effort. Even Nilekani failed.

Rajesh wants a short cut. He doesn’t see the need for years of extensive grassroots work to build each leader in each constituency.

AK was an exception – but even then, they only won where they had good grassroots leaders + in Delhi where he had spent 10 years, building all kinds of local teams.

There are a few other exceptions that come to mind, as well (like AGP), but Rajesh is not in that group. AGP had conducted a mammoth mass movement for 6 years (including the death of hundreds of students/ volunteers/ innocents who got caught up in the process), before they came to power.

Politics in India is not a simple matter of waking up one day, putting a few crore rupees, and getting a majority in parliament.

I guess one has to write off Nai Disha as one more wasted effort by Rajesh Jain.

BACKGROUND

Some of my previous blog posts on Atanu Dey and Rajesh Jain:

Rajesh Jain is surely not obfuscating the truth? I request him to comment. (7 October 2013)

Rajesh Jain’s brilliant characterisation of India’s so-called freedom (independence) movement (2 September 2011)

Atanu Dey, rabid illiberal, spat on liberty and fawned on murderous, socialist Modi. Modi is no longer his great hero, it seems. (19 June 2016)

What a total ass, this Alphons – and my misjudgement of people exposed once again (10 September 2017)

The ball is in the court of those (such as Atanu Dey) who have worked for the enemies of liberty (29 March 2017)

List of India’s many questionable “classical liberals (22 July 2015)

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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2 thoughts on “Rajesh Jain seems to have given up on hardcore socialist Modi. My suggestions to him.
  1. almostaristotle

    HAHA I was working on a blog post on nayidisha and I saw this now. Rajesh indeed is wasting serious time and money. I will just repeat my complete post below here for ref.

    I wrote about his free a billion(FAB) here before. That was a wreck, as mentioned in that post, most people there wouldn’t be able to define capitalism at a gunpoint, let alone defend it. It simply turned into an NGO sort of thing people are told to do “for the experience” at the stupid age of 18-20. And chicks just love this sort of thing, so many of them, probably to improve their “managerial” and “digital marketing” skills with the “internship” instead of explaining capitalism to the Marathi speaking guy who came in from Facebook.

    This time things don’t look much different, however there’s just one major mind boggling change though—this time Rajesh Jain directly is asking for votes, to “form a government with the help of 15 crore Indians”. Sanjeev Sabhlok already has called him delusional without explaining much. Let me do so.

    The Guilty Rich Indian

    This is the first thing that comes to my mind. Rajesh’s blog emergic has a post from his early days when he made his millions—$115Million I think is the precise number and his wife made a heartfelt comment—”this is god’s money”. That immediately makes me wonder if he just feels compelled to do these things due to some idea of “god’s work” or a notion of “duty to his mother land”. Both of which are highly imaginary constructs and do not really exist. Maybe he is an atheist now and has a different understand about the term “god” I can’t tell.

    You’d think this is not important as long he is pushing for the right ideas with the right intentions, however I think the approach changes when you check people’s motivations. Doing a thing because you feel compelled by religion or a notion of duty is very different than doing it because you really believe that capitalism and individual freedoms are ends in itself.

    In the former thinking mode you get caught up in just throwing some money at the X-cause, hoping it liberates you from the guilt like a lotta Indians do with NGOs, in the latter one you do what will actually work. I think Rajesh is in the first mode.

    Some Things Money Can’t Buy

    The nayidisha website has a nice look, design which one agrees are as important as the message itself, which some people seem to miss out on. So Rajesh throws a few bucks to a nice design team (they’re not cheap) and gets himself a new website every time.

    The idea is that people will come-read-agree and signup and share the content and very soon he will have his 15 crore voters ready. That’s almost my blogging strategy! Though very rarely my goal is to have you agree with me.

    He misses out something very crucial though, and that I think is trust. Here’s a guy who wants to “form government” but “has no political ambitions” and he will “give each family 1 lac rupees per year”. At this point it’s hard to figure out if nayidisha is an NGO, a party or both or neither! Of course to this they throw the cool techy lingo of “platform” but it just begs the question—why?

    “No Political Ambitions”

    The current Delhi CM started out the same way and now here is nationalizing private schools at gunpoint. Soon Delhi will have no schools or they will turn so bad, coaching classes will be out there, campaigning and funding the next election for Arvind, either way the market always finds a way.

    Garnering political support in India is hard enough and garnering political support when your message is “banks and railways need to be privatized” you are almost aiming for the moon and beyond.

    When you add these confusing altruistic statements to the mix, people simply do not buy it.

    People being the simple homo sapiens they are, want straight and direct talk—you want political power and think you can do better than the current pack of dogs ruling India? THEN SAY IT! Fight for it with all your being. This is not a call for Jain to run for the prime minister’s job but to do politics the way politics is done—with a political outfit which wants to get as much power it can to steer things in the correct direction. As Walter White puts it—no half measures.

    No one likes or trusts an half baked idea of a “political platform”and “political startup” (throw in your techy buzz words) calling for candidates and votes to form governments, only political parties do that. In fact as the recent book I’m reading puts it, this does not even prime your mind to think that way. Here’s a note on priming;

    As is common in science, the first big breakthrough in our understanding of the mechanism of association was an improvement in a method of measurement. Until a few decades ago, the only way to study associations was to ask many people questions such as, “What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word DAY?” The researchers tallied the frequency of responses, such as “night,” “sunny,” or “long.” In the 1980s, psychologists discovered that exposure to a word causes immediate and measurable changes in the ease with which many related words can be evoked. If you have recently seen or heard the word EAT, you are temporarily more likely to complete the word fragment SO_P as SOUP than as SOAP. The opposite would happen, of course, if you had just seen WASH. We call this a priming effect and say that the idea of EAT primes the idea of SOUP, and that WASH primes SOAP.

    — Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

    Nothing in the the political vocab—”votes”, “government”, “ideology”, “elections” primes the idea of a “political platform” but only of a political party.

    Maybe Rajesh has good reasons to spout such platitudes like “no political ambitions”, he is a businessman and a good one at that. Every government division is probably a Netcore client, and all that could go away the moment he joins a political party and crosses a line drawn by the corrupt dogs that currently rule India.

    At the same time he has already taken a shot at the prime minister for his obvious failures, so he is not exactly shy of standing up to the big guys.

    In end though all this does not change the fact that NGO-esque approach to political battles will not be taken seriously by most people.

    “Dhan Vapsi”

    This definitely primes everyone for the 15 lac promise made by Modi, lol.

    Can’t really fathom what Rajesh is thinking here. The funny thing is his site right now is nothing but a blog and when he uses lingo like “returning the wealth to Indians at 1lac per yr” he just raises eyebrows. He does provide a huge FAQ there about how this is feasible, however, altruistic statements are rightly scoffed at in the public sphere around the world. Doesn’t matter if it’s Modi, the US demoncrat Sanders or Rajesh.

    Articulating the same message in the form of a policy of negative income tax or direct cash transfer would do him a lot of good.

    However since he is caught up in the thinking mindset of activism with the already discussed notion of “political platform” he is only coming with the language of political and social activism of “returning the wealth back to the people” (almost gets my skin crawling to how marxist/communistic it sounds) and unable to think in terms of policies around which political parties are built.
    A Speech for Rajesh Jain

    Sam Harris had written a speech for the clinton witch. Here’s my attempt to do the same for Rajesh’s interview.

    “Do I want power? YES! I want power because I am tired of feeling powerless, I’m tired of seeing thugs and criminals in our positions of power, tired of BSNL and MTNL burning around 90k crore rupees, Air India another billions of dollars and the Indian railways which kills more people than any terrorist. All in attempts to deliver basic services which anybody can. And while we lose billions over there we see our courts, police forces, government offices are over flowing with files and documents gathering dust. The government fails to deliver basic services to our people. Justice is denied, law and order is a joke and corruption is institutionalized as a part of our culture. I want power to change this and I want as much of it as possible. I want my party to be chosen by the people of India and to create systemic changes that puts India on path to prosperity, this will need governance reforms, police reforms and constitutional reforms.”

    I think this even sounds better for the current nayidisha “platform”. However obviously this is for someone who is not shy of asking for power the right way and for the right reasons.

    Summary

    Nayidisha political blog/platform is at best a good collection of posts on how much the Indian government screws up, as of now I don’t even see them making any strong ideological case for free markets or capitalism. Hard to believe they can bring about any ideological curiosity in the reader’s mind.

    As far as forming governments goes, it’ll not even find any candidates to being with.