Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: My political plans

My interview on Quest4fame

I've shared this already on Twitter and FB, but for email and RSS subscribers who don't get my twitter/FB updates, I'm also publishing this information on my blog.

A newly established website called Quest4fame has published an interview with me today. The link:

The interview responds to some very well considered questions that Tarun sent me. Indeed, I get asked such  questions very frequently, so this interview can act as an FAQ about me. If you have follow-up questions, you can ask me at the above website. I'd once again like to thank Tarun for giving me the opportunity to participate in this interview. 

Each public exposure is invaluable for it helps spread the message of liberty and good governance that I bring to India. So please share this link as widely as possible! Spread the word!

And do join the Freedom Team of India if you are want genuine reforms in Indian in the next few years.
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Some deliberations on the concept of citizenship

I was having a discussion with one of India’s premier liberal think tanks, wherein it was suggested that the think tank founder/s are “equally convinced that the path we have chosen is the best way we can make a difference, given the context of our political system and structures. How easy has it been for you to get traction, or those that we know have thrown their hats into the political ring – JP, or Rajeev Gowda”.

Let me provide, in public, a lightly edited extract from my response:
I guess this boils down in the end to the way we understand the social contract (and hence our role as citizens).
To me the citizen must is obliged by the social contract to raise his voice in the Parliament first – that is the key point – and seek to change the offending laws that cause grief. The Constitution (social contract) provides for this remedy for governance problems. We must use this mechanism.
The press and civil society option – such as think-tanks etc. – are supportive, second order institutions in the social contract. They provide additional scrutiny over and beyond what is embedded in the Constitutional frameworks. These options do not provide governance, merely an audit or critique.
In India's case the educated middle class have ruled themselves out of the reckoning as citizens, and either spectate (99%) or commentate (1%) as external observers, as if someone had given them only an auditorial role in the state. That misconception is widespread, that educated people should stay out of politics: as if we are some kind of auditors or umpires, bereft of the right to play the game, as if we are second class citizens.

The (classical) liberal's primary role as citizen, is, in my view, to provide governance. The other options are an appendage, an embellishment – best left to the academia and press, or those without an over-arching vision for their nation.
To me there can be no citizenship in a free society without direct participation (or direct engagement through political parties) in the parliament. Anyway, this is what I'm working towards. This basic role of a citizen should not be demeaned by calling it "politics", for there is no more fundamental responsibility for our nation than this thing called “politics”. Doing so would be like saying we will never participate in the decisions taken by our parliament but will only criticise from the outside. India's constitution was not designed for hands-off citizenship.
There remains, in addition, a role for mass movements like those of Martin Luther King, but that's not what India's liberal think-tanks are engaged in. They are more like petitioners who ask the corrupt government to reform itself. Why would it?
Anyway, after my disappointing experience of 2004-05 I've moved into the open, public spaces. I believe leaders exist OUTSIDE of the traditional group of "liberals" of India – outside the Indian Liberal Group, outside the think tanks, outside the group of 'liberal' writers who pepper the op-eds in India with their opinions that they ought to have first been raised directly in parliament as speeches. We need great speeches in parliament, not mere editorials in newspapers.
It is these people outside of the traditional 'catchment' areas for liberal leadership that I'm searching for and have found reasonable success. And some of these people are brilliant.  Let, therefore, the flame of citizenship that I'm trying to light in India, not be doused by cynicism about such efforts.
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The evolution of Rajaji into Nehru’s biggest critic

Here's an interesting extract from the book, Rajagopalachari. A Biography, by C.R. Narasimhan (Rajaji's son), Radiant Publishers, 1993. It illustrates how Rajaji slowly moved away from Nehru and ultimately launched Swatantra Party.

EXTRACT (from p.218)
Slowly, CR was converting himself into a critic of governmental actions. Jawaharlal Nehru was now the sole master of the Congress organisation. He was pushing it towards the Left. The "socialistic pattern" and socialism were being accepted as policy slogans of the Indian National Congress. Stress was laid on cooperative farming. Some felt that it was a precursor of nationalisation of land. CR was not feeling comfortable over these developments.
Through Swarajya, he carried on to the best of his ability a counter-propaganda against this trend in the Congress. He was alienating himself from the Congress, that is to say from the ruling party. Some of his suggestions ran counter to the ruling party's notions.
He claimed that a great psychological change had taken place in the public mind. People saw that they could not sacrifice the desire for good government at the altar of history. They wanted good government. If the changed situation is not recognized and the ruling party drifts with some makeshift arrangements for mass contacts, and if no alternative party comes into being, democracy would breakdown. At some stage the warmth of hero worship was bound to cool down, and then some form of fascism would come into play to satisfy the universal craving for good government, he wrote in Swarajya of June 29, 1957.
As early as August 17, 1957, he stated in Swarajya again: "The Congress Party has swung to the Left; what is wanted for the body politics is not an ultra or outer-Left but, a strong and articulate Right."
Thus if I may say so a new CR was emerging. He was hereafter to be described as the great crusader, the great dissenter and such other descriptions by leading men of the times.  
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India I promise to make you very rich!

In my limited spare time I operate Facebook pages for FTI, India Policy Institute (IPI), and fan pages for Hayek, Rajaji, Masani, and Julian Simon.

This page will now represent me (and like-minded people!) on Facebook. It is aptly called, "India I promise to make you very rich!". You too can help make India rich by joining it and advocating policies of freedom.

This direct political commitment summarises my work so far with IPI, FTI and my book/s and writings. 

I hereby PROMISE that should policies of freedom be followed by India, it will become a wealthy nation in less than 10 years. This will need a complete change of current governments.

On this page I'll be sending out messages regarding liberty, and while I'll accept more 'friends' on Facebook, I'd prefer to communicate through this page.

I'll continue to operate as a part of the Freedom Team (indeed, there is no other way to get there), but my guarantee is personal! I stand by it.

Once again, join me HERE.

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