Wednesday, June 30, 2010

De Soto Model for Indian Slums!

Is Gandhi was Liberal?

Mr. Jagannathan writes:

  • Today’s card-carrying secularists belong to the first category of Hindu-baiting liberals, and the Congress, some OBC parties, and the Left are often torchbearers of the post-colonial legacy of self-hate. In a broad sense, thus, the failure of Hindu liberals to assert their Hindu identities left a leadership vacuum that could only be filled by the radical Hindutva outfits, which spew venom against Islam and Christianity.

  • Gandhi’s approach to Hinduism was the only rational middle-ground left for liberals, but he didn’t last long enough after Independence to impact secular politics. Liberal Hindus have to reassert their Hindu identities if more radical outfits are not to hijack the religion.

The pathetic comrades

Mr Aiyar argues very eloquently that the price decontrol is with rational logic:

  • Inflation is caused by faulty fiscal , monetary and trade policies, not by price decontrol.
  • Communists perpetrated mass murder of another sort, based on class rather religion, but with as little moral or factual basis.
  • Communists who condemn this blindly as ‘international financial capital speculation’ are simply exposing their ignorance.
  • These comrades need bogeymen to justify their life-long defence of communist murder and torture in pursuit of a bankrupt economic ideology. Rather than learn from the collapse of the Soviet Union, they would rather use old, hollow slogans to justify the unjustifiable. When exposed by newspapers like this one, they have no factual reply, but repeat empty slogans about the pink press being the voice of international financial capital. How pathetic!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thanks to Glenn Beck show on Hayek's classic "The Road to Serfdom"

Prof Russell Roberts full article on “Why Friedrich Hayek Is Making a Comeback” is now available here.

Monday, June 28, 2010


The Constitutionalization Of Money By James M. Buchanan

The Great Crash Of 2008: Causes And Consequences by Deepak Lal

Leave that Economics ROAD to ITSELF

Economics has become the shaky science; its intellectual chaos provides context for today's policy disputes at home and abroad.

There's a great deal economists don't understand. Not surprisingly, the adherents of "rational expectations" -- a theory that people generally figure out how best to respond to economic events -- didn't anticipate financial panic and economic collapse. The disconnect between theory and reality seems ominous. The response to the initial crisis was to throw money at it -- to lower interest rates and expand budget deficits. But with interest rates now low and deficits high, what happens if there's another crisis?

Why Friedrich Hayek Is Making a Comeback

That is the GUN! article title published by Russ Roberts

  • He was born in the 19th century, wrote his most influential book more than 65 years ago, and he's not quite as well known or beloved as the sexy Mexican actress who shares his last name. Yet somehow, Friedrich Hayek is on the rise.

  • When Glenn Beck recently explored Hayek's classic, "The Road to Serfdom," on his TV show, the book went to No. 1 on Amazon and remains in the top 10. Hayek's persona co-starred with his old sparring partner John Maynard Keynes in a rap video "Fear the Boom and Bust" that has been viewed over 1.4 million ...

You need subscription for full article

Why Indira Gandhi withdrew the Emergency?

Who, in your opinion, were the main villains of the Emergency apart from Indira Gandhi?

Mr D K Borooah (then the Congress president), Siddhartha Shankar Ray (then the West Bengal [ Images ] chief minister), H R Gokhale (then the Union law minister), Rajni Patel (then the Bombay Pradesh Congress Committee president) and the Communist leaders. She was surrounded by them.

Towards a Theoretical Framework for Britiish and International Political Economy

Mises Institute has just released a Sudha’s dissertation in book form:

  • Sudha Shenoy (1943-2008) was a legendary figure in the history of the Austrian School. Her father, B.R. Shenoy, was practically the only libertarian in India in his day. His daughter, Sudha, was a student of Hayek and Rothbard and went on to teach in Australia, with a specialization in development economics. She inspired many students with her teaching and her eloquent defense of economic liberty.
  • This mighty treatise, her dissertation now in book format, is probably the first full Austrian treatment of development economics, with a model carved out of the writings of Menger, Mises, and Hayek. She traces an economy's progre
  • ss from consumption, to distribution, to production, and demonstrates the essential preconditions that must be met for an economy to move through this trajectory.
  • In the second part, she reconstructs the history of England in the 200 years before the Industrial Revolution. She shows that the Industrial Revolution was not something that just happened upon England but, rather, was the result of a long build-up of capital and a long expansion of the division of labor.
  • In many ways, this book earns for Shenoy a high place in the history of the Austrian School. Even though it is only now being published after her death, it is a book for which she will be long remembered.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Indian Corporate, Bhopal Tragedy and Liberals

Praful Bidwai writes:

  • Why has every single Indian corporate organisation, including chambers of commerce that routinely wax eloquent on all types of issues, kept silent on the atrocious judgement in the Bhopal case? How can corporate CEOs not be disturbed, even alarmed, by a verdict that treats the world’s second-greatest industrial disaster that claimed 15,000-plus lives and injured over 200,000 as a mere traffic accident? What does this say about the moral and political character of Indian business and its disdain for social welfare?

  • This raises larger issues. Any civilised society based on the rule of law must severely punish corporate malfeasance, negligence and crime. This is essential if corporations are not to indulge in unsafe practices that harm the public and be deterred from using money power to evade justice. Even healthy capitalism needs the rule of law and tough environmental and occupational safety regulations. Crucial too is a developed law of torts. This does not exist in India.

Govt shouldn't hound independent directors'

  • Parekh said although the Tata group had, on several occasions, offered to clean up the place and further develop it for community use, they were not given permission because the issue is too political. "I think we are unable to take decision when crisis happens," he added. He believes that the country should take a more objective and practical view of the whole situation, and not go after the wrong people. "There have been a few cases which are not giving us stature. If India is now wanting to join the global league, we should have some kind of maturity in handling such cases," Parekh said.

Give us a break, Mr Parekh

  • Mr Mahindra was the non-executive chairman of Union Carbide India and so couldn’t really be held responsible since he had no day-to-day dealings with the company.

  • If he was held responsible as a director, surely the same should have applied to various government nominees on the company’s board.

  • If you hound independent directors, people will never want to become independent directors; you may even find it difficult to get a CEO or a factory manager for chemical companies manufacturing hazardous materials... “The CEO of UCIL at the time of the accident was less than one year old in the company. When the site was selected, when the plant was put up there, when the designs were made, when the start-up trials happened, he had nothing to do with it... But the CEO has been indicted.”

Make that ‘mighty’ ‘quest’ work…

There is saying in Tamil “ride the mighty ocean in quest of treasure

This idea of ‘mighty’ ‘quest’ has vanished not only in Indian Administration since the Independence but also in the minds of the so called leaders who rule the country with ‘mighty’ moral for everything except the goodness for people of this country.

Indian Corporate bags…..

According to Sitaram Yechuri:

  • “while the taxes forgone through subsidies to corporates was Rs. 4,28,000 crore annually, the allocation for Public Distribution System was Rs. 52,489 crore.”

From P Sainath article:

  • ….the budget tells us (Annexure 12, Table 12, p.58). Income foregone in 2007-08 due to direct tax concessions was Rs. 62,199 crore. That foregone on excise duty was Rs. 87,468 crore. And on customs duty Rs. 1,53,593 crore. That adds up to Rs. 3,03,260 crore. Even if we drop export credit from this, it comes to well over Rs. 200,000 crore. For 2008-09, that figure would be over Rs. 300,000 crore. That is a very conservative estimate. It does not include all manner of subsidies and rate cuts and other freebies to the corporate sector. But it’s big enough.

  • Simply put, the corporate world has grabbed concessions in just two years that total more than seven times the ‘fiscally imprudent’ farm loan waiver. In fact, it means that on average we have been feeding the corporate world close to Rs. 700 crore every day in those two years….

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Home and abroad education

Yes sir its same but in different bottle yet colorized.

Withering American Democracy

Economist Sowell writes:

  • In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

  • Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power— versus the rule of law and the preservation of freedom— are the "useful idiots" of our time. But useful to whom?

Withering American Democracy

Economist Sowell writes:

  • In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

  • Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power— versus the rule of law and the preservation of freedom— are the "useful idiots" of our time. But useful to whom?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

M K Gandhi and Indian Higher Education

This is what Mahatma Gandhi wrote in the Harijan on 2 October, 1937:

  • Higher education should be left to private enterprise and for meeting national requirements in the various industries, technical arts, belles-letters or fine arts. The State Universities should be purely examining bodies, self-supporting through the fees charged for examinations. Universities will look after the whole of the field of education and will prepare and approve courses of studies in the various departments of education. No private school should be run without the previous sanction of the respective Universities. University charters should be given liberally to any body of persons of proved worth and integrity, it being always understood that the Universities will not cost the State anything except that it will bear the cost of running a Central Education Department. The forgoing scheme foes not absolve the State from running such seminaries as may be required for supplying the State needs.

We, don’t bother our own Sen’s model of growth, why bother about Arthur Lewis at all?

As China chugs into its demographically destined territory, its journey has implications for India’s industrialisation policy. Over past 20 years, the share of India’s industry has remained constant at around 20 per cent. Large growth in industrial output and employment is missing. It is not as if the Lewis model has bypassed India, but India’s policy constantly seems to thwart Lewis. It could be labour laws which prevent large-scale flexible employment. It could be small scale reservation, which thankfully is reducing. It could be the fragmented fiscal federation which denies us a fully integrated common economic market. It could be inadequate financial inclusion which keeps many micro, small and medium enterprises excluded from finance. Or it could simply be due to the fact that our polity is very different from China’s. But the fact is that the demographic window which is closing for China won’t be open for India for too long. And we don’t want to be the economy which disproved Arthur Lewis!

Let’s bloom the freedom from beast

Finally the great book The Machinery of Freedom is now freely available in web.

I have been waiting for long time!!

Thanks to David

The economics of Tamils

Prof.M.Naganathan writes about the First World Classical Tamil Conference

  • Roberto De Nobili, an Italian Jesuit missionary arrived in Madurai, the southern part of Tamil Nadu, in 1605. He studied Sanskrit and Tamil literature and made considerable contribution towards promoting Tamil prose. While expounding Christianity in Tamil soil, he brought several Tamil words to Christian Tamil literature. The words ‘Kovil’ (Temple), ‘Arul’ (Grace), ‘Poosai’ (Mass or Worship) were coined by him. Therefore, he was considered to be a pioneer in Tamil prose writing.
  • Ziegenbalg, a German Lutheran and first protestant missionary to India had arrived at ‘Thrangampadi’ (Tranqueber) in Tamil Nadu in 1709. He had first opened up Tamil language to the printing technology. The Tamil translation of New Testament done by Ziegenbalg was published in 1715. It is claimed that he only had brought the first book in English in Asia in 1716. He had also composed a Tamil Dictionary and Grammar book.
  • Zieganbalg, Rev.Fr.Beschi also from Italy came to Madurai in 1711. He had studied deeply Tamil and wrote a literary piece and Tamil Grammar. Further he had composed quadruple lexicon popularly known as ‘Chaturakarati’. This eminent work attracted the attention of many western and eastern scholars towards classical Tamil. His everlasting contribution to Tamil can be found in his extraordinary epic poem called ‘Thembavani’ having 3615 stanzas on the life of Saint Joseph.
  • Francis Whyte Ellis a civil servant of East India Company settled in erstwhile Madras in 1810 and remained there till his death in 1819. He pursued research in Dravidian languages – Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada besides Sanskrit. He was considered the first scholar in the field of Comparative Dravidian Linguistics.
  • Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814–1891) had served in Tirunelveli as a Christian missionary. After studying and analyzing all Dravidian languages, he wrote his magnum opus ‘Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Languages’. This work provoked a lot of intellectual debates and ignited the minds of scholars to go deep into the origin of Tamil, Dravidian and Indian languages.
  • Rev.Fr.George Uglow Pope (1820–1908) popularly known as G.U. Pope, was a Christian monk who came to South India to propagate his religion and became a savant of Tamil and interpreter of Thirukkural. Attracted by the erudite scholarship of Valluvar, Pope had said that “Kural owes much of its popularity to its exquisite poetic form. A kural is a couplet containing a complete and striking idea expressed in a refined and intricate metre. He tried to convey the universal message of Valluvar in his own way in the English language for the first time. He brought fame and name for Valluvar’s immortal contribution to world literature.
  • Among the several European Tamil scholars, Professor Gilbert Slater was the first Economist from England who was given the position of Professor and Head of the Department of Economics, University of Madras in 1915. He had first introduced field studies in Economics and taken students to Iruveli Pattinam village in the then South Arcot district and Selaiyur village in the then Chengulput district of Tamil Nadu. As a multi-lingual scholar, he wrote the famous research book on “The Dravidian Elements in India’s Culture”. He was the first scholar to state categorically that the antiquity of Tamil language and civilization belong to more than 3500 years. His interpretation to the word ‘Dravidian’ itself is noble and novel. Dr.Gilbert Slater had given modern interpretation to the economics of Tamils.

Burke, Tocqueville and Sowell

Daniel J. Mahoney reviews Sowell’s latest book and its criticism by others

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is any one out there!

If yes please see what is there HERE, scroll down and SEE!!

Dog that bites stimulus with no taste in it!

“In fact, with the benefit of hindsight, it appears that unlike the developed world, India really did not need the kind of push to aggregate demand through loose fiscal and monetary policies.”

Dog that bites stimulus with no taste in it!

“In fact, with the benefit of hindsight, it appears that unlike the developed world, India really did not need the kind of push to aggregate demand through loose fiscal and monetary policies.”

Slum redevelopment

Gulzar Natarajan writes:

  • Even from purely economic considerations, it is inefficient to allot property rights to slum dwellers occupying small plots in valuable locations. Such fragmented titles come in the way of unlocking the full value of this prime real estate; it ends up inhibiting socially beneficial economic activity.

  • In these circumstances, the most realistic solution to slum development appears to be constructing in situ multi-storeyed housing on such encroachments. This will also ensure achievement of one of the primary objectives of all slum development programmes: providing dwelling units to the urban poor.

Kids and Parents

50 facts about Gold

50 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Gold

Friday, June 18, 2010

Naked animal -Democracy

L.K. Advani writes:

  • Single-party dominance is an enemy of democracy. When the history of Indian Democracy is written, the names of all those who have contributed towards smashing this one party hegemony either at the Centre or in the States will always be remembered. This is a long list, which includes not only national stalwarts like Dr. S.P. Mookerji, Dr. Lohia, Deendayal Upadhyaya, Jaya Prakash Narain and Atal Bihari Vajpayee but also leaders like C.N. Annadurai, M.G. Ramachandran and N.T. Rama Rao. I think that what Mamata Bannerjihas done is also a significant contribution to the strengthening of democray.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The forgotten American ice trade with India

There is a very interesting article in the present issue of Pragati The Indian National Interest Review by Jayakrishnan Nair:

Some excerpts (highly recommend reading full article):

  • He was even jailed a few times for being in debt.
  • On May 12, 1833, under the captaincy of Littlefield, the Tuscany set sail for Calcutta. Tudor did not go on the ship, but instead had William Rogers as his agent. During this long journey, the crew bathed in sea water, ate dinner of pea soup, goose and cranberry sauce and plum pudding. For meat they carried pigs, goat, geese and chickens which was supplemented with shark caught from the sea. When a ship passed by, they sent messages to family members.
  • The slush was available for six weeks at a rate of 4 pence per pound and now pure Boston ice—so pure that it astonished scientists like Michael Faraday—was available all year around for three pence a pound. Tudor also had a subscription model which helped him sell ice faster: if you bought one ton every day, the price was halved.
  • After falling out with his partners—Austin and Rogers—Tudor sent another ship with 150 tons of ice, 359 barrels of apples, a new agent and a letter to William Bentinck asking for a monopoly in the Calcutta trade. The ship reached Calcutta after 163 days with just two tons of ice and 359 barrels of rotten apples. It seemed as if the end was near, but what saved him was the letter to Bentinck and the enthusiasm of the British community in Calcutta.
  • During those times the quantity each person could buy was reduced and if he needed more, he had to get a doctor’s certificate.
  • The ice houses at Calcutta and Bombay no longer exist but the one in Madras, built in 1841, still does as a testimony to a forgotten trade.
More readings

1, 2

Indian Liberals

Amit has narrated very nicely about the Indian Liberals and Colour Pictures

PS: I am luckily happen to be one of the participants of this great colloquium!


Where no one would be neglected?

…..the following quote from his speech on the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly on December 19, 1946:

  • “Sir, if there is any group of Indian people that has been shabbily treated, it is my people. They have been disgracefully treated, neglected for the last 6,000 years. The history of the Indus Valley civilisation, a child of which I am, shows quite clearly that it is the new-comers — most of you here are intruders as far as I am concerned — it is the new comers who have driven away my people from the Indus Valley to the jungle fastness... The whole history of my people is one of continuous exploitation and dispossession by the non-aboriginals of India punctuated by rebellions and disorder, and yet I take Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru at his word. I take you all at your word that now we are going to start a new chapter, a new chapter of Independent India where there is equality of opportunity, where no one would be neglected.”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Adults are rote learners, not CHILDREN!

“As an illustration of the outdated model, take the current system of English language teaching in the Tamil Nadu secondary sector, where the government directly runs 61 per cent of all schools.

Reading the IX standard English textbook provided by the state board is like travelling back in time. Students are instructed to match everyday words like “philatelist”, “numismatist”, and “ornithologist” to their correct meanings (I only managed one). One chapter explains at length the exact steps that need to be followed when sending a telegram, almost as vital a skill for the 21st century as knowing how to ride a penny farthing.

The book even refers to black people as “negroes” in one exercise, without providing adequate context for the uninitiated English learner, who would not know that the term is now widely considered a racial slur in the Western world (and has been for the past 20 years).

Supplying six million students every year with such outdated, error-strewn learning materials (even their title pages contain typos) is lazy and unacceptable, particularly when you consider that the 2009-2010 budget for secondary education in the state is a hefty Rs. 4,27,211 lakh. These textbooks are, after all, the predominant teaching resources which are intended to prepare schoolchildren for their X and XII standard public exams — tests considered of such great importance that 2008 alone counted 264 exam-failure-related suicides across all state and private schools in Tamil Nadu.”

Read more here

Promises vs Proofs: Don’t MISS!

Jon Stewart on Obama's broken civil liberties promises

Developing Mumbai Consensus

Developing world will be the biggest story of our era by Lawrence H Summers

  • Looking back from 2040, the second thing people will see is that India was the first developing country to embrace on a major scale the knowledge economy: Whether it was world leadership in software that made Bangalore the hub of the world’s software industry; whether it were efforts to internationalise exchange in services, symbolised by a burgeoning export of medical services; whether it was the overdue recognition; whether it was the remarkable progress that India was able to make by harnessing an expatriate community.

Developing Mumbai Consensus

Developing world will be the biggest story of our era by Lawrence H Summers

  • Looking back from 2040, the second thing people will see is that India was the first developing country to embrace on a major scale the knowledge economy: Whether it was world leadership in software that made Bangalore the hub of the world’s software industry; whether it were efforts to internationalise exchange in services, symbolised by a burgeoning export of medical services; whether it was the overdue recognition; whether it was the remarkable progress that India was able to make by harnessing an expatriate community.

Bhopal victims from sharks

Shruti says:

“The people of Bhopal were first betrayed by the employees of UCIL and regulators who allowed this disaster to happen. Then they were victimized by their own government, which has failed to deliver either criminal or civil justice.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Some Hayek Quotes

From David Henderson post

From Hayek's Law, Legislation, and Liberty:

  • For the same reason that the prices which guide the direction of different efforts reflect events which the producer does not know, the return from his efforts will be frequently be different from what he expected, and must be so if they are to guide production appropriately. The remunerations which the market determines are, as it were, not functionally related with what peoplehave done, but only with what they ought to do. They are incentives which as a rule guide people to success, but will produce a viable order only because they often disappoint the expectations they have caused when relevant circumstances unexpectedly changed. It is one of the chief tasks of competition to show which plans are false. [italics his]

  • Men can be allowed to act on their own knowledge and for their own purposes only if the reward they obtain is dependent in part on circumstances which they can neither control nor foresee. And if they are to be allowed to be guided in their actions by their own moral beliefs, it cannot also be morally required that the aggregate effects of their respective actions on the different people should correspond to some ideal of distributive justice. In this sense freedom is inseparable from rewards which often have no connection with merit and are therefore felt to be unjust.[italics his]
  • Of course, those who as a result will be deprived of their former customers will incur a loss which it would be in their interest to prevent. But like all others, they will have been profiting all the time from the repercussions of thousands of similar changes elsewhere which release resources for a better supply of the market.
  • The known and concentrated harm to those who lose part or all of the customary source of income must, in other words, not be allowed to count against the diffused (and, from the point of view of policy, usually unknown and therefore indiscriminate) benefits to many. We shall see that the universal tendency of politics is to give preferential consideration to few strong and therefore conspicuous effects over the numerous small and therefore neglected ones . . .

Via comment posted by Brian T. Schwartz:

In his speech on The Quest for Cosmic Justice, Thomas Sowell selects a good Hayek Quote:

  • The late Nobel Prize–winning economist and free-market champion Friedrich Hayek, for example, declared, "the manner in which the benefits and burdens are apportioned by the market mechanism would in many instances have to be regarded as very unjust if it were the result of a deliberate allocation to particular people." The only reason he did not regard it as unjust was because "the particulars of a spontaneous order cannot be just or unjust." The absence of personal intention in a spontaneous order—a cosmos, as Hayek defined it—means an absence of either justice or injustice. "Nature can be neither just nor unjust," he said. "Only if we mean to blame a personal creator does it make sense to describe it as unjust that somebody has been born with a physical defect, or been stricken with a disease, or has suffered the loss of a loved one."


From Indicus Blog

  • Football originally referred to a variety of games in Medieval Europe, which were played on foot as opposed to the horse-riding sports such as polo.
  • A football is eleven inches long and weighs between 14 and 15 ounces.
  • In Europe, early footballs were made out of pig’s bladders, which were inflated.
  • Richard Lindon, a shoemaker from the town of Rugby (1880) invented the first football with rubber bladder. His wife died of lung disease caused by blowing up pig’s bladders!
  • In 1855, Charles Goodyear — who had patented vulcanized rubber — made a spherical rubber football.
  • Indoor soccer is popular in Latin America, where it is often played in open air venues.
  • Paralympic football includes football for visually impaired athletes, athletes with cerebral palsy, athletes with amputations, and that for athletes with hearing impairments.
  • In Crab Football players stand on their hands and feet and move around on their backs while playing football as normal.
  • Electrical Wheelchair Soccer, Beach Soccer and Swamp Soccer are popular across various parts of the globe today.
  • The first ever recorded use of a dugout was in the early 1920s at Pittodrie Stadium, Scotland where the trainer Donald Coleman hid himself partly to protect himself and partly not to block spectators’ views of the game while taking detailed notes of his players during matches.

The economics of plenty

Rajiv Shastri writes:

  • Or we can discard these policies and adopt the “economics of plenty”. This would position us as a nation of 1.2 billion consumers, not 1.2 billion hungry mouths and necessitate a strong currency which increases our purchasing power. Yes, it would increase our current account deficit but, coupled with the right policies, increase demand for the rupee as an asset in itself.
  • In our current policy framework, India competes in other markets for a share of their business against players who have set the rules. True progress will lie in changing the rules, in becoming the market others want to compete for. In an environment where major markets are shrinking, or growing at a snail’s pace, India’s emergence as a market will be welcomed by the world. In changing its policies to favour domestic consumption over exports, India will have to change the way it thinks. And the first change will need to be our currency policy.
  • India’s future lies in this choice. India will grow regardless, probably faster than most countries in the world. But, in the former we will need other markets to grant us our progress. In the latter, we will drive it ourselves.

F A Hayek and son Laurence Hayek

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hit that (Prof F A Hayek) serfdom of road to Keynes!!

Good news,….good new…..good news

Peter Boettke on Somewhere Bruce Caldwell Has to Be Smiling (I think)

Ignorance and indifference rule the roost, but rule by fear is terror

Veteran journalist B G Verghese speaks his mind

  • Many talk of ‘root causes’ such as prolonged neglect and disregard of land and forest rights. This is not untrue; but emphasis on socio-economic development in an insecure environment without a clear framework of governance will not work. As in many insurgency-bound situations, peace and development cannot be sequenced but must go hand in hand.
  • We do not have to invent a new framework. It is there in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, reinforced by the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, (PESA) and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. These represent a constitution within the constitution for tribal India and a solemn social contract that the Indian state has blatantly flouted over 60 years.
  • The Fifth Schedule makes the governor the overseer of tribal rights and interests. Aided by a tribal advisory council, he is enjoined to make an annual report to the president with recommendations regarding development, tranquillity and governance in these areas. The president is required to place this report before Parliament and to issue such directions as may be necessary to the states concerned regarding future action. Governors lack any independent machinery for this task, of which most seem unaware, and send delayed reports routinely prepared by the local tribal affairs department which are then ignored by the Union government and Parliament year after year. Possibly no single directive has gone out to any state in 60 years. Even today, in all the angry, emotional and largely empty debate that goes on, the Fifth Schedule has never once been mentioned. Ignorance and indifference rule the roost.
  • ………..with erstwhile Indian Frontier Administrative Service officers having domain knowledge, language skills and empathy has ever been contemplated for these areas. Ad hoc, band aid solutions will not do.

Who is Indian?

The wheel of Aryan-Dravidian divide made more hell than ever in the history of human kind!

Gandhi’s Impossibility Theorems

Prof Koilpillai on:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s two profound Impossibility Theorems and Five Myths about his economics and understanding!

Naxalite knows who to call

Last night I was reading this few page article on A Capitalist Knows Who To Call by Prof Abhijit Banerjee and I agree with him with some what more strong hunch.

And in his column in today’s HT writes about the idea of India:

I don’t say this to imply that decolonisation was a bad idea. I say this to recognise the genius of our founding fathers, who knew that to be a nation we need more than resentment. We need an idea, and an ideal, and Jawaharlal Nehru, in Discovery of India, explicitly sets out to give us one. My strong hunch is that the fact that India has mostly escaped the kind of implosions that much of the rest of the decolonised world has had to deal with — despite a history of relentless brutality towards our lower castes and tribals, and a gaggle of corrupt leaders who are happy to invoke that history to justify their venality —has something to do with the power of the idea of India has over all of us on so many of us, rich, poor, young and old.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Caste them out-II

Caste them out-I

Prof Deepak Lal wrote in the Business Standard in 2009:

  • Second, the caste system, which saved the mass of Indians being inducted into the deadly disputes of its changing rulers, in return for a customary share of the village output to the current overlord. Democratic practices introduced by the British fit these ancient habits like a glove.

  • …the data from a rural household survey by NCAER finds that, at the ward level, the “parochial (caste) politics (of Panchayati Raj) appears to simultaneously increase both the competence and commitment of elected leaders, as indicated by the characteristics of the elected representatives and their enhanced delivery of local public goods in response to constituents’ preferences”.

Also read his other article Caste, gene and history wars

Caste them out

Whenever I heard the word CASTE I always remembered one book by Prof Deepak Lal which is The Hindu Equilibrium India c.1500 B.C. - 2000 A.D.”

Abstract: India is an emerging giant. This book explains its long economic stagnation and recent rise by examining its social, political, and historical evolution with a long-term perspective. It explains how its distinct social system based on caste arose and why it still is of importance in its political and social arrangements, despite India's recent move from the plan to market.

By the way the Indian Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said:

“I have always worked towards a casteless society. The aim of the founding fathers of the Constitution has been to establish a casteless society. Anything which leads to that, would take us further in that direction is welcome,”

The Whiggery: Edmund Burke, Adam Smith and Professor F A Hayek

From The Constitution of Liberty, by F. A. Hayek Reviewed by Irving Kristol From issue: April 1960 Last of the Whigs

  • To this reproach, Professor Hayek makes a twin rejoinder. First, it is by no means certain that people would be happier if they knew their condition in life to correspond to their true capacities—life might be intolerable if one had to assume full responsibility (and blame) for one's fate. Second, no human being, or class of human beings, has the ability to make a fair or comprehensive judgment of a man's potentialities—or even to define them.

  • This last point is the crucial one. The Constitution of Liberty is one long (570 pages) argument from ignorance. “Human reason,” Professor Hayek insists, “can neither predict nor deliberately shape its own future. Its advances consist in finding out where it has been wrong.” Here, too, the influence of Professor Hayek's vocation as an economist is visible. For the single premise of all modern economic thought is that philosophical wisdom (or what used to be considered as such) is impossible: no one can know better than a man himself what he most truly wants, and therefore a market economy is the most reasonable of economic arrangements. (It is interesting to observe that Professor Hayek's “liberal” critics do not openly reject this premise; they simply deny that the free market any longer exists, or that it can be reconstituted.)

Whose head you’re touching?

Lesson still needs to be learned from classical economic doctrine

“It does in districts like Karimnagar of Andhra Pradesh for instance, where the state government has developed a unique set of employment plans for the village youth. The district has been the hotbed of Naxalite recruitment and to match those offers, the state has tied up with private sector companies as far afield as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to recruit security guards for them or even to work as counter clerks at fast food joints. Those initiatives have paid off.

The same economic logic has worked in another way in the Sarguja district of Chhattisgarh. The northernmost district of the state has seen a sharp fall in numbers and a ruinous split within the Naxal ranks in the last few years. The brutal answer is the coal and transport mafia. The groups have been co-opted into the under belly of the coal business, competing and often cooperating with the local business for the same prize. This is, of course, an unstable peace. But it has created an avenue for the district administration to move into areas where there was no scope even a couple of years ago. Obviously the Andhra Pradesh model is replicable, the Sarguja one is not. But both have done the trick.”

Read the full article here

Flourishing retail corruption

K. Subrahmanyam argues:

  • It is undeniable that the Maoists prevent developmental benefits from reaching the population in their areas and extort money from traders and contractors. The local population is forced to choose between the state authorities and the Maoists as different confrontation situations develop. They must be expected to align with those whose harassment and extortion are less and who are more likely to be effectively present in their midst. It is generally believed that there is widespread corruption in recruiting the police constables and lower-level administrative staff. Consequently those recruited to various state agencies by paying their way in are likely to have an ingrained administrative culture that does not differentiate corruption and harassment from the normal discharge of their duties. This is one of the basic aspects of the present day misgovernance at various levels of the administrative machinery in contact with the public, especially in the rural areas.
  • However, the home ministry concedes the core objective of the Maoists is not merely to subvert law and order in these tribal areas in these states, but to wage war against the Indian Republic and Indian Constitution. Under these circumstances will not this be a case where Article 355 of the Constitution needs to be invoked? Article 355 lays down, “It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every state against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every state is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hayek Warns of "Omnipotent Elected Assembly"

Creative or Compassionate Capitalism

Creative Capitalism, edited by Michael Kinsley

The book begins with Gates’ speech and then goes on to give comments on the speech from some 40 renowned economists. The comments and reviews are mixed and the debate is lively. Of those that support Gates’ proposal of CC are:

  1. Ed Glaser (professor of economics at Harvard University), who argues that two great failures have spurred on the case for CC: laissez-faire capitalism’s failure to right social inequities, and government’s failure to provide proper education and healthcare.
  2. Mathew Bishop (business writer/editor of The Economist, and co-author of Philanthrocapitalism), who says that big business has the capabilities – “global supply chains, distribution networks, and an abundance of high quality human capital” – to produce social change on a large scale.
  3. Abhijit Banerjee ( professor of economics at MIT ), who sees CC bringing in much needed money and talent into the social sector.

Those that question Gates’ proposal are also present in equal measure, such as:

  1. William Easterly (professor of economics at New York University and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution), who argues that traditional capitalism has and does help the poor, and that corporate philanthropy is not an effective vehicle for helping the poor.
  2. Richard Posner (a judge and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School), who says the term CC itself is vague and there is no evidence that it works.
  3. Clive Crook (Financial Times columnist), who warns that CC will distract businesses from their primary business of making profits.
  4. Gary Becker (Nobel laureate and professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago), who wonders whether CC will be viable in an environment alongside traditional capitalism.

I am with the view of Prof Easterly!

Read the full book review here.

Baseless Cup-sup-hope

One can view the below lines with a Zen sense of mind!

  • “We are a mosaic of societies caught in the crossfire of history and modernity, and to surge forward to industrial-age efficiency, we need lateral competitive ability rather than the small, elitist segment to which it is presently restricted.”

However, it is not that easy to accept the bogus survey results like the one below because the kind of political propagandas implemented is of the view of against of human action but not on the natural causes. A truly educated youths would not take the view of this survey because that is what the liberal art education provides.

  • “It’s truly a marvel that consciousness about global warming and the environment is not an urbane idiom any longer. An overwhelming proportion (67.4%) of Indian literate youth (67.4% regardless whether dropout or not) felt these are serious issues whereas just 7.4% said they were not. About 80% of respondents recognised the threat to biodiversity as serious while 86.5%assertedthegovernmentmusttakeserioussteps to address the problems of the environment.
  • The urban-rural gap, insofar as overall environmentalism is concerned, is quite slim actually. For instance, while 73% of town youth felt for global warming, we have 64% of villagers with the same view. For biodiversity, we have 82% of city youngsters worried, while the consciousness is as high as 77% for village-bred youngsters.”

Read the full piece here.