Monday, October 31, 2011

It's all about SPARE time

Whatever in my small way have written till now is a profit from my killing of spare time...this led me to search people who have done great things in spare time!! Finally All I am into the Sir C V Raman's world of great new biography by Uma Parameswaran. Raman too did all his discoveries in his SPARE time in the first ten years (1907-1917).

Saturday, October 29, 2011


From "Capitalism in jeopardy: Why India holds thekey" by R Jagannathan 
  • For evidence, look at the number of capitalisms competing for survival. In Europe we havewelfare capitalism in crisis. In America we find the Occupy Wall Streeters questioning laissez faire capitalism; in China we have a thriving authoritarian capitalism, and we also have partly successful chaebol-keiretsu capitalism in the rest of Asia (minus China and India).
  • In India we have what I would call “Hindu capitalism” – a huge diversity of approaches where we have an Infosys at one end that runs to western notions of institutional capitalismand corporate governance, and huge, family-controlled business empires that are representative of feudal capitalism, at the other. Corporate governance is a secondary goal here.
  • In nowhere land is Indian muddle-path state capitalism – encompassing highly profitable companies in the raw materials and energy sectors (ONGC, Coal India, Nalco) and unprofitable basket cases that operate in competitive industries like telecom and aviation (BSNL, Air India).
  • Little wonder, The Economist, which has devoted a special issue to India Inc, concludes that “while India’s capitalism does have oodles of vim, it is writing its own rules, some better than others.” In the magazine’s view, Infosys is the exception, not the rule. “A Martian investor landing on Mumbai’s streets of gold might judge its business scene a mix of Sao Paulo, Seoul and Shanghai, with only a dash of Silicon Valley.”
  • Where The Economist goes wrong is in assuming that India needs a Deng Xiaoping or Margaret Thatcher to give Indian capitalism a new lease of life.
  • However, Indian capitalism is about diversity, not homogeneity. Which is why it is more appropriate to call it Hindu capitalism – which is the acceptance of multiple approaches to capitalism without prejudging what will work. It is a non-ideological approach to see which capitalism works.
  • As any evolutionary biologist will tell you, when you have diversity and multiple approaches, you are more likely to stumble upon the right answer in due course.
  • Different countries in the world are adopting different approaches to capitalism. In India, we have adopted all the major approaches. May the best approach win.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The paradox of inequality (income)

There is a movement in the USSA for the issue of what has been the business of top 1 percent of wealthy people for the rest of the population.

I am more than reminded of the great 1955 essay by Von Mises on “Inequality ofWealth and Income”. Some excerpts: 
  • Inequality of wealth and incomes is an essential feature of the market economy. It is the implement that makes the consumers supreme in giving them the power to force all those engaged in production to comply with their orders. It forces all those engaged in production to the utmost exertion in the service of the consumers. It makes competition work. He who best serves the consumers profits most and accumulates riches. 

  • country enjoys the highest standard of living ever known in history because for several generations no attempts were made toward "equalization" and "redistribution." Inequality of wealth and incomes is the cause of the masses' well-being, not the cause of anybody's distress. Where there is a "lower degree of inequality," there is necessarily a lower standard of living of the masses. 

  • There is no use in fooling ourselves. Our present taxation policy is headed toward a complete equalization of wealth and incomes and thereby toward socialism. This trend can be reversed only by the cognition of the role that profit and loss and the resulting inequality of wealth and incomes play in the operation of the market economy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nani Palkhivala’s Vision for India

The more I read of my own i become frustrated with the fractured Indian classical liberals, what can I say more, let alone say or murmur by themselves on the shelves of the death by democracy in India. That is it.

The below paragraphs is from a great lecture beautifully delivered by late great Indian economist Nani A Palkivala at  Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies in 1998.

  • As early as January 1987, The Economist rightly remarked that socialism as practised in India has been a fraud. Our brand of socialism did not result in transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor but only from the honest rich to the dishonest rich.
  • We built up state-owned enterprises called the public sector in India. The sleeping sickness of socialism is now universally acknowledged, -- but not officially in India. More than 240 public sector enterprises are run by the Union government, and more than 700 by the state governments. These public sector enterprises are the black holes, the money guzzlers, and they have been extracting an exorbitant price for India's doctrinaire socialism.
  • There is a tidal wave of privatisation sweeping across the world from Bangladesh to Brazil, but it has turned aside in its course and passed India by.
  • The most persistent tendency in India has been to have too much government and too little administration; too many laws and too little justice; too many public servants and too little public service; too many controls and too little welfare.
  • My own thinking is that our greatest initial mistake was to start with adult franchise. No democracy has ever paid, all things considered, a heavier price for adult franchise than India. I am not aware of any great democracy which started as a republic on the basis of adult franchise: all of them started with a more restricted system and then graduated to adult franchise. When the Constituent Assembly was in session, two of our greatest statesmen -- C Rajagopalachari and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel -- recommended that we should not start with adult franchise but educate our people first to make them worthy of discharging their duties as citizens of a great democracy; but they were out-voted.
I strongly recommend you all to read the full lecture and ponder over it.

Blinking links

SA writes; "Political philosophers tracing the evolution of society define the period before governments as the State of Nature where every man was a law unto himself. It is the period before social contracts, commandments and rule of law came into being to bring order in society. It is only after the evolution of social contract, defining rights and obligations, that society migrated from the State of Nature and accepted the Nature of the State. If one looks at the headlines of the day and raging rant beamed into living rooms, it does often seem that India is drifting into an ungovernable chaos. The Nature of the State is seemingly regressing into the State of Nature."

The demand doctor who killed the world economy in the past and is still killing the same.

TCA on the quality of chief economic advisers who served in the Indian Federal Finance MinistryJust to note (from TCA column):

"The good, the bad and the undeserving
Sometimes, you tend to look back and wonder about this and that. My time has been largely misspent in the company of economists who, I have concluded, are of three types: the good, the bad and the undeserving.
The best amongst the good ones speak in murmurs, the bad ones do regressions and the ugly ones preen like a brigade of frogs at a beauty parade. I write this because recently I had to put up with some very self-congratulatory talk.
My own view, after having studied the matter in depth, and at close range, is that the worst of the last group are the ones who served as chief economic advisors (CEAs) between 1982 and 2002.
During this period there were five and a half, the half being a “chief consultant”. He was the best by far and therefore ousted after 15 months. In the 1980s, one left after two years and another after about a year and half."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Great Chidambaram wisdom!!

So, here goes exact lines from the Hon Home Minister, then was out of power both in the ministerial and parliament,

This article was published in August 18, 2002 in the Indian Express. Don't look at P.Chidambaram, now with the backdrop of scams and all other odd news, I read his columns three years ago when it was published in Book form. A View from the Outside: Why Good Economics Works for Everyone. It is must read one!!

The article I refer here is in page number 277-280.

Last three paragraphs from his hot article titled "Laughing All the way to the vote bank".

"What we need is a comprehensive law to regulate political parties. Just as we have Companies Act to regulate the affairs of companies, we must have a law that will lay down detailed rules to govern the functioning of political parties.

The Income Tax Act must visit political parties with the same consequences for breach as it does in the case of companies and individuals. We also need a body like the Company Law Board to oversee the functioning of political parties and resolve internal disputes.

Just as corporate governance has become a big issue, governance of political parties must also be raised as an important issue. Because, if we have poor governance in our political parties and if they do not observe any principles or ethics, the governance of the country will also descend to more abysmal levels." (p.280)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Was it planned?

Prime Minister Dr Singh said something very interesting,

Yeah don't miss it!!

Here his words:

"I am happy to say that in the past two decades, different political parties, ruling in different times in different States, and also in the Centre, have pushed in the same general direction to ensure that my prediction is now a widely accepted reality."

Moneyball vs Blink

Team Anna is deep in crisis

  • "Let’s explore this further. Another member of Team Anna overstays his leave from his government job, flunks his employment bond, and is asked to pay back what is due to the government as per the law and procedure; it is still only Rs 9 lakh or so. And what is the answer? It is not that the government’s claim is fake or even vindictive. It is just that, what do my former employers (the Central government in this case) think I was doing? Was I whiling away my time? I was campaigning for the RTI, which is so important for my countrymen. So even if I did not come to work meanwhile, or was effectively AWOL, the government should have the good sense to waive all claims on me. Waive all claims? Use discretion? Didn’t you think this entire campaign was about curtailing discretion, ensuring rules are followed fully and no exceptions are made? And what if lakhs of absentee teachers in our government schools, who the Jan Lokpal is expected to straighten, find similar excuses?"

See here for full article.

RBI polity

Indian economist Bhalla plea "Note the close correspondence — and especially note the economically criminal vote-getting policy of the Congress after it came to power in May 2004. Starting in 2006, procurement prices literally exploded, with an 18 per cent increase in 2008 alone. Between 2006 and 2009, the relative price of food increased by a record 33 per cent. The normal pattern is for the relative price to move in a plus/minus 5 per cent range."

See more here.

Dalits polity

From Rajdeep “Maya & Ambedkar: Incongruous? May be not
  • “At a time when Mayawati's Dalit memorials have sparked off a raging debate, it might be instructive to consider what the original Dalit icon, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, would have done in a similar situation. What is almost certain is that, unlike the UP chief minister, he would not have ordered the construction of his own statues. A fierce rationalist, Ambedkar disliked all forms of political idol worship. "In politics, hero worship is a sure road to degradation and eventual dictatorship," he said in a seminal speech before the Constituent Assembly in 1949.
  • Sixty two years later, there is little doubt that Mayawati has emerged as the great dictator of Uttar Pradesh, someone who controls India's most populous state with an iron fist - which is why she can insist on having her own life-size statue alongside those of Ambedkar, Phule, Shahu and Kanshi Ram. Which is also why she can brazenly claim that the 675 crores spent on the Dalit Prerna Sthal has come entirely through party donations when the fact is that the UP government had already budgeted a whopping Rs 3000 crore on Dalit memorials and parks across the state. This in a state where 38 per cent of Dalits have never attended school, where 70 per cent is still the estimated school dropout rate among Dalits and where hundreds of children die of encephalitis every year because of lack of healthcare facilities.”

Jaithirth Rao’s from Elitesdon’t get it

  • “Even as they indulge their pride (misplaced or otherwise) contemplating the architecture and the names of the past and present, India’s elites seem to forget the ironical fact that the Dalits do not have much of a place in these sanitised propaganda efforts. Upper-caste Hindus may take pride in the Madurai temple; Muslims may take pride in the Gol Gumbaz; Jains may take pride in the Gomateshwara statue; Sikhs may take pride in the Amritsar Golden Temple; Buddhists may take pride in the Sanchi Stupa; Christians may take pride in the San Thome Cathedral. What are Dalits to take pride in? The grand temples of India (including the ruined ones) are only reminders of buildings where the ancestors of today’s Dalits were denied entry.
  • It is this lacuna in Dalit identity formation that Mayawati has brilliantly recognised. She is not at all stupid when she builds a park and erects statues with the conscious motive of overawing visitors with a sense of gigantism. She is imitating Rajaraja, Shah Jahan and Hardinge. And she understands that, in a century or two, a Dalit parent can proudly take his or her children to the monument and show it to the young ones with a measure of pride whispering in their ears, “We had a great leader — look around you and take pride in what she built.” We fail to understand the important political purpose of Mayawati’s projects, but we overlook the DMK’s aesthetically challenged statues, we dare not criticise the repeated use of Shivaji’s name and we acquiesce in the monopolisation of the public space by the Nehru-Gandhi family.
  • Mayawati is a superb politician and will go down in history as one who did what great statesmen from Augustus Caesar down have done — she is using architecture to achieve political ends. Dalits get this. The chattering elites need to abandon their double standards and understand this.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

A book of its kind

Yesterday, I had a chance to participate in the new book launch.

It was a great fun to participate in the discussion of a new book on top corporate leaders and social activists in the country. The book is "Uncommon Ground: Dialogues with Business and Social Leaders" By Rohini Nilekani. 

The book is a "...rare dialogues between leaders who have sometimes been adversaries, a number of common concerns emerge. Among others, Anand Mahindra and Medha Patkar discuss land acquisition and use; Mukesh Ambani and R.K. Pachauri debate decentralized energy options; Sunil Mittal and Aruna Roy imagine an Indian model to enhance the employability of our labour force and Yogi Deveshwar and Sunita Narain explore how industry can become more environmentally sustainable." More here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Was all kinds of child labour bad?

A Young CEO of Nalli says:

"Child labour was a big part of this industry especially when it comes to contrast border (Korvai) sarees? How has that situation changed?
At least in Kancheepuram it has gone away after the government abolished child labour. Contrast border sarees that are in the market now are not (perfect), there is some bleeding (of colours). And the reason is if you want something that perfect, you need nimble hands, which means only children can do it. Previously, children used to help out their parents. Now they don’t and you will not see that product on our shelves."

Note the point!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A line of thought

Ponder over this lines from Professor Mehta's article in the Indian Express:

"...The terms of the social contract have to be rewritten. Capitalism has to justify itself in terms of social gains, and democracy in terms of empowerment. But at the moment no one quite understands what all of this might mean."

A K Ramanujan essay

So, there is a huge wolf cry over the removal of a great essay by late great poet and professor A K Ramanujan.

The below are the original essays.

1 (extract) 2 (full essay)

Some links on controversial essay.

1, 2 3

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From an article published on Oct 16, 2002 in FE

Full article is here.

  • It is indeed sad that most Indian economists still believe in the Keynesian analysis that recessions are caused by insufficiency of demand and that the solution is a fiscal stimulus. Indian economists — barring Brahmananda and perhaps Surjit Bhalla — are totally oblivious to the Austrian business cycle theory, best articulated by Hayek. According to Hayek, recessions are brought about by excess supply, which is brought about by overinvestment. Each boom contains the seeds of the subsequent recession and each recession, the seeds of the subsequent boom. Readers would do well to study the above-mentioned Economist special issue which succinctly explains the Hayekian analysis (pages 8-9).
  • Hayek argues that if central banks hold interest rates below the equilibrium rate (that is, the rate at which the supply of savings equals the demand for investment funds), credit and investment would rise too rapidly and there would be a shortage of savings. Cheap credit and inflated profit expectations cause overinvestment and malinvestment in the wrong kind of sectors. Eventually, the mismatch between savings and investment can be resolved only by a rise in interest rates, making some investments unprofitable. Excess capacity will reduce profits and lead to investment collapses, ushering in a recession. As excess capacity is cut, profits rise and investment eventually recovers.
  • According to this analysis, the only way to prevent the turn of the cycle is to inject more credit which becomes unsustainable. A recession is not only inevitable, but necessary to correct the imbalance between saving and investment. The Economist argues that recent business cycles in the US and Japan have typical Hayekian features. The right policy response is to raise interest rate well before the boom spins into a downturn. But if inflation is low, central banks are reluctant to raise interest rates and as the cost of capital is way below the expected return, there is a surge in credit and investment to unsustainable levels. It is overinvestment which causes the return on capital to decline. The Hayekian analysis would point to the repeated easing of interest rates to be wrong as it merely delays the correction of past excesses.
  • Sir John Hicks,as far back as 1966, argued that developing countries typically fit into the Hayekian overinvestment mode. A recession is necessary to work off an imbalance between too much investment and too little saving. The moral is that injecting created money and lowering interest rates only delays the cleansing process. The output losses would be much less if central banks prevent the boom from reaching unsustainable levels by a timely increase in interest rates when growth rate and investment goes into an unsustainable upswing. Monetary policy is most effective when it cools the overheating; it is totally impotent during the downturn of activity. Lowering interest rates would be ineffective and only delay the adjustment.

I too missed the great economist: Sudhir Jayantilal Mulji (1938-2005)

Few days ago I somehow got a link by reading through an article on Indian economy. I once really thought about the ideas or the way Mulji wrote this article which I posted here yesterday. That is a different story.

Later I read about this man who was so close to the Indian classical liberal community. But no one ever told me about this man in my interaction with any of the so called living Indian classical liberals, let alone we all learns from the genius of GOOGLE!!!

I keep telling my readers and friends who utter a word on Indian classical liberals that they (Indian classical liberals) do not believe in the words-unity in diversity.

Here is my bit of reading and knowing about this great man Mulji. I am sure you will enjoy reading his articles, it is really fun and he brings the tradition of history of Indian economic thoughts into the present day political economics that is what amazes me.

CCS President Dr Parth Shah wrote “I remember my last conversation with him about our first seminar on Austrian Economics that we are planning in late August. He was very keen to participate in it and debate the ideas with youngsters at the seminar. He reminded me several times during the conversation to make sure that he got his invite. I know the economics students at the Seminar would have benefited tremendously from his theoretical insights and extensive understanding of the real world. We all will miss it now.

I had attended the Austrian Economics Seminar. I too missed this great man!

According to Shankar Acharya “During his early Bombay years, Sudhir also served as secretary to the Maharashtra wing of the Swatantra party, a responsibility quite consistent with his liberal, market-friendly views.”

Mulji on Kayek:

  • For as with (Friedrich A) Hayek and Kahn on policies of unemployment, wrong signals may lead to bad policies. The story is that during the period of sustained unemployment Kahn asked Hayek the question: "Is it your view that if I went out tomorrow and bought a new overcoat, it would increase unemployment?" Hayek: "Yes, but it would take a very long mathematical argument to explain why." Read full article here. See here at Mises blog whether Hayek said such a thing!!
Some beautiful tributes
  1. Sudhir Mulji-Keynesian columnist and businessman by Paul Levy
  2. Afull and varied life by Shankar Acharya
  3. CCS/Newspapers 

Mulji’s articles (many of his works is interesting, but never assume in one go that he was a lover of Keynes!! though his writings may appear).
  1. Revaluing the yuan
  2. Why deficit finance works
  3. Empowerment vs regulation
  4.  A Keynesian election
  5. Deficit-induced investment
  6. Inflows & exchange fluctuations
  7. From deficit to surplus
  8. Under-valuation or volatility?
  9. External reserves: A Keynesian angle
  10.  Has Keynesism failed? (response to Kaushik Das!!!)
  11. Has the euro failed?
  12. On functional finance (must read)
  13. Mid-term appraisal of the Plan
  14. Concepts of unemployment

 His views: 1

There are several other articles which I have not mentioned here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eclipse-India, China and USA

Day before yesterday, I attended a Session on new book "Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China’s Economic Dominance" by Arvind Subramanian. It was organised by CPR and you can see the panelists from here.

YOu know, an author talking means- always if and buts, so what then why not, how does that matter to India so on and on!

As always in the past, Montek did not read the book, despite that spoke for no less than a panelist!! nodded the Chair. The other co-panelist said he had read the book and made few remarks, yes you guess it is all if and buts!. 

The book is very slim. Swami had sort of reviewed this book in the Economic Times.

The full book is freely available here, though you cannot print it!!

Though, no connection, but read and think about it "One-Dollar Bribes for India Licenses Contribute to World's Deadliest Roads"

Economists rarely blame fellow-economists for the bad advice they gave.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IS not is Kambara!!

A few days ago was listing the All India Radio after very long time. It was news time. I hear one interesting thing which led me to write here. It is the interview of Mr Chandrashekhara Kambara who is according to Wikipedia:

In one of his interview he said:

  • Age has not hampered my creativity, be it poetry or plays. In fact, I am planning to write a satire on forest brigand late Veerappan, who wielded a lot of clout in the political world. Many Kannada newspapers have requested me to write columns. But I refused as I am someone who uses a lot of metaphors. Newspaper style is dull and does not suit my temperament which is why I have not accepted offers to write columns.

Hope some of you might have read free market economist Sauvik's article on Veerappan (Veerappan as respectable businessman).

I am really looking forward the satire on veerappan!!!

Beyond RED

Yesterday I read a new book called "Beyond RED an apostate on communism" by Kesavan Nair who was a practicing communist in the State of Kerala for long time.

This very slim book is not only thoroughly analyses and rejects all communists theory and practice but also shows through scientific analysis how the communists are DEAD against the very people.

The full book is available from here in the authors blog. The book was first published in the Malayalam language, however, the English version is as author says is rebirth of what is written originally in Malayalam.

This article reviews the English version of the book. It is enough to say that "P. Kesavan Nair closely analyses the nihility and blunders of Marxism through his book Marxism Communism".

It is a must read book. However there are few wrong notional analysis in the book, i consider it is the flop side of the book. 

Nobels-political prizes

The today's Indian Express editorial says:

  • The Nobel prizes, we are sure, incorporate political signals. The literature prize rewards political consciences: Dario Fo to the left, Mario Vargas Llosa to the right, Günter Grass to the centre. And, of course, Harold Pinter, the eternal dissident. Peace has been even more obvious: Pinter-like European disdain for George W. Bush was expressed though awarding political alternatives — Carter, Gore, Obama. The surest sign, perhaps, that economics is far from being a pure science is that its award, too, is invariably seen as political. Amartya Sen’s prize marked the move towards an inclusive development economics, and the rise of the Indian growth model. Edmund Phelps’ 2006 prize was seen as a warning to triumphalist free-marketeers; and Paul Krugman’s seemed to have obvious political overtones. So how should we judge this year’s award, to Christopher Sims of Princeton and Thomas Sargent of NYU?
And further
  • Although they unquestionably deserve the prize, the question remains: why now? As Europe teeters on the brink, has the Committee passed up the opportunity to make a statement about the solution?
  • It may well have not. Sargent’s most memorable paper is from 1981, on the futility of trying to control inflation through monetary policy. In today’s high-inflation times, as central banks worldwide struggle with their mandates, that’s hardly apolitical. And Sims’ work focused for years on trying to make sense of simple Keynesian models; he ended up concluding that it underestimated the links between fiscal and monetary policy, the degree to which they are inextricably twinned through the government’s budget constraint — precisely the error that has landed the European project in such trouble. That’s a relief: the prizes are not, after all, completely apolitical. They wouldn’t be as much fun if they were.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Shala at Chennai!!

I had great experience in participating at the Shala event at Pune in this May.

What I liked about Shala event even more is the fact that the people talked about things at not easy things but important to understand them especially in today's dynamic political economy situations.

At Pune, I was given a great chance to speak on my research of digging into the free market ideas from our very founders of modern India. There is even more interesting ideas coming out soon from my research!!

The Takshashila Institution has just announced another Shala event in Chennai early next month.

Those of you are interested to participate in the event can register yourself. There is no fee charged for this event. In my view, The Takshashila Institution has many committed people for reforming the ills of systemic issues in our country.

Let's join together to make this event happen like our own!!

NG-means nuked gundas

Senior BJP leader says:

Ravish Tiwari: Your NDA government is held responsible by some for converting the Public Distribution System from universal to a targeted one. What is your stand on NREGA and schemes like targeted PDS?

I was the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in this Parliament for a while and I examined NREGA. I found that NREGA is not a success story, it is a disaster story. It is simply a hand-out and not always to the deserving. A great deal of this money goes to the village sarpanch. NREGA is a criminal wastage of money.

Failure is again a thing

Dr. Atanu Dey argues in his Indian Express article that "The failure of the Indian education system must count as the Indian government’s greatest failure. Over 90 per cent of students drop out of school by the 12th grade; only 6 per cent go on to tertiary education, to cite just one dismal statistic. We have to understand that the failure is primarily due to flawed policies that the government has consistently imposed on the education sector. Aakash, like its predecessor, the “$10 laptop”, is just another distraction — but a very costly distraction."

Blinking links

Swapan Dasgupta: "Everyone loves a good poverty business" India except the poverty stricken on poor human being.
  • "It certainly didn’t need a familiarity with complex econometric models and either Keynes or Hayek to realize that the Planning Commission’s extrapolation from the Suresh Tendulkar method of poverty measurement was just another example of economists living in a make-believe wonderland. The wise men of Yojana Bhavan had once again demonstrated to the public’s satisfaction that after lies and damned lies comes statistics."
Gurcharan Das on, "Duty or revenge":
  • On a sweltering afternoon on September 29, 2011, principal district judge S. Kumarguru began to hand out sentences. There was a hushed silence in the packed courtroom in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu. He began at 3.30 pm but could not finish until 4.40 pm because he had to read aloud the names of 215 government officials. Among those convicted were 126 forest officials, 84 policemen and five revenue officials. Seventeen were convicted of rape and they were sentenced from seven to 17 years; others received from one to three years on counts of torture, unlawful restraint, looting and misuse of office. Had 54 of the accused not died in meantime, the sentencing would have taken longer.
  • Early on June 20, 1992, four teams of government officials descended on the adivasi hamlet of Vachathi, near Sathyamangalam forest, also home to the dreaded brigand Veerappan. They assembled the villagers beneath a neem tree and let loose a reign of terror as they searched for smuggled sandalwood. They picked up 18 teenage girls and dragged them into the forest, where they raped them repeatedly. They only brought them back at 9 pm.
  • Claiming a haul of sandalwood from the riverbed, the officials then put 133 villagers in jail. How does the human mind begin to cope with this soul-numbing news? My first reaction was horror at the rape of teenage girls by men in uniform. Second, was a feeling of relief and catharsis when punishment was meted out to powerful men. The third emotion was outrage at those who allowed the case to drag for 19 years. Then questions arose in my mind. How could this happen in the first place? And was this not as serious an act of corruption as the 2G scam? And why was the nation quiet?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Education programm at The Takshashila Institution

Don’t count on it

Karl Marx’s malady

This news item in The Economics says that Steve Jobs realized that "Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Karoli Baba (the guru he was seeking, who died before they could meet) put together" 

I remember two things after reading this news item:

A recent interesting article "Marx to Market" by Peter Coy. The opening para of article is worth to ponder over:

  • Society generally moves on from its mistakes. Doctors no longer drain blood from patients. Aviators don’t try to fly by strapping wings to their arms. Nobody still thinks that slavery is a good idea. Karl Marx, though, appears to be an exception to the rule of live and learn. Marx’s most famous predictions failed; there has been no dictatorship of the proletariat, nor has the state withered away. His followers included some of the 20th century’s worst mass murderers: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. Yet the gloomy, combative philosopher seems to find adherents in each new generation of tyrants and dreamers.
I strongly recommend to read the full article.

The other thing I remember is that in the great article "No History of Ideas, Please, We're Economists", Mark Blaug said:

  • “How can we possibly forget, or even pretend to forget, modern economics when we read Karl Marx? Why did the poor fellow try to attribute the value of the product to a single input, labor, without knowing anything about marginal productivity? One might well talk to a psychoanalyst about one’s childhood while pretending that amnesia occurred at puberty.”