Monday, December 31, 2012

Some reflection & 2013

It is time to look back the year coming to end. It has been a great year for me both personally and professionally. Personally many new changes have happened. Professionally many new learning, experience what not all went well beyond by simple expectations. 

Personal:  The very special thing is that I got married after long (deliberate) delay but it was matter of simple decision with confidence.

Professional: Published interesting articles which I wanted to write for years. Here are those pieces for record- 123,4 and 5

Hope you also had good time in this year 2012.

Thank you all for staying with Hayek Order blog without which this cannot continue for long. 
Time brings us all kind of happiness

May the almighty help you and your family to find the New Year a REALLY peaceful and prosperous

Wish you and your family a very Happy New Year 2013

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A new idea of mindset change

"...the possibility of an Indian education system that could one day be decolonised.

...need to examine how to decolonise politics and governance especially in Delhi that to this day remains the last outpost of the British imperial system of governance.

India remains colonial not just in the way it is governed but in its mindset. So in the engagement with modern ideas and modern technology what younger Indians are losing very quickly is their sense of being Indian. One of the things that depresses me most on my travels in our fair and wondrous land is the number of young Indians who speak no Indian language well and speak English so badly that it is sometimes hard to make out whether they are speaking English at all. This has not happened in countries that are proud of their identity. China’s communist rulers may have obliterated their traditional architecture and crafts but the Chinese continue to speak, read and write Chinese. In India, books in Indian languages sell in such small numbers that the publishing industry survives on books written in English. Do we need more proof of India still being colonised in its essence?

Only a new dream will restore in India a sense of who she once was and what she would like to be again one day. As things stand all we do is pay lip service to our ‘ancient civilisation’ while watching it slowly disappear under the onslaught of modern ideas and modern technology. It is hard to think of a time when we needed a new dream more than we do now. It has to be a dream that is bigger than just a new economic vision but the glorification of prosperity instead of poverty is not a bad foundation for a new dream."

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Organised crime by The State

Often I find myself rarely agreeing with eminent educationist and Prof Krishna Kumar. But in the present case I have not option except to agree with him for what he has said very profoundly in this article:
  • Neither the United Nations convention on child rights nor the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) can rescue him in that moment. In any case, the state cannot be of much help, for it is the state under whose authority and supervision the two adults beating him mercilessly have been selected and appointed to serve as teachers.
  • …It hardly matters whether they are serving in a government or a private school, for both kinds of schools draw the legitimacy of their access to the child’s mind and body from the powers entrusted to the state…

Feted globally…

Just taking the main quote portions only from this interesting piece for the benefits of readers:
  • In a confidential memorandum in December 1991, Lawrence Summers, World Bank Chief Economist, urged his colleagues: “‘Dirty’ Industries: Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (Less Developed Countries)? I can think of three reasons.”
  • Mr Summers elaborates: “The measurement of the costs of health-impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health-impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that”.
  • Second, he says, “The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste”. Put simply, he regrets it is not economically possible to transfer waste and pollution wholesale to the developing world.
  • Finally, he asserts, “The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostate cancer than in a country where under-5 mortality is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact. Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable”.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tragic paradox

There is something very terribly wrong with this interviewer's mind. The interviewer statement like the below one is highly debatable given the double game played by authors like Mr Ramachandra Guha. My problem with the statement is the word "liberal". In my view it does not suit Mr Guha enough to put it straightforwardly. I do follow his works in social and economic issues in India:

  • "Meet Ramachandra Guha, one of the few intellectuals in India, who is a liberal in the classic sense of the term." 

Nonetheless, for the below statement he has to be congratulated for his boldness:

  • Rahul Gandhi is completely mediocre… He has no original ideas, no heart for sustained and hard work. He should find another profession,” 
It is really worth to read the full interview here.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

15-volume series on the history of Indian business

Gurcharan Das talks about a 15-volume series being published by Penguin on the history of Indian business

In this interview with Mint Mr Das says:

  • I raise a question on the notion of property. What was it? In many countries the king owned everything. But in India, the Arthashastra says very clearly to the king, “You don’t own the kingdom. You have a bhaga and it’s shath-bhaga (one sixth).” In other words, that is the moral, the right tax rate, for a kingdom. And so, whenever kingdoms had higher tax rates, such as in the Mughal empire, when the tax rates went up to 40% and 50%... they collapsed. That’s a lesson that India pretty much forgot for 40-50 years. Our tax rates during Indira Gandhi’s time had gone to 97.5%

Freak truths

This needs to be noted!!

Prof Indiresan says:
  • The fact is that it was Muslims who caused the initial provocation. There can be different shades of opinion on who first initiates riots and the response from the other side. The media treatment of such sensitive issues is also open to debate. But the biggest problem is our tardy and ineffective judiciary. If culprits are punished promptly, there would be little reason for Muslims to get irate; then there would be no retaliation too. It is also a fact that over two hundred persons have been convicted about Godhra, whereas not one person has been punished for the Congress-sponsored anti-Sikh riots in 1984.

Friday, December 14, 2012

P T Bauer vs Nehru

"P.T. Bauer (London School of Economics) demurred. For all else, planning had become an article of faith."

A bit more to muse through from the above piece by Prof Varshney:

  • Central planning, clearly, did not achieve that goal. In the three decades of rigid planning, India’s economic growth rate was abysmally low — and its poverty rate remained unchanged. Should Nehru, then, be castigated for India’s economic failures until the onset of the 1980s? Could India have adopted a post-1991 style economic policy framework in 1950?
  • These questions require nuanced reasoning. We need to ask whether economists and intellectuals, not simply Nehru, trusted markets in the 1950s. What ideas were available to economic policy makers at that time?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Midnight’s children or reform babies

Manish has a very genuine assessment about the lively impact of foreign direct investment in retail sector in India. Most people who take interest in FDI in retail debate misses the below points which are extremely important at this juncture in Indian economy.
  •  We know that kirana (unorganised retail) shop owners are a much smaller population than exploited kirana workers. We know that unorganised retail is the biggest user of child labour. We know the tragic costs of informal employment (no PF, no ESI, no appointment letters and no minimum wages). We know that 100% of net job growth since 1991 has been in informal jobs; the slavery of the 21st century. We know that kids don’t view employment as a lifetime contract (mai-baap) but a taxicab relationship that is intense, intimate and short. We know that 10 lakh kids will be joining the labour force every month for the next 20 years. We also know that a sales job is the most blue-collar white-collar job. The notion that agricultural jobs or manufacturing jobs pay more, provide higher job satisfaction or offer better physical environments is not a myth; it is a lie. I am not sure where the romanticism of shop floor or fields comes from but our economy is driven by domestic consumption—strength as the global crisis enters its sixth year—and that means sales and customer service will be the biggest job creator in the next two decades. So, there is nothing horrible about “India becoming a nation of sales boys and girls”. This will be a less poor India.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fervent intentions

"Ambedkar tested every big and small, old and new religion available to Indians, trawled the texts and tenets of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians, and indeed made himself an entire career as a scholar of comparative religions alongside his enormously busy public life as a mass leader, a politician, and an intellectual. He was far more systematic than Gandhi as a self-taught student of different religions in India, far more thorough than Nehru as an amateur historian of India, far more imaginative and conflicted than the talented Tagores in his attempt to identify or construct an acceptable past for the emerging nation. Even as he stood every received theory about the origins and evolution of the caste system on its head, he declared his fervent intention to "annihilate" caste. It is no wonder that Ambedkar remains the least understood of the great moderns that India produced, and who produced India." More here.


Here is my latest piece in the Pragati. This time I have a new role in the Pragati. I would be writing a dedicated column in the magazine mainly focusing issues related to public policy in India. The below para is the concluding one:

  • If anything, the time has come to understand the real or the main activities of some of the liberal think tanks and civil society organisations in the country and try to see whether these institutions exists just for the sake of receiving money from abroad, or whether their work really helps in strengthening the fundamental values of liberty among people. The basic liberal values are rule of law, individual rights, private property rights and economic freedom. These values are embedded in the Indian society historically. At present, it seems that the institutions which are supposed to work for these values have actually turned a blind eye to them. This has to change before the entire movement results in new order of chaos in the society.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"liberals have historically been on the back foot"

A bit from Lounge's interview with Ramachandra Guha;

Am I right to think that liberals have historically been on the back foot when responding to the kind of extremism that, for example, has come into focus recently with the death of Bal Thackeray?
It was hard for liberals to stand up against the Shiv Sainiks when the Congress and the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) indulged Thackeray so shamelessly. These parties, in power, failed to uphold the Constitution, encouraging goons to beat up anyone who criticized them in print or in person. Within these constraints, some Mumbai writers and intellectuals have yet bravely stood up against intolerance and bigotry and for basic liberal and democratic values. Among them was the late and still much-mourned bilingual writer, poet and film-maker Dilip Chitre.
Thackeray was a particular phenomenon, though. He controlled an entire city. So you might have quasi-fascism in one city, or as it happens, quasi-fascism in one state, but India as a whole is still a place where it’s largely possible to speak your mind without fear of that sort of reprisal. It’s like this: The media gives space to extreme voices—the electronic media more so than print, and perhaps, although it’s not easy to say, social media even more than electronic. My sense is that the majority of Indians are scrabbling in the midst of this for some middle ground.
What are some of the books, or who are some of the writers, you’d recommend as a starting list for the inquiring Indian liberal?
Some of the books I would recommend for the inquiring Indian democrat (who could as easily be a conservative or socialist as a liberal) are André Béteille’s Chronicles of Our Time, Sunil Khilnani’s The Idea of India, Niraja Gopal Jayal’s Citizenship in India: A History (which will be out next year), M. N. Srinivas’ Collected Essays, and (for a wider, comparative perspective on the challenges to democracy from left-wing and right-wing extremism) François Furet’s The Passing of an Illusion. The inquiring Indian democrat should also look out, if he or she does not do so already, for the columns of Ashok V. Desai (inThe Telegraph), Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar (in The Times of India), P. Sainath (in The Hindu), T. N. Ninan (in the Business Standard), Pratap Bhanu Mehta (in The Indian Express), and Mukul Kesavan (wherever they are published).

Convey casualness