Monday, September 9, 2013

Indian right-wing- "spectacularly self-defeating"

Dr.Anantha has very interesting article in the Mint on Indian liberals and their stand on right-wing arguments on public policy in India. 

While in the piece he quotes a very interesting para from a recent article by Dr.Mehta, before placing his arguments. That para is really worth to read, re-read and ponder. Here is that para:

  • “The problem with much of the right-of-centre economic discourse in India is threefold. First, it does not have much of a sense of history. Has any modern society evolved without robust welfare protection? … Second, the right was caught in its own bad faith. On one hand, it wanted to critique entitlements and rights per se, on the other hand, it wanted to embrace direct cash transfers as an alternative. So in the end its arguments against redistribution ended up sounding more like lawyerly bad faith than a principled position… The right has not managed to link its purely economic arguments with an effective moral framework. Third, there was a spectacularly self-defeating political language that smacked of elitism... It is cute to call the bill a vote security bill... But what are we saying in saying this? That politicians responding to what they think voters will go for is a bad thing? ... If the left can be accused of sometimes doing the poor harm in the name of speaking for them, the right can match it by its subtle show of contempt for the ordinary voter. The right will need to change its game considerably.”

A bit from Dr.Anantha's piece:
  • "India’s current finance minister, when he was in the Tamil Maanila Congress, used to write a column inThuglak, a Tamil political fortnightly, explaining market economics to Tamil readers. He ceased making the case for liberal economics long ago. Another reformer took the nom de plume Kautilya and used to educate the readers of the periodical India Today on liberal economics and pro-market policymaking. Now, in the UPA government, he helped shut down mining with his environment laws and now he threatens to stop the future of manufacturing in India with his land acquisition law."
On both the cases, I completely agree!

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