Sunday, April 13, 2014

Its ALL about elections in India

The election time is here and running up quiet fast. Bad time to read good things about anything under the sun. Everybody lies about anything but future of polity and politics. The citizen is once again fooled by all kinds of promises about material and non-material things in society. Not matter, its all about groups in which you favour.

Big storms are here and there for all kinds of political reasons. Here are some strange readings about India and its economy-policy, polity and people.

I have waited long to read Dr.Sanjay Baru's book on Manmohan Singh. Here are first excerpts from the book. Its must read for all Indians.

Amit Verma writes about Indian polity and politics over election fever.
  • "There are two factors that shape politics in India. One is the nature and structure of government. Ours is far more powerful than it should be, with an excess of discretionary power over the common man. We are worse off under our government, regardless of which party is in charge, than we were under the British. Our government is effectively set up not to serve us, but to rule us — and to extract hafta. Think of political parties as rival mafia gangs fighting for the right to loot us for five years."
Shanu has good piece in the DNA on Sanjay Baru's book on Prime Minister Singh.

Whatever you say wrong about Gujarat. It is the top state with higher level of economic freedom which means more chances to produce wealth and prosperity for the people.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

India "move towards a centrist politics"

Some useful reading:

"India is definitely ahead of Europe in how so many diverse cultural, linguistic and even religious communities have all kept together in a federal political system. Look at Europe — it has become more and more divided into countries. Within several countries that are much smaller than India, deep and violent divisions persist. Ireland is one example...

But I must add that one dangerous phenomenon has emerged — post-election alliances. What should happen is that parties get together before an election, declare some kind of common programme and then face the electorate. Instead, I see parties openly declaring that they will enter into alliances after the results are out. This is not fair to the voters and leads to problems in the political system. " More here.

The quality of governance matters, not 10-year averages.

 the Praetorian guards of the “idea of India”

No political party can hope to win even a municipal election in India by relying on the votes of rich Indians. 

Socialist parties have had the enduring slogan of Bharat verses India. Leaders and intellectuals have argued that cities are colonising the countryside and creating a conflict between villages and cities. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Must read

Swatantra's Real - AAP's Fly by Night Politics

"Independent politicians like Masani, who did not believe in the socialist route taken by Nehru, rallied around Rajagopalachari. In the General Election of 1962, within three years of its formation, the Swatantra Party won 22 Lok Sabha seats. The next election in 1967 was its highpoint. It got 44 Lok Sabha seats and was the largest opposition party. It got 9.6 per cent of all votes polled and won 256 assembly seats in various states. And then, just as abruptly, by the polls of 1971, it slipped to eight Lok Sabha seats with just 3.1 per cent of votes polled. By 1974, the main party had ceased to exist." More here.

"The Swantantra Party had become the more legitimate voice of the free market...A decade ago, Mr. Vajpayee’s free market policies were staunchly opposed by Sangh affiliates such as the Swadeshi Jagran Manch. Mr. Modi managed to banish them all from Gujarat, making it a middle class utopia. The anti-capitalist strand in the Hindu right that repelled the modernising, pro-market middle class is now invisible and inaudible." More here.

The impending demise of the Left....on May 16, do not forget to note history in the making, with the Left seats in the low teens if not at a single-digit level.

Chinese president Mr.Xi says "Constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parliamentarism, a multi-party system and a presidential system, we considered them, tried them, but none worked,"

"Indian society internalised the Victorian critique"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Interesting reading

The 80 year old Economic Freedom lover S.V Raju shares many things on the birth and death of Swatantra Party (SP) in India. SP was the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha in 1967 with 44 MPs. It won about 256 assembly seats in various States. The party ruled in states like Gujarat and Rajasthan. The article also talks about other old men who were with SP and now with NCP, etc (Open Magazine page:42-44, April 7,2014).

" if reservations are to be expanded, political parties should begin with quotas in their own leadership."

An unconventional take on the Partition

"There is right now no shortage of ideological grandstanding but little analytical insight on inequality in India" "....inequality came down during the socialist planning era while it began to increase after liberalization"