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RE: On Gandhi, Congress, and campaign finance



I do not know why we are bringing Gandhi into this discussion?  To say
that MK Gandhi turned to Birlas and other Indian industrialists
because common people will not contribute is far-fetched.  It was not
MKG who found the corporate donors.  It was the other way round. 
Corporate donors found him.  From MKG perspective, that was excellent.
 Why go to ten thousand people when ONE donor could outdo them all. 
>From the perspective of the Birlas (Indian corporates) free India was
the only hope for further expansion of their business (Notice that in
"free" India the Birlas and the likes never objected to the license
raj, as long as they were able to build monopolies--a mentality which
wrecked India)  Therefore, they supported Gandhi.  Nothing wrong
there.  Except it proves what Charu and I have been saying all along. 
That corporations will always find their way to a politicians heart
because they have deep pockets.  Should such alliances be allowed with
no check and accountability?  I do not think so.  To limit corporate
contribution is not to denigrate corporations or their owners, but to
bring some semblance of fairness to the whole process, as was
elaborated by me yesterday in my post.

Regarding the other point that common people will not contribute to
the then congress party.  First, I do not think that is entirely true.
(we do not know how the message for contributions was communicated?)
Second, the demographics and people's understanding of the political
process today in India is far different than what it was in 1920.  So
please where is the relevance of that comparison?

As I have proposed that a party that cannot raise money at grass roots
level should not be participating in the political process.  However,
let us assume that people will today behave the same way as in 1920
and will not contribute to a political party.  In that case a minimal
tax and public funding is the answer.  Allowing individuals and
political parties to raise unlimited sums of money from corporate
contributors is a sure way to kill a democracy.  I hope we can put a
close to this soon.

Kush Khatri.

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