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Comments on Draft




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
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Free Citizen, Fair Society: 

We should keep the language in ordinary prose. Phrases like 
"one day break away like a leaf falling from a tree" should be 
removed. Remember that while flowery language is appreciated in 
a book, a document should remain a document. At this point, the 
phrase i have chosen is only one example. Others may or may not
exist. I think we should search for them at the end. Flowery
language may be good even here but definitely not similes and
poetic language.

Nobel Prizes and Olympics:

Again, I feel these are too trivial for such a document to
highlight. How are you going to ensure that India wins the
maximum number of Nobel prizes? Create enough wealth and quality
universities? Then, is it not sufficient that we say that we will
create wealth and quality universities? Should we highlight
each and every effect that wealth will have? The fundamental
issue id wealth. We have dealt with that. Nobel prizes and
Olympic medals will automatically follow. They are secondary 
effects. They are not primary issues. Only primary issues 
should go into the long term vision. When we say we will create
wealth, we have already taken care of Nobel prizes and Olympic 
medals.

Fundamental Beliefs section:

We should talk of all human beings deserving equal rights. Saying 
that all human beings are made equal in an essential way doesn't
carry any information. It is also true that all human beings are
not created equal and that is why the phrase "in an essential way"
is added. The idea of the statement itself is to convey that all
humans deserve equal rights. Why not say so directly?

We should do away with dwelling on the "past glory". Remove the
reference to 250 years ago. Let us be different and look ahead
instead of back. It has no place in our document, least of all in
the equality section. 

In the liberty section, "all religions are to be fully respected"
smacks of thought control. All regions should be tolerated is okay.
When you force someone to respect religion, you do not accomodate 
those with scientific temper.

In 'Belief in Self' section, technological superiority isn't enough.
It should be technological and economic superiority.

Nation, Government, Citizens and Markets:

"pure capitalism" doesn't exist is the statement that is present.
What do we want to say there. Something seems incomplete. 

National Reconciliation:

Promoting voluntarism is a concept that won't work. you gets what
you pays! What do we mean by this? Ask college students to take up
voluntary work? forget it. If we don't do that, we might as well
not have that statement. Recently, Uma Barati was asked her most
important achievement. she said that she has appealed to people to
take up voluntary service! Surely, we should not be making such
statements.

Electoral Reform:

You have missed out the point which says candidates MUST furnish
details of all criminal cases they are involved in and which will
be published. This point was brought up on IP long back. Please
don't leave it out. 

Defence:

Global disarmament! We should definitely not make such statements.
These are present only in dreams. Remember that our manifesto 
should meet the following two criteria.

It should be desirable
It should be practical

While global disarmament meets the first points, it fails to satisfy
the second.

Are we saying there will be crime within our country and so we need a
police force but we trust OTHER countries to disarm? in other words,
we need protection from OUR people but not from others?
When we talk of defence, we should talk of giving good training to
our personnel, of modernising the forces and improving their life
in the border areas.
Defence expenditure is not a waste. It can be easily taken care of 
with a strong economy. If we had a free market system in place, we
wouldn't feel the pinch even if we doubled our defence expenditure.

Law and Order:

What is Vohra Committe recommendations and what is the National
Police commission's recommendation? Can we have a link to these
documents on IP?

Elimination of attempts to plan the economy:

The planning commission should be shut down but it should not be
"converted" into any other body. If there should any other body, it
should be totally new. It shouldn't be an avatar of planning 
commission. 

Independence of Central Bank:

The only focus of the Bank should be one: to keep inflation in 
complete check.
There is only one point listed!

Financial Capital and Foreign Exchange Markets:

In the section which says 'Measures to bring back the small investor'
how about giving the small investor the right to sell back his stock
within 6 months if it is a primary share. This will mean that companies
cannot sell shares and then do a Houdini after an year without starting
a company.

Intellectual Property Rights:

I think it has already been mentioned elsewhere.

IT policy:

"included here briefly" should be removed.

Agriculture policy:

Crop insurance should be mentioned. Do you know how important it is for
farmers not to have uncertainity? The present crop insurance scheme 
is not an insurance at all. It is nothing but a loan waiver. This is
how it works.
If you have taken a loan and your district is declared drought hit,
you will be paid compensation whether or not your crop failed! This is
how it is. If you have not taken any loan, no compensation for you.
We need REAL insurance schemes. Schemes where farmers PAY for insurance
and probably will get good management techniques from these insurance
companies. The payment could be a percentage of output or a flat rate
but we need such a scheme urgently. Insurance companies should be
encouraged (lower taxes?) to insure crops.

Environment:

There is no shred of evidence of global warming...

Why make such statements? Let us stick to what we want to do. Let us
not start off debates on global warming and ozone layers. In our
environment section, we should say what we will do to protect the
environment. There is no reason that what we say should affect progress.
By mischievous, do we mean a "conspiracy by the west"? Let us focus
on what we are supposed to discuss.

Several points which were discussed haven't yet been included. Will
they be included in the next draft? Is it because no summaries were
available? If so, I can try to fish the points out from the archives.

-Arvind


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