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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
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On Sat, 16 Jan 1999, Arindam Roy wrote:

> Regarding our joining politics, I don't think my children or me would like
> to join it. Firstly, it is no longer a place for good men. They have been
> thrown out of circulation by the bad and the ugly. First, the system has to
> be cleansed. No one builds a home on garbage heap. The garbage needs to be
> removed.

Thanks, Arindam! That is the spirit. Speak the truth first. Once all
speak the truth, we will at least know what is the possible cause of the
problem. 

On a theoretical plane, though, the argument you gave is weak. You say,
" Firstly, it is no longer a place for good men. They have been thrown
out of circulation by the bad and the ugly."

This assumes that both types cannot co-exist together. Indeed, it is
possible for both good cars and bad cars to exist on the roads together,
as it is possible for bacteria and the white blood cells to co-exist
together. Similarly, if the issue is only of good vs. bad, then the good
should have no problem in joining politics. After all, isn't it the job
of the "good" in tne Hindi cinema to battle with the "bad." 

Second, you assume that the bad can somehow push out the good. Actually,
they have no power to do so. It is not as if the "good" are being killed
off merely for contesting elections. It is the people who vote. They
choose. And it is individually as well as collectively rational for them
to choose the good, IF the good is in the market.

Which customer will choose a bad tomato if a good tomato is seen being
offered on sale at the same time? But in all markets, the good and bad
co-exist. It is for the customer to choose. 

My hypothesis is the good are not entering the market for some other
reasons. I will take the case of Mr. X who is a good guy and will never
cheat the public, but who refuses to enter politics if it means that he
has to 
	- either make himself bankrupt by contesting elections

or 	- cheat by taking money from businesses, not declaring it,
		and then signing a false declartion to the EC.

Because Mr. X is a prudent, good citizen, none of these options exist
for him. 

I therefore urge you to explore your motives a little more in detail,
and to seriously examine why you will not enter politics in India today.
In my case I am willing to give a "fight" to the "bad" forces. But I
will not since I am "good" and do not like to ruin myself by going
bankrupt or by cheating the people at the first stage itself.

In order to guarantee that Mr. or Ms. X will be honest in politics we
want to guarantee that all contestants are being completely transparent
to the people in fund raising and are paid substantially for the huge
effort and risk that they are taking in order to serve the people. As of
today, we do not even have a publicly available list of expenditures
made by various candidates (or do we?). If I or you were to do all the
drama-baazi and contest an election, we would receive less than what a
baby computer engineer of 21 years of age receives in India. We would be
financially wiped out into oblivion. Are you married? Ask your wife if
she will permit such enormous folly.

My hypothesis is therefore that the honest people are BARRED from
offering the provision of governance services in India by our electoral
and compensation laws. I had requested you to see if you could provide
info on a simple survey. Did you get the approval of your boss to carry
this out? Please tell him that without information on this critical
thing, we are groping in the blind about the real reasons why good
people (often not too well off) STRICLY REFUSE to enter politics in
India.

I urge you to explore and confirm or deny my analysis. You are a fully
paid journalist sitting in the heartland of India. If you can't find out
the truth, no one can. I have not received even ONE reply from India's
greatest economists worldwide; I had told them that lack of response
would be construed by me as consent to my hypothesis that our laws
forbid the good from entering politics. We can construe their lack of
response to mean that we are exploring the right path. Let us confirm it
with data and full understanding of the details, and then you can
publish and get great credit in India for proving to all of India that
India is corrupt because we permit ONLY the corrupt to enter politics.

This has so severely demoralized the "good" that they have stopped even
considering politics as possible profession or service. Politics is a
rather high intensity work. If all that risky work is guaranteed to push
your family into starvation, then why would anyone send his children to
politics? And the cycle repeats itself ad infinitum. 

This is still a hypothesis. Let us study in detail.

Sanjeev







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