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Manifesto changes



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___
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Hi Folks

Back after a long absence. Been busy building a small "ideal" community
here in Bangalore. 16 Families on a 3.5 acres lot. Just managed to
finalise the land and 13 member families. End 2000 we hope to move in.  I
decided to help ourselves get the best by group effort. It's taken 6
months and a lot of effort, but it works !

I was looking through the manifesto & here are my comments :

<< My feedback starts with  RM <<  .. 


Changes :


Orientation toward action, using the scientific attitude.
That we have no time to listen to a discourse on India's problems, or
whence they came about, but only in finding the best solution to those
problems, TODAY.
A major solution to the problem is perhaps as follows: promoting
competition in the production of the best goods << & services >> in the
world. This means that people need to be provided opportunities
commensurate with their effort, and suitable incentives to compete. 

RM << ... In a future that would have information management as a key
commodity, apart from goods, services are likely to play a far more
enhanced role.... >>

That regardless of the purpose for which one intends to use it, wealth
must first be produced. Whatever it takes to convert India into a land
of entrepreneurs, will <<should>> be done. Wealth creation is the
supreme objective. The only logical way to rid of poverty is to make
everyone richer.

c) Each citizen would have the right to DIRECTLY call for a copy of any
non-sensitive record maintained by government on that citizen. There
would be no non-sensitive record in any department except the Home,
Defence and Finance departements. Even within these departments,
records would have to relate to really important and sensitive issues
of internal security, in order to be elegible for being labelled
'sensitive.' One copy of each such record would have to be provided
free of cost
  
RM << ... this should have a minimal price to cover costs so that there
are no excuses of no funds for production. In an economic future which
is being proposed why should there be any freebies. So socialistic !
Let's be consistent. ! ... >>

To ensure that the rampant bribery which is seen today is nipped, all
elected representatives need to furnish a copy of their income
tax statements, annually, on the internet, as well a statement of their
assets.


RM << ... this information should be available in any easily accessible
media, the internet being one ...  I think we have been through the
fact that internet access here is miniscule and is likely to remain so
for some time. Information should be publicly accessible in whatever
appropriate form that may be at the time. Update this wherever it crops
up in the manifesto. ...>> 


India needs to obtain permanent membership in the United Nations
Security Council.

RM << ... for the short term yes. But I personally question the
expensive existence of am impotent organisation like the UN. We need to
look at this. In the new world and a new context, what kind of an
universal organisation do we need ?


1.	Privatization
Privatize (and liberalize) nationalized and other public sector
industries so that these organizations are brought in check by market
forces. This will also give people better control over their destiny.
It will promote competitive and risk-taking behavior which is necessary
if the output of the nation is to grow and if India is to << regain its
equality >> with the most powerful nations in the world. 

RM << ... are we always going to aim at catching up with the Joneses ?
While we are at it let us at least conceive what is best for India as
defined by us. Not by the books and parameters written by the " most
powerful nations of the world "


3.	Price deregulation:
In general, we abhor the concept of price regulation by government in
any productive activity. Government does not possess nor can ever
possess the local knowledge that is critical to the determination of a
price. <<Even if it were to possess such knowledge, its officials would
not have the necessary incentives>> needed to fix prices justly, even
if they were the most honest officials around.


RM << ... Just a point I want to raise. While we are proposing a
complete change in governance & policies, some of these statements seem
to stick to beliefs that some systems would be cobwebs from the past
??? ... >>


15.	Agricultural policy
Complete removal of agricultural subsidies and permission to trade
commodities freely and globally. Drip irrigation would be encouraged to
avoid the impact of failure of monsoons. Private insurance companies
will be encouraged to insure crops. Greater use of hydro-resources for
electricity, and linking up canals to provide irrigation.

RM << ... Best practices to be encouraged. Indigenous research to get
full support financially & otherwise. Organic, natural methods to be
promoted to ensure healthy safe produce and to stop " burnout " of good
fertile land on a long term basis ... >>


b)	Urbanization:
The magnitude and quality of urbanization is a sure and foolproof test
of economic development. Urbanization promotes economic efficiency in
all fields of human endeavour by bringing together a critical mass of
human beings specializing in various sectors of the economy. Large
number of extremely modern and well-planned satellite cities have to be
planned around metropolises which are getting congested today for lack
of planning and resistance to urbanization. There is nothing like a
maximum possible size for any city. The USA with less than one third of
our population easily supports cities which are larger than the largest
in India, today. We can easily go for three to four times the existing
size of most cities, if properly planned. That is where the government
has to step in, not as a builder, but as a promoter of cities.


RM << ... I am not sure of some views expressed here. Most of the the
huge cities have large areas of urban decay, which seems to be an
inevitable part of the process of urban change. "Inner city" problems
are well documented. I disagree with the concept of the spread of
"huge" cities all over the nation as an answer to efficient management
of resources. The ideal size of a healthy, sustainable city is a moot
question.

I would rather say that India now needs to decongest the four main
metros and promote efficient self regulatory and sustainable habitats
around the country, to enable equitable resource sharing and practice
decentralised authority. 
We do not have any urban planning expertise around here, neither do I
think any have been consulted, so let's not make these sweeping
statements.
And Heavens, let's not have this constant US benchmark !  ... >>


c)	Environment:
There is no shred of evidence of global warming, and the excuse being
used by some "environmentalists" to curb production and consumption in
the developing world is misguided. On the other hand there is a
tremendous role of government in environmental planning including
saving the wild life. Efforts have to be focused on hazardous waste
disposal, and cleaning up the water and air.


RM << ... again unsure statements. " saving wildlife " is an extremely
naive statement that exposes ignorance of these issues. A healthy
wildlife population in their natural habitats ( and I don't mean a
displaced recreated environment )is a good indicator of the state of
our natural resources. Waste disposal, polluted air & water is a city
related malaise. What kind of an equation do we need to retain a good
man-made vs natural balance ? Let's get informed views before we preach
misguided views ... >>



I shall stop here for now and send in the rest in a day or two.


I think what might be a good idea to do is :

1. Send the current version of the documents to some specialised people
to provide feedback on specific issues. This can generally be sent
through the net as most of these people would have access. A few might
have to be locally mailed. This can be organised locally from India. I
can send some myself to some of the people I know.

2. Once this is incorporated, the first set can be circulated on a
wider scale.

Rajeev Manikoth

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