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Re: Judiciary, Prasar Bharati, Sen



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Sanjeev,

I'm currently reading Amartya Sen's "India - Economic Development and
Social
Opportunity". Although the book occasionally delves into some of the
more
esoteric aspects of 'Social Opportunity', it provides an excellent
account of
India's developmental successes (very few) and failures (several). His
message is that economic development without social development is bound
to
lead to failure and vice versa. By Social Development he means the
following
(this may not be a complete list) :

- Basic Equality
- Social Security
- Adequate healthcare
- Education, especially female education
- Gender Equality

In other words, his definition of a developed society is one in which
each
and every citizen has the freedom to achieve his or her full potential.
His
argument, and I find it very persuasive, is that economic growth alone
will
not lead to such a society. Importantly, social development without
economic
development is equally unsustainable. For example, Kerala's social
indicators
are almost on par with the Western world and yet a majority of the adult

population is either underemployed or without employment. Without the
money
being pumped in from outside, Kerala's society is bound to collapse.

When Amartya talks about being on the left side of the political
argument, I
dont think he means that he's a card carrying member of the Communist
party.
He's only a leftist in the sense that he argues on the need for a social

safety net for the underpriveleged. While markets need to be left
unfettered,
they cannot be relied upon to cater to needs of the underpriveleged
sections
of society. In his model, both markets and governments have distinct and

crucial roles - at the risk of simplification, markets provide a
mechanism
for economic growth, governments work on providing the necessary
infrastructure in terms of education, healthcare, social security, etc.

Regards,
Vinod




In a message dated 11/13/99 9:12:56 PM Eastern Standard Time,
sanjeev@sabhlokcity.com writes:

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 Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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 Judicial corruption:
 ====================

 We've not dwelt on judicial corruption on IPI much. Well, the Law
Minister
 of India is unequivocal. He said there is need to overhaul the "fatal
 combination of incompetence and corruption among police, prosecutors,
 witnesses and judges" (TOI, Delhi edition: 12th Nov, pg. 9).

 Thankfully and mercifully, the Mera Bharat Mahaan syndrome is on the
wane
 in India today and some truthful speeches are finally being made about
the
 actual state of affairs in India. 3 cheers to the Law Minister!

 He also referred to relevance of Vohra Committee report. Will try to
 procure a copy.

 Prasar Bharati:
 ===============

 Very good suggestion by Vir Sanghvi in HT, 12.11.99, p. 11: "The
problem
 with the Prasar Bharati debate is that we take government ownership of
 Doordarshan for granted." He almost (but not quite, since he wanted DD1
to
 be with govt.) said what needs to be said: we must NOT have govt. in
ANY
 broadcasting function. That is NOT a governmental function.

 In a free democracy, citizens have the right to evolve their own radio
and
 TV stations and tune in to which ever they wish. Doordarshan is a major
den
 of corruption (which govt. organization is not?) in addition to being
the
 most incompetent in terms of quality of programs. Officers have been
found
 with crores of rupees stashed in their houses.

 I find the debate in India to be v. lukewarm. We are still to decide if
we
 are a free nation or a feudal pass-me-down of British imperialism.

 Amartya Sen:
 ============

 Sen says in Outlook, Nov. 15, p.88: "social reform is as important as
 economic reform." Further, at p. 90: "along with the expansion of basic

 education and basic healthcare, we also have to foster economic
reforms."
 at p. 92: "there is no conflict between rapid economic reform and
expansion
 of equitable social opportunities." Sounds good. Only, he seems to be
 missing in the methodology for either of these. Need to read his books.

 Anyone willing to clarify what he means?

 Then he adds, shockingly, (p.92) "my own political position is
distinctly
 on the left." What??? Marx and Smith go together now-a-days?



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