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Re: manifesto



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Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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http://www.indiapolicy.org/lists/india_policy/2000/Jan/msg00090.html

Naveen,

I think this subject has been debated over and over again in this forum. If
you go through IPI Archives or look at the draft manifesto, you will find
lot of very strong and well informed opinions on this subject. 
I the essence of your message is not too different from mine, except for the
fact that making principled policy decisions and setting long term
objectives of a political party, we should avoid getting into vague
arguments such as 
"...tax just the right amount so we can spend it to improve the lives of the
poor, but also don't let the rich go bankrupt and allow them to make more
money. .." or 
"...SInce the foreigners have more capital to invest than indians..."
Because "just the right amount" could be anything, and the later sentence of
yours is very subjective and controversial. 
Your statement of "..I think Military spending is a waste of money. .." is a
familiar one, and in fact was part of one of the earlier draft manifesto of
IPI, and that has been responded to in great detail by many including myself
and I don't think it makes any sense to repeat the same things again unless
there is a compelling reason to do so. I suggest you to go ahead and read
through the draft manifesto and then you are welcome to offer your
suggestions and challenge any and all the things that has been said.
However, if we want to make any progress, we have to avoid arguments just
for the sake of arguments and move on to doing substantive things while
still keeping the forum open for constructive ideas for everyone and
forever. 
Your suggestion of not spending too much on Nuclear Weapons and signing CTBT
is shared by some, however national security interests ought not be decided
by the reasons other then national security, and the reasons you sighted of
avoiding economic sanctions are not compelling and powerful enough at least
at this point. This could be a slippery slope, and you don't want to signal
the west or anyone that you are willing to compromise your national security
interests on the whims of politicians of some other country. I am sure you
can find compelling arguments in support of our national defense policy on
the draft manifesto. You are not alone to advocate opposition to nuclear
weapons, so take comfort on that and know that your intentions are
admirable. 
Your statement that "...Also we need to cut down corruption..." reflects the
obvious opinion of all. In fact I don't support "cutting down" on corruption
but having a clear cut policy aimed at eliminating corruption, a lofty goal
for present day India, but certainly an achievable one. It is not simply a
law and order problem, but rather it is a social ill complicated by
bureaucratic tangles, government control over more aspects of people's lives
then it needs to be, limitations of freedom of enterprise, too much say of
government and bureaucracy on matters related to aspects of lives where
government simply doesn't belong, and too much power to redistribute wealth
in the hands of government, and too many dissatisfied people in our society.

Transparency, accountability and discipline ought to be the traits
well-wishers of India ought to stick to, I think the draft manifesto has lot
of things in it. Please go over the past archives and the draft manifesto,
and open up any segment that you believe does not reflect a sound policy
objective. However, please remember lot of effort has gone into writing and
making the language specific enough not to open it for vague
interpretations. However, it is certainly not the final word, will never be,
because it is by definition, a constantly living and breathing document that
reflects the views of all, including you. 

Thank You.

Umesh Tiwari


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