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Re: Sitaramayya's mail

On Wed, 27 May 1998, Premkumar S. Rallabandi wrote:

> I just have a few comments to make with respect to the message
> posted by Sitaramayya:
> >My point: Study the lessons of the liberalization in India for the last 10
> >years carefully. What happened? The bottom line is that the middle class
> >numbers increased. They are more prosperous. The lower class numbers also
> >increased. Their lives are much worse than they have ever been.
> Can you quote any authentic sources to support this? Has the poverty really
> icreased? I am asking this to know, not to challenge you.

The source is my own village. The people who used to work on farms as farm
laborers cannot find work in the villages anymore. To buy the same
amount of food grains they bought before, they need more money now, lot
more, because of high inflation in the last 10 years. But the farmer
cannot pay that much more money for the laborer because the value of food
grains did not keep up with inflation. The folks who used to be farm
laborers are now living on the road sides in nearby towns working odd
jobs, pulling rickshaws etc. 

What else can I say about this tragedy.

> I guess we have come to a consesus on this issue: we would need a optimally
> regulated capitalist setup. I don't see how you felt that we don't want
> any regulation at all. Please refer to the debates on regulation in the 
> archives.

I read through some of the archival material. But the document you put up
as the preamble or manifesto should reflect your current position. As it
is now, it reflects a love for capitalism, a regulated one, though the
goals and methods of regulation are unclear. That's where the devil is. 

> through this exercise. If you find that something is lacking in our plans
> so far please suggest alternatives.

I find that the vast majority of Indian people who are in the USA are from
towns. They have this feeling that India advanced tremendously in the last
10 years. I wish they were correct. Even today, the vast majority of our
people live in the villages. Their lot is rarely cared about. Any plans
you make have to carefully address the effects on villages. That's is what
I would like you to do. When you do that I can assure you that this love
for capitalism evaporates. What should come first are the people. Any ism
is an instrument. People should not be at the mercy of isms, the isms have
to be tools for the prosperity of the MAJORITY of the people. 

> I would really appreciate it if you could suggest a way to keep a huge
> government and still be very efficient.

There will be inefficiency in any govt, big or small. The question is not
really whether it is big or small, intelligent or dumb. These are silly
points. Whether the govt is doing and accomplishing what it was set up for
is the question. 

Sitaramayya Ari.