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Re: Sanjeev's mail

Dear Puneet,

Didn't find any reason to differ with anything in your post.
My comment about "amateurish" is only about the two paragraphs that I took
out of the preamble (or was it manifesto). I stand by it. 

Sitaramayya Ari.

On Thu, 28 May 1998, Puneet Singh wrote:

> I have a few questions/comments on the debate:
> > Let me say this one more time: Our country would be better off when we can
> > devise ways to improve the lot of the majority, who live in the villages.
> > That is the long term interest. If we just invite any and all investments
> > without a plan of what their consequences would be, we will have the
> > country wrecked. 
> You are "not against foreign investment", you are for "Modernization"
> and you wish to improve the lot of the villages as much: are you saying
> the concept of making every village into a city contradicts this?
> Not to beat around words, I think we mean the same. That villages need all
> the modern facilities that cities have. Both need better infrastructure.
> If the debate is framed as such: we have a billion to feed and we have
> little resources to invest, how do we begin? What policies will show
> benefit for the "majority"? Do we invest in tractors or software? 
> How do we calculate which segment of the society benefits from these
> schemes and when?  Can we wait for the economy to grow to let all
> segments feel it?
> Many of the questions dont have a definte answer. We are proposing a market
> driven decision. Subsidies promote market segments because government 'believes'
> such policies promote a particular group or even teaches a group "lessons".
> But do we want a govt deciding what we need in consumer goods when the
> private sector can do it too or do we want them to build the infrastructure
> that enables economic growth itself?
> I look at working solutions today, and truthfully anywhere (be that silicon
> valley or Bangalore) two things stand out: one is local talent that the govt 
> taps into and encourages. Secondly the growth of that contributes to
> anciliary support industry (I think the word actually means "work"). I was
> in Las Vegas over the weekend, there the 'talent' is totally different
> however a similar pattern is observed. NASA, ISRO have contributed to 
> "trickle down" economy growth in many technological sectors. How long does
> it take to reach the poor? Or does it? 
> > spend every year on products you call obsolete. I will give you this
> > information which is more relevant. The only things that I bring back from
> > India are books and sarees. The sarees are 100% from the "absolete"
> > village industries you mention. On one visit I actually went to the
> > village where they are made. More recently I have been buying them from 
> > stores in Hyderabad which sell products made in villages around Hyderabad.
> > You don't seem to have a clue how beautiful these sarees are! Hope 
> > you will go to Hyderabad one day and look at them. I bet you will think
> > they were made in some factory!
> > 
> Hand made products such as these can be valued for their artitistic 
> purposes but industrialization, mass production helps provide for a
> larger populace. If the people who buy such products value it they
> will pay for it at a fair market price. If its an art dying then the govt
> can intervene to boost growth, but a perpetual subsidy for a segment
> that refuses to grow on its own is questionable.
> > I do. I have no quarrel with anything you said in this paragraph except
> > that it is not necessary to empty the villages and bring everybody to the
> > town just because it was the way in the USA. Opportunities can be created
> > in the villages too. All factories don't have be in big towns. Do they?
> > 
> Very true. Indeed propose a set of rural policies which will use rural
> skills, create jobs & growth, and can sustain on its own after the intial
> ramp up from tax payers money. Also propose how rural sectors can build
> thier own infrastructure (roads, wells, irrigation, schools...) or why
> they have failed in the past 50 years. Please also consider the challange
> of raising tax and utilities fees on items such as water, electricity
> such that these investments from the rest of the society doesnt sink
> into free meals in the name of improvement (again in the long term atleast).
> Also please remember that any such system has to be a self correcting
> closed loop system, i.e after the intial investment the system has to
> not just sustain but also grow and provide welfare to the rest of the country.
> The rest of the developed, advanced nation/world owes NOTHING to us.
> Acting in "self interest" while also trying to help others improve in a
> desire to mutual benefit can be the only rational workable solution in 
> long terms. Is that what you mean by a mix of socialism and capitalism?
> > Another misrepresentation! I didn't say that none of you worked in the
> > field. I just said that you should get out of this manifesto writing, and
> > do something about the current situation. Don't you wish the students of
> > Indonesia wrote a manifesto rather than demonstrate?
> Its strange you support demonstrations, quote Gandhi and know what students
> who act before reasoning usually do, yet you think we are not taking the 
> right course of action.
> > > One fine day, people will realize that they no longer care for this
> > > nuisance called socialism - a synonym for falsehoods at each level.
> > 
> > Even the most capitalist of countries needs socialist components in the
> > governance to prevent the country from falling apart. Capitalism increases
> > the wealth of the nation. Socialism keeps it human. A nation cannot work
> > with one of them exclusively.  As long as you don't understand that, your
> > manifesto will be amateurish. 
> > 
> The debate on socialism vs capitalism is worth only between two people
> who COMPLETELY define and agree on their interpretations of these words
> so its better left on its own. Sanjeev, it may be worth stating
> our stand on issues with minimal word/concept that's left with
> too much room for disagreement (I will re read some of the items and
> let you know).
> If you think we are behaving as high school novice, tell us whats
> better.
> Puneet

----- End of forwarded message from Ari Sitaramayya -----