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Re: classification of govt. interventions

I have no particular problem with the classification suggested by
Sanjeev so long as it is made clear that the state has a proactive role to
play in ensuring a certain minimum consumption/income to all its citizens.
If we are seeking to build a consensus in favour of the policy document we
should avoid giving the impression of suggesting typically Western
to problems created by blindly copying Western institutions.
    In my view, the adversarial relationship between the state and the
citizens has come about in the West because of the historical background in
which the institutions have developed in the last three or four centuries,
initially due to extortionary taxation to finance military conquests and
recently due to mindless expansion of the welfare state to finance which,
again, exploitative taxation has been resorted to.
    If we dig deep into our past, our view of the state is one of
benevolence. For the interested members of the group, I would refer to
stanzas 1.4.3, 1.5.2, 1.12.1, 1.13.7, 1.19.34, 2.1.18, and 2.1.26 of
Kautilya's Arthasastra. It is a fundamental duty of the ruler (state) to
look after the Yogakshema of the subjects. (It is a more comprehensive term
than the English equivalent of welfare). What benefits the subjects and
gives them happiness benefits the ruler, not what benefits himself. The
ruler is particularly obliged to look after the children, the aged, and the
needy. Of course, Arthasastra also emphasises the reciprocal duty of every
subject to pay taxes, 'one-sixth of the grains (income tax?), one-tenth of
commodities and money (business tax?) as his share' (1.13.6).
    We should attempt to restore such a harmonious and mutually beneficial
relationship between the citizen and the state.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sanjeev Sabhlok <sabhlok@almaak.usc.edu>
To: debate@indiapolicy.org <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Date: Thursday, November 19, 1998 3:11 PM
Subject: classification of govt. interventions

>The following terminology helps get a handle on the kinds of
>interventions we seek from govt (each intervention must be well
>researched and effective; else it is meaningless anyway)
>a) pro-active interventions
>b) reactive interventions


>This is a posting to India_Policy Discussion list:  debate@indiapolicy.org
>Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/


This is a posting to India_Policy Discussion list:  debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/