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Re: Some Home Truths

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!

You misunderstand. The point I was trying to make is that the social gains - 
in terms of schooling and healthcare provision - had been made before 
liberal economic policies were introduced. A. Sen discusses this at length 
in 'India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity'. The point is that, 
whilst economic growth may certainly *facilitate* higer social spending, 
political will is still required to ensure the poorest benefit. Sen argues 
for less government intervention in economic areas, but *radical* increases 
in health and education spending, particularly primary services.

Sorry for not being clearer originaly.

Richard Parr

>From: VPanicker@aol.com
>Reply-To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>Subject: Re: Some Home Truths
>Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 10:20:51 -0800 (PST)
>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>I'd appreciate some evidence to back up your claim that Thailand, Korea and
>Singapore have experienced decreases in life expectancy and literacy since
>they liberalised their economies.
>  ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>  "Left-wing intellectuals, among whom you
>  are counted, failed to see that outward-looking policies
>  would soon make Thailand 10-times richer than India,
>  Korea 30-times, and Singapore almost a hundred-times
>  richer. You leftists sneered at these countries for being
>  neo-colonial puppets. The supposed puppets have become
>  prosperous, literate and healthy, while the system you
>  espoused has failed on all three counts."
>  Actualy, these three examples all had far higher literacy levels and life
>  expectancy *before* liberalisation. Only liberalisation accompanied with
>  higher spending on primary education and basic, preventative healthcare 
>  alow the Indian population to take advantage of the opportunities offered 
>  globalisation.
>  >From: Atul Kumar Gupta <atulg@rcf-fs.usc.edu>
>  >Reply-To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>  >To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>  >Subject: Some Home Truths
>  >Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 18:42:57 -0800 (PST)
>  >
>  >---------------------------------------------------------------------
>  >Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>  >---------------------------------------------------------------------
>  >[from moderator: usually, only authors should send in their articles. If
>  >you send in another person's article, pl. send in your comments on the
>  >article ALONG with the article. This article, however, is superb and a 
>  >read. So it goes thro'. ]
>  >
>  >SWAMINOMICS: Home truths for the President
>  >
>  >Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar
>  >
>  >Dear President Narayanan, Congratulations for telling us
>  >some home truths in your address on the 50th anniversary
>  >of the Indian republic. You rightly say that our moth-eaten
>  >republic has fallen far short of the ideals set by its framers.
>  >Forgive my rudeness if I point out that you yourself are a
>  >prominent member of the system that has let us down so
>  >badly.
>  >
>  >You rightly say that 50 years after becoming a republic, we
>  >should be ashamed of our appalling poverty and illiteracy,
>  >our mistreatment of women and social and religious
>  >minorities, the erosion of accountability and criminalisation
>  >of politics, the sad lack of justice or voice for the common
>  >man. I agree wholeheartedly with you that the way public
>  >servants treat the public, the manner in which we squander
>  >or pollute precious reserves like water, the way we allow
>  >children to be exploited and the disabled to be passed by,
>  >all speak of a stony-hearted society, not a compassionate
>  >one.
>  >
>  >But who is responsible for this state of affairs? On this you
>  >have little to say, and what little you say is incomplete or
>  >false. Many people, many political parties, many sections of
>  >society are responsible for the mess we are in. But the
>  >Congress Party has been at the helm of the country's affairs
>  >for the overwhelming part of the last half-century, and must
>  >bear the overwhelming share of the blame for the mess.
>  >
>  >You knew this when you retired from the foreign service.
>  >Yet you joined the Congress. It was a passport to power.
>  >You rose fast in its ranks, and this helped ultimately elevate
>  >you to the Presidency. So you have done rather well by
>  >joining a party which bears the most responsibility for the
>  >stony- hearted mess that you decry in your Republic Day
>  >address.
>  >
>  >This is a time for home truths. Too many of us have done
>  >well by joining the existing system instead of opposing it
>  >from outside; too many of us have compromised with
>  >corruption, banditry and injustice because it helps us get
>  >ahead. You are not the only one; I and many fellow
>  >journalists are also guilty of making too many compromises.
>  >But you are the President and we are not, so excuse me for
>  >focusing on you in this column.
>  >
>  >You say the three-way fast lane of liberalisation,
>  >privatisation and globalisation must provide a safe
>  >pedestrian crossing for the unempowered. Fair enough. But
>  >why do you not say that this very scepticism about
>  >economic freedom was the excuse for imposing the neta-
>  >babu raj which has ruined us? Or that you yourself were
>  >part of and supportive of that same neta-babu raj which
>  >castrated economic freedom? You fail to mention that
>  >poverty and illiteracy dropped much faster in neighbouring
>  >Asian countries that emphasised the very policies which you
>  >now warn against. Left-wing intellectuals, among whom you
>  >are counted, failed to see that outward-looking policies
>  >would soon make Thailand 10-times richer than India,
>  >Korea 30-times, and Singapore almost a hundred-times
>  >richer. You leftists sneered at these countries for being
>  >neo-colonial puppets. The supposed puppets have become
>  >prosperous, literate and healthy, while the system you
>  >espoused has failed on all three counts. I wish you had
>  >talked about this home truth too.
>  >
>  >India today is a land without justice. Nobody is convicted
>  >for corruption although it is omnipresent. Murderers and
>  >thieves are not in jail, they are in Parliament. Law-breakers
>  >have become law- makers. Why? For many reasons, but
>  >one stands out: The dissipation of government energy on
>  >issues other than the ones crucial for good governance. You
>  >socialists saw the prime role of government as being the
>  >ownership and control of industry and commerce. In your
>  >eagerness to snatch economic control, you neglected
>  >primary education and health, administrative fairness, legal
>  >fairness, and all systems of accountability. Indeed, in the
>  >name of protecting workers, you created a system where
>  >no government employee could be sacked for
>  >incompetence or corruption, thus encouraging both.
>  >
>  >In the holy name of socialism, Left-wing politicians imposed
>  >a thousand controls, and then used these to line their
>  >pockets and create patronage networks. In the name of
>  >democracy, ministers obtained the power to transfer any
>  >official at will, and then used this power to literally sell
>  >lucrative transfers and make officials accomplices in political
>  >crimes.
>  >
>  >All this was supposed to strengthen socialism and the
>  >power of the state to do good. In fact it created the callous,
>  >stone-hearted mess you now complain of. Merit and
>  >excellence today do not count for much. Money, muscle
>  >and influence count for much more. This has caused glaring
>  >inequalities and injustice, not economic freedom. Bihar is
>  >poor today not because it was neglected in Plan allocations,
>  >not because it had insufficient quotas for dalits or tribals,
>  >not because of liberalisation or globalisation, but because
>  >governance there collapsed long ago and shows no sign of
>  >reviving.
>  >
>  >This is the root cause of injustice, Mr Narayanan, and it
>  >cannot be tackled just by quotas for dalits, tribals or
>  >backward classes. Justice rests ultimately on good
>  >governance, not on giving every community a quota in bad
>  >governance and banditry. There is indeed a case for reverse
>  >discrimination as a temporary measure, but there is a much
>  >stronger case for meritocracy and good governance.
>  >
>  >Consider two prominent dalits, Mayawati and you.
>  >Mayawati represents dalit power through quotas,
>  >maladministration and a division of spoils. You represent
>  >honesty, meritocracy and dignity. Which of you two
>  >constitutes the better route to social justice? Your speech,
>  >surprisingly, suggests that Mayawati is the superior route. I
>  >much prefer you. I may criticise your policies, but cannot
>  >fault your professionalism. You have risen to the top not
>  >through quotas or reservations, but through professional
>  >excellence. We badly need social justice, but this must
>  >ultimately be achieved through good governance for all, not
>  >a division of spoils among rogues of all communities. That is
>  >a home truth I sorely missed in your Republic Day speech.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
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>  From: "Richard Parr" <rjparr@hotmail.com>
>  To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>  Subject: Re: Some Home Truths
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