Francois Gautier is one of my favorite journalists. In rediff.com he asks why the Indian government considers foreigners as cows to be milked. Blatant discrimination against foreign visitors cannot go unnoticed and cannot but have an effect on the volume of foreign tourism.
Who are these bureaucrats that make such brain-dead decisions? How can we bring about a change in their thinking? How can we persuade these cretins about the need to be somewhat intelligent in their policy making? Is there any hope for India if we continue to make idiotic policy choices at every level of our economy?
India is poor not because of some divine decree but due to the combined weight of thousands of totally insane, abjectly stupid, stunningly mind-numbing, grossly mistaken choices made by anonymous semi-literate ignorant bunch of retarded self-seeking morons who hold the reins in this license-control-quota-permit raj that the British left behind.
It is enough to make a body despair.
We are poor by choice. Look carefully at the face of a hungry child begging on the streets of Mumbai and you will see reflected in those desperate innocent eyes the accumulated karma of the actions of a government whose objective is to maximize short-term revenues by instituting an extractive and exploitative system.
I have studied the Indian telecom sector in some depth because it was the focus of my doctoral thesis. The policy in that sector is so wrong-headed that it is difficult to imagine a system that is more detrimental to the goal of economic development. Indeed, I would find it more believable if someone were to reveal that the policy was actually made by an enemy government to sabotage any chances of India becoming a developed nation.
Why does India have the misfortune of being saddled with malevolent policy? My conjecture is that the context in which the government framework was built was one where the goal was not economic and social development but rather the exploitation of the economy. The government objective should have changed once it was a government of the people. But it did not because the administrative structure found it too hard to give up its control. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Lord Acton observed. The British government was the dispenser of India’s destiny — bharat bhagya vidhaataa — and it was not easy for those who replaced the British to not take on that mantle.
So what is the answer to India’s millions of woes? I believe that the government of India has to be re-invented. We need a “government of the people, for the people, and by the people.” We need a government whose objective is human development and economic growth. We need a government that is accountable to the people. We need a government that delivers on its promises. We need a government that values freedom and which does not chain the citizens of the country simply because it is easier to extract and exploit the system.
We need freedom from this whole sorry system even more than we needed political freedom from colonial rule.