Atanu Dey On India's Development

The Powerful Nutcase of Iran

Mr Ahmadinejad is a nut-case. Unfortunately, he is also very powerful and his nuttiness can harm a lot of people, not just Iranians. He’ll come to a sticky end, undoubtedly, but he will also lead a lot of his compatriots to misery and doom.

This is the only economy in the world – indeed possibly in world history – in which you can borrow money from the bank and then receive a higher rate of interest by depositing it in the same bank.

Mr Ahmadinejad, who says he is proud of his ignorance of economics, also seems to believe the laws of supply and demand do not apply to the Islamic republic. [BBC]

Iran has the largest combined natural gas and oil reserves in the world, and is the third largest exporter of oil. One would have expected Iran to be a wonderfully developed economy. But it isn’t. It is well recognized that natural resource wealth, if mismanaged, can be a curse rather than a boon. Add theocracy to oil and you have the makings of a powerful bomb — a suicide bomb.

Two broad generalizations. First, economic development requires good policies, not just a wealth of natural resources. That implies good leadership. Good leadership depends on a dynamic, forward-looking, and scientific culture. Second, mixing religion with affairs of state is a bad idea.

India has yet to learn those two lessons. Its economic policies continue to be socialistic — meaning, it is static, regressive, and harmful. This is understandable as the policy makers are neither smart nor good. Most disastrously, the Congress led UPA government is mixing theology with state policy. It sits in judgment and privileges one religion over another.

I look at Iran and just hope that India does not go that way.

  • Dsylexic

    I think many of us have bought into the western propaganda -which goes like this: a)Bait a motormouth Muslim leader b)invoke the names of Hezbollah and Hamas c)Invoke the nuclear canard d)eye their oil e)menacingly move into their neighborhood with naval warships f)blame the Muslim leader for causing tension in the world g)ofcourse Israel is in grave danger

    Ahmedinejad is a far less threat to the world than Bush and Brown.I dont see anyone calling them nutcases. With no navy or airforce to speak of, I am unable to make any case for Iran being a threat to any country except itself.

    re: the interest rate nonsense -we just saw what maestro G’span’s wonderful ATM machine just belched out in the west -let those who live in glass houses not throw stones. Mr Easy Al “Ponzi” Greenspan is feted and paid 100000 USD per hour as consultant. I dont see anyone calling G’span a monumental hypocrite.

    Ahmedinejad is not even powerful.He is just the village idiot in Iranian politics -nobody takes him seriously ;least of all the Mullahs
    .
    Economic development needs a leadership that recognizes the need to provide economic freedom to its citizens -humilty perhaps would be an added advantage.

  • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

    Dyslexic:

    I did a google search on “bush nutcase” and got 441,000 hits; “bush moron” 3,770,000 hits; “bush cretin” 254,000 hits. Compare that to “ahmedinejad nutcase” with 16,100 hits.

    You say that you have not heard anyone calling Bush a nutcase. Where have you been all these years?

  • praveshb

    I think blanket comments like “Indian policies are socialist” have to be explained more. I dont agree to this. All the SEZ hype and noise , where a large chunk of land (many times farmers land) is given to big automobile companies to put vehicles on road that will pollute more, will be useless spending and will create more problems rather but will make profit for the automobile company than building a world class system of public transport is not socialistic. Even the loadn maafi of 60,000 crore is not socialistic, that is just highly democratic and stupid.

  • Dsylexic

    Proves my point: Bush is indeed the bigger cretin and the US crony capitalism is bad model for India,ignoring the rhetoric.We are no where close to a theocracy -but we are well on our way to a crony capitalist system

  • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

    Dyslexic:

    I don’t dispute the opinion that Bush is a greater threat than Ahmadinejad.

    Your point was not that Bush is called a nutcase by more people than call Ahmadinejad a nutcase. You claimed that you have not heard anyone calling Bush a nutcase.

    I merely disputed that claim of yours and presented some plausible evidence.

    I don’t see how evidence that contradicts your claim proves your point.

    Sorry to nitpick but I try not to make claims that I cannot substantiate, and generally ask for evidence when I come across questionable claims.

  • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

    Praveshb:

    I claim that India’s policies continue to be socialistic. Here’s more in terms of explanation.

    Socialism is hard-coded in the Indian constitution. Not just in words, in deeds as well, Indian economic policies are not free-market oriented but instead lean towards public ownership and government control of major segments of the economy. There are huge 5-year plans that claim to pull the economy towards socialistic goals.

    The result is plain to see. For about 40 years, a dismal 2 percent real growth. Then a little liberalization in terms of allowing the market to work. Growth accelerated but not sufficiently to make a serious dent in the lower segment of the population.

    West Bengal is more socialistic than the rest of the country. It is sinking even deeper into the swamp.

    One final brief point: all this furore over SEZs masks an underlying deep question. Why the hell do we need SEZs anyway?

    That one needs special zones for ordinary economic activity means that ordinarily, these economic activities are not feasible.

    That India needs SEZs is a damning indictment of socialism.

  • praveshb

    Atanu,
    I wish we were socialists. I think we (our govt) are neither free
    market based nor are good at adopting the basic tenets of socialism
    (which in my view is equality). Our policies are creating divides of
    all kind – economic (rich getting richer), social ( tension between
    castes and religions) and political as well. Looking at what is
    happening in US and in general the fact that money begets money is the basic
    principle of capt’m (again my view, not a formal definition) tells me that free market is not the idea for us. Ofcourse in a country which got into existence 60 years back ( note that India didnt even exists as a country or organized territory before that in the history of the world), with 60% illiterate and poor people, its the govt who
    has to take initiative and control over the enterprises. Whats wrong
    with that? You can cannot ask for innovation from a kid, you have to teach him first, thats what new born India was in 1947.

    Yes, I agree , we could have done better, but the reason why we didnt do good what not the policies but the people behind the policies and
    their implementation.

  • Pingback: On SEZs « TPTM

  • nagp

    @Pravesh:

    Not sure what you are upto. Are you saying that, say, even if govt liberalizes the education sector there won’t be any takers to educate rural illiterate people because there is not much bang for buck in rural India for the private players and so government should control it? It has been doing the same thing for years and we know what happened.

  • Amit

    On Ahmadinejad: to focus on him and his words is to ignore the fact that the puppet-master is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, quietly pulling strings behind the scenes. Whether what Ahmadinejad says in public is a reflection of Khamenei, or just a misdirection that serves some purpose, can be debated.

  • Vaidehi

    Dyslexic’s comments are shocking and naive.

    Why did these islamic marauders from Turkey to various ‘istans including today’s Iran invade , pillage and plunder , colonize our Hindus ‘ Land ? The ” worst slaughter ” India ever saw in Swami Vivekananda’s words.

    Islamic piety unleashed !! We the dhimmis had our very spirits broken and am convinced we still have not conquered our stoop.

    How many Indians are clamouring to settle down or pursue higher studies in Iran?
    (Spare me a solitary kalil gibran) How many Hindu women falling in love and marrying iranians /iraqis/arabs???

    Is it Hollywood movies or egyptian idiotic flicks one wants to watch?

    Am not venturing into sharia guidelines , presuming one is familiar with them.

    Indians overwhelmingly resort to negationism when dealing with islam or mohammedan mindset and Hindus ‘ holocaust.

    Heads of departments from Agri Universities in perennially gloating & smug & ill informed India travel routinely to ISRAEL to refurbish their knowledge . Not to iran or saudi or dubai.

    India was not trounced in kargil war due to the timely help from ISRAEL. not ahmednut.

    And how does holier- than- thou – Geetha – Upanishads – thumping india repay?

    By volubly condemning Israel and supporting PLO in UN.

    This current financial crisis has made many Indians to sweepingly embrace ‘ socialism’.

    Atanu Dey’s recent post on Russia (vodka) is to be rereread. Along with many other posts.

    Let us not throw the baby with the bathwater.

  • Vaidehi

    Dyslexic ‘s comments are shockingly naive.

    So those marauders from Turkey to various ‘istans around including Iran invaded , pillaged , plundered unleashing the ” worst slaughter ” (Swami Vivekananda) spurred on by islamic piety?? I doubt we would ever overcome this dhimmitude as Indians overwhelmingly resort to negationism while dealing with mohammedan invasion.

    How many Hindu women fall in love & marry men from iran/iraq/saudi? How many clamour to go to ahmednuts infested countries for pursuit of higher studies?? Is it Hollywood movies or idiotic egyptian flicks that one prefers to watch???

    India was not trounced in kargil war due to the timely help from ISRAEL. Not ahmednut.

    Heads of departments of Agri Universities from smug , gloating , ill informed India routinely travel to ISRAEL to refurbish their knowledge. Not Iran/Dubai/Iraq.

    Alas , the Geetha-Upanishads thumping holier than thou India volubly supports PLO , condemning ISRAEL in UN.

  • Vaidehi

    The recent upheaval in financial markets make many Indians ( true to their wont ) sweepingly embrace lugubrious , lacklustre *socialism*.

    Despite reading Atanu Dey’s blogposts.

    The one on Russia (vodka) along with others are worth rereading and ruminating over . Let us not throw the baby with the bathwater.

  • Vaidehi

    Atanu:

    >>>I did a google search on “bush nutcase” and got 441,000 hits; “bush moron” 3,770,000 hits; “bush cretin” 254,000 hits. Compare that to “ahmedinejad nutcase” with 16,100 hits<<<

    Precisely. That is freedom of speech.
    Can anyone do so from Iran ?

    Even in chimerically moderate middle eastern countries every dhimmi HAS to write pbuh (peace be upon him) in capitals after mentioning their ‘ prophet’s name. If not you risk decapitation or deportation depending on your closeness to NDTV and kaangress party.

    Whereas they invariably ridicule Hindus’ pantheon of Gods which gorement of india hell bent on collision politics prefers:)

    mf husseins are assured of safe havens in dubai .Whereas Rupin Katyals would be dumped with their throats slit.

    The entire World knows Godforsaken india salivates only for cricket & cross border tangoeing!

  • Dsylexic

    Strawman arguments@Vaidehi.

    Demonization of Ahmedinejad by the west has nothing to do with India.
    I dont see why you have taken off on a different tangent.I never said anything about Moslem marauders.

    “How many Hindu women fall in love & marry men from iran/iraq/saudi?”.
    Historically when the Arabs traded with the Malabar region,this was quite normal.Trade makes lots of stuff possible.

    “Heads of departments of Agri Universities from smug , gloating , ill informed India routinely travel to ISRAEL to refurbish their knowledge. Not Iran/Dubai/Iraq.”

    Irrelevant. Far more thousands of Indians earn their living in the Gulf countries.I have no idea what Ahmedinejad has to do with agriculture in India .

    “Is it Hollywood movies or idiotic egyptian flicks that one prefers to watch???”

    You got something against Egyptian filmmakers?.Not relevant to Ahmedinejad.

    My main point was that -ahmedinejad is a nonentity and too incosequential to be seen as a threat to the world .There is more danger to the world emanating from the hegemony of the dollar.

  • Vaidehi

    As Atanu says ” his nuttiness can harm”. Period.

    He is certainly in cahoots with hamas/hizbullah… the non existent dividing lines blur. And is anti Israel.

    So what if Indians earn their living there? India is no ISRAEL. And ingratiating ourselves to ahmednuts only benefits secular vote gluttons of India. Not necessarily Hindus ethos. The way blue collar Hindu workers get treated , coerced into embracing islam , their questionable deaths and so on I am sure would not give you insomnia.

    You have absolutely no idea how Indians were treated during invasion of Kuwait. In all fairness , all of them got their UN compensation later as Kuwait is pro America and not an iran.

    Compare that to arjun singh who wolfed down all the money that poured in after Bhopal tragedy.

    I see more danger from religious fanaticism , evangelization and manic claims of we-love-death-jihad… From clueless indian politicians.

    Not necessarily dollar or any currency.

  • Vaidehi

    Sri.Kanchan Gupta’s writeup ‘ Absurd to consider Iran for UNSC seat’ is very insightful.

    http://www.dailypioneer.com/127095/Absurd-to-consider-Iran-for-UNSC-seat.html

  • http://psychicmuse.blogspot.com/ yoda

    In the troubled middle east there isn’t a ‘powerful’ anyone – even Ayatollah’s power was a figment of western, christianized imagination.

    None crazier than the fictionalized justifications to sustain the present-day aggression into the region. This would be one of those.

  • anuj

    Dyslexic -Are you one of those “South Asian” Lefties who lives in the West, but doesn’t want India to have closer relationship with the West?

  • anuj

    Ahmedinejad does not scare me. What scares me is the entire Iranian regime, that is trying its best to obtain or manufacture Nuclear weapons.

    This regime should never be allowed to acquire WMD of any kind. Even if it means invading Iran.

  • Dsylexic

    anuj,
    No,I am an India based libertarian -with lot of regard for the real Conservatives of the republican party in the USA -someone like Ron Paul. You obviously,are one of those whose thinking is inline with the neoconservatives of USA.like cheney or wolfowitz.

    With no navy and airforce or any military force to speak of ,Iran cannot possibly be any kind of military threat to the west.Just like Iraq.Moreover the only countries who have used or acquired nukes are in no moral high ground to lecture how the rest of the world should live.

    The only ones who may feel threated,Israel -should be able to take care of themselves -like they did a few decades ago.They definitely dont need western backing to protect themselves.
    The US funds both the islamic states and israel and supplies them with ammo and warplanes.And then they want world peace?.

    Incidentally,I voted for the Shiv sena when I was young and naive.Right now,I would like to kick their cowardly asses.

    @Vaidehi : Huh?.Perhaps you are a card carrying Hindutva type.Kindly dont claim to speak for all Hindus.You are welcome to don your tinfoil hat.Not much different from the Islam khatre mein types.

    I have no love lost for the US govt. That doesnt mean I dont like the west.In fact so many of my heroes like Hayek or Mises or Rothbard are all from the west.
    I would like my govt to allow trade and friendship with all nations,why just the west.I dont see why the US govt is a good friend of India.It wasnt until our economic riches beckoned them with promises of unlimited riches and a huge market waiting to drink pepsi and eat kfc chicken that they started cosying up to Indians.
    Nixon called us ‘those bastard sanctimonious indians’. I dare you to show me one statement by the idiot called ahmedinejad against indians.

  • http://psychicmuse.blogspot.com/ yoda

    I wonder why ad homs are so speculative on blogs – “are you a …”, “I’m sure you’re a …”, “You sound like a …”

    People, it’s always wrong to attack a person instead of an issue. Wherever they’re from, whatever their experience, whatever their opinion – can’t strawman them by these.

    Also, “like the blog-author says …” is an appeal to authority – another fallacy.

    So lets say the debate hasn’t yet begun to have two sides here and start with http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html

  • anuj

    Dyslexic,
    Imagine the global chaos, If the nuts who rule Iran supply their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas with a “dirty” bomb, which then is detonated in a major western European city or Israel.
    For this they do not need a strong Army, Air Force or Navy, do they?

  • Dsylexic

    anuj,
    surely,there is no possibility of that happening.such a move will only ensure total annihilation of iran.why speak of hypotheticals when you have actual aggression on the ground by the US /NATO forces in the middle east interfering in local conflicts (Israel v Rest),or propping up corrupt dictatorial regimes like those in Saudi whilst making menacing moves at Iran.?

    It looks easier to blame Iran,when the US govt has consistently interfered in its policies starting from CIA and the Mossadegh coup.Logically,one would like to suspect those who have already commited the crimes than someone with a motormouth and big ego but no werewithal to inflict any serious damage.

    I dont support Hamas or Hezbollah but I do think their nuisance value is limited to the Gulf region .Israel is the only party that needs to worry -and that they already are.

    Premptive strikes of the Bush variety -is that something anyone should be advocating?.It is a guaranteed path to doom.

  • Dsylexic

    as usual,strawman.i’ll ignore the hectoring.

    what has iran to do with the taliban or afghanistan.dont you see the US is arming pakistan to its teeth?. what about the house of saud -the epicentre of wahhabism? . The US govt isnt lookin out for India .they merely support powers that are of short term use to them. It is merely coincidence that they found Taliban to be their enemy. who can forget they created osama in the first place.
    unless I see the US govt asking for the ISI to be crushed and dismantled,or attack saudi to ‘spread democracy’, they are just hunting with the hound and running wth the hare.

    swapan dasgupta is a journalistic troll. we didnt outsouce jack. anglo saxon discomfiture?.keep feeding pakistan -maybe they will help in fighting the jihadis. ugh.

  • pankaj

    Agree with vaidehi and swapan dasgupta that if usa goes down, india will go down like a pack of cards,we cannot do anything for homegrown islamist terrorism or pakistan supported one.what to think if the whole islamist world goes against us.

  • anuj

    Dyslexic,
    Yes, the U.S. does interfere in other nations’ matters, and yes, Americans do prop up dictators when it suits their interests.
    If they didn’t indulge in such acts, there would be no Harvards or Princetons; there would be no Googles or Microsofts; there would be no Exxons and Unocals; there would be no Japan and Germany; heck there would be no “enlightened Europe”; there would be no Indo-U.S. Nuke deal and there would be no Infosys and Wipro.

    And it’s my sincere hope that, in the not too distant future, India, too, is similarly accused by a dyslexic and that, India, too, is labeled an Imperial power by a Arundhati Roy.

  • Dsylexic

    If they didn’t indulge in such acts, there would be no Harvards or Princetons; there would be no Googles or Microsofts; there would be no Exxons …there would be no Indo-U.S. Nuke deal and there would be no Infosys and Wipro”

    I can only applaud your brilliant defense of colonial conquests.Macualay would be proud.

  • anuj

    Dyslexic,

    Do you believe that Iran should be allowed to obtain Nuclear weapons or even civilian Nuclear technology?

  • Dsylexic

    It is not for me to decide.If Iranians want it, they can work towards it -thats how soverign nations work.
    If anyone is threatened by it(Israel), they can take appropriate action.The US certainly is not under threat by any stretch of imagination,except wild fantasy. The threat to Iran from the US is more realistic.

  • anuj

    Dyslexic –
    In my comment #32, I am only stating the obvious not defending colonialism.
    In any case, if you are suggesting that the U.S. role in post second world war Japan and Germany or the current situation in Iraq is colonialism, then I couldn’t disagree with you more strenuously.

    On the other hand, If you are suggesting that the U.S. foreign policy is immoral, then I would request you to point out one major nation, whose foreign policy isn’t immoral.

  • anuj

    Dyslexic – #36
    In case you haven’t noticed, even Europe feels threatened by Iran’s Nuclear ambition, and they, too, are vehemently opposed to the Mullah brigade obtaining Nuclear capability of any sort.
    In addition, I would wager that, the Saudis, Pakistanis, and the entire Sunni Arab world is working behind the scenes to ensure that the Persians never get one single nuke.
    So, it’s not just the Israelis and Americans.