Atanu Dey On India's Development

The Coming “Citizen War”

| 25 Comments

Download Mult-velocity nationThe Citizen at War” is my article in the July issue of Pragati–The Indian National Interest Review. (Click on the cover image to open a pdf version of the magazine.) Below the fold is the text of the article, for the record.

The Citizen at War

Political freedom must be used to fight for economic freedom

Witnessing the recent skirmishes between some segments of the “civil society” and the central government of India, it is hard to keep cynicism at bay. On the one side there are sincere people with not inconsiderable following who are trying to bring about change in governance and the reduction of public corruption which has reached astronomical proportions. While they may be motivated by worthy goals, not all their means are above reproach. Their passion is not matched by their understanding of what should be done and how.

On the other side are powerful people in the government who are not particularly perturbed about the reports that allege, often with substantial evidence, their involvement in scams that run into billions of dollars. These people have the power of the state on their side and are not hesitant in using overwhelming force to defeat the people on the other side. Not just the police force, but they have used government agencies—such as investigative and taxation institutions—to fight their opponents.

The confrontations between the two sides play out with the background consisting of the rest of the population, who for the most part have come to accept their lot with a resignation that borders on fatalism. Decades of increasingly bad governance and ubiquitous corruption have convinced them that that’s how it is and nothing can be done about it. They will not be stirred into action by the civil-society leaders, and apparently the government will not be shaken by the civil society demands.

This adversarial relationship between the citizens and the government has a civil war flavour to it. This is puzzling given that India is a democracy and one would expect the government and the people to have convergent interests. Lincoln had pondered in his famous speech at Gettysburg in 1863 whether a nation with a government “of the people, for the people and by the people” can endure the on-going civil war. The United States did survive the civil war and as one historian put it, it became a country in which the idea of a civil war is inconceivable. The question before us is whether the battles between the Indian government and citizens foreshadow a war between them—which I call a “citizen war” to distinguish it from a civil war which involves warring factions of citizens.

Here I argue that the interests of the people in the government are antagonistic to the interests of the citizens. To make the case, we have to distinguish between two types of governments: one is a development-oriented government which is committed to economic freedom, individual freedom, and political freedom; and the other, a predatory government which denies citizens freedoms for extractive and exploitative (E&E) ends.

It is both an analytically and empirically well-established fact that economic and individual freedoms are necessary for development. It is also beyond doubt that a “license control permit quota” regime—a command economy in other words—is inconsistent with economic growth and development. The explanation for India’s dismal economic performance can be explained almost entirely if one posits that the Indian governments have been of the E&E kind. The evidence is overwhelming.

The reason for why India has an E&E government lies in India’s colonial history. Imperial powers get into the business of running colonies for economic gain. The economic interests of the ruled and the rulers are necessarily mutually antagonistic. The relationship between the colonial masters and their subjects is not voluntary, and as a consequence, power is asymmetric: the rulers have the power to extract economic rents from the economy, at the expense of the ruled. For this, the masters create the laws and regulations which are consistent with their goals. It is perfectly natural and understandable that the British framed laws that gave the colonial government supreme power. During the British Raj, the government was the master and the people its servants.

But of course that relationship between the government of India and Indians changed after India became politically independent. Or did it? The laws which the British had framed for their purposes continued to operate. The institutions continued as before, with minor cosmetic changes, such as renaming “Indian Civil Service” to be “Indian Administrative Service.” Different people occupied the chairs but the functions remained exactly the same. Admittedly the new rulers had more pigment in their skin but they were actors in the same old play on the same old stage with the same old script. Like their predecessors, the new rulers went around with the same red flashing lights on their cars as they did before 1947. They still do. It was, and still is, what in modern parlance can be labeled “British Raj 2.0.” It would be, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, déjà vu all over again for us except for the fact that most of us were born after 1947.

Unlike the United States, India did not have a “Revolutionary War of Independence.” Actually, India never had any revolutions to speak of, unlike other countries; nor did it have a civil war to iron out what India really stood for. Indians are as a lot not very excitable, and prefer the laid back chalta hai attitude. The British left in their own sweet time when it suited them. They had extracted enough wealth out of India by then, India had become too impoverished, and in any case, colonialism was fast going out of fashion. Their imperial power and hegemony was waning. They left because the sun was setting over the British Empire and it was time to go home.

There are major differences in the cases of India and the US, though they were both British colonies at some time. The Americans won their freedom by defeating the British, and decided that they will not ever be subjects of a king. They gave themselves a new set of rules, and were not interested in reusing or recycling British rules. They wrote an absolutely brilliant constitution which gave the people power over their government. It is short enough for one to read over a lazy cup of coffee, and most Americans have read it in high school.

The American constitution spelled out what the government could and could not do. The constitution severely limits the power of the government, and prudently distributes it across three institutions—the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. The people are the masters and the government that they elect does what the people allow them to do. In India’s case, the government is the master and the people exist to serve it. The Indian constitution is a set of prescriptions and prohibitions limiting the freedom of the people.

What India needs is a fundamental transformation, a change in the rules of the game, not a mere change in the set of players. The independence that Indians should have fought for should have been about real economic and personal freedoms. Granted that Indians have the political freedom to choose but it is more a matter of servants choosing which master they wish to serve, rather than free people choosing who is to serve them. My contention is that the independence of 1947 was at best a partial one. Because Indians of the previous generation avoided a real war of independence, it remains for us to fight and win the upcoming war.

The sad thing is that it is not entirely clear to the people in these early battles being fought in the Jantar Mantar and the Ramlila grounds in Delhi that what they should be fighting for is economic and personal freedoms, and against imperialism. They apparently believe that a bad set of people are at the root of the corruption and that if the corrupt are replaced or punished, corruption will disappear. They are calling for another government institution which will have supreme executive power to investigate and punish the corrupt. One supposes that in due time there will be a call for yet another government institution to “guard the guards”, and so on.

The relationship between corruption and control is real, enduring and easy to elucidate. The more control the government has, the greater the opportunity for the people in government to profit from their power. The colonial British government was powerful. Those who took over the reins of the government did not see any reason for surrendering those powers. The transfer of power from one set of people to another happened seamlessly and indeed, the man at the helm of affairs, Jawaharlal Nehru even boasted that he was the last Englishman to rule India. No doubt the powers he inherited sat well with his English sensibilities.

The way ahead for India is to reduce the power of the government and shift it to the people. For this to happen, the people have to wrest the power out of the clutches of the government. It is a monumental task and it will neither be an easy nor a quick victory. It is not going to happen through fasts or any other form of blackmail because the powerful are never moved by others’ suffering—there’s sufficient involuntary fasting going on in India anyway, and that has not affected anything.

The way forward is through the only freedom that Indians have—the power of their votes. The government knows this and proof of that knowledge is in what the government does: it fragments the population along caste and religion, easily manipulating them by withholding and granting favours to groups as needed to maintain control. That divide-and-rule works in the British Raj 2.0 equally as well as it did during British Raj 1.0.

Democracy is not just about elections and voting periodically. If the concept is to have any meaning in its implementation, it must be informed voting. If enough people become aware of the reality of the government’s miserable role in their present predicaments, they would at least choose a different set of people who credibly commit to reducing the size and power of the government. Of course, the present government knows this and deals with that threat by choking the flow of information to the people. The internet is on the government’s radar and they are working hard to prevent people from getting informed through that channel.

If the people send a message via the ballot box to the government that they will definitely throw out people who continue to increase the power of the government, in due time there will be people in government who will limit the power of the government. For this to happen, the biggest challenge is to inform and educate the voters. At some point, they have to understand what Gerald Ford warned Americans about: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

The unfortunate fact is that we have to realise that freedom does not come without a struggle. The illusion that India is a free country is persistent and hard to shake off. The time has come for the revolutionary war that we should have been done with decades ago, a war that demonstrates that the people are the principals and the government is their willing agent. Since political freedom is a reality, that war has to be now fought politically. Mobs and blackmail will not bring about the structural changes India needs to prosper. The transformation of India will be good but it is definitely not going to be fast or cheap.

Atanu Dey is the author of Transforming India: Big ideas for a developed nation and blogs at deeshaa.org

  • Loknath

    Atanu,

    Isn’t it a relatively easy thing for the leaders in corrupt democracies to wield control over the the election commission and always manage to stay in power. Does it really matter what the candidates of opposition parties allege. They are not in power after all.

    Why bother to even get into painful canvassing business year on year when inexpensive measures exist.There are order of magnitude crimes and embezellments that ruling parties of third world countries do. What’s the big deal in buying out election commission. Juntaa as always can be kept in dark.

  • http://www.freetochoose.tv/ Ravi
  • Shankar S

    Life for the common Indian has always been a battle for survival, against his “elected” government and leaders who thrive on extracting their pounds of flesh every now and then for everything under the sun. This will not and cannot change under the current legal framework, simply because the so-called democratic institution in India today is fatally flawed, biased against the citizen. No change can be expected from within, only a US-style liberation or a French revolution can even hope to bring about positive change in this country – empowering citizens to craft a country and democratic system that works for the citizen, not for the monarch.

    Sadly, I don’t ever see this happening in our lifetime unless we’re driven to Zimbabwe-like poverty by our politicians’ looting. We’re just too disorganized, have never been cohesive enough to come together to work for the greater good, or to depose dictatorial and exploitative governments.

  • TiredProf

    “The way forward is through the only freedom that Indians have—the power of their votes.” That’s all of your proposal? Any self-respecting politician knows how to work around that in myriad ways. Imagine instead an India where, soon after the corruption of a minister becomes common knowledge, said minister breaks his neck climbing down a staircase, or slips in the bathtub and cracks open his skull, or gets HIV from a paper cut. You will see India transformed in 20 years, guaranteed. All we need is a PayPal type mechanism for ordinary citizens to pay anonymously for such services.

  • x

    @ Tired Prof,

    Dyu think the politicos in power won’t trace you and treat you in similar manner ?

  • x

    Atanu ji, good effort, but you realize not that you are playing to the script of the same imperialists.

    Here’s a countertake to your coloumn-

    >>>”The United States did survive the civil war and as one historian put it, it became a country in which the idea of a civil war is inconceivable.”

    The US is the beacon ofcourse, nevr mind that that country is leading a war for past 10 yrs ostensibly to fight ‘terror’, but actually for increasing its influence and to bag re-constrn contracts.

    How much worth is to be given to eminent historians is well known to indians.
    “a country in which the idea of civil war is inconceivable” Ha ha . reminds me of one-time phrase – “The Sun never set on British empire”. These modern US educatd people perhaps believe in a heaven as well, where everything is hunkydory and will remain so till eternity.

    >>>”Here I argue that the interests of the people in the government are antagonistic to the interests of the citizens.

    What the eminent economist forgets is that the people in the govt, that controls the governance system largely creatd by colonial brutish, are DEPENDENT on the international power brokers who also controls the U S of Asses. The ill gotten wealth of the crooks in power are in the banks of those power brokers. Therefore the adversarial relationship is actually between the ‘mango men’ everywhere and the power brokers in whose cahoots the current dynasties rule india.

    This is not between ‘citizens’ and ‘the govt’ of this country. This is an extension of the fight all over the world, between the corrupt exploitative rulers, who use an extractive governance system- largely established by colonialists, and the ordinary people who have been exploited, largely deracinated, and to a considerable extent, co-opted into the system- of exploiting each other and everybody else. This kind of discontent, that arises due to saturation of adharma in society, had earlier caused French Revolution and Protestantism in Europe and led to exteriorization of that adharmik Urja onto rest of the world through colonialism.
    In today’s world, the saturation of this adharmik Urja in ‘westernized’ urban areas causes its exteriorization on to rural areas, resulting in such as land acquisitions and displacement of farmers and tribals in the name of ‘development’ and ‘extraction of natural resources’.

    The adharmik asurik tendency of these creatures who are on a relentless expropriating drive pushes the limits of Bhoomidevi’s sustainability.

    The asuras, once they take over all land, will advance over to the oceans of the world. Leaving behind wrecks, toxic dumps, rendering Earth uninhabitable.
    Eminent economists will help bring all this into reality, believers as they are in a future ‘heaven’ where ‘development’, ‘globalization’ and ‘progress of humanity’ will give everyone a ‘grand’ life. Wah!

    Somebody down the years may call these people ‘brown sahibs’ or will it be ‘sepoys’ ?

    >>>”we have to distinguish between two types of governments: one is a development-oriented government which is committed to economic freedom, individual freedom, and political freedom; and the other, a predatory government which denies citizens freedoms for extractive and exploitative (E&E) ends”

    In the lexicon of new age economists, this translates into Gawd and the Satan. So whose side are you gonna be, heathen ? Remember, the Church of Economic Devlpmt operating from U S of Asses will provide you a fully furnished apartment in heaven, free of rent and mortgage. All you need to do is help spread the Gospel and bring your fellow heathens into the fold.

    Never mind the similarity to any other heaven we westerners may have promised before and similar similarity to exploitation that we carried out before, on such as you heathens, in the name of another Gawd of ours. Ha ha.

    >>>”It is both an analytically and empirically well-established fact that economic and individual freedoms are necessary for development.”

    So long as you understand that your freedoms are limited to being within the fold, doing what you are told to do, helping expand the new age Economic Christiandom/Ummah, like obedient sheep, following the shepherd; else we have our dogs on our pay who will show you the correct path, thoroughbreds like IMF, World Bank, and local mongrels like ED, IT Dept, Police and Media. See whats happening to that Baba Ramdev.
    Even we ‘eminent economists’ call him a ‘great man’ ostensibly, while deep inside we ridicule and undermine his campaign. Ha ha.

    >>>”“license control permit quota” regime…”

    Keep your focus on the Satan, lest you see the devilry carried out in the name of Lard Gawd.

    >>>”Imperial powers get into the business of running colonies for economic gain”

    Dont get any notion that U S of Asses and other western powers are still behaving like imperial powers. We will tell you what is kosher and what is not. Don’t put on your thinking caps. If yo start questioning, you know what we empire building romans did to that Socrates, don’t you ?

    >>>”Unlike the United States, India did not have a “Revolutionary War of Independence”.

    It also did not have the complete destruction of the Native Cultures, complete dispossession of Native Populace, complete usurpation of resources, centuries of complete slavery (as in the case of Negros) followed by co-opting of the survivors into the grand fold of Economic Ummahood.

    Also, nevr mind that the “Revolutionary War of Independence” only replaced the exploitative british with exploitatative settlers. You just listen to the ‘history’ as we eminent economists tell you.

    >>>”Actually, India never had any revolutions to speak of, unlike other countries”

    Unlike other countries that were completely saturated by one of our adharmik systems and had to revolt; but to our credit, we always managed to replace one of those revolted upon systems with a new one of ours that was more devious. India hasn’t had a revolution, because it is yet to be saturated with our adharmik systems. Once this large land area is saturated, and we will soon achieve that, we will have a revolt in our hands and we would be ready then, with a new system to implement, that will be even more potent and subtle in its exploitative ways. Ha ha.

    All the more reason for you to appreciate our power and join our fold. Else you will go the Swami Lakshmanananda way. Does anybody care who did it ? Ha ha.

    >>>”…and decided that they will not ever be subjects of a king”

    who is a figurehead anyway, power being with us power brokers. Ha ha

    >>>”They wrote an absolutely brilliant constitution which gave the people power ”

    This is the fairy tale story that we tell our kids before they sleep, so that they grow up to be exemplary citizens of the great Ummahood, the New Warld Order.

    >>>”The American constitution spelled out what the government could and could not do”

    And we go by the book, mind you. always. Ask our church farters, the great white Hillary and great black Obamha, the current pubic faces of our variety puppet show.

    >>>”and prudently distributes it across three institutions—the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary.”

    all taken care of by us. Ha ha. We haven’t reached that stage in India yet, but we’ll, soon enuf.

    >>>”The people are the masters and the government that they elect does what the people allow them to do. ”

    We also believe that our Great Farter in Heaven is all mercibull and pitifull. Ha ha.

    >>>”What India needs is a fundamental transformation, a change in the rules of the game, not a mere change in the set of players. ”

    See, I told you about the system that we have got, up our sleeves, ready to flash, when required. Here we are laying the foundation, in anticipation of the (inevitable) change, of the buddhu baba and his vishkanya mader dynasty. You ain’t seen anything yet, son.

    >>>”Because Indians of the previous generation avoided a real war of independence”

    Like Romila Thapar tells you, “you hindu kings were always fighting between yourself”.
    None of you guys stood up to any marauder, be it Khilji or Aurangazeb or brutish. There never existed any body called Shivaji, Ranjit Singh, Aurobindo, Bappa Rawal, Rana Pratap, Hakka, Bukka, Krishnadeva Raya, Chandrasekhar Azad and so on. Ha ha.

    >>>”what they should be fighting for is economic and personal freedoms, and against imperialism.”

    See, how I use the right words. I can read your mind, and fabricate a system that will take care of your ‘aspirations’. and keep you within the web, and you wouldn’t know it. Ha ha.

    >>>”The way ahead for India is to reduce the power of the government and shift it to the people. ”

    How sweet the New Testamental words of Jesus- about loving thigh neighbour and showing other cheek and kingdom within and being good samaritan, sound!
    We’ll promise much more than what we promised last time. Ha ha

    >>>”the power of their votes.”

    Yes, we want you to play the game, like Yudhistira, in anticipation that the next roll will bring change, unaware that we have loaded the dice in our favour. You will always vote us in.

    >>>” they would at least choose a different set of people who credibly commit to reducing the size and power of the government.”

    Like you see every five years in the highly informed, 100% literate state of Kerala, where polling percentage is always around 80% !
    No wonder we call that place our Gawd’s Own Country. Ha ha.

    >>>>” in due time there will be people in government who will limit the power of the government”

    and while you wait for that ‘due time’, you will find yourself in the political wilderness, like Yudishtira did, and will undergo 13 millenniums of Vanavas followed by 1 millennium of Agyatvas before you can stand before us. Ha ha.
    What do you think of us, that we are child’s play, huh ?

    Have you any idea that we have a system, handed down from the slave using pharaohs, further developed by the Imperial Romans and transferred to us through the Crusading and Inquisitional Roman Church and later Colonial powers, a system that encompasses the entire world, yes, we hold it in our grip, including you, with your petty desires and aspirations, a system that is more than two millennia old, a system for effective and efficient exploitation, a system that has managed to override your bharatiya system of ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam‘ and sanatana dharma for many centuries now, by and large.

    You really have no idea what you are up against.

    The only weapon that can decimate this cloak of power we have, is the revitalisation of your bharatiya samskriti, that recognizes temporal nature of materialistic acquisitions and realizes, the eternity of brahma-atman.

    Each time you identify with your temporal physical body and engages in accruing material acquisitions , you strengthen our web, you become a foot soldier of ours, and you know it not.

    >>>”the biggest challenge is to inform and educate the voters”

    While you are at it, you may also wait for the fairy godmother and prince charming to carry you away from our prison castle.

    >>>”The transformation of India will be good but it is definitely not going to be fast or cheap.”

    And they lived happily ever after.

  • TiredProf

    “Do you think the politicos in power won’t trace you and treat you in similar manner?” The citizenry has to learn obfuscation tricks from the underworld. When J. Dey was killed, cops had a standard “cop”-out: “Chhota Rajan ordered him killed.” Of course this is most likely balderdash. Rajan is a nice cop-out because the buck stops there; no further action or explanation is needed. Similar and more sophisticated layers have to be created. Hierarchical leadership will never work. Al Quaida like massively distributed operations have to be organized. Payments to the widows of Rang De Basanti style social disinfectants will have to be reached via hawala or handnote style. Onion routers and micropayments will need to be used. If a politician has five million people each paying 100 rupees to the hit man, who will the politicians kill? Matters have come to the point in India that it is not difficult to find five million people who wish some politicians dead.

  • RC

    So killing corrupt politicians is the solution? What if the next batch is corrupt and then the following and so on … Do we continue killing until we get a “non-corrupt” politician?
    Who decides whether a politician is corrupt or non-corrupt?
    Will the criteria be known to everyone?

    And what about the corruption by ordinary citizens?? There is this complete mindless thinking going on in India that only politicians and government employees are corrupt. Rest all are Harishchandras!!!!

  • TiredProf

    “Do we continue killing until we get a “non-corrupt” politician?” — Sure. “Who decides whether a politician is corrupt or non-corrupt?” — Aggregated anonymous micro-supari bids. “Corruption by ordinary citizens” — sure, bring it on, more the merrier. I am just proposing that we turn the dispatch of corrupt people into an efficient market. The details of mechanism design may be researched by economists like Atanu.

  • TANSTAAFLogic

    Atanu, I disagree with your basic premise, namely that the people know what is good for them, what is right, what is just etc. I think you will be able to come up with more examples than me of popular, nationwide movements that mainly resulted in people (their own or others) getting a no holds barred buggering. I believe there is a quote by Winston Churchill which I read in one of your posts which captures the notion “The problems with democracy will be clear to anyone who spends five minutes talking to the average voter.” Unfortunately, the average Indian voter is an effectively illiterate, bigoted fool who cannot see beyond the carrot dangling two feet away. I think the reason why European countries despite their democracy manage to be coherent is that their average voter is better educated, and hence slightly better at figuring out what is good for him and what isn’t. How America manages is a mystery.
    Another thing is that the people keep electing rulers for whom it is beneficial that they remain that way (illiterate, bigoted, happy with giving up a forest because they see a tree…), all these things ensuring that the state of affairs won’t change.

  • Srini

    @TiredProf: dear Prof. ANARCHISM OUTBREAK, if Indians are capable of devising such an ingenious mechanism to exterminate the corrupt, India wouldn’t have been in this stupor.

  • Loknath

    X,

    You sound like a cynic of the highest order. The author’s cynicism is drawn off persistent evidence. An evidence for all of us to hear, feel, see and believe.

    Could you come up with some words of hope rather than preacherous counter arguments that doesn’t seem to communicate anything but despair. We have lost enough with no possiblility of salvage.

    The world outside India was a land of penury, buggery, muggery and disease in the not so distant past when India as constitution of various princely states were prosperous. If not prosperous, definately not helpness. They didnt leave their subjects to suffering and indignity. The kings and princes’es had morals. They fought wars on issues of principles and morals but didnt treat enemies in guatananmo bay type prisons. They treated their subdued subjects respectably. Mohammed Ghazi is an example scott free. We all know what happened next. The society too at large then not just preached morals but practiced sanatana dharma in their day to day life. Some even do it today but wolves don’t have such morals. They smell easy flesh and blood.

    What do you think should be the prescription ?

  • MJ

    ok, there’s a pretty glaring example today that voting isn’t going to get you anywhere today in India. Vilasrao Deshmukh was voted into the Maharashtra Cricket Association, inspite of having to resign because of the Adarsh housing scandal, to which he admitted guilt. What I don’t understand is that if he admitted guilt, why is he not in jail? It seems that people think that his resignation was sufficient?! Unbelievable!

  • DC
  • TiredProf

    “If Indians are capable of devising such an ingenious mechanism to exterminate the corrupt, India wouldn’t have been in this stupor.”— very true. But this forum is all about discussing paths to change. And J-e-M, LeT or IM or ISI or AQ are devising such ingenious mechanisms all the time. So why should ordinary “innocent” civilians be left out? If there’s one thing that is clear to me in this mess, it is this: India will not recover through what is currently understood as “democratic” corrective processes.

    PS: What is “anarchism outbreak”?

  • pravin

    whaaat? the solution lies in voting?.LOL. its like you told the most beautiful story for 2 hours and in the end used a cliched formula movie shot to conclude.
    voting IS the problem.man,i dont know where to begin.try reading super anarcho philosopher hans herman hoppe -monarchy wouldnt be that bad at all.monarchs can be more willing to protect economic and political freedoms than politicians who get elected every 5 years.monarchs have longer time preferences .this enocourages investment and savings.while mayawati anad jayalollippoppa prefer immediate consumption. they are like infants -prefer instant gratification.
    such social democracies are a decivilizing force.lets not delude ourselves that the vote is the pinnacle of civilized behavior.it is not.freedom is.

  • MJ

    Pravin, I thought we have monarchy. There was an Outlook article recently that showed that all MPs under the age of 30 are there because of family affiliations. Our PM isn’t even elected, he is the true nominated pradhan mantri of a raaja (oops raani). We have a weird mix of dictatorship, monarchy and british 2.0 democracy.

    I like DC’s suggestion:
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/02/16/revolution_u?page=full

  • Aaren

    Would you care to comment on whether you agree with Dr. Swamy’s views in this article?

    http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/analysis_how-to-wipe-out-islamic-terror_1566203-all

  • pravin

    um, i would like to point to the travancore royals as good monarchy.what you are describing is feudalism @mj

  • java.jags@yahoo.com

    There is no coming citizen’s war. It just ain’t gonna happen. Why? We’re mostly illiterate and don’t know what will help us in the long term. Most voters are bought through special concessions, cash, colour TV’s. Education is the best way to change our society but that won’t happen since it will cut our politicians’ wings – people would actually think before voting, and how can we let that happen? Better to have them soaking in whisky and illiterate stupor, and have them cast votes.

    Yes, I do support prof’s micro-supari system, but that too ain’t gonna happen. Why? Most of these gangsters have high level political connections, and it’s always been a revolving door between our mafia and our leaders. How many of our leaders have criminal cases (even murder) against them? Yet they’re in parliament or in positions of great power.

    Any change has to come from the outside the system. It will be difficult, violent even, but has to happen. Only a Tunisia style revolution can change this country.

  • Bhole Baba
  • shyam

    ” of the people, for the people and by the people”

    Half the people vote
    Far away from the people
    Buy the people to stay in power

    Democrazy and its real power

  • Rudra

    Atanu,
    Wonderful analysis. Cogent and thoughtful. Ans, thought provoking. Loved it. For the last 6-8 months, I have been calling the GOI the “neo-colonialists” for exactly the same reason.

  • Srini

    Dear TireProf,
    I think it is much more likely that a few individuals who are highly motivated, and committed to the cause, might take up arms, and clean up the mess; than it is for a million clueless people to self-organize and anonymously pay for the act.

    Well, ‘Anarchism outbreak’ is an anagram for …. I thought you knew. Am I wrong?

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