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  1. Mr. Narendra Modi and the Economy

    In the run up to the 2014 Parliamentary elections in India, Mr. Narendra Modi was able to convince about his ability to provide governance that takes care of the common man as well as the economic development of the nation. Unlike the predominantly negative approach of Aam Aadmi Party in pointing out finger at the corrupt and the unconvincing promises of the Congress led UPA having been in power for 10 years, the positive approach of Mr. Modi paid off handsomely with the BJP led NDA coming to power. The President's address to the Parliament after the new Govt. came to power spelt out plans for economic revival and the pro-poor policies to be implemented by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi's government. The running theme of the speech was the fight to eradicate poverty and improve the condition ...
  2. Real Growth as against Apparent Growth

    If there is one statistic that influences most the policies of a government and by extension the collective policy of the world at large, then it is the ‘growth’ of the nation; by usage this implies the GDP growth of the nation. ‘Growth’ has become synonymous with the health of the nation’s economy. A poor growth rate seems to imply poor prognosis for the ‘health of the nation’ itself.

    The present Indian government led by the ‘economist’ PM bets on ‘sustained high growth rate’ as the panacea for all the problems afflicting the nation. When the growth rate is falling the credit rating given by international agencies goes down and the government goes all out to improve the growth rate by spurring economic activity through various means. ‘Growth rate’ has become the key determinant ...
  3. Understanding Human Nature and Tapping the Best Out Of It

    My friend Fred Gohlke, who has one of the finest of minds, was discussing the means to usher in a system of democracy that is truly ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’. In relation to “the need to harness human nature by making probity an asset in our electoral processes” he was discussing the question, ‘Where does human nature come from?’

    He rightly stated that "we must understand our nature before we can develop institutions that capitalize on our strengths and control our weaknesses". He went on to surmise the evolution of human nature on lines of the dominant thinking of our times, which is the Darwinian theory of 'survival of the fittest'. He classifies personalities into ‘stronger’ and ‘weaker’ people and goes on to say that the ‘will ...
  4. The Myth of Economic Growth (GDP Growth)

    Recently there was the news that the economic growth in India has slowed down to the lowest figure in past 9 years. The GDP had fallen to 5.3% in the last quarter of previous financial year for which data is available. This was thought to be of great concern and sent alarm bells ringing. The Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission in India characterized this as the "Anna" rate of growth, blaming the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare for the poor performance of the economy.

    The concept of economic growth, in terms of GDP, is itself questionable. In India, the policy makers blindly follow the western model of development based on GDP growth. However many western thinkers themselves have discarded this model. It has only brought unhappiness to the society as ...
    Categories
    General Politics
  5. Pushing for a new politico-economic vision

    In my previous blog I have written about the need for a new economic vision at the global level. It is not just economic but a politico-economic vision, since any new policy decision has to be finally political.

    I believe that if most people in the world, if given a chance, would opt for an economic system that is humane and gives priority to wellness rather than material prosperity. In other words they would opt for Gross National Wellness rather than Gross Domestic Product (as explained in my previous blog).

    For a government to adopt GNW as the chief index to monitor and modify policy decisions, the government itself should consist of people's representatives who are in constant touch with the needs of the people and who have the selfless attitude to put people's ...
    Categories
    General Politics
  6. The need for a New Economic Vision, not just for India but at the global level

    The recent spate of attacks by the naxalites/maoists (in India) has once again triggered a debate on how to deal with naxalism. There is no doubt that the law of the land should be obeyed. Any misgivings about the policies of the state have to be expressed in a democratic manner. It is not possible to correct the economic distortions in the society through violence, as the naxalites seem to believe.

    While the government of the day has to fulfill its constitutional obligation of preserving law and order, it would be prudent to take a more detached view of the entire matter. It is necessary to understand the root causes behind the naxalite discontent and avoid a piece-meal approach to the problem. The phenomenon of the perpetual poverty in rural areas and the growing rich-poor ...
    Categories
    General Politics
  7. Musings On Partyless Governance