Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The nation should remember Rao as the man who changed India

Dear Justices Nijjar and Reddy, Many of us welcome your decision in the Supreme Court case on black money, castigating the government for its inaction and setting up an independent special investigative team. This approach needs to be institutionalized: i have long argued for an independent Police Commission, analogous to the Election Commission. However, in MORE >
Twenty years ago, Narasimha Rao became Prime Minister and initiated economic reforms that transformed India. The Congress party doesn’t want to remember him: it is based entirely on loyalty to the Gandhi family, and Rao was not a family member. But the nation should remember Rao as the man who changed India, and the world MORE >
Twenty years ago, on June 21, 1991, Narasimha Rao became head of a weak minority government grappling with a terrible financial crisis. Yet he initiated economic reforms that eventually transformed India, and even the world. India in 1991 was a poor, misgoverned country, derided as a bottomless pit for foreign aid. Today it is called MORE >
As we approach the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union and its red empire, one minor principality of that empire, West Bengal, has also fallen. A post-election analysis by Brinda Karat shows how blind the CPM is to why first the Soviet Union and now West Bengal have fallen. British imperialists claimed MORE >
If people are totally free, the most talented (and lucky) will get far richer than the dullest and unluckiest. So, freedom will create inequality. Communist countries aimed for equality of outcome through totalitarian controls, but this was hypocrisy: there was no equality of power between those laying down the rules and those forced to obey. MORE >
How do we measure economic freedom, and how relevant is it for economic growth? Some answers come from Economic Freedom of the States of India 2011, a report just brought out by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Cato Institute and Indicus Analytics. The report shows that measuring economic freedom at the state level is a difficult MORE >
(This is an edited version of the author’s acceptance speech on receiving the Manavata Vikas Award of the IIPM on April 15) I view myself as a freedom-fighter, who for 45 years has sought to promote every kind of freedom—economic, political and social. “Escape from the Benevolent Zookeepers”, a 2008 collection of Swaminomics columns, emphasized MORE >
We are approaching the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism. This comprehensively refuted the communist claim to represent the people. Yet the claim continues, sometimes dazzling a new generation of youngsters with no inkling of why the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. In democratic capitalism, said Karl Marx, the rich became richer MORE >
WITH the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has become commonplace to say that capitalism has triumphed over communism. I think this is misleading and inaccurate notion. What has triumphed is the market-driven welfare state, the mixture of private enterprise and government paternalism that has become standard in western democracies. This is as different from MORE >

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