Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How Amartya Sen Is Wrong, Biased, Political And Pro-Congress

The Amartya Sen model: Support Congress, no matter what--Economic Times --24th July 2013--By Piyush Goyal 

( You must ready slowly  and sincerely to understand the message of this article and spread it to all your friends if you like the contents.It is really very much painful that a Nobel prize winner is so much biased and unconcerned for the problems of common men and on large scale corruption propagated by ruling party. 

Is he misguided by GDP growth? 

Does he not understand that GDP growth without its benefit going to poor Indians is of no significance?

Or he is also acting as a puppet in the hands of Congress Party)

The Sen model: Support Cong, no matter what
It is disheartening to see Nobel laureateAmartya Sen drifting so far to the Left that he cannot see the obvious benefits of growth and jobs. He desires to lend intellectual legitimacy to UPA's disastrous economic policies, designed solely for narrow electoral gains. 

Sen is hardly a neutral observer, since his old ties with the Congress and with Jean Dreze, who was involved with UPA's policymaking by being a founding member of the NAC, are well-documented. Intellectuals of this predisposition are largely responsible for, among other devastating economic policies, the ill-conceived NREG: it's riddled with corruption and inefficiencies and, on average, hardly giving 43 days of employment per year. Considering that a mere 2.7 million jobs were created during 2005-10 under UPA, against 60.7 million jobs created under the NDA (as per Planning Commission), the NREG beneficiaries are no better today off than they were before. 

The Rs 2 lakh crore spent on NREG could have created warehouses for grain and better rural schools and health centres, and focused on skill development to make poor Indians employable. UPA believes in institutionalising poverty and keeping people dependent on doles, in the hope that they'll keep getting voted back to power. It is amazing that Sen bemoans the collapse of the economy, but does not recognise the policies that have led to its collapse in the first place. 

Plus, Sen should have rather given us an objective assessment of Rahul Gandhi, beyond saying he's a "likeable young man". But he obviously cannot since there is no vision or world view ever articulated by Mr Gandhi beyond deriding all that has happened in India over the last several decades, most of which were under governments run by his party and led by his family. Sen also doesn't seem to be in favour of open debates with his intellectual adversaries. Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya, with whom Sen is now seen to be locked in an argument, have issued such invitations. 

On secularism, allow me to quote from an article written by commentator Swapan Dasgupta in 1998. Dasgupta had talked of Sen's "embarrassingly pedestrian interventions on secularism". That's part. Sen cannot understand the BJP perspective of secularism articulated by L K Advani, "justice for all, appeasement of none". 

Nobody suggests that the Gujarat model is a one-size-fits-all. But is Sen opposed to good governance and growth that the Gujarat model is synonymous with? Also, is he opposed to zero tolerance for corruption, empowerment over entitlement, minimum government and maximum governance, skill development, training teachers and attracting entrepreneurs? Can Sen ignore this data from the Director General for Employment and Training: 80% of employment-exchange jobs were created in Gujarat? Also, is he aware that the Labour Bureau of India says Gujarat has the lowest unemployment rate in India at 1%? That's why I suspect Sen's opposition to the Gujarat model is not economic but political. This will also explain his deafening silence on the corruption scandals presided over by the UPA. Sen has rightly criticised the Food Security Bill for "not doing enough". 

PTI recently reported a food ministry official saying all 35 states and UTs have been asked to follow the Gujarat and Chhattisgarh model of computerised PDS. These BJP-ruled states have devised a food security system that has come in for praise from courts monitoring public policy, from the Planning Commission and the World Bank. 
Why didn't Sen, who was critical of the UPA's food security Bill for not doing enough, give the examples of the BJP-ruled states? If that's not politics, what is? Also, does Sen not agree that UPA should have built a consensus rather than foisting the Bill through the Ordinance route since Parliament was in any case due to be convened? I wish Sen could occasionally influence government in the right direction. 

Sen is an eminent economist and should not play into the hands of a discredited and corrupt regime and become its spokesperson. I wish he had taken an independent view and recognised the immense long-term interests of India's poor — they will be the biggest beneficiaries of a truly investment-led growth-oriented government led by an honest and decisive leader. A leader like Narendra Modi.

Thank you, Mr Sen. But does anyone really care who you want or do not want as PM!

I don’t want him as my PM’, Nobel Prize laureate, Amartya Sen, is supposed to have told CNN-IBN in an interview on Monday. My PM? Excuse me! Amartya Sen has spent more years out of India than in India! 

Sure he has retained his Indian citizenship! But except for the period of little over 10 years when he taught at the Delhi School of Economics, Sen has chosen to live abroad. I have no quarrel with that; it is entirely his personal choice. But is there not something ironic about a person who has not really spent time in India, except for relatively brief visits, pronouncing judgment on who he does, or does not, want as his Prime Minister? 

I’m not sure I want Modi as PM either. But I know full well that I will weigh my choices very carefully, far more carefully than Mr Sen ever will, because I know I will have to live with the consequences.

And that is the difference. Unlike the rest of us Sen does not have to live with the consequences of his choice or of his policy advocacy! So it is all very well to argue in favour of food security (I have yet to hear anyone argue the opposite), to adopt a rights-based approach to everything beginning from education to drinking water to food to nutrition to clean air etc etc.

What is the point of creating more and more entitlements when the state is not in a position (for whatever reason) to deliver. Agreed, we need to reform the state and ensure it does deliver. But which comes first? Getting governance right so that no Indian needs to look to the state for his next meal or creating dreams and aspirations that remain just that?

Not Congress, regional parties our best bet: Muslim Clerics

By Rohini Singh, ET Bureau | 24 Jul, 2013, 06.46AM IST

NEW DELHI: Two influential Muslim religious voices have blasted the Congress party for treating the community as a vote bank and claimed the country's largest minority grouping was more inclined to casting its lot with regional parties in the next general elections.

The two leaders, Maulana Muhammad Wali Rahmani and Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad Naqvi, based in the battleground states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively, and part of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, in separate interviews to ET accused Congress of paying lip service to Muslim concerns as they heaped criticism on BJP and its likely face for the next elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

While saying Congress could receive the Muslim community's votes in states where its candidates are in direct opposition to BJP, the two clerics said past experience showed that Muslim interests are ignored when a party with absolute majority is in power at the Centre.

"It is not in the interest of Muslims to have one party with absolute majority at the Centre because our experience with Congress has shown that minorities are then ignored. But a coalition government safeguards the rights of minorities better," said Maulana Kalbe Jawad, a Shia leader from Lucknow. The head priest of the country's largest Shia mosque - Lucknow's Shahi Asafi Mosque - Kalbe Jawad has led several agitations for Muslim causes. His arrest in 2010 by the Mayawati government had sparked protests and riots in the city.

Maulana Rahmani, a Sunni cleric from Munger in Bihar, was also critical of the Congress party.

Congress Plays on Fears

Maulana Rahmani said Congress had long sought to corner the Muslim vote by playing on their fears of opposition parties rather than earning the vote through promises fulfilled.

"Congress thinks Muslims are worried because of the Modi factor. But Muslims are not as worried as they think. They will see what promises Congress made to them since 2004 and how much has been implemented. We have got nothing," he said.

"Vaade ke baad iraade main kya hua (After promises there was no intention)," he added.

The Muslim vote is being wooed by all political parties barring BJP, especially because of the community's tendency to vote tactically in favour of parties that best protect its interests. With the Hindu vote traditionally splintered and divided across multiple political formations, the Muslim community could play a crucial role in determining the winner in the two battleground states and indeed who runs the country.

In Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, Muslims account for more than 18% of the electorate, while in Bihar, which has 40 seats, they form almost 17% of the voting population.

The two leaders, who, while not being the sole voices of the community have substantial pockets of individual influence and sit on the high table of Muslim decision-making, lashed out at BJP, particularly the head of its election committee and presumptive prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

KalbeJawad called the chief minister a criminal who should be tried for the 2002 Gujarat riots. More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the riots, which have come to define Modi as much as his record on running what many industrialists and investors say is a good administration.

Modi's refusal to apologise for the riots - a demand from some quarters - has over the years widened the gulf between him and the community.

Maulana Rahmani, a respected figure among orthodox and liberal sections alike for his work in the field of education for Muslims, said the community was not seeking an apology from Modi.

"Apology sharifon ka tareeka hai. Is desh ka kanoon kaafi hai. Aur humein is desh ke kanoon par bahut vishwas hai. (An apology is the hallmark of the civilised. For us, the law of the land is enough. And we have great faith in the law of the land of this country)," he said.

Kalbe Jawad also accused Congress of not fulfilling "a single promise made to us on some key issues".

The community, the leaders said, feels let down by Congress for not keeping promises on reservation in government jobs, implementation of the Justice Rajinder Sachar committee report, false arrests in terror cases, no agreement on the Waqf Bill and the communal violence Bill.

"Congress leaders such as Ahmed Patel have assured that the Bills will be passed. They say one thing to us but the situation is different when it comes to implementation. In the nine years of the government, the assurances given by these leaders have not materialised. What can happen in six months now?" he asked.

"BJP ka fear dikhaake, Congress thinks Muslims will vote for it... Hukumat paane ke liye dono ek jaise hi hain (Both parties are equally power-hungry)."

The two leaders were particularly resentful about the terror laws drafted by Congress-led UPA, which they feel have been done to keep Indian Muslims in fear of being arrested.

"When the government wanted to pass the NIA Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment Act, the then home minister P Chidambaram bulldozed his way through. Yeh to sirf Muslims ko phasaane ke laws hain (These laws are aimed at trapping Muslims)," said Wali Rahmani.

Apart from Congress and BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also came under heavy criticism, with Maulana Rahmani saying that Modi and he were two sides of the same coin.

"Nitish Kumar broke ties with BJP because he sees himself as a PM contender too. It has nothing to do with his being secular. What has he done for minorities in Bihar? His idea of development is restricted to road-building exercises," said Rahmani, who is credited for starting Rahmani 30, a project that trains students from madrassas get admission in elite institutes such as the Indian Institute of Technology. 

The Muslim vote: A grandmother’s tale--Editor ET

The statements of two Muslim religious figures in today's edition of this newspaper reveal the complex dynamics of "Muslim politics" within the larger political matrix in the country.

The first, and oft-overlooked, facet is the extent to which such religious leaders have any political significance. That there is a "Muslim vote bank", one that votes en masse across the country, is something of a grandmother's tale. It is, in fact, a stereotype that seems to have accrued factual proportions only due to its incessant use. Such religious figures, for instance, assume both that stereotype as well as a political role for themselves, whereas the fact is their influence, whatever that is, has solely to do with their religious role.

Abetter idea of the layered and complex ways in which the "Muslim vote" plays out, actually, can be had from looking at the key state of UP. Whereas once there would have been a larger Deobandi-Barelvi divide, in addition to the Shia and Sunni differentiations, which, in turn, also mirrored class differences based on the Nawab-Taluqdar categories, there has been some electoral dilution of those divides after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. This hasn't meant those differentiations — as those based on de-facto castes within Muslims — have disappeared. Rather, it has meant, with the decline of the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh, the "Muslim vote" began to be seen as something the other, regional, parties could bargain for, including some self-styled Muslim parties themselves.

This "vote bank" thesis is beginning to get renewed attention due to the spectre of Narendra Modi. But it is moot what major difference this spectre will mean for the methods by which Muslims have voted post-1992. But any notion of a homogenous vote needs to be viewed sceptically.

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