Change and Hope

Three things stood out through my conversations and reading about economics and public choice:

  • India’s poverty was not an unalterable fact. India’s poverty was man-made, not nature given.
  • Wealth creation, not wealth distribution, was the key to prosperity. Wealth distribution was zero-sum or even negative-sum. Wealth creation was positive-sum. There was a system to create wealth.
  • India’s rulers did not have either the knowledge or the incentives to follow the path that lets people create wealth.
  • It became more and more clear that the path we were on in India was not the one that would take us to sustained prosperity. The promise and optimism of 2014 started getting replaced with despair. Where did we go wrong? Where are the promised jobs? Where are the promised new cities? Why has our education system not changed? Where is the promised minimum government and maximum governance? Why is doing business still so hard?

    There are of course different ways of looking at the past few years. I ask everyone I meet a single question – if there was an optimism on May 16, 2014 and you had certain expectations of where India would be a few years later, do you think those expectations have been met? Almost universally, the answer is an emphatic No. Of course, it is easy to then justify the muted expectations – look at the economic inheritance, change takes time, and what is the alternative. If that is the best reply, then we should give up all hope of making Indians prosperous anytime soon.

    At some point, I decided that enough is enough, and I would do something about it, just like I did in 2010-11 when I decided to voluntarily support Mr. Narendra Modi. The next election cannot be business-as-usual. The same political class in control will not make our future better. This is the thinking that led to the birth of Nayi Disha.

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