We Must Be Free To Choose

India today has more absolute number of poor people than the entire population of India in 1947. Even after nearly 70 years of failed anti-poverty programmes, the response of the politicians has been to come out with more of these misguided programmes. The leaders and their slogans change, the lives of the poor do not. Band-aid solutions have not and will not work for the people. But they work wonderfully for the politicians.

The poor have become a vote bank to be milked constantly. This takes place via a plethora of schemes but without the fundamental changes that are needed to ensure they move out of poverty quickly. An array of government interventions and policies have been designed to keep people poor in villages and on the farm – instead of encouraging them to migrate to cities and take up jobs that enrich them. Think of it as a new form of PPP – perpetually planned poverty.

We must all be “free to choose.” Free, without force. Free to choose our candidates, empowered mayors, CMs and PM. Free to choose how we live our lives. Free to choose how we spend the money we earn.

This is the revolution that India needs – the revolution which should have happened a long time ago. This is the transformation that is needed – power and wealth must be rightfully returned to the people. This is the unfinished business of 1857 and 1942.

We may wonder what one individual can do since the power in power are so powerful. If we look closely, we will see that there are two-thirds of us who are not loyal to any party – four times more than the support base of the largest political party. Instead of focusing on what divides us, we need to think about what can unite us. If we come together on a common platform, our collective power can elect the best to break their political hegemony. With the return of our rightful share of the public wealth and a reduction in taxes so that there is more of our own hard-earned money that we retain, each of us can chart out our path to the future. It will require a generation of hard work to undo the damage done over the past 70 years. This prosperity revolution cannot and must not be delayed any longer.

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