Open a Healthy Debate! - Moneylife

Open a Healthy Debate! - Moneylife

Please read my letter published in Moneylife

M G Warrier

Moneylife, September 18, 2014
Letters to the editor
Open a Healthy Debate!

For once, India has asserted that this country has its own position on global issues that will factor in India’s interests which originate in a battery of country-specific and externally-caused situations. For decades, the compulsions of coalition politics and our dependence on external support in various sectors were being exploited by vested interests. The stance taken on the WTO deal sends out a message that India understands the ‘game’ being played by developed countries under the leadership of US.
This is no occasion for celebrating ‘successful stalling of a wrong move’ or lamenting over delay in ‘clinching a deal’ which would have changed the global business environment. So far, developed countries had successfully persuaded the Indian elite to believe that subsidy is a bad word, while they themselves practised ‘subsidy’ by different methods. Daily destruction of unsold stock in Holland’s flower market, destruction of food stock, and issue of food coupons in US, involved element of subsidy.
The position taken is consistent with the advice contained in Indian scriptures which say, “One should lift oneself by one’s own efforts and should not degrade oneself; for one’s own self is one’s friend and one’s own self is one’s enemy”(VI 5, Bhagavadgita).

If one looks at the chronology of events up to prime minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that ‘I am more concerned about the small Indian farmer, even though I believe the trade facilitation agreement is good for India…,” the Indian stance on the issue is a timely warning to India’s own policy think-tank and the advocates of ‘globalisation at any cost’.
Let us not forget that it was the business interest of a foreign power that kept this country under colonial yoke for centuries. We should not surrender the gains of decades of fighting for our freedom for quick gains. Thanks to the vision of those who took over governance from the British, we have a strong foundation supported by a Constitution which has stood the test of time, a public sector which can shoulder responsibility and institutions, like the judiciary, Election Commission, Reserve Bank of India and CAG, which have withstood external pressures.
  One wishes, the new government musters enough strength and moral courage to open a healthy debate within the country on rationalisation and transparency in asset accumulation and cross-subsidisation issues which will help India emerge as a global power without compromising the country’s right to stand on her own feet.  
MG Warrier, by email


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