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Nicolaus Nemeth

India's Congress Party wins a majority

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It seems as if India has once again re-affirmed its long march toward Liberty. Indians have elected into power their Congress Party by a large majority. So large, in fact, the party is able to act nearly unilaterally, and that's a good thing. The party is most notably known for its liberalization of India's economy which started in the nineties. However, steps have been slow as the party has needed to "work with" the communist party to pass legislation. Until this election that is. Now, the party's majority is so large they are expected to speed up the rate at which the economy is liberalizing. Today, markets around the world responded with a standing ovation. The potential for increasing liberty of over one billion people is a light so bright that it has, at least momentarily, lifted the fog over the rest of the economic world; the DOW Jones Industrial Average was up 235 points today. Make sure you dog-ear this page in history as you'll need it to write your "what went right" essays ten years from now.

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It seems as if India has once again re-affirmed its long march toward Liberty. Indians have elected into power their Congress Party by a large majority. So large, in fact, the party is able to act nearly unilaterally, and that's a good thing. The party is most notably known for its liberalization of India's economy which started in the nineties. However, steps have been slow as the party has needed to "work with" the communist party to pass legislation. Until this election that is. Now, the party's majority is so large they are expected to speed up the rate at which the economy is liberalizing. Today, markets around the world responded with a standing ovation. The potential for increasing liberty of over one billion people is a light so bright that it has, at least momentarily, lifted the fog over the rest of the economic world; the DOW Jones Industrial Average was up 235 points today. Make sure you dog-ear this page in history as you'll need it to write your "what went right" essays ten years from now.

From Hemangini Naidu

This is not to start a discussion but just to correct the facts and wrong ideas about India:

# The Congress Party did not win the general election by a "large majority", it has just won largest number of seats in the Parliament to be able to lead any COALITION government of different parties.

# The fact is that, BJP, the right wing party, has a far better record in liberalizing India's economy than the Congress Party. Congress Party has always been a socialist party and whatever little measures it has taken towards liberalizing the economy has just been a drop in the bucket towards undoing the enormous destruction that the same party brought to India since its inception by nationalizing all major industries, infrastructural projects and services sector. Even after recent elections the Railway Minister belonging to a coalition party has announced grotesque welfare measures, making railway travel literally free for the 'poor', which will have horribly inimical effect not only on the middle class passengers but it would be impossible to hold together an already falling apart service which to this day mostly uses tracks laid down by the British during their rule. The Congress Party neither has the inter-party clout nor the inclination to stop such idiotic measures.

# One surprisingly positive result that has come out of these elections is that one single party, be it a socialist Congress Party, has won enough legislative seats in the Parliament to lead any coalition government which is better than what was being feared right up to the elections that no party will win big enough to lead a government leading to chaos and then early elections.

# I do not support any party and I never vote but for spread of individual freedom and for policy measures in favour of free market economy it would have been better if the right wing BJP party had won large enough to lead the government.

I reiterate that I am writing this post because the civilized world, especially Americans, SHOULD have accurate information about India.

What is most positive about India today, a very recent and very welcome change, is that Indians as individuals are more and more success conscious and they have come to see it as a virtue. It is a tenuous development and a government led by the Congress Party will do its best to crush this budding spirit because India's young really do not have any philosophical defence against the Congress Party's altruism based ideology which makes the foundation of its economic policies, whereas, BJP-the right wing party, would not have incorporated altruism based ideology in its economic policies.

THIS COULD BE A VERY SAD TURN OF EVENTS IN INDIA'S HISTORY.

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I do not support any party and I never vote but for spread of individual freedom and for policy measures in favour of free market economy it would have been better if the right wing BJP party had won large enough to lead the government.
You fail to mention that many prominent politicians in the BJP are seriously religious, and have acted on that when they have been in power.

I disagree that the BJP has done more pro-freedom things. The Congress leans socialist and the BJP leans fascist. Fascists always have a pro-business veneer, but this typically works to favor current businessmen who have pull. A lot of businessmen supported the fascists in Germany, and many US businessmen saw them as an answer to communism.

It is true that the Congress party spearheaded India's push to socialism from Independence, all the way to the 1980s. It is even true that some of the opposition parties of those earlier times -- e.g. the tiny Swatantra Party -- had a lot of pro-individual rights folks. However, major "opening up" in India was caused by the ideological shifts within the Congress party.

Arguably, the coalition that took over from the Congress in 1977 set India back, by throwing multi-nationals out of the country.

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I do not support any party and I never vote but for spread of individual freedom and for policy measures in favour of free market economy it would have been better if the right wing BJP party had won large enough to lead the government.
You fail to mention that many prominent politicians in the BJP are seriously religious, and have acted on that when they have been in power.

I disagree that the BJP has done more pro-freedom things. The Congress leans socialist and the BJP leans fascist. Fascists always have a pro-business veneer, but this typically works to favor current businessmen who have pull. A lot of businessmen supported the fascists in Germany, and many US businessmen saw them as an answer to communism.

It is true that the Congress party spearheaded India's push to socialism from Independence, all the way to the 1980s. It is even true that some of the opposition parties of those earlier times -- e.g. the tiny Swatantra Party -- had a lot of pro-individual rights folks. However, major "opening up" in India was caused by the ideological shifts within the Congress party.

Arguably, the coalition that took over from the Congress in 1977 set India back, by throwing multi-nationals out of the country.

From Hemangini Naidu

I will try to be brief because any lesson in India's history is hardly of benefit to anyone on this list.

More religious violence has taken place in India even since the 80s while the Congress Party ruled at the Centre.

Labels of socialism and fascism are convenient but India is unique in that all political parties are first and foremost pragmatists and that is their driving force. The Congress Party gets its votes from rural poor while the right wing party has its support base in urban India.

No ideological shift has ever taken place in the Congress Party. They have done nothing to roll back the govt. interfrence in economy they themselves had brought about and what little they have done during the last five years was just follow up of the previous govt.’s policies and these would have taken place no matter which party ruled simply because India’s middle class youth have smelled the power of their own free minds.

The Congress Party has always been a party based on so called Nehru/Gandhi dynastic 'charisma' among the poor. Even in these elections the great, great grandson of India's first prime minister hugged enough poor babies to deliver the biggest state in India to his Party which was lost to it for a long time.

Before the ragged bunch of coalition came to power in the late 70s the Congress Party had already destroyed the country's industrial base and the then prime minister cleverly covered up her atrocious acts, creating a diversion by going to war with Pakistan presumably to help Bangladesh get its ‘freedom’ and successfully managed to hide the hardships the middle class was going through as a result of her anti industrial policies. She even managed to convince the whole world that she had so nobly won freedom for Bangladesh:-)

The splintered coalition was barely in power for a little over a year, if I recall correctly, it only had about enough time to throw out a few soft drink multi-national companies and then the Congress Party was back again in power:-)

The Congress Party rules by the support of sheer large numbers of dirt poor Indians in rural areas and by the patronage of corrupt industrialists, whereas, the bar is much higher for any other government in India and they have to come up with policies that are friendly to the upwardly mobile Indian middle class as well as to the poor.

More important than all this, what is worth knowing about India is that the young generation is quite keen to shrug off its age old mediocrity and compete in the world market on the basis of hard work and talent. Such a development in a country as large as India is quite encouraging.

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It seems as if India has once again re-affirmed its long march toward Liberty. Indians have elected into power their Congress Party by a large majority. So large, in fact, the party is able to act nearly unilaterally, and that's a good thing. The party is most notably known for its liberalization of India's economy which started in the nineties. However, steps have been slow as the party has needed to "work with" the communist party to pass legislation. Until this election that is. Now, the party's majority is so large they are expected to speed up the rate at which the economy is liberalizing. Today, markets around the world responded with a standing ovation. The potential for increasing liberty of over one billion people is a light so bright that it has, at least momentarily, lifted the fog over the rest of the economic world; the DOW Jones Industrial Average was up 235 points today. Make sure you dog-ear this page in history as you'll need it to write your "what went right" essays ten years from now.

From Hemangini Naidu

This is not to start a discussion but just to correct the facts and wrong ideas about India:

# The Congress Party did not win the general election by a "large majority", it has just won largest number of seats in the Parliament to be able to lead any COALITION government of different parties.

# The fact is that, BJP, the right wing party, has a far better record in liberalizing India's economy than the Congress Party. Congress Party has always been a socialist party and whatever little measures it has taken towards liberalizing the economy has just been a drop in the bucket towards undoing the enormous destruction that the same party brought to India since its inception by nationalizing all major industries, infrastructural projects and services sector. Even after recent elections the Railway Minister belonging to a coalition party has announced grotesque welfare measures, making railway travel literally free for the 'poor', which will have horribly inimical effect not only on the middle class passengers but it would be impossible to hold together an already falling apart service which to this day mostly uses tracks laid down by the British during their rule. The Congress Party neither has the inter-party clout nor the inclination to stop such idiotic measures.

# One surprisingly positive result that has come out of these elections is that one single party, be it a socialist Congress Party, has won enough legislative seats in the Parliament to lead any coalition government which is better than what was being feared right up to the elections that no party will win big enough to lead a government leading to chaos and then early elections.

# I do not support any party and I never vote but for spread of individual freedom and for policy measures in favour of free market economy it would have been better if the right wing BJP party had won large enough to lead the government.

I reiterate that I am writing this post because the civilized world, especially Americans, SHOULD have accurate information about India.

What is most positive about India today, a very recent and very welcome change, is that Indians as individuals are more and more success conscious and they have come to see it as a virtue. It is a tenuous development and a government led by the Congress Party will do its best to crush this budding spirit because India's young really do not have any philosophical defence against the Congress Party's altruism based ideology which makes the foundation of its economic policies, whereas, BJP-the right wing party, would not have incorporated altruism based ideology in its economic policies.

THIS COULD BE A VERY SAD TURN OF EVENTS IN INDIA'S HISTORY.

I don't disagree with you on any point. I'm well aware of the fact that the Congress Party has an historical platform of socialism (and that it still hangs around to this day in a major way). My point is simply that India does have a long way to go, but personally I see this as just another step toward greater liberty. As you say, Indians have become "success conscious and they have come to see it as a virtue." I'd say that the Indian sense of life is very close to America's, and that the momentum in India is currently on the side of liberty. You also say, "More important than all this, what is worth knowing about India is that the young generation is quite keen to shrug off its age old mediocrity and compete in the world market on the basis of hard work and talent. Such a development in a country as large as India is quite encouraging." I too see this trend and have nothing but great hope for India's future.

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name='Nicolaus Nemeth' date='May 28 2009, 08:12 AM' post='93805']

I don't disagree with you on any point. I'm well aware of the fact that the Congress Party has an historical platform of socialism (and that it still hangs around to this day in a major way). My point is simply that India does have a long way to go, but personally I see this as just another step toward greater liberty. As you say, Indians have become "success conscious and they have come to see it as a virtue." I'd say that the Indian sense of life is very close to America's, and that the momentum in India is currently on the side of liberty. You also say, "More important than all this, what is worth knowing about India is that the young generation is quite keen to shrug off its age old mediocrity and compete in the world market on the basis of hard work and talent. Such a development in a country as large as India is quite encouraging." I too see this trend and have nothing but great hope for India's future.

From Hemangini Naidu:

What I have been trying to get across, Sir, is bring to light a justifiable fear that the Congress Party has a consistent history leading up to the present of crushing the individual spirit and shoving down youngsters' throats altruism as greatest virtue. I have seen it happen while nobody even seems to be aware of what spark of life they have been losing. That is why I disagree that "the momentum in India is currently on the side of liberty".

If those living in India have remained unaware of this loss it can hardly be possible for Americans to know what destruction lies behind the respectable looking front of a decent Sikh Prime Minister and the two countries who should really be friends will remain at cross purpose as always to everybody's loss.

Another term of a govt. led by the Congress Party raises a very legitimate concern that what positive developments we have noticed will once again be crushed and that's a terrifying thought.

--------

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