We were already killing our future selves even before the virus attacked us. By not adequately educating our kids, by not providing skills to our youths, by limiting the jobs for people entering the workforce, by trapping farmers in a web of interventions, by making cities hard to live in for the working. In every case, a set of government actions deliberately hurt us. In doing so, they made the future an extension of the past that killed our prosperity. We let our future be strangled by our politicians for the past 70 years.
India’s present should have been very different. Every one of us should have been at least 10 times richer. There is nothing in the Indian DNA which forces us to be poorer than the average American, German, South Korean, Singaporean or Chinese. It is the rules we live under that have prevented Indians from being prosperous. These are rules made by kakistocratic governments, who see themselves as legitimate successors of the colonial British rulers. Unless we understand how our present has been damaged, we cannot hope to restore our future and rise from the ashes of the virus.
This is the choice we face as citizens of India. We can continue to struggle through our daily lives. Or we can imagine an alternate future. A future in which freedom and prosperity go hand in hand, where the chains are on government and not the people, where every voluntary exchange is not seen with suspicious eyes, where every new-born has an opportunity to dream of success, where wealth creation is celebrated and not taxed, where cities are celebrated as job hubs and not starved of infrastructure.
Are we ready to imagine such a future? If so, are we ready to rise and demand this future?
Tomorrow: India’s Two Futures (Part 5)