The Indian Revolution Loonshot
2020: Imagine its 2030, and the Indian Revolution has happened. Dhan Vapasi put money in the hands of people by freeing up the wealth controlled by the government, thus creating a positive cycle. The heavy hand of government over Indian entrepreneurs and business has lifted – unleashing a mass flourishing. India’s economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions from poverty and subsistence farming to better lives in manufacturing jobs in urban areas. India’s politicians genuinely represent the people as the power of the mainstream political parties and their high commands have diminished. The political and economic transformation of India has been accompanied by a big build-up of social infrastructure – neighbourhood activity centres with libraries and meeting halls to connect people together. And 80 years after the Indian Republic was born, a Second Indian Republic is taking shape – with new rules defining the relationship between the state and the people, with the constraints being put on the former rather than the latter.
In the India of 2020, battered first by the pandemic and then the harsh lockdowns imposed by politicians on the people’s economic activities, this vision of 2030 may seem positively utopian, bordering on fantasy. Limited government? Economic freedom? A new political system? All of them together? Impossible is the obvious reaction. Is this loonshot even remotely doable?
In today’s India, a loonshot is exactly what we need to imagine a new India – because incremental and conventional thinking will not get us to our destination, and because the current path we are on (and have been for a long time) is taking us further away from freedom and prosperity. India needs a loonshot. And the ‘neglected project’ we need to revive is freedom – individual, economic, civic, social and political. The Indian Revolution, which should have happened a 100 years ago. By exercising control on a single individual (Gandhi) who controlled Indians, the British stayed in power for much longer, and when they finally did leave, they simply handed over the keys to the kingdom to the Indians who followed their rules to control the masses that were the Indian people.
A loonshot needs a champion – in this case, many champions whom we will call political entrepreneurs. People like us, not committed to any of the existing parties and willing to think differently, will have to spark the revolution. We will need to believe that the loonshot is possible. We will need to keep this from Safi Bahcall in mind: “The most important breakthroughs come from loonshots, widely dismissed ideas whose champions are often written off as crazy. Large groups of people are needed to translate those breakthroughs into technologies that win wars, products that save lives, or strategies that change industries. Applying the science of phase transitions to the behavior of teams, companies, or any group with a mission provides practical rules for nurturing loonshots faster and better.”
So, how can the loonshot called the Indian Revolution happen?
Tomorrow: Part 3