United Voters of India: Constructing the Collective (Part 4)

Freedom First

What I will outline next is a vision of what can be done. It is one possible future for India. It is definitely not an extension of the default path we are on as a nation. As such, I want to state a few things which will help provide the wider context of my ideas.

What I propose is at this time just an intellectual exercise. The fundamental question I have tried to address is: how can Indians become prosperous? There is nothing deficient in our genetic makeup that condemns hundreds of millions of Indians to a life barely better than subsistence. Wealth in the world is not a zero-sum game that we need to impoverish others to enrich ourselves. There is a proven path to prosperity and it is simple: freedom. People need to be free before they get prosperous. If the government indulges in predation, there is no incentive for wealth creation. In the ideal situation, economic freedom needs to come with political and social freedom. But as we have seen in countries like Singapore and China, economic freedom by itself can go a long way to create prosperity. The American ideals of individual, social and economic freedom laid out in its Constitution is what we must strive for in India.

I am not a politician and have no desire to be one. I am a successful technology entrepreneur who was luckily exposed (albeit a bit late in life) to the world of economics and works of Adam Smith, F. A. Hayek, James Buchanan and Milton Friedman. I had the luxury of time and a curious mind. Over the past decade, I learnt from mentors, books, conversations and conferences.

Having understood that countries are rich or poor because of the political choices that they make, I decided that I must do something to try and transform India’s future. My first hope was that a wise leader would do the needful – as we saw in Asian countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, China, South Korea. That hope has been proven false, and therefore there is a need for a different solution. Instead of relying on a leader who will do the right things, we need to construct a collective which will get into power and do the transformations India needs. What I will outline is one possible path for making this change happen; there can be many others. While I did try a few independent initiatives and failed, I am not dissuaded. The prize is far greater – unleashing the potential of a billion free who can accelerate human progress even as they simply search for betterment of their own lives. If more of us start thinking about the problem and possible solutions, we can indeed make it happen.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.