Pure red herring

Modi may be looking to create the New Indian in an uncomfortable echo of Mao but also Gandhi
By Manoj Joshi – Speaking to the nation on New Year’s Eve, Prime Minister Narendra Modi weighed in, terming the whole demonetization exercise as ‘a historic rite of purification’ aimed at ridding the society of the ‘badness’ and ‘evil’ that had crept in in the form of corruption, black money and counterfeit currency.

‘Purity’ is fine as a scientific concept, but applied to religious, political, social and economic categories it is troublesome. We often hear of temples being washed after Dalits have entered them, or Dalits being segregated from upper castes in schools, villages and eating places.

A glance back at the growth of capitalism will reveal that the industrial transformation of the West came along with crass exploitation, colonialism, robber barons and genocide. Subsequently these countries have cleaned up their act, though instances of corruption and bribe often pop up in countries like Sweden, Norway or the UK. The Chinese version of growth between 1990-2010, too, came with huge corruption, which Xi Jinping is now trying to fix. But wealth came before the cleanup.

The essence of modern capitalism is the freedom of choice, constrained by rules and laws to make an otherwise brutal system, humane, efficient and inclusive. Certainly, India need not go through the terrible 19th century experience of capitalism. more> https://goo.gl/iWvUVf

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