This refers to the report “Modi makes poll promises in Delhi,targets ‘anarchist’ Arvind Kejriwal” (January 11). Electricity is again being used to win elections, as politicians have done in the past. The promise of free electricity to farmers has helped politicians in winning elections, and this is one of the reason for the bad finances of state electricity boards. Now, there is a change in the game—free LED bulbs are being offered to slum-dwellers in Delhi. Uninterrupted power supply has also been promised to the people of Delhi. Whether this ploy will work or not remains to be seen, Meanwhile, if free electricity is to be promised anyway, why can’t our politicians speak on solar energy given India is blessed with abundant sunshine for eight months a year? Solar energy will also help reduce pollution, as fossil fuels like coal are used in generating electricity in India. Solar energy should be tapped as an alternate source of electricity, and the government should set up big electricity generating plants the solar way. Our politicians are not interested in solar energy talk during elections and one reason for this could be that once people get a steady power supply, politicians will lose a big plank for poll. Some villages in UP and Bihar are using solar energy for charging mobile phones and powering television sets. Uninterrupted power supply will also help in the right to education programme as disturbance in power supply is one of the reason for students dropping out of schools in rural areas.
Deendayal M Lulla
The best economics
Apropos of the column ‘The new economics’ (January 12), Meghnad Desai rightly notes every country gets the economics it deserves. If it is about the best-suited economics, and not the best economics, does it make the right-left debate redundant, even unnecessary. For a country lagging behind in terms of human welfare, it is only apt that a left-of-the-centre economics be followed till satisfactory progress in certain parametres such as health, nutrition, social levelling, education, etc, is achieved. After that, a capitalist economy would flourish with perfect competition as every citizen (unless undermined by any medical handicaps) can compete from a level platform and sustain and further his or her growth. Of course, this is utopian, and therefore, impossible. Amidst all the constant evolution—of technology, of the nature of jobs, of the concentration of capital—it is impossible to expect that there ever will be a level platform. But at the same time, it goes against any notion of sustainability for a system to help and abate rising inequalities. It is for economists to find out what the best economics is, as Desai says, until they are proved wrong. Rebooting is the only way forward now.
A summit for hype?
Full marks to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit, 2015, for catching the eye as a glittering function graced by the world’s influential leaders and industry captains. Other than boosting the of the Gujarat-strongman-turned-India-strongman, what tangible benefits the hyped-up event will bring for Gujarat’s and India’s economies is not very obvious. Catchphrases like “a Davos in Action” and “a global business hub” only serve to create a glittering facade. Describing India as a 3D-investment destination, Modi laid stress on “democracy, demography and demand” as India’s strengths. Whether it goes to convince the global investors and drum up investment will be known only in the days to come.
G David Milton, Maruthancode (TN)
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