Kategoriarkiv: Indien

Presentation av The Swedish story i New Delhi


I mitten av juli 2013 presenterade jag min Sverigebok The Swedish story vid Centre for Civil Society i New Delhi, Indien. En liberal tankesmedja som jag själv arbetat på tidigare.

De unga åhörarna fick höra om det extrema landet i norr och hur det kan bli mer likt normala länder i World Values Survey diagram.  De ställde kloka frågor om vad detta skulle innebära t ex i välståndsförändringar vilket kan besvaras med att USA, Australien och övriga Skandinavien är minst lika rika el tom rikare men med mer normala värderingar. Här finns min PPT.

Snart kommer den svenska översättningen, prel kallad Bortom Extremsverige. Både den och den engelska upplagan kommer också finnas som eböcker.

Three great Indian liberals

I have been delighted the last weeks to hear that my former colleagues in India are doing so well in campaigning for liberal ideas there. Spreading liberal ideology is not easy in a country that still believes in state control and socialism, even if more rhetorical than practical. The liberal think tank Centre for Civil Society (CCS) has been at centre for three people and good friends who now have earned international recognition. Here they are:

1. Parth J. Shah, founder and president of CCS, came second in a video contest arranged by the Milton Friedman Foundation in a well spoken video presentation of his use of Friedman’s ideas of school choice in India. The School Choice Campaign at CCS (where I worked in 2010) is direct result of Shah’s inspiration.

2. Baladevan Ranganjaru, founder and director of the liberal think tank India Institute, and formerly at School Choice Campaign too, received a special mention for Young Institute at Atlas Network for his team who worked in the Indian state of Bihar, finding over 1000 small budget private schools which changed the education planning at regional level.This comprehensive and innovative approach has provided a huge body of easily appreciable evidence that the local government under reports private school contribution to justify its monopoly.

3. Baishali Bomjan, associate director of Asia Centre for Enterprise (ACE) at CCS and Atlas Network, is launching a new initiative to implement liberal ideas into business in India. ACE will encourage students, faculty, and young professionals in journalism and media, economics and humanities, as well as various forms of art to promote liberal initiatives across India and Asia. Those who have already decided to work in the field of social change shall be introduced to liberal approach and get support for their initial projects through seed capital grants, and get help to convert them into viable programs and institutions in their own right.

I am very glad that these great Indian liberals have been honored. Indian liberalism has not always been so well supported and little in known about the liberalism of Mahatma Gandhi, yes even he ! – and C. Rajagopalichari for instance. To keep up with the emerging discussions on liberal politics, economy and ideology, visit the blog Spontaneus Order.

Shabash mere dosts ! Well done friends !!

Indian callings and entanglements by American- Indian authors

Two writers of Indian descent but brought up in USA has captured my interest, Anand Giridharadas and Sadia Shepard.

Anand was the first IHT correspondent in India in 2004 and wrote his narrative non-fiction India calling 2011. There he tells the story of his family leaving India in 1960s due to its poverty but also its traditions, rustic partiarchial life patterns and inability to nurture dreams. Anand did the opposite in re-entering India in 2004 to write about the emerging India for the world´s largest international daily. He gave a talk at Google recently about the background of the writing. The style is close to newpapers columns and very easy to take to, but there is a depth below the surface that gives a much more complicated feeling of what it is to live in India today with your eyes open.

Sadia Shepard has a more complicated family background that gives her reason to settle back in India (Anand is Tamil-Punjabi, stange but still imaginable): American Christan father, Muslim mother with Jewish roots. Sadia wrote in 2009 her book The girl from foreign about her search for the small Jewish congregation of Beth Israel, which are said to have come to India over two thousand years ago. She is a documentary film maker which gives her a reason to find her family roots around Pune and Mumbai, travelling with her brother and other film students. She was brought up in USA not knowing that her grandmother was Jewish until her late teens and the story unfolds into a remarkable identity puzzle. The style is personal but not sentimental, keeping the tearful American kind of huge feelings at bay.

Both books give new personal insights into the Indian identity as it expands into Western culture without losing its Hindustani distinct voice. Another generation of writers of Indian heritage has emerged, totally Westernized yet loyal to the land of their families.

The difficulty of being good and uphold dharma in the modern business world

Gurcharan Das is an Indian intellectual and businessman that makes you test your present ethical choices against the Mahbarat tradition of Krishna and the family feud of 2500 years ago. His book The difficulty of being good was an introduction to Hindu ethics for me in 2010 when I worked under his leadership at CCS, a liberal think tank in New Delhi. I was reminded of him last night and listend to an interview with him that is a good introduction. Das was CEO of Procter and Gamble in India but left early to pursue his spiritual and scholarly ambitions. Thank you.

Debating school legislation in Delhi

 Aug 10, I was moderating a discussion on teacher accountability through the Right to Education Act in New Dehli, India. I had done this last year many times as associate director of the School Choice Campaign at Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi’s best and oldest liberal think tank.

It was good to see friends again and the discussions were familiar matter to me.  Sorry to note, the well reknowed educationist Vinod Raina could not attend the discussion. He was instrumental in shaping the RTE Act. I had already interviewed him last year for the Student First Magazine, but alas could not see him this  time.

From the minutes taken by the new young SCC team:

”Chaired by Jan Sjunnesson, former Associate Director, School Choice Campaign with Surendra Nath Dubey, President of All India Awardee Teachers Association and Shashank Shukla, Teach for India Fellow, Chairman at Gurukul Education Society and member of the National Advisory Council Working Group as panelists, the discussions explored the means through which the RTE Act addresses the issue of teacher accountability and looked at possible solutions. Jan outlined the major problems in relation with teacher accountability before introducing the panelists. He summarised the principal problems in India such as the absence of teachers and the shortage of educators that the government is facing while trying to implement RTE Act. In addition he mentioned that the RTE Act is vague on the issue of teacher accountability. He commented on the lack of a direct correlation between teacher salaries and student learning outcomes in India.”

Keep up the SCC spirit guys and gals  : )

Indisk kamp mot korruptionen med fasta

Idag gick jag till den stora demonstrationen mot korruption i centrala New Delhi. Aktivisten Anna Hazare har slagits mot regeringen i veckor nu och haktats i omgangar men inte givit upp. Hans lagforslag innebar att alla tjansteman inkl riksdagsman och regeringsledamoter inkl preminarministern ska kunna atalas for korruption, nogot som idag ar svart pga deras immunitetsskydd. Han vill infora  Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizens’ ”Ombudsman”, den svenska beteckningen anvands i hela varlden!)

Anna Hazare lag pa en brits  i den gula byggnaden ovan medan 1000tals satt runt om och hade trevligt. Folk strommade till och pa eftermiddagen var 100 000tals demonstranter dar.Tal och sang avbrot varann, mat och dryck delades ut gratis och stamningen lag pa topp. Mera folkfest an politik, mera Woodstock an Norra Bantorget. Valorganiserat och trevligt med mojligheter att ordna egna demonstrationer i landet och att donera pengar, som jag.

Kampen med fasta och offentliga massdemonstrationer ska fortsatta till sista augusti 2011. Far inte Anna Hazare igenom sitt forslag kommer han stalla till med ett helvete i hela Indien sager han. En fd chauffor, 70 ar, som jamfors med Gandhi forstas dar han ligger pa en  brits och fastar. Sedan  19 aug har han inte atit nagot och har darmed tagit upp samma metod som forebilden Mahatma, den Stora Anden. Skrivet pa min huvudbonad (sk Nehru cap) star det Me Anna hu! Jag ar Anna. Vi ar Anna ! Jai Hind !!

Uppdatering via Voltaires blog 25 aug 2011


Indiens 65 arsdag – grattis men fortfarande bekymmersam ekonomi

Idag firar Indien sin 65:e sjalvstandighetsdag. Robert Gustafsson skriver pa Voltaire om landets historia, sa las dar om ni vill ha glada tillrop och sluta lasa har. Jag surar.

Visst vill jag gratulera  men vill i alla fall beskriva detta min andra hemland som ett land i fritt fall och utan styrsel under NPA II (2008 – 2012 regering).  Reformtakten inom ekonomi och politik efter 2004-2008 har kommit av sig. Exempelvis,  indiska progressiva valfardsekonomer talar om att mata fattigdom men gor mycket lite for att skapa forutsattningar for tillvaxt. Reformerna i denna andra regeringsperiod  har gatt i sta pga band till vanstern, regionala partier och statapparatens ovilja till forandring. Samtidigt vill man bli en supermakt men korruptionen ar ett alltfor stort hinder. Och med korruption i staten, ingen reell marknadsekonomi, ingen tillvaxt, inga pengar.

Kapitalism och liberalism ar alltsa fortfarande skallsord sedan Nehrus sjalvstandighetsforklaring 1947. Indiens Hogsta Domstol skrader inte orden utan skyller problemen med revolutionar terrorism, sk naxalism,  pa ”neoliberalismen”. Landets hogsta juridiska instans ar politisk till sin natur och foretrader socialism som finns inskriven i konstitutionen. Landet har en slags marknadsekonomi men ocksa 5 arsplaner och starka regleringar som hindrar utveckling. Landet ligger pa 124:e plats i ekonomisk frihet.

Var ”egen Indienexpert” Jan Myrdal ar inte till nytta for att utveckla ekonomin som vi vet, utan ar ogenomtankt och revolutionsromantisk i sin analys av vansterterrorismen i sin senaste bok. Patrick Frenchs nya bok India – A portait verkar dock ge mer realism ang upproren, an Myrdal.

Ska man forsta de senaste decenniernas otroliga utveckling av tillvaxtfaktorer i de fattigare landerna kan man istallet ta del av Johan Norbergs utmarkta rapport till regeringens Globaliseringsrad (2007). De 100-tals miljoner som lyfts ut fattigdom sedan 1990-talets liberaliseringar i Indien  och annorstades har marknadsekonomi att tacka, inte socialism visar Norberg. Avregleringar skapar valstand och tillvaxt sa det blir mer att fordela till de fattigare. Indiska politiker har inte orkat ta detta till sig utan tvekar. Under tiden springer Kina, Brasilien, Turkiet, Sydafrika m fl forbi.  Sura gratulationer.