Market Prices and Direct Subsidies to Contain Neo-colonial Raj in Independent India
April 15
, 2007

Sankarshan Acharya
Pro-Prosperity.Com and Citizens for Development

Market prices for land and minerals

It is constitutionally valid for a government to use force to maintain social stability.  Use of lethal force on unruly citizens while buying private properties for development may be even necessary.  But force will be effective only if our governments are operating constitutionally and optimally in the best national interest.  Our national interest must include enhancement of prosperity and maintenance of social stability by constitutional means.  The system of India's governance (policy action) since independence has, however, brazenly defied our constitution, trampled on larger national interest, impoverished citizens and jeopardized national economic security.  In the postscript, a prominent Gandhian writes to Mahatma Ganghi how rulers soon after independence became more wild and worse than the British were!

Citizens around the country are organizing themselves to do what they have been meted by rulers so far: to not follow the rules of law.  They are defying government decrees and confronting the cohorts in government trying to usurp private property for “development” and individual savings via kickbacks. 

Gopalpur, Kalinganagar and Nandigram events are very comparable with the ignominious Jallianawallah Bagh massacre meted to citizens protesting then against unjust exploitation by colonial rulers.  Colonials paid pittance to our indigo and opium farmers and then sold the usurped produce in China at massive profits that flowed to the Crown.  When China wanted to trade directly with India, the colonials used us as pawns of war. Colonized Indians eventually united to protest against unjust usurpation of their produce and sought independence from foreign rule. But General Dyer emerged to open fire to teach “bloody Indians” a lesson to restore stability for continued colonization. 

After independence, India has followed the same colonial rules and policies to permit rulers to (a) print money to “buy” [effectively usurp] private land and property including untitled lands of Tribals and minerals of politically weaker states under the cacophony of development and growth, and (b) to devise schemes to extort kickbacks from citizens. We have transferred to the kith, kin and cronies of rulers our mineral wealth for pittance paid to public exchequers.  For example, seventy percent of profits of Tatas are from mineral based industries.  It is due to a royalty payment of Rs.16 per tonne to public exchequers, while the global market price is at least Rs.2500 per tonne.  How is this system different from what colonials practiced? 

Two chief ministers of the poorest Indian state have usurped most mines for their kith, kin and cronies! They have used publicly paid police force to acquire for the Tatas 3700 acres of prime land in Gopalpur and an equally large parcel in Kalinganagar.  Have the Tatas thought about establishing hospitals and educational institutes in the weaker states being milked for their profits?  People of this poor state started a campaign in 2003 to create more top-tier educational and scientific institutes to enhance national competitiveness.  The lords that draw energy and minerals by polluting, scorching and deforesting “poor” states have usurped the new central institutes which will be funded by creating more fiat money, which is designed to bypass and impoverish such states.  If mineral ores within states are national resources, so are the people of the states.  It is not sustainable to print money to create facilities everywhere while offering pittance to poor states.  Citizens are neither naïve, nor stupid.  When rulers presume otherwise, it causes consternation and conflagration among citizens. 

In one of the most educated and conscious pockets of India, Jagatsinghpur District of Orissa, non-tribal citizens have now organized themselves as “Maoists” to oppose by giving their blood against usurpation of their private lands for POSCO.  How has India decided to give POSCO iron ore for pittance whereas POSCO buys iron ore at global market prices for its own plants in South Korea?  Why are we converting vast stretches of fertile non-renewable agricultural lands, polluting the drinking and irrigation water resources and uprooting verdant forests? 

Which Indians are benefiting from steel made for the rest of the world?  It is the same babus and netas who are devising quota policies to jeopardize national competitiveness and security and integrity!  They claim falsely to be the leaders of India, but cannot fathom the fatuousness of sinking the so-called wealth in the real estate of urban areas with shrinking ground water tables and filthy sewerage and drainage systems.  They adopt policies to facilitate siphoning our minerals to countries we are supposed to be competing with, while polluting our water resources, destroying our non-renewable fertile agricultural lands and hurting national food security.  How to make India strong and secure is not taught in the elite schools of India or abroad.  They have to be learned by real work in the fields of India.  People of Jagatsinghpur understand the greater national interest far better than these babus and netas who devise self-serving policies at colossal cost to national security and integrity, and have therefore united to sacrifice their lives to demonstrate it, as per news reports.        

The Orissa state police went prepared to fire on the citizens protesting against usurpation of their lands in Golappur and Kalinganagar at below market prices.  The West Bengal police likewise meted to Nandigram people a pre-planned massacre for the same cause: using government decree to acquire private land at below-market prices for private “developers” and “industrialists.”  Didn’t people of Orissa send a memorandum to demand market prices of natural resources in 2004? Poor people of a poor state know more about principles of markets and economics than rocket scientists trained in elite schools.

Government decrees set puny royalty for public’s mineral wealth or fix below-market land prices in terms of artificially created currencies.  The kith, kin and cronies of the decreeing czars then use publicly paid police force to coercive citizens to obey the decree to surrender their possessions for fiat money.  This system of governance is unconstitutional.  Economic justice, guaranteed to public by our constitution, can be based only on laws of economics (supply and demand through free exchanges) not government decrees and lethal force designed to benefit the kith, kin and cronies of rulers.     

The fact that citizens are willing to immolate themselves and be fired by police shows they have stopped believing their rulers who are undeterred by anti-incumbency rejections. 

Unabated creation of fiat money raises the prices of everything including the values of public assets transferred unconstitutionally to private coffers.  The unconstitutionally wealthy thus have the wherewithal for muscle power to acquire political authority “democratically” to keep the police at their disposal to subdue the vast majority that only faces the brunt of inflating prices and receives very little of the development money created in their name.  India is thus being governed unconstitutionally for the kith, kin and crony of rulers.  This is why the unconstitutionally aggrieved citizens seethe in anger to confront the government. 

Government-organized robbery is pervasive and choking Indians everywhere: For example, city development authorities have monopolized urban real estate to supply shabby dwellings at astronomical prices to choke productive and creative Indians by bonding their life savings to polluted water and filthy sewerage. Producers are blackmailed for protection money by the same people who run the governments.  Politicians, police and their cadres are in league with mafia and criminals to choke producers and wangle possessions of people everywhere.  Our CMs have used police to massacre people opposing transfers of their lands to Tatas in Gopalpur and Kalinganagar of Orissa or for Salim Group in Nandigram of West Bengal.  Why are rulers exhibiting so much emotion, for example, for the Tatas who earn about seventy percent of their profits from public’s minerals by paying almost nothing to public exchequers to build roads, hospitals and schools? 

We know that many political leaders have become filthy rich despite their privately owned bankrupt businesses and inability to earn own livelihood.  Is it not obvious then that under the veneer of massacres lurks our political and industrial leaders’ greed to rob public and private wealth through crony capitalism and sloganeering of socialism?            

In short, there is little difference between the British colonial philosophy of robbing “bloody Indians” by keeping the latter subjugated through sporadic massacres and our neo-colonial masters’ strategy of looting public and private wealth through socialistic slogans for development. 

The celebrated ex-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin of U.S.A. now sees serious threats to industrial civilization.  Why are our CMs hankering to set up industries by converting vast stretches of non-renewable fertile agricultural land (that had once attracted the British to India), deforesting jungles and polluting the water supply with chemicals and raw sewerage? 

Prices of food and agricultural products are bound to rise because money is being created by decree of governments everywhere while farming is being abandoned.  It is not a wise idea for India to transform our verdant fertile agricultural fields into polluting industries.  People may be poor.  But they are smarter than politicians and ivory-tower policymakers.  They are sacrificing their lives to teach our leaders, cocooned in colluding police cordon, the wisdom India needs to thrive.  One should be prepared to be pilloried and penalized for imploring our leaders to see this wisdom and to devise policies accordingly. 

Miracles of direct subsidy to farmers

We should eliminate all indirect farm subsidies currently given, e.g., to fertilizer and electricity producers, and send the current amount of subsidy directly to the agricultural land owners.  Farm land owners should be given the subsidy through direct transfer to their bank accounts based on acreage of agricultural lands deeded on their names.  Title of ownership should not be mandatory to thwart shenanigans of Tahasildars with tenacity to delay issuance of titles to collect kickbacks.  Only those farmers who do not open bank accounts can receive the subsidy money through the Tahasildar. 

The direct subsidy policy will achieve the following miracles:

1.     Enhance our food production by inducing agricultural land ownership and farming.  This is an issue of national food security we need badly.

2.  Help improve the eco system and ground water quality as farmers will be induced to reduce chemical fertilizers and use organic manures for fertilization after fertilizer prices rise due to withdrawal of subsidies.  Currently, fertilizers and pesticides join the underground water stream to recharge residential tube wells.

3.  Reduce the consumption of electricity as the price goes up due to withdrawal of subsidies to state electricity boards and as farmers optimize their energy usage in agriculture.

4.  Contain inflation due to rise in food production and less money in the hands of non-food producing folks like the middlemen and politicians and their kith, kin and cronies.

5.    Alleviate suicides by farmers. 

Deleterious effects of cutting indirect subsidies and of remitting direct subsidies to farmers are none.  Perhaps lethargy has perpetuated a policy of disbursing Rs. 22000 crores annually to agricultural input providers like electricity boards and fertilizer producers.   Is this subsidy consumed in perquisites of staff in fertilizer plants and electricity boards or transferred to farmers in form of lower prices of agricultural inputs?  Humans in governance everywhere, especially in India, will rather consume the government largesse in pays and perquisites than pass any of it on to farmers.  Even donated cyclone relief materials rarely reach the disaster victims.   Ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s estimates show that only 15% of the welfare funds reach the targets.  Increasing the budget of government departments does not enhance the delivery to ultimate targets. If the farm subsidy is intended to reach farmers, why not transfer the subsidy money directly to bank accounts of registered agricultural land owners?

In the best interest of humanity, I remain humbly.     

Sankarshan Acharya     

Founder, Citizens for Development and Pro-Prosperity.Com

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The Congress crucifixion of Mahatma Gandhi
News Today - India - by V. SUNDARAM

Soon after our independence on 15 August 1947, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that the Congress party must be wound up in the larger interest of our nation. He had come to the definite conclusion that the Indian National Congress had outlived its utility. He was anguished by the corrupt deeds and doings of the Congress Ministers in New Delhi and all the States of India. This happened within five months (150 days!) of we getting independence.

A few days before his assassination, Mahatma Gandhi received a letter from an aged and outspoken Congressman from Andhra called Konda Venkatappayya who was over 80 years old at that time. He was a tried and tested Congress worker and had been a member of the Congress party from 1900. He was known throughout India for his outstanding qualities as a freedom fighter and follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Konda Venkatappayya wrote to Gandhi as follows: 'Swaraj was the only absorbing passion which goaded men and women to follow your leadership. But now that the goal has been reached, all moral restrictions have lost their power on most of the fighters in the great struggle. The situation is growing intolerable everyday. THE PEOPLE HAVE BEGUN TO SAYTHAT THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT WAS MUCH BETTER. They are even cursing the Congress'.

Mahatma Gandhi felt that he had to pay immediate attention to this letter because of the unimpeachable source from which it came. But Mahatma Gandhi died soon after and no one has referred to that letter again. Gandhi was greatly disturbed by the following sharp observations of Konda Venkatappayya contained in the same letter referred to above: 'But with freedom on 15 August 1947, the condition of our people has unquestionably deteriorated.

While the Congress-in Opposition fought against British opposition, the Congress-in-power has turned out to be worse oppressors. The British denied us political freedom to protect their vested interests. BUT THE CONGRESS HAS DESTROYED EVERY SHRED OF FREEDOM, KILLED EVEN THE FREEDOM OF THE HUMAN SOUL. It has become blandly apparent that the morality upheld by Mahatma Gandhi is far from the Congress's motive. Every other Congressman in office is proving himself completely oblivious of all sense of morality. They are corrupt.

They indulge openly in bribery, nepotism and jobbery, always with the sanction of their corrupt brethren in power. Every Congressman in office or in power has received a bribe or has black-marketed in a commodity when the money involved has changed hands in 100 rupee notes, of which there is no record, and the only machinery which can bring him to book, the police and the anti-corruption squad are well within the influence of the Congress party. The proof is that well- known Congressmen, who have had no ostensible means of income, who have paid little or no income-tax are seen today driving about in huge limousines, and living like Maharajas!!'

In the district administration, Konda Venkatappayya went on to say: 'Even the district Collectors and revenue officials do not feel free in the discharge of their duties on account of the frequent interference by the Congress MLA's and MLC's on behalf of their partisans.

A strict and honest officer cannot hold his position because false and politically- motivated reports are carried against him to the Congress Ministers who easily lend their ears to these unprincipled self-seekers'.

We should not imagine that all this happened 25 years after our independence on 15 August 1947. This happened within four months of our independence and Konda Venkatappayya sent the above letter to Mahatma Gandhi in December 1947! I am again and again repeating the name of Mahatma Gandhi only because there is tremendous confusion amongst the public in India today about the cheaply competitive worship of too many dubious GANDHIS in our midst.

After the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on 30 January 1948, the Congress party became a private party of Nehru, by Nehru for a close circle in the Nehru family. In other words, the Indian National Congress of Dadabhai Naoroji, and Surendra Nath Banerjee, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Krishna Ghokle, Rajendra Prasad and Rajaji became a valuable private property of the Nehru family conferring positions of unlimited power, endless prestige, unlimited income and boundless opportunities. Sonia Gandhi has inherited this invaluable booty and property through her marriage to one of the scions of the Nehru family. God save India and her mute millions. It is not just a question of 'Garibi Hatao'. No less important and vital than this objective is the issue of 'Congress Hatao'. Perhaps the last words that Mahatma Gandhi addressed to the people through professor Malkhani are now available. In the course of his message to the Hindus of Sind which he gave to professor Malkhani at 3.30 pm on that fateful Friday, 30 January 1948, Mahatmaji said: 'I now say things which do not go home. I know that I am a back number or these things would not have happened. But I yet go on saying what I believe to be true'.

In the following poem, l have tried out to bring out the tragedy of India after 15 August 1947

Oh! Mahatma Gandhi!
You were killed brutally
Rather suddenly
On 30 January, 1948
And you ceased to live physically
Only to die spiritually
Second by second.
Minute by minute!
Hour by hour
Month after month
Year after year
Unmourned and unsung
In a despicable India
Of MEN OF STRAW!
Alas! Oh Gandhi!
Our inimitable Indian 'Christ'
Woe unto India
That you should stand impaled
By thine own men
Whom you released from British yoke
Only to make them free
To impale you
For ever and ever!
Without any mercy
Whatsoever!

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