A Sound Basis for USA-India Relationship is Emerging:
First-best Efficient Governance

November 4, 2013

Sankarshan Acharya
Pro-Prosperity.Com and Citizens for Development

To:                   Honorable President Barack Obama
Cc:                   To whom it may concern
Sub:                 A sound basis for US-India partnership is emerging: first-best efficient governance.

Date:   November 4, 2013

Dear President Obama,

Leaders of India and USA have considered their countries as natural partners.  Yet, the partnership has not progressed much beyond the wishes of the leaders.  It now seems that the missing link for this partnership–first-best efficient governance–is taking root in the countries to bond them.  How? 

The inherent hurdle in US-India relationship has been the second-best system of governance, which bestows first-best status on elite-plutocrats by subjugating the rest in either country to second-best sustenance.  The plutocrats capture all the economic gain, while the common people and their representatives in ether country see nothing accruing to them due to the partnership.  This is why the rank and file in either nation stays lukewarm to the partnership.

The hurdle may, however, be over due to fundamental changes taking place in USA and India with respect to the system of governance in either country.  Your administration has embraced first-best efficient governance.  The Indians now seem to be marching ahead in the same direction.

India gained independence due to a struggle by the educated elite with degrees from top universities around the world.  The elite included Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.  The common Indians joined the movement by believing that they would be better off if the foreign rulers left India. Independent India, however, became a rule of the elite, by the elite and for the elite. 

The elite rule in India started with Mohandas K. Gandhi anointing a Cambridge-educated Jawaharlal Nehru as the first prime minister by relegating the less glamorous, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was overwhelmingly supported by the rank and file of the Indian National Congress that had successfully waged the nonviolent struggle for independence.[1]

There is a pervasive perception in India that the independence did not beget freedom of the common people.  Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has conceded lately that the problems facing India are all internal.  

India is now marching towards a monumental shift to a rule by a less-glamorous commoner, Mr. Narendra Modi–who started his career as a ‘bartender’ selling tea to Indian rail commuters.  Mr. Modi is now the Chief Minister of Gujarat, elected three times consecutively.  The largest population of Indians in USA is from Gujarat.  Both M. K. Gandhi and Sardar Patel were born in Gujarat. Gujarat has been one of the most prosperous states in India.  The economic growth of Gujarat has been in double digits during Mr. Modi’s rule.  China has been so impressed by the sustainable economic growth of Gujarat that it invited Mr. Modi to a red carpet welcome in Beijing.    

While I do not know Mr. Modi personally, I have noticed his speeches and administration echoing first-best efficient governance, which is paramount for stability and prosperity of humanity, one-sixth of which lives in India.  Mr. Modi’s opponents are, however, accusing him of the 2002 Gujarat riots which occurred during his first term as chief minister of the state.  About 1000 people (mostly Muslims) died in the Gujarat riots.  The riots were triggered by Muslim miscreants charring to death scores of Hindu pilgrims traveling in a train near Godhra in Gujarat.   The riots were a tit-for-tat kind of event.  They were, however, not as severe as the massacre of 3000 innocent Sikhs after Mrs. Indira Gandhi was killed by two of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. The 1984 Sikh massacre happened under the watch of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, who even mumbled that when a large tree fell (Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s death) the earth would shake (like the killing of 3000 innocent Sikhs).  The largest killing of people ever occurred anywhere in the world was due to the partition of British India in 1947, which was approved by both Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. 

The rulers must remain responsible for any mass killing of people under their rules.  The Supreme Court of India has not, however, found any evidence linking Mr. Modi to the Gujarat riots.  In the wake of the Gujarat riots, I had written a memo to then Prime Minister Vajpayee about the need of a united and peaceful India for prosperity amid stability.  Mr. Modi perhaps responded to that memo by promptly announcing a policy for a united and peaceful Gujarat.  His state witnessed no riot since then, while many other states in India have witnessed multiple violent riots under the rules of different political parties. 

It is perhaps due to his dedication to peace, unity and development, Mr. Modi has gained an unprecedented popularity throughout India with millions voluntarily thronging to his rallies.  He seems to have the support of most expatriate Indians.  He has, therefore, become a top target of terrorists like Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and their local operatives known as Indian Mujahidin.  The terrorists triggered serial bomb blasts in a mass rally addressed by Mr. Modi a few days ago in Patna.  Six people died and many were injured.  But the nonchalance of Mr. Modi to the blasts before he spoke in the Patna rally tells volumes about why he would never encourage his supporters to engage in tit-for-tat violence and why he really wants first-best efficient governance as echoed in his speeches. 

Whether or not Mr. Modi is elected the next leader of India, the tide is rising in favor of first-best efficient governance in the country.  This bodes well for the stalled US-India relationship as well for global peace and stability amid prosperity.

With profound regards,      
Sankarshan Acharya
Founder, Pro-Prosperity.Com and Citizens for Development

[1]“The entire rank and file of the Congress looked at Sardar Patel as the most deserving candidate to be sworn in as independent India’s first Prime Minister, given his proven track record of being an able administrator and a no-nonsense politician. Then what really went wrong?  To find out  the answer, we need to rewind back to 1946…. Gandhi was always impressed with the modern outlook of Nehru. In comparison to Nehru, Sardar Patel was a little orthodox and Gandhi thought India needed a person who was modern in his approach.”. See http://www.indiatvnews.com/print/news/why-gandhi-opted-for-nehru-and-not-sardar-patel-for-pm--6689-4.html

PS: After this memo was circulated, significant events have occurred: