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From the Editor

They don’t just shout. They go hysterical. Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan are the face of hysterical India. Kejriwal and Bedi made a virtue of activism instead of systematic reforms and institution building even while in service. Mere mortals in the same era were putting in the hard work on ushering reforms in railway reservations, tax administration, opening PCOs, issuance of passports and innumerable other such services where there has been a marked reduction in incidence of corruption over the past few decades.

For most of the thinking Indians, Anna Hazare lost his sainthood the minute he made his campaign political. Fighting in the name of participatory democracy, they have preached mobocracy instead of Panchayati Raj and local self-governance. They have talked down the markets, the business sentiment, and also the growth. The government has done its bit by playing right into their hands. Together, they could not have done a bigger disservice to the poor of India.

Anna’s brigade argues for a God’s chosen army in the name of Lokpal that is incorruptible and has done no wrong in their life. By these standards, I am afraid that no one even in Anna’s brigade will qualify. The joke in business circles is how the cost of corruption is going to go up further by factoring in the cost of Lokpal. There is no short cut to hard work. Our last issue of Inclusion brought out the story of Elaben, a true Gandhian, who has changed the lives of 1.4 million women members of SEWA with economic empowerment – they have solved far bigger problems than corruption based on their felt needs.

TRP milking media and the Anna brigade who incessantly shout at all of us while we have dinner every evening create the delusion of bringing in a revolution by simply repeating the same points over and over again.

In this cacophony, one person who stands out simply for his clarity of thought and what he wants to do in the ministries that he looks after is Kapil Sibal and this issue of Inclusion goes into details of that. In this New Year, I do hope that good sense prevails and there be peace on earth or at least on TV.

Sameer Kochhar

Sameer Kochhar, Chairman of SKOCH Group, is a passionate advocate of social, financial and digital inclusion. In 1997, after spending 15 years in the corporate world, he decided to follow his inner calling and become a development thinker. Ever since, he single-mindedly applied himself to the rigours of self-education, academic research and field tours. The SKOCH Group – which has a think tank, media and consultancy arms – was established as part of this endeavour. His expert opinion is sought by the government. In Kochhar's thinking, writings and activities, his profound admiration for Indiaís economic reforms – and in extension, those outstanding personalities who strive to make these reforms more meaningful and broad-based – comes out clear and unambiguous.
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