The wrongs of rights (Right to education, food, and god knows what all??)

A brilliant article by Prof Devesh Kapur of University of Pennsylvania. It does not get better than this. It is nicely mixed with criticism and quotes

He criticises this approach by current govt to make right to programmes and undermining every institution:

Over the past few years, two features of the Indian political landscape have stood out: unprecedented levels of corruption and the efflorescence of socio-economic rights – from information to education, and from food to employment. Last year, the Supreme Court even recognised the right to sleep. The same government that has actively connived in corroding India’s public institutions – epitomised by the sorry state of the apex institution of the executive branch, or the Cabinet – has sought to pass supposedly progressive legislation, carrying the torch for the rights revolution. Is this just a paradox or, paradoxically, is it …

….There is an old stratagem illustrated by the Chinese saying, “deceive the heavens to cross the ocean”. The rush of seemingly progressive legislation by the current government is not surprising. It is causally related to the unprecedented corruption and undermining of institutions that have been the hallmark of contemporary India – and whose long-term implications for India’s future are deeply troubling. India’s progressive activists, who have been carrying the cross for the “rights” movement, must take a moment to reflect whether their actions have provided cover for this government to deceive the heavens and cross the ocean. Unless, of course, they believe that passing a right to happiness Act will address all these concerns.

Great stuff.

It is even a bigger pity to not hear the eminent/so-called independent economists are not saying anything. Well, they may be supporting the “new rights to” program (and future ones as well) so please give us your reasons….


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