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May 02, 2005


An Rand

Even today, there are quite a few good people - from Arun Jaitley to P.Chidambaram - who are willing to give public life a shot without the need or the aim to make money out of it. Also add to the list people like Arun Shourie and Sharad Joshi. I think the "not needing to make money out of it" part is important - ie, it is folks who have made enough money outside of politics who are the best suited.

The problem is that these folks need to - or more importantly think they do - ally themselves with one of the major parties. I think it would take just take one of these folks to think "disruptively" and become the nucleus of something around which the other folks can rally around. (This is basically what Gandhi did.)

Even in the recent past, we've had the example of Tehelkha which was able to rally enough people to speak out against the then government, which was trying its best to crush them.

Yes, NRN Murthy is a good candidate for creating this "disruptive innovation". But, he would be no lesser a man in my view if he chose not to enter politics. In my opinion, his contribution to the country is already much more than that any body in politics - past, current, or future - can make.

PS: Are you sure you want we need more entrepreneurs in politics? Aren't most of the folks out there are already that - attracted by the huge "market opportunity" and "return on invested capital" :-)

An Rand

"If a poll were taken asking people which services they are most satisfied with and which they are most dissatisfied with, for-profit organizations (supermarkets, computer companies and video stores) would dominate the first list while non-profit organizations (schools, offices of motor vehicle registration) would dominate the latter. In a free economy, the pursuit of profits and serving people are one and the same. No one argues that the free enterprise system is perfect, but it's the closest we'll come here on Earth."

From "The Entrepreneur As American Hero" speech by columnist Walter Williams


An Rand, a couple of thoughts on your comment.

I would say Arun Jaitley and P. Chidambaram take after Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Rajaji and others - much sought after lawyers who can command fees for their legal expertise. So losing an election or other temporary set backs won't matter for them - they can always fall back on their robes.

I agree with you that if one of Jaitley or Chidambaram were to think disruptively, they could become the nucleus. But I'm afraid that is quite unlikely. They take after Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Rajaji and others but not Gandhi, in that they're only followers preferring to align with an existing leader, and are incapable of themselves becoming a leader of leaders like Gandhi, or even attempting to do so like Subhash Bose and Ambedkar. I'm not belittling what Patel, Rajendra Prasad and Rajaji did or what Jaitley and Chidamabaram are doing - that is important in its own way. Rajaji, it can be argued, was more than a mere follower, considering his ideological break with Gandhi and the Congress (though he returned to the fold) and also his involvement in starting up the Swatantra Party. His failure to be a leader of leaders in the Swantatra Party could be attributed to his age, which could have prevented him from becoming the galvanising nucleus that the Swantatra Party needed and sorely missed.

I hope to expand on the theme of spawning a new political formation in a separate blog post.

I think you also hit the nail bang on the head in your comment on what you said on NRN Murthy. His contribution till date is phenomenal, but I wonder if, going ahead, his contribution at Infosys, can come anywhere close to what he has achieved so far. Instead, if he chose to enter politics and spawn a politically active culture, could he contribute as much, or more, in the future as he has in the past? I think so.

Wrt to your remark on entrepreneurs who are already out there in politics attracted by the "market opportunity" and "return on invested capital", I wouldn't term them as entrepreneurs. They're just opportunists riding on a bandwagon that's already rolling. Entrepreneurs are builders who can build a following and a lasting organisation not based on their personality alone, but by communicating an inspiring ideology and vision to their followers and getting them to live up to it.

Goutam SAHA

Can any body tell me how a career can be made in the field of Ministry Of External Affairs.
Thanking you


i hope i can help you or someone outtheir may help you.......plzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Are we talking about political entrepreneurship (taking enterprising initiatives in politics) or entrepreneurial politics (participation of entrepreneurs in politics)?

I think it is a three step restructructuring of Indian politics which is needed:
1. Break down all red-tape rules and motivated pyramid structures to deal with corruption;
2. Sow, nurse and grow a participatory empowered culture to try out working rules in political organisations at all level;
3. Formalise the tried and tested rules, which are in the best interest of the people of the nation.

Who can break the existing red-tapes in govt organisations? Must be the people in it or those in control over it - politicians or ministers - someone powerful or influential;

Who can encourage and execute a controlled distribution and randomisation of power to form rules of operations? Someone who has already done it - leaders in enterprises; Who can form new vibrant rules of operations and service? Someone with fresh ideas and will to change - new entrants and existing enterprising youths with honest motives aspiring for a successful career.

Who can formalise the new rules of operation and service? Law with help from above classes.

Hundreds and thousands of youths with the right willpower is perhaps ready to storm their mind and toil to implement the change. A joint movement from honest and able politicians and corporate executives, with legal support, is required to bring about a change. Where are the leaders of change?

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