India Uncut

This blog has moved to its own domain. Please visit for the all-new India Uncut and bookmark it. The new site has much more content and some new sections, and you can read about them here and here. You can subscribe to full RSS feeds of all the sections from here. This blogspot site will no longer be updated, except in case of emergencies, if the main site suffers a prolonged outage. Thanks - Amit.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Want to start a campus radio station?

You'll have to take permission from four ministries. That is one of many revelations by Gurcharan Das in this almost-inspiring story about an electronics repairman who started a community radio station "from his thatched roof shop by slinging a transmitter on a bamboo pole with a total investment of Rs 50." Naturally, he didn't last long: his audience loved it, but the government shut his station down, for obvious reasons.

People often assume that my being libertarian implies that I want an India with no government at all. Not true. I understand what it is realistic to hope for in the short-to-medium term, and I'm quite okay with paying taxes and with the government using my money for all kinds of harebrained social-upliftment programs and poverty-alleviation schemes and suchlike (which are fine in intent but never achieved the desired results in practice), but all I ask is that the government get out of the way of private enterprise, such as that of the gentleman in Das's story. Once that happens, I think people will eventually realise by themselves that many of the things they look to governments to do are far more easily achieved by individuals empowered with the freedom to pursue their dreams.

And in case those words raise your hackles, by private enterprise I don't mean Microsoft and Coke and MacDonald's, but the millions of enterprising young people who can create wealth for themselves and the people around them if our oppressive government would just let them. As long as the rule of law is well applied, no further regulation is needed. India needs to enourage value-creation, not rent-seeking.

I'd written earlier on this topic here. Hell, thank god the invisible pink unicorn that one doesn't need a license to start a blog. You wouldn't be reading this then.
amit varma, 5:40 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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