Monday, January 24, 2005
In a lovely tribute in the Indian Express, Jaithirth Rao remembers Minoo Masani. As in all good elegies, Rao's piece talks about more than just the man himself. A sampler:
Minoo, Rajaji, Shenoy, Dandekar, Ranga, Ruthnaswamy, Frank Moraes, Piloo Mody...they all lost the political battle, not just the battle for commemorative postage stamps. Their defeat was our defeat, the nation’s defeat. The discourse shifted leftward with fatal consequences. Country after country which was as poor as us went ahead. We got trapped in a time-warp where all the entrepreneurial instincts of our people were effectively smothered, where the state instead of being a protector of rights and liberties became a vast corrupt rent-seeking vulture feeding off the economic vitals of its citizens. The permit-licence raj and the enormous powers given to our executive branch (ministers as well as officials) became a tyrannical strait-jacket. We are still suffering from its ill-effects.