I hope I’m not making a Godman out of me. I’m yet to find a girl to elope with. And I’m one of the hardest of Atheists you can find. This is to narrate a very unusual incident beyond my comprehension wherein a Steve Jobs look alike almost whitewashed me apparently with knowledge. I happened to go to this place called Kainchi Dham, supposedly the enlightenment points of Steve Jobs and Zuckerberg, only out of curiosity as to why did Steve Jobs recommend Zuckerberg. I wonder if something of this sort happened to Zuckerberg as well. This was the first time ever in life that I went to a temple on my own. I was mentally disturbed, being an entrepreneur isn’t easy here. I bumped into an Old man in a sequence quite similar to Indian fairy mythological tales. He appeared like a Indian baba version of Steve Jobs, and initially I thought him to be some clown or ‘Behrupiya’ so we got into an altercation. To my surprise he turned out to be a learned man, wisest I’d have ever met. He didn’t vanish after talking, but knew my name. We met in June, and then he called in September. And this is no hallucination. I do all the boys stuffs though! He dreamt of Great India, Great World. He called to dream of Redesigning India, not Rapid Transformation, of Great India, not better India. He said not dreaming high is criminal.
Our reasoning gave me few tenets on governance, and then he asked me to get four things implemented for a greater country, as a token to his lessons. This was way back in June, and probably has a relation with this Income Disclosure Scheme, having a strange spark in his eyes in the name of 30th September as if to be a deadline for all Tax deposits, sorry Citizen Equity as he called. Yes, he asked me to get Taxes redefined as Equity, not beg for people’s money or taxes (his words). More changes, like to restructure government completely like a business, to remove the concept of opposition, to get a regulator for governance, to give eligibility licenses in politics like you give to doctors, to restructure election processes. I didn’t even understand half the things. I just got one concept- Governance is business, Government is the business party created by people which runs businesses of all public utilities.
Naturally, I let the Oldman go. Who would get into governance and country like abstracts? On September 5th happened something I’m yet to comprehend. May Airtel could check. I got a call from a ‘No Number’, after which the SIM went corrupt, leaving behind two spots on my cell phone, and if you can visualize, you can feel like a signature- Steve Jobs, its sort of imagination. It’s a MOTO G 3, may Motorola also could research over this. The SIM is as shiny as new, but unreadable. I hope Airtel could provide me a replacement in a decade. Coming on to the call, it was to enquire on the status. I was first stunned as to status of what, then by the end he offered me a BMW and a Thar along with a seed fund to write this. He said Thar will be given as soon as this reaches you, BMW and the seed fund on 120 Millionth Tax or the equity receipt. And then the phone went off, an overused one, after which I found an unreadable SIM. If my parents come to know, they would get scared, they’ll make me undergo some “Jhad-phunk” kind of thing. And I’ve seen one of these activities once in my village. They wrap people in layers of Quilts under hot sun on a suspended net, fire from the bottom and then ask funny questions, to which anyone would answer any random thing. And if the person doesn’t know making stories, they start beating.
Minutes of Meeting with Baba
Since a night’s lecture is enormous, and to be honest writing is still more a toil than listening to good things, I’ll give you some points to remember and majorly the four ideas, which started with a brief understanding of business, and it was over 10 hours lecture, expect it to be long, even if it is MOM. Though it’s all common sense. For the ones who watch movies only on reviews, the four ideas are: a) Get a Governance Regulator- Governance Commission of India b) Redefine Tax as Equity- Ownership and answerability of and from government c) Incentivise being good- Preferential access to utilities like airports, 5 stars and so on, use technology (UID and data from my side as well) d) Get elections based on age- Needs and wisdom levels are different in different stages of man. Realign to true form of democracy, leaders for every age group, Remove opposition to accommodate law makers and administrators. Play Ludo not Chess if you need to play. Everybody needs to get home by the end of the day.
The Beginning: As I said, I got into an altercation, assuming the old man to be some clown or beggar. As I whisked him away saying that I didn’t have any money, he retorted back that it was evident from my face. Then he started giving my biography to me. Before I could dig into how he knew me so well, we drifted into start up stuff, and from there, it usually takes a different turn with me, like point of no return. Probably he knew me too well. We talked for almost the whole night. Interestingly the restaurant’s name was also ‘Blessing Inn’. We began and refurbished concepts of life, start ups, customers, business of businesses and so on. Stuck at countries once, and the games played by humans, then came governance. I hope I write as much accurate as possible.
Fundamentals of business: Business is anything that dishes out utilities required to support life consistently without stop. The final product undergoes some processing, and is sold or exchanged for some good, under some banner or name. That nominal party is to be held accountable for as a whole. In case of geographical territory it’s called a Government, in trade its company and so on. Governance is the sum total of processes that you build to control the path towards objectives and value proposition promised at the beginning. Its Project Management. The processes should always have measuring ways, always denoted by metrics and described by numbers. That is why Mathematics is called language of universe. If you don’t have numbers, mapped to any process, you’re fooling around and you’re illiterate. Masters of functions that process the utilities are employees and those who organise on behalf of these employees are called entrepreneurs or heads or anything. For an entrepreneur governance is the only business while for an employee its skill. Nothing is permanent but for the business, and nobody does a favour to anyone in the chain. Any assumed favour is corruption, which corrodes the functions or governance process, which should be the last thing to come in any form of business. (In sum total he said to treat Governance as a business function, and not to do it as or for favour).
Government and Governance: To define government, it’s the business party created by people coming together, to care about businesses of business what they couldn’t on their own, and to make fair rules to play life as a sport. Augmenting civic infra-structures and rules, regulations and policies. Assuming life is unfair, don’t who said, as if life was a punishment, it’s the business of the quests to drive it to the fairest level. Governance is the business process or project management.
This unraveled a market for law makers and knowledge. But then you didn’t have entrepreneurs. Note that there is no occupation like politics, and to what is called politics is a glamorous name o prisoners’ dilemma to appear important.(the story of importance will come later) The profession is Law making and Management, and to what is called political parties, should be research institutions of laws and policies.
Now you know where the political parties of the world land up, the world’s oldest of parasites, reflected by their names, reproduced out of same words. Ever seen or heard something like Quality Assured Governance Party? Ever saw a political outfit even close to research on laws? All they are marketing houses of opinions, with no identity of their own, then cartels, cartels of importance. Importance to shouts to close life, to call strikes, to burn shops, to snatch livelihoods. Governance is getting 3500 security guards for a year in a city that needs security instead of 76 crore advertisement, efficient advertisement is having 100 security men/km2 . Governance is treating people like customers, not Dalit, not Muslim, not Minority, not trader, not backward, not tribal.
Then he gave a slew of reforms, sharing my favourite four. This is how it goes.
- Set a Regulatory authority- Governance Commission of India: A body that frames, maintains, publishes indices and interpretable data on state of affairs, and benchmarks governance. It should quantify governance with relevant metrices, HDI, Gini Coefficient, number of cases pending in courts, number of litigations versus incumbent laws, and so on. A body that sets decorum, gives licenses for practice of law making both at individual levels and institutional levels, a body that fixes accountabilities for any mis-governance. A body that evaluates and benchmarks Quality Assurance in Governance.
For any market to work fair, there has to be published norms, quality assurance, accountabilities and scope. Indian law making market has none with almost no entry barrier but for one age and citizenship, devoid of any quality checks.
- Redefine Tax- It’s always Equity if its democracy: This has a short story, also secret of i-phone.This term which means suffering is the biggest symbol of deceit and single source of all sufferings around. And the word remains the ‘I agree’ to all sufferings, more sufferings and no change. Also the symbol that humans are just another animal who can talk, equally ignorant of the idea of being fair as any animal. So this tax which originated with a lazy and bullish early man over a weaker one, carried forward to monarchies and kingdoms. One day came an employee to account for money to the ruler. Note that he was an employee, encountered this strange source of income without a sale, found it coming off sufferings of inhabitants, so coined it tax. For rulers it didn’t matter, employees knew what their jobs weren’t. As population surged, resources squeezed, rulers broke, emerged numerous micro-kingdoms, thus important people, and then cartels of important people and then finally a new terms to distinguish- Democracy and Republic. Ever since the race for importance continued, so did i-people, i-governments and i-governance (all forms). And one day i-Phone, important phone for important people, from the most important guy. Thus the important price, and hence the i-regret, or just one regret (He went a little bit sober thereafter).
When you set a business party, it needs capital to begin, thus equity. With equity comes ownership, comes answerability. Then comes care, then comes transparency and but then came black money. You didn’t need transparency, scared you coated it black inside. Tax kept Taxing. Then came the window to evade, then came counters of rebates and favours. Just in case someone ever get to ask, they got a glacier replica called ‘Subsidy’. No statements, No reports, All gifts. Rigged by design, Supported by ignorance, lived with treachery. Of the i-people, for the i-people, by the i-people.
Remember for every rupee of black money there’s some loose change in some employee’s pocket. You ignored the government and the government ignored you. Remember they told you at the beginning, “Wealth and Knowledge increase with sharing”. You’d none.
- Incentivise doing good, Penalise doing bad: Can you fly if you’re not good enough to keep equity with government? You might, build your own runways, own Air-traffic control or shell out more than other loyal customers. Give that security guy at the airport gate a code to scan, not to read names. This is as simple as that. To make this a habit you can make tons of schemes around revolving debit-credit mechanisms. (This also means, its tough to write long)
- Restructure the Electorate (From switchboard to dartboard): Ever seen a business with opposition? No workplace requires opposition, opposition is outside. Businesses have goals, so should Governments of civilized states. Why the need of cartel, why the room for cartelization? Elect a team. Not select pawns. Let the counter-friction stop by election. You choose wisest people to make laws. Play, win or lose, don’t fix, don’t bet. Counter-control doesn’t need people, it needs mechanisms. Let it remain law making and management.
When you intend to make laws and policies, and you talk of democracy, the governing pool should resemble the electorate as much as possible, as much granular, arranging for needs and limitations. Not all can be reflected in external abstract as governance. Government is external. ‘Accountable Life-support’ not the life. So you have tiers of governments- central, state, local and so on. Get efficient government, not duplicate governments. Let the profile change with profile of governance. National issues need national people, known by all national means, national or international achievements. Let the national team be a sample of the nation. Let the seven stages of man show. Make the electorate look like a dartboard, not switchboard, and not people racing to own switches.
(In India’s case, for Central government, divide country into five zones- North, East, North East, South and West, elect 110 MPs from each zone, in age buckets (numbers based on population weightage) Get a 550 mix to be a National Governance Team thereafter, it will resemble population. Align to nature to closest possible to get balanced solutions to real problems, not games. )
The Ending: Well, tired after speaking we dozed off in my car, front seats. I woke up alone, and yes the car was open, unlocked, that means he went like going. I asked the restaurant guy, no body knew of him. May Uttarakhand Police look for him.
Image Credits: Boston University