How to know you are right?

On most occasions, it is difficult for individuals or governments to know if they did the right thing. Counterfactual is not possible. Policy-making happens in real time. The context keeps changing. Even the success or failure of two similar policy actions in two different places at the same time or in the same place on two different occasions cannot be evaluated with reasonable precision. So, it is always good to have some bellwether indicators. The present government in India is good to have many commentators who serve as a bellwether. We highlight two of them here. There are many more.

It has to read articles by Gopal Krishna Gandhi and if he is critical of what it is doing, then it is doing something right. Similarly, on foreign policy, it should read Mani Shankar Aiyar. If he is critical of what it is doing, then too, it can breathe easy.

For its recent actions, it has got the reassurances it needed from these two worthies here and here.


One thought on “How to know you are right?

  1. Your comments above make for more interesting reading than both the Op-eds put together.

    Very few sensible people will disagree that the Planning Commission needed to be put to an end many years ago. That it had lasted so long was only lack of courage to do the needful, as also the need to award some chores (and entitlements) to some people who would have otherwise been fierce critics of the Government and its policies. Quite frankly, I am happy its gone, but was there a need to replace it with another Commission (as has been reported). Maybe not.

    That many newspapers let Mani Aiyar use the kind of language and attitude on the Op-ed pages is shocking to say the least, but it does serve a very useful purpose. As you so rightly said, you do need some yardsticks to judge if the direction is right. And if Aiyar points to the sea, we should certainly be going towards land.




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