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July 2006
Volume - 1
Issue - 3

Editor :
Hariprasad R.C.

Dear friends,
Have you ever observed how a
bud blossoms into a flower? To do
so takes immense patience. And yet
even if you keep observing you may C O N T E N T S
not be able to demarcate the exact
second at which it flowered. But
there comes a time when all of a
sudden you are aware that its no REALITY CHECK
longer a bud but a flower.
Mind Text is now at its budding
stages. So our experiments with its
features are continuing in this issue
The Argument Goes on…
also. Your views, suggestions and
contributions can surely boost our CHAT SPECIAL
growth. We are patiently observing
and doing our best to see Mind aqgn-°pfw ime ˛ Hcp ]p\¿hm-b\
Text bloom and spread its
Wishing you a fruitful
Education or Edu “Anchor”?
KtP-{µs‚ IÆp-\o¿
Over Pairing Heart …!!!
Centre for Public Government Failure
Policy Research
Vaikom Road, Cochin - A Primer in Public Choice
Kerala, India - 682 301 BOOK READING
E-mail :


The capital punishment has remained an
issue of not controversy. When the average
citizen is asked if he or she supports the death
PUNISHMENT” penalty, that person is an likely to give a
definite “Yes” or “No” for an answer. Capital
punishment has been an accepted form of justice
The Argument Goes on… through the ages. Geography, culture and
passage of time have varied its form and it’s
recipients. Today in most countries, it is an
integral part of the criminal justice system. It is
interesting as well as important to understand
how capital punishment has evolved through
the ages.


In later ever of epics, crimes against the crown drew a death sentence, which was
quickly implemented by ‘beheading’. Other methods like death at the stake, throwing the
continued down from a cliff, trampling by elephants, exposing to the loiter of venomous
snakes, and so on were also employed at various times, for various crimes, especially
involving times, for various crimes, especially involving taking the life of another human
being. In 18th century BC, the code of king Hammurabi of Babylon codified death penalty
for twenty-five different crimes and interestingly “Murder” was not one of them.
Death was often cruel and the methods of execution included crucifixion, drowning at
sea, burial alive, beating to death, and impalement. The Romans had a curious punishment
for ‘Parricide’ (murder of a parent): the condemned was submerged underwater tied in a
sack, which also contained a dog, a rooster, a viper and an ape. The most notorious example
of death sentence that took place before the christian era was in 399 BC, when the Greek
philosopher Socrates was required to drink poison for the crime of corruption of youth.
One of the most infamous executions in history occurred approximately in 29 AD, with
the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Britain influence over it’s colonies which included India has a long history of
punishment by death. During 19th and 20th centuries, move and move. Crimes were removed
from the purview of capital punishment in Europe. Today a few European countries retain
the death penalty.
Carave Bee aria, the Italian Philosopher was the first to purpose that death penalty
ought to be abolished in his famous study of “Crimes and punishments”. Ever since then,
there has been important and cease ell debate on this subject. In this backdrop, to bring
home the points for and against the abolition of capital punishment, let us examine the
justification of death penalty.
The question whether capital punishment has necessary deterrent purpose or not
dominates the debate regarding the efficiency of capital punishment.


The major argument for abolition of death penalty in that there is no evidence to
support the deterrent theory of capital punishment. Statistics establish that the
overwhelming majority of killers commit the offence in monetary aberration. Most of the
killings are for personal and emotional reason like Anger, jealousy and quarrels. Many of
the killer feel terribly abashed after committing the art of them commit suicide later. It in
vehemently argued that even in the relatively rare case of professional criminals like, the
cause of deterrence in served as much by long imprisonment as by capital punishment.
Arthur Koestler has put forward some reasoning: It is not a deferent to the type of
person who commits murder because he desires to be hanged, and those cases are frequent.
It is not a deterrent to murders who commits suicide and one third of all murders do. If is
not a quarrel, in drunkednness, in a sudden provocation (this type of murder amounts to
80% to 90% of all murder that are committed).
The other contention of abilities is that the infliction of death penalty extinguisher
possibilities for reform and rehabilitation for the person executed as well as the opportunity
for the criminal to make some creative compensation for the evil he has done. The legal
imposition of capital punishment in society involves long and unavoidable delays; it
creates a long period of anxiety and uncertainty both about the possibly of life and about
the necessity one’s life.
The contention of the advocates of capital punishment is based on the argument that
abolition of capital punishment would unleash criminals neither to restrained due to the
fear of execution. In a nutshell, main arguments of reteutionists are; (a) It is more effective
than any other penalty in deterring from murder, (b) It is more economical then
imprisonment (c) It is necessary to restrain the public from lynching criminals, (d) It is
the only penalty with servitude.
The positive dimension of punishment is held to consist in the inculcation of law-
abiding person’s anger. The job of the law is to control that anger by punishing the
criminal. In doing so the anger of the law-abiding citizen is satisfied and his ‘law-
abidingness’ is rewarded. Crime is an offence against public, and that is why, the public
prosecutes it.
The purpose of law is not merely to control the behavior, but also to promote respect
for that which should be respected; Especially the lives. If human life is to be held in
awe, the law forbidding the taking of it must also be held in awe. And the only wary it
can be made awe-inspiring is to entitle it to inflict the penalty of death. For the worst of
crimes, the punishment must be most dreadful and awe-inspiring not necessarily most
painful. Ever since, the societies have come under the organization of state, it has
assumed the role of the guardian of people. It has to answer and satisfy the wounded
feelings of the family members of the victim, by punishing approximately the murder,
who had no regard for the life of the victim of his murderous act. The state can ensure
security of people only by punishing the guilty appropriately.


The Punishment for Crime sometimes becomes ‘Crime of punishment’. Today our
laws are committed to deterrent. Theory of sentencing is through torture of the flesh and
bones. Again it is a fact that brutality cannot be subjugated by brutality; rather good can
only over come the evil out of man. The question whether capital punishment is a self-
defeating barbarity of an un-available extreme is an issue of word debate. I.e., “to hang or
not to hang”. This controversy has been disturbing the judges of trial court.
Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi considered capital punishment as killing by authority of law,
i.e., “judicial murder”. “Karuna” should crop faith in the minds of judges. “Thee shall not
kill,” said Jesus Christ. Gandhiji held: “God alone can take life, because he alone gives if”.
This ideology in further vein fussed by Gandhiji, when he said, “hate the sin ant not the
sinner”, in other words, destruction of an individual can never be a virtuous act.


Section 302 of Indian Penal code provides punishment for murder. The normal
punishment under this section is death. But, after the introduction of sec. 354 (3) of the
C.R.P.C, 1973, ‘Death sentence’ is the exception, while ‘life imprisonment’ in the rule.
Thus, according to the newly introduced provision, it seems that, normal sentence for
murder is no longer a sentence of death, but imprisonment for life and only for special
reasons, to be recorded in the judgment, a sentence of death can be awarded in “revert of
rare cases”.
The Supreme Court observed in Bachan’s case: - “A real and abiding concern for the
dignity of human life postulates resistance to taking a life through law’s instrumentality.
That ought to be clove save in the rarest of rare cases. When the alternative option is
unquestionably foreclosed”.
To decide what here a case talks upon the category of “Revert of rare” cases or not was
completely left to the Court’s discussion. The Apex court laid down a few principles,
which should be kept in the mind of a judge, while deciding the question of sentence. “In
revert of rare cases”, when the collective conscience of the community is to shocked that, it
will expect the holders of the power to inflict death penalty perspective of their personal
opinion”. The legislature has provided “a check” in the law by making the sentence of
death inoperative until it is confirmed by the High Court.

Through some people arguing in form of the abolition of the capital punishment in
this eve of the view that ‘life imprisonment’ in the best alternative to death penalty, it
should be realized that, in India, where the main bulk of population in still poor and
illiterate, the amount of defense produced by death is incomparable to any other form of
punishment. It is safer to have death penalty by the state Governed by “Rule of law” than
to wishes death penalty being imposed by innate individuals conditioned by “Rule of
lawlessness”, the former would provide at least some sense of social security and stability.

HARI SANKER - 5th Semester L.L.B (3 Yrs Course) Student, GOVT: Law College, Ernakulam. He
coordinates tea time chat for CPPR.



aqgn-°pfw ime ˛ Hcp ]p\¿hm-b\ ! ABIN THOMAS !

"aqgn-°pfw ime' F∂ t]cn\p]n-∂n¬ ]c∂p InS-°p∂ A¿∞-hym-]vXn-tbm, Ncn-
{X-kva-c-W-I-sfm, Adn-bmØ Hcp Xe-ap-d-bpsS apºn¬, tIcf kwkvIr-Xn-bpsS hnf-
\n-e-ambncp∂ Hcp k¿∆-I-em-im-e-bpsS ]ucm-Wn-IX ka¿∏n-°p-∂p.
`uXn-I-imkv{Xw sF—n-I-am-sb-SpØv ]Tn® Hcp hy‡n sshcp-≤y-Øns‚ Atß
Xe-bv°¬ sXmSm≥ Ncn-{X-K-th-j-W-Øn\v PohnXw Hgn-™p-h-bv°p-I. Cu I¿Ωw,
I≠-dn™ hmbn-®-dn™ Nne Imcy-ß-fn¬°qSn Znim-hy-Xn-bm\w hcp-I. CØ-c-
Øn¬ aqgn-°pfw ime-bpsS kmc-Yn-bmb {io. t{]wIp-am-dp-am-bp≈ kulr-Zkw-`m-
j-W-Ønse apØp-a-Wn-Iƒ:˛ F¥mWv aqgn-°pfw? F¥mWv AXns‚ Ncn-{Xw,
{]m[m\yw? F¥n-\pth-≠n-bmWv C∂v AXns‚ \ne-\n¬]v? Cu tNmZy-߃°v DØ-
c-am-hp-I-bmWv CXn-ep≈ hcn-Iƒ.

Ncn{Xw e-I-fn-sem-∂m-bn-cp∂p aqgn-°pfw.

- ns‚ kph¿W-Im-es - a∂v hnfn-°s
- ∏-Sp∂ k¿∆-I-em-ime t£{X-߃ \S-Øn-bn-cp-∂p.
tNc-km-{am-Py-Øns‚ `c-WI
- m-eØv ]pIƒs]‰ tIc- A∂v h¿Æ hyhÿ \ne-\n-∂n-cp-∂p. aqgn-°p-f-Øn-
f-kw-kvIrXn (AD 820) A∂v D≠m-bn-cp∂ aqgn-°p-fw- s\-°p-dn-®p≈ tcJ-Iƒ ]eXpw C∂v e`y-a-√. Nme-
im-e, aqgn-°pfw I®w AYhm aqgn-°pfw hyhÿ °p-Sn-∏p-g-bpsS XocØv ÿnXn-sN-øp∂ aqgn-°pfw
F∂-Xns‚ ASn-ÿm\w Xs∂-bm-bn-cp-∂p. aqgn- Ff-hq¿Xq-°-hp-ambn _‘-s∏-´n-cn-°p-∂p. tIa-Ø-
°pfw ime Hcp k¿∆-I-em-im-e-bmbn Adn-b-s∏-´- Øns‚ {]Xo-I-am-bn-cp∂ If-cn-Iƒ hnf-ßn-bn-cp∂
t∏mƒ aqgn-°pfw I®w Hcp AwKo-IrX t£{X-hy-h- Imew. 41 Znhkw \o≠ X]-ky-hgn ico-c-Ønse 7
ÿ-bmbn amdn. tIc-f-Ønse \mev k¿∆-I-em-im- sXmen-Isf Cd-®n-bn¬ \n∂v th¿Xn-cn®v \S-Øp∂


Xq°w Ime-K-Xn-bn¬ s]cp-abpw ss]Xr-Ihpw \in®v hnhm-Z-®p-gn-
bn¬s∏-Sp-∂Xv \mw I≠-Xm-Wv. t]cpw s]cp-abpw X]- p-h-gn-bmWv
t\Sn-sb-Sp-Ø-Xv. C∂-Xn\v ]≠sØb{X Kmw`ocyw C√. F∂p
am{Xw. A`n-\bØn\v {]m[m\yw sImSp-°p∂ \rØ-cq-]-amb IqSn-
bm-´w, IqØv F∂nh DZv`-hn-®Xv Be-ßmSv kzcq-]-Øn¬ \n∂m-Wv.
IqSn-bm-´sØ ]cn-jvI-cn-®Xv Ipe-ti-Jc h¿Ω-\pw, tXme≥ F∂
{]Xn-`-bp-amWv. IqSn-bm-´-Øn¬ hnZq-j-Is‚ hchv sIm≠p-h-∂Xv
ime-bpsS C∂sØ {]h¿Ø-\-߃
2 h¿jw XpS¿®-bm-bn´v "Rm‰p-the' Fs∂mcp ]cn-]mSn "\m´-
dnhp'ambn _‘-s∏´v \S-Øn-bn-cn-°p-∂p. AXn¬ F¥mWv Rm‰p-
the, AXp-ambn _‘-s∏´ hkvXp-X-Iƒ, Ncn{Xw XpS-ßnbh {]Xn-
]m-Zn-®n-cp-∂p. Hcp h¿j-Ønse 365 Znh-ksØ 27 \mfp-Iƒ sIm≠v
`mKn-®m¬ As√-¶n¬ 13½ X 27 \mfp-Iƒ = 365 Znhkw F∂ IW-
°n¬ Rm‰p-the In´p-∂p, 13½ Znh-k-amWv Hcp Rm‰p-th-e. Aßs\
27 Rm‰p-th-e-bpw. Rm‰p-the kqNn-∏n-°p-∂Xv "Rmb-dns‚ \ne'
AYhm "kqcys‚ \ne' F∂-Xm-Wv. BZy Rm‰pthe AizXn Rm‰p-
thebmWv. Xncp-hm-Xnc Rm‰p-thebn¬ ag IqSp-X¬ e`n-°pw. A∂v
hnc-sem-Sn®v aÆn¬ h®mepw apf-®p-h-cp-sa∂v ]g-a-°m¿ ]dbp-∂p.
AXm-bXv HSn-®p-IpØn \Sp∂ F¥n\pw \√ hf¿®-bp-≠m-Ip-a-t{X.
AXn\v ImcWw sh≈w sI´n-\n¬°n√ F∂Xpw Aßs\ s]s´∂v
thcp ]nSn°pw F∂Xpw Xncp-hm-Xnc Rm‰p-thebn¬ sXßn≥X-
Sw, AS-°m-ØSw F-∂nh FSp-Øn-cp-∂p.
"Irjn-KoX' sb∂ {KŸsØ B[m-c-am°n Hcp Ie-≠¿ \n¿Ωn-
®p. \mS≥]m-´p-Iƒ knUnbn¬ B°n {]N-cn-∏n-°p-∂p. aqgn-°p-f-
Øns‚ Ncn{Xw \in-°m-Xn-cn-°m≥ th≠ \S-]-Sn-Iƒ Ch¿ sNøp-
∂p. Hm¿Km-\n°v Imº-kn¬ F∂ ]≤-Xn-bn¬ 46 hoSp-Iƒ \n¿Ωn®p.
Imº-kn¬ ssPh-th-en-bm¬ Np‰-s∏´ Huj[ \S-∏m-X, tIcf ]T-
\-tI-{µw, \mSy-Kr-lw, Bbp¿t∆Z `£-W-im-e, hmb-\-ime F∂nh
Dƒs∏-Sp-∂p. 46 hoSp-I-ƒ F√mw hmkvXp-I-e-bn¬ hnc-Nn-X-am-bn-cn-
°p-∂-hbmWv. ChnsS AXn-Yn-bmbn Hcp Znhkw Xma-kn-°m-hp∂
]≤Xnime hn`m-h\w sNøp-∂p. t_m´nßv kuI-cy-ap≈ {Kmao-W-
`wKn. ChnSw \ap°v lrZ-b-lm-cn-bm-Ipw. Hmtcm BgvN-bnepw \mSy-
Kr-l-Øn¬ \S-Øp∂ IqØv, IqSn-bm´w XpS-ßn-bh ]mc-º-cy- Iem
kvt\ln-Iƒ°v DW¿hm-Ipw. ime-bpsS kz]v\]≤-Xn-bmWn-Xv. AXv
bmYm¿∞yam-bn-s°m-≠n-cn-°p-∂p. dm¥¬ _p°v tjm∏v Ch-bpsS
as‰mcp kwcw`w BWv. e`y-a-√mØ ]pkvX-I-߃ e`y-am-°p-I, \√
I don’t know you in per- ]pkvX-I-߃ hmb-\-°m¿s°-Øn-°pI F∂o e£y-߃°mbn
son, but that dosen’t stop me apt∂m´v t]mIp-∂p. kmln-Xy-hp-ambn _‘-s∏´v Bkzm-Z-Isc
from congratulating you, for the kt¥m-jn-∏n-°p-∂.... F∂ ]≤Xn XnI®pw Bflm¿∞-ambn sN-øp-
attempt you just made. The ∂p. `mhn-bn¬ tIc-f-Øns‚ kmaq-lnI kmwkv°m-cnI ]cn-ÿn-Xn-
articles are classy and com- ta-J-e-I-fn¬ \nd-bp∂ km∂n-≤y-am-Ip-hm≥ Ch¿ Hcp-ßp-I-bm-Wv.
pact. \jvS-amb ss]Xr-I-Øns‚ Pcm-\-c-I-sf-¶nepw ImØp kq£n-
Congrats and may the best °p-hm≥ bph-Xzta \obpw DW¿∂m-epw!
in life come your way.
Love, ABIN THOMAS - II nd year Physics Student, Sacred Heart College, Thevara
by e-mail



Education or Edu “Anchor”?

Modern era has glorified by a handful of marked developments, which As things stand today, we find
has acclaimed a majestic power & dignity to the manhood. The period that the definition of education has
from carts to airplanes, barter system to forex, direct exchanging of news been narrowed to aiding a child to
to sms has been rewarding. In this restless crave for cosy and smoothened seek a job, which secures his/her
lifestyle a number of questions have propped in which remains life, earns him a good salary, give
unanswered but will prove to be a major challenge to the “victorious man”. him better kudos etc.
One such question, which has influenced the world all over, has gained Over the time, it has witnessed
much more relevance in our state in the recent times. Novelties has seized a general trend to misunderstand
light in the stage of education also which is well notified by the increase the term knowledge to mean it to be
in the number act of B.Ed colleges every year so on. confined only to science and the
A glance through the education imparted in the olden times will illustrate world of literature has been
to us the experienced and scholarly teachers, the mode of instruction absolutely devalued. This is the
imparted trusted in respect for every job, personality development, main reason for the youth to be
improving physical fitness with good mental moulding, insistence on captivated to the so-called careers
brotherhood, good rapports, good character etc. In a nutshell the making of doctors and engineers when the
of a complete man was made possible in the Gurukuls. employment scenario demands


today for certificates of Biotech, CA, B.Pharm, Mas Com, fashion technology etc which are strangers to
the civilians even today (especially in Kerala). Job oriented courses take hold of another good part of the
“most-wanted” certificates of today. But having a quick look over the employment situation, I feel it is
high time for us to prepare our selves for a change and realize that along with the material advancements
of the time man has to brood over altering their outlooks. It is always advisable to taste the different
puddings to buckle down on one’s favourite.
Aftermath of all these? No wonder, for time has flipped back. Today we produce a pretty good number
of guys who are ‘qualified’ to become doctors, engineers, teachers etc with their certificates held very
close to their chests with their names registered in the employment exchanges. On the whole, the crippled
education system failed to create the same person of the Gurukul period who took pride in doing any job
and the outpouring demand for the white-collar jobs made them the unemployed folk of the time.
The actual trouble lies not here, but in the universal fact that man’s IQ has been equated with the IQ
of the computer’s & so anything that can help man to take a better place is to give an ample note to the
much wanted EQ (Emotional Quotient) of the time. That calls for nurturing and treasuring in man the
hallmarks like commitment, hard work, truthfulness, love, respect, sympathy, authenticity etc. Which
differentiates man from any animal or any machine. If these qualities are inculcated the lost time can be
called back for a golden era…
Present generation know everything about Mahatma Gandhi but nothing about the power of patience
and tolerance that he preached, very familiar with Albert Einstein but are completely unaware of the
different jobs that he did to make a living before he became a scientist, admire Abdul Kalam while
remain ignorant about his commitment and devotion to his responsibilities. They know everything about
the force of gravity but doesn’t realize the God’s intention to portray to man the pushed back to the earth.
Isn’t the personality classes, a mocking reply of time to the man of 21st century, running behind a lot
of things, not realizing about the things that he has left behind?
I put this question to be answered by the wilful man…

THASNEEM A. is the program coordinator of CPPR



KtP-{µs‚ IÆp-\o¿
Xpºnss° \o´n Ip¶p-ahpw sXm´v Idp-∏n-\-g-In-c´nbm°n XSn-an-Sp-°p-≈-h≥ XSn-sb-Sp°pw
Fgp-∂-≈n-∏n-t\‰w {]uVn-bp-≠m°n temdn-X≥ \mep Nph-cp-Ifn¬
XnS-sº-Sp-Øn-Sp∂ cmP-\-h≥ If-`-Øn≥ kzmX{¥yw ]m´n-embn
Ah-\psS s\©nse s\mº-c-߃ {hW-ß-fm-e-h-\psS ]mZ-ß-fn¬
Bc-dn-hq, Bcm-e-dnhq? ]pgp-h-cn-®oSpw t\c-sam-∂n¬
shSn-s°-´n≥ Xnan¿∏n¬ P\-an-cºpw \ndbptam angn-Iƒ IÆp-\o-cm¬
`b-Øn≥ \nd-hn-e-h-\m¿Øn-cºpw tImSn-Iƒ tee-Øn¬ t\Sn-Sp-tºmƒ
]©m-cn-ta-f-Øn≥ \mZ-ß-fn¬ Xd-hm-Sn≥ ta∑-bmbv amdp-a-h≥
in¶m-cn-ta-f-Øn≥ Xmf-ß-fn¬ Btcm-Ky-sam∂ßp aßn-sb-∂m¬
Xp≈n-Øn-a¿°pw am\-h¿°v aZ-sa∂ t]cn¬ Ipcp-°n-em°pw
KP-ho-cs‚ anSn-∏p-Iƒ tI´n-Smtam? Icn-ho-c\psS kpJ-Øn-s\∂p sNm√n
Iq®p-hn-e-ßp-I-f-Xncp Xo¿°pw kpJ-Nn-In’ \S-ØoSpw kq£n-∏p-Im-¿
]m∏ms‚ tXm´ntbm akvXn-jvI-Øn≥ NpS-e-bn-se-cnbpw t\cw t]mepw
Im\\ kzmX-{¥y-a-dn-™oSp-hm≥ Ah-\psS Z¥-Øn-emWp t\m´w
P\-ß-fn-\n-sb{X ImØn-tSWw? Cuiz-c-∑m¿ X≥ hml-\-Øn≥
apX-em-fn-X≥ Ioi ho¿°pw hsc IÆo-cn-\n-bmcp XpS-®o-Sptam?

MEERA U. MENON (Class XI) Student of Chinmaya Vidhyalaya, Tripunithura. Active member of Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK). Has won many prizes
for poetry writing, speech competitions etc.




That was a beautiful evening
I still remember!
The day when my seat of emotions
Throbbed in colours!!
In a failed attempt to,
Control my emotions,
I let it free to whirl,
Like the water before me!!
Soon I saw the colours spurting out,
To make a sky,
As elegant as my feelings
And I felt nature
Sharing my heart!
My eyes dipped in red ink,
Core ready to gush,
I scrawled in the abstract,
The night and the baby boy,
With the ball,
Submerging me in a well of creativity!!
Darker and darker it grew,
And the blackened birds,
Flied to their homes,
Among the zephyr touched
Black, I saw the crescent,
In the sky like the,
Smile of the baby bay!
He is the crescent, I’m the dark!
Two built from the same mould!
Twinkling dots in the sky,
Glistering crescent on the earth,
I was standing amidst the two,
With the beauty of the night
And the turbulence to the place,
Peeking from a heart!
A heart ready to over pair!!



Government Failure
- A Primer in Public Choice
Gordon Tullock, Arthur Seldon and
Gordon L Brady
(Cato Institute, 2005)

“Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess, or may assume.
The public money and public liberty...will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to
those who hold them; distinguished, too, by this tempting circumstance, that they are the instrument, as
well as the object of acquisition. With money we will get men, said Caesar, and with men we will get
money. Nor should our assembly be deluded by the integrity of their own purposes, and conclude that
these unlimited powers will never be abused, because themselves are not disposed to abuse them. They
should look forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from
which we derive our origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the
body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price.”
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1784


Public choice theory takes the same groups faced with the choice of doing what built upon. In Indian context, even though
principles that economists use to analyze is best for them or what is best for the the terms and usages may vary, the
people’s actions in the marketplace and group2. Public choice economists Gordon paraphernalia around the political class
applies them to people’s actions in Tullock, Arthur Seldon and Gardon L who form the public choices can be easily
collective decision making. Public Choice Brandy, contributors to this book in three identified with the theoretical arguments
theorists use the terms like “Volunteer’s separate sessions assume that although propounded by the public choice theorists.
Dilemma”, “Prisoner’s Dilemma”, people acting in the political marketplace This argument leads to the most debatable
“Collective Choice”, “Rational Choice”, have some concern for others, their main issue confronting; public choice
“Social Choice”, and “Voter’s Paradox” motive, whether they are voters, economists point out that there also is such
to analyse the various phenomena politicians, lobbyists, or bureaucrats, is a thing as “government failure.” along
envisaged under the scheme of things in a their individual self-interests. with “market failure”. Public Choice
society. The chief architect of the public The book deals on the public choice Theory argues that politicians are
choice theory James Buchannan (who under three sessions. The first part deals motivated by self interest — just like you
received Nobel Prize in 1986) says the with the theory of public choice written and me. By the end of the seventh chapter,
theory “replaces... romantic and illusory... by Gordon Tullock. Tullock introduces it is very much clear what the text conveys:
notions about the workings of terms like ‘logrolling3’, ‘rent seeking4’ and In The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith
governments [with]... notions that ‘tax avoision5’. It is a very systematic and postulated the concept of an ‘invisible
embody more scepticism1.” In fact, the analytical introduction to the topic. It hand’ that would lead individuals to
book ‘Government Failure’, a compilation provides valuable information on the further the common interest through the
of essays on public choice theory centres basic pillars on which the theory has been pursuit of their own self-interest. The
around the problem of individuals in
success of the free market of private goods, led to more anarchy to say. The various policy issues and conflicting interests in India
compared to the failure of socialism’s in fact is the resultant of the so called lethargic and unreliable politicians of this
controlled distribution of private goods, country. Seldon’s argument drives this point home.
is a strong demonstration of this concept Essays in this book are thought provoking. For a beginner, the ideas are really
and Public Choice theory manifests it. mind bogging. Most of them are convincing also. It presents a different picture altogether
He discusses on various elements on how to look at the government and state. The reader can perceive different styles of
forming the Public choices like voters presentations both in US and UK context. These topics are rarely discussed in the class
(paradox syndrome), bureaucracy, rooms that is where the significance of this book stands.
federalism etc. He challenges the true To summarize this most important aspect of Public Choice Theory, I will quote a
nature of the representative characteristics paragraph from an essay by Paul Starr, “The Meaning of Privatization”7:
of a democratic system but at the same time “Public choice,” ill-named because the only choices it recognizes are essentially
agrees to the point that it is better than private, is both a branch of microeconomics and an ideologically-laden view of
many other fraudulent and turbulent democratic politics. Analysts of the school apply the logic of microeconomics to politics
systems. He cites scope for improvement and generally find that whereas self-interest leads to benign results in the marketplace,
in the system how the variation can be it produces nothing but pathology in political decisions. These pathological patterns
brought about by involving innovative represent different kinds of “free-riding” and “rent-seeking” by voters, bureaucrats,
and methodically acceptable voluntary politicians, and recipients of public funds. Coalitions of voters seeking special advantage
private managers providing the defined from the state join together to get favorable legislation enacted. Rather than being
public goods. particularly needy, these groups are likely to be those whose big stake in a benefit
In the second session, Gordon L Brady arouses them to more effective action than is taken by the taxpayers at large over whom
discusses theory in the US context. His the costs are spread. In general, individuals with “concentrated” interests in increased
narration on city management and the expenditure take a “free ride” on those with “diffuse” interests in lower taxes. Similarly,
public utilities provided by the private the managers of the “bureaucratic firms” seek to maximize budgets, and thereby to
agencies are indeed thought provoking. obtain greater power, larger salaries, and other perquisites. Budget maximization
He starts the discussion on the much results in higher government spending overall, inefficient allocation among government
debated policy issue of protection in agencies, and inefficient production within them. In addition, when government
international trade. He attributes the agencies give out grants, the potential grantees expend resources in lobbying up to the
interest groups and logrollers to get benefit value of the grants—an instance of the more general political dissipation of value”
out of it. In the significance of internet resulting from the scramble for political favors and jobs”
governance, threat to nations’ sovereignty (Footnotes)
and the discriminatory practises of a
world organisation (ICANN) 6 are
essentially dealt with. Though, the
technology was in infancy when this book
was written, his predilection has been
proved over the years. At least in India,
the competitive economy is very much
visible in the case of telecommunication
field in the last decade. As Brady does in Reference
this essay, if the history of 1 Jane S Shaw, Public Policy Theory
telecommunication in India is traced, one 2 Public choice economists point out that this incentive to be ignorant is rare in the private
sector. Someone who buys a car typically wants to be well informed about the car he or
could see how freedom of decision making she selects. That is because the car buyer’s choice is decisive—he or she pays only for the
identified with the requirements of the one chosen. If the choice is wise, the buyer will benefit; if it is unwise, the buyer will
market legitimised public choice (policy) suffer directly. Voting lacks that kind of direct result. Therefore, most voters are largely
at least in this regard. There is no ignorant about the positions of the people for whom they vote. Except for a few highly
publicized issues, they do not pay a lot of attention to what legislative bodies do, and
convincing public choice argument even when they do pay attention, they have little incentive to gain the background
substantiated by Brady in his essay on knowledge and analytic skill needed to un derstand the issues.
environmental policy. The cost – benefit 3 Public Choice scholars have looked at the ways politicians interact with each other, the
analysis has been over ridden without voters, and their supporters to achieve their own goals. Vote-trading, “log-rolling”,
giving adequate alternatives. wealth transfers, etc. are a few of the methods they use to obtain their own selfish ends
and, occasionally, at the cost of the citizens. An urban legislator votes to subsidize a
Arthur Seldon deals with the choice of rural water project in order to win another legislator’s vote for a city housing subsidy.
public goods (defined very early but not The two projects may be part of a single spending bill. Through such log rolling both
redefined in the course of time) in UK legislators get what they want. And even though neither project uses resources efficiently,
context which is equally relevant in any local voters know that their representative got something for them. They may not know
that they are paying a pro-rata share of a bundle of inefficient projects.
other country which follows socialistic,
4 Public Choice has much to say about the use of rent-seeking, which is the act of
west minister type of government. The obtaining special treatment by the government at the expense of the rest of us. A
intentionally made overdependence on a specific and major case of rent-seeking, the transfer of land to private organizations
welfare state is looked with dismay in this 5 Arthur seldom combines the words tax avoidance and tax evasion.
context. The rising income of families has 6 Internet Company for Assigned names and Numbering
not changed the policies of the state. It has 7 Leon Felkins, Introduction to Public Choice Theory