The individual & the society as actors of political economy

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by Sameer Panje on Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Session type

Technical level


A comparitive analysis of the objectivist & collectivist approaches to governance & economy, specifically in the Indian context.


India was once the proud owner of the epithet "Sone ki Chidiya". The epithet goes far beyond its literal translation - Golden Sparrow. It encapsulates the glory of an era which saw not just economic prosperity, but an evolved society on many other parameters. The era saw a vibrant culture that brought about unprecedented progress in the fields of arts, education, philosophy & science.

Today, we stand in the deepest troughs of our history. Economic prosperity is restricted to a few, our education system is in shambles, popular culture panders to the lowest common denominator & there is a heightened sense of discontent within the common man that is way past its boiling point.

Where did we lose the plot? What made us a "Sone ki Chidiya" back then & what makes us what we are now? Are we fundamentally flawed as a civilization or did we just make wrong choices along the way? Are we a unique case or are there any lessons to be learnt from the rest of the world?

All these questions can be answered by analyzing the interplay between the individual, the society & the structures of political economy during both these periods in our history. Perhaps we could see a way out of this morass.


An open mind & a smile

Speaker bio

Sameer is a political activist espousing the cause of liberal policies in India. He is associated with Freedom Team of India - a group of politically aware citizens with shared values of classical liberalism.

Over the last 5 years, Sameer has been a keen but unconventional student of politics, philosophy & economics. Instead of formal avenues of education, he has realized his hunger for knowledge and insight by engaging with people across the country through his travels, voraciously consuming archived wisdom (books) & actively challenging his own beliefs & convictions at every step. He brings to the table a unique perspective, one that won't be found in mainstream classrooms & discussion panels. One that stems forth from the wisdom of many elements - philosophers like Vivekananda, Locke & Ambedkar; economic visionaries like Chanakya, Adam Smith & Friedrich von Hayek; political figures like Jefferson, Rajaji & Ambedkar and last but not the least, that creature of superlative resilience - the uncommonly intelligent common man of India.