Net neutrality and Airtel Zero

Consider a post man who transfers posts from one person (provider) to another (consumer). Whether the postage is paid by provider or consumer is immaterial and perfectly legal as long as
a) both are not charged
b) for the same distance and weight of the parcel different pair of provider-consumer are not charged differently.

Similarly Airtel is ethical, morally and legally correct as long as it gets paid by either the provider (Flipkart) or the consumer (end user). However airtel will be at wrong side if it charges both flipkart and the enduser, or charges amazon differently when compared to flipkart.

Without net neutrality flipkart pays to airtel either for all customer visits, or waives off charges if the customer makes a purchase. In these cases customer is in profit, Airtel is neither in profit or loss because whoever pays it gets paid the same. Flipkart sees this as an investment to increase customer base. This is similar to postage paid by the addressee which you can see in normal postal deliveries.
With net neutrality companies are not allowed to be tied up with telcos (by TRAI regulation) and hence customer has to pay for all visited sites. Customer visits merchant site less often.Merchant site looses customerbase, telco also is at loss, customer is also at loss as he missed out on business. Overall GDP also reduced as there was less business.

Conclusion 1: With intervention everybody is at loss.

Some argue that it would be tough for new players to compete with established companies if telcos get tied up with them. The only answer is free market is tough. We have to be best to win over others. If you want to win by grants or by supressing business opportunities of others then please dont blame reservations and license raj too.

Also the popular analogy of electricity companies is false because, electricity company is a monopoly. If it favours one business, there is no counter mechanism to overcome it. Thankfully telcos are private and the competitions among telcos nullifies the fear of business suppression.

Some other examples for you to compare:
I see this similar to HDFC Bank waiving of transaction fee for fuel purchased through credit card. Eventhough you dont realise HDFC Bank is paying for data transaction of each swipe,not the customer. If the argument for net neutrality is equitable it should apply here also. Why should banks be spared just because they dont use browser but an embedded device.

I also see it similar to companies waiving of parking fee of visited customers, or real estate companies paying or volunteering for transport costs of site visit.

The point I like to make is transaction fee, transport charges, bandwidth consumption of a customer are not of a concern when there are better benefits to companies. Let them pay for it. Why should customers pay for a visit to flipkart even if they dont purchase. Why is it unethical if flipkart offers to pay for visits to its sites by customers?

All this are allowed in free market.

Some more examples for you to consider:

I would like to give some more non internet counter examples that are allowed by law and influence customer behaviour. Why only internet market has to suffer regulations that prevent tie-ups?

* Mc Donalds,offers a combo pack with Coca Cola, we canot request to change it with some other drink, they refuse and tell it is not in Combo Offer.

*Kotak Mahindra offers PVR tickets as a bonus for their Credit Card, would you say they are influencing your movie visiting pattern?

*Fiat Car company voids the warranty if you change your Car Audio, Dont you think they are affecting your free choice?

*Reliance is plannin to tieup with Samsung for its 4G Voice+Data plan. verizon ties up with Apple. Are they not affecting other players?
*Government of India tells to businesses that if you open your company in SEZ you dont have to pay certain tax. Are’nt they against similar businesses in other areas?

Another agument that most people ignore:
In India no revolution happens without a vested business interest. Lets see who gets huge profits with the new “Net Neutrality” filter. Check this link:

Can Reliance’s Jio Chat topple WhatsApp?

Some excerpts from here:

“It also offers 100 free SMS a month (sent on data) ”

How can this be allowed? Is it not against net neutrality.

“The additional features of Jio Chat include a channels section, where it has tied up with a few companies-including HTC, Star TV, Paytm, food ordering app Tiny Owl, Reliance Digital, Reliance Fresh Direct and IPL cricket franchise Mumbai Indians for entertainment and e-commerce content.”

Reliance Jio has tie ups with businesses like Tiny Owl and in house Reliance Digital, Fresh Direct etc. By Reliance favouring Jio Chat instead of Whatsapp, are they not affecting other businesses like flipkart, big-basket dot com ? Just because Jio Chat is inhouse of reliance why do you spare them? To fight against Reliance what is wrong if flipkart ties up with airtel?

Another advantage if we do not have net neutrality:
The competition among telcos gives free access to wikipedia, facebook, whatsapp which is so beneficial to millions of poor customers in India through net penetration, otherwise everybody has to pay.

Conclusion 2:Allow free market a chance, free market follows demand and is always beneficial to end users.

Sanskrit as a compulsory subject

Ref: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/rss-outfit-says-make-sanskrit-compulsory-in-cbse-till-class-12/1/403038.html

I think this idea of mandating a language forcefully is a big failure. Its a waste of tax payers money, and makes more harm to the language than good.

Let me give an example: If you want to make all people like tomato and eat tomato..would you simply grow more tomato and supply to Market?  People will dump unsold tomatoes on roads.

You have to increase demand in Market before increasing the supply of the commodity otherwise the commodity itself will be devalued.

Currently though many people dont study Sanskrit, atleast people who study it out of interest will appreciate it. By forcing it to people who dont want it, I think Govt is doing more harm than good. Sanskrit will loose its credibilty.

What Govt. has to do is create market for it in the people. One way is to make it less cryptic (It is possible) to people and encourage authorship in Sanskrit. Create short films in Sanskrit funded partially through HRD ministry and encourage it in Media.Create curiosity in people. Employ and provide better benefits to people who know Sanskrit, a rare skill should be paid higher. Now Govt pays same salary to a Sanskrit Scholar and an English scholar. There is no incentive to learn Sanskrit in any field.

I support Minarchy

I support a minimal government that takes care of defense and judiciary. Even in judiciary the laws should be as minimal as to uphold the liberty of the individual. It should collect taxes specifically for defense and running  judiciary and not for anything else. 

Till few days back I thought I should fight only against socialists to prove the benefits of this model of governance. But now I see formidable opposition from anarcho-capitalists. This post is mainly to defend minarchy from anarcho-capitalists not socialists.

Defense

1) Anarcho-Capitalists opine that defense is not needed and everything can be controlled by free market. But this holds good only if all the countries are anarcho-capitalists, not in the current situation. China can any day attack India and capture Arunachal pradesh completely :-), Kashmir can easily be taken by Pakistan.

2) Anarcho-Capitalists tell that even in the current conditon where we have Government based countries all around and anarcho-capitalist country at the center, Private Defense (Lets say pd) systems can exist to defend. I ask what difference does it make between a government based defense and private company based defense? Then they say monopoly is avoided. But I think in defense there should be monopoly, here are my arguments:

a. Suppose a part of Rajasthan border is defended by pd1, and a part of Punjab border is defended by pd2. Now they have to share information about the insurgencies in respective area, since these are different defense companies what guarantee is there that they share it?
b. Suppose heavy attack has happened on pd1’s jurisdiction and it needs more armaments, can pd2 share its arms with pd1? Under what protocol? Decided by which contract and by which justice system?
c. Suppose a part of a hill is defended by pd1 and another part of the hill is defended by pd2, how do you manage this?

If Anarcho-Capitalists say they have to co-operate, who makes those co-operation rules and based on which law? Even judiciary is private in anarcho capitalism and caters only to Natural laws based on facts, not positive laws.

“DEFENSE should be a monopoly, it instills a sense of nationality in soldiers which is essential in this field, remeber they have to be ready to die. Nobody dies for a private defense company, people die for country and only government represents a country.It also avoids the above problems.”

Judiciary

Polycentric Law System : Multiple Private Law Systems (Lets say pls) is clearly beyond my capability of understanding.

Suppose x and y are two individuals who have a dispute. x has killed y’s brother z. Now x and y goto pls1. pls1 analyses the case and finds that z had tried to kill x’s friend w
and hence to protect w , x killed z.

pls1 says the following:

a. killing is always a criminal act
b. x should have protected w without violence, to prevent one death (that of w) x caused another death(that of z).
c. x should have judged why z attacked w.It could be that z is justified in killing w (for whatever reason) who is x to judge that z should also be killed?

So it awards 10 years imprisonment to x.

x is unhappy and goes to pls2.

pls2 says the following:

a. Killing one person to save another is a crime only if both are unknown.
b. Killing one person to save another is fine, when the person being attempted to kill is a well known to the other person (family member or a friend or an acquaintance)

So as per pls2 x is free to go.

Now should this ping-pong go on or should their be a higher court that decides which law system is good? If there is a higher court is it not a monopoly? Cant the government provide it?

I need a perfect answer for this by anarcho-capitalists, arguments like “in the long run one law system will be favored against the other” will not be acceptable because
1) Injustice is not allowed even in one single case, theorems get unproved with just one contradiction.
2) If this long run favours a favourable law system, is that not a monopoly? Why cant we have that monopoly right from the beginning?

Update after Discussion in Indian Libertarians Group

I had some strong opposition from Indian Libertarians on this post. All the comments were on the defense part. On Judiciary I got a feedback that I have not understood polycentric law system and hence whatever conflicts I presented above do not correlate with it. I admit I have not read the formal text books on the topic yet. So I agreed I’ll read it again to see if I have missed something.

For the comments on defense, I summarise my answers here (Complete discussion available in the IL Facebook Group)

AnCap does not say defense is not needed, but they are against the monopoly of defense.
 Thanks for this confirmation. I got this notion because some members in IL told that Switzerland escaped WW II only because they were in free trade, and hence no enemies. But if you agree defense is needed in AnCap, I’m happy that we atleast concur here.

AnCap does not see defense service as a specialised service but a service similar to banking/insurance/internal security and as such they can always be better served by a private company.
There are differences between defense and other services.
* While all other services deal with customers within the country – manufacturing products for them, provide service for them etc – they do it without causing any physical harm to
members of any another country, a defense organization has to fight against forces outside the country to serve its customers. It affects foreign relations and it is a very very sensitive field.
*We cannot afford a defense agency leaking internal secrets. This is one of the prime reason why we cannot afford private defense agencies.They are free to goto any country after their contract termination.
*Decisions have to be taken in unison. With private defense agencies each one of them is independent to attack or be at peace at its own wish. Eg. Private Defense Agency in  Gujarat might want to attack Pakistan without any threat, Private Defense Agency in Kashmir might not opt to have any defense at all and wish to have open border with  Pakistan. This is as good as loosing Kashmir.
*In pure Ancap world without any intervention any private company from any other country can offer the defense service, this also is a security threat.

An army does not need patriotism, just respect to the profession is enough. There is no necessity of nationality and hence a monolithic defense organization led by Govt.
I may agree to the concept of “respect to profession”. But consider this, there could be people who join this profession when they dont find any opportunity elsewhere. And when they are in, they have to fight whether they respect their profession or whether they have patriotism.  I want to know what our soldiers think about this. As far as I know the motivation for a person to stick to army (unless forced) is patriotism. Who would otherwise risk his/her life for the convenience of majority of people who are not at all related to him/her?

A decentralised defense service, provided by private companies offers better competition and quality.
A defense organization should see its opponent as competitor not its partner. A private defense company need not go on race in obtaining a missile like Trishul just because a neighbouring private defense company has more such missiles.This leads to wastage of money. But it has to have a competing missile w.r.t that of neighbouring country’s.

*Competition results in arms race within private defense agencies.
*The competition among internal private defense companies may itself become hostile that affects their co-ordination.

Co-ordination can be managed by having a defense rating agency. For better rating they have to share resources and information.
*Who should periodically check this rating and then hire/fire defense agencies? Is it all civilians, or some of them? Who are those some people, elected members, elites? Can this result in Nepotism? Is this practical?
*What do you mean by sharing
–Share people: All soldiers should follow same protocols (trained in a similar way), and have similar hierarchy otherwise it causes issues within team.
–Sharing of equipments : This means using common equipments, same tankers, same aircrafts, same ciphers, same radio frequencies. What is the USP of a private defense agency then, just the administration?
–How quickly they should share teams across two difference agencies during an attack? What is the turn around time. For better results TAT has to be zero.It would be zero only when they are so open that they dont have to wait for any permission from their respective seniors. If you have such a good sharing, it has to be almost centralised.

A monopoly of defense can turn itself against the civilians as they did in Pakistan. It is dangerous.
Even a private defense company can turn against the civilians, what stops them? It is more dangerous here because two regions having private defense can attack each other without any central control. What stops TN with its own defense attacking against Karnataka with it own defense (States are hypothetical, you can invent any other region with a different name).

Private Defense Agencies break Monopoly
A commodity manufacturer is not a monopoly because simultaneously the customer has access to two varieties which he can compare. But when a customer  at a time has access to one only one supplier it is a  monopoly.  I agree that by having private defense agencies we can achieve decentralization but we cannot avoid monopoly unless you have policies for contract termination of a private defense.
*Such a termination is a security threat as explained above
*Uneccessarily it puts pressure on the neighbouring defense agencies
*The absence of a defense agency/transition from one defense agency to another would result in the most weakest part of the defense, prone to attack. Such an attack is not just harmful to the concerned region but to the entire country.

 

Party Less Elections

I think good independent candidates who contest for elections do not get enough votes to win even if they are better than others.There could be many reasons for that, but I think the major reason is that they cant play against big party-candidates. It is difficult to play with big parties who can go to fighting, proxy voting and poll booth captures to win. Also independent candidates cannot invest huge money in advertising themselves. Even if they win they have very less chance of becoming a minister. They cant gather much support in the parliament/legislature. Realizing this people simply avoid voting them in the fear of their vote getting wasted.

So I was wondering if it would be a good idea to abolish all parties and ask people to contest only as independent candidates. This will allow all candidates to get a fair field to play and will reduce the unnecessary election expenditure done by parties. Further it will avoid the formation of party-mafia which are nothing but a kind of rowdy gang.

When  this is done there can be no question of a majority party forming a ruling party of the government. And there is no opposition party as well. But still laws can be made democratically by elected members.

I know many would raise questions that such party-less government is not at all possible. But consider this:We always think of opposition party to be a watch dog, but what about other minority parties and independent candidates? They are neither ruling nor opposition right? Where would they stand? Also think of a hypothetical scenario of all consitituencies electing only independent candidates even in the current scenario of mixed party based and independent candidate elections.  Party-less government is perfectly realizable there right?

Another problem of having only independent candidates is the challenge in finding who is the winner when all of them get equal number of votes. I have the following solution for it :
The election should happen in a tree approach as in a sports championship till a single candidate comes out as a winner. First a set of independent candidates would register to contest. Election commission would then determine the number of rounds the election should go in a constituency  depending on the number of candidates (Should be log n to base 2). The candidates are randomly grouped into two (perhaps three for the final set for odd numbered candidates). This can be cost-effectively done with electronic voting machines and possibly internet voting. The election will proceed in rounds till the single absolute winner is found.

On freedom of speech

It is a very difficult time for supporters of free speech. Taking myself as an example,  in-spite of me writing some comments in Facebook arguing in support of free speech, I think I am loosing the fight at convincing people, I  felt tired after long chats. So I am writing this post. I think I am already loosing many of my friends because of my liberal thoughts, but I dont care.  I am realising how a person’s thought process affects his/her social relationship.

When I said it is a mockery of intelligence of people to filter contents and do censoring, I got an argument that people are really not intelligent and content needs to be censored, I got some arguments that people often make irrational decisions and hence “well learned” people have to filter the contents for them.  I am more sad because all these arguments are by highly educated people.

Specifically in the case of Wendy’s book on “The Hindus” –  I was told that in general for books on Hinduism by foreign authors, there should be a review of the manuscript by Indian Sanskrit Scholars !!!  Firstly I wonder how Hinduism became the property of Sanskrit Scholars of India?  How is this ownership determined, just by being born in India does a person get right on Hinduism and others don’t? I dare ask this question to those who question foreign Sanskrit Scholars who have studied this foreign language with so much of interest that they could write treatises and translations on Sanskrit literature – How many intellectuals in India are studying Sanskrit literature/Vedas and Upanishads out of interest or for career? How many of them have opted to write translations and  commentaries? Is Indian govt. encouraging  humanities and encouraging unbiased research on literature, history and religion?   Secondly, a commentory or analysis of something is author’s original work. There is no meaning in getting it reviewed before publishing!!  If Galileo offered peer review he could have never proposed his “Helio Centric Theory”.    Adi Shankaracharya, could never have proposed Advaita. He proposed his philosophy  without review and offered it for debate with scholars like Mandana Misra all over India. And he won. Thats the way to go. Original work and Commentaries on existing works need not be reviewed to get approval,otherwise it looses its purpose.(Dont start complaining me that I am comparing Adi Shankaracharya with some XXXX, I brought his name to support free speech thats all)

Next I was thinking about the constraints on freedom of speech in India from the beginning of time.  With whatever knowledge I have I can say that it first tarted with Ashtavakra (the time was tretayuga, before Rama’s birth). He refuted his father when he was pronouncing some shlokas  in the Vedas wrongly. His father was so angry that he cursed him to become wrongly shaped at 8 locations in the body and hence the name Ashtavakra. But the irony is that the same Ashtavakra had to save his father when he was held captive by Varuna.  However after this incidence I dont see any instance of curtailing freedom of speech  in India.  We had both Veda Based and Non Veda based philosophies, Astika and Nastika Darshana’s, we got Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism. We welcomed Dvaita/Advaita/Vishishtadvaita all of this because of freedom of speech.

And this article 295A  was added only by British to Indian law. I am sad that Hindus now are forgetting their liberal tradition and are inclined towards this retro step.

Lastly for those who want to be told in terms of a religious analogy I will give one :
This freedom of speech is like churning the ocean. It gives both poison and nectar, but stopping this churn does not give you anything. Poison here can be compared to  a non sense, wrong or naive work and Nectar can be a compared to a  wonderful new thought process that changes the world forever. Without freedom of speech you stop getting rubbish but you also dont get wonderful piece of work. World becomes stagnant.

Essence of Liberalism in One Sanskrit Verse

There is a well known Sanskrit Subhashita,

“Vidya Dadathi Vinayam Vinayath Yaati Patratam”
“Patratwath Dhanamaapnothi Dhanath Dharma Thathaha Sukham”

Lets analyze what it means in two steps:

Step1:
“Vidya Dadathi Vinayam” : Knowledge gives you humbleness.

“Vinayath Yaati Patratam”: Knowledge coupled with humbleness makes you capable.

“Patratwath Dhanamaapnothi” : Capability makes you rich.

“Dhanath Dharma Thathaha Sukham” : From richness, you restore righteousness and with that you get happiness.

Step2:

Lets check this cause-effect relationship from bottom to top.
Ultimate goal of human being is to be happy(Sukham). Happiness prevails when people are righteous (Dharma). People can follow Dharma without fail only when they are not Poor (Dhana). Money comes to people who are capable (Patratham). Capability comes from knowledge(Vidhya) coupled with respect to liberty (Vinayam).

Is this not what classical liberalism teaches? Gain knowledge, respect liberty, be capable and earn money, follow righteousness and happiness follows you !!

Moreover with such a society there is no need of a King…no need of democracy either, people can just live happily.

Is this not “anarcho-capitalism” – the ideal liberal economy?

Regarding Uniform Civil Code and Marriages

Current article 44 deeply infringes upon the individual liberty and trys to create a new “State Based Religion” which is a amalgamation of multiple religious laws, this when the country is supposed to be secular. Some libertarians are of the opinion that there should not be any Uniform Civil Code but a marriage registration contract and acceptance of all kinds of marriages.

On the contrary I think there should be uniform civil code that tells how the relationship between two partners should be to uphold individuals liberty, but nothing more than that – this can be an extension of the basic laws between two individuals who would like to live as partners, and among those people who are members of a family and want to claim the inheritance. To be precise UCC should not act as a religion.

Example:
No marriage contracts defined by the state. Just as it has to put a blind eye to religion, it also has to put a blind eye to religion based marriage laws and further refrain from imposing additional laws by itself as well. But between two individuals there can be a prenuptial agreement whose terms and conditions are specified by them only (not by state again). It can be used during at a later point of time.

I would like to substantiate this by giving 5 examples that explain the complexities in having marriage contract  (So called heavy UCC) as well as accepting all marriage laws of all religions (Secular Country).

I take a hypothetical scenario where there is  marriage contract without universal civil code and all religions  free to have their own marriage laws.

Assumptions

(i) Traditional Hindu Marriage Rules allow polygamy but no divorce.
(ii) Traditional Islam Marriage Rules allow polygamy and divorce but only those initiated by men.

Case1: A person X belonging to Hindu Religion marries person Y also belonging to Hindu religion. Now after some years they want to divorce. There is no UCC and all religious laws are unaltered.Hindu Marriage does not have law for divorce and cannot provide a legal means of separation. Hence state has to intervene with its laws for divorce .

Case2: A person(male) X belonging to Hindu Religion marries 4 persons Y1,Y2,Y3  and Y4 also belonging to Hindu religion. Now after some years X and Y2 want to divorce. There is no UCC and all laws are unaltered. Hindu Marriage does not have law for divorce and cannot provide a legal means of separation. Hence state has to intervene with its laws for divorce  in *polygamous* situations .

Case3: A person(female) X belonging to Hindu Religion wants to marry 2 persons Y1 and Y2 also belonging to Hindu religion.  There is no UCC and all laws are unaltered, neither Hindu Marriage nor Islam have laws for polyandry. She goes to court demanding polyandry when polygamy is allowed.The state being liberal and secular allows this in its Marriage Registration laws. Hence state has to intervene with its laws for marriage  in polyandry situations .

Case4: A person X belonging to Hindu Religion wants to have live-in relationship with Y1 . Government  being liberal allows this. After some years they have a child and they separate, the female hence claims for monetary benefits from the live-in partner.  But government tells unless you register your marriage you cant get benefits on separation. She asks if it is not creating a uniform civil code by framing marriage rules?.

Case5: A person (male) X belonging to Islam Religion marries four persons(female) Y1, Y2,Y3 and Y4  as per Islam Marriage Law.  After some years X says Talak thrice and divorces Y1, no court case is made because Islam marriage allows this kind of divorce. Now Y2 also wants to divorce X but she does not have that capability as the Islam law is gender biased.She demands government to allow this divorce. Government being gender neutral allows this divorce thus intervening with Islam Marriage Law .

Several other complications arise by not having UCC but agreeing to all kinds of marriages by all religions. People will start inventing new marriage rules by inventing new religions (Eg. group marriage is one such example). Problem with property rights happen with polygamous and polyandrous marriages.

To avoid all these a government must have a Uniform Civil Code and disregard all other marriages(neither accept nor reject). When you have a friendship with somebody government does not ask to register the friendship, similarly for marriage also government should not ask registration. Just as you can terminate friendship without asking anyone, you can terminate marriage also without asking government.
But it should propose UNIFORM CIVIL CODE to uphold the liberty.

1. No physical/emotional crime to either of the partner is tolerated

2. No forcible money demands to be made.

3. Should not impose restrictions(eg. job) that affect the liberty of the person.

4. If there are children out of the relationship, both the partners are equally responsible for bringing up the kids, the ratio of expenditure on the kids split between parents should be proportional to their respective income.

4. Property inheritance should happen only through explicit agreements (like self defined prenupt) . If there is a death without such an agreement, property should be equally distributed to all children (identified through genetic tests) but not to partners (For a simple reason that Govt does not know how many are there and it does not want to keep track of it).

When govt. is so lenient on relationships, who would want to shackle themselves with marriage. I had a friend in France who was in live-in relationship for 17 years and had kids 15 and 13 years old. I asked why dont they marry. He said marriage is a contract for those who are fearful of divorce. He also said they were deeply in love and dont need such contracts. Now which should I hold sacrosanct marriage or live-in relationship?