While I was school student and The Hindu newspaper was my only source of news, I was under the foolish impression that Thatcher and Reagan were unsympathetic, evil people, who destroyed people’s lives. This was in keeping with the mentally retarded, zombie socialistic, economic superstitions of the world at large and the Indian media and public at large, not least the Hindu. Add to this mix of factless poison our Congress school syllabus of hatred for all things colonial, except cricket and the English language, and the Falklands situation – where Argentina seemed to have fairness on its side.
It was long afterwards – a decade of living in the US, feeling and basking in its wealth and wisdom; another decade reading the brilliant books and essays of economists like Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Milton Friedman and an army of free market philosophers, most of whom the general public is kept ignorant of; a decade of seeing and experiencing India, China, Korea, Easter Europe, Africa, South America, all surging in growth, prosperity and better standards of living under free markets; and a decade of venomous Indian socialism under the UPA with the Manmohan Singh mask, and also the resurgence of socialism across Europe after the 2008 crisis – it is after all this, that the marvelous rejuvenation of the world’s economy under Thatcher and Reagan, shines through and tells us what wonders they achieved, just by believing in what is right and governing with that conviction.
Historians and journalists will tell you that the world changed with the fall of the Berlin wall, or with collapse of communism in the USSR. And with the death of Mao Tse-tung and the rise of Deng Xiaoping in China, and the election of Narasimha Rao as PM in India, and his choice of Manmohan Singh as Finance minister.
True, but they happened substantially because of phenomenal success of Margaret Thatcher. Reagan’s turnaround of the United States would not have sufficed, America has been rich for a century and its success would have been credited to the dynamism of its businessmen and the brilliance of its scientists and engineers. It was Margaret Thatcher’s unwavering reform of the British government, industry, economy and way of thinking, which turned the tide.
Thank you, madam. I salute you.