New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Tuesday suggested that the theory of the “third way” expounded by Nobel laureate Richard Thaler resonates with the philosophy of RSS leader Dattopant Thengadi. Taking further BJP national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao’s analysis of the current economic situation as one of conflict between the economy of scarcity and the economy of prosperity, Mahajan noted that Thengadi had propounded the philosophy of the “third way” wherein there could be participation by the whole society.
“One of the books of Thaler has a chapter titled Third Way,” Mahajan recalled while giving the annual Dattopant Thengadi memorial lecture in the national capital. The Lok Sabha Speaker recalled her long association with Thengadi, who founded the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM). Sharing a number of anecdotes about Thengadi, Mahajan said that the RSS stalwart had long stints in trade unions linked to the Congress and the Left before he founded BMS. He had also worked as an assistant to B R Ambedkar.
Touching on Thengadi’s concerns in founding SJM, Mahajan noted that times had changed, with the world now being keen to listen to what India and other developing countries had to say on an issue. “From my experience of travelling to different countries, I can say that the world is now keen to listen to what the Lok Sabha Speaker of India has to say on an issue. The time when the concerns of developed countries were pre-eminent at multilateral fora is now gone,” Mahajan said.
Speaking on the issue of current economic challenges, BJP national general secretary Rao had said that ever since Murasoli Maran, as minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet, pushed the development agenda to the forefront of WTO negotiations in the Doha round, the multilateral talks had headed nowhere.
“The US has lost the moral authority to instruct other countries with economic prescriptions after the financial meltdown of 2008. The US is now exploring partnerships with the leaderships of other countries, in contrast to the unipolarity of the past,” Rao said.
However, the BJP leader noted that an issue which was acquiring alarming proportions was that wealth was concentrated in a few hands, and it was not logical to use taxation to finance welfare measures. Rao claimed that the participation of a large number of people for equitable distribution of wealth was the need of the hour.