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On April 7, 2018, Dhanashree Gurudu and Aishwarya Bhuta from the Editorial team of Young Bhartiya Foundation participated in a colloquium at Government Law College, Churchgate. It was organized by South Asia Students for Liberty and Mumbai Students for Liberty (SFL), in association with Students for the Promotion of International Law (SPIL), Mumbai. There were around twenty student participants from various backgrounds viz. Law, Psychology, Engineering, and Social Science.

Based on the Socratic method of inquiry, the theme of the colloquium was ‘The Economics of Politics’. It appealed to all the participants who together analyzed a reader. The text that was an introduction to public choice theory was divided into four sections- Public choice theory, Elections, Rent Seekers, and Watching the Watchman. This theory employs the tools of economics to understand how politics and governments function. The discussion began with an attempt to understand the difference between self-interest and selfishness, followed by an analysis of the concept of public interest.

The participants not only dwelled upon theoretical notions but also applied these ideas to real world situations. Issues such as the relevance of reservations, Article 377 that criminalizes homosexuality, and the beef ban were deliberated upon from a number of vantage points. Various perspectives emerged, leading to a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts, such as that of majority v/s minority. The session on elections explored different voting patterns in the light of the irrational biases of the voters, as well as their rational ignorance. The role of the constitution in laying down the ground norms was emphasized. The discussion ended with a discussion on the desirable extent of government intervention, the empirical evidence across global economies suggesting minimalism as leading to greater economic growth.

The colloquium was undoubtedly an enriching experience for the participants who came with a certain set of ideas but certainly went back with many more. Young Bhartiya Foundation looks forward to a continued collaboration with SFL and SPIL for more such opportunities for exchange of knowledge, information, and most importantly, ideas.

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Written By Aishwarya Bhuta

Thinker, writer and poetess who wants to change the world with her pen.

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