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to support President Obama's choice of Dr Vivek H Murthy for the US Surgeon General's post.

This petition had 19 supporters

The bane of Capitalism is the power of business lobbies to affect governance in a way that it suits their vested interests, even if it is at colossal costs to public interest. The gun lobby of the US (National Rifle association - NRA), which is working hard to stymie the appointment of Dr Vivek H Murthy (the Indian-American head of a doctors group, who has been chosen by US President Barack Obama for the post of surgeon general), is a prime example of such a lobby.

In India, we have been battling with Nehruvian Socialism, which essentially turns public sector undertakings (barring the few exceptions), particularly the monopolies, into mafia like set-ups, which in turn promote/ nurture more mafia like organisations under them. In Bangalore, for instance, we have the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (a government-run monopoly bus transport service provider), which is invariably milked by the minister-in-charge, through various means, the latest being mis-use of JNNURM, even as the officialdom milk the various operation and maintenance contracts, and the labour unionists milk the workers. The poor service resulting thereof promotes the auto-rickshaw raaj, which given the various operational factors involved, can operate only like a mafia.

Similar is the story, more specifically in the critical infrastructure areas like power supply, water supply, etc, coming under state government agencies, and railways (including manufacture of coaches), coal mining, etc, coming under the central government. This is even as Indian products and services, wherever the sectors have been opened up for competition from private players, have become near world-class.

Even as that is the case, "privatisation/ outsourcing" continues to be perceived as a bad word, perhaps largely on account of the kind of hold the NRA kind of lobbies have over governments, apart from other rather trivial reasons. The equivalents of the NRA in India are the "crony capitalists" in the various sectors, and it is not without reason that there is a resonance amongst the public when an Arvind Kejriwal makes that an election issue.

While admittedly lobbies work to change the laws to suit them, once adopted, they largely work within the law. Mafia's, on the other hand (the governments' own being the biggest), openly flout all laws. Given the country's vibrant democracy, where Civil Society and media have gained considerable strength of recent, I would any day prefer to work with the lobbies.

As such, it is in the interest of good governance, across all democracies of the world, that the clout of a lobby like the NRA be challenged. Dr Murthy's appointment provides an ideal opportunity.

I request all those in agreement world-wide to sign this petition addressed to the US Senators, across party lines, to support President Obama's choice of Dr Murthy for the US Surgeon General's post.

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