Indian diplomacy was at its worst last week. It conducted the PMs visit to the US as if he was attending a seminar on economics, in Neemrana. If India is a superpower (perennially waiting to happen), it came across, on the one hand, as a country sapped of all energy and squabbling about petty […]Read More Indian Blood is Expensive
Rahul Gandhi’s very public grabbing of the political lead on Friday, on a day when the Delhi glitterati were busy electing a new management committee for the Gymkhana, perturbed the generally convivial mood. Babus however are used to such periodic outbursts from their political masters, so the Prime Minister, sitting in Washington, must have smiled his […]Read More Babunomics for Rahul
We assume that knowledge, learning and professionalism is what makes the difference between an “extractive” policracy and a “developmental” one. This builds on the modern Indian tradition of education being the path to progress and the high ritual status given to learned Brahmins, poets, literatures and artists in ancient India. Dr Radhakrishnan (1962-67), Dr Zakir […]Read More The “Man” who betrayed himself
Is Rahul really so wrong in talking of two Indias. There are two Indias. But not the kind that Rahul envisages. He sees the divide in economic terms; the poor and the rich. The real divide is between those who are ready to abandon tradition and social bonds, especially when they impose medieval constraints on […]Read More Wanted Social Reformers
Modimania marks an inflection point in India’s history, just as Nehruvinism did in the 1950s and Indira Gandhism did in the 1970s. Nehru’s inflection point (apart from Independence) lay in the curious blend of political and social “liberalism” (anti-caste, secular, inner party democracy, consensus rather than confrontation) and progressivism with economic quasi-socialism and the “big […]Read More India’s third inflection point
The lines are drawn for the May 2014 electoral battle. The congress lays claim to an evolved version of its historic outreach to the poor in 1971 when its tallest leader; Indira Gandhi, coined the “garibi hatao (remove poverty)” slogan. The Congress would have us believe that their appeal is to 67% of Indians who are […]Read More Political atrophy: only “big” men no “big” ideas
Shortages make people do crazy things. In the 1970’s a Bajaj scooter was a prized posession because it was most easily available against payment in US$, as were denim jeans, which were smuggled in or sold by the firangi “flower children” flooding India for hash and nirvana. In the 1990’s, the humble Maruti 800 beame […]Read More Importing energy insecurity
The Land Bill 2013 is backward looking and shortsighted. Coming 119 years after the predecessor legislation in 1894, it fails on four counts. First, it does nothing to assure citizens that it shall rein in wilfull and unnecessary acquisition of property by the State, as has been happening in the past. Consider that there are […]Read More Land Bill: political gains, future losses.