Ajit Doval’s plain speak

Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Czar is unafraid of plain speak. But he may have overstated his case by opining yesterday that a uniform pan-India governance architecture would be best for the nation. Diversity drives political contestation and change This is not quite the way the Constitution envisages India being governed. India is undoubtedly a […]

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Babus as default tycoons

Our style of governance remains “provincial”. Of course nothing wrong in that. The French, despite being the last word in art, films, fashion and style – and now fighter planes – exult in the provincial core of their culture. The dapper President Sarkozy first became a mayor of a charming French commune – through the […]

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#Gender & #sexuality norms #India 2018

In Britain, “buggery” between consenting adults became legal in 1967. Let me hasten to assure that I use the crude term “buggery” not to mock the LGBT community. This is the physical act, defined by its antiseptic moniker “voluntary carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, which was excised from Section 377 of the Indian […]

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Unbundling State effectiveness – current perspectives

Context is everything. No one model exists of an effective State. Hugely diverse countries like India can benefit from a modular approach enabling sub-national jurisdictions to shape their State architecture taking into account their context, the available resources and their dreams. The last is important. “Dreams” -as opposed to short-term ambition- are a mix of […]

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Book Review: For Reasons of State

India is a young nation. Three fourths of us probably have no recollection of the ravages of the Emergency period from January 1975 to March 1977. This book was first published in 1977, just after the national elections, called by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi – in a bout of self-delusion as a referendum on the […]

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The price of democracy

Prof. Ashutosh Varshney of Brown University calls India an improbable democracy — poor, impossibly heterogeneous and multicultural, and ironically, only its colonial heritage keeps it going. So has our hubris cost us plenty? Why we are not China Forget comparing ourselves with China today. Are we at least on the same path? No, we are […]

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Who rules Delhi?

Khichdi – Risotto if you prefer the Italian version – is a traditional palliative for Delhi belly. But Delhi’s khichdi style political governance systems are guaranteed to give anybody the runs. So bad is the mess that it is difficult to find out who rules Delhi. The Delhi Government, a contender, appealed against orders of […]

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