Should Rahul step up or back?

The Gandhi’s (Rahul, his mom and sister) face an existential crisis. At the heart of their problem is the stance they should adopt for the national elections coming up in May 2019. The dilemma of leadership Doing more of the same would mean upping the ante, matching Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah taunt-for-taunt, continuing […]

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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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The Saffron brotherhood in 2024

No one knows why Prime Minister Modi chose to walk behind Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji’s funeral cortege till “Smriti Sthal” (the place of remembrances), where India’s top politicians – are usually cremated. Was it to bridge the gap between his actions and the principle of Raj Dharma (ethical rule) enunciated by Atalji in 2002? Was he […]

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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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