Holding a mirror to India

“Ghasiram Kotwal” Vijay Tendulkar’s brilliant Marathi satire on the predilection of the powerful to subvert ideology to their own survival, was penned in 1972. It faced rough weather in getting permissions to be staged. The Shiv Sena raged against it, presumably because it portrayed Nana Phadnavis, a prime minister of the Peshwas, in a bad […]

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Fracturing South Asia into action

South Asians integrate the least with each other as a region. Joyeeta Bhattacharjee of ORF, who studies the region, puts it down to fear of Indian domination (India accounts for 80% of the combined GDP and 74% of the combined population), historical mistrust (a colonial legacy) and targeted terrorism (a recent innovation of war by […]

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The price of fiscal exuberance

Politics is heating up. Elections in Bihar loom in November with Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu* and West Bengal tightly packed together in May next year, just after the FY 2021-22 budget. Bihar remains rural at heart. Luckily for the BJP, agriculture is the bright star in the Indian economy with expected growth of 3%. Doesn’t […]

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Governance reform baby steps

Good governance day aka Christmas and the late Atalji – India’s poet politician’s – birthday, dawned with some good news. The government unleashed two initiatives to signal its commitment to “jointness” a clumsy European synonym for better teamwork. Both initiatives, curiously, relate to the breaking down of self- sufficient silos in administration to promote better […]

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India’s Raj inheritance

Delhi has yet to overcome its Raj inheritance. The capital exudes the complacence of satiated imperialism, decades after the rest of the country has been democratized.  The most egregious twin dogmas Two particularly deep-seated Raj dogmas plague Delhi. First, that India has an entitlement to lead the world and second, that our long-term foe is […]

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