It can’t be very gratifying being the Finance Minister when the International Monetary Fund is calling out India for being a growth laggard pulling down world growth in 2019 to 2.9 per cent (from 3.3 per cent forecast earlier) and in 2020 to 3.4 per cent (from 3.6 per cent forecast earlier). International Financial Institutions […]Read More Is India the global fall-guy?
Two burly, senior citizens – Prime Minister Modi and President Xi doing a tango on the beach at Mamallapuram doesn’t quite evoke the carefully synchronised but fiercely intense passion of this Argentinian dance form. Even the cool looking, athletic Barrack Obama was left with two left feet when he was led onto the floor for a […]Read More Tango in Mamallapuram
The spontaneous or manoeuvred fracturing of polity along traditional identities is misaligned with development—our core concern today—which, by definition, is inclusive. But just as surely, papering over political sores festering over the last seven decades, like in Kashmir, has not helped. Unlocking the constitutional logjam The constitutional coup by the Union Government on August 5th to […]Read More Kashmir gets a reality check
It’s an ungodly 4 am as our shikara spears through the shimmering beauty of the Dal Lake — the rush of breeze a blessing after an unexpectedly still and warm night. Warmer summers and colder winters are a reminder that climate change, the silent killer, is not far off. A pre-dawn “bargain” A shikara lurks […]Read More Looking beyond the Kashmiri Fish Bowl
This book will jolt you awake, quicken your heartbeat and embed niggling worms of anxiety in even the most sanguine of persons. The author is a gifted, American, climate journalist. He grabs your attention in the very first paragraph and keeps it for the next 231 pages of text followed by 66 pages of notes, […]Read More Lest we err and waste our planet
Taking the war on terror directly into Pakistan was India’s first step towards fulfilling its “Great Power” aspirations. Like the United States, we have transited to using air power to limit the body bags from such operations. Unlike the US, which has global policing responsibilities, our counter-terror theatre is currently limited to Pakistan. Also, unlike […]Read More The cost of war
International league tables come with their own limitations. To be sure they— of which the Ease of Doing Business Index is the best known — have their uses. Countries get incentivised to trim a lot of accumulated fat by updating processes, reforming unsupportive structures and improving poor outcomes. But the one big flaw of such […]Read More Indian democracy “best fit” or flawed?
The Pulwama massacre illustrates how porous our security architecture remains to domestic and external threats. We live in a tough neighbourhood. The geo-politics of containing the enemy through a simmering, low-level, proxy war of attrition is a fine art in South Asia and its near abroad. More boots are no substitute for hi-tech surveillance and […]Read More Unlock India’s growth potential & make us more secure
Four decades ago on January 16, 1979, Iran’s last “Persian” ruler Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi fled his palace near Tehran never to return, thus ending a divisive rule of nearly four decades. The fallout, which occasioned his political demise, was a mass outpouring of anger against entitled westernised elites; State led dilution of traditional cultures and lifestyles; […]Read More A Shah is born in India
In a recent freebie on social media, McKinsey – an outrageously expensive US consultancy which spurns a fee below Rs 50 million for even the smallest task – shares lessons learnt by them for producing leaders. First, good health is critical – a no-brainer. Second, company programs to produce leaders mostly fail – this is […]Read More McKinsey can learn from Modi