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
Rahul Gandhi’s electoral silver bullet to numb the BJP into relative disarray is a mega welfare scheme to transfer Rs 72,000 to each of the 50 million or 20 per cent of the poorest households. It costs Rs 3.6 trillion or 1.8 per cent of GDP. Mine versus yours The motivation is political – to […]Read More Nyay (Justice) yes! But at what cost?
India is a hyper-cauldron of politics and political parties. There are seven national parties, 24 regional parties and over 2,000 registered parties. Hypothesis One – Footloose voters turn to regional parties Churn is the new mantra. Voters are moving away from the national parties to regional parties even for the Lok Sabha elections. The vote […]Read More Holi special: 2019 elections voternama
The notion that a strident anti-Islam national sentiment can co-exist with India’s geopolitical ambitions is laughable. Strident Hinduism has no future. This should be self-evident. Just look at our geography. For 4,000 km to the west, till Sub-Saharan Africa; to the northwest till Eastern Europe and to the southeast of India through Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia […]Read More Indian election – Democratic Nationalism vs Communalism
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
Formal sector jobs in India are scarce and are highly regarded. The most generous assumption (Economic Survey FY 2018) is that there are only 127 million formal jobs in 10 million enterprises, either registered under GST, the Employees State Insurance Scheme or Employees Provident Fund Organisation. Add another 18 million jobs in the government and […]Read More A cautionary tale for decision makers
Deepak Gupta’s book is not a quickie, neither to read, nor would it appear, to write, from the diligent research that has gone into it. The best read book in this genre has been Phillip Mason’s The Men Who Ruled India (1954) — a racy account of the British administration in India, by one of […]Read More Book Review : Keeping the barbarians at bay
The galvanising energy – one new scheme a week – which characterised the Modi years is ironically, also the cause of an uncertain victory this year. Too many reform steps pancaked Three simultaneous, mega reform initiatives stand out – reducing the fiscal deficit; implementing the Goods and Services Tax and cleaning out bank balance sheets. […]Read More Triple whammy spoils BJP fiscal end game