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Articles in the Politics and Governance in India Category

Politics and Governance in India, Politics of Minority Appeasement, Reservations, Affirmative Action »

[17 Apr 2014 | 2 Comments | 69 views]
On the mess that is RTE..

Almost five years back in 2009, India enacted a “landmark” bill and created a new “Right” – the “Right to Education”. Normally a new “right” ought to be celebrated. But as columnist Meeta Sengupta wrote around the time, “..(this) should also..be a moment of pure fear, for we have made a commitment to something big, something we have never done before, something we have no idea of how to do.”
Her words – especially the part about “no idea of how to do” – were prescient.
Take, for example, the grand announcement that 25% …

Elections 2014, Politics and Governance in India »

[6 Apr 2014 | 3 Comments | 122 views]
“How to Choose your MP” – Guest Post by Prakash Prabhakar

Dear Friends, it gives me great pleasure to publish this guest post by my good friend Prakash Prabhakar on “How to Choose your MP”.  This post was a request to Prakash from me – and was triggered by a thought-provoking update by him on facebook…As the world’s largest democracy goes to vote, this could not be more timely..  Without further ado (emphasis added),
*** How to Choose your MP – Prakash Prabhakar ***
Somehow the political contexts and scenario whether you take it top down or bottom up, is dismal and not …

Development Related, Indian Economy, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[4 Apr 2014 | 3 Comments | 125 views]
India’s Painful Problem of Plenty…

Most of you may know that India produces more food than we can consume. In fact, India has been self sufficient in food for at least the last three decades, having “achieved self- sufficiency in food production in the late 1970s (1)”. And yet hunger in India remains at alarming levels. More children remain malnourished in India than any part of the world (almost 40% of the world’s total according to some estimates).
What most of you may not know is that “..India wastes a quantity of wheat equivalent to the …

Elections 2014, Featured, Headline, Politics and Governance in India »

[3 Apr 2014 | 9 Comments | 212 views]
Open Thread on Elections 2014..

Dear All: I’m opening this  thread for all discussions, comments and news/articles re. the Lok Sabha 2014 elections…I shall be using the space within the original post to add interesting/relevant/critical links (placeholders below). I will respond to your comments/ observations via the comments section.
*** Relevant & Interesting Commentary, Articles, Videos, Photos ***
1. Can anyone stop Narendra Modi?” - The Economist (where I stumbled on this sentence: “Unlike other BJP leaders, Mr Modi has refused to wear a Muslim skullcap..”).  Alongside, Sanjeev Ahluwalia’s *must read* analysis of “Why did the Economist bark?”
2. Kanchan Gupta predicts …

Personal, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[28 Mar 2014 | 4 Comments | 241 views]
On BJP, supporting NaMo and the Long Road..

Back in December 2013, when I joined AAP, I was hoping this would be another front against the Congress/UPA…This is what I wrote then (emphasis added):
As for the BJP, in spite of Sh. Modi, my publicly stated opposition to its “collusion” with the rotten system remains in place. The big difference between my stance in July and today is that instead of “one man” who has a fighting chance of making Congress history, today we have two. One remains the front-runner to lead India.  It is time to work with the other …

Indian Economy, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[30 Jan 2014 | 3 Comments | 432 views]
“How would you solve the jobs problem?” etc..

At a meeting a few days back in Indore, I was asked a question that is probably on the minds of most youngsters in India today: “Why are there so few jobs?” – and more pointedly, “How would you solve the jobs problem?”  Below is a somewhat hurried summary of my response…
We have 2 issues here: (i) on the “supply” side and (ii) on the “demand” side.
On the “supply” side, we are faced with vast numbers of young graduates and school drop-outs who are mostly “unemployable”, have very little “skills” …

Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[23 Jan 2014 | 15 Comments | 790 views]
On Dharnas and Governance: Views of an “Aam” supporter

Dear Arvind: I am writing this open letter in anguish mixed with hope. I am writing this because I felt I could not stay silent any more. I am writing this because I felt I had to speak up – not just for my sake, but for the sake of thousands of our members, volunteers and supporters.
I watched the events of Monday and Tuesday this week with dismay and discomfort. They have, frankly, left me bewildered.
I wonder whether the actions of the Law Minister were appropriate in law (even if …

Personal, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[26 Dec 2013 | 50 Comments | 1,912 views]
The Birth of a Political Start-up & Taking the Plunge..

I have been busy. Not the as usual “busy”, but as the posh socialite would say, “busy, busy”. The last couple of weeks have been an incredible whirl of meetings, long discussions and calls. It is very rare for a political event to resonate with my other fascination – entrepreneurship.  But I believe we just witnessed the beginning of a remarkable experiment in political entrepreneurship in these last few weeks. We have witnessed the birth of a political start-up, the first for anyone below 40 in India.
The start-up is of …

Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[13 Sep 2013 | 4 Comments | 1,017 views]
The Gandhis: A Search for the Truth

There is no bigger taboo in India’s free press than asking hard and pointed questions of the Nehru-Gandhi family.  Few Indian journalists have ventured into this territory. Fewer still have asked the really uncomfortable questions. Questions that demand answers but have been conveniently ignored, dismissed and even forgotten.
Questions for example about Swiss bank accounts apparently held under the name of Smt. Sonia Gandhi containing approximately 2.5 billion SFr (~$2.7 billion) reported in the media more than 20 years back. Although the matter has been raised several times since (including in …

Personal, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[20 Jul 2013 | 14 Comments | 1,421 views]
On Narendra Modi and the hottest place in hell..

This post has been a long time coming. What finally triggered it was a call I had with Rajesh Jain last week.. Rajesh quoted Dante to me, while asking where do I stand on Sh Narendra Modi. He recalled these lines from the Inferno..
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
A lot has been written by numerous commentators on why Modi deserves support. These commentators span the spectrum from economists (Arvind Panagariya) to spiritual leaders with mass following (Swami …