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Articles in the Politics and Governance in India Category

Corruption in India, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[23 Sep 2014 | 3 Comments | 179 views]
On Anna, Selfishness & Corruption..

Last week I chanced on an interview of Anna Hazare in which he talked “about the inspiration behind his social activism, his philosophy and his vision for India”. The interview was from last year, a few weeks before AAP’s spectacular debut in Delhi. It had a quote that caught my eye.  It was Anna’s response to the question, “In your opinion, what is the root cause of corruption?”
“The root cause of corruption is selfishness; the selfish nature of human beings”, Anna said.  “They go to any lengths to pursue their self-interest…Second, there is …

Corruption in India, Elections Results, Analysis and Related, Politics and Governance in India »

[20 Sep 2014 | 4 Comments | 164 views]
On why corrupt politicians win elections in India…

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan explains it lucidly…Excerpts from a recent speech (emphasis added):
*** Excerpts Begin ***
“….Even as our democracy and our economy have become more vibrant, an important issue in the recent election was whether we had substituted the crony socialism of the past with crony capitalism, where the rich and the influential are alleged to have received land, natural resources and spectrum in return for payoffs to venal politicians.
By killing transparency and competition, crony capitalism is harmful to free enterprise, opportunity, and economic growth. And by substituting special interests …

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

[11 Jul 2014 | 3 Comments | 198 views]
A graphic illustration of the perilous state of Indian Economy

Some superb graphs courtesy this post by John Samuel Raja on the perilous state of India’s finances, following the excerpts:
What makes it worse for the government is the inelasticity on both the revenue and expenditure sides, which limits its options.
…The government is living way beyond its means. As much as Rs137.6 of this Rs157.6 is going towards meeting running expenses, as opposed to creating assets that deliver benefits in later years. And just five items—interest payments, defence spending, subsidies, salaries and pensions—account for Rs110.
…The biggest outgo on the expenditure side, …

Current Affairs, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[28 May 2014 | One Comment | 278 views]
The fall and fall of Arvind Kejriwal..

So Arvind Kejriwal finally decided to furnish a bond and get bail. Good for him. Frankly, the drama had dragged on a bit too long. And the “Sorry Sabhas” did not seem to be having any impact either (excuse the pun). I guess people are tired of apologies – and excuses.
They wish to see something positive. Something constructive. Something exciting. Something that grabs the imagination.
Like a pledge to make New Delhi the safest Indian city for women, with the lowest crime rate to boot.  Or a pledge to ensure that …

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

[17 Apr 2014 | 3 Comments | 113 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 | 139 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 | 213 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, Politics and Governance in India »

[3 Apr 2014 | 39 Comments | 756 views]
Open Thread on Elections 2014 – Updated Daily

Note:  This page is updated every day, sometimes several times each day. It will remain so until the declaration of results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2014. Fresh interesting/relevant/critical links will be added to the main body of this post. I will respond to your comments/ observations via the comments section.
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 …

Personal, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[28 Mar 2014 | 4 Comments | 270 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 | 443 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” …