Articles in the ToI Columns Category
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 …
National Heroes, Personal, ToI Columns »
Here’s a simple – yet – powerful idea for this Independence Day..
Pick up a school – either your child’s school or a school in your locality. Actually almost any school will do. Contact the School; request the Principal to allow you to narrate a story to the students on the occasion of Independence Day. Which story? The stories of our bravest of the braves, the “Param Virs”!
I bet most of you have only the foggiest idea of “Param Vir Chakra”. Many of you would remember the heroes of Kargil, among whom …
Indian Media, ToI Columns »
Back in the good, old days, it was easy to run and hide. You could say something or even do something and pretend it never happened. Records used to vanish without a trace, even official records; sometimes they caught fire.
Those were the days. It was easy to run and hide. Then came the “internet” and the odd acronyms of funny, unpronounceable things (what’s a cache anyways?). Suddenly you could not hide. Not anymore. Because some tech-savvy whiz-kid was sure to find a record of every word of wisdom you ever …
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 …
Indian Economy, ToI Columns »
Q: Why is no one talking about Jobs?
A: Because there aren’t any.
Sample these statistics:
Each 1% in GDP growth creates 1.5m direct jobs & 3 times as many indirect jobs. A 1% drop therefore leads to about 6m (direct & indirect) jobs disappearing. A 4% GDP drop (of the kind we are witnessing) will shrink job opportunities for approximately 24million people, affecting almost 120m Indians
“The phenomenal growth India..achieved during the last five years was jobless growth”. Actually, not just the last five years, but almost the entire last decade has been widely recognised …
Last week, I came face-to-face with insufferable arrogance. The kind that makes you wonder what props it up; the kind that is almost impossible to believe unless you face it yourself. Last week was my turn to face the reality of a Mai-Baap Sarkaarand its “Officers”. It was particularly galling because I was not really expecting it.
Before I tell you what happened, let me ask a simple question: “How many of you have tried to meet the Collector or Commissioner of a District in India? How many of you have tried …
What is the link between Z-category security, Zebra crossings and band-aids*?
Before I tell you the answer, here is a story. A few days back while driving on the Indore bypass, I noticed a strange thing. At the approach to an adjoining village, I noticed not one but two speed-breakers. I also noticed a zebra crossing – and there may well have been a traffic light too. While Indians excel at having multiple speed-breakers at all sorts of unexpected places, the 2 speed-breakers on a not-so-busy stretch of the bypass were …
Development Related, ToI Columns »
In the first part of my series on Urbanisation, I mentioned how there is little realisation of the long-term implications of this “problem”. Urbanisation could possibly be India’s biggest challenge in coming decades (although you would find it hard to guess judging by the space & time devoted to this issue in mainstream media).
At the same time, it offers a great opportunity to fundamentally transform India & put the economy on a dramatic growth curve. But do our leaders really understand “urbanisation”?
Are they able to think beyond flyovers, malls & apartment complexes …
Development Related, Indian Architecture & City Planning, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »
I am beginning to dread Mumbai..
My favourite city when I was growing up has today become a place that I try hard to avoid. The reasons are not hard to find. Lack of an efficient system of public transport tops the list. Add to this, the traffic snarls. To this, add a humid climate and uncontrolled, chaotic crowds that jostle for space with shops, scooters, buses & cars.
Don’t get me wrong. There are still many things that keep me hooked on Mumbai. The spirit of enterprise, the numerous eating joints, …
This is a short, hurried and somewhat angry post. A few hours back, I was alerted by Gopi-ji to a couple of headlines from two well-known newspapers. The first from Mail Today read “Back to Hindu Growth Rate“. The second ironically, was from “The Hindu” and asked the question “On a ‘Hindu’ growth path?”
Neither article cared to explain what exactly was the “Hindu Growth Rate” – or why was a growth rate ever labelled with the name of a faith.
So for my young friends who may be reading this, here is …