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Articles in the ToI Columns Category

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

[4 Apr 2014 | 2 Comments | 118 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 …

Personal, Politics and Governance in India, ToI Columns »

[28 Mar 2014 | 4 Comments | 237 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 | 431 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 | 787 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 | 1,905 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 …

National Heroes, Personal, ToI Columns »

[10 Aug 2013 | No Comment | 387 views]
This Independence Day, do something different!

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 »

[4 Aug 2013 | 2 Comments | 408 views]
You can run but you can’t hide..

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 …

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 …

Indian Economy, ToI Columns »

[15 Jun 2013 | 14 Comments | 862 views]
Q: Why is no one talking about Jobs?

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 …