• View: What the Hyderabad encounter tells us about the state of India's democracy

    View: What the Hyderabad encounter tells us about the state of India's democracy

    The rape and murder of a young woman in Hyderabad was gruesome enough. The response of the state, of rounding up four presumed culprits and bumping them off in a so-called encounter, was no less appalling. The response of many, particularly those in public life, who gleefully cheered the police action, is indeed horrific.

    View: Recession door ast?

    View: Recession door ast?

    We can quibble over the definition of a recession and take satisfaction in the fact that India is far away, still, from two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Recession door ast. Or we can try and do something to reverse the slowdown. India needs proactive policy a little beyond waiting for the inevitable turn of the business cycle.

    View: Surgical strike in Maharashtra

    View: Surgical strike in Maharashtra

    The NCP stares at the beginning of its end. This is regardless of whether Ajit Pawar defected to the BJP’s side with the blessings of Sharad Pawar, or not. If he took the plunge on his own, he has split the NCP and weakened the party. If he went with Sharad Pawar’s silent blessings, the NCP forsakes the non-sectarian space it had vied with the Congress to occupy.

    View: The real problem with electoral bonds

    View: The real problem with electoral bonds

    All the Opposition’s objections to the bonds are valid. But these objections and their object, the bonds, collude to perpetuate the essential fraud in political funding in India: the expenses that are shown and accounted for in some fashion or the other is just a fraction of the actual money spent.

    View: How the Ayodhya verdict retains the secular fabric of the Indian state

    View: How the Ayodhya verdict retains the secular fabric of the Indian state

    This diagnosis is not chiefly based on the Supreme Court’s explicit pronouncement of the crowning achievement of Advani’s movement, the demolition of the 16th century mosque at Ayodhya, as a crime, and the denial of Muslims’ right to pray at the Babri mosque since December of 1949 as illegal and unjust.

  • T K Arun

    Where’s all the courage gone?

    The Maharashtra and Haryana elections would be a walkover for BJP, never mind all the economic pain — goes the consensus. It rings true, given the disarray within the Opposition. However, this air of being...

    T K Arun

    Prancing tiger, coiled dragon at Mamallapuram

    Mamallapuram celebrates the well-earned sobriquet Mamallan, meaning Great Wrestler, of the Seventh Century Pallava king Narasimhavarman 1. So, it might seem appropriate as a venue for leaders of Asia’s biggest two powers to grapple with...

    T K Arun

    Judicial recusal, omission and commission of injustice

    Having gambled and lost his kingdom, his brothers, himself and his wife, Yudhishthira has become a slave of his cousins, the Kauravas. Dusshasan holds Draupadi by the hair and drags her into the sabha, the...

    T K Arun

    For Some Gandhian Virtue

    Gandhi, the author of My Experiments with Truth, is now the object of many experiments with truth. In the current political discourse, Gandhi is either the agent of Swachhata, sanitation, or an Ambedkarite straw man....

    T K Arun

    Federal or Going laredeF?

    As India develops, the role of its states in driving growth has become vital. The current centralising tendencies in the polity will harm the economy, besides generating centripetal forces. Within the dismal realm of economics,...

    T K Arun

    The profound un-Indianness of NRC

    “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” This is the original statement of the Blackstone Ratio, formulated in the 18th century and still a building block of Anglo-Saxon, and India’s,...

    T K Arun

    Pawn That Sacrifices Itself?!

    Quit the sulk, Rahul Gandhi, or quit politics. The party has to gear up for a slew of assembly elections, not to speak of staving off toppling efforts in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. This...

    T K Arun

    Dr Jekyll and Ms Pragya Singh Thakur

    Did gentle Dr Jekyll agree with violent Mr Hyde? He did not. But the two were one and the same person. Does the BJP agree with its Bhopal candidate, Pragya Singh Thakur, who celebrates the...

    T K Arun

    Ujjwala not so bright

    Ujjwala has been a brilliant scheme from a political point of view: it has covered 7.15 crore households across the country, touched women directly, empowered their communities, with lower-caste households sensing an improvement in their...

    T K Arun

    Electoral bonds: Red herring in campaign finance reform

    Attorney General Venugopal made some ludicrous arguments in defence of the electoral bonds whose validity is under challenge in the Supreme Court. Why on earth, he wondered, would voters care who funds political parties? After...

    T K Arun

    What’s wrong with NaMo TV?

    Why all this fuss over NaMo TV? Is there another kind of TV, to begin with? And why should Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress be the ones to complain? It should be the existing...

    T K Arun

    How much Nyay in Rahul Gandhi’s Income transfer scheme?

    Is Rahul Gandhi’s minimum income scheme for the poor breakthrough policy innovation to eradicate poverty or a path to fiscal and economic ruin? Or, alternatively, is it a hoax, on par with Narendra Modi’s promise...

    T K Arun

    Pulwamas signal failure

    Speaking at the 80th raising day of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said that the nation’s leadership is capable of reacting to any terror attack, and will decide if...

    T K Arun

    Politics by means of war

    War, said Clausewitz, is the continuation of politics by other means. That was remarkable prescience on the part of this Prussian general and military theorist who died in 1831 and, thus, could not observe India...

    T K Arun

    Now that India has the upper hand, stop beating the war drums

    eetAny further escalation of tension with Pakistan can only be interpreted as being meant to further the ruling party’s electoral prospects in the forthcoming elections. Such a partisan goal does not merit risking a costly...

    T K Arun

    What the CAG Report on Rafale Reveals

    The headlines scream that the CAG found the 2016 deal to be 2.86% cheaper than the deal negotiated by the UPA. But the main conclusion to be drawn from the CAG report is that by...

    T K Arun

    What Shiv Sena playing hardball says about BJP

    Turn the other cheek is a Christian teaching. The BJP is not particularly enamoured of Christ. Yet, if there is one political party that behaves as its brother’s keeper and keeps turning its cheeks at...

    T K Arun

    Disinvest to the EPFO

    The government’s need to raise resources to contain the fiscal deficit within prudent limits and the Employees’ Provident Fund’s need to pay a decent interest to its members can converge with a little financial engineering....

    T K Arun

    Enter Priyanka

    The Congress would appear to have understood the importance of being earnest. Priyanka Gandhi’s assumption of a formal role in Congress politics, as the general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh (East) shows that the...

    T K Arun

    Sabarimala: Caste Redux

    To observers outside Kerala, Sabarimala is all about misogyny, a misguided mass construing one strand of anti-woman tradition as a pillar of faith. But to those in Kerala, it is increasingly clear that resurgence of...

    T K Arun

    President Trump & OROP

    Knowledge of imminent hanging, we know, concentrates the mind wonderfully. The US move to halve its troop deployment in Afghanistan should have a bracing effect on the thought process of Indian defence. But you’d rather...

    T K Arun

    We don’t want no police state

    The home ministry order authorising ten government agencies to snoop on the digital life of citizens at will is wholly undemocratic and should be withdrawn forthwith. The police are being given the licence to kill...

    T K Arun

    What to make of the exit polls

    With the exit poll results suggesting that Bharat will take a while longer to become totally Congress-mukt, what are the political implications? The BJP would turn all logical (after all, there is no issue of...

    T K Arun

    RBI vs the Government: The battle was lost and won

    It must have been a bruising battle, because the RBI board meeting went on and on, late into the evening. But in the end, sense prevailed. The RBI’s integrity as the regulator of India’s financial...

    T K Arun

    Whatever happened to Congress-Mukt Bharat?

    Assembly elections are not normally a decisive predictor of subsequent national elections. In 2003, the Congress lost Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, but went on to win sufficient numbers in the 2004 Parliament elections to...

    T K Arun

    A Colossus for every state

    Now that Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has announced construction of a huge statue of Lord Ram, in the wake of the rapturous reception accorded by India’s toiling masses to the giant Statue of...

    T K Arun

    Air quality remains poor after Dassault clarification

    Does Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier’s clarifications to the Economic Times clear the air over the Rafale imbroglio? Not quite. Not just invisible PM 2.5 particles, some heavy-duty soot and dust still mar visibility. Chief...

    T K Arun

    For #MeToo to sustain

    Only the mean-spirited would fail to salute the courage of the #MeToo women, who have come forward to bare their pain and prolonged mortification to expose men who abused their positions of power for sexual...

    T K Arun

    Making Tech More Benign

    The 2018 Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to William D Nordhaus “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis” and Paul M Romer “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis”. Paul Romer...

    T K Arun

    Talk defence of democracy

    Defence of democracy is the major political issue before India. Yet, Congress has chosen a language of religiosity in which to voice its opposition to the BJP. There are better ways to counter politics that...

    T K Arun

    Bye-bye, Rajya Sabha

    The gravest implication arising from the Aadhaar judgment is neither for privacy nor for transparency in banking and telecom but for India’s parliamentary democracy. The verdict puts, more or less, the Rajya Sabha out of...

    T K Arun

    The Global Crisis is Undead

    It would be a mistake to talk of the Global Financial Crisis, taking Lehman Brothers’ filing for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, as the definitive beginning of the crisis, as a great danger that we...

    T K Arun

    Rights Activists champion victims of state neglect

    The arrest of five rights activists by the Pune Police in different parts of the country, and the intervention by the Supreme Court defending the value of dissent and placing the activists in house arrest...

    T K Arun

    Hounding of rights activists an attack on democracy

    The raids in different parts of the country and arrests of human, Dalit and tribal rights activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and Varavara Rao constitute an attack on democracy. Not so much because...

    T K Arun

    Variably priced bonds for Kerala flood relief

    Whether India accepts assistance from external governments for rehabilitation after a natural calamity or not, it is possible to design a financial instrument which offers scope for concessionary financing while raising funds for the purpose...

    T K Arun

    Kerala: People vs the floods

    With God’s own havoc beginning to subside and bits of the available transport infrastructure now being spared from actual flood relief and made available to end television crews’ misery of being stuck on the edge...

    T K Arun

    The pregnant pause lengthens forever

    Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister of India for over six year over three stints . Such discontinuities were not altogether incongruous in a man who used intermittent pauses, along with the linguistic flourish of...

    T K Arun

    Before me, the Deluge

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fifth Independence Day speech kicked off his re-election campaign. While he is never quite out of the campaign mode, being a quintessential politician who understands the importance of constant communication to...

    T K Arun

    Slap in the face for Rahul Gandhi

    No, I am not talking about the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman’s election in which the BJP-led NDA got its nominee through by a handsome margin, even without having a formal majority in the House. Some...

    T K Arun

    For a common solar alliance

    Migrant. Illegal migrant. Intruder. Infiltrator. Threat. Human, anyone? To migrate is quintessentially human. The species, Homo sapiens, has populated all the continents on Planet Earth, and many islands scattered across the oceans, through migration. Recent...

    T K Arun

    Clearing Coalition Confusion

    Are Opposition claims of defeating BJP in combination belied by their jostling and squabbling, for ministerial berths, as in Karnataka, for share of seats, as in UP and MP, and for total dominance, as in...

    T K Arun

    Politics of farm reform

    Investment in agriculture is declining, but can be raised by diverting a share of the nearly 2% of GDP that is pushed into the sector as inefficient subsidy.

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