The farmer’s ‘mann ki baat’

[First published in The Hindu dated May 13, 2015] Everybody has an opinion on farmers these days. Be it politicians, policymakers, editors or economists. In fact, ever since the Parliament reconvened for the Budget session on April 20, the deteriorating condition of farmers has clearly dominated discussions. But even as the issue of agrarian crisis,Continue reading “The farmer’s ‘mann ki baat’”

The nightmare that ‘Black July’ conjures up

[First published in The Hindu dated July 30, 2014] Though it is five years since the civil war ended in Sri Lanka, 69,000 Tamils continue to live as refugees. The date was 25 July 1983. Antony* reached Luckyland biscuit factory at Kundasale, a suburb in Kandy, his place of work for 10 years, in theContinue reading “The nightmare that ‘Black July’ conjures up”

India’s Development Paradox Explained

First published in Biblio: A Review of Books, Vol. XVII Nos. 9&10 Sep-Oct, 2012. (Accessed online at http://www.biblio-india.org)  Why is the India story a paradox of high growth rates on the one hand and abysmal human development indicators on the other? The Indian welfare state, with its innumerable development programs, is supposed to have wipedContinue reading “India’s Development Paradox Explained”

Between Gandhi and Hitler

The dust raised by the “Indian spring” is yet to settle and Mukul Sharma’s book ‘Green and Saffron’, recently published by Permanent Black, has arrived to raise another storm. An entire chapter in this book has been devoted to a careful exposition of the politics behind the Gandhian leading India’s much-watched anti-corruption movement – AnnaContinue reading “Between Gandhi and Hitler”

Weapons of the Weak? RTI and the story of Mangla Ram

Mangla Ram being carried on a stretcher by volunteers of the Dalit Atyachar Nivaran Samiti in Barmer, Rajasthan. (First published in Governance Now, issue dated September 1, 2011) Three magic wands–Right to Information, social audits and the Lokpal–have been offered as the means to fight corruption in the largely urban middle-class discourse. However, the questionContinue reading “Weapons of the Weak? RTI and the story of Mangla Ram”