Friday, 18 August 2017

When Nehru's 'development' superseded Gandhi's 'swaraj'

In October 1945, two years before India's independence, Gandhi and Nehru exchanged ideas on the question of swaraj. Nehru dismissed Gandhi's idea of Hind Swaraj as outlandish. The idea of swaraj was sumamarily superseded by the modern notion of 'development', with consequences which made even Nehru himself regret his views towards the end of his life. 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Weapon of Mass Digitization - Part II

As the deflationary spiral deepens rapidly across vast swathes of India's cash-dependent informal economy, ultimately impacting the formal sector too, what was seductively sold to the public as a "surgical strike" on black money may turn out to become the worst-ever carpet-bombing the country's economy has ever experienced at the hands of its own government.

In any case, a militarised imagination is the last thing India needs to face its real problems today.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Weapon of Mass Digitization - Part I

The popular appeal of demonetisation - and the reason why Modi Sarkaar still survives despite the criminal disruption of the Indian economy - rests on the government's claim that it will put an end to black money in the country.

If things had been presented to the public the other way around, and the government had been up front about the objective of achieving a cashless India (the removal of black money being but a secondary goal), there is little doubt that the policy would have been immediately unpopular.

As things are laid out, it will take a while for the public to see through the rhetoric of patriotism. This is how stealth reforms are meant to take effect. Meanwhile, just like in 1991, the economy is subject to fait accompli policy-making, digital coercion being a necessary part of the bargain.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Prithvi Manthan

Ashish and I had submitted the copyedited manuscript of the Hindi version of Churning the Earth to the publisher in July, 2014. It has taken them two years for them to actually publish and release the book!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A dumb primate ?

In the Cincinnati zoo, an innocent gorilla was murdered from

primordial dread. It is not clear which of us is a dumb 

primate. It is chilling that the four-year-old Isaiah, whose 

mishap last week became world news, carries the name of a 

Hebrew prophet.