Meghnad Desai loves to cook, watch and write about old Bollywood movies and shuttles between London, Delhi and Goa. He pursues controversies on economics, history and anything else which catches his attention. He is also a British parliamentarian sitting in the House of Lords. He has written over 25 books, over 200 articles in learned journals and hundreds of newspaper columns in UK and India.
Meghnad Desai writes: This time the China-India confrontation will not be an isolated affair with India friendless as in 1962. It will be part of a global (hopefully) Cold War.
Encourage local industries or work from home to harness women’s energy. The shramik has waited long enough. They deserve better.
Modi has a spectacular second victory to his credit with a larger majority. He has nothing to fear from the Congress which has inflicted injury on itself.
The Centre is asymmetrically more powerful as it can impose curfew on any and every state. It also has much greater capacity to raise money despite the many Finance Commissions which have tried to devolve more revenue in a formulaic way.
Over the last 70-plus years, India has frittered chances to become a centre of manufacturing on the scale of other Asian countries.
The metros are the weak links against the pandemic. While the chain from the Centre to state to panchayat is clear and backed by money flowing down, the municipalities are in an anomalous position.
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed many weaknesses but the most noticeable is the plight of working people in the informal sector in urban areas, particularly metros, who are normally employed but with precarious livelihoods.
So far the number of deaths in India has remained small. There seems to be a wave of self-congratulations.
Without exception, every leader has been caught unprepared. China took days to realise and then publicly admit that Wuhan had coronavirus infection.
The poor cannot afford social distancing. If they cannot work in the metros, they have to flee to their rural homes.
It is interesting that the nomination of former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha has raised doubts about the independence of the judiciary.
The question now is why are Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tiwari, Gaurav Gogoi, Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot still wasting away in the Congress when all they can look forward to is Priyanka Vadra taking over since her brother does not fancy the job for which he was never elected.
There are attempts to impose a single monistic structure on it but we can see the limitations of doing so. India is many, not one.
One thing is clear. Delhi cannot go on having a dual government. Make it a state so the Chief Minister can take charge of security. The Central government is too remote.
If India is to be one of the richest nations, it has to fashion trade deals. Modi may yet be the prime minister who liberates the Indian economy from its old shackles of protectionism and makes it as large and nearly as prosperous as the US economy. He can if he uses his friend Donald Trump well.
India is a civilisation. It does not need a single story of its Nationhood. India is large enough to accommodate many stories of Nationhood. Indeed each linguistic region has its own story of Nationhood. That is its strength. The task is to weave these multiple regional stories into a rich garland that is India.
Arvind Kejriwal ran an astute campaign for Delhi elections which did not allow the BJP to distract voters from the solid achievements of the Aam Aadmi Party in delivering public services. He did not fight PM Narendra Modi on the CAA, and treated it as irrelevant for Delhi polls.
Lives would be lost needlessly to prove the point that the government is within its power to restrain those breaking the law. It never works, protests will continue.
One can only guess that the ideologues of the BJP are not interested in winning Delhi but in cementing the core Hindu vote and then similarly across India to launch the Hindu Rashtra. Will it work?
US President Donald Trump is hostile to Muslims worldwide and has just declared his displeasure against Iran. We could, though not very likely, yet end up with a world war in the second fifth of this century.