P Chidambaram is former Finance minister of India.
P Chidambaram writes: We cannot depart from the path of an open, liberal and market-based economy. That would be suicidal. Yet, we must take stock and, considering the global and domestic developments, re-set our economic policies. That requires the courage, clarity and speed of 1991
P Chidambaram writes: The big, breaking, bad news is that a little more than one-half of India’s population did not complete 10 years of school education — 59 per cent of women and 49. 8 per cent of men.
P Chidambaram writes: There is a deliberate and determined attempt to strike at the very foundations of the Indian State. There is a stealthy attempt to deprive the people of their liberty and inalienable rights by chipping at the margins
P Chidambaram writes: If we equate caste with Indianness, we will find ourselves on a dangerous slope. I have no illusion that caste consciousness or caste-based discrimination will vanish overnight, but there are encouraging trends toward getting rid of the caste system.
P Chidambaram writes: There were 6,64,369 villages in India in 2019. Assuming that 20% of these were too remote and therefore not affected by the pandemic, that leaves over 5,00,000 villages. Even if, two persons in every village had died due to Covid (a gross underestimate), that will out deaths at 10,00,000.
P Chidambaram writes: The BJP has enough evil geniuses who have the capacity to craft state-specific strategies: one such strategy is the deliberate effort to kick up controversies around food, dress and prayer in Karnataka
P Chidambaram writes: The Home Minister verbally assured the Rajya Sabha that the techniques prohibited in Selvi will not be employed, but refused to incorporate the assurance in the Bill... The government resorted to the usual binary arguments: If prisoners have human rights, so do victims. The Bill is not about victims but about arrestees, detenus and prisoners
P Chidambaram writes: After taxing the poor and the middle-class and collecting humongous amounts, the central government used that money to provide ‘additional welfare’ to them!
P Chidambaram writes: Why cannot India say that the war is unjustified? Why cannot India appeal to Russia to stop raining bombs on the civilian population and destroying homes, schools and hospitals?
In the five state elections, the vast majority of voters desired ‘development’ but voted for the status quo. Welfarism is useful, but is no substitute for real and durable development.
P Chidambaram writes: We have just witnessed the results of elections in five states that are as different as the five fingers of a hand. I followed the course of the elections in three of the five states and shall therefore restrict my observations to those states.
P Chidambaram writes: I think gentle leaders are the best. They are wise, speak softly, listen to the people, respect institutions and the law, celebrate diversity, work for harmony among the people and leave office quietly. They make the people’s lives better.
P Chidambaram writes: It seems the UP election is a bi-polar fight between BJP and SP. The kind words exchanged between Mr Amit Shah and Ms Mayawati reveal the hidden plan. The Congress has pitched its flag and symbol in all 403 constituencies.
P Chidambaram writes: Who is thinking of jobs? Not the Union Health Ministry... And not the Ministry of Finance that presented the Modi government’s Budget for 2022-23. The word ‘jobs’ occurred in three places in the 90-minute, 157-paragraph Budget speech!
P Chidambaram writes: There are good reasons why the private sector is shying away from investment. The foremost reason is lack of demand. The capacity utilisation in many industries is around 50 per cent. Why would any one invest more when there is idle capacity?
P Chidambaram writes: The gravest economic challenge facing India — a young nation where the median age is 28.43 years — is unemployment. Mr Narendra Modi understood this when he bid for power but, over the years, his philosophy seems to have changed.
P Chidambaram writes: If the Modi government has its way, we will have the Indian Beholden Service; the current states will be reduced to mere provinces; and service under the government will be reduced to servitude.
🔴 While the people bear the economic price of the wrong policies and their consequences, the Modi government has not yet been called to bear the political price...
🔴 There is no merit in the boast that India will be the fastest growing economy in the world. The GDP fell steeply, therefore the climb looks spectacular. If it had fallen more steeply, the climb would have looked more spectacular!
🔴 The disruptions of Christmas celebrations, the hate speeches and the malicious apps have not evoked a word of condemnation from the Prime Minister.
🔴 The fact is that governments have become more authoritarian since 2014. As an inevitable consequence, the police — and the Armed Forces when deployed for internal security — have become more authoritarian.
P Chidambaram writes: A figure that I am certain does not resemble Santa Claus — but no one knows who — has been visiting India throughout the year that is drawing to a close. He was an unwanted visitor. He brought unwanted gifts. Count them
🔴 P Chidambaram writes: If those who have the right to speak (the Opposition) are not allowed to speak, and if those who have the duty to hear (the government) plug their ears, democracy is diminished.
🔴 P Chidambaram writes: The government, led by its departing Chief Economic Adviser, continues to harp on supply-side measures and their ability to turn the economy around. Supply is relevant only if there is matching or excess demand.
🔴 P Chidambaram writes: The two reports — ASER 2021 and NFHS-5 — capture the picture of real India, unlike the BSE index or the NIFTY index that capture the health of no more than 100 listed companies.