P Chidambaram is former Finance minister of India.
The world’s leaders hear the Prime Minister and applaud his appeal to embrace diversity; and then they read about happenings in Dadri (Mohammed Akhlaq); Alwar (Pehlu Khan); Una (Dalit boys); and Bhima Koregaon (Dalit gathering). They shake their heads in disbelief and are confused... Whither the diversity that we advocate to the world?
The mood of the nation is despondent. In the RBI’s survey (May 2018), 48 per cent of respondents felt that the economic situation had worsened in the last one year. In some sectors, like agriculture, despondency has turned into anger. Among some sections of the people, like Dalits and unemployed youth, despondency has turned into despair.
Under the government of Mr Narendra Modi and his cohorts in the states, unlike the government of Mr Vajpayee, intolerance is the new normal.
Public anger is building against high prices of petrol and diesel. Between 2014 and 2018, due to low prices of crude oil, government saved Rs 15 per litre in the cost of production of petrol and also increased the excise duty by Rs 10 per litre. Same with diesel. With a relentless rise in retail prices, government has no choice but to cut the excise duties which it is loath to do. The one-trick pony has no other trick up its saddle.
The question that remains is, will the legislators elected on their respective party symbols remain faithful to the party, to the voters who supported them, to the unwritten rules of a democracy, and to the Constitution of India?
There was no animosity between the stone-pelting youth of Kashmir Valley and Thirumani’s family. His death was, what is heartlessly called, collateral damage.
Mr Siddaramaiah must prove that his decision to contest from two seats did not prevent him from campaigning vigorously for the maximum number of Congress candidates. Above all, he must keep the focus on 2 Reddys + 1 Yeddy — a slogan gifted by Mr Modi!
As the price of crude oil rises, the government is clueless and floundering. The prognosis, therefore, is crushing taxes, higher prices and greater burden on the average consumer. Curse and bear it
Gang rape is the ultimate act of impunity
The fire that was lit by the Terms of Reference of the XV Finance Commission will not be doused by specious arguments pitting ‘populous and poorer states’ against ‘diligent and developed’ states. All states have poverty and developmental deficiencies.
Post-1991, every state could take advantage of a more open economy, less control and state-specific strategies. States that were once regarded as having low potential now claim to have achieved high growth rates.
India believes China is a hegemonist, China regards India as an upstart. None of the Modi Rules of Engagement — hugplomacy, Gujarati hospitality, etc — is working.
Measuring growth is a problem. It is a bigger problem if you change the rules in the middle of the game.
Rural India is in acute distress and urban India is divided among the helpless poor and middle class and the palanquin-bearing sections that will go along with any regime
The National Health Protection Scheme is entirely unfunded. If it is a jumla (akin to the announcement in Budget 2016-17), there is nothing to worry. But if the government rolls out the scheme in 2018-19 and buys insurance for the beneficiaries, it has to spend money. Estimates vary from an optimistic Rs 11,000 crore to a realistic Rs 1,00,000 crore.
Democracy in its true sense — liberal, multiple voices and thoughts, and checks and balances — is antithetical to the RSS/BJP way of governance. If other institutions of a democracy are weakened, it gives greater power, in the real and practical sense, to the Executive. Hence, the deliberate effort to keep other institutions weak and debilitated
The scandal involving the Punjab National Bank (PNB) has revived the demand for privatisation as part of comprehensive banking sector reforms.
Is there a re-think under pressure from the so-called swadeshi lobbies? Just before the Budget, and in the Budget, the government announced a number of measures that seem to suggest that the protectionist (and taxation) lobbies have gained strength
It is an insult to the people’s intelligence to announce a grand scheme without forethought or preparation or money in the last year of the term of the government.
Dr Arvind Subramanian has been a good doctor since his appointment as the CEA in October 2014. The NDA government has been a terrible patient. The uneasy relationship between a good doctor and a bad patient is best illustrated by the divergence between the Economic Survey (ES) and the Budget
Writer-scholar Rana Safvi says it is imperative for Delhi to hold on to its cosmopolitan culture. Her latest book "The Forgotten Cities of Delhi" emerges at a time when there is a brazen attempt to re-write Indian history with demonisation of the Mughals.