Month: December 2007

  • Ironies on the road

    The time is fast approaching when pro-poor activists have to reconsider their socialist leanings. Take abolition of private property rights. This is usually done in the name of the poor and as a way of redistributing “ill-gotten” wealth of the propertied class. But bizarre as it may sound, it is the poor who need property rights protected by rule of law, and not the rich. De facto, all over the world, the rich and the powerful already enjoy these privileges and defend them with might.

  • The killing fields of Bengal

    Once the smokescreen has cleared, political blood drawn and the sense of outrage has dissipated, what's left in Nandigram is a human tragedy of epic proportions whose the victims have cut across all political lines. What's even more horrifying however is what lies in the future.

  • The new Manhattan Project

    India cannot continue to ignore reality: its continued economic growth and development is predicated on it developing the technology to exploit solar energy, and base its industrial, transportation, commercial, and household energy needs to be met through the derived electrical energy. Every bit of modern technology India uses has been developed elsewhere. It would be a welcome change if it developed the technology that would be its lifeblood. Developing technology is a matter of will, vision, and sometimes dire necessity.

  • Improving fiscal responsibility

    To ensure a sustainable medium-term fiscal framework, the finance minister should explicitly recognise the need for better fiscal institutions and organisational arrangements, and propose specific measures in his February 2008 Budget speech. This would help ease a major constraint in securing India’s economic future.

  • A crisis profound

    While India may be producing well-trained engineers and managers from its flagship IITs and IIMs, it is not doing so in sufficient numbers. There is also a growing concern that while private engineering and management institutions are flourishing due to their rising demand, their products are not of the quality that can help India compete effectively in the global marketplace.

  • The Akhond of Swat

    WHO OR WHY, or which, or what, is Maulana Fazlullah of Swat? Recent headlines from Pakistan have been grim—pitched battles with many reports of casualties and mass migration of civilians from the conflict region. Yet, the foreign media hasn’t really focused on Maulana Fazlullah—perhaps thinking that the story of “Talibanisation” covers this particular mullah just as well as it does any other.

  • Banally in love with India

    Shashi Tharoor's The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cellphone is a ragbag of columns and op-eds in which ancient platitudes, second-hand insights, and tacky witticisms are aimed at the reader with a quite breathtaking conviction.