Month: April 2008

  • The unkindest cut

    The loan write-off is designed to keep farmers where they are: on small land-holdings, where often their only source of regular income is labour at the farm of a bigger farmer with a larger land-holding. In the name of supporting "sustainable livelihoods" on a small scale, activists, leftists, and certain NGOs glorify the small farmer, insisting that his life must not be changed, and large corporations be kept out. How inhuman that solution can get.     Podcast launched! Listen to Pragati

  • Waiver of mass debt

    Iraq was attacked by the United States and Britain on the basis of a fictional threat—WMD, or weapons of mass destruction. We have seen the results of that lie, with shock and awe. India's WMD is less costly—Rs 600 billion, or only $15 billion—but is based on similar half-baked analysis of half-truths, and well designed to benefit those behind it—in our case ‘Pawar-ful’ large commercial farmers.

  • Concerning senior citizens

    In the medium term, there will be significant and growing numbers of elderly persons, largely without a formal employer-employee relationship, who will need financial resources in retirement for longer periods. Establishing a pension architecture which commands confidence of the population through its professionalism, transparency and accountable governance has therefore become an important priority for the country.

  • Dealing with China’s power projection

    A rising China will not tolerate a rising India as its peer competitor. Even if a rising India does not have an intention of becoming a regional hegemon, China will try its best to contain India as it has already done to a large extent. And it is this containment that India must guard against.

  • Options in Sri Lanka

    If India were to take a hard-nosed view of long-term interests, a subtle shift in its position against the LTTE will go a long way in safeguarding the country’s strategic interest in the Indian Ocean region besides securing the interests of ethnic Tamils in the island.

  • New language formulas

    India's language policies have, therefore, not worked as intended. Clearly, they cannot. Instead they have been producing a series of counter-reactions, which historians may one day ponder over. If pushed through artificial means, they can only further destabilise the country. There are a number of directions for a reform of India’s language policies.

  • Tagore in China

    In less than seven weeks, Tagore had lectured in the country’s main cities. He had talked with students and scholars, actors and artists, generals and politicians, poets, religious leaders, and an ex-emperor. But he was subjected to vitriolic attacks by the Communists.

  • Issue 13 | April 2008

    This month's issue examines the implications of the Union Budget 2008-09 on three key policy areas: rural development, social security and defence modernisation. A secondary focus in this issue is on India's relations with China, on New Delhi's response to China's rising power. We also carry edited excerpts of an account of on Rabindranath Tagore's trip to China in March-April 1924. Rounding up the issue, we have a realist argument on how India should safeguard its interests in Sri Lanka and a call for India to review its official language policy. Coming soon: Special Podcast Edition --- Check back on April 7th