The Indian State in the era of strongmen

We are living in an era of strongmen political leaders, and a weak state. A strong state is one which can maximise citizens’ welfare and can use economic and non-economic strengths to enhance its global standing. Instead, we are being told that a country where democratic rights are a luxury and the primary duty of …

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Democracy demonetised.

India truly witnessed an unprecedented political spectacle on Monday. Jammu and Kashmir has ceased to be a state. The message is loud and clear - brace yourself for heavy turbulence ahead. Several analysts have written about the fact that Article 370 in the Indian Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir is hardly …

Integrating Governance into Development – reading DFID’s Governance Position Paper

Earlier this year, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) released its latest Position Paper on Governance (Governance for Growth, Stability and Inclusive Development, DFID, March 2019). The paper marshals evidence to make the case that ‘governance’, lies at the core of sustainable development, and establishes the inter-dependence between governance on one hand, and growth, …

Let liberals die

We are being told that liberals bastions have been finally been smashed in 2019. Liberals (short-hand for ‘liberal elites’) are now irrelevant, and the newly-cool Hindutva forces have occupied our institutions. Former RSS, now BJP leader, Ram Madhav, seems to have read the global ‘Occupy XYZ’ movements right when he decided to lead the ‘Occupy …

Economists, Chartered Accountants, and the state of public debate in India

“108 economists versus 131 Chartered Accountants” was the headline of choice, propelled by a government that likes nothing better than to be in a perennial state of conflict. When the economists struck the first blow, it was not against chartered accountants (CAs) in particular, nor against a specific part of the bureaucracy. A group of …