India’s fight against corruption – making up for the lost decade

A slightly different version of this article first appeared here: https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/nda-government-s-anti-graft-agenda-disappears-from-public-domain-871550.html The last time India saw people filling the streets demanding action against corruption was during the Jan Lokpal protests of 2011-12. Nearly a decade has passed since. A two-term Prime Minister was voted out of power in 2014, his government was disgraced, and the …

A pandemic cannot be fought in the dark

India is not faring well in its fight against corona virus. We have crossed 15 lakh confirmed cases, with multiple established proliferation zones. At over 34,000 deaths, India’s official case-fatality rate remains low – but there are several doubts as to the veracity of India’s official data. Meanwhile, the economic downturn that the country was …

Looking back at early COVID-19 responses; reflections on the way ahead

First published on the IDS Alumni blog on 28th May 2020 *** As the world battles the Corona virus, it was clear what governments around the world needed to do to pause the global pandemic: Testing, Testing, Testing; and Lockdowns. The costs of testing were always known. Costs of lockdowns have become apparent in the …

Four key policy imperatives in Kenya’s fight against COVID-19

First published on the IDS Alumni blog on 17 April 2020 *** The rapid spread of COVID-19 has paralysed societies worldwide. With281 confirmed cases, densely populated informal settlements in urban centres such as Nairobi and Mombasa, combined with a public healthcare system that is already under pressure, Kenya might be staring at a looming disaster. There are …

PM Garib Kalyan Yojna — India’s Rs. 1.7 Lakh crore COVID-19 package — can it deliver the goods?

India brandished a Rs1.7 lakh crore financial stimulus package to battle the coronavirus pandemic spreading its tentacles across the country. The country, with its dense population and creaky healthcare system, has already reported over 650 cases and is now in the midst of a 21-day national lockdown aimed at avoiding a colossal disaster. The stimulus …

Gita Gopinath on managing the economic fallout from coronavirus

Quite clear now in countries with sensible/compassionate governments what the public health response needs to be. 'Flatten the curve' is now a simple and effective mitigation measure. The economic impacts are only beginning to show, as the coronavirus impacts global supply chains, the inevitable demand and supply-side shocks start to show. Governments have to adopt …

The Delhi pogrom revealed the rot amongst India’s Hindus

Amongst the many horrifying conclusions one can draw from last month’s horrific communal riots in Delhi that left 53 people dead, the starkest ones are those that have made it clear that India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has now firmly hitched their wagon to a strategy of incessant Hindu radicalisation. A remorseless …

Reclaiming ‘citizenship’ in 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest strike (nothing surgical about it, by the way) against India is the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA). The government’s attempts to justify filtering ‘persecuted’ minorities based on religious identity need to be resisted as it signals a fundamental shift in the way we conceptualise citizenship in India. Union Home Minister, …

Caught between humanitarianism and geopolitics, both Rohingyas and Bangladesh are stranded

At a social gathering in Dhaka, I was at the receiving end of an impassioned argument about how the international community had done wrong by Bangladesh when it came to the Rohingya crisis. This was not an isolated instance. Since the heightened influx of the Rohingya people into Bangladesh started around August 2017, the refugee …