Big-picture transformation takes more than just chasing targets

We Indians love large numbers. We also love big ideas. This probably was one of the reasons why Narendra Modi, as a new Prime Minister in 2014, embarked on a series of mega initiatives – all touted as game-changing ideas – to accompany the promise of ramping up implementation of existing schemes. Investing political capital …

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Has Aadhaar changed, or have its critics?

In 2012, I co-authored a column arguing that the debate over the UID (it wasn’t yet called Aadhaar back then) was a nonsensical one. While the debate was nowhere as frenzied as it is now, and those backing UID certainly had not thought of using online trolls to slay their opponents, it was a reasonably …

India at 70: democratic accountability is now an endangered species

Democracies are expected to empower citizens to take genuine control of instruments of the state for their development. At the core of this concept is the idea that citizens will participate in governance at the local level, making decisions for themselves, and vote in representatives to legislatures for higher-level decisions. India is an implausible democracy, …

Does the BJP need to rein in Narendra Modi?

Since May 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has been running in fits and starts. Some stalwarts keep themselves busy spinning tales and lawyerly arguments to defend the government and defame the opposition, quite forgetting that it is this reliance on moralistic rhetoric that partly led to the fall of the United Progressive Alliance-II …

“A new low in Indian politics” – Rana Ayyub’s column on Amit Shah

This is Rana Ayyub's column on the notorious under-trial Amit Shah, who has now taken over as BJP President. This column was supposedly taken off from the DNA website. Posting here from the cache files. *** Late last week, a special CBI court adjourned the bail application of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi …