The Economic Survey 2016/17 was striking not only for its literary references, but also for its circumspect nature. One of major the drivers of this circumspection (which is not a trait one associates with the Narendra Modi government) was the yet-to-be-ascertained impact of demonetisation. The Economic Survey was cautious in saying that it would take … Continue reading Where is the promised windfall from demonetisation?
India's External Affairs Minister (EAM), Sushma Swaraj recently broke new ground. Amazon Canada was selling a doormat that was designed to look like India's national flag. As soon as a Twitter user pointed this out to her, Sushma Swaraj responded with three tweets. With these three tweets, India's EAM lived up to her reputation of … Continue reading India’s threats to Amazon serve to only expose our own insecurities
A slightly different version of this column appeared first on Catch News on 13/1/17 *** It is now well over fifty days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1000 rupee notes were no longer legal tender – a policy popularly known as ‘demonetisation’. In the new year, economists, bankers and accountants are busy … Continue reading Notebandi & its woes: Why we must protest the narrative of ‘normalisation’
Cornell University’s Tom Pepinsky has a terrific post on how everyday authoritarianism can be boring and even tolerable. He uses the example of Malaysia and draws lessons for the US. Pepinsky concludes with this: “The fantasy of authoritarianism distracts Americans from the mundane ways in which the mechanisms of political competition and checks and balances … Continue reading Non-authoritarian states can practise ‘everyday authoritarianism’ too
Towards the end of 2015, reflecting on what determines the size of the state, I came up with these three broad categories. At the end of 2016, with a hindsight view of ‘demonetisation gone wrong’, I revisit that concept. These three categories describe the nature of engagement the state seeks with particular areas of policy. … Continue reading In 2016, Narendra Modi expanded the remit of the coercive state
As the government goes about printing new currency notes to replace the invalidated 500/1000 rupee notes, one wonders how this is being done. On one hand, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) claims that there is "enough" currency in the system. On the other hand, government spokespersons claim that not all currency notes would be … Continue reading How is the government estimating India’s paper currency requirement?
Since the 8th of November when the government declared that 500 and 1000 rupee notes were no longer legal tender, there has been much talk about the need for ordinary citizens to join the battle against corruption. Rather dramatically, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too announced from the pulpit, his resolve to continue battling corruption even … Continue reading The battle against corruption should not end here