A messy democracy does not need an emperor

As has been pointed out over and over again following the Karnataka elections results, there is now solid evidence that the best counter to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ideology it represents, is to mount a direct face-off in every state. Triangular or four-cornered contests are almost surely doomed, because of the vote-bank …

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Why has decentralisation (temporarily) gone out of fashion?

Last week was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the landmark constitutional amendments that laid out the roadmap for democratic decentralisation in India. The 73rd and 74th amendments were passed with much fanfare in 1993, and while there are large variations in the level of progress states have achieved, the Government of India’s official line has been …

Budget 2018 is a clear indication of the road to 2019

It is almost a truism that governments over-promise and under-deliver. Political expediency demands they do so. After all, voters, the stock markets and rating agencies are all swayed by ‘sentiments’ and ‘perceptions’. They often discount performance at the altar of rhetoric. For instance, the Union Budget 2017 proposed that they would complete one crore houses …