August 2, 2015

Across the Aisle – Monetary policy committee: vote or veto?

So much has happened that is cause for grief, concern or plain disgust. The universally admired Dr A P J Abdul Kalam passed away. There was a terror attack in Gurdaspur. Amidst a debate on the legality and morality of the death penalty, Yakub Memon was hanged. Cases of molestation or rape continue to be reported every day. Government is […]
July 26, 2015

Across The Aisle: Sushma Swaraj, RTI and a Parliament question

I did not expect to write about the Lalit Modi-Sushma Swaraj controversy again this week. But it is the issue that has dominated media space, public discourse and Parliament for a whole week.  Irrespective of the wishes of the Prime Minister and the Government, it will not go away. A news channel broke the story on June 14, 2015. Three […]
July 19, 2015

Across the Aisle: Speech is silver, silence golden

Today we have a PM who will “see no evil and hear no evil” when it concerns the ministers in his council of ministers or the BJP’s chief ministers or ministers or his friends and fellow swayamsevaks. And because he will see no evil or hear no evil, he will not speak on any of them. Mr Modi’s new armour […]
July 13, 2015

A Greek tragedy every which way

Greece is not a rogue state. It does not harbour terrorist groups. It has no territorial ambitions. Greece is a lovely country that boasts of one of the oldest civilisations of the world and is proud of its contributions to mathematics, philosophy and statecraft. Greece’s connection with India began with a young warrior-king, Alexander. When the reigning king visited India […]
July 5, 2015

Across the Aisle: ‘Export or perish’. Have we chosen ‘perish’?

Since April 2015, the situation seems to have turned for the worse. We have the numbers for the whole of 2014-15 and up to May 2015. A trend is discernible and it is worrying There is a silent crisis brewing on the economic front and the political class seems unconcerned about it. For the first time in recent years, the […]
June 28, 2015

Across the Aisle: Magna Carta does not assure liberty

Who is the majority? Is it the majority of persons belonging to a caste or a religion? Is it the majority of a neighbourhood or a State or the whole country? The greatest threat to liberty is majoritarianism King John ruled England from 1199 to 1216. He was, by most accounts, an incompetent king. He betrayed almost everyone he could […]
June 21, 2015

Across the Aisle: Many a slip between the cup and the lip

Every finance minister (including this writer) is allowed one budget to make mistakes and learn on the job! Mr Arun Jaitley got his chance in the budget for 2014-15. Counting the mis-hits is a fun sport. The trick is not to lose one’s cool (especially the finance minister’s) when the mis(takes)-hits are pointed out and counted! Making a budget is […]
June 14, 2015

Across the Aisle – History in the making: the GST Bill

Stake holders, down to the common citizen, must be educated on GST. Nothing will be lost if a new date is fixed, allowing sufficient time for everyone to get fully ready. We are on the cusp of the most important structural transformation of the indirect tax system. Let us not flunk the test We are witnesses to history in the […]