February 7, 2016

Across the aisle- MGNREGA: Making a meal of words

Parliament is the highest legislative body. The Prime Minister is the Chief Executive of the country. A statement made by the Prime Minister in Parliament must have a certain sanctity and solemnity. On February 27, 2015, while replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, Prime Minister Modi said: “Sometimes, we are told that we […]
January 31, 2016

China and India: In same choppy waters

India became independent in 1947; the Communist Party of China (CPC) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949. However, the two countries are not siblings separated by two years. India’s multi-party democracy is constantly compared with the one-party system of China. When China grew at a blistering pace, as it did for nearly three decades, India’s growth rates, pre-liberalisation […]
January 24, 2016

Across the aisle: ‘My birth is my fatal accident’

‘Reservation’ for the socially and educationally backward classes in schools and colleges brought Rohith Chakravarthi Vemula to the University of Hyderabad where he won a place in the general category as a PhD scholar in Life Sciences. ‘Preservation’ of the old social and economic order brought him death. It is a miracle of our times that a Dalit, son of […]
January 17, 2016

Across the Aisle: To talk or not to talk

Barely three weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit to Lahore and agreed with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the two countries will carry forward the agreement on Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue reached between the two countries. It was hailed as a brave move. Brave or not, it was an unusual, though impulsive, move and helped create an […]
January 10, 2016

Across the aisle- Oil windfall: Gone with the wind

Several statements in the Mid-Year Economic Analysis are intriguing. For example, paragraph 1.4 says, “It is true that the decline in nominal GDP growth relative to the budget assumption will pose a challenge for meeting the fiscal deficit target of 3.9 per cent of GDP ” and quantifies the hit at 0.2 per cent. Nevertheless, paragraph 1.5 asserts, “As in […]
January 8, 2016

Across the Aisle: Price of procrastination

I write this with a profound sense of grief, contrition and disappointment bordering on despair. Since the subject I have chosen for this special column is the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air force base, I resolved that I should weigh every word and phrase with extra caution before I commited them to paper and ultimately to print. First, let me […]
January 3, 2016

Across the aisle: New Year resolutions for the NDA government

I don’t like making New Year resolutions, but I am happy to make resolutions for others in the sure belief that they will be broken before the week is over. There is no fun in making resolutions for the poor, the meek or the peacemakers. It is better to make resolutions for the high and mighty, and watch the fun […]
December 27, 2015

Across the Aisle: Confessions of a stricken conscience

The truth is out, finally. I began this weekly column in January 2015 with a piece on the state of the Union. I have been saved the trouble of making a year-end assessment. That job has been performed admirably by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Thank god, we have always […]