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 […]
June 7, 2015

Across the Aisle — Read Governor Rajan: Time to worry

Government is in denial about rural and farmers’ distress. When the Government thinks and speaks of farmers it is about what a great law it has made to take away the land of the farmers! Mr Nitin Gadkari is reported to have said “land acquisition is a blessing in disguise for farmers” On 26 May 2015, our mind space was […]
May 31, 2015

Across the aisle: Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Mr Prime Minister, I am an average citizen. I belong to an average family, had an average education, live in an average town, hold an average job, and have average ambitions. I am aware that because I am the son of a school teacher, hold a bachelor’s degree (second class) and have a job, I may actually be above […]
May 24, 2015

Across the aisle: How long can hot air keep balloon afloat?

In the elections held in 2014, the Congress lost and Mr Narendra Modi won, and I say that advisedly. No one remembers the promises made in the BJP’s manifesto or what the party’s then tall leaders said. No one remembers what Mr Rajnath Singh, as president of the BJP, said or did or promised — the only memorable episode in […]
May 17, 2015

Across the Aisle: It is the ‘Middle’ that makes or breaks

Middle class values, not quite defined, are considered good values. Belonging to the growing and anonymous middle class encourages one to join street protests, engage through the social media, and be critical without being offensive. Throughout the world, it is the middle class that has readily supported green causes, LGBT rights, free speech, and whistleblowers I believe that the people […]
May 10, 2015

Across The Aisle: Government proposes, RBI disposes

If the RBI that Mr Rajan heads is now opposing the reforms (the idea of PDMA and entrusting the regulation of government securities to SEBI), he is obliged to disclose the RBI’s reasons and also explain why he changed his own views. Equally, Mr Jaitley is obliged to explain why he gave in to RBI’s opposition, and what the “further […]