The absence of public deliberation and a lack of consistent rationale guiding such massive policy decisions of the government, and their endorsement by the elite, are disconcerting signs for any democratic culture. While the Left tries to debate whether the present conjuncture is authoritarian or fascist; an admixture of both is unfolding in front of our eyes but with the backing of a vocal hegemonic public within a liberal framework. Maybe these terms – fascist or authoritarian – will derive closure only in retrospect; but in the present, the opposition seems woefully ineffective in countering the Leader.
What are the most important reasons of the ‘demonetization’ – coming of big elections, initiative against the black money promised during the 2014 election, curbing the tax evasion or streamlining the market economy by cleaning the house itself?
The term black money is all encompassing for income on which no taxes have been paid to the state. This income may be from legitimate sources or patently illegal activities such as smuggling, counterfeiting, corruption and narcotics. The estimates of how much black money is generated each year vary widely. But a widely cited, but still supposedly confidential study by the National Institute for Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), commissioned by the government estimates the black economy in 2013 to be equal to about 75% of the GDP.
Like the UP drama, the Bombay House drama, is essentially about an aging patriarch unwilling to fully let go the reins to a chosen successor. Mulayam Singh Yadav who anointed his son Akhilesh as the Chief Minister of India’s largest state and putative inheritor of the clan’s pelf and thralldom, now finds in him a young man seeking to find his wings and get away from the restrictive influence and ways of the patriarch.
This is a very lucidly written book which takes us into the heart of monetary policy making by the reserve bank. It gives us an idea of the pulls and pressures the governor has to bear in his work. It touches upon the theoretical underpinnings of modern monetary policy making but it could have been more interesting if it had discussed in a bit more details the theoretical debates in monetary policymaking.
Compared to 1991 more people are unemployed now and the gap between total number of workers and employment is increasing. And this is official government version of the data. Latest Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, released by UNDP, says that between 1991 and 2013, the size of the “working age” population increased by 300 million. But, Indian economy could employ only 140 million – less than half of the new entrants to the labour market.
प्रधानमंत्री मोदी को जिन्होंने खाड़ी देशों में यात्रा करने वाले प्रथम भारतीय प्रधानमंत्री होने को ट्वीट कर देश को बताया था। उन्हें याद रखना चाहिए देश आपकी सऊदी शाहों के साथ सेल्फी, मस्जिद यात्रा व नागरिक सम्मान के तस्वीरों से खुश होने वाला नहीं आपने वहां भारतीय मजदूरों के संग खाना खाया था, किन्तु आज वो खाने को मोहताज है, पीने के पानी नहीं है और आप अपने शाही दोस्त से शिकायत तक नहीं कर पा रहे हैं। यह समझ से परे है।
बंगाल के सांस्कृतिक इतिहास में ऐसे अनेक व्यक्ति हुए हैं, जिन्होंने न सिर्फ उस इलाके के, बल्कि पूरे देश की चेतना पर गहरा असर डाला है. महाश्वेता देवी इस सिलसिले का संभवतः अंतिम नाम है.
A People’s History of the World is a fascinating and comprehensive analysis by a well-known British historian, Chris Harman, that traces earliest human history to the Roman Empire, from the Middle Ages to the Age of Enlightenment, from the industrial Revolution to the end of the Millennium. Focusing on the development of technology, its impact on the society and conflict, he dwelt on how the society has changed and developed, what possibilities are for further radical change in the 21st century.
We are now riding the tiger of a high wage enclave of government employees, who also drive consumption and hence GDP growth. It may now be difficult to get off this tiger. Its now clearly much too big to be tamed. But can we make it work a bit more for the country? How about increasing government revenues?