Women through the ages

A country which doesn’t critically and continually examine its past, and discard what is considered regressive, iniquitous, unjust and derogatory to its women, socially marginalised sections and other disadvantaged groups, is condemned to repeat it, to its collective misery.

An Open Letter to Meryl Streep

When I read your speech, I thought that you should have given some more examples of bullying, particularly by those who are/were in power, and they have abused or continuously abusing that status. Let me add some to that. You may not like those examples because they are related to some of the powerful who you love, like and have campaigned for.

Om Puri, A True Acting Legend

The serious police officer of Ardh Satya can play the menacing villain of Narsimha and the comic Ahuja of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron with ease. Some of the best works of Indian Television, Bharat Ek Khoj, Tamas, Kakkaji Kahin etc. have his footprints. His talent was duly rewarded in the forms of many national and international awards as well as with enduring respects of audience. Om Puri’s deep voice accompanied by the intensity of his acting left a lasting impact. His distinct tone has been employed in numerous commentaries and voice-overs.

Demonetisation: A One Man Made Disaster

Demonetisation is a one man made disaster which has pushed the already beleaguered and stumbling Indian economy into a tailspin, and cost livelihoods and lives. In the face of tremendous spin, hype and distraction unleashed around the facts surrounding Demonetisation, here are a few questions we expect Modi to answer, as he goes around talking a lot but saying nothing.

2016: THE YEAR THAT WAS

If Indian economy has to bounce back in 2017, then banned currency notes need to be replaced as soon as possible. Reforms like GST need to be implemented quickly, and more need to be done to revive the infrastructure and manufacturing sector to generate domestic demand. Simultaneously, there have to be more social welfare expenditures to make the growth more equitable. Only then we can hope for a substantially better 2017 as far as the economy is concerned.

The Russians are coming!

In July 1991 I had a conversation with the then Indian Ambassador in Moscow. He vehemently disagreed with me that the Soviet Union seemed on the verge of imminent collapse. On my return I learnt that our MEA considered such thoughts as heresy. Now with the MEA under new management, equally focused in another direction, we seem to be missing the Russian story once again. Like it or not, the Russians are coming!

Normalizing fascists

How to report on a fascist?

How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people?

These are the questions that confronted the U.S. press after the ascendance of fascist leaders in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.

ट्रंप का न्यूक्लियर ट्वीट

आंकड़े और विश्लेषण और भी हैं. अभी तो बस यह कि ट्रंप बड़बोले हैं, और ओबामा के शातिरपने से उनका अंदाज़ अलहदा है. चीज़े वैसे ही चलती रहेंगी. और हां, भारत का न्यूक्लियर लॉबी बुश और ओबामा से ख़ुब ख़ुश रहा है, ट्रंप के साथ भी मज़ा करेगा, और आप और हम क्लिन एनर्जी के झांसे में फंसाये जाते रहेंगे.

Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto for Europe

Often the populist right do identify the right problems but their solutions are the toxic dead ends of the past, seeking to divert it with rhetoric designed to divide and blame.

They are political parasites, feeding on people’s concerns and worsening conditions, blaming the most vulnerable for society’s ills instead of offering a way to take back real control of our lives from powerful elites who serve their own interests.

But unless progressive parties and movements break with that failed economic and political establishment it is the siren voices of the populist far right that will fill the gap.

कालाधन के रूप अनेक

अफसोस की बात है कि न तो मौजूदा सरकार के पास इसका कोई लेखा-जोखा है, और न ही पूर्ववर्ती सरकार के पास था. तत्कालीन वित्त मंत्री प्रणब मुखर्जी ने 21 मई, 2012 को लोकसभा के पटल पर केंद्र सरकार की ओर से काले धन पर श्वेत-पत्र प्रस्तुत किया था. इसमें कालाधन की मात्रा के बारे में कोई जानकारी नहीं दी गयी थी. सरकार का कहना था कि यह आकलन कर पाना बहुत मुश्किल है.

Who Wants Demonetization: The Politics of Governance Through Surgical Strikes

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.