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.

France – the face of today’s politics and the end of the old nostrums

With Francois Fillon as the centre-right candidate for the French presidential election all conventional and servile political reckoning reaches a dead end.

Was there an alternative to Fidel Castro’s “Stalinism”?

Does it matter that a government that took their advice seriously would be snuffed within a year of its taking power? Obviously not. They don’t really care about the difficulties of wielding power in a world controlled by immensely powerful capitalist states, including one that was only 90 miles from Cuba.

ये लाईन में खड़ा है तू जो आजकल…

Economics and Politics of ‘Demonetization’

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?

Modi’s trump card

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.