DELHI DELUSIONS, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 18th, 2011]

A Tamil economist, the late S. Guhan, used to say that Delhi was a capital in search of a country. I was reminded of that remark during the fortnight of 29 May to 11 June 2011. In that fortnight, if one watched the ‘national’ channels or read the ‘national’ newspapers, one would think all of [...]

 
 
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  THIRTEEN WAYS TO CLEANSE THE SYSTEM, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 4th, 2011]

In an article published fifty years ago, the great Indian democrat Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari deplored ‘the unconscionable and grievous expenditure on elections, which gives overwhelming advantage to money-power..’ Rajaji argued that ‘elections now are largely, so to say, private enterprise, whereas this is the one thing that should be first nationalized.’ Towards this end, he recommend [...]

 
 
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  THREE COMPARISONS, The Telegraph [Saturday, May 21st, 2011]

As the election results started coming in on Friday the 13th, and the spectacular rout of the Left Front in West Bengal became clear, my mind went back to the spring of 1977. I was a student of St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, too young to vote, but old enough to recognize the significance of [...]

 
 
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  QUESTIONS OF PROPRIETY, Hindustan Times [Monday, October 25th, 2010]

When, in the year 1974, Mrs Indira Gandhi and Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) became bitter political opponents, there was a peculiar poignancy to their rivalry. For JP and Jawaharlal Nehru had been close friends. So, independently, were JP’s wife Prabhavati and Nehru’s wife Kamala. In fact, before starting an all-India movement against the policies of the [...]

 
 
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  THE SPORTING-AND UNSPORTING-POLITICIAN, Hindustan Times [Friday, September 10th, 2010]

In the first week of August, a senior woman Congressman with a home in Shimla was elected President of the Indian Hockey Association (or Hockey India as it is now called). Her election was both surprising and backward-looking, for the person she successfully contested against was the great full-back Pargat Singh. Vidya Stokes’s elevation to [...]

 
 
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  TWO KINDS OF GLOBALIZATION, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 28th, 2010]

At the beginning of this century, my home town, Bangalore, became a showpiece for the advantages to India of an outward-looking economic policy. The city’s Information Technology industry was generating large amounts of foreign exchange by providing high-quality services to global companies. Thousands of new jobs had been created. Besides, as compared to the traditional [...]

 
 
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  RENEWING THE POLICE, The Telegraph [Saturday, December 6th, 2008]

On a sunny Sunday this past September, a friend and I were walking in central London, headed towards the south bank of the Thames. We were enjoying the scenery and the weather, when, at a road running along St. James’s Park, we came across thousands of men, women, and children on bicycles. So far as [...]

 
 
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  PUBLIC OFFICE, PRIVATE GAIN, The Telegraph [Saturday, March 31st, 2007]

‘Public service’ is now a less-than-clean word, associated in the middle-class mind with corruption and nepotism. It was not always so. One of my abiding childhood memories is of opening the door on a winter evening to Bhawani Singh, a peon who worked in the Forest Research Institute. A Garhwali from the Pindari ghati, it [...]

 
 
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  TWO INCHES OF FOAM, The Hindu [Sunday, November 20th, 2005]

In the long history of Cabinet Government in India, perhaps only a handful of Ministers shall be remembered for having carried out programmes that radically reshaped the lives of their people. As Home Minister between 1947 and 1950, Vallabhbhai Patel integrated the princely states, thus altering the politics and geography of modern India. As Finance [...]

 
 
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