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Showing posts from May, 2007

Mayawati’s deftness in bringing diverse social groups together has triumphed. She needs to replicate social engineering in economic development

Mayawati’s sweeping victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections was a vindication of the fact that all is not yet lost of the cause of India. The nation’s largest and perhaps one of the worst ruled state is finally out of the clutches of mafia rule and is probably heading towards a new dawn of equitable social and economic development. Mayawati’s victory is not only significant that a Dalit woman has once again been given the mantle of the largest state, but is also the reflection of the changing dynamics of India’s socio-political milieu. Her sweeping victory is one of the biggest of Indian democracy, by all parameters. Probably for the first time in the history of modern India, people cut across caste lines and came together to vote for a woman who is known to be a hard task master and accepts no nonsense. Two years ago, when the people of Bihar dethroned Lalu Prasad and rejected his caste-based divisive politics and reinstated Nitish Kumar, they had shown the path. Despite this

Castro, ChÁvez and now the entire Latin America is showing that it is time for the world to get together and embrace happy capitalism

After celebrating the execution of Saddam and (almost) writing the obituary of Fidel Castro, the US was sitting pretty and eying an opportunity to engage with Iran. But, the hale and hearty revival of Castro and his iconoclastic interview, blasting Bush for freeing a terrorist and his biofuel plans, terming the latter as a genocide, had put sudden halt to the celebrations. Moreover, much to their chagrin, what they have witnessed over the last couple of weeks are some historic decisions that were taken up by a few countries, which could well mark the end of their hegemony and the beginning of the new world order. To begin with, lets start with the most historic and yet carefully ignored news of this week. On 1 May 2007, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, severed ties with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, after clearing debts in advance and pledged to start a new Banco del Sur. He stated that this new bank would disburse finances for state projects across Latin Am

Kabhi khushi kabhi gam . . . Ta ra rum pum pum

You have sung the song and seen both the films and enjoyed the underlying spirit. It’s all about having a happy family and becoming good human beings, isn’t it? Yes, that’s what being Indian is all about. And I don’t want to corrupt the spirit of this issue by writing about the Iraq war or something! This issue takes me back to my childhood. Two brothers and a sister, a set of loving parents and two sets of grandparents! Wow! When I look back, I feel privileged. The variety of emotions we experienced as children growing up in a middle class family were just amazing. The times spent under my father’s family quilt (he had ordered an extra large quilt, so that on winter nights, we could all fit inside it and have a hell of a time having fun together, till it was time to go to bed). I remember my grandmother reading out poems and stories to us till we slept – and sowing the seeds of finer sensibilities early in life. I remember sleeping together with my brother, sharing our deepest secret


I don’t remember conducting a single workshop on leadership, where I’ve not referred to the Indian armed forces. For me, Indian defence forces have always been a benchmark of leadership, followership and discipline – the most ideal combination of a successful organisation (defined by the principles of management). The exact opposite of this are most of our other government run institutions, where we only have ‘leaders’ and no ‘followers’. It is ironical that in India, the government employees might not exhibit their leadership skills when it comes to sincerity, perseverance and dedication to their work, but when it comes to fighting for the cause of their pay hikes, they can match the best in protests, armtwisting tactics, mass casual leaves and strikes. Worse is the fact that when they do so, they don’t have any dearth of political support, for there might not be any correlation between the quality of work delivered and pay hikes demanded. Many self proclaimed champions of the so- ca