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Showing posts from June, 2007

Lucky 13! It’s never happened before in the world of global media . .

On the 2nd of October last year, when we launched The Sunday Indian with five editions in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Gujarati, we had thought that this was the best we could have pulled off and that we shouldn’t think of anything more, at least for the next two to three years! Within 6 months of the launch of Business & Economy – our first media venture – we launched 4Ps Business and Marketing; and within a year of that, we offered The Sunday Indian; and recently, the Indian PC Magazine. After five language editions of The Sunday Indian, we had to look beyond. So here we are today, launching 8 additional editions of The Sunday Indian in Urdu, Malayalam, Telugu, Assamese, Marathi, Kannad, Oriya and Punjabi, along with this special issue on the hundred most controversial Indians of the last hundred years! That makes it 13 editions in all... by far the highest number of editions for any news weekly in the country (the next highest is 6 editions of the leading news weekly of In


At our institute, The Indian Institute of Planning & Management (IIPM), we teach that education at all levels has to necessarily translate into economic wellbeing, which then translates into economic growth, which has to further translate into pan-national economic development. If it does not, then there is something severely wrong with the said education system. Similarly, we also teach that economic growth has to necessarily translate into national wellbeing, and if it fails to, then there is something structurally wrong with the way the economy is organised. Invariably, in the classes that we conduct at IIPM, one name that surfaces as a classic metaphor for poor economic organisation is – India! Post liberalisation, barring initial hiccups, the Indian economy had been consistently sustaining annual growth rates above 5%. But unfortunately, this growth could just touch upon a very minuscule percentage of the Indian population, while the majority of the population remained comple

Those are parents who are ruining childhood for a few marks more!

The obsession of Indian parents with high marks and high percentage in boards is legendary. More legendary is their obsession with their progenies joining IIT, taking science streams and doing engineering. I remember that after I cleared my tenth boards, I had thought that that was the time to watch good movies and play cricket. One morning, with much enthusiasm in my mind, I went to call out one of my friends, only to unbelievably find him taking tuitions! Perplexed, upon enquiring, I found out that his IIT preparations had already started. I actually asked him that evening why he wanted to go to IIT. His standard reply was, “Because my Papa wants me to!” Upon enquiring further, I realised his ‘Papa’ wanted him to go to IIT because their neighbour’s son was also in IIT. Thankfully, my dad during my entire schooling never put any such pressures on me. The only thing he wanted me to do was to get decent marks in Maths and English in school, and read as much literature as possible. In fa

Why I miss Rajiv Gandhi

Camelot was not a word I understood as a teenager in 1984. My life revolved around fond ambitions and dreams about India and about my father’s constant exhortation about fighting poverty. Most of our discussions at the dinner table revolved around exasperated talk about licences, government permits and assorted regulations. I was, like millions of Indians like me, bewildered by the malignant forces that eventually led to Operation Blue Star and the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards. Like many Indians, I sometimes fell prey to cynical judgments about the future of India. I should not have done so. Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister and won a mandate that was even more massive than what his grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru had ever got. For people like me, Rajiv Gandhi was a tornado that would sweep the outdated politics out of India. He was the man who would finally do what Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru had promised to do. He represented the new India, the India that wanted to