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Showing posts from July, 2009

Mr. Obama, you are honest and that’s why the world’s expectations from you never end!

When Barack Obama occupied the White House around six months back, expectations from him were tremendous! A considerable amount of this expectation building can be credited to his predecessor, who had done so much of damage that people all across the globe were waiting desperately for the big change in America’s highest office. And the rest of the credit goes to Obama’s mind blowing speech that he delivered in Illinois post his win, which further exponentially compounded those very expectations that people had of and from him. So not only were those beleaguered Americans residing in the US and their brethren marines in Iraq expecting a miracle from the new President elect, but also people from all shades of life all across the world, who eagerly accepted that change had finally come. In fact, it was not surprising to observe that Iranians sitting in Teheran had as much faith in Obama bringing change to the Middle East as a Chinese sitting in Beijing. All of a sudden, it seemed that ho


As I watched Mamata Banerjee’s rally in Calcutta on 21st July, I was forced to wonder where her courage comes from! It was simply amazing to see a lady managing an entire show all on her own in the middle of quite a heavy rainfall. She was drenched and so were all her members on the stage. But she carried on. Kept giving her simple and honest speech! Kept inviting on the stage and felicitating one after the other of her still honest party members. And the thousands of people present kept watching it all and applauding it all amidst the rains – some under umbrellas and some completely drenched. But no one seemed to be interested in going back! The crowd further had the presence of one of CPM's ardent past supporters Mahasweta Devi, who, despite her deteriorating health condition, had made it a point to be there! And the crowd had another old woman too! 43 years ago, a 12-year-old boy had fallen to police bullets when students hit the streets for food, kerosene and exercise books in

Shame on BJP, SP and CPM! Hail EC and hail EVM!!

Nandan Nilekani’s resignation as the co-Chairman of Infosys Technologies might be a great loss for one of the most iconic companies of India but is indeed a great gain for Indian governance. Now that he has taken up a job, which in certain respects is more challenging than what he had done for more than three decades at Infosys, Nilekani – as the Chairman of the newly formed Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) – if he succeeds, could forever change the way the poor can be served in this nation. Yet, even when such a card is a long time due and even when almost the full majority of Indians would be happy to have a card like that, one can take it for granted that many in the bureaucratic corridors of India, down to the people in the local administrations of the block offices, would abhor if such an occurrence were to eventually materialize. The reason for the same is simple – such a card would be a permanent roadblock to their ability to earn the extra buck that they have go

At long last, a budget that has clearly placed first the agendas of people who have no lobbies!

Not that it has done everything that had to be done for those who have been deliberately marginalised by the society now for decades and ignored just to fill the coffers of rich industrialists of India. But kudos that it has reached here at least. I, personally, and our media house have both been severely critical of budgets year after year. After presenting alternative budgets for nine years on the trot, I finally see a government that has at least had the courage to come out in the open and present a budget which hardly has any sops worth talking about for the industry. Yes, the advantages that a few industrial houses will derive haven’t gone unnoticed. But as I had written – with a lot of sarcasm and desperation – in our last issue: Let this budget be a ‘Khao Aur Khilao’ budget . And I won’t look at vested interests which got served here and there. I will only look at the good that has happened. After more than four years post the launch of Business & Economy and our media hou


I write this with a sense of unfulfilled hopes. Last time, when Congress came to power, I was very excited to get a call from Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia one fine day, asking me if I was ok in becoming an advisor to the Education and Social Sector Consultative Committee being set up by the Planning Commission of India. A couple of days later, even before I received any official confirmation from them on the same, I read in the papers that I was indeed a part of it! As an educationist myself, as well as a passionate social sector thinker, I started preparing the suggestions I wanted the government to implement. However, as was the case with the entire Congress regime last time, very soon the blackmailing CPM created a huge noise on how could people from multinational consulting firms be part of the Indian planning process – and the consultative committees had to be abandoned! My suggestions remained with myself, though through my televised alternative budgets every year, in any case I hav