Rammanohar Lohia was right about China. And was neither jingoist nor idealist

Rammanohar Lohia was right about China. And was neither jingoist nor idealist

There was a streak of morbid vanity in Rammanohar Lohia’s oft-repeated statement: “Log meri baat sunenge zaroor, lekin mere marne ke baad (People will surely listen to me, but after I am dead).” Today, nearly 53 years after his death, there are three reasons to listen to what Lohia said about China. First of all, because his was one of the earliest, consistent and […]

Modi govt’s three rushed ordinances can help agriculture, but not farmers

Modi govt’s three rushed ordinances can help agriculture, but not farmers

My friend Ajay Vir Jakhar, who runs Bharat Krishak Samaj and is currently the Chair of Punjab Farmers’ Commission, has tweeted a mischievous request asking for names and contact details of those farmer organisations that support the three “historic” ordinances passed recently for the agriculture sector. He asks this question even as he knows the answer: none. None of the myriad […]

Remember Vajpayee-Nehru episode? That is why Congress must let Modi off the hook on China

Remember Vajpayee-Nehru episode? That is why Congress must let Modi off the hook on China

The ongoing India-China border stand-off provides the opposition a perfect opportunity to corner the Narendra Modi government on national security, widely considered its trump card. You can hardly blame the Congress for giving in to the temptation of returning the compliment paid by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Jawaharlal Nehru following the debacle of 1962. Yet, the opposition must resist this temptation. National interest must trump party interest. PM Modi must be let […]

Shekhar Gupta ko gussa kyun aata hai? He is a victim of Communism and Cold War anxieties

Shekhar Gupta ko gussa kyun aata hai? He is a victim of Communism and Cold War anxieties

Bad ideas persist beyond their expiry date, Shekhar Gupta aptly reminds us in his recent Cut the Clutter episode. So do anxieties, especially of those who grew up amid the ideological debates of the Cold War days. This results in two sources of bad economic ideas in our public life. There are votaries of old, bad socialism: those who miss Stalin’s economic vision and want to recreate bureaucratic monstrosity […]

Narendra Modi govt has failed India in its hour of need — both economy and people

Narendra Modi govt has failed India in its hour of need — both economy and people

It’s time for plain speak. Another day of yet another peak of Covid-positive cases, another spate of reports about the plight of migrant workers on the roads and inside trucks, another day in office for imperious Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman bulldozing her way through hard questions about the economy that can no longer be set aside. Two months into this unprecedented health and economic […]

Rs 20 lakh cr can reboot economy, add jobs, tackle climate change. If there’s political will

Rs 20 lakh cr can reboot economy, add jobs, tackle climate change. If there’s political will

Rs 20 lakh crore is a lot of money for a country like India. This translates into a little over Rs 15,000 rupees per person and a little less than 10 per cent of our GDP. That’s more than what anyone expects the Narendra Modi government to deliver, more than what many economists and activists had asked for. Prime Minister Modi’s critics would have little to complain if the ‘economic package’ he announced in his address to the nation Tuesday has the same meaning as […]

Don’t blame Covid or financial package. Politics is holding India’s migrant workers hostage

Don’t blame Covid or financial package. Politics is holding India’s migrant workers hostage

Afuture historian might call this the great hostage drama. The Narendra Modi government’s actions vis-à-vis the migrant workers during the Covid-19 lockdown now leave no room for confusion. This is not about containing the coronavirus infection. This is not even about saving the government some relief package. This is about keeping workers hostage. Our response to the plight of the migrant worker brings out all that is rotten […]