Open Magazine | 28 October 2016

The road to sustainable markets

THE IDEA THAT an ancient Indian concept, dharma, might offer insight into the nature of the competitive market is, on the face of it, bizarre. But this is precisely what I intend to show in this essay. Dharma is a difficult word to translate into English. Duty, goodness, justice, law, and religion have something to do with it, but they all fall short. For our purposes, however, think of dharma as doing the right thing, both in private and public life.

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Business World | 14 December 2015

Dharma is a frustrating, almost untranslatable word. Duty, goodness, justice, and law have something to do with it, but they all fall short

Some nations seem to possess a code word, which is like a key — it unlocks the secrets of the country. That word is ‘liberty’ in America’s case. It is égalité, ‘equality’, in the case of France. For India, the code word is ‘dharma’.

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Forbes India | 20 August 2015

The much-maligned caste system and the training it provided to budding entrepreneurs may have played a crucial role in India's growth story.

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Forbes India | 11 August 2014

He has to correct a story of private success and public failure

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India Today | 20 June 2014

Narendra Modi's defining qualities are a sense of purpose.

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Outlook | 30 April 2014

This model piece of non-fiction narrates a tragedy of our times—how the brilliant Manmohan Singh fell from grace and stumbled his way through a tough term as PM.

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Forbes India | 22 May 2012

Gurcharan Das
The Man: Gurcharan Das's second career as a writer and public intellectual is more noticed and in some ways far more influential than his first as a professional manager. It spanned 30 years, and across six countries and included a term as CEO of Procter & Gamble India. His writings drew from his experience and also from his wide reading. He tells us that individuals could be immoral but the institution of the market itself is deeply moral.

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Outlook | 16 August 2010

English bespeaks progress. India’s youth is much the worse without it.

Our obsession with the English language has served us brilliantly. It has kept us united as a nation; it has contributed significantly to the social mobility of Indians; it has been a major factor in our recent success in the global economy.

 One of the cheerful things happening in India is the quiet democratising of English. Dalits are today its biggest advocates because English allows them to work in call centres and other modern jobs where there are fewer caste barriers. A recent survey in Mumbai shows that Dalit women who knew English rose economically by marrying outside their caste--31% of Dalit women who knew English had inter-caste marriages compared to 9% who did not know the language. Dalits identify vernacular languages with caste oppression. Hence, Dalits across the country hailed Mayawati’s decision to introduce English from the first grade in U.P. (That there aren’t English teachers is another issue!)

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Biblio | 04 August 2010

Ayn Rand and the world she made, Anne C. Heller, Tranquebar Press, Chennai, 2010,567 pages, Rs 495, ISBN 978 93 80658 01 8.

It is not easy to connect a writer’s life with her ideology.  Most biographers assume that there is an obvious and intimate connection and get on breezily with the job. Too often the connection turns out forced and the reader feels that she has been taken for a ride. Anne Heller’s excellent biography of the Ayn Rand is an exception. Her great achievement is to have connected Rand’s extraordinary legend and individualistic philosophy of unbridled capitalism to her life as a youngster, Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, an awkward and wilful Russian Jewish prodigy, who had written four novels by the age of eleven. Heller makes you believe that  that Rand’s excessive self-absorption and vehement protest against any form of collectivism are rooted in her family’s suffering in early-twentieth-century Russia, where Jews were violently persecuted and personal freedom died when the communists came to power.

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