Times of India

Secularism or development: Making the right choice

At long last India’s democracy is moving in the right direction in offering voters genuine choices in the upcoming general elections. One of these is a choice between “left of centre” and “right of centre”economic policies — a polarization that exists in many democracies and ends in educating citizens about two distinct paths to prosperity. The two main parties, Congress and the BJP (after Narendra Modi became its official candidate) now reflect this polarity.

Secularism or development: Making the right choice

At long last India’s democracy is moving in the right direction in offering voters genuine choices in the upcoming general elections. One of these is a choice between “left of centre” and “right of centre”economic policies — a polarization that exists in many democracies and ends in educating citizens about two distinct paths to prosperity. The two main parties, Congress and the BJP (after Narendra Modi became its official candidate) now reflect this polarity.

Long-term prosperity vs short-term populism

“Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards,” says an epitaph from the philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard. It rightly belongs on the grave of this dying UPA government that has destroyed our economy, with the traumatic collapse of the rupee its latest achievement. The epitaph reminds us that we must not ignore history if we want to lead a reasonably predictable life in the future.

Just one hour a week is the answer to our political discontent

Democracy is as depressing in practice as it is uplifting in theory. There have been so many corruption scandals in the past few years but political parties refuse to learn. In Uttar Pradesh, which always leads the country in bad behaviour, workers of the Samajwadi Party are back to their crooked old ways while they settle scores against Dalits. At the centre, the UPA has pushed through a dreadful food security law via an ordinance in a desperate move to shore up its popularity before the coming elections, knowing full well its potential for fraud and waste.

Waiting for inspiration, sirji!

The spot fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League of cricket is only the latest disgrace in the sickening, never ending saga of moral failure in our national life. We have got so used to blaming governance and the institutions of the law that we forget that our pathetic education system is also responsible. And yes, parents too are guilty, for the home is the crucible of the moral life. However, one inspiring teacher can make all the difference in moulding the values of young human beings.

Narendra Modi: temptation of the middle class

 

The sudden ascent of stocky, 62 year oldNarendra Modi as a serious contender for the nation’s leadership has taken people by surprise. The general election is still a year away but the average, open minded, middle-of- the-road Indian wonders how to think about the polarizing chief minister of Gujarat. Either you love him or hate him, which is precisely why one must not react with a knee-jerk but try and go beyond the shallow surface of a flawed but remarkable human being.

Food security bill: Corruption by another name

 

On the same day as the central cabinet approved the food security bill two weeks ago, Sheila Dixit stood up courageously to defend the rising price of electric power in Delhi. By not raising the power subsidy, Delhi’s chief minister was able to increase investment in roads, public transport, education and health care. The contrast between the two actions could not have been more dramatic.

A Budget speech you will never hear

 

It is Budget time again and next Thursday the finance minister will address  parliament with a speech which you will never hear except from my auto-wallah:   

A Budget speech you will never hear

 

It is Budget time again and next Thursday the finance minister will address  parliament with a speech which you will never hear except from my auto-wallah: