People and the Police

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The recent episode of a high ranking official personally intervening in a case in Hyderabad once again brought to the fore the problems of policing in our society. As a result of colonial legacy, there is a perception that the police think and function as an oppressive force instead of fulfilling their role as guardians of law and order. In reality police perform their duties honestly and every year hundreds lay down their lives in the line of duty.

Public Servant or Presiding Deity

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The press reported that Ms Humpy Koneru was in tears because she was not given the due recognition by the state government and the sports authorities for her recent accomplishment in becoming the youngest Indian grand master in chess. (Surely Humpy and her parents must have been aware that here even Nobel Prize winners are rarely given the media space they deserve - unless they happen to be controversial personalities. Only politicians, filmstars, and occasionally cricketers hog all the lime light in our society!) This set me thinking.

Unfulfilled Potential

The other day I was talking to a chauffeur who was driving me around in a district town. He stopped his education at 3rd grade. His father had passed away and his mother could not take up a job with two little kids in the house. So he and his older brother took up work to support the family. He is now about 30, and has a wife and two kids. He earns a decent wage. He seemed bright and hard working. “Why can’t you study now?” I asked. That set him thinking. He responded, “In my twenty three years of work at different places, no-body ever told me to study. You are the first person”.

Energy Security – Time for Plan B?

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The recent foreign policy debates are largely centered around our future energy needs. Frenetic economic diplomacy to secure nuclear power generation oil and gas contracts, and laying pipelines on the east as well as west to transport fossil fuels are certainly of value in the short and medium term. Long-term supply contracts and investments in exploration in oil-rich countries will give us some leverage. But we need to plan for the future with clarity in an integrated manner.

Politics of Arbitrage

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines arbitrage as ‘the buying and selling of stocks or bills of exchange to take advantage of varying prices in different markets’.  Politics, among other things, are the ‘activities concerned with the acquisition or exercise of authority or government’.

Expatriates and Indian Transformation

Over 20 million people of Indian origin are dispersed in 110 countries all over the world outside India.  About half of them constitute the first generation immigrants or their immediate families – mostly in North America, Europe, Middle East, and South-East Asia, apart from our own neighborhood.

Nature’s Fury Compounded by Human Folly

December 26 2004 saw an unprecedented disaster killing more than 150,000 innocent people, uprooting millions, and devastating the economy of vast regions in many nations in South and South-East Asia. It is impossible, with today’s technology to precisely anticipate an earthquake and know when and where it will affect people. Such unavoidable suffering is part of human existence, and we have to face it with courage and accept it with equanimity.

19th Century Politics – 21st Century Aspirations

Suddenly, the state of Andhra Pradesh and the whole nation are in turmoil. The tranquil climate, which is so vital for economic prosperity as a time of great global challenges and great opportunities, has been vitiated by the pursuit of vote banks arousing primordial loyalties. Politicians playing with fire have now opened the Pandora’s Box, and have sown the seeds of discord in many pockets of India.

Asian Highway – Window of Opportunity

align="left">One of the great topics of public discussion in recent decades among all economists, journalists, public policy enthusiasts and enlightened citizens is the rapid growth of China. India – China comparison is now the favourite pastime of economists. Both are emerging as major economic powers. China has been growing at 9 percent or more per annum, compared with India’s more modest 6 percent over the past two decades. This difference in growth means that Chinese economy doubles itself every 8 years, whereas it takes about 12 years for India!

No Substitute to Politics

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dir="ltr">James M Lyngdoh – a man well-known for unimpeachable integrity and impartiality, is also famous for his intrepid and sharp remarks. His recent utterances deriding politicians created quite a flutter.