Millions on the Margins

The spate of brutal killings of Salva Judem members by Maoists in Chattisgarh and encounter deaths of Maoists in Andhra Pradesh expose the fault lines of our society and polity. These are not acts of violence inspired by extra-territorial terrorist agencies to destabilize our nation. These are the products of anguish, despair and bitterness resulting from decades of misgovernance and an economic growth process which relegates millions to the margins.

Growth with Security

Once again, cowardly and murderous terrorist groups attacked India’s financial capital.  Once again, the citizens of Mumbai, in the midst of the shock and grief, have exhibited uncommon courage, resilience and tolerance.  As in April 1993, in July 2006, all of India showed how a great nation could transcend prejudice and bigotry, and uphold its liberal, humane traditions.

No Room for Cynicism and Despair

The new year brings little cheer to the long-suffering people. War clouds are hovering over our skies. Much of the economy is stagnant. The share of manufacturing sector as a proportion of GDP is in decline. Tax revenues are well below projections, and expenditure – mostly unproductive - continues to mount. Capital markets are jittery and investor confidence is low. Banks are flush with funds, and yet legitimate credit requirements of the surviving manufacturing enterprises are not met. But spurious companies get large loans for imaginary purposes.

Rhetorical Flourishes as Substitutes to Resolute Action

dir="ltr">With the nation's attention riveted on the dastardly terrorist attack on Parliament on 13th December, the recent talk of universal literacy has receded to the background.  For every failure of ours we have two easy alibis of global recession and cross-border terrorism.  An occasional rhetorical flourish is taken as an adequate substitute for resolute action in respect of all our long-standing domestic problems.

The real danger of subversion from within

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Since Black Tuesday the whole world has been glued to television, transfixed by the  horror unfolding in front of their eyes, thanks to endless replays of the gruesome tragedy.  The American response was even more fascinating.  Initially there were signs of panic and confusion.  Quickly they gave way to order, and a cold fury and cries for resolute action. Blind rage and demands for ‘bombing Afghanistan to stone age’ are replaced by more measured, calibrated responses.  The system found effective direction and leadership.