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Poverty of ideas - Arvind Panagariya, Economic Times
Evidence that poverty has declined since India began to liberalise in the 1980s, that the acceleration in growth to 8-9% range since the mid-2000s has resulted in accelerated poverty reduction and that these trends hold for each broad social group rather than just the aggregate population is as irrefutable as it gets in social sciences. In the accompanying graphic, taken from a recent study by Megha Mukim and the author... Read Full Article››
Europe’s barbarians inside the gate - Nouriel Roubini, Mint
I am on a two-week European tour at a time that could make one either very pessimistic or constructively optimistic about Europe’s prospects. First the bad news: Paris is sombre, if not depressed, after the appalling terrorist attacks earlier last month. France’s economic growth remains anaemic, the unemployed and many Muslims are disaffected, and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front is likely to do well in the upcoming regional elections. In Brussels, which was semi-deserted and in lockdown, owing to the risk of terrorist attacks, the European Union...
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18 Months down: An objective analysis of the Modi government - Alok Bhatt, Indiafacts
On the eve of the 16th Lok Sabha election results, a group of friends—many of whom had quit jobs or taken time off from businesses to volunteer for the BJP—decided to meet at a resto-bar in Delhi’s Connaught Place to ‘chill out’ after several months of hard-work in the summer heat. But, every discussion would lead to the same question: “what will happen tomorrow?” The fear of the unknown was lurking and highly palpable. When the first set of leads flashed on the TV screen on May 16...
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Commitment to the Constitution – Congress style - Anirban Ganguly, Times of India
Ironically, Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, did not see the Italian sitting beside him and instead, pointed his widely gesticulating finger at the treasury benches terming the BJP leaders as foreigners who came to India, displacing him and those like him who were original inhabitants of the land. Sadly, though understandably, this is the leadership Congress professes to offer to aspirational India, a leadership that bases its political arguments on outdated and long discarded colonial theories...
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Modi and the BJP must act before it is too late - Kanchan Gupta, Pioneer
Eighteen months after taking charge as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has reconciled himself to a reality that is not going to change soon. It is possible that it will not change, or indicate a change, during the remaining three-and-a-half years of his tenure. Whether or not he will get a second term in office, which was beyond debate and dispute till the Opposition drew and tasted blood in the Bihar Assembly election, is at this point an irrelevant issue. That reality is to do with the impossible arrangement in the present Parliament.
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Intolerance of the real kind - Tavleen Singh, Indian Express
With the world in agreement that the biggest threat to civilization as we know it comes from Wahhabi Islam, India’s debate about ‘Hindu intolerance’ sounds increasingly bizarre. India is no less or more intolerant than it was before, but because of the hysteria whipped up by our ‘intellectuals’ and the media, the impression that the world has is that India is being ruled by a government that subscribes to a Hindu version of Wahhabism. This is why it is unfortunate that Aamir Khan has leapt on to this bandwagon.
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Manmohan Singh’s views on the Planning Commission seem to be changing colours like a chameleon - Bibek Debroy, Financial Express
Recently, Dr Manmohan Singh spoke at a national convention organised by the Indian Youth Congress—the occasion being Indira Gandhi’s 98th birth anniversary. He spoke on Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi and their legacy. He also spoke on the Planning Commission. Let’s ignore the former and focus on the latter. Among assorted individuals in the country, the person most qualified...
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Lutyen’s zone is a state of mind - Anirban Ganguly, Times of India
The much discussed and referred to Lutyen’s zone in Delhi is not in reality limited to a physical contour, it is actually a state of mind and of being. This state of mind and of being stretches much beyond the physical limits of Lutyen’s zone and its manifestations can be seen beyond as well. One need not necessarily be a physical inhabitant of Lutyen’s zone in order to demonstrate one’s deracinated mindset or one’s disjointed sense of judgment of the realities of India.
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Rajiv Gandhi showed no remorse in 1984, rioters went free – ’84 created 2002 and Dadri: H S Phoolka - Rohit E David, Times of India
Well, till today, the intolerance of Congress has not finished. What did they do in 1984? They rewarded leaders who led the rioters. A prominent Congressman was said to lead a mob on November 2, 1984, at Rakab Ganj Sahib. The Gurdwara and two Sikhs were burnt. If Congress does not have the courage to sideline such people just for the sake of some votes, how can they call themselves tolerant?
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Caste's finest hour - Ravi Shankar, NewIndianExpress
Opportunity knocks but once. Opportunism can knock out reputations once and for all. By forming a government supported by Lalu Prasad Yadav, a convict and casteist, Nitish Kumar stands exposed as an opportunist without conviction. He was forced to give the deputy chief ministership to Tejaswi Yadav, the inexperienced 26-year-old cricketer son of Lalu, who served time for his alleged role in the fodder scam. Nitish has given enough fodder to prove that his government is a proxy-Lalu outfit...
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Terror and alliances of convenience - Brahma Chellaney, Mint
With the horrific Paris attacks refocusing the global spotlight on the dangers of international terrorism, we should not forget the factors that continue to aid the rise of jihadist forces. The international fight against transnational Islamic terrorism can never succeed as long as short-term geostrategic interests prompt Western powers to form alliances of convenience that strengthen fundamentalist forces extolling violence as a sanctified tool of religion.
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