The Independence Day Rhyme: Ecstasy & the Agony

“Midway this way of life we’re bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, Where the right road was wholly lost and gone” [The Divine Comedy – Hell]  India – The Gloss & The Dazzle, ah the Ecstasy: An emerging superpower and the world’s largest democracy. One of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world. India’s wealthiest 100 worth nearly $250 billion. 60+ billionaires in $ terms. Beetles, BMWs and Jaguars. Nearly 2 million passenger car units, 13 million two-wheelers, 85 million pairs of jeans, 6 million laptops and netbooks sold per annum. 300 glitzy malls … Continue reading The Independence Day Rhyme: Ecstasy & the Agony

Ending Gendercide: The Policy Pandora’s Box?

Ram Mashru In 1985 Mary Anne Warren first coined the term ‘gendercide’, a neologism that refers to gender selective mass killing. In India gendercide takes the form of ‘femicide’, the systematic destruction of females from birth through to middle-age, and the statistically abnormal female mortality is the result of foeticide, infanticide, neglect, violence, murder and suicide. The scale of the killing of female infants alone defies belief. Figures from the 2011 census reveal that the birth gender ratio for children aged 0-6 now stands at 914 girls born for every 1000 boys, down from 927:1000 in 2001 and significantly lower … Continue reading Ending Gendercide: The Policy Pandora’s Box?

Decoding Election Manifestos: What are the policies for the future?

Ajit Phadnis & Vivek. V Every Independence Day brings forth a fresh opportunity to revive the debate on our developmental path. Are we undertaking appropriate policies? Are the existing policies being implemented to the optimum? are two recurring questions. Often they are sought to be answered through a complex analysis of factual data and policy evaluations which are rich in insights, but tend to take-for-granted their inherent assumption that policies are created in a political vacuum. In reality, most policy proposals are severely constrained within the bounds of political discourse, a term that typifies the conversations in political circles. Consider … Continue reading Decoding Election Manifestos: What are the policies for the future?

India: Democracy and Development are aligning better

Harsh Shrivastava In 66 years, free India has seen many triumphs and many more tribulations.  In its first few decades, India was seen as a great shining democracy, but also the poorest, most destitute nation.  In the last twenty years, our democratic credentials have strengthened, but the rapid rise of China keeps reminding us that autocracies can be more effective in delivering development than slow, plodding democratic India. In 2013, we’re growing slower than before, but on this Independence Day, I’m heartened that our democratic prowess is itself contributing to the accelerating our development tempo, rather than being a hindrance.  … Continue reading India: Democracy and Development are aligning better

Note from the Editor

As India celebrates its 67th Independence Day, the usual stock taking and introspection of hits and misses will follow. In the life of a nation, a year is a short period especially when the elections (which were still two years away!) cause a sort of paralysis in its highest legislative body i.e. the Parliament. However, this has been a year of extra-ordinary soul searching for India and its people. The gang-rape in Delhi on 16th December 2012 and the events that followed unleashed the long bottled up anger and frustration of not only Indian women but all those who feel … Continue reading Note from the Editor