Sunday, March 30, 2014

The 'riot' game!

Those who instigate riots know the rule to be 'fireproofed'—and to thrive on dangerous fundamentals. Beyond such calculated moves, the sufferers and their humane observers live in oblivion.

Quite often, we see the frail silent image of Manto hanging on wall and his literatures meeting disdained responses, likewise as: I'll fly all from here--not to listen, these are at service, always at service!

Akbar Illahabadi wrote: “They hold the throne in their hand. The whole realm is in their hand. The country, the apportioning of men’s livelihood is in their hand. The springs of hope and of fear are in their hand—in their hand is the power to decide who shall be humbled and who exalted.” But who they are? Why they enjoying such sinful authority?

Their authority powered from the effects of fragile public dismay—and by the electoral design, which allows the representative of particular interest group, winning the ground. The riot cannot be secular—however time and again, political parties have tried falsifying this kind of simple argument.

Most recently, the Samajwadi Party government in UP termed their handling of Muzaffarnagar riots as ‘secular response’—though outside the ‘ambit of reasons’ and nailed in no time, its leaders and sycophant bureaucrats have made all efforts to keep the state government away from imminent legal and moral scrutiny.

As a nation, India was born in the atmosphere of fractured communal harmony—by that account, year 1947 was intensely grim coated. That year, the partition theory reached swift action mode and resulted the bloodiest outbreak of riots and exodus across the imagined borders of two nations in making.

The ‘two nation theory’ worked as planned by the ‘White Sahibs for Brown Sahibs’—and British left not one but two ‘free countries’—both scare-faced and terribly handicapped in keeping alive the momentum of great sacrifices, made during the independence movement.

The scores of people butchered, displaced to never return their home—and most shockingly, women raped for being identified with particular religious identity, had not really shook the minds and souls of system.

But the man who spearheaded the non-violent fight against the tyranny of empire, Gandhi, was in deep shock. He avoided the well deserved happiness for independence and tried to control the frenzied communal clashes in Calcutta.

Sadly, the ruling political classes at that time and later in the history of modern India— remained unflinchingly inactive and unimpressed with an option of ‘straight shooting’ against the hooliganism of unparalleled distort.

Why so? Because only being complicit in the communal riots goes against the ‘law of the land’? Then such law must come under the scanner, which spares the state’s role in commanded violence—with a few rounds of hiccups. Beyond the political overplay, ‘riots’ need to be relooked—much more seriously than the other currents of history.

And this must start with India’s partition, which not only bifurcated the nation but left it permanently vulnerable, to be marred by the ‘communal elements’ and opportunist users of secularist ideas.

During the Delhi riots in 1984, Bhagalpur riots in the late 1980s, Gujarat riots in 2002 and most recently at Muzaffarnagar, the superficial political inquisitions surpassed the real grief of human tragedies. Thousands were murdered, most of them without realizing the actual spectre of politics behind the riot—they simply vanished, as easily as they appeared destined for it!

The ‘riots’ in Indian contexts have been driven through certain ‘political intents’—and communal assertion intermingle them at certain stage. In such wild state of affairs, ‘personification’ takes place at high stage. With each incident of riot, our collective memory recalls a face behind it—the real issues get no attention in public memory or by the restless and assumptive media.

Henceforth, the riot victims presented as numbers and court seeks evidences—only evidences, and not anything reasonable.
Those sheltered in riot camps are treated like ‘citizens on margin’—and ‘the rulers’ of state claims such inhuman arrangements, charity.

A young—undeserving—and untimely CM of UP, Akhilesh Yadav will never ever understand what his government has done in follow-up action on the wake of communal outbreak in politically charged Muzaffarnagar.He could have easily done without Saifai extravaganza or Europe trip for his party rank and file, when people were freezing in relief camps, away from their homes.

They are still in camps, winter was harshest for them. Most of them are facing health issues, which arise by the lack of basic nutrition and hygiene. Like normal human being, they too require elementary amenities—circumstance to go back home, which are burnt and need to be repaired. Though they know, the soul of their home has withered away—as only a few good neighbours want to see them back.

Something similar happened in Kashmir in 1990—still we talk about relief camps, and we recall the grim faces of Kashmiri Pandits. Now they are settled everywhere, except at their home in valley—my fear is the same for those uprooted from the villages of Muzaffarnagar.

The victims live in reality—as they have no command on resources. Their ‘dignity’ is compromised—the kids are trying to learn the lessons, through experiences and self efforts. But there is a limitation of self-learning. The young girls are being married, to suppress the extra amount of insecurity and helplessness.

The terror outfits are, reportedly visiting these camps to negotiate with ‘anemic sheltered citizens of India’—and they return without much success, as people have still trust in state, if not in leadership. They collect relief to survive—as survival is not less than a virtue, for both ‘fit& frail’.

This way, the riot works in India. Knowingly or unknowingly, political animals help each other to float in the dirty stream—and they really triumph the alternative wisdom. In the coming general elections, the ‘secularism claim’ must be tested by the electorates in UP, and wherever the land is India!
-Atul K Thakur
(Published in Governance Now on March22,2014)

Spoilers of the democratic drive

Maoists in Nepal have in the past, with greater share in power politics, done immeasurable harm to the chances of healthy democratic movements in that country. They have unfailingly and deliberately created problems for the Government

Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, is a worried man these days, principally coloured in red — not for the lost ideological claim of his party, but because his command and credibility inside the party and in national politics is on the wane.

He has kept mum for months after the humiliating performance of his party in the 2013 parliamentary election. But after the customary soul searching, he is now trying to reunite the different Maoists camps and revive the party’s character in its rank and file.

In this endeavour, Prachanda is looking to the working class and the marginalised sections of society but he has also almost given up on his former colleague and now CPN(Maoist) chairman Mohan Baidya. This is his version of struggle for survival, but while doing this he has displayed his and indeed his party’s deep rooted desperation towards the new developments in Nepali national politics.

Another big factor is Mr Baburam Bhattarai — a powerful Maoist comrade who turned dubious to match Prachanda’s ambitions. There are open theories about their dualism in public life and none are refuted by these two giant leaders of the Himalayan nation. Mao is not alive but it seems like these two leaders believe in the old saying that ‘China’s leader is our leader’.

So much like Mao, they too, time and again, have committed follies, cheated the poor Nepali people of their aspirations, and damaged the delicate democratic fabric of Nepal.

Nevertheless, it will be wrong to say that Nepal doesn’t have place to accommodate radicals. But it is the wrong moves of the radicals, which have falsified the conception of progressive political manoeuvring. This amounts to a big setback for a democracy that is still trying to cross many hurdles.

Since 1996, when Maoism formally haunted the nation, almost two decades in Nepal have been wasted. Governance is broken, infrastructure is decaying, industry is in a mess — and the people are fleeing to Gulf countries where they live perilous lives.

Who are these Maoists representing then? Why they are still sticking with their false ‘ism’s and not focussing on national issues that are getting more serious day by day? In recent years, outbound human trafficking from Nepal has seen unbelievably high. Abroad, Nepalis live in a kind of exile and are routinely exploited.

Barring the elite, it is tough to find a Nepali who lives in dignified state. This was not the case earlier when Nepal was still poor but at least its political leadership had better control. Still, there has hardly been a ‘golden phase’ in Nepal.

Maoism was a stream forced to flow in an authoritarian China, where democratic tributaries were seen as rival counter-currents. It kept revising over the years in the country of its origin and, so cunningly, that it made China not only a closely-guarded, ruthless communist regime but also amusingly a hub of crony capitalism as well.

So, today, many communist leaders from China find themselves on the Forbes billionaire list even if their socialistic convictions stop them from making flashy style statements.

Sadly, this kind of an unhealthy cocktail of social and economic policies is being seen as the cure that can fix the ills of socio-economic disparity in Nepal. However, this will be at the cost of democracy, that will otherwise benefit the masses, unless the leaders turn into looters of resources. Such endemic tussles are, of course, long-standing. And resolving them is perhaps the toughest challenge for democracy.

Writing on Nepal’s last two decades appears tough, given how fast-evolving trends and developments boggle the commentator’s mind. One can see endless political activity and the unstoppable movement towards factionalism as well as the lust to grab the top seat of power, even if for a short while.

The Maoists brought these changes with bigger effect, and in the course of time, their brand of politics was borrowed by the old parties and narrowly-shaped the Madhesi and ethnic groups. And within this flurry of opportunistic moves, Nepali democracy has suffered. It has never recovered enough to support the country’s progress in different areas.

In the past, the Maoists, who then had a greater share in power politics, did immeasurable harm to the chances of healthy democratic movements in the country. Even now, they are creating trouble for the existing Government run by Mr Sushil Koirala.

It will be worthwhile to recall that Prime Minister Koirala is not a conventional representative of the Koirala family, rather he is detached from the aura of power. He has given the mandate to lead; he has not fought for it.

But his success is doubtful. The Constitution-drafting process is threatened by a motley group of Maoist comrades and it is unlikely that they will allow Nepal to stay the democratic course. The Maoists mock Nepali democracy and democracy here betrays masses and their humane expectations. On the other side of the tunnel, there seems to be no light.

Tough times will remain in this country that has no king but is not free from king-size maladies. And for that, the people cannot be blamed for an error of judgement as they were always without better choices.
-Atul K Thakur
(Published in The Pioneer on March25,2014)

Maps for a mortal moon

Book Review: Fiction/Maps for a Mortal Moon: Selected prose by Adil Jussawalla—Edited& introduced by Jerry Pinto, Aleph, 340pp; Rs495 (Paperback)

Maps for a Mortal Moon should be in the essential reading list.

The worst thing about being a human being is being a human being. ‘I wish I was bird’, as the railway clerk in Nissim Ezekiel’s poem says. But if I were, the worst thing about being a bird would be being a bird.

Adil Jussawalla supremely talented literary world is uniquely diverse and unwaveringly at peace with others’ writing—so you read many such good pointers while turning the pages of this beautiful book. Jussawalla, a prolific poet, columnist, critic—and all together is a person in existence, for moving with the carefully chosen letters.

And no one could have a better choice as an editor like Jerry Pinto to compile the selected prose of Adil Jussawalla—he is another gem from Mumbai, who kept distance from limelight to succeed on humane grounds—in writings and at personal front.

The book is uniquely rich through the essays and entertainments, mostly published earlier as well—but here in collection, those appear giving better sense of collectiveness. And on another count, this book seems getting good success in offering Adil Jussawala’s specific and less known works to the new genre of readers—and while doing this, the coverages go in great deal on language, poetry, ethics, aeroplanes, death, addiction, travel alienation etc.

The protagonists of Jussawall could be anyone and from locale—conventional or exceptional.The book remarkably comes on Bombay of pre 1990—hence we see a greater coverage of Jussawalla’s own perspective on the city. That part charms most, especially when Jussawalla’s appearances surface in different form—from a journalist, book critic to a writer with less noise and all sensibilities.

Earlier, Jussawalla has written four anthologies of poems: Land’s End (1962), Missing Person (1976), Trying to Say Goodbye (2012) and The Right Kind of Dog (2013)—and put together a great book, New Writing in India (1974).

Recalling these five books is meant to see, how elusive and infrequent this writer has been for his untargeted readers, who yet stayed incorrigible and waiting for his books. As Jussawalla’s writing and his own self is inseparable from the unusual urbane construction of Bombay—so a greater degree of attention on this city makes him a near-legendary chronicler of a certain timeframe, in which this city had seen transformative changes.

Unvaryingly, Jussawalla’s writings maintain intelligent poignancy, wit, melancholy—Maps for a Mortal Moon easily gets breakthrough in following his own standard, set effortlessly.

The readers would find like winning an strategy, if they would read this book for the purpose to know the cultural shifts and political changes over the past forty years—that strongly inserted ‘change’ as virtue to be not missed. That has been fairly damaging and we see eruption of unheard complications at individual and at mass level.

Both Adil and Jerry has known their city closely and in daily struggle—can same accuracy one can have on the city from living in a house cruelly priced $2billion or looking on Arabian sea from the thick glasses of Taj Hotel?

The point is not in subverting the ‘grandness’ but bringing back the issues at fore and with fair reasons. The much celebrated tag ‘maximum city’ is certainly a caricature on Bombay, which helps keeping it in a sort of euphoria, an escaping route from its ugly underbelly.

Sometime directly and on occasions with smoke signals, Jussawala puts forward the complex realities, not so obvious to the species lost in efforts of saving their fragile existence. Certainly, Jussawalla is an existentialist but a maverick at same time—that reasonably keep his writings at distance from the fashioned existential philosophy.

Not to gain or lose, Jussawall is a writer with consine—who has seen the suffering and not stopped delving with the harsh realities. This is an extraordinary accomplishment of him— and something, with which, many writers don’t go far ahead. A great gift to the serious prose readers, Maps for a Mortal Moon should be in their essential reading list.

This book is one of the major non-fiction entries in 2014— Adil, Jerry and Aleph publications deserve praise for coming out with this standard project.
-Atul K Thakur
(Published in The Kashmir Walla on March26,2014)

India at turning point:Interpreter of curable maladies

Book Review: Non-fiction/ India at Turning Point: The Road to Good Governance by T.S.R. Subramanian, Rainlight/Rupa, 274 pp; Rs595 (Hardback)

T S R Subramanian – with an insider’s insight and outsider’s rage – has made a frontal attack on the ills of Indian government and bureaucratic setup in his latest book India at Turning Point: The Road to Good Governance.

This is remarkable since Indian babus, in general, are not known for practicing forthright polemics and coming out with scathing criticism of issues plaguing their own bastion, the bureaucracy.

What is even more striking about the book is Subramanian chooses not to pepper the narrative with recollections of his own foregone privileges as a civil servant. Evidently, he doesn’t think much of those hallowed yet conceited ‘benefits’; hence, quite rightly, his narrative does justice to the underlying intent of writing this much-needed book.

The essays are incisive, and the compilation as an anthology – covering wide ranges of political and administrative issues – works at many levels.

Subramanian’s experiences travel well and far, not only into the power corridors of the Capital, but in fact, journey into the hinterlands and gather spectacular wisdom. While recalling different stages of his career, he, fortunately, doesn’t come across as either a white or a brown sahib.

Instead, he turns out to be someone who has learned his way up, cutting through the grinding formality of official procedures and the unnecessarily encumbered and slow-moving wheel of Indian administration. There are, of course, the occasional tributes.

But what really hooks you to these well-written pages is his pointed criticism of the system as well as the policy movers and shakers. Frankly, the unputdownable elements add a dash of fun and frolic to this weighty hardback.

Particularly, when he chooses an eminent politician like N D Tiwari to detail how high-ranked former cabinet ministers pick their itinerary, preferring to go Thailand and roving around in the city after sunset! Of course, flouting security and other protocols.

As an ‘India book,’ this one starts with gloom and reaches the opposite end with optimism. Primarily, India at Turning Point seeks to highlight the factors – Parliament, intelligence agencies and even cricket – for keeping governance in check and good health. The argument develops further: why our perfectly ‘curable maladies’ are not being treated?

Since 1947, India as a nation has made significant strides. However, those were not enough. The realisation is growing stronger, as democracy is deepened everyday. Despite having followed a ‘reluctant revivalist’ tendency for over six decades, now, in an increasingly technocratic situation, the overall ‘governance discourse’ is gaining ground to charter something as desired by the people and emerging directly out of the compelling necessities.

This book will be in circulation for strong reasons, foremost among them being its timing. India is passing through an unprecedented cusp of changes and really calling it the ‘turning point’ makes perfect sense.

But hope is not on the wane in this book or the atmosphere it tries to capture. Irrespective of tough challenges, the tribe of ‘incorrigible optimists’ still fires up the engines of its centre and periphery. As Subramanian asks if India has stopped following sustainable political and economic principles, we wonder if his question has an answer at all.
-Atul K Thakur
(Published in Millennium Post on March2,2014)

In praise of new Bihar

Soon to be posted...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

India’s tryst with democracy

Book Review: Non-fiction/Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable Democracy by Ashutosh Varshney, Penguin, 415 pp; Rs599 (Hardback)

Ashutosh Varshney has long been considered a formidable scholar of South Asian politics and his latest book is a significant addition to his repertoire, particularly at a point in time when Indian politics is undergoing transformations of an unprecedented nature. Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable

Democracy is a compilation of several pieces that seek to trace India’s political trajectory, from the time of its birth to the modern day. What is at the heart of the book is the idea that India is struggling to establish a deeper, more definitive democracy. Varshney has well-captured the centrist tendency in Indian politics, particularly at the national level.

In the states, he says, identities of various sorts still rule the course of political action and outcome. Great use is made of facts and figures to prop up his ideas, testifying to the author’s skill as a truly effective political scientist.
India is presently at a stage wherein the expectations of the electorate are quite diverse, apropos of how the system and its representatives respond to them.

But still we see a Narendra Modi seeking to make his party, his government in Gujarat, and in imagination, the country, an overt extension of his personality. It was the same mistake, in fact, that Indira Gandhi had committed almost four decades ago, making the Congress party her territory.

For a party that had been shaped by a standard democrat like Nehru post-independence, and still carrying some notional attributes of the anti-colonial movement, this had proved a major setback. Varshney emphasises that without the freedom movement, India’s nationhood would have been inconceivable, which means democracy
too would’ve been inconceivable.

He focuses especially on the consolidation of national democracy after 1947, calling it the next remarkable event after India’s independence—where the decisive leadership of Nehru played a major role. It is appreciable that while doling out these analyses, the author is able to keep his personal biases on hold, one of the many strengths of his writing.

The book touches upon, at one point, Mahatma Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj, a radical piece of work. While stressing on Gandhi’s political preferences, Varshney adds, “It is noteworthy that Gandhi himself was not very fond of representative government, his ideal polity was one that had local village republics, more in line with direct, non-representative democracy.” Does this mean then that the Aam Aadmi Party of today is following Gandhian principle?

I suppose that is unlikely, as the AAP, in core, doesn’t oppose representative politics, nor is it its express objective to make representatives accountable. Rather, what the AAP is pursuing is the ‘trivialisation of representation’, visible in the way it has vested the Mohalla Sabha (meetings among residents of a ‘mohalla’, a smaller partition of a ward) with such supreme power.

Given its heavy-handed political maneuverings so far, the party’s plan to contest the general elections in a big way will be much messier, of course. But its strong emergence in the scene has certainly brought democracy under close scrutiny. Varshney offers substantial space in his book for present-day politics, new bases of coalitions, governance and economic reforms—all elaborated upon in his signature style, now become quite popular through the means of his widely read column in the Indian Express.

Like he tends to do in many his opinionated writings in newspapers and academic journals, his book too draws out the differences between the “quality of democracy and existence of democracy.” He envisions India as a mature democracy that has a deeply unstable core, thanks to the socio-economic inequalities and challenges it has encountered with regards to its territorial integrity, making the battle for “deeper democracy” the need of the hour. And the AAP, for Varshney, is an example of the forces within this battle.

For the most part, Battles Half Won analyses the factors behind the deepening of Indian democracy since 1947 and the challenges these have created. The book broadly traces the forging and consolidation of India s “improbable democracy”. The essays delve into themes ranging from caste politics and ethnic conflict, and Hindu nationalism to the north-south economic divide and the politics of economic reform since 1991—issues that have consistently tested the calibre of Indian democracy.

The book also highlights the adverseness of not relying on “intelligent economics”; AAP ideologue Yogendra Yadav, for instance, has made his party’s intentions clear on that by shifting the political and economic agenda away from the “shackle of isms”.

Of course, this is merely in principle so far, and it remains to be seen what the execution will actually be like. But the potential impact of new politics, championed by the AAP—the way it has encroached on the traditional turf of left or right-leaning forces, by injecting flexibility into economic policies and matters of governance—is something that greatly interests our author.

Given the Anna Hazare campaign, which proved so popular a while back, and now with AAP’s swift rise in the power circle, Varshney feels that the bulk of citizens in India are now eager to participate in the overall political process.

While examining all these changes, the book also indicates the next course of development as far as democracy in India is concerned. In Varshney’s view, Indian democracy is the sort that becomes more progressive the more unsettling changes it comes across. After all, time and again, all kinds of political hiccups in India have been solemnised—although with varying degrees of success.

Then again, the stakes are much higher at the moment, and forward-looking Indians can no longer trust a government that offers less than a two-percent job growth rate, for example. Now is the time for political parties to be as prompt in terms of their actions as their electorates are with their expectations. Overlooking that would be detrimental for success in the political fray as other countries in South Asia have evidenced.

Articulate and authoritative, Varshney’s book offers fresh insights into several crucial areas, elements that have shaped India into what it is today, whether that be the complex set of relations under the country’s federal system, the challenges of territorial/cultural diversities, and the contradictory outcomes of economic reforms, among others. Battles Half Won looks back very diligently on successes and failures of India’s tryst with democracy—which despite having many flaws, is charting its course with no full stop.
-Atul K Thakur
(Published in The Kathmandu Post on February22,2014)

UPA plays the numbers game

P Chidambaram may have shown his articulate command over pure economics and political economy, time and again. But his understanding hasn't led to the enhancement of the country’s macro-economic health
The recently presented interim Union Budget is skewed. The Vote on Account gives no space to overhaul the revenue or expenditure sides, and its provisions will haunt the successive Government as the latter seeks to review or implement policy. The last Union Budget of UPA2 lacks serious intents of fiscal consolidation.

The Union Minister for Finance spent his precious time personifying the achievements of his Government as well as his personal wisdom. Unrelated to Indian economy’s woes, the statements irritated the sufferers of the UPA’s macro-economic mismanagement.

The Indian economy has been passing through trying times, with the GDP growth sliding below five per cent and inflation hovering around 7.5 per cent. Consumer price inflation, which affects the common man the most, has been around 10 per cent or more. And food inflation rarely climbs down from the double-digits. Industrial and services growth has dropped and jobs have withered away from the scene. Naturally, the slowdown created by different factors constituted in a big way to the anti-Government mood among the masses.

An election is around the corner and the legions of the UPA have no proper ideas to curb bad governance. They could have moved to the better path when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi admitted the policy blunders of his Government, but sadly the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister observed that history will be kinder to them than their contemporary critics. Will this be true?

It is unlikely that any proper history-writing will let off the UPA2, characterised by scams and indecision which have lowered the morale of the economy and the people. Recent years have witnessed an erosion of confidence in economic activities at the mass level. The sagging sentiment has taken a high toll on the growth momentum.

UPA2 couldn’t live up to the benchmark set by UPA1. The excuse of the Finance Minister that it still performed better than the six years of NDA rule is an eyewash through data. In the NDA Government, average GDP growth rate and inflation stood simultaneously at six per cent and around 4.5 per cent. Under UPA1, average GDP growth shot higher at 8.4 per cent but inflation too rose to 6.6 per cent, and UPA2 ends with an average GDP growth of 6.7 per cent and inflation surging over eight per cent.

Astonishingly, the UPA2 has no patience to recall the good work of its own preceding Government. Instead it is comparing its performance with the NDA Government even though the fundamentals for it were different compared to the previous decade which was known for the rise of emerging economies like India.

It is undeniable that the global economic crisis of 2007-2008 messed-up the external environment. The economic slowdown has severely damaged the rising momentum in emerging economies but India has suffered more through the sustained high inflation, supported by impractical policy planning.

The UPA’s much celebrated commitment to inclusive growth made on modest gains on the ground. In 2003-2004, Gross Tax Revenues stood at 8.8 per cent of GDP — this figure witnessed a vertical growth under UPA1 to 12 per cent of GDP in 2008-2009 but came down dramatically to near 10 per cent of GDP under UPA2. Capital outlay and subsidies have modestly risen under the UPA rule but whether the funds were delivered for intended purposes remains a concern.

On the public expenditure front, the NDA Government spent around 2.6 per cent and one per cent of the GDP, respectively on education and health. Under the UPA rule, total public expenditure on education and health, respectively stood at 3.3 per cent and 1.3 per cent of the GDP. This clearly marked the violation of Common Minimum Programme of the UPA1 Government, which had promised spending six per cent of GDP on education and three per cent of the GDP on health facilities.

Mr P Chidambaram, who has presented many Budgets, failed to clean up the indirect taxation regime since 1991. Only Messrs Manmohan Singh and Yashwant Sinha, as Finance Ministers, tried to reform import duties and excise. So, Mr Chidamabaram’s claim to be a progressive mover of the public finances seems unbelievable. This last one was an interim Budget and he may have bound by electoral compulsions but the same was not true in previous years.

The interim Budget estimates fiscal deficit for 2013-14 at 4.6 per cent of the GDP, over-performing the target of 4.8 per cent of the GDP and projects next year’s deficit at 4.1 per cent, again better than the projected 4.2 per cent. But these do not including the pain of carrying revenue deficit at 3.3 per cent.

Time and again, Mr Chidambaram has shown his articulate command over pure economics and political economy. However, his understanding hasn’t translated in macro-economic health of the nation.
-Atul K Thakur
(Published in The Pioneer on February25,2014)