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Right-wing ideologues' new assertion: There's 'nothing Indian' about Constitution

There was a time when we used to reject the Indian Constitution as "bourgeois". Those were the student days of early 1970s. Vigorous, youthful, though controversial. At that time, I used to be part of the Students Federation of India (SFI), CPI-M's student wing. We were told to believe by Delhi University party ideologues that the Constitution served the bourgeois-landlord state, led by the big bourgeoisie, which was in alliance with the imperialists.
Recent posts

Just 7% poor Gujarat kids 'admitted' in private schools under RTE: Who all are left out?

The other day, I went to attend an NGO event in Ahmedabad. It was called "Policies of Inclusion: Education and Wealth". Organised at the Ahmedabad Management Association by an NGO which claims to be working with governments in 22 states, including that of Gujarat, I attended the event during the second half, and my job seemed limited to answering a couple of queries on the role of media in helping usher in inclusive policies though development journalism.

Repression on anti-CAA, NRC protesters: Are 'notable figures' silent? Not any more

In an amusing opinion piece in “Washington Post” (WP), former "Tehelka" journalist Rana Ayyub  – whose book on Gujarat riots, “Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up”, based on her undercover operations with government officials as a documentary filmmaker, made her famous – has blamed three Bollywood Khans, but most notably Saif Ali Khan, for playing an “off-screen role, enabling the worst impulses of the government.”

Krishna Kumar's Gandhian tips on education in Ahmedabad, a communally divided city

A few days back, when I met Prof Krishna Kumar in Ahmedabad, a prominent scholar on education, whom I have considered over the last two decades more as the main brain behind Prof Yash Pal’s well-known report "Learning without Burden" (1993), I just couldn’t resist recalling my interactions with him as a BA (honours) English student in Kirori Mal College in Delhi. Prof Kumar was in Ahmedabad to deliver a lecture on why our education system was failing to succeed. It was an Umashakar Joshi memorial lecture.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

India enters quagmire of 'mistrust economy', as GDP growth officially slips to 4.5%

I have had a special liking for GDP, and it isn’t new, either. During my Times of India days in Gandhinagar (1997-2012), I remember, how as chief minister, Narendra Modi, post-2002 Gujarat riots, kept harping on the state’s double digit rate of growth rate continuously for three or four years, but got a little puzzled when, during a press conference, I asked him how was it that an official document talked of just 5.1% growth rate.

As fear 'grips' right liberals, Arvind Panagariya, too, would be declared anti-national?

It is surely well-known by now that India's top people in the power-that-be have been castigating all those who disagree with them as "anti-nationals". Nothing unusual. If till yesterday only "secular liberals", and "left-liberals" were declared anti-national, facts, however, appear to have begun surfacing that, now, guns are being trained against those who could be qualified as right liberals, too. Let me be specific.
The other day, a former bureaucrat of the Gujarat government, an IAS official, known for his keen perceptions of the state of the economy, whether India's or Gujarat's forwarded to me a video – an interview with Mahesh Vyas, managing director and CEO of India's topmost private sector data company, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
Interviewed by the news portal “The Wire”, long dubbed as "left liberal" by critics, of late Vyas has made a niche for himself by strongly asserting how unemployment rates in t…