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Showing posts from April, 2019

Indian industry's 40% mergers caste-based, create lower value than caste-distant deals

By Rajiv Shah
Suggesting that India’s business class is still not out of its feudal culture, a recent study on merger and acquisition (M&A) deals of top Indian business houses, carried out jointly by scholars of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, and Pomona College, Claremont, California, United States, has found that the “observed percentage of same-varna mergers” is 40.11%, which is at least “twice as high as” (15.47% to 20.34%) as M&A carried out with firms that do not have the same varna.
Identifying varna to mean five different castes, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, and “lowest”, Dalits, the study reaches “analogous results” when M&A is measured in terms of jati or sub-castes. It says, “While the observed percentage of same-jati M&A deals is 22.53%, as for other M&A deals, these were “less than half of that, ranging from 5.6% to 7.67%.”
A varna-wise breakup suggests that 48.6% out of 284 M&A deals by Brahmins were with Brahmins, 12.3% …

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”
Calling this “mortifying”, Sahay, who has been in the profession since 1970s, occupying senior positions in dailies controlled by top media barons, and specializing in politics, governance and foreign policy, says, “If the media had stuck to its job, the Modi government is likely to have been running for cover.”
Published by Aakar Books, the book is a collection of Sahay’s 70-odd articles over the last five years (a dozen each on Kashmir and foreign and neighborhood policy, with emphasis on …

Disinterested in politics, Punjab's 93% women farm workers "ignorant" who is India's PM

By Rajiv Shah
Even as political parties are fighting a pitched battle during the Lok Sabha elections, a recent study, 'Socio-Economic Conditions and Political Participation of Rural Women Labourers in Punjab', has made the stark revelation that “a very large majority of the rural woman labourers, i.e., 95.28 per cent have no interest in politics”, even as pointing out, “They do not read, listen and watch news.”
The study says, not only do rural woman labourers “have no time to watch or listen to news because they remain pre-occupied with the domestic chores”, and being illiterate, they “are not able to read newspapers”, significantly, 89.28 per cent of the respondents “do not know even the name of the Chief Minister of Punjab.”
Carried out by a team led by agricultural economist Dr Gian Singh and his team comprising Dharampal, Gurinder Kaur, Veerpal Kaur and Jyoti, the study says, “Similarly, a very large majority of the respondents, i.e., 92.72 per cent failed to tell the nam…

Clean fuel? Modi's Ujjwala fails: Poor households 2.5 times "less likely" to use LPG

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India's (GoI) Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, launched in 2016 in order to promote the use of clean cooking fuel to villagers by subsidizing liquid petroleum gas (LPG) connections, and thus reduce exposure to "harmful" indoor air pollution, has mainly helped the rural elite, a recent study, titled "Persistence of solid fuel use despite increases in LPG ownership: New survey evidence from rural north India", has said.
If GoI has contended that that by December 2018, six crore households received access to LPG through the Ujjwala Yojana, and that 90% of all Indian households owned an LPG cylinder and stove, the study, published by the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (RICE), says, "The richest households are about 2.5 times more likely to exclusively use LPG than the poorest households."
According to the study, the poorest households "are less likely to have LPG than rich households, and "poor househo…

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.
Giving graphic instances from the book, whose English edition was released on Friday, in order to give examples of how atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis have allegedly spiralled during the Modi rule, Macwan tells Modi, "It is a shame for the nation that your party has been intimidating common people and you are consciously silent."
The book seeks to answer the question as to why talk of atrocities when India is facing "serious problems post massacre of 40 security men by terrorists in Pulwama." According to Macwan, "It is not enough to merely condemn the attack at Pulwama", recalling …

India "slides" in liberal democracy index after Modi came to power: EU-assisted report

By Rajiv Shah
Even as India goes to polls, a recent European Union-assisted Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) report, claiming to provide "new ways to study the nature, causes, and consequences of democracy embracing its multiple meanings", has raised the alarm that "freedom of expression, media, and civil society are under threat", especially in "key countries, such as Brazil, India, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and the United States."
Noting that "autocratization is now manifesting in a number of large countries, including Brazil, India, Russia, Turkey, and the United States", the report ranks 178 countries across the globe for its liberal democracy index (LDI) to say that "the recent significant declines in liberal democracy in India and the United States alone have affected some 1.6 billion people, while less than 1 million people benefited from the improvements in Bhutan and Vanuatu."
The 2018 report ranks India's DLI at 81, down from 78…