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Showing posts from May, 2014

An international energy deal and lots of gas!

When a nation that has been our traditional ally and most sympathetic to our sentiments since independence and an another country which one of our former defence ministers chose to describe as ‘India’s enemy no 1’ sign an energy deal pegged at a little less than half a trillion dollars, you’d expect our TV channels (English) to either report it or at the very least ensure it has a passing mention. However, as witnessed on Wednesday, in all their infinite wisdom, the channels simply chose to ignore the issue – which could be a game-changer as far as India’s foreign relations are concerned.
The leading TV news channels – Times Now, CNN-IBN and NDTV – the first in particular, went berserk on the Arvind Kejriwal trial and his subsequent arrest and more importantly the brouhaha around the PMO’s twitter handle. With its non-stop coverage on the issues throughout the day, Times Now set the agenda for what it calls ‘super primetime’ – the shouting matches centering on them, with Arnab fIying o…

We, the majoritarian Indian states...

Who says we are a democracy, a state where the voice of the subjects prevails? The international media may wax eloquent in describing us as the world’s biggest democracy. They may marvel at how our elections are conducted under testing situations, and the mass participation in the process. However, truth is, India is a shining example of majoritarianism, i.e. the will of the majority pervades over everything else. General consensus be damned. In fact, our majoritarian streak is such that even the freedom to express allegiance to languages of our choice is, at best, a mirage. Perhaps we Indians could be the template on which the phrase “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” was modeled on.

Nothing exemplifies this better than the strenuous efforts by the Karnataka government on deciding the medium of instruction in schools in the State. The government received a setback on this issue in the Supreme Court. Eager to win a few brownie points when it was in dire need of some, a plea requestin…

Let them eat transport cake

Around the world and even across India, public transport systems may not be readily associated with the elite. India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore, has managed to turn the dictum on its head: one perhaps needs to be a part of the elite -- the other 1 per cent, in American terminology -- if they are to use the city’s public transport on a regular basis.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) must be India's only public transport system to hike its fares five times in the last two years, the hike amounting to a whopping 15 per cent the last time.
To gain a sense of how the hike is intently managing to put easier commutes out of the reach of the common man, here are some figures: ·1) The minimum fare is Rs6; those for second and third stages of the trip are Rs12 and Rs14 respectively ·
2) A stage may involve two-three stops, spaced not more than a couple of kilometres apart (A trip just outside the third stage and onwards will cost the bus-goer a cool Rs16)
Thus a trip f…