Unspecialized and rotating authority of civil service

In an earlier post, Rebooting IAS an essential part of Reforms 2.0 on my other blog, I had summarized a LiveMint article which outlined the key systemic problems with the IAS cadre. A few fixes have been proposed by Columbia University Arvind Panagariya — one of which was to encourage greater specialization. In Ambassador’s Journal, John Kenneth Galbraith …

Continue reading

What the disgruntled young Anna supporter should do next

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series – my latest take on the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, also called Anna Hazare Movement. By ‘latest’, I mean it was written two weeks ago and I’m publishing it now since the criticality of the Assam situation has reduced. In Part1, I wrote about …

Continue reading

Falling in love with the Anna Hazare Movement

[Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series – my latest take on the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, also called Anna Hazare Movement. By ‘latest’, I mean it was written two weeks ago and I’m publishing it now since the criticality of the Assam situation has reduced. In this post, I write …

Continue reading

Madhu Kishwar on nuanced positions and polarizing/predictable media

Confession: I’m becoming a bit of a Madhu Kishwar fanboy. If you haven’t heard of Madhu Kishwar (social commentator, activist, and Manushi editor), be sure to click through to the links at the bottom. In this post, I’ve excerpted the most relevant subset of her recent Tehelka interview – which followed a two-part open letter to …

Continue reading

Daily Dose of Sanskrit from Mysore Miracle Man

Sanskrit and I have had a weird dalliance over the ages. When presented as a subject during my middle school days, I absolutely detested the rote-like-learning that came with it. A decade and a half later (in America), a genuine curiosity developed as I started reading Vedanta and related texts. During my Houston years, I …

Continue reading

Who is Corrupt? Essay by Sourabh Thakur

[Editor’s Note: This post was making the rounds on Facebook during the frenzied days of the Anna Hazare movement. Other folks had made this point but nobody had nailed it as well as Sourabh did. Reproduced here with his permission. A very interesting comment thread also ensued after I shared this post on Facebook – …

Continue reading

The third flight path out of the Lokpal imbroglio

This Saturday as I drove to the grocery store to pick up my wife and kids, I was pleasantly surprised that Radio Indigo (Bangalore’s rock radio station) was airing an interview with Ashwin Mahesh and Prithvi Reddy (two leading social activists associated with Saaku (Karnataka Against Corruption), an ‘affiliate’ organization to Anna Hazare’s India Against …

Continue reading

The curious and unexpected affair of Anna the Hazare

I’ve sometimes found it useful to resist the urge to blog immediately in the aftermath of a major event that I care about. The advantage with waiting is that one moves beyond gut reactions (ours and others), contemplate on some of the thoughtful opinions, and there’s a real opportunity to learn something new – not just …

Continue reading

As I shuttled between Bangalore and San Francisco in 2010

I saved this tweet from Nitin Pai (chief honcho and writer at The Indian National Interest) sometime in the first half of 2010. The operative phrase is “ought to”. The sad reality is that for most people (and I include myself in this category), the dominant emotions are sadness, guilt and frustration. Where’s the fury …

Continue reading