Rise of small town India

[Editor’s Note: The piece below was penned by Akshay Garg, former co-founder at Komli Media. It appeared on his Facebook feed and I’m republishing here with his permission. Interesting analogies all around.] Modi’s emphatic win in these Indian elections is shocking for many reasons, not the least of which is that in a country as divided by …

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On a nation with drastically low expectations

Three tweets from @albatrossinfo (RT’d by CentreRight India’s Prasanna Viswanathan) caught my attention this evening. 1) As a nation we are a race of people with such low expectations from the ruling class that even basic govt functioning is lauded as great — Dr Praveen Patil (@5Forty3) February 12, 2013 2) The idea is deep-rooted; …

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On heroes, martyrs, and beheadings…

Shared on my friend’s Facebook wall – a point of view from an army man (friend’s friend) who has served at the LOC (don’t know when or for how long). Provides a fresh perspective on what exactly the ‘beheading’ might have been and also on the issue of heroes vs. martyrs. – Quote – “I …

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Crime does not pay – a rebooting manifesto

It’s been over a week since a hapless young medical student was brutally gang-raped and mercilessly beaten to within a micro-inch of her life. In this glorious nation’s capital.. inside a moving private bus with tinted windows that drove past five police checkposts without being stopped for an obvious violation of a law that went …

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Nehru’s pride, Indo-American relationship and the Indo-China war

Gurcharan Das, in his book India Unbound, makes a pithy statement. When individuals make blunders, it’s sad but when leaders make blunders, it’s a tragedy. He was referring to Indira Gandhi but the statement applies equally to her father too. Nehru’s socialist leanings are well-known. What’s less known is that he was more attached to …

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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 …

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Prime Minister is like the great banyan tree…

No – not the current ‘great’ Dr. Manmohan Singh. In Ambassador’s Journal, John Kenneth Galbraith writes about many interesting things during his tenure as US Ambassador to India. The journal entry from Jul 1961 captures a slice of the Nehruvian Prime Ministership. July 26 – New Delhi …. Later in the day I saw M. J. Desai …

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Kargil Vijay Diwas 2012: 13 Years Later

Two years ago, I created this commemorative photo blog on Kargil Vijay Diwas, featuring the brave officers who won the war for India. This year, I decided to share links to recent stories (and some from the archives) about Kargil’s heroes. Rediff interview with Yogendra Singh Yadav – hero of Tiger Hill. 437 total awards from …

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Attracting diaspora to address India’s higher education faculty gap

[Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on my other blog (TechSangam) – republishing here since it’s clearly relevant to the Return to India meme. Earlier this year, academic collaborators from Rutgers University, Penn State University and Tata Institute of Social Sciences published an insightful study that quantified the severe gap in higher education faculty …

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