Showing posts from June, 2013

The Fight for More Democracy

Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried.   - Winston Churchill The world, or at least its youth, the torchbearers of our society, culture and democracy, are really angry. They are angry about lack of jobs. They are angry at inflation and price rises. Go to the European countries fighting recession, and there is a strike a day targeting government betrayers and vested interests (namely the financial world) for leaving them high and dry on every front, ruining their prospects for a better tomorrow. China is worried about the repercussions of the inability to absorb millions of fresh graduates in the next few years amid suicides over pathetic salaries for making iPhones. Brazilians were angry over increased bus fares in the light of abysmal low wages. They are angry about the state of law and order within their countries. Brazil, India and even Nepal have seen massive protests where law and order has been a major topic

Dysfunctional Local Administration and the Change We Seek

Yesterday, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the municipal body of Bengaluru, uploaded a document that was submitted by an expert committee to the Honourable Karnataka High Court on the issue of garbage (mis)management in the city. A good look at the document shows all that is wrong with the manner in which local governance takes place in India. It is ironic that at the very beginning of this document the committee notes that the garbage disposal issue has in recent times become an issue of grave concern. What it conveniently ignores (though it is not their mandate) that while this issue was growing in menacing proportions, the councillors of BBMP, cutting across party lines, were busy fighting with Vijay Mallya, Anil Kumble, Karnataka Cricket Association (KCA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for free passes for IPL matches taking place in Bengaluru. Even as you scan across the document, you see how confused and muddled the issue is, with the exp

Rohan Murthy’s Induction into Infosys - Killing the Indian Aspiration

A popular joke has been doing the rounds across India’s digital circles, harking the return of the 1990s. After all, Sanjay Dutt is in jail, Madhuri Dixit is on the big screen and Murthy is again heading Infosys among other things. However, what is not a joke is the induction of Rohan Murthy, N R Narayana Murthy’s son, as an executive assistant to Mr. Murthy, even if he gets paid only Re.1. Infosys had a difficult gestation, but it saw through that tide of difficulties in the License Raj. The nascent steps towards India’s economic liberalization two decades ago meant that companies that had talent driving them all of a sudden discover opportunities never seen or heard of before. All of a sudden, merit, and not proximity to the corridors of power, mattered in succeeding in business in India. All of a sudden, it was big business that was eating the humble pie for refusing to acknowledge talent when it needed it the most. In the Indian business scenario, there have been only Goli