Showing posts from January, 2024

What if ? A Historical Theory Simulation

As devout Hindus around the world in their millions celebrated the return of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya in a new mandir , it is fitting that Jai Shri Rama is the new zeitgest. People greeting each other with the name of Rama sets a new standard of vocabulary. And this is what gets me thinking about a less discussed incident in the mists of time that makes me wonder every time - what if...? Orchha in the ravines of Chambal on the Madhya Pradesh side of Bundelkhand has been the stronghold of Bundelas for long. The beautiful but haunting hamlet today was once the capital of the Bundelas, and housed many such amazing structures, The historic town sits on the banks of river Betwa. Founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput Chief, Rudra Pratap, the city is a major tirtha for its Rama Raja Mandir, where Shri Rama is worshipped as the King of Orchha and gets a 21 gun salute every evening after the aarti . Rama Raja Temple of Orchha (credit: Kandukuru Nagarjun  ) The story of the temple reads

Of Free Televisions and Outcomes - How We Miss the Woods for the Trees

Erstwhile Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, K. Karunanidhi, launching the free colour TV scheme in 2006 (source: Rediff ) Recently, a storm unleashed itself on Twitter, as a famous YouTuber came on a popular podcast and made a bizarre claim. Free television distribution, it seems, led to improvement in the outcomes of women. And that is good economics. While I don't watch things all the time, what caught my fancy was the defence of the absurdity since. One journal paper was quoted by the YouTuber in question, and was touted as proof of good economics also being associated with freebies. Again, I usually don't comment on freebies, because I think all freebies as a rule are bad. Freebies raise the cost of service across the economy, create greater entry barriers for the poor that they are supposed to serve, and eventually distract from actual welfare spending on such issues as healthcare and education. However, the absurdity on this was so high that I wanted to write for a change. On