Repo Rate Cut - What Does It Mean for India?

"My name is Raghuram Rajan and I do what I do" - Rajan in a decisive mode (Courtesy NDTV) Raghuram Rajan, the hallowed Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), caught everyone by surprise today by announcing a 50 basis points (bps) cut in the repo rate , which is down to 6.75%. While the corporate world can sing hosannas about capital now being available and bankers can go gaga in turn while slashing their own rates, there are a couple of points that can get overlooked in this hyperbole, and need to be seen at carefully. The RBI has clearly noted that the availability of capital can be a potential problem in pushing for economic growth, due to which the forecast was redefined. It is particularly telling that the cut has come at the time of the initiation of disbursal of loans to small and medium enterprises under the MUDRA scheme. The cut complements the initiative of the government and its funded banks very well. This also shows that the RBI governor, unnecess

The Overkill of Bihar Elections by Mainstream Media

I am going to stick my neck out and say that the Bihar elections are being oversold by the media as a mandate on one government or the other. There are several reasons to it, and we shall examine them in some depth as follows. 1. Bihar has a footprint on national politics Not anymore. With the creation of Jharkhand, the number of seats in the Lok Sabha from the state of Bihar came down from fifty six to forty. That makes West Bengal and Maharashtra more important (forty two and forty four respectively) in the national political scenario. Even in terms of Rajya Sabha, Bihar is no different from these states, and even if the state assembly elections are lost by the Bharatiya Janata Party in this state, they can make up for the Rajya Sabha numbers through smaller states that they seem set to sweep (Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir and Uttarakhand) within a short span of time. 2. Bihar will decide Narendra Modi's fate Bihar already decided his fate in 2014. It does not

Land Acquisition Amendment Withdrawal - Hasty Retreat or Canny Politics?

Hum Saath Saath Hain - NDA Chief Ministers Talking to Narendra Modi at a NITI Aayog Meet (Source: Indian Express) In the din of the last three weeks in Parliament, the amendment to the Land Acquisition Act (2013) was shelved without much notice. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his meeting at NITI Aayog with the respective state Chief Ministers clearly stated that states will have to take the lead on this matter, since the issue cannot be resolved at the federal level very easily. The numbers in the Rajya Sabha would never allow the passage of such a bill; also, constituents of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) expressed their reservations on the bill repeatedly. Contentious clauses such as the ones on Social Impact Assessment and minimum compensation amounts were hot potatoes that most political parties think were too problematic to their electoral prospects.While it is a pity that electability has become an excuse for not taking decisions on 'se

Can We End This Mexican Stand-Off in Parliament Please?

Last Man Standing - Sonia Gandhi Protesting Outside Parliament During this Monsoon Session In Parliamentary democracy, it is not that we do not see stand-offs. Taiwan and South Korea's National Assemblies are notoriously famous for the brawls that the elected representatives regularly indulge in. Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria are quite famous for their punch-ups, and Jordan has the unique reputation of a member of parliament firing an AK-47 in the building. Kicks, slaps, moshes (oh yes, they look no different), blockades - you name it, they do it. Despite this confrontational approach of the opposition benches, irrespective of who occupies them, business eventually does get done. Vibrancy of the democratic set up gets displayed in a rather perverse manner however; brazenness is considered to be an undesirable trait by everyone, and efforts are never stopped to reconcile the various parties. The effort never stops - not only because there is no intransigence on the part

Nitish Kumar - Thy Name is Blind Arrogance

The Original Ghar Wapasi of Nitish Kumar (Courtesy BBC News Hindi) In the Mahabharata, Kurukshetra Parva brings to highlight the aggrieved arrogance of Dhritrashtra. He let the war happen not because he wanted his son to be king; rather, it was his love of power and his perceived right to be king that was the dharmaprasna that needed resolution. Blindness was not just physical in his case. One must also realize that Dhritrashtra's blindness was not just physical but symbolic too - he became blind to the decay of Hastinapura by becoming oblivious to the affairs of the state and instead indulging in holding on to power at any cost. The reason why I draw the analogy of the Mahabharata is because of recent happenings in Bihar. In a spur of the moment, Laloo Prasad Yadav, that great scion of politics, compared Narendra Modi to Kamsa , a character overlapping between the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagvatam. In the midst of it all, Nitish Kumar started playing his own mindgames wit


बोलो, किसने करी आज पंजाब की ये फ़सल ख़राब? मिलता नहीं आज मुझे कहीं से भी कोई जवाब डाल किसने कालिख़ आज ये मिट्टी करी यूं अज़ाब किसने ज़हर के धुएं से आज धुंधलाया पूरा दोआब? ये कैसी खाद लगा गए है लहलहाते खेतों में के रोती रहीं है अगलों की मौत पे सैंकड़ों माएँ आज ये कैसी सांसें ले रही है आज की गुमशुदा पीढ़ी सरसों ने भी खिलखिलाने से किया आज यहाँ है इनकार? ये दरिया में आज घोला किसने है ऐसा जानलेवा सा अज़ाब के सुबह सवेरे आज लेता हर कोई घूँट अंग्रेजी शराब? पनीर दूध दही मक्खन की रोटियाँ हुईं कहीं ग़ुम बस चाहिए आज तीनों वक़्त वो मीठे ज़हर की एक ख़ुराक बाजरे की इन सिट्टों को आज कर गया है कौन राख़? ये काँटों की सेज कैसे बिन जाने बिछ गयी आज? किसकी बुरी नज़र लग गयी पंजाब को सूख के मिट्टी हो गए उम्मीदें बेहिसाब बोलो, किसने करी आज पंजाब की ये फ़सल ख़राब? मिलता नहीं आज मुझे कहीं से भी कोई जवाब

The Facetiousness of Arvind Kejriwal

I am Big Brother - Arvind Kejriwal in an Accusatory Moment at the Auto Rally in Delhi (courtesy Financial Express) For all those people who do not quite grasp logic on the subject of Arvind Kejriwal, please close this webpage right now. This is not meant for you, as stinging arrows of criticism are something that thin hides cannot protect. Or you may wish to continue, provided you are no different from a pangolin. The last ten days have been spent in an unnecessary wrangle, where the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi have shifted from purging people from the Party to finding newer more exciting ways to stay relevant in the media. A ten day temporary posting has been selected for the battleground, and swords have been drawn against constitutional bodies, using such aide-de-camps as five star legal activists to prove that Mr Arvind Kejriwal is being prevented from ushering in utopia into Delhi. Of course, the truth is far removed from what Mr Kejriwal and his men