Paranjoy Guha Thakurta


Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is an educator and commentator

Old party, new hands

Can Rahul Gandhi rejuvenate India’s GOP (grand old party) and change it into a GNP (grand new party)? His chances do not appear particularly bright. Why? He has been adept at appealing to emotions; not so clear about the nitty-gritty of politics, policies and programmes.

Drowning in graft

The paradox is rather apparent. In the contemporary history of India, never have so many once-influential politicians had to spend time behind bars as they have in recent times. Yet the second UPA government, headed by a Prime Minister who was known as Mr Clean, is also being perceived as one of the country’s most corrupt regimes, packed by people with flexible ethics.

Fuel for serious thought

After food security, energy security is India’s biggest concern. It is also one of China’s major concerns. At a time when there is a surge of optimism in the United States about new findings of crude oil, shale gas/oil, as well as natural gas that are expected to soften energy prices and make America a significant net exporter of energy by 2020, the main way the Indian government believes it can alleviate the energy shortage in this country is by hiking prices of electricity and petroleum products and making them market-driven, thereby adding to the already-unbearable inflationary burden on the aam aadmi.

The game changer?

Many honest individuals in India, after realising the limitations of trying to change the corrupt world of politics from outside, decide to join politics themselves. Thereafter, when they contest elections and fail to get elected, some of them become even more bitter and disillusioned about the ability of clean persons to change a dirty system.

KG basin cronyism

The most powerful man in the country (which the Prime Minister is supposed to be) and India’s richest man (Mukesh Ambani) could not have played their cards in a worse manner.

Wages of cronyism

Corruption is neither new nor unique to India. The history of this part of the world as well as other areas on planet Earth, from ancient to medieval and modern times, is replete with instances of not just individual greed, venality and nepotism but organised and institutionalised forms of corruption.

UPA-2 goes topsy-turvy

It was one more of those corny messages that do the rounds of zillions of cellphones across the country.

The ally who changed the game

Didi’s dramatic decision to withdraw her party’s support from the second United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition, thereby making the government headed by Manmohan Singh lose its majority in the Lok Sabha, has curiously made most important political players in the country rather pleased.

Blacked out by coal

The term “black as coal” has acquired a new connotation in today’s India. Without the dirty black mineral, the country’s economy would come to a grinding halt. Without coal, power generation would come down by roughly two-thirds. Without coal, we would not be able to manufacture steel or cement.

Blind men & an elephant

Reactions to recent reports of the Com-ptroller and Audi-tor Gene-ral (CAG) of India on the allocation and pricing of coal-bearing areas and second-generation telecommunications spectrum are reminiscent of the well-known parable of the blind men and the elephant.

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