Indranil Banerjie


Indranil Banerjie

The laaparwahi syndrome

Disclosures about Indian Parliament not having several critical security systems in place or a CAG report lamenting the vulnerability of the country’s two key railway stations in New Delhi and Mumbai do not come as a surprise to most of us. Nor do reports about the non-installation of CCTV cameras in and outside key institutions such as courts, administrative buildings and markets, despite an ever-present terrorist threat. Such instances of omissions by government officials and agencies are too endemic to elicit anything but public cynicism.

India must bridge the trust deficit

At the time when anti-corruption social activist Anna Hazare was captivating the country with his inspiring fast unto death, another equally distressing drama was being played out in the country’s stock markets. The indices of most stocks, which had started declining from the beginning of August, sank to their lowest levels in 14 months, wiping out thousands of crore of investor gains.

Politics of decrees

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee might well be the political paradigm of our times. Last week, she stood by the River Hooghly and announced amidst much fanfare and media attention a multi-crore rupee riverside beautification programme,

Dollar apocalypse

A group of US financial analysts have been predicting a dollar apocalypse that will devastate economies and lives all over the globe. The problem, according to them, is the wayward dollar. The world’s reserve currency that has oiled international trade since the demise of the Gold Standard has been rapidly losing value as a profligate United States prints more and more dollars to cover its growing spending gap.

Is land the new high-risk asset?

Land is fast becoming a high-risk asset in many parts of India. Once a relatively abundant resource, especially in areas away from major urban centres, land is increasingly becoming difficult to acquire and prone to uncertainties. Landholders, especially politically organised farmers, are resisting large-scale government land acquisitions and even questioning past buyouts.

Being clash conscious

It is somewhat intriguing that the same urban Indians who have shown a marked disinclination to vote during elections turn up in thousands under the scorching summer sun to participate in anti-corruption rallies. They come out on the streets in candlelit processions and rage in social networking sites.

UPA’s future tense

India has been undergoing much political churning in recent times, leading to heightened uncertainty, fluctuating business confidence and administrative stasis. India’s political risk ratings have been declining of late and now with the state Assembly polls successfully concluded a fresh political risk appraisal is in order.

High command curse

Puducherry, a tiny former French colony now a Union Territory, is better known for its pleasant seafront and the famous Aurobindo Ashram than for its politics. With a population of just 1.2 million and one elected member of Parliament, it does not count for much in national politics, which is perhaps why it did not receive much attention

Decode the signs

The ongoing state election has not been getting high TRPs at the national level. The state polls are being viewed as strictly local events while the centre of attention remains riveted on the high political drama being played out in the national capital. Yet, the outcome of the state polls, far from being of limited consequence, could affect several significant political coefficients in this country.

A ballot revolution

The most remarkable feature of the April 2011 elections to three Indian states and one Union Territory was the record number of people who showed up to cast their votes. Scams, corruption at high places and corroded institutions of state had clearly not managed to destroy the Indian electorate’s faith in the democratic process.

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