The 180 km-long march of Maharashtra's farmers from Nashik to Mumbai that swelled to about 40,000 in number by the time it reached the state capital is a potent reminder of the burgeoning problem of agrarian distress in India. It is also indicative of how this segment of the Indian population -- which comprises about 60 percent of the total -- has found itself repeatedly short-changed in the country's developmental process.
India is now into the fifth year of its unique experiment of legally binding companies to be socially responsible. This push by the government to solve the country's most challenging social problems was based on the idea that the corporate sector will come up with transformative solutions that will scale up impact across the country. As the development goals of the country are immense and everyone recognises that the challenges can only be overcome with the effort of every stakeholder in the ecosystem, many scholars viewed it as the right move by the government.
While much of the world is busy worrying about losing jobs to automation in the future (and this is overstated), what has crept past for over a decade is that automated systems (to most, Artificial Intelligence, or AI) already play a major role in whether or not -- and how -- we get the jobs we still have, and these are used by a steadily growing number of Indian and multinational companies.
The extraordinary feat the BJP has pulled off leaves one breathless. Which other Chief Minister in the country will have a decorated Director General of Police, B.L. Vohra, write in his book, "Tripura's Bravehearts", "Manik Sarkar was definitely unlike any Chief Ministers whom I had seen, met, worked with and heard about.... He was honest personally and that had percolated down to all echelons of the government -- again one cannot find many examples of his ilk unfortunately in the country." This level of decency has been traded by the Tripura electorate for mobs who pull down statues.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's worldwide travels, which appeared to lag a little with the advent of President Donald Trump and his own domestic troubles, resumed with a bang with visits to four Islamic countries in four days in February. For a person of the Prime Minister's reputation and record, this was revolutionary. No other single journey of his as Prime Minister was so rich in symbolism and practical wisdom.
It is quite commonplace to hear that India will be an economic superpower in a few decades. However, the current reality is far from it. One cannot deny the abysmal standard of living of our citizens. Indias real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita (at 2010 prices) for 2016 stands at just $1,861.5 while the other BRICS nations -- China ($6,893.8), Brazil ($10,826.3), South Africa ($7,503.3) and Russia ($11,099.2) -- are higher up on the scale.
Narendra Modi's views of the historical events at the time of partition are as problematic as his understanding of what happened in the subsequent periods. Inaugurating the new, plush, 170,000 sq. feet, vaastu-compliant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in New Delhi, he said that the party in its earlier avatar as the Jana Sangh was at the forefront of all the leading mass movements in the country.
My wife and I recently visited Sri Lanka on a holiday with friends. For both of us, it was the first visit after almost 15 years. At that time, the idyllic island country was caught up in a deadly civil war that claimed countless lives and devastated the economy. When Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed power as the Sri Lankan President, he made the elimination of the Tamil Tigers his foremost objective.
New Delhi, Feb 9 Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is not averse to returning to active politics if her party asks her because the time is ripe for the Congress to bounce back as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's credibility has hit "rock bottom" due to the "all-talk, no-action" politics of the BJP government.
The signs which were available about the decline in the influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat's rural areas during the state assembly elections have been substantiated by the drubbing which the BJP has received at the Congress's hands in the byelections in Rajasthan, where the saffron party is in power.