It is not his job! On politicians, development and development agencies

From a recent report that we prepared for an NGO, a reader asked "What is that MLA's incentive to push for proper/improved drinking water system" referring to a small case study on a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in a constituency who was trying to help the drinking water crisis in his town. So here … Continue reading It is not his job! On politicians, development and development agencies

From that midnight ‘tryst’ to the high noon – Indian democracy

The recent gangrape in Delhi and the government's response to the demonstrations in the city has been the most disappointing sight for me. Corruption, scams, policy screw ups... all that was fine with me. But stifling such a protest wasn't what I thought one would see in India at least (like shutting down metro stations … Continue reading From that midnight ‘tryst’ to the high noon – Indian democracy

The proverbial India – China comparison

There is this obsession with Indians about Chinese cities, their outrageously large engineering projects, their ventures in Africa, the Chinese people and other things Chinese. Especially in my neighbourhood which is a rather insignificant south Indian town where a private university (happens to be my alma mater too) has been admitting hundreds of Chinese students in its … Continue reading The proverbial India – China comparison

India, Partha Chatterjee’s Political Society & Foucault

A fellow traveller writes in after his recent trip to Himalayas and then deep down south India to this holy town Rameshwaram. He says, "Something binds us!  Something beyond the gravels of Government!  Something beyond the North-South Blocks at New Delhi!  We were immersed upon this question during flashes of free mind. But we were … Continue reading India, Partha Chatterjee’s Political Society & Foucault

On Post-Colonial Politics in India & Development’s Refugees

One of the most satisfying moment for me lately has been about doing a field study and then returning to the desk to rigorously engage with the subject, in a way that the field observations actually test the theory. In this case, I return from an exploration of hawkers' livelihoods to the political framework that … Continue reading On Post-Colonial Politics in India & Development’s Refugees