Blogs: Common Sense


The big picture seen through long-range scopes

The big picture seen through long-range scopes

Looking back at what was then the present of a few years ago is interesting and perhaps instructive. The present is the future of that past and we know what the now looks like and compare it with what we thought the future was going to be. Did our fears and apprehensions, hopes and aspirations…


Ruling a banana republic does not require special qualifications

Item: Captain John Wright, 58, is retiring as a senior pilot. He has had a distinguished…


Our choices determine our destiny

The prescription for individual success is simple to state, although like everything else of…


Mars mission revisited

My column of November 10 criticising the Indian mission to Mars met with some opposition which was not surprising. The push-back was predictable and I had anticipated the reasons that would be advanced and addressed them in the piece itself. My…



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Finally some good news from India

The news out of India is usually grim. Which makes the occasional good news item all the more precious. The news that the Congress-led UPA government was attempting to ban public opinion polls had us rolling on the floor laughing. Funny gets you …

The Modi juggernaut is on the move

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word juggernaut as “something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and powerful and cannot be stopped.” The word’s origin lies in the Sanskrit word “Jagannath” which …

Recalling the Jallianwala Bagh massacre

Today, April 13th, is the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre during the British Raj in Amritsar in 1919. It was a Sunday. The Wikipedia says: On Sunday, 13 April 1919, Dyer was convinced of a major insurrection and thus he banned all …

Surprise and fear, and a fanatical devotion to you know who

One of the most hilarious skits of the irreverent British TV comedy series, Monty Python, revolves around the Spanish Inquisition. “NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise… surprise and fear… fear and surprise… …

Sonia Gandhi, Congress have contempt for India, Indians

Politicians, political parties and governments are often corrupt. It comes with the territory since they all have power, and as Lord Acton famously said and has been repeatedly confirmed, power tends to corrupt. But Congress/UPA led by the …

Indian Railways need the private touch

Railways are a public sector undertaking in India, meaning that the Government owns and operates the entire enterprise of passenger rail and freight traffic in India. How efficiently it is run is a function of how efficient the Government is in …

Indian Railway may be wasting $10 billion worth of resources

Railways are an essential part of the transportation infrastructure of any large economy. They have to be efficient and widespread in India. The primary reason is that for moving large numbers of people and large volumes of goods, it is the most …

The great Indian Railway disaster

Rail journeys will always remain associated with very pleasant memories for me. When I was growing up in Nagpur, the family would make its annual visit to see my maternal relatives in Kolkata. The train journey was one of the highlights and was as …

In modern narratives, a lot depends on who is telling the story

It was one of those Rashomon moments for me after I watched the movie. I am referring to the recent movie Argo. If you recall, Rashomon is a movie from 1950 which introduced the master movie director Akira Kurosawa to the wider world. Set in …

Fair governmnents do not rob Ramesh to pay Suresh

Imagine Ramesh and Suresh at a store that sells TVs. Ramesh pays for a TV and then someone — a strong man who is a friend of Suresh — snatches the TV that Ramesh paid for and gives it to Suresh. The story is one of daylight robbery. No …

People should run governments, not the other way round

Comparing how India and the US are Governed — Part 3 India continues to be under imperial rule of foreigners. It is no longer a British colony but it is still a colony nonetheless. The Government still holds all the major cards, therefore the …

Revolutions change rules, not just rulers

Comparing how India and the US are Governed — Part 2 In the last piece, I noted a number of differences between the US and India in how these two countries approach elections. The first arises from the fact that the US has a two-party system. …

Democracy means more than just voting

Comparing how India and the US are Governed Part 1 Among the things that appear to matter most to Indians, elections must rank among the top few. So too it is for Americans. There are many dimensions along which India and the US — the two …










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