Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inflation! 11.91%

Tuesday’s trust vote was not merely about who governs the nation for how long, but also about tackling something much larger: a daily cash flow that’s gone awry ever since the inflation rate climbed to 11.91 per cent, double of what it was less than four months ago.
Regardless of how it ended, the debate about the future of the UPA government in the Lok Sabha was as dignified a discussion as we can possibly get in a political environment of ‘single-digit’ parties leveraging their presence to extract their pounds of flesh. The economic stage was set with both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani agreeing that the nuances of signing the Indo-US nuclear deal is a non-issue when inflation has hit — and threatens to stay — in double digits, eating into the very vitals of Indian households. So what about the Real McCoy: double-digit inflation?

Opinion in Hindustan Times, July 22, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No matter who wins, you lose

Whether the government stays or falls, be prepared for hard times. That’s the message from beleaguered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Singh believes a “non-issue” is occupying our minds at a time inflation is threatening to reduce living standards, a source, speaking on condition of anonymity on behalf of the PM, said on Saturday.
“This is possibly the biggest (inflationary) challenge since 1973,” said the source, referring to the days of the world’s first oil shocks: Indian inflation soared to about 30% and stayed there for over 18 months.

Opinion in Hindustan Times, July 20, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Multi-armed with knowledge

When I see the cut-off percentages needed to get into any respectable college in Mumbai or Delhi today, I find myself cut off from all avenues of what we term ‘education’ and a traditional ‘career’.
With the marks I got in my Class 12 board exams, only a miracle got me a leg into a decent college through what the University of Delhi calls ‘Third cut-off list’. If I wanted to study my course (economics) today, I would have had to go to some other university as no college would give me admission based on my marks. if I wanted my college, the only course available to me with my marks would be Sanskrit.

Opinion in Hindustan Times, July 07, 2008