Shankkar Aiyar

Author of Accidental India: A History of the Nation's Passage through Crisis and Change

Shankkar Aiyar
Of big Government and poll verdicts

Political parties have erroneously come to believe, a la Mao or Mahalanobis, that big government is the cure for ills afflicting the political economy. 

16 Dec 2018

Peter buys PSU, pays Paul to plug deficit

When it comes to band-aid economics and accountancy, governments are at their creative best.

09 Dec 2018

Sops as Solutions, the Road to Serfdom

You could say the parade of sops is an invitation to political serfdom.

02 Dec 2018

Use rbi surplus for sovereign fund

The crux of the matter is who will cough up the cost of clearing the swamp in the financial sector to prevent a systemic crisis.

25 Nov 2018

Why does Modi government want Rs 3.6 lakh crore?

The  general principle of government budgets is to focus on where the money needs to go—with nary a care for where the money went.

18 Nov 2018

Immigration changing pop history’s name

Popular history has a talent for simplifying the past.

15 Nov 2018

Return of tried, tired, retired rhetoric

Rhetoric, Plato said, is the art of ruling the minds of men. In modern democracies, political rhetoric is the instrument of weaponising allusions into accusations to capture eyeballs.

28 Oct 2018

Do markets know what RBI-Sebi don't?

We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.

21 Oct 2018

Can India Dollarise the Diaspora Bond?

India, like other countries, must shape up or slip into contagion and crisis.

14 Oct 2018

Myths, Theories and Rupee Realities

Hashtags have emerged as the new milestones in economic history. 

07 Oct 2018

Cess, Excess and the Profligate State

The Swachh Bharat Cess, the Krishi Kalyan Cess, the Bidi Cess, Sugar Cess, Automobile Cess, and Clean Energy Cess as also surcharge on Pan Masala have been subsumed into the GST.

30 Sep 2018

Market Mayhem: Fear has no bottom

Alan Greenspan said amidst the Asian Contagion in October 1997 that if not the contagion something else would have been the cause for a revaluation.

23 Sep 2018

Loot & scoot artists and whataboutery

An old adage preaches rather piously that you cannot escape responsibility for tomorrow by evading it today.

16 Sep 2018

The Fuzzy Fiscals of Petro Prices

There is a booming industry in petro price jokes. Videos and words from the past are haunting the BJP in 2018, writes Shankar Aiyar.

09 Sep 2018

Repetitive Rhetoric and Raging Rupee

The journey from systemic somnolence to stated “concern” to panic depends on the velocity of volatility and the momentum of events. 

02 Sep 2018

Atal’s model and the India story

October 13, 1999. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in as prime minister for the third time.  Among the well-wishers was Nitin Gadkari, the ‘flyover minister’ who delivered India’s first expressway.

26 Aug 2018

Kerala Floods: India’s Disaster Déjà vu

Kerala, Gods Own Country! Who could curse God’s own country? Of course it would have to be man.  The floods in Kerala, the worst since the 99 floods witnessed in 1924, have already claimed nearly 400

19 Aug 2018

India and the August Republics

It always seems impossible until it’s done—Nelson Mandela August 15, 1947. This week, India will observe 71 years of Independence.

12 Aug 2018

MPs: Whither public money productivity

On Friday, the members of the Rajya Sabha defected from Benthamian utilitarianism to Kantian deontology, and devoted time to a troubling question, on how to improve the productivity of Parliament. 

05 Aug 2018

First mile policies, last mile failures

In 1985, a starving family sold their 12-year-old girl for a princely sum of Rs 40 in Kalahandi in Odisha.

29 Jul 2018

Realities beyond hugs-n-winks optics

People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.”

22 Jul 2018

Politics of Paddy and MSP of Votes

Maharashtra, where the BJP faces a possible Congress and NCP coalition and the tantrums of seasonal friend Shiv Sena, is the largest producer of jowar.

08 Jul 2018

Final Session? 18 Days, 50-plus pending Bills 

Issues of life, liberty, dignity and ethical practices demand legal backing.

01 Jul 2018

MW woes: India needs a national discom

It is a curious phenomenon. Problematic issues in the political economy seem to be governed by a peculiar circle of governance.

24 Jun 2018