Shankkar Aiyar

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

Shankkar Aiyar
Hubris & its Political Consequence

The trouble with victory, rather a string of victories, is that it catalyses and nurtures hubris.

21 Apr 2019

Empower NOTA—make parties atone

The idea of NOTA cannot be just an item song in the electoral process of the world’s largest democracy.

14 Apr 2019

RaGa tunes and sop ragas

Define irony. Every government releases data on reduction of poverty, yet every government adds new schemes to reduce poverty. 

31 Mar 2019

Economy: Good, bad and ugly views

The economists, implicitly if not explicitly, questioned the quality of the revision of GDP data and the bar on release of NSSO survey.

24 Mar 2019

Why Not a 33% Jobs Quota for Women? 

The saga of gender justice and empowerment of women in Indian politics is laced with tragedy and irony.

17 Mar 2019

Mayday! Is Jet Airways Air India II?

The airline’s troubles are not recent—it has been struggling in the red for over five years and its net worth has been persistently negative.

10 Mar 2019

Client state Pakistan and harvest of hate

On April 28, 1971, US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger sent US President Richard Nixon a memo seeking advice on the stance of United States in the run-up to the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

24 Feb 2019

Terror attacks on India: Pakistan perfidy and global hypocrisy 

Every terror attack in the past two decades and more has followed a routine—grief, condemnation and anger.

17 Feb 2019

Public savings and regulatory fog

The questions of legality await enquiries, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India is yet to weigh in.

10 Feb 2019

Budget 2019: Jukebox Politics, Fuzzy Math

Goyal’s essay ticked all the boxes—farmers, organised and unorganised labour, women, pensioners and the taxpaying middle class.

03 Feb 2019

BJP Budgets: Omissions and Expectations

How have the five budgets presented by the BJP-led NDA government fared?  The anxieties around the 2019 exercise illustrate the saga of unfinished agenda.

27 Jan 2019

Pending bills and cost to Indians

The cost of pendency is the price paid by the public in terms of governance and increased taxes.

20 Jan 2019

Scientific nonsense will not boost National pride

To say that the Greeks first gave us history and mythology in one package would be a fair assumption.

13 Jan 2019

Quota policies, placebo politics

When Members of Parliament voted this week, they also, in a sense, certified the true state of the political economy.

13 Jan 2019

Rafale of rhetoric, indefensible delays

The sordid saga of defence acquisitions is visible in many hues—the routine surrender of capital allocated, denial of essentials to the troops, and the pendency of modernisation.

06 Jan 2019

Political Lessons for 2019 from 2018

It is barely nine months since the BJP declared, rather re-declared its invincibility from Dwarka to Dimapur after winning in Tripura.

30 Dec 2018

Politics of talking without listening

One of the wondrous and infuriating characteristics of social media is that it is nearly impossible to decipher whether it is the cause or the consequence of the discourse in society.

23 Dec 2018

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