Shankkar Aiyar

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

Shankkar Aiyar
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

Bad loans, bad bank — just do it

India’s banks, as on May 25, 2018, hold about Rs 110 lakh crore of hard-earned money belonging to the public.

17 Jun 2018

Sellyourself.com is no site for privacy protest

Oscar Wilde was that rare genius who could turn the familiar into epiphany and lace tragedy with irony.

10 Jun 2018

India’s trade-off with Trumponomics

Chaos! It’s a word you could use to characterize what US President Donald Trump has triggered across the world by blending the abstract with the arbitrary.

10 Jun 2018

Air India flop:Lessons for all PSUs

The fourth lesson is that public enterprises are making losses or losing market share in every sector where they are in competition with private entities.

03 Jun 2018

Oil Roil: How About Some Self-reliance?

Every economic crisis in India has been triggered by excess of dollar spending over dollar earnings leading to a foreign exchange crisis.

27 May 2018

The Rupee and the triple whammy

A week, it is said, is a long time in politics. So it is for the economy.

20 May 2018

Populist manifestos in Karnataka polls

There is consensus on the need to create jobs—Congress promises one crore jobs and the BJP promises to skill and employ an equal number.

06 May 2018

Statutory warning: Systemic sloth kills

On Thursday, a school bus carrying schoolchildren was run over by a train at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh—13 children lost their lives and eight were grievously hurt.

29 Apr 2018

One nation, one poll and many poles

As with simultaneous equations, the decision for simultaneous elections must pass the test of producing a solution that satisfies the number of unknowns.

22 Apr 2018

Local governance: A grounded promise

A quarter of a century ago, Parliament passed two amendments to the Constitution to empower governance at panchayats and municipal bodies.

15 Apr 2018

The Missing ‘For’ in the ‘Anti’ Fronts

The kinetics of karma essentially rests on belief in the principle of causality, in action and reaction, and is Newtonian in concept.

08 Apr 2018

North, South and Centre: This is us

A narrative of north versus south, them versus us, Centre versus states with splices of rationality riveted with rhetoric has come to occupy centre stage.

01 Apr 2018

Trump Or Dare and Trade War Games

The legendary writer James Joyce once said, “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant.”

25 Mar 2018

2019 Prophecies and March of Events

Conventional wisdom is experiencing a sense of déja vu.
Conventional wisdom has it that the exit of TDP led by N Chandrababu Naidu is eerily like 2004.

18 Mar 2018

WhatsApps for India from Maharashtra

The micro details from states enable a better comprehension of the distance between what is and what can be in the political economy.

11 Mar 2018

Congress stranded in no man’s land

The lexicon defines juggernaut as “a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path”.

04 Mar 2018

Investor Summits: Supply Side Item Songs

You could dub them item songs of the political economy. Every few months, India’s state governments arrange alluring alliteration, hype and hope to hog headlines and attract the attention of moolah mo

25 Feb 2018

Asian Games 2018