Shankkar Aiyar

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

Shankkar Aiyar
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

Nirav Modi Scam: The Stench of Sloth

S CAM! It is a perfect acronym for 'Swindler Carted Away Money'. Folklore has it that the phrase scam came into the urban lexicon after an FBI operation called ABSCAM to track and nail the nexus betwe

18 Feb 2018

Fringe Farragoes and the Sounds of Silence

It is now a fixture on the social media’s weekly calendar. Every few days some busybody comes up with an alternative view of identity, an alternative view on science and an alternative view of politic

11 Feb 2018

Middle-Class Anger and Budget 2018

I have to live for others and not for myself, that’s middle-class morality”. The satirical thrust of George Bernard Shaw’s words from Pygmalion has come to haunt and taunt the middle class once again.

04 Feb 2018

Social Fault lines: Ideas for Budget 2018

T he Union Budget comes in the wake of much social and economic angst amongst farmers, the youth, small businesses and the urban middle class. 

28 Jan 2018

Waiting for ‘Historic’ Direct Tax Reforms

Every major reform in India tends to be historic when it comes to be. Historic because they are in the making for years and arrive in the wake of decade-plus history of political promise and perfidy.

21 Jan 2018

Interpreters of Maladies in Court

There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.

14 Jan 2018

Maximum governance and tax payer bucks

Few leaders have captured the angst of the tax paying classes as well as Ronald Reagan. In the eighties, he said memorably, “government always finds a need for whatever money it gets”. 

07 Jan 2018

Does RaGa have a signature tune?

In his treatise, The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli observes that there are two critical variables for success. One is Fortuna, or the cards that one has been dealt with. The other is Virtu, or inherent

17 Dec 2017

Bail-In of Depositors for Bail-Out of Banks

Useful Idiots! The coinage, frequently attributed to Vladimir Lenin, is used to describe the gullible. The constituency of useful idiots, it would seem, is being expanded to include a new constituent

10 Dec 2017

Habeas Corpus in the Age of Aadhaar

In the infamous ‘ADM Jabalpur’ case, the government held that Constitutional rights of citizens stood suspended. Justice H R Khanna asked, “Life is also mentioned in Article 21 and would government ar

03 Dec 2017

Confer Bharat Ratna on Milkman Kurien

Verghese Kurien, the father of the Milk Revolution, would have turned 96 on November 26. Kurien reached Anand, in Gujarat, at the age of 28 in 1949. At the time, India produced around 17 million tonne

26 Nov 2017

Air Pollution: Gasping for Good Governance

The discourse on air pollution is enveloped by dense smog. The narrative is riveted by breathless confusion, and conflation —of seasonal, spatial and systemic issues. 

19 Nov 2017

IPL2018