Notice of Suspension

I will be traveling till the 25th and will not have access to the web. That is why I will maintain web silence and not because I am done with the topic at hand.

I stand corrected by TTG on the point about the entire khandaan of Nehru-Gandhi family not having one single solitary degree. It appears that Cha-Chaji was not entirely untutored. Thanks to TTG I actually came to learn another fact about another hero of mine — Mother Teresa, the Merciless — she had supported Indira Gandhi’s dictatorship. I had known that Teresa the Merciless used to hobnob with dictators, but that she was in the thick with Mrs Gandhi is news to me.

I will have to devote a few keystrokes to the devastation of Teresa the Merciless one of these days and I expect the usual deluge of hate-mail. But all that hate mail is worth it because in the end I get to change a few people’s opinion about the true nature of Teresa the Merciless.

Please do visit the archives if you are new to this blog. Recommendations: Agriculture and Development from Jan 2004. Or from Feb 2004, Why don’t they feel the pain. The part 2 of Agriculture and Development is also worth a read.

One final point: Please do include an email address if you post a comment. If you don’t wish to post the email address (because of possible spam), please do send me a copy of the comments to atanudey at gmail dot com.

Author: Atanu Dey


6 thoughts on “Notice of Suspension”

  1. Congratulations on winning the Indiblogs! I am one of the people who voted for you, and in light of recent comments here, I would like to say a few things about what I think is good about this blog, what is bad, and what could be done. I hope you will take it in the spirit of *real* democracy, after all, I voted for you! 🙂

    What’s good: This is probably the only *thinking* blog among Indian blogs. The rest are all *reporting* blogs. The reports range from what the blogger did today morning to what happened in his love-life to what he read. The last is the most common one, with a link to a report and a few comments.

    This blog, on the other hand, tries to think through problems, mostly on India’s development. So it has orginal, high-quality content. And that sets it apart from the rest, and gets my vote.

    What’s bad: The thinking doesn’t lead to anything. Specifically, it doesn’t lead to *implementable* ideas, blue-prints. There are two reasons for this. One is the use of economics as a framework to understand problems of development. This leads to abstractions and their analysis, not linked to the real world. Economics is a data-fitting discipline (as opposed to disciplines that conduct experiments), and fitting data to abstractions never leads to any implementable ideas. The other reason, of course, is a disinclination towards dirtied hands and participation, and an inclination towards observer status. A typical entry here starts from an observation (begging kid on the street, women carrying loads on their heads), and then moves backwards, on to higher and higher levels of abstractions, (and blame-fixing) which of course lead nowhere, and is at best brain-candy.



  2. What can be done: Instead of zooming out the camera from the observation, zoom in. See how the specific problem (begging kid, women with the load) is linked to a web of thousand other things (issues at home, bad role-models, lack of access to finance etc. in the case of the kid, lack of scaffolding for wheelbarrows, attitude of supervisors etc for the women). This is closer to anthropology than economics, and of course it means dirtied hands. But you don’t have to do it by yourself. There are thousands of grass-root workers out there who do great things to help poor people. You could go meet them, and follow their work for a week or two, identify the issues and bottlenecks they face, and then think through how policy/funding/philanthropy could be designed to meet these micro-problems. In other words, use your thinking skills and time to identify specific problems and specific solutions, and act as a facilitator in bringing them together. Be a combination of developmental anthropolgist and management consultant.

    And now, to practice what I am preaching, here are two specific things you could do. One, use the projects on this site (, as a starting point for the zooming-in process. There are at least two projects there that work with street kids, one has even started a bank for kids.

    Two, publishing your analysis and solutions here is not the most effective way to get the development process rolling. If you could also publish them in a mainstream paper or magazine (BS, BW, DTE?), that would have a lot more impact. I am sure you can work that out.

    I think you have a great opportunity to change India. You are educated, unencumbered, well-connected and have original thinking skills. It would be a phenomenal waste if all of this leads only to ruminations on a website and awards from netizens.

    Good Luck!


  3. Pothi pad pad jag mua pandit bhaya na koi
    Dhai akshar prem ka padey to pandit hoi.

    Y unnecessarily rant about what education Nehru’s had . Its we Indians you, me and everyone else who has to take blame for the current situation. Ranting against some figures or past dont solve the situation.
    I am happy Atanu you are doing something for the country as happy I was with Mother Teresa doing something for her country people . Everyone is selfish and there is, in philantrophy too some kind of selfishness and I see no reason y she cannot do what she wanted to do . As far as hobnobbing with dictators is concerned its her wish and she should have been entitled to her opinion as much as you and I are.


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