MCP Sighting

An Air India ad: “If you fly with us, your wife flies free.”

Seen today on a huge billboard on the road from Pune to Mumbai. The generous explanation is that Air India perhaps does not know that everyone does not have a wife; some people actually have husbands. But perhaps Air India is staffed by male chauvinist pigs, just like the rest of Indian society.

{Earlier I typed “fee” instead of “free.” Sorry for the typo.}

Rockefeller Foundation: The Century of the City


One in every ten people lived in urban areas a century ago. Now, for the first time ever, most people live in cities. By 2050, the United Nations projects, almost three-quarters of the world’s population will call urban areas home. The majority of this growth is centered in struggling, developing countries of the Global South, but cities in developed (or Global North) countries face increasingly complex challenges as well.

Around the world, unplanned urban expansion is multiplying slums, overburdening housing, transportation and infrastructure systems, stifling economic growth, and leaving millions vulnerable to new environmental and health threats.

To help manage and plan for this accelerating urbanization, the Rockefeller Foundation convened an exceptional group of urbanists–leading policy makers and government officials, finance experts, urban researchers, members of civil society organizations, and other innovators–for a Global Urban Summit at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. This book shares their diverse perspectives, creative approaches, and urgent agenda for harnessing the vast opportunities of urbanization for a better world.

[Link for ordering the book free.]

Draft Arun Shourie?

Gaurav Srivastava wants Shri Arun Shourie to be the BJP’s candidate for prime minister. He believes that the core constituency of BJP — the urban middle-class voters — are not particularly impressed with Shri Advani.

It would be good if Shourie were the PM. The man is smart, courageous, ethical, and has the national interest at heart. Which is more than you can say about Shri Manmohan Singh. I wish India had good political leadership but if wishes were horses . . .