Slumlord Billionaire

There’s an interesting news article in the Times of India, “Congress counts 8 Oscars as part of UPA `achievements’” (Hat tip: Sudipta Chatterjee.)

Keen to be part of the euphoric `Slumdog’ bandwagon, Congress has counted the eight Oscars as part of the UPA’s `achievements’. The party lost no time in claiming credit for the `Indian triumph’ and hinted that good times had come with the UPA government.

Danny Boyle is not Indian though the slums most certainly are. So I suppose anyone claiming credit for the Oscars won by a movie set in the Mumbai slums is proudly displaying their role in creating the slums that made the movie possible.
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OpenThread: Your turn to speak

It’s been a while since we had an open thread for readers to give feedback. So here’s an opportunity for you if you have something to say. I have never deleted any comment merely because I don’t agree with an opinion. The only time I delete comments is when it is clearly spam, totally irrelevant or is abusive.

Say what you will. And stop lurking.

A great rant from The

A well-written rant warms the cockles of my heart. And when the rant is against gross stupidity, crass ignorance, and idiot politicians pandering to the mindless bigotry of the public, I feel envious and wish I had written it. Here’s one for you — A Letter I’d Like to See (But Won’t) — if you like that sort of thing. But first, the background:

The Olympic swimming sensation Michael Phelps, who was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe, has lost a major sponsorship deal and has been suspended from competition for three months. [Feb 5th, NY Times]

Below the fold is an extended excerpt from the rant, for the record: Continue reading

Friends of BJP

The Friends of BJP is a recently formed organization with which my colleague Rajesh Jain is closely associated. On his blog today, Rajesh explained that

“The goal is to galvanise the youth and professionals to engage with the political process to bring about transformational change in India.”

The Friends of BJP is a subset of the educated civil society that is BJP-leaning, and willing to be vocal about it. We are not part of the BJP. We also do not agree with everything the BJP says or does. It is our belief that at this point of time the BJP is the better alternative. It is not a selection between black and white, but opting for the one with the lighter shades of grey.

The subtitle of the Friends of BJP blog says, “Because India Deserves Better.” Is that true? Most will agree that India’s governance has left much to be desired. But merely desiring something does not make one deserving of it. I desire lots of things but I sure am not deserving of them. There’s much hard work between desiring and deserving.
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The Economics of Urbanization

“The Economics of Urbanization” is the title of a course that I plan to teach at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, starting next week. I am looking forward to being at the ISB for the next five weeks.

The course is an exploration of the idea (related to the theme on cities and urbanization explored on this blog) that economic growth and urbanization are bidirectionally linked. I hope to argue the case for urbanization of India based on simple economics.
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