Humble people and good work

Good work is not done by ‘humble’ men. It is one of the first duties of a professor, for example, in any subject, to exaggerate a little both the importance of his subject and his own importance in it. A man who is always asking ‘Is what I do worthwhile?’ and ‘Am I the right person to do it?’ will always be ineffective himself and a discouragement to others. — G H Hardy.

Iqbal Bano 1935-2009

Just got to know that Iqbal Bano passed away on 21st April in Lahore, Pakistan. She was born and brought up in Delhi.

Listening to her sing Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry is deeply moving. Among many well loved songs by her, my favorite is “dasht-e-tanhaai mein”: Continue reading “Iqbal Bano 1935-2009”

Just deserts: India Deserves the Congress

In an opinion piece in the Financial Times of April 15th (hat tip: Sudipta), Razeen Sally writes that “the Congress deserves to lose the elections”. Right up front, Sally wrote about “the do-nothing, zero-reform record of Manmohan Singh, prime minister, and his government.”

I have an excerpt from the piece below the fold. I agree with the particulars that Sally (who is director of the European Centre for International Political Economy) mentions supporting the argument that Manmohan Singh is a singular disaster but I cannot agree with the title of the piece. Continue reading “Just deserts: India Deserves the Congress”

The Taliban Are Coming

The topic of the Taliban gaining control of Pakistan is hot this summer. Newspaper editors are busy with lots of serious hand-wringing and mopping of sweaty foreheads. An editorial writer at the New York Times is obviously worried to distraction, it appears from the opinion piece of 27th April, “60 Miles from Islamabad.” Continue reading “The Taliban Are Coming”

A Self-confessed Slave

I was wondering about something the other day. For people who are stupid, we say that they lack a brain. Figuratively, we associate a condition with an organ and say that that organ is missing. So if someone is weak and pliable, we say that they lack a spine or a backbone. Someone cruel and inhuman, we refer to as heartless. With the lack of courage, we associate gutlessness. Emasculation has obvious connections. So I was wondering: which organ or part of the body is there an association with ethics? If someone lacks all sense of morality and ethics, what part of the body are they missing?
Continue reading “A Self-confessed Slave”

Appointed PM, Dr MM Singh, is Not Weak

It is widely reported and generally held as a fact that the appointed prime minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, is weak and ineffective. He was appointed in 2004 and has dutifully followed the orders that were given to him. It is heartening to note that the widely held perception that he is weak and spineless is being challenged by his superiors. I am very pleased to note that he is being supported by those who appointed him and for whom he toils day and night (except on those nights when he worries about the families of terrorists.) The age of loyalty, as opposed to the age of chivalry, is not dead. So please read the glowing testimonials that prove that Mr Manmohan Singh is not a tool and that he is not weak and spineless.

This public service message brought to you courtesy of an anonymous reader of this blog and in the interests of the on-going general elections in India.