I have been usually busy of late. I am teaching two courses this Summer at UC Berkeley. They are upper-level undergraduate courses. One is “Econ 171 Economic Development” and the other is “Econ 121 Industrial Organization.” Both very interesting and fascinating but take up a lot of time. I stand and deliver 8 lectures a week! That’s 12 hours of talking!! Even I get tired by the afternoon of Thursday and for once, I have started looking forward to weekends. Anyway, I have not had much time to do any serious work. So here’s a post hauled from the archives which I liked reading. It is from Nov 2007. Let’s see how “Quo Vadis, Pakistan” has held up.
Today is the anniversary of “The Emergency“. Mrs Indira Gandhi, daughter of Mr Jawaharlal Nehru, became India’s dictator, and Indians once again became political slaves — a mere 28 years after India’s political independence from Britain. It appears Indians don’t really mind slavery much.
Continue reading “June 25, 1975 — The Day Mrs G showed her true colors”
Kanchan Gupta rocks. His piece, “The Sterile Debate over Free Speech” is a keeper. Go read it all. An excerpt below the fold.
Continue reading “Kanchan Gupta: “The Sterile Debate over Free Speech””
The July/August issue of The Atlantic magazine has a review of Lelyveld’s book by Christopher Hitchens — “The Real Mahatma Gandhi.” An absolute gem of a piece, it has to be read. Excerpts below the fold. Also, I have blogged about the book and the banning of the book on this blog.
Continue reading “Hitchens’ Review of Lelyveld’s book on Gandhi”
I am teaching during this Summer term at UC Berkeley starting Monday 20th June. Summer courses are hard, both for the teacher and the students since a regular course of 17 weeks is squeezed into 8 weeks. I was foolish enough to agree to teach not one but two courses. That’s a stupid thing to do but in my case it’s par for the course. Still, teaching is always fun and instructive.
Continue reading “It’s all Karma, neh?”
People deserve the government they get. That’s generally true, but in the particular case where the government is democratically elected, as H L Mencken observed, “the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” But why just restrict just deserts to governments alone — the easy extension is the press. People deserve the press they get, and exhibit number 1 is the Indian press. The press and the government go hand in hand. That’s true regardless of whether it is a democracy or a dictatorship. The much vaunted Indian free press is not really free. It is not free the sense of “free beer”, it is not free in the sense of “open source” and it is not free in the sense of “not ruled over or dictated to.” Bad government or bad press: which came first?
Continue reading “The Press as a Perfectly Loathsome Pimp”