Stumbling around the blog

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.

June 25, 1975 — The Day Mrs G showed her true colors

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.
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Hitchens’ Review of Lelyveld’s book on Gandhi

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.
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It’s all Karma, neh?

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.
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The Press as a Perfectly Loathsome Pimp

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?
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Hans Rosling: The Magic Washing Machine

Dear old Hans Rosling can always be depended upon to teach while making the lesson interesting and fun. I am confident that one day everyone will realize what an amazing machine the world wide web is and how it can be the answer to our educational problems. But for now, sit back, and watch this amazing man do what he does best — lift the veil of ignorance and reveal a little bit of what lies beneath. And most of all, remind us to mind the gap. The video is below the fold:
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Hypocrisy, thy name is the Indian Establishment

The Chicago jury’s verdict on Tahawwur Rana, accomplice of the Islamic terrorist David Headley, is provoking comment from the Indian establishment. The charge is that the US should have punished Rana for his role in the Pakistani terrorist attack of Nov 2008 on Mumbai. This is more than a little puzzling. The Indian establishment has not punished the one and only of the surviving Islamic terrorists, Ajmal Kasab. If the Indians don’t have the balls to hang Kasab, whose guilt and involvement in the actual crime is beyond doubt, I don’t really see why some jury in Chicago should be required to hang someone who was merely charged with aiding in the crime and the America prosecutors have not been able to convince the jury of his guilt? Why does the Indian establishment demand the US do what it does not do itself? Those who are tut-tutting the Chicago verdict should take a good hard look in the mirror. The Indian Establishment is forever expecting the US to do its dirty job. It demands the US declare Pakistan a terrorist state but never has the guts to do so itself.

Transforming India — The Book

I am pleased to note that my book, “Transforming India” is available. You will have to be the judge of the content. But I hope you will not judge the book by its cover or the quality of the print run. Due to a major snafu, the book comes up short in the quality of the production department. It is a costly mistake and I am partly responsible for not paying attention to that part of the job. Mea culpa. For now, I hope you do grab a copy and read it. (I will soon provide links on how to order it.) (See where to get it below.) With some luck, the second printing of the book will be fine. Thank you and keep in touch.

UPDATE: If you have bought a copy of the book (or ordered it and is in the mail), please let me know. A second printing of the book, with better production values, is in the works and should be ready in 10 days or so. The publisher would be happy to send you a copy of that absolutely free. Thanks and my apologies for the trouble.

You can order the book from the publisher New Horizon Media in Chennai. They will ship it to you within 24 hours.