The Gold Standard | ‘Soap opera’ and other links

Indian democracy gets a pat on the back here from ‘The Economist’. I guess it was before Ms. Mamata Banerjee asked the Central Government to sack her own party member for his Railway Budget (that hiked passenger fares after nine years) presented on March 14th. THE HINDU calls it a ‘soap opera’. But, it is more tragic than that.

At the same time, newspapers should not use the word, ‘shock’ (and such emotionally loaded words, phrases, etc.,) when fares are hiked after eight to nine years. Straightaway, that conditions the reader to label the fare hikes, ‘unfair’. Despite that, some readers have responded rationally. Heartening.

My instinct is that the Indian Government is right to resist pressure from Tamil Nadu politicians on the US sponsored resolution at the UNHRC on Sri Lankan ‘war crimes’. Tamil Nadu politicians should be campaigning for the commissioning of the nuclear power plant at Koodangulam. That is not happening. Unfortunate.

The ‘Maya’ of water. The role of (lack of) water in the disappearance of Mayan civilisation is a lesson that we would learn when it is too late. Good, non-polemical piece.

More initiatives like this needed.

Is India getting really serious on the Ganga river pollution?

Well, at least, Rajendra Singh of Tarun Bharat Sangh does not think so. He resigned from the Ganga River Basin Authority. He said that the Prime Minister of India did not understand his responsibility for the Ganga river. Only on the Ganga river?

A lively debate ensued on this article (on too much legislation meaning nothing) by the Chief Information Commissioner of India because he was in a Ministry or Department where he could do something about what he is writing about. By most accounts, he did not. Some questioned that. Some thought that it was still good that he wrote about this. Perhaps.

Swapan Dasgupta wrote a very thoughtful piece on the political battle of dynasties. He zeroed in on devolution to lower level government bodies. That is the way to go, with all that it entails. Multitude of voices and yet multiple common causes for a nation. Reconciling the two automatically leads to the answer of much greater, substantive and substantial federalism. Not just from Delhi but from State capitals to District HQs and from there to Corporations, Municpalities and Panchayats. The local government and governance revolution has hardly gotten off the blocks. It requires not just funds and financial autonomy but provision of intellectual competence, administrative skills and experience. Nothing short of a total governance and devolution revolution required. H…mm

Other links:

Indian women can feel less guilty.

‘The Noah’s Arc’ for seeds and plants. Excellent initiative.

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.