Posts

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 16Th, MARCH, 2019

Image
The Verdict Decoding India's Elections By - Prannoy Roy & Dorab R. Sopariwala About the Book :  What are the key factors that win or lose elections in India? What does, or does not, make India's democracy tick? Is this the end of anti-incumbency? Are opinion polls and exit polls reliable? How pervasive is the 'fear factor'? Does the Indian woman's vote matter? Does the selection of candidates impact results? Are elections becoming more democratic or less so? Can electronic voting machines (EVMs) be fiddled with? Can Indian elections be called 'a jugaad system'?  Published on the eve of India's next general elections, The Verdict uses rigorous psephology, original research and as-yet-undisclosed facts to talk about the entire span of India's electoral history from the first elections in 1952. Crucially, for 2019, it provides pointers to look out for, to see if the incumbent government will win or lose. Written by Prannoy Roy, renowned for his knack …

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 9TH, MARCH, 2019

Image
The Third Pillar How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind By - Raghuram G. Rajan About the Book :  Raghuram G. Rajan has an unparalleled vantage point on the socio-economic consequences of globalization and their ultimate effect on politics. In The Third Pillar, he offers a big-picture framework for understanding how these three forces - the state, markets and communities - interact, why things begin to break down, and how we can find our way back to a more secure and stable plane. The 'third pillar' is the community we live in. Economists all too often understand their field as the relationship between markets and the state, and they leave squishy social issues for other people. That's not just myopic, Rajan argues; it's dangerous. All economics is actually socioeconomics - all markets are embedded in a web of human relations, values and norms. Rajan presents a way to rethink the relationship between the market and civil society and argues for a return to str…

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 02ND, MARCH, 2019

Image
The Transformative Constitution  A Radical Biography in Nine Acts By - Gautam Bhatia  About the Book We think of the Indian Constitution as a founding document, embodying a moment of profound transformation from being ruled to becoming a nation of free and equal citizenship. Yet the working of the Constitution over the last seven decades has often failed to fulfil that transformative promise. Not only have successive Parliaments failed to repeal colonial-era laws that are inconsistent with the principles of the Constitution, but constitutional challenges to these laws have also failed before the courts. Indeed, in numerous cases, the Supreme Court has used colonial-era laws to cut down or weaken the fundamental rights. The Transformative Constitution by Gautam Bhatia draws on pre-Independence legal and political history to argue that the Constitution was intended to transform not merely the political status of Indians from subjects to citizens, but also the social relationships on which …

BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 23RD, FEBRUARY, 2019

Image
Mother India By - Tova Reich About the Book ‘Nobody comes to India and is not in some way changed...’ Meena, a jewish-american lesbian who has claimed India as her home, takes us into a darkly comic universe populated by three generations of women along with other family members, as well as by the Indians whose world they seek to penetrate. There is meena’s religiously observant mother, M A, whose desire to remove herself from the wheel of life plays out in a faulknerian funeral procession and cremation on the banks of the Ganga; meena’s daughter, Maya, a misunderstood child coming of age in an emotionally treacherous household; her ex-wife, Geeta, a privileged and hedonistic Indian woman who enters their world with devastating consequences; meena’s twin brother, shmelke, a charismatic rabbi turned Guru and international fugitive; and the Indian servant, man I ka, whose loyalty to the family both sustains and shackles them. Universal yet intimate, brutal yet tender, satirical yet sympath…