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Sunday, July 05, 2009

A TV show on the Bombay attacks

A TV show with amazing footage on the Bombay attacks has come out. It's very painful to watch, but we have no choice. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5.

It reminded me of the glorious melting pot that is Bombay. The people in the show speak in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, English. I was surprised at how little of the language of the terrorists I could understand. I feel I do better at parsing the local language when I'm in Pakistan.

Read Irfan Husain in Dawn. You might like to see this which I wrote at the time, and this collection of readings from that time.


  1. ajay,
    i agree. the total apathy towards reform of law is overwhelming. Let's face the common man the letters F.I.R. mean conviction. PERIOD. I would like to take this opportunity to remind people of TRUE stories (not from Kafka) from "the world's biggest demo-cracy". (Truth be told indians have more rights abroad than in local indian police stations...meanwhile the indian constitution is full, literally FULL, of flowery statements).

    a) 4 men in N. India, arrested and convicted of rape (served 9 years) on the basis of "testimony" of a known prostitute who happened to be discovered to be in jail in another city at the time of her "rape" by these 4 men! yes, supposedly "educated" judges preside over these things. UPSHOT: many prostitutes in Indya are really pimped by the police?

    b)Indian driver ferrying russian businessmen see a car accident on the roadside where victims are lying in blood (suddenly, in Indya where normally one cannot get a moment alone, unless there is a crime, then all the good hindustanis run away and place is deserted!) Indian driver, like his cultured instincts have taught him, steps on the accelerator. The russians (who feel more empathy) force him to stop and help ferry injured to nearby hospital. Some of the injured die at hospital. ALL our elite INDIANS reading this KNOW what happened next....yup, the driver was ARRESTED. TORTURED INTO CONFESSING AND JAILED.

    but please! india, continue telling your kids to mug differential equations, and mugging about the velocity of money, and mugging about java pointers and object classes. please continue neglecting our country so that we can MUG even HARDER to get a coveted space in an international MNC preferable outside this country eh? cheers.

  2. Just came back from a visit to China. Set me thinking how a totalitarian system needs strong functioning institutions (of security and policing if nothing else). As compared to this, a democratic system within an emerging economy can seem to do without this, as transition to another set of actors at periodic intervals is an accepted fact of life.

    As you have said elsewhere, institutional change is the hardest to bring about (and also the most rewarding in terms of outcomes). I wonder whether institutional development is the outcome of growth of the economy (with more resources available and greater demand for such changes) or an essential requirement for such growth. I remember a Chinese professor mentioning in the context of India’s infrastructure requirements that Infrastructure follows growth and not the other way around.

    Re – Rajan on the Indian constitution, you would say that there is no institutional delivery mechanism for the fine prose contained in the said document.

  3. hey trying to view those Bombay attack videos again but am unable to open

    please provide another link


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