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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Interesting readings

The new Indian journalism: Vinod K. Jose in Caravan magazine profiles Narendra Modi.

Bibek Debroy on the prospects for the CPI(M) in West Bengal.

Ronald U. Mendoza has an article on voxEU which should ideally trigger off similar research by political scientists in India, about politics as a family business.

A caucasus wedding, by an unnamed US foreign service person. This is fascinating reading from two points of view. First, I'd love to get the Wikileaks report about the same wedding filed by the corresponding Indian diplomat. I fear our guys are just not in the same league in terms of the quality of despatches. And, there was something eerie in this story: it reminded me of the socially backward subset of India.

Trampling on the individual in India: A response by Suw Charman-Anderson, on Firstpost, to Kapil Sibal's dreams of tracking the location of every resident of India. A country where the government knows less about citizens is likely to be a country with greater de facto freedom of speech
Learning how to argue, an interview with Ran Yunfei by Ian Johnson in the New York Review of Books. It's an interesting glimpse into China. It's also relevant for India as we face a series of attacks upon freedom of speech.

Haseeb Drabu in Mint worries about the record 25 amendments found in the Finance Bill that apply with retrospective effect.

Mobis Philipose on SEBI's concerns about algorithmic trading.

The Kingfisher bankruptcy is helping us think more clearly about the problems of failure of firms. I read a remarkable blog post about it. And, see a debate between Vikas Bajaj and Heather Timmons on the New York Times blogs.

Open DataCamp 2012, in Bangalore on 24 March.

The public and its problems by Raghuram Rajan, in Mint.

How to help the Syrians by Hugo Dixon. He talks about Why civil resistance works by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan. This is a paper and a book. Put together, these give you fresh insights into India's path to independance.

Glowing pork, exploding watermelons by Thomas N. Thompson, in Foreign Affairs, on the problems of food safety in China. I wonder how we are faring on these questions.

I have wondered why my interest in watching TED talks had dwindled away. Benjamin Wallace, in New York magazine, helps understand what happened there.


  1. What do you mean by "socially backward subset of India"?

    1. The subset of India where marriages are reminiscent of the Dagestani marriage described above.


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