Poverty, inequality and 25 years of reforms in India

A gist of the 3rd Suresh Tendulkar Memorial Lecture delivered by Shri. Bibek Debroy organised by Symbiosis School of Economics at Symbiosis International University, Pune
Continue reading “Poverty, inequality and 25 years of reforms in India”

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Interpreter of Dreams, anyone?

This morning I woke up at 7:30 AM, after a delayed victory in my fight with a strong urge to stay longer on the cushiony bed. As is customary, I made my way to the balcony for 2 minutes of stretching and a ‘Suryanamaskar’ which has been making doing as my daily dose of exercise for at least a month now. My current lodging in Pune is a corner apartment on the first floor of a seven storied residential complex. My bedroom’s balcony, in spite of being on the first floor, receives ample sunlight and an excellent breeze thanks to it facing an empty plot with no construction.

I walked sleepily to the balcony to energise my lungs with the cold morning air and found that the plot which till yesterday was dry and barren with a bunch of eucalyptus trees adding to the dry look, had gotten a sudden makeover. The entire plot was filled with stagnant water, just enough to reach one’s ankles. The dry eucalyptus trees had been replaced by a species of greener and thicker trees. The wind blowing onto my face was colder than usual and the whole thing felt like standing on the banks of a river or lake. Recovering from my initial surprise and surmising it to be the consequence of the recent showers in the city, I scanned the panorama. I saw in the plot at a distance of about 50m from where I was standing, a red coloured car overturned with its doors open and no one in it. Before I could make any sense of a car having overturned in the middle of the empty plot, I saw Chris Gayle (yes, the West Indian cricketer) walking up to the car. He saw me and gestured to help him get a rope. Continue reading “Interpreter of Dreams, anyone?”

The Curious Case of the Veiled Headman

As part of my work to improve citizen engagement in the governance process in villages while at a think tank in Bangalore, I had travelled across the nation talking to villagers at many Gram Sabhas. Of these, my first ever Gram Sabha was a revealing one. What then seemed extraordinary, seems to be nothing out of the ordinary now after a year of travelling and interactions at many more Gram Sabhas across the nation. Continue reading “The Curious Case of the Veiled Headman”