The page of Gurcharan Das
Gays and colonial brainwashing: Learn from India’s open, exuberant past and respect those who differ from us
My son is gay and i no longer feel reluctant to admit it. He has been in a loyal, happy relationship with his partner for 20 years and my family and close friends have accepted it gracefully. I didn’t dare speak about it in public, however, for fear of bringing him any harm – that is until 12.35pm on Thursday when the Supreme Court (SC) decriminalised homosexuality. My wife and i suddenly feel as if a great burden has lifted. The chief justice’s wise words continue to ring in my ears, “I am what I am. So, take me as I am.”
Growth is good: Acche din comes only on the back of brute economic growth and jobs
Arvind Subramanian’s recent parting shot as chief economic adviser added a new phrase to our vocabulary, “stigmatised capitalism”. By it, he was suggesting that the free market had still not found a comfortable home in India. The problem goes deeper. Many Indians have unthinkingly embraced the latest Western fad of questioning economic growth ever since the global financial crisis.
Amazon vs Walmart: Take advantage of the coming battle of giants by freeing India’s farmers
In the uproar surrounding last week’s acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, the true significance of the world’s largest e-commerce deal escaped everyone. Headlines screamed about the coming battle in India between two American giants, Amazon and Walmart.
Licence permit raj, renewed: Industry was liberated in 1991, but education’s shackles are growing heavier
On April 7, private schools from across the country converged on the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi for Shiksha Bachao, ‘Save Education’. Never before in India’s 70-year history has this happened. Schools were protesting the ‘license-permit raj’ in education and demanding autonomy and respect.
Maunmohan to Maun Modi: What’s behind the silence?
Narendra Modi continues to be an enigma. Here is a leader who wants to go down in history as a great statesman—not only in India but in the world.
In the age of anger, stop thinking your way of life is superior
My neighbour makes resolutions diligently each New Year’s Day and breaks them promptly before January is out. We usually meet in the first week of the year to exchange our resolutions but as I was away in Myanmar this year, we could only meet this week, when my wife asked him politely over a mug of masala chai: ‘So tell us, what resolutions do you intend to break this year?’ My neighbour is adept at stepping over the minefield of my wife’s bon mots and confessed that one of his resolutions was to be less angry over politics and religion.
Giving while living: India’s new rich lose the stingy tag
Two events in the 1960s had a deep influence on my life. When I was 17, I got an undergraduate scholarship to Harvard. I was able to go only because an anonymous American family gave money for the scholarship — I never knew the family and would never know them. When I was abroad, I felt ashamed because newspapers called India a “basket case”.
Here’s tangible proof of minimum govt, maximum governance
In this winter of our discontent — as we try and cope with a toxic smog enveloping the northwest, declining growth, job losses and a cumbersome GST — there is finally some good news that should lift our spirits. India has risen 30 places in the World Bank’s global ranking in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB). More significantly, it has improved on all 10 criteria — no other country has achieved this.
Will someone please tell North Block that pleasure’s no sin?
Diwali is around the corner and one of the few occasions when Indians allow some pleasure and joy to enter their lives. However, if you were growing up in a sombre and austere middle-class household like ours, you wouldn’t have known it. As children, we were reminded that ‘pleasure is a sin and sin is pleasure’, and ‘a life of pleasure’ was an expression of abuse.
MEN & MORALS - The secret to happiness: Don't just make a living, make a life
Everyone I know was profoundly relieved when the China-India stand-off at Doklam ended last month in a mutual pullback.Many of us were deeply grateful to Bhutan for standing by India and we longingly yearned for similarly good relations with our other neighbours. Bhutan has, of course, become famous for pioneering Gross National Happiness to replace Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of national success.