P Chidambaram

In J&K, the road to disaster

In J&K, the road to disaster

J&K is polarised as never before. Jammu is at odds with the Kashmir Valley, Leh leans towards Jammu and Kargil leans towards the Valley, but both Leh and Kargil also assert their identities.

We have a new governor of Jammu and Kashmir, a new chief secretary, a new director general of police and a new adviser on security. The best outreach to the people of J&K (especially the Kashmir Valley) that they could come up with was to hold elections to the local bodies (panchayats and municipalities) in […]

 P Chidambaram

She wanted reasons, here are 10

She wanted reasons, here are 10

Was the Defence Minister telling the truth when she said that she was not aware if Dassault had chosen a private sector company as the offset partner?

The Defence Minister is an innocent person. She does not know many things that happened concerning the Rafale deal before she took over on September 3, 2017. She appears to have even overlooked her own schedule of daily engagements. The Rafale aircraft deal between the governments of India and France was announced by the Prime […]

 P Chidambaram

Five steps to Nirvana

Five steps to Nirvana

External events are impacting the Indian economy. The government is unwilling to alter or calibrate its positions on the projected growth rate, government expenditure, NPA resolution, and tax enforcement. The government seems to believe that it can tide over the crisis by further muddying the muddied waters!

The government has tacitly acknowledged that the economy faces a crisis. The ‘crisis managers’ met with the Prime Minister on September 14, 2018. The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was summoned to attend the late evening meeting. Two things were wrong about his attendance: the publicity surrounding the event and the post-meeting […]

 P Chidambaram

A big ask in election year

A big ask in election year

The consequence is that the government revenue has become oil-dependent, government is loath to give up easy revenues, and there is mounting anger among the people as prices of petrol, diesel and LPG soar every day.

Numbers yo-yo up and down from month to month. Hence, economists and analysts always look for a trend, over a quarter or half year, before reaching any conclusion. After looking at data over the medium term, it appears that the foundations of macroeconomic stability of the Indian economy are becoming weaker. The trend may still […]

 P Chidambaram

Emulate, do not envy

Emulate, do not envy

The first year was promising and the second year too started well. The first major blunder was demonetisation on November 8, 2016. This was followed by other blunders — flawed and hurried implementation of GST and tax terrorism.

A few days ago, a cheerleader for the BJP writing on the editorial page of a newspaper thanked Mr ArunJaitley and me for engaging in a “high quality debate on economic growth”. He reluctantly conceded that I had won the growth debate but charged that the Congress party had “mismanaged the economy”. Thank you, but […]

 P Chidambaram

Engaging with Mr Imran Khan

Engaging with Mr Imran Khan

Mr Imran Khan has said that if India will take one step forward, he will be prepared to take two steps forward. That may simply be posturing on the eve of being sworn in as Prime Minister, but nothing will be lost if we take Mr Khan at his word and appeal to him to deliver on his words

Mr Imran Khan, former captain of Pakistan’s cricket team, will take guard as the next Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 11, 2018. His victory was not foretold, though there were strong and persistent rumours that he was the favourite candidate of the army and therefore his win was assured. Mr Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan […]

 P Chidambaram

Debate, questions, but no answers

Debate, questions, but no answers

The no-confidence motion was lost, so was an opportunity to answer the questions of the people.

On Friday, July 20, the government reluctantly agreed to a debate on a motion of no-confidence, the first such motion in the four years and two months of the Narendra Modi government. Numerous questions were raised by the members. Like you, I waited for the answers, especially on questions concerning the economy. What the country […]

 P Chidambaram

Su-raj (good governance) and Ms Swaraj

Su-raj (good governance) and Ms Swaraj

During the last four years, mobs of both kinds — the one, on the ground, and the other, in the virtual world, have grown in number and size.

There are two kinds of mobs — one, on the ground, and the other, in the virtual world. Both share the same characteristics. The members of the crowd take cover under anonymity. They pretend to be offended or injured. They singularly lack the courage to own their actions or words. They believe they are citizens […]

 P Chidambaram

The remains of the day

The remains of the day

When the political parties demanded a ceasefire for the Ramzan month, the Chief of Army Staff had taken upon himself the responsibility of answering the demand and had said, “Azaadi is not going to happen, never... if you want to fight us, then we will fight you with all our force.” Following the imposition of Governor’s rule, he repeated the cliched phrase that “anti-terror operations will continue” and added “we don’t have any kind of political interference”.

Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my anguish in an essay titled ‘India is failing the test on J&K’ (May 13, 2018). I had no hesitation in blaming the BJP-led Central government’s policy for the rapidly deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Kashmir valley. The bottom of the policy […]

 P Chidambaram

Who will save the Constitution?

Who will save the Constitution?

The question that remains is, will the legislators elected on their respective party symbols remain faithful to the party, to the voters who supported them, to the unwritten rules of a democracy, and to the Constitution of India?

Let me remind myself — before others remind me — of what I wrote on March 19, 2017. Elections had been concluded in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. The BJP won in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Congress won in Punjab. Referring to the other two states, I wrote: “In Goa and Manipur, […]