Independence and what it may mean

Sitting home unemployed, I keep hunting for new ways to kill time. A dvd of Bharat Ek Khoj borrowed from a friend has kept me busy for the last few days. Roshan Seth delivers the performance of a lifetime, bringing alive an era we have read so much of and know so little of.

The problem with history, in my limited observation, is that unlike science, it is highly open to interpretation. A historian’s misplaced loyalties may merge fantasy and truth to dangerous consequences, the recent Ram Setu case being an example.

Applying the same skepticism to Discovery Of India, Nehru’s memoirs can be contested for accuracy, or objectivity. That is not what I defend. What cannot be contested is that we have lost our sense of nationalism, which was the only adhesive in our country across caste and creed for the longest time. Where an entire country followed non violence in the face of grave atrocities; as ridiculous as such a movement may seem in times of nuclear proliferation. If each generation gets the leaders it deserves, we are the worst lot in a long time.

Maybe we could all start by getting voter IDs.

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Politics vs. ethics

Why do newspapers have such strong political inclinations?

There was a pro-Congress editorial in a local print about how the loan waiver is a glittering example of its farmer-friendliness. Now, I like the Congress way more than I will ever support a communalist BJP. But the loan-waiver is a very bad move.

Who is suffering here? I don’t know. Maybe the money, if invested in better fertilizers/irrigation/education, could have had better results. The government and the banks are surely not losing. The national banks that are going to write off loans, will be issued government bonds of an equivalent amount. That’s as good as money. If the treasury is doing well, government will liquidate the bonds and pay the banks. If it does not feel like paying, it will just raise capital requirements for banks, so they’ll have to increase their reserves.

Such an example of how bad politics reigns over common sense, and the right thing to do.