Whenever anything happens in India, anything at all, you will find someone on Twitter muttering with suspicion about how it was a political conspiracy. What for? Votes, power, money, the usual. Nobody seems to be able to accept the idea that people sometimes just goof up, that cluelessness trumps deceit and a desire to irk other people.
It’s not like there is no evidence for this simple, if inelegant explanation. Look at the cabinet reshuffle this past October, when Minister of State Lalchand Kataria’s induction in the defence ministry was put on hold after confusion over names in the final list.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)
It is getting colder by the day in New Delhi but the winter session of parliament, which starts on Thursday, promises to be a heated one.
I’m talking about:
- The village elders who consider themselves the law, declaring that Indian girls should marry young to avoid getting raped.
An activist named Nutan Thakur filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Allahabad High Court on Oct. 9, and it has now been admitted. The government must respond within three weeks. Thakur wants the court to explore allegations by social activist Kejriwal that Vadra, son-in-law of Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi, has been involved in shady land deals.
The price of LPG — liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, or cooking gas — has risen 11.42 rupees per cylinder because dealers are getting higher commissions. TV channels attacked the government because this “shocker” comes right after the imposition of a cap on subsidized cylinder sales was imposed.
Bharatiya Janata Party politician Smriti Irani said the party will hold a nation-wide protest on Oct. 12, saying the higher prices are “anti-women”. This is presumably because they do more of the daily cooking than men, whose potential inversely proportional waistline shrinkage could be in their favour.
MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Fund managers have responded quickly to New Delhi’s economic reform drive, selling expensive consumer stocks in favour of the construction-related shares they expect to benefit most from new government initiatives to bolster India’s sagging infrastructure, a Reuters poll showed.
Fund managers are also increasing their allocations to financial companies on expectations the central bank will lower interest rates after India recently announced fiscal and economic reforms, the survey found.
MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Fund managers have
responded quickly to New Delhi’s economic reform drive, selling
expensive consumer stocks in favour of the construction-related
shares they expect to benefit most from new government
initiatives to bolster India’s sagging infrastructure, a Reuters
Fund managers are also increasing their allocations to
financial companies on expectations the central bank will lower
interest rates after India recently announced fiscal and
economic reforms, the survey found.
It wasn’t unexpected. After more than three long years of association with the UPA II coalition government, key ally Mamata Banerjee is taking her name off the lease, packing up her things and getting ready to move out. Whether she has taken Congress’ chances for holding power in India with her depends on how strong — and willing — the party’s other friends are.
This move, precipitated by her anger at urgent government moves to fix India’s economy, is a case of better late than never. There is no point being part of a coalition if you don’t like how it works or the decisions that it makes.
Sometimes the government does what it promises. India raised diesel prices by 5 rupees per litre on Thursday in a move guaranteed to alienate the common man, but please foreign investors, oil marketing companies and ratings agencies.
Opposition parties and key government ally Mamata Banerjee expressed their expected disappointment with the decision. The BJP called it a “cruel joke” and “mortal blow,” while West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee planned a street rally on Saturday and said she was “shocked“.
Is Duvvuri Subbarao, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, considering an alternative career in stand-up comedy? In July, Subbarao tried to lighten the usually grey world of central banking with a self-deprecating wisecrack, linking rising prices and his receding hairline.
“I must admit that even at a personal level, I do not know how to interpret inflation. Twenty years ago when I had a thick mop of hair, I used to pay 25 rupees for a haircut … and now, when I have virtually no hair left, I am paying 150 rupees for a haircut,” he said at a conference.