25 Mar

Macaulay’s ‘Minute on Education’

[ad] In this article I have tried to explain in a historical context what Macaulay's Minute on Education has come to mean to modern India. While it is much larger than the Preamble to the Constitution of India, this is arguably the shortest written document that has had so far reaching effects on the future. If today India has the largest English speaking population and is riding on the wave of IT and ITES, a large part of the fortunate credit goes to this document about which not many might be aware. [Read more ...]
25 Mar

What’s the matter, Babu?

[ad] There are many words in and out of the dictionary that are used with a certain passion, while their exact meaning remain confined to the pages of the dictionary. There are various categories of such words. Some sound sophisticated - raunchy, intrepid, serendipity. Some are just fashionable - fag, dude, anti-Semitism, imperialism. Some, with the passage of time, attain layers of grime and ignorance, and through a process of Semantical acrobatics (that's a new word that I am trying to 'coin'; [Read more ...]
09 Mar

The Great Indian Middle Class

[ad] Having read a couple of books by Pavan Kumar Varma, an Indian Foreign Service Officer, I have come round to the view that he is certainly one of the better writers of English we have in these parts. I think it was 1997, the year of our Golden Jubilee, that Varma wrote The Great Indian Middle Class, a thorough indictment of the soul of the second largest Middle Class in the world (someone please explain why China's is not the largest? I think it is). I thought I had the book with me lying somewhere [Read more ...]
02 Mar

Sixth Pay Commission cometh…

[ad] Long years back, there was this Russian physician called Pavlov. He really loved his dog. He was especially fond of feeding it. Being grandiose, he would ring the bell each time he would feed his dog. This went on for a long time. Soon, the dog, ever the intelligent creature, learnt what the bell meant - it meant food. The moment the bell would ring, he would know food has arrived.1 One fine day the Indian Government recalled the Russian. The particular problem of Sarkar was that there were [Read more ...]