Jan 26, 2009

The Republic Day Debate

I have been partial to the idea of India being a presidential system of democracy since childhood. The notion that generally a presidential system of government will be good for India was more a reflection of the fact that the parliamentary system of government did not yield the proper results. Mark you, those were the days of Gujaral and Devegowda so I was not that far off the mark. However, the more I read about the presidential form of government, the less convinced I am about the merits of the system. For example, for one of the most developed economies, US has one of the most underdeveloped governance mechanism. I think that is because of the transition issues arising primarily out of presidential system of executive appointments for apolitical jobs. West Europe on reasonable parameters of governance seems ahead.  I have personally seen the side effects of this kind of practice in Sri Lanka where the governance system is quite weak again political appointees playing a helping hand in the same. One other factoid that we must keep in mind is this. You realize that, while the presidential system may bring additional stability, does India has a civil society which could keep the executive in check. India doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to handle petty goons of MNS or Ram Sena, let alone withstand the assault the presidential system. So all in all, I say lets stick to the Parliamentary system as of now.

Jan 23, 2009

Obama Part Deux

Sorry to carry on about Obama. For the last few days, more in jest than anything else, i have been asking people around that who is India's Obama. People more often than not, realise that its an arbit question and refuse to answer directly. However, some names do crop up such as Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi's fellow traveller, Advani, Laloo, Devegowda, Nitish etc. Turns out, all this was nonsense and courtsey HT, i come to know that, we have finally managed to find the answer. Its none other than our own Sanjay Dutt. Course his recent examples of poltical acument has been blogged about by eminent indian bloggers such as Greatbong and Indiauncut

Jan 20, 2009

The New US administration and India

Ideally if you want to read about this, you should just wait for Acorn to write about it, which i am sure he will in due time. Still here are my thoughts.

Overall, while i think Obama would e a better choice, i think a competent (Cos incompetent US presidents make life difficult for many more) republican administration under McCain would have been much better. Primarliy because of the Foregin policy and Outsourcing policy of the democrats. While Obama is explicitly anti outsourcing which should have an adverse effect (marginal but anyway adverse) on the Indian services industry. Also, in terms of foreign policy- Democrats tend to restrict themshelves and thus they will soon start making non proliferation noises, will want to deal china independently (thus no props for India to counter China) and the vague feeling that i get is that the foregn policy of Obama vis a vis India will be Pakistan Centric rather than China centric. So all in all, i am not very optimistic about Indo-US relations given the Indian bureacrats to be overly sensitive about insults and not trying to find out work arounds.

The only saving grace is that the better PR of Obama admin will once again empower the americans to do something good in the neighbourhood which is needed.

Jan 18, 2009

Use of Analogies

I agree with Matt yglesias here that analogies have limitations in a good debate and if you actually want to enter a debate, analogies are best kept away. Use of anlaogies in intense debates lead to people countering the main point by looking in incosnistencies between the analogy and the actual situation. It will be like going into a 20-20 match with dravid and chanderpaul as openers. You know what i mean, this too was a bad analogy with results like what royal challengers got.

Jan 17, 2009

Bloggers block is back

As i wrote in one my earliest posts, its a strange phenomenon all too common on the interwebs. My friend is suffering from it too.  He is looking for ideas. I think, blogging is a difficult medium. One needs to find a right balance of taciturnity and story telling. Now the difficulty is that this balance depends upon your mood which varies inter temporally (over time i mean)..so there is also this need for consistency over time.

Here i think having a blogging style like mine helps as much as in its not very easily classifiable. so consistency is not that much of a problem. I am thinking of being more blogtastic in near future..so keep visiting the space.