POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 25, 2013 AT 20:27 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 25, 2013 20:27 IST

In the Business Standard, Mihir Sharma goes to the heart of the matter as to why minor disagreements between Jagdish Bhagwati and Amartya Sen "have amplified into a shouting match — well, a one-way shouting match, with Bhagwati repeatedly attacking Sen in public and in print, and Sen expounding on his point through interviews and op-eds, largely without mentioning Bhagwati or his views." Sharma argues that the real difference between them is merely a difference in emphasis, and then comes to the real reason behind the recent fuss:

As I said: duelling books; people who don’t bother to read the duelling books but instead read headlines written by journalists who haven’t bothered to read the duelling books, or only partially understood these, and the eternal quest in the Indian media to make absolutely everything relate to Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi.

Read the full piece which offers a dummy's guide to the latest brouhaha, with seven things you should know in the Bhagwati vs Sen slugfest: Bhagwati versus Sen: What's going on?

In the same newspaper, Rupa Subramanya invokes the Hayek-Keynes duel in the US in 1932 and concludes, perhaps a bit too optimistically:

One thing is for sure as a young Indian, this is the first time that economic policy debates between two great economic thinkers have been at the forefront of public discourse in India. Whether we like it or not, it’s shaping up as a battle of ideas between those who see themselves more on the right versus those who see themselves on the left. Ideologically driven debates seem to have finally arrived in India. It's just that not all of our politicians have yet figured that out.

Read the full piece: Bhagwati versus Sen: Slugfest or policy change agent?

For background articles referenced in Sharma's articles:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 25, 2013 AT 20:27 IST, Edited At: Jul 25, 2013 20:27 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 22, 2012 AT 15:50 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 22, 2012 15:50 IST

Santosh Desai in the Times of India:

“After 18 long and hectic days, we have finally finished shooting The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2013... super experience” tweeted an understandably fatigued Sidhartha Mallya a couple of weeks ago to his followers.  As we all know from personal experience, it is difficult and no doubt incredibly stressful, to have to choose girls in bikinis for calendars; only the truly worthy can make it and the process needs to be rigorous and transparent, given the enormity of the stakes involved. Vijay Mallya himself has not in the country, having been last seen publicly, if reports are to be believed, overseeing the hub of his business empire - his thriving racing car franchise- at a crucial motorcycling event in Korea. The employees of his airline have been busy too, thinking about their futures, and wondering if their past dues will ever be settled, now that the company seems to be winding down. Everyone has problems, it seems...

The Mallyas are not alone in being able to separate their sense of fun from the collapse of their reputations. Robert Vadra, too showed us how a sense of humour need not get buried under a few allegations of impropriety. He too, went social with wit and unerring timing; giving us a glimpse of his view of the people that have put his in-laws in power as well as of the country as a whole. It does take some gall to call the country ruled by one’s family for generations a banana republic, and it is clear that along with muscles, abs, biceps, triceps and other items of musculature, all of which have been well documented, Vadra  possesses cheek in ample measure.

Read the full article at the Times of India: The Island of Delusion

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 22, 2012 AT 15:50 IST, Edited At: Oct 22, 2012 15:50 IST
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Dec 15, 2011 AT 02:04 IST ,  Edited At: Dec 15, 2011 02:04 IST

Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express, last week:

Dear Mr Gandhi: The elections in Uttar Pradesh are, understandably, your major preoccupation. It is difficult to predict the result. But even if you do well, will India have reason to celebrate? Electoral success will show that you are better than the opposition. But that bar is now so low that it is almost an embarrassment to trumpet that one is merely better than the opposition. In 2009, the Congress got as propitious a mandate as any party could have expected. There was hope and expectation. The opposition, both on the left and right, was decimated. But what did India gain? It frittered away the good times. Instead of using growth to lay a secure foundation for the future, and create conditions where the scourge of poverty can be removed, we undermined the prospects for growth. We have high inflation, worrying public debt, slowing growth, uncertain currency prospects, falling investment, crushing interest rates...

Your party may not have some of the worst, exclusivist tendencies of your rivals. But you have not found ways of transcending the traps of identity politics that have kept India small...

Your party is trapped in two illusions. First, governance and politics are different issues. Second, only those policies that specifically address poor people affect the poor. You wreck the macro-economy in the name of the poor, and then cheat the poor because you refuse to govern...

Read the full piece at the Indian Express: Tomorrow's Battles

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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Dec 15, 2011 AT 02:04 IST, Edited At: Dec 15, 2011 02:04 IST
POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Feb 03, 2011 AT 02:04 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 03, 2011 02:04 IST


Bhaskar Dutta in the Telegraph revisits the growth-equity debate:

What should be the proper sequence of reforms of the economy? Should the government proceed full speed ahead and complete the unfinished reform agenda of the 1990s? Or should it press the pause button on the reform process and focus instead on distributional measures to promote health, education and food security so as to achieve “growth with a human face”?

This debate has become topical once again, largely because of the recent Hiren Mukherjee Memorial Lecture delivered in Parliament by Jagdish Bhagwati.

Read on at the Telegraph

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POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Feb 03, 2011 AT 02:04 IST, Edited At: Feb 03, 2011 02:04 IST
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