P Chidambaram

Articles By P Chidambaram

322 Articles

Across the Aisle: Government rides a winged horse, writes P Chidambaram

When a storm broke out on snooping on political leaders, judges, journalists, civil rights activists, students, businesspersons and social friends of the ‘chosen people’, it was revealed that owners of thousands of mobile

Pegasus protest

Across the Aisle: The sovereign looks the other way, writes P Chidambaram

Apart from the sovereign, there are bodies that are regarded as quasi-sovereigns for reasons that I shall not elaborate for want of space. Among them are the Central bank (RBI) and government-owned large banks (e.g., SBI).

Congress activists in a protest rally against the hike in LPG and fuel prices in Kolkata (PTI Image)

Across the Aisle: The ghost takes form and shape, writes P Chidambaram

When this controversy was building, four institutions of India — supposedly watchdogs — failed the country: the media, the Supreme Court, Parliament and the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG).

Therefore, when a French investigating journal, Mediapart, published a report last Saturday, following up on its report of April 2021 on the Rafale Aircraft deal, not a leaf stirred in the hot, dry and windless capital of India.

Across the Aisle: We had wings, learned to fly, writes P Chidambaram

There was a political consensus on a State-controlled economy, monopoly or dominance of the public sector, import control, fixed exchange rate, licensing, and a suspicion of markets.

Economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia with former prime minister Manmohan Singh (Image: Express Archives)

Across the Aisle: Most Severely Mauled Enterprises, writes P Chidambaram

Throughout this terrible phase, I have watched the fortunes of agriculture, micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the services sector because, between them, they employ the bulk of the labour force.

A worker at a silk factory in Agartala (Express photo)

Across the Aisle by P Chidambaram: Will we write an elegy for GST?

Enter Ms Nirmala Sitharaman. At every successive meeting of the Council there has been only more conflict, confrontation and, now, almost a complete breakdown of mutual trust and respect.

In case of establishment strength of more than 1,000 for all those with Rs 15,000 per month salary, only employee's share (12 per cent of wages) is credited by the Government to the EPFO.

Across the Aisle: Take responsibility, consult, make plans, writes P Chidambaram

On their part, the state governments and the Opposition must move on. We must clear the mess and achieve the targets set by epidemiologists and health experts.

Even today, the actual production and supply, month-wise, of the two manufacturers have not been disclosed.

Across The Aisle: The bird and the worm agree, writes P Chidambaram

The NSO and the local survey — the bird and the worm — saw the same picture on the ground. That is a happy congruence which leaves the Finance Minister and the Chief Economic Adviser locked in an echo chamber.

The view may be stark, dirty and ugly, but it will be closer to the truth.

Across the Aisle: A bigger calamity awaits us, writes P Chidambaram

However, there is one thing about the future that is no longer uncertain. It is about the economic conditions of the people of the country. It will be worse than it should be, inequality will increase and the vast majority of

The Total Fatality Rate (TFR) in May had gone up to 2 per cent and every infected person has prayed that he or she should not be among the dead.

Across the Aisle: One pandemic, many casualties, writes P Chidambaram

The only thing that is certain is that everything about coronavirus is uncertain and unpredictable. It has overwhelmed many governments.

India’s rank in the Hunger Index stood at 94 (out of 107) in 2020.

Across The Aisle: Not the age of reason, writes P Chidambaram

No party can escape blame. Some tried hard despite obstacles, some faltered, and some buried the facts and relied on bluff and bluster. The victims are the people.

The rated capacity of the two Indian manufacturers — Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech — was known to the government.

Across the Aisle: Modi versus Didi and other battles, writes P Chidambaram

The comforting truth is that there are stable governments in the four states with the winning side having got an absolute majority and the losing side a respectable number to sit in the State Assembly as the Opposition.

Relatives of a Covid-19 patient carry oxygen cylinder outside a government-run hospital in Jammu AP

Across The Aisle: From crisis to catastrophe, writes P Chidambaram

I shall not be surprised if hospital administrators are besieged by angry protesters in much the same way it is happening now in the case of shortage of hospital beds and oxygen.

Across The Aisle: After 7 years, deprivation, disease and death

The quality of governance has sunk to an abysmal low. The result is what we see around us — deprivation, debt, disease and death. Did the people who voted the government to power in 2019 deserve this? I would say NO.

Police stand guard during lockdown in Puri as coronavirus cases surge countrywide (PTI image)

Elections are less free and fair

The Election Commission (EC) was fiercely independent: for instance, it acknowledged the logic of allotting a common symbol to all the candidates of the AIADMK (though it was not a recognised party and had won only one by-ele

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election campaign rally in support of BJP party candidates for West Bengal Assembly Polls at Gangarampur in South Dinajpur district (PTI Image)

The ghost of Rafale appears

They trust the institutions that they have installed to tackle these challenges including Parliament/Legislature, the judiciary, the free media, the CAG and the Opposition political parties.

When these institutions fail — separately or collectively, because of incapacity or collusion or fear — the people just give up and move on.

Across the Aisle: Modi thought and its consequences, writes P Chidambaram

Polling will be completed in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the U.T. of Puducherry two days from today and part-completed in West Bengal, with five phases remaining. The BJP has high stakes in Assam and West Bengal and is maki

Across the Aisle: Go back, Viceroy of Delhi

Delhi is the National Capital of India. It is acknowledged that the government of Delhi has to be different from the governments of states; yet, if that government must be a democratic government, it must put the people at th

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal address a protest against the Government of NCT Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi (PTI Image)

Coalitions are collaborations better than single party autocratic regimes and deliver better outcomes

There are many examples at the state level. The DMK was founded on regional pride, love of Tamil, self-respect, anti-superstition and anti-caste. Its splinter, the AIADMK, was ostensibly born out of a crusade against corrupti

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers participate in a march in Bhopal (Image: PTI)

Across The Aisle: The tragedy of the missing middle, writes P Chidambaram

Given that the bottom 20 per cent of any developing country must be assumed to be poor, that leaves 7 per cent which may be called the middle class.

Farmers shout slogans and wave flags during the ongoing farmers' protest in Haryana (Reuters image)

Across The Aisle: Besides economy, freedom is sliding

Amidst a shallow and short-lived recovery and private investment missing, any celebration is totally premature. We must await the estimates for Q4 and for the whole year as well as the indicators for health and education, wri

Farmers block the KMP Expressway near Duhai, Ghaziabad against Centre's farm laws (PTI Image)

Across The Aisle: Courts sound the bell for liberty

Never before in the history of independent India have the powers of the State been mobilised so ruthlessly to suppress every voice of dissent or protest or defiance.

Demonstrators protest against the arrest of 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, in Kolkata (Reuters image)

Numbers do not lie: ‘attempt to fudge the numbers and present a so-called ‘budget for growth’ is unpardonable’

When the Budget for 2020-21 was presented on February 1, 2020, I had questioned the credibility of the three key numbers.

The good thing about the NBFID mandate is its scope into the brownfield as well.

The quintessential andolanjeevi

A dissenting mind belongs to a thinking person. Great judges have been great dissenters: Justice Frankfurter, Justice Subba Rao, Justice H R Khanna and others.

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharya, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, with BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait at farmers' protest in Ghazipur, Delhi (PTI Image)

Across the Aisle: A calculating head but no heart

The most deserving were left to their fate. Since I had no expectations, I have no disappointment, but millions of others feel cheated, writes P Chidambaram.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman launches 'Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar Scheme' in Guwahati (PTI image)

No expectations, no disappointment

All but one ally have left the NDA; the crypto-allies (YSRCP, TRS, BJD, BSP) have distanced themselves on contentious issues; and the alienation between the Treasury Benches and the Opposition is complete.

The farmers are angry, the protests have spread to other parts of the country, and the farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are deeply hurt by what they believe to be the machinations of the central government and the BJP.

Across the Aisle: ‘Exact words’ is a betrayal, writes P Chidambaram

All this is bad news for Mr Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and among the richest persons in the world.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surrounded by the media during a hearing on protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US. (Reuters/File image)
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