Showing posts from July, 2014

Was Syria Bait?

Vladimir Putin - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)Barack Obama: An American Portrait (Photo credit: tsevis)Barack Obama showed flashes of political genius in his first speech that introduced him to America, at the Kerry Convention. He showed flashes of genius on the campaign trail. He showed flashes of genius in his first few years in office. Nailing health care reform after 50 years of trial and error, Wall Street reform. Getting Bin Laden was a flash of genius.

Immigration reform is in a ditch, and that is a sore point.

He took the right move on Libya. A dictator was toppled. But I was sore with him on Syria. How could he? How could he stand by?

But by now Syria feels like bait. It pulled Russia in. And by now Putin looks overstretched and brittle. Putin is a dictator. The Russian economy is the size of the Indian economy. It is not that big right now. And it is headed in the wrong direction. As in, India will double and triple in si…

Nitish, Laloo, Mayawati, Mulayam, Mamata, Left Coming Together

It is precisely the spectacular victory of the Modi-led BJP that has prepared grounds for the coming together of forces that did not see eye to eye for a long time, such is the emergent political arithmetic. Nitish and Laloo will come together in Bihar. Congress and the Left will join that bandwagon. Mayawati and Mulayam show no signs of seeing the writing on the wall. Mamata is strong on her own, but is observant of the fact that the BJP has displaced the Left as the principle local opposition.

Uttar Pradesh might be the trickiest. Right now the BJP is positioned to form the next state government. But the Bihar state elections will be held before the Uttar Pradesh state elections. And so UP has more time on its hands.

Nitish is obviously not finished yet.

Patnaik in Orissa and Jayalalita are already in good shape as it is.

Uttar Pradesh is the trickiest because Mulayam and Mayawati do not have what Nitish does, which is the development mantra. And without the development mantra …

You Can Not Beat Modi Just By Building Alliances

English: The temple at Modinagar, Ghaziabad district, Uttar Pradesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Nitish has a great record on development. He can compete with Modi. He was an excellent Chief Minister, and Laloo was an excellent Railways Minister. If they come together, they can give Modi competition.

But Uttar Pradesh is not the same. There not only Mayawati and Mulayam don't have a development record, they are nowhere close to even talking, let alone seeing an alliance's need. Political arithmetic might suggest a Mayawati-Mulayam alliance would trounce Modi. But that is like when Microsoft and Yahoo ganged up to take on Google. It did not quite work out. Google's share did not diminish. In fact it ended up with even more users in the aftermath. You compete with Google on the quality of your search results not by building alliances.

The way to beat Modi is with development. Alliances are secondary, though important. Modi, in his historic victory, might have prepared ground for…

Family, Internet, New York City

English: Saraswoti temple at Budhanilkantha School (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The 74th Street portion in Jackson Heights is the most famous Indian strip in all of North America. But then Wall Street - the world famous Wall Street - is not all that impressive either. It is but a pavement. It is not even a proper street.

I am an Indian who grew up in Nepal. I identify with the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Hindu minorities in Bangladesh and Pakistan. I identify with the blacks in America because I grew up Indian in Nepal. That sums it up nice.

The DaMaJaMa equation in Nepal’s context can be seen in the head count of Nepalis in New York City. The smallest population is that of the Dalits. Madhesis are the second smallest group. Janajatis are sizeable, but they are dwarfed by even the Bahun Chhetri women. Bahun Chhetry men swarm the city’s Nepali holdings. You can’t say you will hold your breath until there is proportionate representation. At a micro level you reach out to people based on bas…

Bihar 2015: A Battle To Watch