The Politics of being a Dalit Woman Jayati Ghosh

In the political landscape of contemporary India, it is only too easy to find more reasons for depression than optimism. The rise of a nastier, more aggressive, communally charged and openly patriarchal political discourse is evident all around us. Oftentimes, it feels like the poet W.B. Yeats’ apocalyptic description is coming true: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with a passionate intensity.” Perhaps more than at any previous time in Independent India’s history, we are faced with existential threats to our most important institutions, and challenges even to the very notions of democracy and secularism that…

Arun Jaitley on Electoral Bonds Prabhat Patnaik

Arun Jaitley had outlined a scheme of electoral bonds in his budget speech on February 2, 2017. Now, exactly 11 months later, the notification of the scheme and some details of it have finally been announced in a Press Information Bureau release on January 2, 2018. Along with this release Jaitley himself has also written an explanation-cum-defence of the scheme, from which it is clear that the scheme, far from countering the threat to democracy arising from large-scale corporate funding of elections, does not even address this issue. On the contrary, its implementation will have the very opposite effect of…

The Demise of Bank Credit C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Growing economies generally show increasing deployment of bank credit – but in India this has been decreasing for years and recently has been almost flat. What does this suggest about the growth process and the health of the Indian economy. Bank_Credit  (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally posted in the Business Line on 1 January 2018.)

The Indian Economy in 2017 Jayati Ghosh

This was the year that the economy tanked. Not necessarily in terms of official growth figures: according to the CSO, GDP growth decelerated, but not by that much. And Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was quick to proclaim that, with GDP growing by an estimated 7.1 per cent for the current financial year, India still remains among the world’s fastest growing economies. Financial investors seem to agree: over the calendar year the stock market has boomed, with the BSE Sensex rising by around 25 per cent and the Nifty50 Index by 28 per cent. But these estimates sit uneasily with the…

The Obscenity of Hunger Deaths Jayati Ghosh

There is no doubt that human life is cheap in India, perhaps more so now than ever before. The attacks, atrocities and killings of people from minorities and marginalised groups that have now become so common are particularly appalling because they reflect a culture of impunity. Indeed, the lack of punishment does more than embolden the perpetrators and those who would imitate them: it also points to a deadening of sensibilities not just among those in power but in society as a whole. The murder of innocents is no longer even a cause for much outrage; the horrifying proliferation of…

Shopping Frenzy in the New China C. P. Chandrasekhar

In an otherwise gloomy world economic environment, a new kind of record given the media bizarre cause to cheer: the value of online sales notched up by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on a single discount sales day. Global business headlines screamed that in its annual sale on Singles’ Day, 11 November 2017, Alibaba had registered a record sales value of 168.2 billion yuan or $25.3 billion.  Singles’ Day, or 11 November, was, because of its 11/11 aspect, reportedly chosen around 25 years ago by students of Nanjing University to celebrate the fact of being single. Using what has evolved to…

Neo-liberalism has been a Disaster for Nepal An Interview with Prof. C.P. Chandrasekhar

Why is neoliberalism bad for India and Nepal? What are its major flaws? Mahabir Paudyal and Prashant Lamichhane from myRepublica caught up with Professor C.P. Chandrasekhar when he was in Kathmandu last week to discuss the impact of neo-liberal economic order in the two countries, and the prospects of a socialist-oriented economy in Nepal. Nepal and India adopted liberalization almost at the same time during the 1990s. Thirty years on, what kind of impact has it had in the two countries? You need to look at liberalization at two levels. Cross-country liberalization, which is a set or package of policies implemented…

Not with a Bang but with a (prolonged) whimper Jayati Ghosh

It is probably obvious to everyone that global capitalism is in dire straits, notwithstanding the brave talking up of output recovery that now characterises almost every meeting of the international governing elite. Even so, discussions of the end of capitalism still typically seem overstated and futile, not least because those hoping and mobilising for bringing in an alternative system are everywhere so scattered, weak and demoralised. In effect, capitalism is the only game in town, which is why even in its current debilitated and even decrepit state, it fears no rivals. But maybe that is really not the point. Maybe…

The Golden “Diwali Gift” Jayati Ghosh

The Modi government made its supposed determination to end corruption in India its signature theme. The massive damage done by demonetisation as well as the continuing chaos produced by the flawed introduction of the Goods and Services Tax have all been justified on the grounds of reducing possibilities of corruption and tax avoidance. Similarly, the imposition of Aadhaar requirements on the population for access to all manner of publicly provided goods and services is regularly justified on the grounds of reducing “leakages” and misappropriation of benefits. The Prime Minister has sought to burnish his image of anti-corruption crusader through emotional…

Neo-Liberal Capitalism and its Crisis Prabhat Patnaik

“Neo-liberal capitalism” is the term used to describe the phase of capitalism where restrictions on the global flows of commodities and capital, including capital in the form of finance, have been substantially removed. Since such removal happens under pressure from globally-mobile (or international) finance capital, neo-liberal capitalism is characterized by the hegemony of international finance capital, with which the big capitals in particular countries get integrated, and which ensures that a common set of “neo-liberal” policies are pursued by all countries across the globe. The emergence of such international finance capital is itself the outcome of the process of centralization…