mungbean in india

Category Archives: Politics

A New Broom Sweeps Clean?

So here we are on the verge of 2014, and quite a historic day in Delhi.  A new Chief Minister and his cabinet were sworn in today, after their party did well in the state elections here earlier in December. It’s historic for a number of reasons… firstly the party, the Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man Party), was only officially launched a couple of weeks before the elections.  Even so, they managed to take 28 of the 70 seats on […]


Sometimes, to see something properly you have to stand a long way away from it. On the morning of 29 July 2012 I watched the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on the Internet. I watched as soon as I got up, around 7.30am, without my usually reading of the morning’s news over breakfast, to avoid any spoilers since it had gone out live the night before. As a piece of spectacle and theatre I thought it was really fantastic; […]


  The world’s biggest democracy just had the world’s biggest power-cut. According to the Times of India, 684 million people across 21 States and Union Territories in the North and East of India were without electricity yesterday, when 3 power grids failed. That’s more than half the population here, and pretty close to a tenth of the people on the planet.  It was the biggest electrical power failure in history. 300 coal miners were trapped underground, the Delhi metro was […]


  (Image from World Bank.)   The hashtag #Rs32 is trending on Twitter in India today.  So is Planning Commission. The reason?  The Indian Government’s Planning Commission just published a report which re-defines what it means to be poor, and in the process they magically removed a huge chunk of the population from the official figures for people living below the poverty line.  And so they’ve changed who is, and who isn’t, eligible for government subsidies due to being on […]

Independence Day

Today is Independence Day in India, celebrating the anniversary of freedom from the British. So here’s the national anthem, sung by the most famous sisters in the country, superstar playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. The national anthem is quite notable, in that it’s a hymn, rather than jingoistic propaganda about winning wars or oppressing long-time enemies. It was written by Bengali poet and polymath Rabindranath Tagore, and is sung in “heavily Sanskritized” Bengali, which I’m still trying to […]


There was a state-wide Bandh in Karnataka today — a kind of protest, curfew and general strike, which meant that shops, restaurants and pretty much everywhere was closed all day. My fellow lecturers and I had planned to go and see the degree show at Srishti, but that was closed too. So we ended up whiling away the day at a swanky hotel, eating a long slow buffet lunch out on the terrace. It was pretty full, presumably because it […]