January 25, 2017

Crown of Light

Posted in Books, Chit Chat at 8:13 pm by వసుంధర

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Culture Capsule

Posted in Books, Chit Chat at 8:09 pm by వసుంధర

January 1, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017

Posted in Editorial at 11:01 am by వసుంధర

We await

Demonetisation as a monster or master

Trump in his own track or backtrack

China’s will for goodwill

Pakistan’s hate and fate

Limited glories to continue for Indian sports  

Unlimited opportunities for the Indian youth

&

Prosperity for the whole world

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017

December 11, 2016

Analysis sans Emotion

Posted in Politics at 7:29 pm by వసుంధర

Link

jayalalita-toi

Source: Dec 11 2016 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)
Title: SWAMINOMICS – Don’t eulogise Amma for her freebie politics
Author:  
swaminathan
SWAMINATHAN S ANKLESARIA AIYAR
Authoritarian leadership, big corrup tion, and endless freebies for the masses.These were the hallmarks of Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa (pop ularly called Amma) who died last week.

mourning, she has been praised by even In this week of mourning, she has been praised by even her bitter political foes. Yet this political correctness must not distort her electoral record.

Since the 1970s, power in Tamil Nadu has oscillated between the DMK and Amma’s AIADMK. The big exception was in 1984, when M G Ramachandran was re-elected.After that, every incumbent was voted out. So, when Amma was re-elected earlier this year, analysts called it spectacular, and attributed it to a record list of freebies and subsidies that supposedly won her the undying love of the masses.

That’s rubbish. Far from winning the undying love of the masses, Amma’s vote share actually crashed from almost 52% in 2011 to just over 42% in 2016. This huge anti-incumbent swing should normally have meant crushing defeat. But, luckily for her, the DMK was so confident of winning that it failed to bring small but significant parties into its alliance. The anti-incumbent vote was split, with the Third Front and PMK winning almost 11% of votes. This allowed Amma to squeak through with tiny margins in many seats. The outcome was more a DMK blunder than a great Amma victory .

To put the figures in perspective, the vote share of Amma’s alliance in her earlier victories was 59.8% in 1991, 50.1% in 2001, and 51.9% in 2011. So, the crash to barely 41% in 2016 is not evidence of some fabulous rapport with the masses. Yes, she had a core of fanatical supporters. But when I covered the election campaign, one female voter said, “Where does Amma get all this money for freebies? From the people, of course. If she then gives back some of it, should we be grateful?“ In any case Amma had no monopoly on freebies, which were espoused by all parties in the state. The DMK over the years also advocated free electricity , canal water, colour TVs and housing schemes. In the election earlier this year, it offered free WiFi connections and the waiving of farm loans.

Compared with northern states, Tamil Nadu has always enjoyed a good economic climate and government services, despite deep corruption. Fast GDP growth in the liberalisation era brought rising revenues and ever-higher freebies from both parties. But state voters proved too smart to be purchased. Despite freebies offered by both sides, voters persistently voted out incumbents for corruption and misgovernance.

This echoed the historical all-India trend. Having won India independence, the Congress dominated elections till 1989. Slow GDP growth in those pre-liberalisation days meant there was no correlation between economic growth and electoral victory . The Congress found victory as easy or difficult in fast-growing Maharashtra as in the slowgrowing BIMAROU states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand).

Politics became a business. Governments extorted huge sums while in office, and then offered freebies to voters and bought off minor parties and vote banks to form wining alliances. Yet this did not guarantee reelection: three-quarters of all incumbents lost.

The big change came in the 2000s, when economic reforms launched by New Delhi in 1991 facilitated record growth. A new breed of chief ministers came up, mostly in the misgoverned BIMAROU states. These CMs focused on better governance and infrastructure, not freebies. Corruption and subsidies did not vanish, but cleaner politics and purposive development sparked record GDP growth. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh were in some years the fastest-growing states in India.

The electoral consequences were dramatic. Naveen Patnaik in Odisha won four elections in a row. Others won three elections in a row -Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, and Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh. So did Narendra Modi in Gujarat.

Suddenly anti-incumbency was replaced by proincumbency . The trick was to shift (though not entirely) from freebies to cleaner government plus economic development. Where the government was not clean (as in several regimes in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh), economic growth was slower and CMs did not get re-elected.

BIMAROU chief ministers chalked up far better electoral records than Amma ever did. So, even as we mourn her, let nobody think she proved that popularity is best bought by freebies.

Correction: Swaminomics on Nov 19 said 3 million Indians filed tax returns and less than 2 million paid income tax. The correct figures are 3 crore and 2 crore.

December 10, 2016

Eudemonic Semantics

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Chit Chat at 6:53 pm by వసుంధర

05 Dec 2016: Sriharikrishna Mocherla’s “Eudemonic Semantics” launched

Photo (L to R): Seshu Mocherla, Rohini Vemuri, VV Satya Prasad, U Atreya Sarma, Sriharikrishna Mocherla, Voleti Parvateesam, Kala Deekshitulu, Padmaja Iyengar
Eudemonic Semantics | Sriharikrishna Mocherla | Creative Crows, New Delhi | ISBN 93-84901-40-7| Pages xxvi + 232| Rs 425

English language enthusiast Sriharikrishna Mocherla’s book Eudemonic Semantics was launched at Tyagaraja Gana Sabha, Hyderabad, on Nov 3, 2016.

The book dealing with the wit, humour and nuances in English language came in for praise from the speakers on the occasion –Dr Voleti Parvateesam, former Program Executive, Saptagiri TV Channel; VV Satya Prasad, Telugu Poet and President of the ceremony; U Atreya Sarma, Chief Editor, Muse India and poet; and Padmaja Iyengar, poet and Hon. Lit. Advisor, Cultural Centre of Vijayawada & Amaravati.

The book, published by Creative Crows, was released by Dr Parvateesam.

Kala Deekshitulu, President of Tyagaraja Gana Sabha, complimented the writer.

This is the third book of Harikrishna. His earlier ones are Time to Hold Your Tongue and Mould the Language (2010) and Vivid Dreams and Waking Visions (2011).

The author’s father Mocherla Janaki Ramiah, an MA (Litt) from Nagpur University in 1940, a charismatic lecturer and a co-compiler of “Bala Saraswati Pictorial Gem Dictionary – English to English to Telugu” along with Mallampalli Somasekhara Sarma, a renowned historian, was duly remembered.

The well-attended programme was emceed by Rohini Vemuri. Smt Seshu, better half of the author was also present.

[A review of the book by U Atreya Sarma appeared in The Hans India daily (Oct 30, 2016) and at Boloji.com (Oct 31, 2016). Here are the links:

http://epaper.thehansindia.com/985499/SUNDAY-HANS/Sunday-Hans#page/17/1

http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=49393]

Report by: U Atreya Sarma, Editor (News & Events), Muse India

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