The Deafening Emptiness of ‘Vikaas’

(Who’s Singing in the Bathroom? Sobbing at the Sink?)

Visual Spaces

The Scream by Edvard Munch

We, The People!

(Misguided, mistreated, mistitled!!)

“Demonetisation, GST together led to Steady Fall in Jobs: CMIE’s Mahesh Vyas”: [And adds:] MUDRA loans are too small to generate employment; these are more like income supplements for poor families says CMIE MD.

The effect of both these shocks has played out over a steady fall in investments. The steady fall in investments had reduced the rate at which new jobs were being created and the two shocks reduced the jobs on hand. The combined effect of these factors was the steady fall in employment,

[Vyas] also disputes the Modi government’s statement that disbursal of MUDRA loans is tantamount to job creation. “The average ticket size of MUDRA loans is too small to merit an argument that these generate employment. MUDRA loans are more like income supplements for poor families. These cannot create even self-employment,”

Read here:

Tradespeople sit on the side of a road as they wait to get hired for work in Mumbai, India, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui


“Between 2013 and 2015, total employment actually shrank by seven million. More recent data from private sources show that the absolute decline has continued past 2015. A recent study claims, to the contrary, that the economy generated 13 million new jobs in Unfortunately, this optimistic conclusion depends on selective use of data and unjustified assumptions.”

“As a result the rate of unemployment among the youth and higher educated has reached 16 per cent”.

“It used to be said that India’s problem is not unemployment but underemployment and low wages. But a new feature of the economy is a high rate of open unemployment, which is now over 5 per cent overall, and a much higher 16 per cent for youth and the higher educated. The increase in unemployment is clearly visible all across India, but is particularly severe in the northern states” (SWI 2018)

“Caste-based segregation and disparities persist, but have reduced in some areas. SC as well as ST groups are over-represented in low paying occupations and severely under-represented in the high paying occupations, a clear indication of the enduring power of caste-based segregation in India…”

“On the other hand, both SC and ST groups are much better represented in public administration indicating the success of reservation policies over the years.” (SWI 2018)

unemployed youth

Unemployed Reuters photo

Jobs Data: What’s there to hide?

In a joint statement released on March 14th, 108 economists and social scientists in India and abroad decried the political interference in India’s statistical institutions like the CSO and NSSO.

The statement included signatories such as Jean Dreze, Amartya Lahiri and Satish Deshpande.

Terming economic data a “public good, it appealed to all the country’s economists to raise their voices against the “suppression of uncomfortable data

Modi govt has a hidden jobs report—say two independent bureaucrats who just quit.”

  • The only non-government appointed members of the National Statistical Commission have quit.
  • The resigning members allege that Modi government has withheld key employment data.
  • The undisclosed report would have been India’s first official survey on employment in 2 years.


Hide not fear not

What have you got to lose? 

Aadhaar: A Bridge to Nowhere.

How diverted payments—“bank payments redirected to a wrong account, without the recipient’s consent or knowledge” juices the poor. “What has escaped attention is that diverted payments have become a widespread problem in recent years, not so much for the middle class as for powerless people such as old-age pensioners and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers. The main culprit is the Aadhaar Payment Bridge System (APBS).”

The Poisoned Seed

GauRakshaks and the war against India’s Poor

PTI photo of Modi

India’s Sacred Cow Now Threatens an $83 billion Dairy industry\

Cow rakshak

Reuters Investigation into how gaurakshaks are stealing livelihoods of Muslims.

Cow rakshak 2 Reuters

Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

 ‘Strange Fruit’

Billie Holiday

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth…

Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh…



There is a Crack in Everything/that’s how the Light gets in…” (Leonard Cohen)

New Dawn


Rahat Indori

If they are Against, Let them be

If they are against, let them be, it’s not the end of life
This is all smoke, not the sky—this night

If there’s fire, then other homes too shall burn,
The houses here are not all mine.

I know the enemy isn’t lesser, but,
They don’t wear their life easy like mine.

What comes out of our mouths has the power of truth
The tongue in my mouth isn’t thine

Today’s masters of the throne won’t be here tomorrow
They are tenants, its not their right divine

Everyone’s blood is mixed in the soil here
Hindustan’s not your dad’s, nor mine.

(Translated by Maaz Bin Balal)


To protest against the hate and fear sweeping the country, a group of us undertook in the autumn of 2017 a journey of solidarity and conscience across India. This Karwan-e-Mohabbat or Caravan of Love travelled through eight states, from Assam to Gujarat, and in each we visited families battered by hate violence. Because there are few parts of India untouched by hate, we resolved to continue the Karwan through all of 2018, visiting one state every month.

–Harsh Mander (in The Telegraph.22-03-2018)


Photo Credit. John Dayal

The Face of Love: MoulanaImdadulRashidi, Imam of Noorani Masjid, a messenger of peace in Asansol. His 16-year-old son, Sibtullah, died in riots. (Samir Jana/HT Photo)

“I have lost my son. But that cannot be the reason for peace being disturbed and people of two communities killing each other. Anyone who fears Allah and loves Allah cannot call for revenge. Forgiving is a lesson of Islam…”


Rhymes of Freedom

Vaishnava Jan to | RiyaazQawwali

————————- ——————

State of Working India 2018.Azim Premji University.
RahatIndori poem courtesy India Dissents.P. 532.Edited with an Introuction by Ashok Vajpeyi. 
Speaking Tiger 2017

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.