Gautam Chikermane Profile picture
Sri Aurobindo | Economics, Politics, Mahabharata, Dhrupad | VP @orfonline | Director @CAREIndia | New book: 70 Policies that Shaped India
bankey vihari sharma Profile picture Arun Kumar Profile picture Ratnesh Singh Profile picture 3 added to My Authors
30 Jul
Second quarter of global GDP in 2020 is bleeding: a growing thread on contracting economies...
Germany's GDP contracts by 10.1% in second quarter…
The U.S. economy shrinks by 9.5% in second quarter of 2020, an annual rate of 32.9%…
Read 15 tweets
14 Jul
All those cheering UK policy banning #5G equipment from #Huawei, calm down.

Policy: Buying new Huawei #5G equipment banned after 31 December 2020.

Implication: Nothing -- UK telecommunications firms are free to buy all #Huawei equipment they want, and more, over the next five months.
Policy: Existing ban on Huawei from most sensitive ‘core’ parts of 5G network remains.

Implication: Nothing -- no change from previous policy.
Read 6 tweets
28 May
Until China reforms, Made in China firms must be treated with as much caution and precaution as India is treating the Made in China pandemic…

My essay in @orfonline argues why #Huawei must not be allowed into India's #5G
India will not be alone in rejecting #Huawei.
UK proposes a D10 club of democratic partners for #5G:
-- G7
-- Australia
-- South Korea
-- India…
Apart from a thin ideological constituency and vested business interests, China has limited appeal left in much of India’s imagination…

Excerpt from my essay in @orfonline
Read 5 tweets
23 May
The primary issue around Clause 7.1 is that the right to property as a fundamental right was snatched away from Indians in 1978.

A short thread...
Between 1951 through 1976, seven amendments—1st (1951), 4th (1955), 17th (1964), 25th (1971), 39th (1975), 40th (1976), and 42nd (1976)—were brought in, all of which were struck down by the Supreme Court.
Finally, with the 44th Amendment (1978) and the repeal of Article 19(1)(f), the right to property was taken away.
With two exceptions:
1. Minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
2. Persons holding land for personal cultivation within the ceiling limit.
Read 5 tweets
26 Apr
Sorry @irsassociation @finmin @nsitharaman: these measures will be inadequate to derail the Indian economy.
Here are some ideas that may help.
All citations from my 2018 book, 70 Policies that Shaped India (@orfonline).
Download here…
Just 40% tax on the rich? It’s is too low. The rich are parasites, rogues, anti-national. You can do better.
The tax should be raised to 93.5% as Indira Gandhi had in her 1970 Budget.
And don’t forget the 15% surcharge that took the marginal rate of tax to 97.5%.
[Page 51]
Why only 'tax' income of the rich? Stop their income, period.
Learn from Finance Minister Y.B. Chavan, who in his May 1971 Budget put a monthly salary ceiling of Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 as perquisites.
“…which go ill with norms of egalitarian society.”
[Page 52]
Read 18 tweets
20 Apr
ALERT: a #tweetstorm on the recent work of @orfonline scholars on and around #COVID19 follows.
Do read and share these cutting-end analyses.

Harsh Pant and @KartikBommakan1: China is using #COVID19 as an opportunity for potential Chinese military action…

.@TanushreeChand4: As the world soldiers on to combat #COVID19, another global catastrophe involving higher stakes and no cure looms large — the threat posed by unmitigated climate change…

Read 25 tweets
14 Apr
#IMF cuts India's 2020 GDP growth rate to 1.9%.
This is a very low number.
And yet it is the world's highest.
[China follows, with a growth of 1.2%.]
All other large economies will see a contraction, says #IMF
Italy -9.1%
Spain -8.0%
France -7.2%
Germany -7.0%
Thailand -6.7%
Mexico -6.6%
UK -6.5%
Canada -6.2%
US -5.9%
Argentina -5.7%
Brazil -5.3%

[Venezuela -15%]
India has announced new in-kind (food and cooking gas) and cash transfers to poorer households: #IMF.

IMF also identifies India as a country using digital technologies to deliver direct transfers to identified individuals -- so, the JAM trinity is helping India.
Read 6 tweets
1 Jan
Wishing everyone a decade of fulfilling deep desires, original ideas and forceful actions in the 2020s.

20 thoughts for the 2020s...
This decade will see India become the world's third-largest economy.
Our conversations need to reflect that strength.
We will need to discard ideas that have kept us poor, embrace those that will power us ahead, and keep us ahead.
So, focus on wealth creation and growth.
A rising power means rising global expectations, rising responsibilities.
The world seeks deeper engagements from India, stronger influence in global affairs.
From regional security to Aadhaar, India needs to create an array of public goods for the world in 2020s.
Read 20 tweets
30 Sep 19
Reverberations of #PLF2019 ringing in my ears, this ideas-packed edition, curated by @KanchanGupta and @ARanganathan72, is easily the best #LitFest I've attended.
That it is located in the land of Sri Aurobindo, @integralyog, gives it the Force of #nationalism.

A thread...
#PLF2019 is not a Left-wing #LitFest. But it isn't Right-wing either.
When I heard the various sessions, I knew that more than all other platforms of debate and discourse, it is here that India is articulating its Indian intellectual traditions.
But what is Indian? Why strike out and create a new category at #PLF2019?
Because, the Indian mind...
1. Cannot be captured and constrained into a single Left-Right box.
2. Is all-embracing, all-respectful.
3. Goes beyond toleration and epitomises acceptance.
Read 8 tweets
12 Sep 19
In the search for truth, being first is not a virtue – being accurate is
The search for truth in #Kashmir should be no different
Sadly it is

Thread based on meeting with several experts yesterday
There is neither any single truth nor any single narrative binding #Kashmir together – that’s natural in a democracy
But to take one fact or one narrative, transpose it blindly onto the entire Valley and inflict it on readers is bad reporting of India's democracy, diversity
There are infinite views on #Kashmir that can be broadly classified into ‘For Article 370’ and ‘Against Article 370’, with few attempts at exploring nuances
The nuances are anecdotal – they are not inaccurate but not the whole truth either
Read 9 tweets
6 Aug 19
A growing thread of analyses on #Article370 and #JammuAndKashmir – from all sides – follows.

But first, this informative and contextual speech by @AmitShah in Rajya Sabha – do watch
@sushantsareen: India’s red line on J&K has been reiterated and reaffirmed… via @orfonline
@KanchanGupta: With 50 presidential orders expanding the scope and role of Union Government, nothing much remained of #Article370 but it stood like a rock between alienation and integration. That rock got blasted on Monday… via @orfonline
Read 70 tweets
14 May 19
IMF demands from Pakistan…
– Cut primary deficit to 0.6%
– Cut inflation (raise interest rates)
– Market-determined exchange rate

…what it means
– Economic collapse

World needs to stay alert, else Pak risks reverting to terror. My essay… via @orfonline
If Pakistan shifts to a market-determined exchange rate, its currency will crash, after having fallen by 22% over the past 12 months, and 35% over the past 24 months.
Even as the IMF is entering Pakistan, smart money is exiting its markets, which have fallen by 20% over the past 12 months — and will crash going forward.
Read 7 tweets
23 Apr 19
On #WorldBookDay, a list of 10 books I have loved, read, reread — all translations, retellings, analyses of the #Mahabharata.

1. On the Mahabharata by Sri Aurobindo
A deep look at the #Mahabharata — its complex politics, its authorship and its spirituality — in a thin volume
2. On the Meaning of the #Mahabharata by VS Sukthankar — the man who delivered to us the Critical Edition, one who deserves the Bharat Ratna

A mini thread on his work

3. The #Mahabharata (10 volumes) by Bibek Debroy — translation of the Critical Edition, the final reference for anyone taking this magnificent journey forward. Easier to read than other translations

Read 11 tweets
2 Apr 19
Enough has been written about the returns the #Sensex has delivered in the 40 years of its existence. This is my personal story, a thread...

The day I began my career, the Sensex stood at 1,856.
From then till today, it has multiplied by 20.9 times.
But the #Sensex has given me more than just returns — it has given me a livelihood. Most of my working life I have engaged with m writing and editing magazines and newspapers around businesses, financial services and the economy.
All through, the Sensex was my best friend.
This friendship was sealed by an idea called daily disclosure. While economic data was hard to find, company information was not online, and spread out annually (half-yearly and quarterly results came later), #Sensex reached out to me every trading day. Without fail.
Read 13 tweets
13 Mar 19
By protecting a terrorist and sponsor Pakistan, China shows:
1. It’s in tune with terror
2. Its contempt for India overrides global concerns
3. It’s an irresponsible ‘great power’
4. It chooses terror over prosperity

Ball is in India’s court:
1. Tibet
2. Taiwan
3. Trade
4. Quad
Of course India is disappointed.

But China will not escape unscathed — its terror hyphenation with Pakistan is now complete and unambiguous.

#ChinaBacksTerror is now more than a hashtag — it is a cold reality that places China-Pakistan in the same terror zone.
By hyphenating itself with Pakistan this time, China has launched a diplomatic Pulwama on India — no less.
All masks are off and the truth has revealed itself — Pakistan uses terror as state policy to wage a proxy war against India, China uses Pakistan for the same goals.
Read 13 tweets
5 Mar 19
Not rituals — #Kumbh gave me a window to look at the vastness of India, its people, it’s Oneness.
Not rides — Kumbh gave me eyes to look within, to see the beyond, to become part of the whole, merge into our civilisation.

My discovery:
You are Kumbh.
I am Kumbh.
We are Kumbh.
For me, faith is not going-through-the-motions of habits, rituals, dips, recitals, teekas, ceremonies.
I went to Kumbh as an observer — not tourist, mind you, but an Observer.
I went to see what brings millions of devotees to a single geographical point in 49 days.
I went to seek non-religious answers:
— What is this festival all about?
— What brings 200 million pilgrims to this place?
— What gives them the strength to brave the long walks, the risks?
— What gives them the grit to take dips in winter-waters of the Ganga?
Read 17 tweets
12 Feb 19
#KumbhMela2019, the unreported story — part 1

City, blocks, roads
Tents, shops, toilets
Ghats, boats, jetties
Security, fire brigades, policing
Music, exhibitions, performances
Akhadas, enclosures, restaurants
Helicopters, buses, water ATMs

And that’s not a story?
#KumbhMela2019, the unreported story — part 2

22 pontoon bridges
40 fire fighting stations
40 police stations
40 watch towers
63 police outposts
84 parking areas for 500,000 vehicles
116 roads, 300 km in mela area
150 water tankers
200 water ATMs

And that’s not a story?
#KumbhMela2019, the unreported story — part 3

800 km water pipelines
1,000 CCTV cameras
4,200 premium tents
15,000 sanitation workers
20,000 dustbins
40,700 LED lights
122,000 toilets

And that’s not a story?
Read 7 tweets
19 Dec 18
Far too much energy has been depleted in condemning how the rich and the famous spend their #money (legally inherited and/or legally earned) on weddings. In one straight piece @monikahalan makes mincemeat out of them – and forces an introspection…
How many of those calling such high-decibel weddings “vulgar” opt for a simple registered wedding for their children, asks @monikahalan – scathing observation on #money!
Rather than condemning those who spend their earned/inherited #money, we need to look at how taxpayers’ money is spent on the personal upkeep of ‘public servants’ in acres-large bungalows in prime locations, argues @monikahalan
[We don’t because so few of us pay income tax.]
Read 6 tweets
15 Aug 18
So much for free speech and its passionate supporters…

Apparently, to conduct or participate in #PondyLitFest you need to be ideologically aligned to the Left — this, from a gaggle of writers (yes WRITERS!) calling themselves, hold your breath, ‘progressive’…
Lieutenant Governor @thekiranbedi should ensure that there is no space for such festival (#PondyLitFest) in Puducherry, demand Progressive Writers Association — you read that right: ‘PROGRESSIVE’
Read 15 tweets
2 Aug 18
A thread that captures all the #70Policies follows...

You may download the book — 70 Policies that Shaped India: 1947 to 2017, Independence to 2.5 Trillion — here via @orfonline
By ensuring that prices of shares were kept low, the Controller of Capital Issues ensured gains to small investors. But this meant enterprises were not able to get the right value

Download #70Policies here via @orfonline
The Minimum Wages Act is not the end of all wages-related laws. There are four other Central laws that oversee wages. These need legislative consolidation

Download #70Policies here via @orfonline
Read 21 tweets