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Issue No.: 550 | April 2013

Perpetuating the Status-Quo

Kaiser Ansary
Everyone is welcoming the return of the Tata Group in aviation industry, six decades after the takeover of JRD’s Maharaja by the government. 

Air India, under the government control, lost its efficiency and viability. Not surprising, it continues to be on life support. Other private airlines like Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines are also in a bad shape, thanks to rampant bureaucratic hassles. 

In such a beleaguered scenario, the announcement by the Tatas to launch a tie-up with Air Asia came as a huge relief. With the name of the Tata, we feel much more assured about efficiency, integrity and good services. Air Asia is a low-cost Malaysian carrier that would be collaborating with the Tatas to ferry budget-conscious fliers. 

While this ambitious project is being welcomed by all quarters, very few are aware that this venture became possible due to FDI Policy announced last year. All major political parties and traders frantically opposed the FDI policy by embarking upon a nation-wide bandh, followed by the disruption of the Parliament session. 

Unfortunately, our political class and feudal mind-set does not easily allow us to adopt reforms in keeping with the changing times. Today we would all be handicapped without our mobile phones. But, in the early nineties, when the telecom industry was sought to be liberalized, it was vociferously opposed, not only by the archaic political ideologies, but also by the police and the armed forces on the flimsy ground that it would help criminals and smugglers. 

The liberalization of the domestic retails was also opposed by the banias by observing a nation-wide bandh. Today, visiting the shopping malls has become a relaxing shopping experience for the families on the weekend. They offer plenty of choices to the consumers on competitive prices. 

If we look retrospectively at those protests and the bandhs, they appear not only stupid but also regressive and anti-people. Has our political class learnt any lesson from its past follies? I don’t think so. Come next reform, and they will get into the same agitationist mode!

Advocate, Thane





Other Articles in this Issue


Water Thievery - Cause of Droughts in Maharashtra

Sharad Joshi

Main Feature

Budget 2013 – An Elaborate Exercise in Denial

M. R. Venkatesh

Twelfth Plan and the 2013-14 Budget - 3

Sunil S. Bhandare

Reflections: The Gang Rape and After

The New Delhi Protest

Nitin G. Raut

Justice Verma Committee Report

Suresh Sharma

Death of a Rapist

Ashok Karnik

Reflections: A Flawed Democracy

Are We Really Free?

Firoze Hirjikaka

A Travesty of Justice!

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

'Trousering’ a Brown Envelope in Myanmar and Communal Politics in Britain

Professor Christie Davies

Reflections: In the midst of Blasts, Turf wars continue

National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC)

Ashok Karnik

Foreign Relations

Terrorism Strikes Again, and Again, and Yet Again

B. Ramesh Babu


Preamble to a Farce

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Art of Giving

Firoze Hirjikaka

Point Counterpoint

Terror Strikes Again!

Ashok Karnik

Phone Tapping and CDRS

Ashok Karnik

The Helicopter Deal

Ashok Karnik


Disenchanting India: Organised Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India By Johannes Quack

Reviewed by Prabhakar Nanawaty

Educating Adults

The Right to Education Act (10)

Suresh Sharma

Children First Party of India Debut

Dilip Thakore

My Mother Pramila

R. C. Saxena

Anandi Gopal Joshi

B. M. N. Murthy

Maha Kumbh: Time to Come Clean

Sunita Narain


Freedom First, this month in April 1956


In Memoriam

Professor P. V. Indiresan, R.I.P


Viren J. Shah, R.I.P


Remembering Hari Shankar Singhania


From Our Readers

Perpetuating the Status-Quo

Kaiser Ansary

Yet another Strike!

Kaiser Ansary

India’s Growing Leadership ‘deficit’

Saratchandra Panda, Bhubaneshwar

In case you have not heard this one

The Hijacking of Wharton

Rajiv Malhotra


an African child
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