Atanu Dey On India's Development

Open Thread: Say what you will

| 30 Comments

Hi all, I am in Hyderabad for the Takshashila Roundtable. What’s on your mind? Say it here. It’s open house.

  • sumitreddy711

    Hello Atanu!
    Arjun Singh died yesterday. He was the son of pratapgarh princely state monarch who tortured and executed indias freedom fighters to befriend british. He played significant role in escape of Warren Anderson after Bhopal gas affair and was initiator of mandal 2 policy. Mother India will be a relieved diety now. Cheers and Congrats.

  • saurabh

    Atanu,

    I feel you are unreasonably cynical and negative about anything in India. This is not a bad thing. We need critical self analysis at times. But too much of it leads to pessimism and doing nothing.

    Your blog lacks forward thinking and positive steps. We actually need to do something to correct massive national character flaws such as lack of self discipline and personal leadership.
    Positive steps would be like
    -resist the urge to throw small pieces of paper around
    -not jump traffic lights
    ( etc. etc. just a few examples of things that we PERSONALLY can do. Too many people fall into the trap of ‘what can we do, we are like this onlee..’ )

    Second, you are irrationally blaming India for so many things that happen even in the most developed countries. Here is an example
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/wall-streets-naked-swindle-20100405
    This does not make scams and corruptions any less wrong in India. But please get a sense of proportion. And again, positive thinking is required here. Doing nothing and blaming others is pointless. If you think politicians are corrupt, then stand for elections and try to change that. If you think IAS officers are corrupt, you can apply for that too. And so on. Bitching and bellyaching serves little purpose in the long run.

  • RC

    LiveMint’s Rajadhyksha had a column that mentioned that only 7% of India’s workforce is in organized sector. It was shocking to me !!!

    That means India’s economy is mostly unorganized. What is needed to bring the rest 93% in organized sector?

    If workers are in organized sector, they can have a bank account, they can be charged direct Taxes, they can provide proof of their income to obtain loans. Credit is the life blood of capitalistic economy. How can we get more people access to credit in organized sector (without them getting over leveraged ofcourse).

  • MJ

    I was surprised that this did not show up in the TV media (which is prone to hyperventilate on the minutest of issues):
    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-03-01/news/28645634_1_hc-issues-notice-illegal-detention-rahul-gandhi

  • MJ

    Saurabh,

    A blog doesn’t have to cater to what you desire. To each his own. If you feel tempted to act for the better, Atanu’s blog has already achieved something.

    “you are irrationally blaming India for so many things that happen even in the most developed countries.”

    First of all, I’m not sure why that would be “irrational”. I’m sure people in the developed world are equally, if not more critical of their own errors.

    Secondly, people are speculating that the US is turning into a third world country because of events like the financial crisis. And, you want to take heart that they are coming down to a lower level and use the lower level as the benchmark. How does that help, exactly?

    I suspect that people who make this argument 1) used to benchmark to the West instead of their own conscience, and 2) have a weird sense of inferiority complex to start with, perhaps born out of our colonial past. And, when they see news from the developed world showing their errors, they get a kick out of realizing that there is hope for India. Well, welcome to being as human as humans are in the developed world. I’m sorry you thought otherwise. Now you can begin to “positively think” yourself into being Superman.

    “But please get a sense of proportion.”
    Indeed! I suggest you look at human development indices and the like (along with rolling stone articles) to correct your sense of proportion.

  • larissa

    “Arjun Singh died yesterday. He was the son of pratapgarh princely state monarch who tortured and executed indias freedom fighters to befriend british. He played significant role in escape of Warren Anderson after Bhopal gas affair and was initiator of mandal 2 policy. Mother India will be a relieved diety now. Cheers and Congrats.”

    Mother India is not relieved because the effects of his bad deeds linger on, who is going to erase them? He lives on as long as the policies he was responsible lives on…He has already done the damage…much of which is hard to repair…
    .

  • larissa

    sumitreddy711
    “Arjun Singh died yesterday. He was the son of pratapgarh princely state monarch who tortured and executed indias freedom fighters to befriend british. He played significant role in escape of Warren Anderson after Bhopal gas affair and was initiator of mandal 2 policy. Mother India will be a relieved diety now. Cheers and Congrats.”

    Mother India is not relieved because the effects of his bad deeds linger on, who is going to erase them? He lives on as long as the policies he was responsible lives on…He has already done the damage…much of which is hard to repair…

  • SB

    I rarely comment on this blog but I tend to agree with Saurabh. This blog needs a positive tone at-least sometimes. Based on my experiences, you can not make forward progess without being at-least somewhat optimistic. Constant ranting on deeshaa is getting tiring.

  • Bento

    This blog is full of Hatred towards others, especially minorities.

  • SB

    MJ, comments do not have to cater to what you desire either.

  • http://simplyani.wordpress.com Aniket

    Atanu,

    You’re an extremely learned man. I wish to know how you feel about the tone and tenor of the comments made on your blog. Often I have seen people not responding to each other, but going on their own different frequencies. The times when people do respond to each other, the arguments often degenerate into slanging matches and personal attacks.

    People cut the other’s points by falsifying their logic, or making judgements about their person. I very humbly admit to being guilty of the same at times. Perhaps a polite correction in the logic would do better. I really don’t recall any conclusion being arrived at amicably out of the comments sections.

    Do you agree that this happens? If yes, then why does this happen, and what do you think about it? Should it continue in the same vein? Would like to see what is your opinion over this.

  • MJ

    SB, Indeed, I agree.

  • sumitreddy711

    Atanu is not a pessimist but a realist. If the present situation is the darkest hour of the night then there is no point in calling it a slight bit of day. Atanu according to me is among the rarest of rare authors who reflect reality.

  • larissa

    I think Atanu Dey is doing a service by reminding all Indians how bad the situation really is out there, only when people realize they at are in the pits and cannot sink further is when they are motivated to really change…So the realization and admission of the worst out there is a first step along developing a change of heart so rise out of the pits…

  • Sridhar

    @RC made a good observation about the size of organized sector workforce in India. I request Atanu to write a post on it.

    Indian govt might actually be content with settling for a small proportion of payroll workforce. A greater number of tax paying workforce, can actually raise citizens consciousness on govt spending and how the tax payers are treated vis-a-vis policies that effect their daily lives. This can be a big problem to govts as in India that often pander to multitude of communal or sectarian interests and there by dividing people on multiple lines. On the otherhand, a big direct tax payer community can pose severe challenges to govt and undermine its discretionary authority.

    As an alternative, the trend of indirect taxation in the form of sales tax and corporate taxes continues to enjoy govt’s prefered method of taxation. Indirect taxes keep people blinded about their payments to govt and help deflect people’s anger on numerous other targets such a private sector or individuals in govt or outside.

    The state of technology available today, allows govts to collect both direct and indirect taxes more efficiently. But govts in general are hestitant to break an equilibrium where they are content with lower taxes revenues in exchange for their inefficiency, apathy, and atrocities in some cases towards the public and private enterprises.

  • A

    What’s your nationality Atanu?

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      I hold an American passport and have an OCI (overseas citizen of India) card.

  • SB

    To few commenter above: Yes, I agree that we need somebody to show how bad reality is. However when I started following this blog sometime back I thought eventually this blog would slowly switch to few concrete ideas with highest ROI to work on however I don’t see that happening.
    Ok situation is bad but what’s next? Pick a couple of project that you think may have highest impact and start getting some actual work done. That will keep readers motivated.

    Based on what I have seen previously on this blog, I’ll be beaten up by either Atanu or followers saying something like how bad my English grammar is or how bad my thinking is. Whatever, personally I don’t care. Show few good concrete ideas that can become viable project for India’s development or I am not much interested anymore following this blog. I don’t say author has to agree with my sentiments but he is the one who started an Open Thread, so here is my two cents worth.

  • A

    Your country faces many challenges Atanu and as much as we appreciate your concern for India, I would really appreciate it if you left us to our fate and concentrate on getting your house in order. You see, we know our nation has many imperfections but we don’t run away from them into the greener bossoms. And for all your cynicism, we WILL be a force to reckon with in the near future.

    Having said that, I admire your nation and wish you all the very best in future.

  • Jayant N

    Since every Tom, Dick, Harry and his Uncle are all putting in their 2 cents, I thought that might as well add my 1,5 Eurocents…
    1. The name of the Blog is “on India’S Development”. Since there is very little visible “development” in the micro and macro economic fields, I do suppose there is ample room for constructive critisism without appearing blatantly anti-Indian.
    2. Blogs by nature are “personal” open space, where the “owner” of same may write what he/she pleases. No one is obliged to read.
    3. Having spent a few evenings (over the years) with Atanu discussing the state of the State of India, I know that he is very concerned and perhaps also disappointed that, inspite of all the chances India has had, since Independance in 1947, very litte has actually been acchieved to better the life of the comman man (whoever he/she may be).
    4. Ancient India taught the world everything – from the sublime to the ridiculous. But friends that India ceased to exist 2000 years ago!
    5. In parting I would like to recommend a very readable blog by yet another American-Desi – Namit Aurora – a writer and photo-journalist.
    http://www.shunya.net/index.html

    No matter how painful “veritas vos liberabit”
    Good night and good luck.

  • SB

    Atanu,

    Based on number of your “chamchas” I continuously see on comments section, don’t be surprised if you are called Shri Shri Shri … Atanu Baba in few years. Then don’t say you were not warned ;-)

    Signing off.

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      SB,

      That’s plan B. If I don’t get to do anything of any value, I will become “Sri Sri Sri Atanu Baba”. I have a pact with Nitin Pai on that.

      Cheers,
      Atanu

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      SB,

      Just to make sure, I must tell you that I don’t censor any comments. In the comments section, what you see is what you get.

      • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

        I am in transit for the next 36 hours. So I am afraid that I will not be checking in to see pending comments. I will get in touch when I am back in Santa Clara, CA.

  • SB

    Atanu,

    First of all I signed off but still typing probably last comment ( I don’t like prolonged unproductive comment wars)… I know that you don’t censor any comments. However I think a primary reason you only get mainly chamchas to comment is how you treat people who don’t agree with you. I have seen you (or many times chamchas) beating down people for problems like bad English grammar or not able to word smith a compelling arguments like you can who probably have lot more time than a busy professional with kids and family to take care of to sit down and type lengthy arguments. What happens to that commenter? Well, he/she gives up because they have better things to do in life. Try changing your attitude and you’ll get few constructive critical comments start pouring in which I think will help you in long term. Because I don’t think you are considering the plan B seriously for now, right?

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      SB wrote,

      I think a primary reason you only get mainly chamchas to comment is how you treat people who don’t agree with you.

      Actually, I am pretty confident of my position. Someone’s disagreement with my views does not shake that confidence, it only tests it. I don’t dismiss people who disagree with me. If you think that that is not true, could you point me where I have treated people discourteously for disagreeing with me?

  • sumitreddy711

    Atanu and friends,
    Can wikipedia be wrong about Rahul Gandhi? Just see the link below and check out the company he shares in the list.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_non-Forbes_billionaires

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      sumitreddy711,

      Good link. Thanks. A man is known by the company he keeps.

  • http://AjitJadhav.wordpress.com Dr. Ajit R. Jadhav

    Atanu,

    Say what you will? Two questions for you:

    What’s the idea, if any, behind using that cat’s likeness, for your Twitter profile?

    Do you personally know any physicist(s) working in the area of foundations of quantum physics, preferably from the leading US/first-world universities?

    –Ajit
    [E&OE]

  • larissa

    Interesting news: http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5015358

    I always wonder how come no Indian papers are resporting such things?
    Why no sense of urgency in the Indian media. India adds about 100 million people to the population every 7-8 years. What is going to happen when there are no people to produce food but only hungry mouths to feed?