All stories by Mihir S Sharma
COVID-19: Has the first wave peaked in India?Rediff.com3 days ago
We knew from the moment the pandemic took hold that this would be a long haul -- at least 12 to 18 months. Nothing should have changed that assessment, says Mihir S Sharma.
Why is RBI copying US Fed?Rediff.com7 days ago
'India is not so distant from years of high and entrenched inflationary expectations that it should start trying to play games with the economy the way the West's central bankers think they are entitled to,' argues Mihir S Sharma.
Is there anything for India to celebrate?Rediff.com23 Aug 2020
'India resembles not just the more turbulent bits of its own past, but other 'managed' democracies, where all institutional strength and independence have been hollowed out to serve political power,' notes Mihir S Sharma.
Lockdown: Definitely not a 'success'Rediff.com27 Jun 2020
The lockdown should have been used to drum into Indians' head the reasons for social distancing and the necessity for it, and the costs of not applying it in our daily lives and it should have been used to set up the systems that would manage large numbers of infected, observes Mihir S Sharma.
Work from home foreverRediff.com3 Jun 2020
'Employees may well be expected to be on call at almost all times -- much like the standard Indian approach to the workday,' points out Mihir S Sharma.
Humble leaders, pleaseRediff.com21 May 2020
This is one of those crises where it does not only matter that you do something, but how you do it, suggests Mihir S Sharma.
The pandemic's other dangersRediff.com26 Apr 2020
'Every strongman leader is faced with the same opportunity: Harness the increased societal panic to amass more power,' warns Mihir S Sharma.
What the lockdown could have avoidedRediff.com24 Apr 2020
'As 1.3 billion people wait for our prime minister to tell us what to do and then vanish again from our television screens, it is worth noting that this is not how the rest of the world is being led,' points out Mihir S Sharma.
Have you started reading again?Rediff.com18 Apr 2020
It's possible you want to escape the reality of what's happening to the world - countrywide shutdowns, worry and concern, divided politicians
Fiscal stimulus is not the need of the hourRediff.com27 Mar 2020
What might be useful is targeted assistance to those sectors and individuals that are disproportionately affected, suggests Mihir S Sharma.
The use of violence for political gainsRediff.com17 Mar 2020
'There appears to be no end to the errors that our leaders are willing to commit and no risk they are unwilling to run,' notes Mihir S Sharma.
Should India allow foreign money to finance deficit?Rediff.com26 Feb 2020
'If such inflows materialise, what will be the effect on the rupee's value -- and therefore on exports growth, the only sustainable path to recovery?', asks Mihir S Sharma.
The Republic will always remains aliveRediff.com13 Feb 2020
As long as even one Indian holds aloft Ambedkar's portrait and recites the Preamble, the Republic remains alive, says Mihir S Sharma.
What Modi got wrong about the economyRediff.com18 Dec 2019
'There has been far too much overconfidence about the size and composition of the Indian consumer economy,' notes Mihir S Sharma.
How to revive the real estate sectorRediff.com22 Nov 2019
'The government has to stop trying to fix things for lenders, projects, homeowners and developers and think instead about how to fix the market for houses,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Surely, the PM didn't cancel Taseer's OCI!Rediff.com19 Nov 2019
'That would be ridiculous and uncharacteristic of the PM.' 'It is also not how things happen in illiberal States.' 'In such places, lower-level functionaries of every rank and hue seek to ingratiate themselves with the highest authority by going pell-mell after dissenters and outsiders,' points out Mihir S Sharma.
The Gandhis cannot rule any moreRediff.com4 Nov 2019
The Congress will only survive if it can transform into something more like the BJP used to be: A coalition of strong state leaders held together by shared ideology or personal loyalty, suggests Mihir S Sharma.
How Banerjee-Duflo's economic theory is relevant for IndiaRediff.com15 Oct 2019
For Duflo and Banerjee, an important part of their work has been ensuring that the agency of the "beneficiaries" -- usually, in developing countries like India, poorer individuals -- is put at the centre of any policy design. This is a crucial way in which experimental results are often better than large scale data-based inference, says Mihir S Sharma.
How many seats will BJP win? 272+ or below 170?Rediff.com20 May 2019
Mihir S Sharma gives us a rundown of what could happen, depending on the number.
What has changed for Modi in 2019?Rediff.com27 Apr 2019
'The oddest thing about this general election campaign so far is that one might think that the BJP was fighting with its back to the wall, rather than as the favourite to win.' 'Perhaps there is something they know that we don't,' says Mihir S Sharma.
How CM Modi showed us what PM Modi would be likeRediff.com28 Mar 2019
The expectation that Mr Modi would be a major reformer, capable of reinvigorating the Indian economy, were based on a complete misreading of both his actions and his performance as Gujarat chief minister, says Mihir S Sharma.
Kashmir's troubled futureRediff.com1 Mar 2019
'Fighting terrorists is one thing. Fighting insurgents is worse. Fighting a population is worst of all,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Why more Indians must speak up onlineRediff.com7 Dec 2018
'Anyone on Indian Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other forms of social media that matter (except elite forums like Instagram) understands instantly that it is dominated by upper-caste North Indian men.' 'Other voices are silenced and attacked,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Why I am disappointed with CBI's interim bossRediff.com5 Nov 2018
'I would have expected that, once firmly ensconced in the director's chair by 2:15 am, the not-director of the CBI would have called for pen and paper and hand-written a few clean chits.' 'Clean chits over Rafale; clean chits to the PM's secretary in the coal bribery case; a clean chit to Hasmukh Adhia on whatever claim Subramanian Swamy has cooked up about him...' says Mihir Sharma.
Any one of us can be arrested at any timeRediff.com20 Oct 2018
'India may well be a religious country, but that is precisely why we need to avoid criminalising blasphemy,' argues Mihir S Sharma.
Are politicians responsible for India's banking crisis?Rediff.com25 Sep 2018
'As long as the government owns the banks, bankers will follow signals from politicians as to how to lend.' 'State-owned banks will remain State-owned banks as long as the current dispensation is in power -- and certainly there will be no change if the other chaps get in,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Why does PepsiCo want to curb free speech?Rediff.com7 Aug 2018
'Ask a beat journalist their opinion, and you will always be told that they are more worried about writing something that would upset a company than something that would anger a politician,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Did the world dodge a bullet in the crash of 2008?Rediff.com25 Jul 2018
The flawed response to the crisis has fed a us-vs-them mentality in which the banker, the expert, the coastal entrepreneur, the immigrant, the foreigner are all villains. The crisis was not that much of a problem; the response -- the over-reaction, the sovereign debt build-up and the lasting anger -- is the problem, says Mihir S Sharma.
'If only Tharoor had said 'We might become a Hindu Israel'Rediff.com21 Jul 2018
'The entire swathe of Internet trolls -- who now apparently serve as the ideological brains-trust of the BJP -- would have looked at each other in puzzlement, thinking: What kind of warning is that?' says Mihir S Sharma.
Once again, Pranab proved he's an awful politicianRediff.com16 Jun 2018
'This is the era of images; no speech that Mukherjee could have given could counter the sight of a senior Congressman, elevated by the party to Rashtrapati Bhavan, standing rigidly next to the RSS gerontocracy as those worthies delivered the organisation's faux-fascist salute,' says Mihir Sharma.
North India has a problem with toxic masculinityRediff.com31 May 2018
'This is obvious to everyone except those in denial; it is a national shame.' 'To that extent, blaming any particular government is an insufficient response,' argues Mihir S Sharma.
What's been Modi Sarkar's biggest achievement?Rediff.com25 May 2018
While GST and insolvency laws are among the major achievements of the Modi government, the list of failures include demonetisation, toxic banks, manufacturing hiccups and most prominently bizarre job creation figures. Mihir S Sharma takes a look at the four years of Modi government.
The subversion of AadhaarRediff.com10 May 2018
'Bureaucrats have transformed a project meant to empower the poorest Indians into one that empowers only babus and disempowers everyone else,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Dust storm Disaster: Don't diss climate changeRediff.com6 May 2018
'The link between global warming and weird, extreme weather events is being better understood every year.' 'India is particularly at risk from such events.' 'Indian communities and urban centres don't have the resilience needed to survive such disasters,' says Mihir S Sharma.
BJP party of governance? Ha! Ha! Ha!Rediff.com17 Apr 2018
'The current BJP leadership believes the party's expansion across India, and thus their own survival at the top, depends on injecting communal tension into areas where it has so far been largely controlled,' argues Mihir S Sharma.
Is Modi's best nowhere near good enough?Rediff.com6 Apr 2018
The failure to reform has meant that there is no buzz about job opportunities, or about urban opportunities enticing young people off the farms. And it is this failure that has contributed to the widespread disappointment that threatens to make the next general elections closer than expected, says Mihir S Sharma.
Anything less than a 2014 win will be a disaster for ModiRediff.com26 Mar 2018
'Anything other than a complete, 2014-style victory will be far more devastating for him then it would be for anyone else.' 'Disciplining restive party members, and taming recalcitrant allies will then be far more difficult for him,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Xi as ruler for life: Is China's golden age coming to an end?Rediff.com11 Mar 2018
'Xi's assumption of absolute power is neither complete, nor irreversible.' 'Nor is it safe, for Xi, for his party, or for his country more generally.' 'And the government knows this,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Modi is beatable in 2019, and may well be beatenRediff.com21 Feb 2018
'The simple truth is this: That we had come to assume that a second term was Modi's for the asking. But the fact is that Modi will have to win one, just like everybody else.' 'And so much has he invested in his strongman persona that even a loss of just 50 seats from his extraordinary 282 in 2014 will look to his potential allies and to his party like a defeat,' says Mihir S Sharma.
Who sold us the 2G 'scam'?Rediff.com23 Jan 2018
'And who sold this belief?' 'Public-spirited individuals' like Subramanian Swamy.' 'Independent public servants' like Vinod Rai. 'Anti-corruption activists' like Kiran Bedi. And 'outspoken television anchors' like Arnab Goswami,' says Mihir S Sharma.