Cut & Thrust: Interesting times

Russia’s ultra nationalist supreme leader, the all powerful Vladimir Putin last week said that, “It is in everyone’s interest to resume dialogue between the intelligence agencies of the US and other members of NATO. It is absolutely clear that in the area of counter terrorism, all relevant governments, and international groups should work together.” So far so good.

Strip numbers, see truth

Indian Parliament has over has over 34 per cent of MPs with criminal records and the situation is no different across all state Assemblies. The data is much touted around as if to suggest that we have become a nation of criminal rulers. But what escapes us is that a candidate with a criminal record is thrice (18 per cent probability) more likely of winning the elections than a candidate with a clean slate (only 6 per cent). Does it mean that we have also become a nation of voters who love criminals?

Bridge the gap

Corporate houses sho-uld function on a fundamental philosophy that in a free enterprise, community is not just another stakeholder in business, but the very purpose of its existence. In this regard, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) journey of a company should ideally evolve from “giving to the society” to “creating an enabling environment” and finally to “creating self-sustained communities”.

Make it safe, first

The demonetisation drive has transformed yesteryear heroes — Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes — into villains and has made stars out of bit part players, digital payment modes. Now the government is pushing the public to adopt digital transaction habits. Digital payments of all kinds have received an unprecedented fillip since the 8/11 announcement.

Cut & Thrust: Right to the left

The whole tide of history is changing. And the march is inexorable and relentless. The other day, watching BJP MP from Madhubani, Bihar, Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, giving uber gyan on farmer woes in parliament replete with Lalooisms, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the world had turned upside down. After all, here was a right wing BJP MP extolling the virtues of how PM Modi is a messiah for the poor and farmer community. It could well have been a socialist or a UPA constituent speaking, such was the vigour and robustness of his argument.

Startups: Legal essentials

No business is ever about smooth sailing. Starting a “startup” and running the business is about constantly facing new challenges. Failures are common at the beginning of an enterprise. As an entrepreneur, your tenure would be marked with initial hiccups and hit-and-miss opportunities. But legal matters are among few the things usually overlooked by new entrepreneurs, and which become big worries later on. Besides giving shape to your startup, you need to keep yourself updated on the legal essentials to ensure you sail through rough weather with ease.

The weak and the dirty

Politics is a common loathing of the middle class. Politicians run the country alright but no self-respecting and educated middle class family would encourage their kids to explore and opt for politics as a viable career option. The supposed higher goals of the serving the society is cynically shrugged off as a school civics book stuff to be mugged for good marks in the board exams.

Let’s talk money

It is customary for the life insurance people, especially for the vast number of its foot soldiers, the agents, to look for a lot of sops from the finance minister in his annual budget every year. These concessions can be in the form of increasing the limit of the savings amount under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act or upping the minimum limit of taxable income under different income slabs or in the shape of introducing new sections for investing life insurance premium, health insurance premium and provision for annuities/ pensions.

The art of hope politics

The Modi wave of 2014 was a crystallisation of hope politics, even though Modi himself represents traditional power politics as a member of a national political party. He symbolised hope for change, with a reputation that said he had the will to override vested interests in party and government to have his say.


Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen was a German Luftwaffe Field Marshal who architected the Blitzkrieg attack assault strategy. It was this same strategic imperative which was tested in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War leading to widespread annihilation and grief. Replicated later in Poland where sortie after sortie was flown to inflict incalculable damage as part of the lightning war strike. It was predicated on quick closure of battle using offensive weaponry where the air forces played an integral role.