Skip to main content

Is the edit page of 'The Economic times' written by daydreaming bonobos?

The thing with an empire is that that you can't keep on ignoring it. As biased and abrasive it might be to all things sacred, one has to deal with it, allow it in consciousness from time to time. I have managed to keep TOI out, but do read ET often. There are many things wrong with the publication. I will talk of just one instance right now (otherwise i will end up writing a thesis).

Read the editorial today - 'Open up for more Foreign investment'.

I haven't read a more inane editorial ever before. well, that is perhaps because I skip editorials most of the time. I understand that editorials have become lobby vehicles. But can't they be atleast intelligent? Is a well researched argument too much to ask for from the biggest business daily of the country?

First off, what is it with ET's love for FDI?
If ET were a doctor, it would be a road side haqim (wearing neck tie in a Air conditioned tent, modern haqim)
Like an unqualified quack, ET keeps on prescribing the same medicine for all ills - FDI. India needs more jobs - FDI. Rupee's harakiri - FDI. new technologies - FDI.
As long as their turf is covered - so you will always see them protecting 'media sector' from FDI.

This one editorial in particular is salivating at the thought of FDI unreservedly. There are sweeping suggestions without an iota of reasoning. Implicit is the assumption that FDI is good.

Let me read this one article for you.
1. FDI in telecom -  will allow AT&T, Verizon and allow Vodafone and DoCoMo absolute control. Yes that would be the case, but how is it desirable? Why would it be good for India? No mention.
2. For the editor 'the 49% cap on security agencies is incomprehensible and raising it to 100% makes sense'. The editor didn't think the need to explain his views. what happens in that gulf of 51%? how does the editor's incomprehension gets resolved between that gulf of 51%?
3. Apparently 'its also a good idea to allow FDI to go up in areas like supermarkets, defence and state owned banks.'
Why? How? i feel its a 'good idea' for the editors of ET to be fired.
4. 'More FDI in state owned banks will grow their operations using new technologies like mobile banking.' where is the evidence? are we living in 20th century now? As far as I know, major innovations and breakthroughs in mobile money is happening in developing nations, like India. The tech solutions are crossing boundary both ways.
Is the editor suggesting putting our state banks to risks (aren' global banks behind the global mess in the first place with their aggressive greed? haven't state owned banks done better, because of their conservative culture?) for a few benefits? How do you prioritize benefits? kuch toh reasoning ho in an edit article!
5. And lo and behold 'it is not a good idea to allow more FDI in crucial sectors like the media, because this can skew the public discourse in unpredictable patterns and directions'.
So ET wants to maintain its own monopoly but advocates in highly competitive sectors like Telecom.
Is banking and security service any less critical than media? Why do you want the public discourse to be predictable?
As a matter of fact, media is the first sector where competition needs to be made more aggressive to counter the dominance of TOI and ET. How about an Indian Jon Stuart/ Stephen Colbert to start with? :) An Indian Democracy Now? perhaps 'the hoot' needs a bit of help.

I have a suggestion for the moneybags seeking for new opportunities to invest in. There is no financial daily in India that really looks at the economics of the broader country. The corporates, organized economy and bourses are minor concentrations of wealth in the ocean of economic activity that is India. Vast majority of this economic activity is unacknowledged in the mainstream financial reportage. This reportage would be valuable to anyone who is keen to invest in India from a long term perspective. What you read in reports these days about Indian economy from consultancies is bull shit. Simplistic approximates, narrow expertise, narrower exposure of reporters. Tehelka was supposed to come out with such a financial daily. don't know what happened to the project.
Believe me, there's good gold with this white space.


Popular posts from this blog


i woke up today with 'happy together' by the turtles going on n on in my head. what a song! i heard it on loop for quite a few times before i got sated.

and then while on train, another song started doing rounds. i didnt even know the song. it was something i heard a while back while watching almodovar's 'tie me up tie me down'. god bless google and imdb. the song is 'resistire' by el duo dynamico. what a wonderful song. its one of those songs which makes u roll up ur sleeves and draw in the fingers into a fist to punch the air above.
now i want to know of resistance songs from south america. south america has a dynamic history and present of resistance and its poetic legacy is unparalleled. it would be a surprise if we can't find out some kickass stuff in this sphere.. resistance songs from south america.
even better even we could lay our hands on some native music.. that would be kickass. afaik, the conquistador's have been very successful in elimina…


Things turn into cash
once they are stripped of their lives -
their breath,
their freedom,
their dignity
or their joy.

A fish on the table
and a cubicle dweller..
both are united in their solvency,
their ability to be stripped of their lives and turned into money.

This solvency is our own making
Hold up your hands against the sun and your favourite gods
Do they dissolve? 
Hold up your heart and see if it beats for them
Hold your joys in your hands and fling them towards the system,
does it stick?

For a better world
first we need to walk away from this world.

The rich will always have heavier hammers

Just read this - ‘I want to help humans genetically modify themselves’
So a guy is obsessed with a certain technology, feels he can be a pioneer to a brave new world and justifies it to himself in bad faith by thinking - "This technology that I’m trying to do is for all of us. Whether you’re a big corporation or somebody in their basement, you have access to this stuff – everybody does. People respond very positively to that."

This, I believe is a dangerous belief - that tech can 'level the playing field' in a sense. It never does.
Internet was supposed to be the great leveler. And for a while with Yahoo anonymous chat and early days of mushrooming internet cafes, it really did feel that way. But soon enough, the powerful people have turned it into a tool that is more advantageous to their interest at the expense of common people's. Governments use it for surveillance and propaganda. Companies use it to brainwash people into buying things they don't need.…