Showing posts with label india. Show all posts
Showing posts with label india. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

24: Gaza

Sunday, October 01, 2023

The India Canada Misunderstanding

If Punjab were not in India and Pakistan but in Canada, like Quebec is, there would be a referendum. Quebec and Scotland have the option to break away and become independent countries. But India does not have that provision. India is a much larger European Union that works. Only a few years ago India got rid of taxes at state borders. It was said it was like India finally managed an economic union.

For India a breakup means partition. That was a hugely bloody event. Punjab becoming an independent country is not an option.

And it is not like a large section of Sikhs in India are clamoring to become a separate country. The opposite is true. Those who advocate a separate country are small in number, and suggest an armed path. That roadmap is not available, but can lead to much meaningless violence. So to India the whole issue feels like a fight against terrorism, something its arch nemesis Pakistan specializes in. Government agencies in Pakistan openly coordinate with terrorist organizations. To them it feels like an asymmetrical war. There is a large gap otherwise between India's army and Pakistan's army, India's economy and Pakistan's economy, India's prospects and Pakistan's prospects.

And it is not like Pakistan is ready to let go of the Punjab inside its borders. But many in the Pakistani establishment daydream of India's Punjab some day becoming India's Bangladesh.

Free speech should be protected. If there are Sikhs who would like to argue Punjab should become its own country, they, of course, should be allowed to do so. There are a dozen such arguments inside India today. As long it is peaceful free speech, it is tolerated inside India itself. So, no, this is not a free speech issue. India is the largest democracy. I don't think people running India struggle to understand free speech and peaceful protest.

But threatening violence, and organizing violence, and coordinating violence, and fundraising for violence all meet the defintions of terrorism. They meet the definitoins of domestic terrorism inside the US. India's gripe is the Canadian government seems to tolerate such acts.

There is no provision in the Indian constitution for Punjab or any other territory to organize a referendum and gain independence. Punjab is no Quebec. But that is not the issue. The issue is terrorism. Most Sikhs inside Canada are not clamoring for an independent Khalistan. But there is a vocal minority that seems to drown out the rest. It is basic democratic decorum to also listen to the silent majority.

Sikhs might be numerical minorities. Operation Blue Star was unfortunate. The anti-Sikh riots after Indira Gandhi's assassination were wrong and criminal. But Punjab is one of the richest states in India. Sikhs have had outsize influence inside India. There have been Sikh Prime Minister and President of India. That can not be said of most similar numerical minorities inside India.

A separate country called Punjab is not likely. But a Sikh Prime Minister of Canada is only a matter of time. It is not possible to create a country where only Sikhs are citizens. But if Canada gets a Sikh Prime Minister some day, its very own Manmohan Singh, then that would be a remarkable achievement for the Sikh community, and a major footnote to the illustrious Sikh history.

The Sikhs were at the forefront of the Indian independence movement. Punjab bore the brunt of the violent India-Pakistan partition. The Sikhs are the most visible component of the Indian Army. Sikhs live everywhere in India. And Sikhism is like a bridge religion between Hinduism and Islam.

If Jagmeet Singh's party wins more seats than Justin Trudeau's party in the next election, Trudeau's party would be the junior partner in the next government.

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

4: India's Space-Tech Sector

The Surprising Striver in the World’s Space Business With at least 140 registered space-tech start-ups, India stands to transform the planet’s connection to the final frontier.......... When it launched its first rocket in 1963, India was a poor country pursuing the world’s most cutting-edge technology. That projectile, its nose cone wheeled to the launchpad by a bicycle, put a small payload 124 miles above the Earth. India was barely pretending to keep up with the United States and the Soviet Union. ......... It’s one of India’s most sought-after sectors for venture capital investors. The start-ups’ growth has been explosive, leaping from five when the pandemic started. ........ anticipates a global need for 30,000 satellites to be launched this decade. ........ the White House’s statement said the two leaders “called for enhanced commercial collaboration between the U.S. and Indian private sectors in the entire value chain of the space economy.” .......... An image of India’s first satellite graced the two-rupee note until 1995. ......... Driven more by private enterprise than by gigantic government budgets, space technology is fulfilling smaller-scale, commercial purposes. Imaging systems feed information about the planet back to Earth, helping India’s farmers insure their crops or commercial fishing fleets track their catch. Satellites bring phone signals to the country’s remotest corners and help operate solar farms far from India’s megacities. ......... Last year, the space start-ups raked in $120 million in new investment, at a rate that is doubling or tripling annually. ......... Its spaceport, on the coastal island of Sriharikota, is near the Equator and suitable for launches into different orbital levels. The government agency’s “workhorse” rocket is one of the world’s most reliable for heavy loads. With a success rate of almost 95 percent, it has halved the cost of insurance for a satellite — making India one of the most competitive launch sites in the world. ............. there is money to be made launching equipment into space: That market is worth about $6 billion this year and could triple in value by 2025. .......... In any given month, Kranthi Chand, its head of strategy, is hardly there, as he spends about one week in Europe and another in the United States, rounding up clients and investors. ......... SpaceX, and its relaunchable rockets brought down the cost of sending heavy objects into orbit so much that India could not compete. Even today, from American spaceports at $6,500 per kilogram, SpaceX’s launches are the cheapest anywhere........... “We are more like a cab,” Mr. Chandana said. His company charges higher rates for smaller-payload launches, whereas SpaceX “is more like a bus or a train, where they take all their passengers and put them in one destination,” he said. ............... Decades of doing business with ISRO created about 400 private companies in clusters around Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and elsewhere, each devoted to building special screws, sealants and other products fit for space. One hundred may collaborate on a single launch. ................. Even bigger chunks of the satellite business will inevitably go to consumer broadband and TV services, beamed down from low orbit.

Can Biden Change the Economic Narrative? The measurable economic harm from unemployment, for instance, is much higher than that from inflation. ........ What didn’t happen, despite a drumbeat of dire warnings in the news media, was a recession. The U.S. economy added four million jobs over the past year, and the unemployment rate has remained near a 50-year low. ......... a surge in rents that ended in mid-2022. This surge, by the way, was probably caused by the rise in remote work triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic rather than by any Biden administration policy. ......... a novel indicator — what information people are searching for on the internet — you’ll find that searches for both “inflation” and “recession” soared in 2021-22 along with the misery index but have plunged over the past year. ........... Strong consumer spending, record levels of air travel and many other indicators suggest that Americans are feeling pretty good about their economic circumstances.......... Ronald Reagan still had fairly low approval in mid-1983, then went on to win a landslide in 1984 on the strength of the economy’s recovery.

France Is on Fire Nahel M., a 17-year-old male of Moroccan and Algerian descent, was fatally shot by a police officer at a traffic stop, setting off a countrywide revolt over police violence and racism. Over the past several nights, protests have erupted in spectacular fashion. From Toulouse and Lille to Marseille and Paris, groups of protesters have sacked police stations and looted or vandalized scores of businesses, hurling Molotov cocktails and setting off barrages of fireworks at public buildings and the riot police. Nearly 1,000 people have been arrested. ........ The anger shows no sign of abating. The killing of Nahel M. — which to many appeared more like a summary execution — exposed the most extreme form of the police violence that has long targeted communities of color in France. .......... cellphone footage taken by a bystander quickly shifted the narrative. The video, which surfaced soon after the killing, shows two officers standing beside the vehicle, one aiming his pistol toward the driver’s window at point-blank range. Though it’s unclear who uttered them, the words “I’m going to put a bullet in your head” can be made out before the car began to accelerate and the fatal shot was fired. Nahel M. died an hour later. ......... a “contagion” of the banlieues — the economically depressed, multiracial urban areas that experience the brunt of French policing. “Nothing justifies the death of a young person,” Mr. Macron said on Wednesday, calling the actions of the police “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.” For Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, the officers’ conduct was “clearly not in conformity with the rules of engagement.” ........... In December 2020, when Mr. Macron made the relatively blunt concession that “someone with a skin color that isn’t white is much more likely to be subjected to searches,” he was rebuked by France’s powerful police unions, whose members refused to carry out traffic stops and ID checks. ......... For many French people, especially marginalized young men of color, Nahel M.’s killing is the latest demonstration of the intrinsic violence of the police — and beyond it, evidence of a society that wants little of them and would rather they disappear. But they, and their anger, are not going anywhere. “We’re exhausted and just strung out by stories like this,” Djigui, the protester, told me. “For years, France has been like a pressure cooker.” .

Missed Monday Night’s Supermoon? We’ve Got You Covered. The July supermoon, also called the buck moon, is the first of four supermoons expected this year......... The supermoon, which was flush with amber and red tones, was 14,000 miles closer to earth than typical full moons. ....... can be about 17 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a full moon at apogee, or its farthest point from Earth. .

A.I. Is Coming for Mathematics, Too For thousands of years, mathematicians have adapted to the latest advances in logic and reasoning. Are they ready for artificial intelligence? ......... For more than 2,000 years, Euclid’s text was the paradigm of mathematical argumentation and reasoning. “Euclid famously starts with ‘definitions’ that are almost poetic,” Jeremy Avigad, a logician at Carnegie Mellon University, said in an email. “He then built the mathematics of the time on top of that, proving things in such a way that each successive step ‘clearly follows’ from previous ones, using the basic notions, definitions and prior theorems.” ............ In 1976, the four-color theorem — which states that four colors are sufficient to fill a map so that no two adjacent regions are the same color — became the first major theorem proved with the help of computational brute force. ............ a computer system would match or exceed the problem-solving ability of the best human mathematicians within a decade. Last year he revised the target date to 2026. ............ only in the last couple years have mathematicians started worrying about A.I.’s potential threats, whether to mathematical aesthetics or to themselves. ......... A.I. gadgetry might do the same for mathematics, he added: “It’s very clear that the question is, What can machines do for us, not what will machines do to us.” .......... By the end of a verification, she said, “I’m really, really deep into understanding the proof, way deeper than I’ve ever understood before. I’m thinking so clearly that I can explain it to a really dumb computer.” .......... “Two-hundred-terabyte maths proof is largest ever,” a headline in Nature announced. The article went on to ask whether solving problems with such tools truly counted as math. In Dr. Heule’s view, this approach is needed “to solve problems that are beyond what humans can do.” ............... Ultimately, Dr. Wu said, he envisioned an “automated mathematician” that has “the capability of solving a mathematical theorem all by itself.” ............ the potentially conflicting goals and values of research mathematics and the tech and defense industries. ........... Reasoning is quintessential to the mathematical process, and it is the crucial unsolved problem of machine learning. .............. Like the ancient geometer Euclid, the neural net had somehow intuitively discerned a mathematical truth, but the logical “why” of it was far from obvious............ Like the ancient geometer Euclid, the neural net had somehow intuitively discerned a mathematical truth, but the logical “why” of it was far from obvious. ........... trying to understand what goes on inside a neural net raises “fascinating mathematical questions,” and that finding answers presents an opportunity for mathematicians “to contribute meaningfully to the world.” .

Her Plan for Putting the World Back Together? Trees. Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s connection to trees stems from an ancient Irish prophecy she heard in childhood. And she thinks trees are crucial in addressing climate change. .

The Supreme Court Turns ‘Equal Protection’ Upside Down the reality of modern America, where prejudice and racism endure. ........ As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent, the decision cements “a superficial rule of colorblindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter.” ......... In states that have already banned affirmative action in higher education, the percentage of Black students has dropped, in some cases dramatically. Black enrollment at the University of Michigan was 4 percent in 2021, down from 7 percent in 2006 ......... Last year it was women seeking the constitutional right to have an abortion; this year it is chiefly Black and Latino students who want a shot at the economic opportunity that can come from a college degree........... With their supermajority now firmly in charge, the Republican-appointed justices have had free rein to upend swaths of American law in order to achieve long-held goals of the conservative movement. ........... what Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described in her dissent as a “let-them-eat-cake obliviousness” to the role of race in daily life. .......... a simple — and simplistic — point: There is no real difference between the centuries of racial discrimination against Black people and targeted race-conscious efforts to help Black people. Both are equally bad, in this view. ............ As President Lyndon Johnson said in a 1965 commencement speech at Howard University, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” ........... Diversifying medical schools by opening up the profession to Black physicians can save lives, she notes. Black infants, for example, are more likely to survive under the care of a Black doctor. Diversity also expands economic benefits and social understanding. A diverse student body, she wrote, means that “students of every race will come to have a greater appreciation and understanding of civic virtue, democratic values, and our country’s commitment to equality.” ............... Unlike abortion rights, most Americans oppose race-based admissions programs for colleges, polls show. These programs have, for instance, been insufficient for addressing economic disparities, which are a crippling barrier to millions of Americans of all colors. ............. More evidence is needed around whether the most commonly proposed alternatives — giving a leg up to students from lower socioeconomic groups, for example, or admitting the top 10 percent of students from each high school in a state — boost minorities into better jobs and more stable lives. ........... Many schools, of course, already engage in one particularly insidious form of wealth-based affirmative action: legacy admissions. The children of alumni — who are overwhelmingly white — enjoy a far better chance than other applicants of getting accepted to the nation’s top colleges and universities, which, as this board has argued, constitutes “a form of property transfer from one generation to another.” It has a far larger impact on the racial and socioeconomic makeup of student bodies than race-based affirmative action ever has. At Harvard, an estimated 14 percent of students, most of whom are white, are there at least in part because of a legacy. Reducing or eliminating this practice could create new opportunities for all kinds of students who normally don’t have a chance of getting into a top school...............

“Our country has never been colorblind,” Justice Jackson wrote. “Deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”


Thursday, June 22, 2023

22: Modi

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Thursday, June 15, 2023

15: India

'Dr. Doom' Nouriel Roubini: AI will unleash productivity in a way we haven't seen a new McKinsey study identified 63 generative AI use cases spanning 16 business functions that could unleash $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion in economic benefits annually.............. Current generative AI and other technologies have the potential to automate work activities that absorb 60 to 70 percent of employees’ time today ......... ..Salesforce says its AI Cloud product will allow marketers to auto-generate personalized content for customers and developers to auto-generate code, among other use cases......... .

Ukraine Reports Slow Progress at Start of Counteroffensive “This is a very difficult fight,” he said. “It’s a very violent fight, and it will likely take a considerable amount of time at a high cost.”........ “Behind these were complex minefields of anti-tank and antipersonnel mines,” he wrote. Ukrainian forces trying to push forward into these areas will most likely be closely tracked by Russian drones and targeted by Russian artillery. And near the main Russian defensive lines are “properly dug trenches and concrete-reinforced firing posts, tank obstacles, ground-laid cable to coordinate artillery strikes and even more mines,” he wrote.

America’s new best friend: Why India is indispensable . .

Joe Biden and Narendra Modi are drawing their countries closer India does not love the West, but it is indispensable to America ........ No country except China has propped up Russia’s war economy as much as oil-thirsty India. And few big democracies have slid further in the rankings of democratic freedom. But you would not guess it from the rapturous welcome Narendra Modi will receive in Washington next week. India’s prime minister has been afforded the honour of a state visit by President Joe Biden. The Americans hope to strike defence deals. Mr Modi will be one of the few foreign leaders, along with Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Volodymyr Zelensky, to address a joint session of Congress more than once. The praise gushed on Capitol Hill about the partnership makes no mention of Ukraine, democracy or grit in the gears of America’s new best friendship............... the global clout of the South Asian giant is rising fast. Its economy is the world’s fifth biggest. Its 18m-strong diaspora is thriving, from America to the Gulf. And India has become indispensable to America’s effort to assert itself in Asia and deter Chinese aggression .......... huge, capitalist, democratic and wary of China, India is also poor, populist and, ....... dismissive of the vestiges of the post-1945 Western order. ............. One of the fastest-growing economies, its gdp is expected to overtake Japan’s and Germany’s by 2028, even as it treads a novel path towards getting rich. ........... Think not just of call centres but data scientists for Goldman Sachs. Infrastructure has also improved under Mr Modi and his immediate predecessors, and manufacturing may pick up as supply chains diversify from China: Apple assembles 7% of iPhones in India. India’s chief failing is its vast numbers of unskilled, jobless young people. It is trying to help them by pioneering a digital welfare state. .......... Thanks in part to its diaspora, India’s soft power is world-beating. The bosses of Alphabet, ibm and Microsoft are of Indian descent, as are the heads of three of America’s five top business schools. Reflecting the accomplishment of Indian-Americans, 70% of the wider American public views India favourably, compared with 15% for China. ............... is essentially pragmatic. Ideologically, it is suspicious of Western countries and flatly rejects their claim to global leadership. .......... India is an American strategic partner that mistrusts the West, is unlikely ever to enter a formal alliance with America and is attached to Russia, which supplies it with arms. .......... It wants to bolster its land defences against China, not fight over Taiwan. ............. only 60m of its 1.4bn people have formal jobs ......... The Biden administration’s efforts to accelerate technology transfer to India seem a promising example. By boosting India’s defence industry, America hopes to wean it off dud Russian weapons and provide an affordable new source of arms for other Asian democracies. Other areas of co-operation could include clean energy and tech, where both seek to avoid relying on China. .......... To work, the relationship will have to function like a long-term business partnership: India and America may not like everything about it, but think of the huge upside. It may be the most important transaction of the 21st century. .

The real injustice would have been not to indict Donald Trump The former president must be subject to due process .

In conversation with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar A transcript of The Economist’s interview with India’s foreign minister ......... you will see next week is a public and visible expression of the state of the relationship between India and the United States, which is very good, which is getting better by the day, which is getting more consequential by the day. ......... this relationship is on the right track and moving forward very, very rapidly. .......... Two decades ago India had virtually no defence dealings with the United States, there was an arms embargo after 1965. There were a few exceptions here and there. But by and large, for 40 years, there were actually no significant military sales from the United States to India at all. ............. Trade’s been good, investment flows are growing. The technology connect has been strong. The number of students going up and down is good. You have a lot of Americans residing in India, because many of them are of Indian origin. So by any metric civil-society support is very strong. This is a relationship which has support in the street. And that’s not always the case with the United States, nowadays. It’s a popular relationship. And I think there’s an enormous tailwind that is propelling us forward. .......... For the last decade you have had a government which does not have those ideological hesitations. So you will see the relationship move forward much more smoothly. ............ an India which is able to play on the big stage, which is able to handle the contradictions of multiple powers who often do not get along with each other. An India that’s making this huge effort to transform the immediate neighbourhood, so that we create the kind of regionalism which has sadly been absent for four decades ............. if you ask me what changed since you first started in this business, I would say it’s actually the India-us relationship. ................

the post-1945 order has been severely challenged, and that they need a new template, new partners, that they need to look beyond alliance constructs.

............. the media lags behind in its understanding of policy ............ If you were to ask me, is your relationship with the uk or us primarily about security? I would say, look, relationships are about relationships. Do security issues come up? Of course they do. .............. the Quad does humanitarian assistance, disaster resilience, the Quad had a stab at vaccination. It does fellowships, it does critical and emerging technologies. It does telecom. .................... the Quad’s four countries, who happen to be in the four corners of the Indo-Pacific, have come together because they believe that their interests are better served by working together ............ you have the two claimed lands, the Indian-claimed land, and the Chinese-claimed land, they do not coincide. And both sides send out patrols to assert their claim line. And the problem can often be that these patrols collide with each other and then contest their jurisdictions. This has been the running problem. ......... There have been 18 rounds of commander-level talks. You have been making progress working through the different flash points, and the pattern has been to create some buffer zones on both sides. So if you can do the same in Demchok and the Depsang plains, which are the points they’re talking about now, .................. This is a really complex problem, which is why we need so many rounds and such great effort. It’s not a question of looking at the map and deciding what you’re going to do. There’s a topography out there. The topography has its own value and its own disadvantages. So each one has been a very detailed, very complex negotiation. ............... My relations with the United States, as I pointed out, have been steadily developing for two decades, and in the last decade, have accelerated. There’s empirical data out there to show that quite independently of anything that happened on the China border, India-us relations were ticking along, more than ticking along, just fine. .............. I don’t take the us Congress as an undifferentiated mass. I think there are more knowledgeable people and less knowledgeable people. I’m not in any way diminishing the second category, it’s just that they’re not as familiar with the relationship and with us as those who are more knowledgeable................ they completely understood that the Russia relationship is an outcome of 60 years of history. And after 60 years of history it’s not as though you say, I’ve changed my mind. That’s not the way real life works. ........... America chose not to sell arms to India after 1965 we really had no choice but to go to the Soviet Union. .............. For us, there are three big Eurasian powers, Russia, China, and India. That has its own dynamics. This is not transactional. This is geopolitical. ............... It’s been a cardinal principle of our foreign policy, which still remains valid, that maintaining a strong relationship and a good relationship with Russia is essential. The geopolitical logic indicates that. So I don’t want to dumb this down to military dependence. .................. I expect Russia to turn more towards Asia. Historically, Russia has seen itself as European. Throughout history the self-perception of Russians has been very European, not Asian. The current events may well make them turn around, reposition their priorities and look much more at what Asian or non-Western partners have to offer ............ you have India today, fifth-largest economy moving towards becoming third, probably by the end of the decade, clearly an increasingly major consumer of resources, growing exporter of goods and services. So if you have a Russia which focuses more on Asia, and an India which is a bigger and bigger factor in the global economy, to me it’s common sense that the two trends intersect. .............. we’ve been seriously negotiating an fta [free-trade agreement] with the uk. With the eu, we have the Eurasian Economic Union fta, which was sort of stuttering along. ........... To move, during the lockdown, the biggest number of forces since 1962, in violation of two agreements, which had explicit clauses which prevented them from doing so–I think that has raised a whole lot of question marks. .......... The fact is, this is an extraordinarily self-absorbed society. It needs regular reminders that there is a world out there, and that there are things happening in that world, which impacts our society and our interest very, very deeply. .................. the world has come to your doorstep. Look at the example of covid. Something which happened somewhere else took over every Indian household for two and a half years. And even a conflict like Ukraine has a direct impact on inflation, on energy costs. Given these deep links, this was a plea for greater activity. .............. the younger-generation Indian must start preparing to go out in the world more, to have opinions, to wade into debates, to try to shape and influence. .............. in the last decade you have seen an India, which just in development work is present in 78 countries in the world. And we have done or are in the midst of doing almost 600 major projects. Now, these are not just neighbouring countries, this could be as far away as Latin America and Central America, Caribbean, Pacific. ..................... Take our stepping forward where Sri Lanka was concerned. It took them ages to negotiate that deal with the IMF. They would have sunk if I hadn’t had the willingness to put four and a half billion dollars on the table for them. ........... Preparations for a global footprint take two generations, we should have started earlier, but at least we are starting now. ............ our industrial policy, our embrace of technology, our desire to see technology-driven goods produced in this country–this is a 25-year vision. ................ The old 1990s-model of globalisation asked, where can I get it on scale? Where can I get it at cost? And where can I get it on time? This globalisation we’re heading to asks, who’s handling my data? What are the legal rules and constraints out there? Where is the supply chain passing through? Which part of it can be leveraged at the wrong moment? And how do I build redundancy and in some cases separation? This takes the form of many debates, including the de-risking debate. I think that’s a more sensible way of capturing it than decoupling, which is too strong a word and too impractical an option..................... We have one major card, which is human resources, that I can churn out people at a scale and rate which no other democratic society can. ......... imagine an India with much stronger human resources, with a much better infrastructure, with a much easier, friendlier business club, which has arrangements with a lot of major economies which make possible easier flows and greater confluence. It would be a very different India ........... When you speak of a world of trusted collaboration, because that’s the world we are heading towards, which countries will be able to work with which other countries? I think India has a lot to offer in that world............. A large part of the developing world is under stress. They had a triple whammy, because first they got hit by a set of economic forces, including higher interest rates, then they had this very scarring experience of covid. And then you have the knock-on effects from the Ukraine war. ............... when we got the G20 presidency, one of the first things he did was to say, I want to consult 125 others and ask: if we speak for you, please tell us what we should be saying? ......... we did that exercise, meaning we are not a self-assigned spokesperson of the South ............. You know the us food stamp system. Here we’re not giving you the stamp, we’re giving you the food, and we’re giving it to 800 million people. You have payments, you can say unemployment benefits, you’re actually able to put payments into the bank account of more than 400 million people because there is a digital backbone, and a sense of purpose, and an inclusive approach. ................... We’re doing a housing programme where you build houses for those most vulnerable. We’ve done 31 million houses. And if you take an Indian family at 4.8 people per family, that’s 150 million people who are house owners because of this scheme. ................... when people look for analogies for Modi, he might actually be more analogous to fdr [Franklin D. Roosevelt] in terms of a new deal. A large part of the population in India may actually perceive him as someone who has taken social benefits to them on an unprecedented scale.

Narendra Modi is the world’s most popular leader The prime minister’s odious Muslim-bashing is not the main reason ......... one of the most remarkable developments in global politics. Over the past nine years the bjp has emerged, in two general elections and dozens of state ones, as India’s biggest party. Yet it is far short of having a popular majority. It controls only half of India’s 28 states. In general elections, it seems nonetheless to have a lock on power, for the next five years and probably more, thanks to the popularity of Narendra Modi. With an approval rating of 77%, the prime minister is more than twice as popular as his party. He is by far the world’s most popular elected leader............ Mr Modi is benefiting from a combination of good luck, political brilliance and ruthlessness. ........... Contrary to the story he tells, India’s economy has not done better under his government than under its Congress-led predecessors. Yet under its weak, uncharismatic fourth-generation dynastic leader, Rahul Gandhi, Congress has failed to lay claim to this success, let alone promise a repeat performance. ..................... Mr Gandhi is half Italian and, like his father, grandmother and great-grandfather, all Indian prime ministers, Oxbridge-educated. Mr Modi was born poor, is largely self-taught and, partly because that describes millions of Indians, hugely admired for it. Another Cambridge-educated Congress luminary once dismissed him as a chaiwala (tea-seller)—which he was. No political barb has backfired more disastrously. ................ Mr Modi’s genius is his ability to capture the political narrative in such ways. He is adept at reading mass sentiment and, as a relentless campaigner, courts it as no other Indian leader has since Indira Gandhi, or ever. Also like Mrs Gandhi, he claims credit for everything his government has achieved—and much that it has not. His smiling image, ubiquitous on billboards, is the face of welfare schemes, infrastructure projects and diplomatic shindigs. In a time of tumultuous change, many Indians crave a kingly figure whom they can thank for the progress they hope for, and trust to manage the uncertainties they fear. “Only Modi knows how to implement things,” says Rajdip Ghosh, a 34-year-old it professional in Kolkata (who was named after Mr Gandhi’s father, Rajiv). “Modi-ji is providing so many houses for the poor,” says Narendra Yadav, a 55-year-old driver in Delhi. “During the pandemic Modi-ji saved so many lives.” .

Russia Issues Dire Warning About Nuclear War . .

Zelensky Adviser Hints Real Ukraine Counteroffensive Yet to Begin
Smoke From Canada Wildfires Is Returning to New York The smoke is expected to be thickest on Friday morning, but forecasters said the region would be spared the orange haze that settled last week. .
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To Truly Understand the Past, Pick Up an Old Magazine Find a print issue, preferably more than 20 years old, and read it cover to cover. You’ll find the old days stranger than you remember. .

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