HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Manas Chakravarty

Nothing worse than being born poor in this country

Very tricky characters, our cute Indian kids. You never know what they’ll be up to next. In 2013, guess what they did — 1.3 million of the little blighters died before reaching their fifth birthday. That’s 3,561 of them popping off every day, 148 every hour. Now what on earth do they mean by doing that?

It’s high time we threw our many hats in the ring

Prime ministers usually wear more than one hat. Apart from his ministerial hat, he often has to put on an orator hat, sometimes a party leader hat, maybe an economist hat and even a foreign policy hat. Our prime minister has taken this multiple-hat thing to a whole new dimension.

Sanskrit for starters and then biriyani for lunch

We seem to have asked everybody their opinion about replacing German with Sanskrit in schools except the students. To mend matters, here’s a selection of letters allegedly written by schoolkids, the contents of which are self-explanatory.

Hooray, hooray, it’s a holiday, every single day

The spectre of history is haunting India. Wherever you turn, they seem to be talking of Nehru and Patel and Aryans and Hemu. Those of us who passed our history exams by smuggling in little slips of paper in our undies have a hunted look these days.

Our share may be shrinking but the pie is growing

Readers of English newspapers would be in the top 5%, owning 65.5% or almost two-thirds of the country ... Those in the top 1% own 49%

An inspirational essay could help you bag a job

During the long hours I have spent in office, I have not only been able to master the quick crosswords of national newspapers, but have also graduated to solving the cryptic crosswords that appear in the international papers. To young civil servants eager to know my secret, I can only point to gruelling practice.

Make a clean sweep in the Indian sweepstakes

I'm worried that merely a moral call to clean up may soon fizzle out. Instead, we need a scheme that will ensure sustained interest in the campaign, writes Mint's consulting editor Manas Chakravarty.

Let them have Jalebis, Rasmalai and Rasgullas

You must have heard of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by now. It’s been shouted about so much you couldn’t forget it even if you wanted to.

On life support now, but the patient may wake up

Mr. Congress been suffering from chronic dynasty-itis, acute kowtowing and high corruption-pressure for a long time. Recently he also suffered from driving-the-economy-down-the-tube-itis and inflationosis, writes Manas Chakravarthy satirically.

An Orwellian dilemma in the Maharashtra polls

It’s a tough decision. Earlier, we in Maharashtra were faced with clear alternatives, writes Manas Chakravarty.

Fish fry, parathas, rolls, all food for the gods

The most important part of the Puja is the ancient ritual known as pandal-hopping. In fact, calling those glorious edifices built to resemble temples or Facebook pages or spaceships mere pandals borders on blasphemy.

Buffaloes should lead the ‘Make in India’ charge

Buffaloes can expect no justice from you, for your society is rabidly racist. It is simply animal apartheid, writes Manas Chakravarty.

Hee-Haw works heroically for our foreign policy

The prime minister’s pro-active foreign policy is taking a tremendous toll on foreign ministry mandarins, said a chap smoking something interesting outside South Block, who claimed he was a big shot there. I couldn’t disbelieve him, as he was wearing a Nehru jacket. This is his story:

The night Mr Menon gave his jacket to save money

Et tu, Kerala? Who would have thought that Malayalis, of all people, would ban booze. It’s terrible, of course, but it does give me an excuse to tell the story of Mr Menon, my favourite Malayali tippler.

Let the dear man provide us bread and circuses

Practically everybody has been airing his views on our new prime minister’s first 100 days in office. I, on the contrary, think it churlish to expect the prime minister to do things in a mere 100 days. Manas Chakravarty writes.
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