Book Review: “The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East”

The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013 by Timur Kuran Middle East, the region that includes the old Ottoman Empire, Iran, Egypt, the Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria, Libya etc., countries), is marred with economic backwardness and wars at least since last millennia. This cradle of civilization, where […]

The Laws of Economics are always in Action

Last year the government of India passed a bill extending maternity benefit leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the pregnant women with lot of fan-fare. The objective of this law was to protect the employment of women during the time of pregnancy and entitles them to full paid absence from work to take […]

RBI Should Make the Cash Crunch Permanent

Many states of India are again experiencing situation like demonetization of 2016. ATMs all across India are running dry and we are seeing long lines outside banks. The finance minister Mr. Arun Jaitley said that this shortage of cash is because of unusual sudden spike in the demand for money. Newspapers are citing causes related […]

India’s Population: Asset or Liability?

After the recent fire at a pub in Mumbai that killed 14 young girls, Hema Malini, a Member of Parliament, in an interview complained of excessive population growth, non-stop expansion of urban areas, lack of planning, failure of citizens to adhere to rules, and corruption among public servant. Her statements—particularly the ones related with increasing […]

India is Not an Investment Haven

Decades old investment treaty with foreign governments was scrapped last year by the Modi government. The new treaty, which is offered by the Modi government to foreign investors, is having terms and conditions that give no protection to foreign investors, which is the reason why they are now reluctant to enter the Indian market: Negotiators […]

Indian Culture and Economic Development

Which factors determine country’s economic development? Development scholars have looked into this question for more than a century and they came up with different explanations like the theory of colonial victimization, dependency theory, geography and climate, institutions, culture etc. Out of these explanations the cultural explanation is fundamental. I strongly think that culture is the […]

India’s Border Problems

India has border disputes with Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Are India’s neighbours particularly unfriendly? Is India necessarily so honest that we must trust the map that the Indian government provides us? In reality, any line on the world-map—depending on the scale of the map and the kind of the pen used—represents a […]

Can India avoid becoming the next Pakistan?

Pakistan faces two major external foes. One is India, whose economy is eight-times larger, and hence has a much higher capacity to finance the military. The other external foe is the existence of Afghanistan, a chaotic bunch of tribes that is a country only on the map. In trying to tame it, the USSR faced […]

Financial Corruption isn’t the Real Problem

Those hoping to clean up our institutions imagine conducting sting operations, with hidden cameras, to catch the culprits in action. There is nothing wrong with such investigations. Governments should be afraid of the citizens. However, it is erroneous to think that the removal of bribery would solve the problems and defects of our institutions. Survival […]

Strange Nationalism of India: No Interest in the Fellow Citizen

India ranks 100th in hunger, below North Korea, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. The GDP of India on per capita basis (2016: US$1,709) is lower than that of Africa. At least 50% of Indians do not have access to toilets. Officially 35% cannot read or write—the reality of literacy and employability is much worse. 240 million […]