When Openness is Unfreedom (alternatively, when data is unfreedom) – Part II

This is the second post in the series that I began in October. I want to thank Rasagy Sharma for prompting me to put down the second post in this series. This evening, Rasagy raised a question on twitter about whether the effort of a developer to make the database of the Indian railways downloadable is … More When Openness is Unfreedom (alternatively, when data is unfreedom) – Part II

When Openness is Unfreedom (alternatively, when data is unfreedom) – Part I

“I think we need to remember that a point of view brought under public scrutiny and discussion in an isolated manner may sometimes present a distorted or incomplete picture of what really happened in the process of making the final decisions.” – Dr. Manmohan Singh, talking in the context of RTI and decision-making Lately, one … More When Openness is Unfreedom (alternatively, when data is unfreedom) – Part I

The Sublime Object of Anti-Corruption: Sumandro

 Guest post by SUMANDRO Recent discussion around the issue of corruption in Kafila has generated several references to and logical possibilities of understanding anti-corruption as an ideology, however, without finally drawing that conclusion. In this post I argue that the specific ideological functioning of this idea of anti-corruption is central for understanding the nature of … More The Sublime Object of Anti-Corruption: Sumandro

Letter from Ladakh

13th August 2011 Dear Chintan, Some days ago, I was at Pangong Tso. Pangong is a lake, a large saltwater lake. I heard some days ago that the lake is not very deep. The waters were blue, green and clear at different spots, reminding me of my first visit to Robben Islands in Cape Town in … More Letter from Ladakh

Cities and Infrastructure – The Road Widening Saga in Bangalore

This blog post is not about the arbitrariness and authoritativeness that the municipality, development authorities, police and other government officials are displaying with regards to the road widening issue. Without a slightest doubt, the authoritarian and arbitrary behaviour of these government authorities must be publicly condemned and opposed. But, we also need to focus our energies into understanding why road widening is being promoted and executed in Bangalore with the frenzy and arbitrariness that we are seeing currently. …. … More Cities and Infrastructure – The Road Widening Saga in Bangalore

Mediation, Middle Grounds and Meddling – The Medley of Middlemen

[Dedicated to Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay on account of “receiving ends”] Couple of weeks ago, I was attempting to rent out the apartment that my mother and I own in an urban sprawl in South Bangalore. Among others, a broker – referring to himself as a ‘property consultant’ – approached me with a client. I met the … More Mediation, Middle Grounds and Meddling – The Medley of Middlemen

Of Fakes, Duplicates and Originals – the Tale of Ration Cards and the Trail of Transparency in Governance

On 2nd May 2011, the front page of the Times of India (TOI) beamed and screamed: “Don’t pay a bribe, file an RTI application – Equally Effective in Ensuring Service”. Two doctoral candidates at Yale University’s political science department had conducted field experiments in the bastis in Delhi in the year 2007 regarding poor people’s experiences … More Of Fakes, Duplicates and Originals – the Tale of Ration Cards and the Trail of Transparency in Governance