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Jeffrey Bussgang is a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and professor at Harvard Business School. In his book, Entering StartUpLand you seek your ideal entry point into this popular, cutting-edge organizational paradigm. It is a practical, step-by-step guide that provides an insider’s analysis of various start-up roles and responsibilities. You’ll gain insight into how successful startups operate and learn to assess which ones you might want to join–or emulate.
 
When I was head of Marketing at one of my startups, our sales director in Australia came to our annual sales meeting bearing a gift for me: a boomerang. He said it was because I always came back to him with answers to his questions when he was in the field chasing sales opportunities. I keep that boomerang in my office to this day and still think about how much field sales people appreciate it when the marketing team gets back to them in a timely, responsive fashion. For a marketing executive, being customer focused means paying attention to your internal customers as well as your external ones.
When entrepreneurs discuss with me the reasons they need to raise money for their startups, the focus is typically placed first on building the product and then selling it. The two most expensive functions at a startup are the product team and the sales team. Marketing profoundly affects them both: on one side, it heavily influences product design; on the other, it focuses and supports Sales. So the marketing function is like the productivity engine of the startup. When a startup has a great marketing function, the product and sales teams both look amazingly productive, and nobody knows why. Everybody typically credits the head of Sales and the head of Product, but behind the scenes, it’s Marketing that makes them look good.
Marketing, in other words, is the unsung hero of the startup.
Strangely, startups often hire marketing people too late. First they hire the team required to build the product—product managers or engineers. Then they hire one or two salespeople to sell the product. Remember the organization chart for my twelve-person startup in chapter 1 (figure 1-2)? There are zero marketing people. It’s a common mistake.
Typically, the first marketing person might get hired as employee number twenty or thirty, often after a startup hits a snag. Perhaps the sales force has become unproductive and is idling. So the startup scrambles to get a marketing function installed quickly to help. By then, though, it’s often too late. When a startup misses its sales numbers, the sales people get blamed. But the problem, typically, is not that the salespeople are incompetent; it’s that the startup lacks marketers who can generate leads and acquisitions for those salespeople. As a result, Sales is either getting bad leads or no leads at all. They’re lacking the good, competitive weapons that skilled marketers can provide, so they’re struggling to win.
That’s when the company needs Marketing. It needs Marketing to provide support for Sales.
Grab a copy of the book: Entering StartUpLand 

 

6 Statements from ‘Demonetization and Black Economy’ that are point on about demonetization

Arun Kumar is the country’s leading authority on the black economy. In his recent book Demonetisation and the Black Economy he gives a lucid account of demonetization along with its effects on the economy.

Here are six statements by Prof Kumar which describe impacts and effects of demonetisation.






Competing on Analytics with External Processes

Competing on Analytics provides the road map for becoming an analytical competitor, showing readers how to create new strategies for their organizations based on sophisticated analytics. Introducing a five-stage model of analytical competition, Davenport and Harris describe the typical behaviors, capabilities and challenges of each stage. It is the definitive guide for transforming your company’s fortunes in the age of analytics and big data.

Thomas H. Davenport is the President’s Distinguished Professor of IT and Management at Babson College and a research fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Jeanne G. Harris is on the faculty at Columbia University, where she teaches Business Analytics Management.
 
The  great  challenge  for  brand  managers  in  the  current  age,  however, is developing a closed loop of analytics describing how customers interact with a brand across multiple channels. With this information, brands can learn not only what ads and promotions customers see, but how  they  react  in  terms  of click-throughs,  conversions,  and  service. Most  companies  find  it  difficult  to  marshal  all  this  data  and  make sense of it with analytics.
One company that does do it well, however, is Disney’s Parks and Resorts business unit. The business has long been highly analytical, optimizing hotel prices, ride times, and marketing offers. Now, however, due to a “vacation management” project called MyMagic+ that cost over $1 billion and began in 2008, it is able to close the loop on how all that marketing translates into a customer experience. The ambitious goal of MyMagic+ is to provide a more magical, immersive, seamless and personal experience for every single guest. From the beginning of planning a Disney park or hotels reservation, the customer is encouraged to register and to supply an email address. The customer can plan a family trip (and, at the same time, register all family members or friends participating in the trip) with the MyDisneyExperience website or app. Disney is then able to learn what activities the customer is considering and what web pages engage different family members. Customers are also encouraged to sign up for the FastPass+ service, which offers them shorter wait times; in exchange, they share information  about  the  park  attractions,  entertainment  options,  and  even greetings from Disney characters they intend to experience.
What really closes the loop for Disney, however, is the MagicBand. Rolled out in 2013, these wristbands are typically mailed to a family before its visit starts. From the customer’s standpoint, it allows access to the park and hotel rooms, FastPass+ entry to attractions at specific times,  and   in-park and hotel purchases. It also stores photos taken with  Disney  characters,  and  allows  the  characters  to  have  personalized  interactions  with  kids.  From  Disney’s  standpoint,  it  provides  a  goldmine  of  data,  including  customer  locations,  character  interactions, purchase histories, ride patterns, and much more. If customers opt in, Disney will send personalized offers to them during their stay and after they return home.
The  scale  and  expense  of  the  MyMagic+  system  is  reflective  of the fact that the ante has been raised for competing on analytics. It may  take  a  while  for  Disney  to  recoup  its  billion-dollar  investment in this closed loop system, but the company has already seen operational benefits in being able to admit more customers to parks on busy days. There is also a belief that the system will deter customers from visiting competitor parks. Key to the ultimate value of the program, however, will be extensive analytics on how marketing and branding programs translate into actual customer activity.
Find this book:- Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning 

What is the meaning of fitness?

Shivoham is one of India’s foremost fitness trainers. In his book,‘The Shivfit Way’ he shows how to work out without any equipment or machines. He combines cardio, strength training and weight exercises for a full-body workout. He also offers a whole new perspective on what it means to be fit and how to motivate yourself to start exercising. This book is coauthored by Shrenik Avlani, who is a newsroom veteran with nearly two decades of work experience as a leading writer in the field of endurance sport and fitness.


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fitness as ‘the quality or state of being fit’, while fit is defined as ‘sound physically and mentally’. Though the word was first used in 1580 ad, its dictionary 
definition does not tell us much about what fitness actually is.
We have seen triathletes compete in Ironman races which involve swimming 3.86 kilometres, followed by cycling 180.25 km and then immediately running a full marathon of 42.195 km, being crowned the fittest men and women in the world. but put them in a gym and ask them to lift weights, and you will find that they fare rather poorly. Even a boy or girl of average strength will be able to lift more than the fittest men and women on earth if endurance sport is the measure of fitness, as it mainly enhances the aerobic capacity of an individual.
But walk into a weightlifting clinic or lifter training for the Olympics and you would find the smallest of them lifting much more than their body weight. Lifters usually describe their colleagues as strong, not fit. Now ask them to run a couple of kilometres or swim just 500 metres, you are most likely to see them struggling and gasping for breath pretty quickly. so, strength alone also cannot be a parameter to measure fitness.
Clearly, fitness means different things to different people. Depending on who you ask, fitness is likely to be defined in terms of things people are good at or specialize in. For a runner, being able to run a full marathon in under four hours is being fit. For a body-builder, big muscles are clear indicators of fitness. Then again, talk to weightlifters, and they will tell you that their ability to lift weights three times heavier than themselves is proof of their fitness. For the average person, fitness could mean something as simple as going through an entire day of work and having enough energy to indulge in their hobbies or run and play freely with their kids without feeling exhausted.
In the many years I have spent in this industry, and during the course of my own journey, I have come to realize that no single parameter can measure fitness. several factors measure different attributes of your body, and the ones you pay more attention to depend on which school of fitness you follow. For example, if you believe having sculpted abs is a mark of fitness, then you will strive for low body fat percentage. For others, it could be achieving the ideal weight according to their height and body type.
Since I believe in and practice CrossFit, I follow its founder Greg Glassman’s definition of fitness, which is based on the following ten general physical skills:
Cardiovascular or respiratory endurance: The ability of the body to gather, process and deliver oxygen to its different parts.
Stamina: The ability of the body systems to process, deliver, store and utilize energy.
Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
Flexibility: The ability to maximize range of motion at a given joint.
Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
Balance: The ability to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity with regard to its support base.
Accuracy: The ability to control a movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Find this book: The Shivfit Way

5 Quotes From Harlan Coben’s New Book That Make it a Must-Read

Harlan Coben is one of the most famous names in the world of thrillers. He is the bestselling author of novels like The Stranger, Home, Fool me once, etc. With over 70 million books in print worldwide, his novels have been published in 43 languages worldwide.
He is back with another spine-chilling gem, Don’t Let Go which revolves around mistaken identities, dark family secrets, and mysterious conspiracies.
Here are five quotes from the book which make it unputdownable.





Don’t wait anymore and pick up this gem now!

A Recipe to Keep You Warm This Winter and Help You Tackle Diabetes

In Reversing Diabetes, Dr Nandita Shah provides a fresh and practical perspective on curing diabetes. She also elaborately breaks down the real cause of diabetes using scientific evidence and intelligently outlines a routine that will not just prevent the disease but also reverse it.
Here is an excerpt from the book on one of the recipes of the book, which will help you deal with diabetes.
Herbal Tea
Makes 2 cups
These are actually infusions. Here is a list of possible ingredients: lemongrass, mint leaves, tulsi leaves, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, saffron, dried apple, lemon or orange peels, liquorice, dried chamomile flowers, anise seeds (saunf ) . . . the list is endless and you can use these as single flavours or in combinations. Cinnamon is good for diabetics and it also lends a sweet taste.
Here are a few combinations:

  • Mint leaves, grated ginger, lemongrass, crushed black pepper
  • Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise seeds, liquorice
  • Tulsi, ginger
  • Tulsi, ginger, turmeric
  • Saffron strands, cinnamon sticks, cardamom
  • Dried orange, cinnamon

Ingredient:
1 tablespoon of your preferred ingredient
Method:
Put 1 tablespoon of the ingredient/combination into a teapot. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into it. Wait for 5–7 minutes, strain and serve.

How To Transform Society Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Way: ‘Mission India’ — An Excerpt

Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam’s benevolence and goodwill towards society is no news to us. The late President of India was a beautiful boon that mankind witnessed.  His ‘Mission India : A Vision for Indian Youth’ addresses the youth in their endeavour to contribute to the nation’s progress. The book also plays an important role in that it tells every individual and organisation how they can shape and transform the nation by 2020.
Read the excerpt below to remember this amazing soul!
If you think about the development of human civilization, you will find that the pace of social and economic growth has been closely related to the proficiency with which people have been able to use the materials and chemicals in the world around them. In the beginning, this was through keen observation and trial and error. Thousands of years ago, men and women discovered, perhaps by accident, that they could hunt more easily if they sharpened rocks into weapons. They discovered that certain herbs helped to heal wounds. Once they discovered these properties of the materials around them, they remembered these and started using them. Their knowledge of these few things was slowly extended to others. As more and more knowledge was accumulated, human civilization as we know it today developed. Think about all the things you take for granted, as a normal part of life. Do you know it was only about two hundred
years ago that man started using coal and oil as energy sources to run machinery? The railways were invented. As a result, man could transport raw materials from far away to create new products and also sell them in distant places. It thus became very easy for goods to be transported, made easier still by the advent of the automobile and the aeroplane. Today, you can talk to people across the world from wherever you are—home, office, on a bus. But mobile phones were commercially available only from 1987. The first mobiles were available in India from 1994–95—and there were over 10 million users by 2002! Even something which seems as simple as a matchbox was only invented in the late nineteenth century—less than 120 years ago. Imagine how difficult it was to light a fire before that! Some ten years ago, the Internet became widely used. A vast world of information became available on the computer at the click of a mouse. As a result, knowledge flows so much easier. Sitting at your desk in India, you can find out about events and technologies all over the world. When I was writing this book, it was so much quicker for me to check the facts.
Ten years ago, it would have taken me ten times as long to write it, as I would have to go to many libraries and talk to many different people to get the same amount of information. The creation of so much technology is dependent on the creation of the advanced materials which are used to create computers, fibre optic cables, scanners and printers. Just imagine then, how different the world can be a hundred years from now! At the present rate of growth, in twenty years we can have trains that will travel from Delhi to Mumbai in a few hours—there is talk already of trains that can move as fast as planes using electromagnetic technology, robots in every home that can do the housework, and computers that will write down your homework as you talk! In this exciting world of rapid change, you have many wonderful opportunities to change the world and change India, if you can think out of the box and work with technology!

There are so many new materials available nowadays which our grandparents did not have access to. Our houses are full of modern materials: stainless steel, fibre glass, plastics, musical
and audio-visual materials. In the world outside, there are so many new materials as well: lightweight, high-performance alloys help us build aircraft, satellites, launch vehicles and
missiles and various kinds of plastics. Think of all the things in your daily life which are made of plastic—and imagine a world without them. The better use a country can make of its materials and chemicals, the more prosperous it will be. These new materials can also help in making life easier in ways that were not thought of when they were being invented. The DRDO has developed at least fifteen promising life science spin-off technologies from what were originally defence projects, some of them missile programmes.
You must have heard of Agni, India’s indigenously produced intermediate-range ballistic missile, first test-fired in May 1989. For Agni, we at the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) developed a new, very light material called carbon-carbon. One day, an orthopaedic surgeon from the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients—little girls and boys who had polio or other problems, as a result of which their legs could not function properly. The doctors helped them to walk in the only way they could—by fitting heavy metallic callipers on their legs. Each calliper weighed over 3 kg, and so the children walked with great difficulty, dragging their feet around. The doctor who had taken me there said to me, ‘Please remove the pain of my patients.’ In three weeks, we made these Floor Reaction Orthosis 300-gram callipers and took them to the orthopaedic centre. The children could not believe their eyes! From dragging around a 3-kg load on their legs, they could now move around freely with these 300-gram callipers. They began running around! Their parents had tears in their eyes. An ex-serviceman from a middle-class family in Karnataka wrote to us, after reading about how we had assisted polio-affected children. He inquired if something could be done for his twelve-year-old daughter who was suffering from residual polio of the leg and was forced to drag herself with a 4.5-kg calliper made out of wood, leather and metallic strips. Our scientists invited the father and daughter to our laboratory in Hyderabad, and together with the orthopaedic doctors at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, designed a Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis weighing merely 400 grams. The girl’s walking almost returned to normal using this. The parents wrote to us a couple of months later that the girl had learned cycling and started going to school on her own.
Dr.Kalam contributed immensely to development of the nation. Purchase your copy to read more on the man and his extraordinary talent and achievement in the field of science, education, society and so on.

There’s a New Boy In Nicky and Noni’s Class! Do They Become Friends? — ‘Being a Good Friend Is Cool’: An Excerpt

In Sonia Mehta’s Being a Good Friend Is Cool from her new series of books — My Book of Values, the author talks about the cool value of being a good friend.
Nicky and Noni have a new boy in class, but Nicky seems to be doing something wrong. What is it? Let’s find out!




What do Nicky and Noni do next? Do they become friends with Jojo? Grab a copy of Being a Good Friend is Cool to find out!

The Simple Messages Hidden in ‘Mahabharata’: ‘The Boys Who Fought’

The story of Mahabharata has been retold countless times through generations and one instinctively comes to identify it with the great battle of Kurukshetra.
But going beyond all the animosity and rivalry that overarches the epic, Mahabharata espouses some important messages for life, an aspect Devdutt Pattanaik has brought forth for us in The Boys Who Fought.
Here are a few times we were reminded of the simple but impactful messages from the Mahabharata that transcend time and remain equally relevant even today.
When Vyasa wondered about the progress humankind had truly made.

When Ekalavya showed us the meaning of control, as opposed to destruction.
The Boy Who Fought- Creative 2
When we were reminded of the true meaning of ‘life’.
The Boy Who Fought- Creative 3
When we were told about the vicious cycles humankind gets trapped in.
The Boy Who Fought- Creative 4
Know more about the timeless messages of the Mahabharata with Devdutt Pattanaik’s beautifully illustrated book today!
The Boys Who Fought Footer (2)

The Legal Eagle – An Excerpt

Harish Salve’s name ranks amongst the brightest legal luminaries of India. After an illustrious career of nearly two decades as a Supreme Court lawyer, he served as the Solicitor General of India from 1999 to 2000. A highly sought-after practising lawyer, his client list includes corporate bigwigs like Ratan Tata, Tina Ambani and Lalit Modi, as well as powerful politicians like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Prakash Singh Badal, and also Bollywood actor Salman Khan. He represented Vodafone in the well-known tax case with the Indian government which was finally decided in Vodafone’s favour. He was the counsel of choice for Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited in big-ticket cases like the Krishna Godavari Basin gas dispute and for Ratan Tata in a privacy petition concerning the Niira Radia tapes, as well as for the Delhi Police in the case for its midnight raid over Baba Ramdev’s rally at Ramlila Maidan. Besides representing his high-profile clients, Harish Salve has offered his pro bono services several times as amicus curiae to assist the Supreme Court in cases mostly relating to the preservation of the environment.
It’s a special day when I hear from the country’s pre-eminent lawyer, confirming our meeting in early August in Delhi at his office at ‘White House’ on the premium Bhagwandas Road, a stone’s throw away from the Supreme Court and India Gate in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone. I am excited to meet Harish Salve, though thankfully not for legal reasons!
There are guards posted outside his sixth-floor office. As you go past the reception desk, of the three doors that open into the reception area, the one on the extreme right is Harish’s chamber. It’s elegantly done in dark mahogany wood and expectedly has a wall-to-wall library stacked with gilded books as the backdrop to his revolving black chair. His large glass-top work desk and the set-up around it take up almost one-third of the space.
From a reputed family, with his grandfather being a successful criminal lawyer and father, N.K.P. Salve, a well-known Congress politician of his time, I imagine that Harish would have had success served to him on a platter and I share my view with him up front.
‘Contrary to what you think,’ he says, ‘I had what you may call “a lower-middle-class” upbringing. I come from a life of simplicity and grew up in a house full of relatives. My mother’s elder brother took sanyas (became an ascetic) and left home. His children were virtually brought up by my parents. My mausi (maternal aunt) also lived with us. So my elder sister, five of my cousins, my mausi and I used to sleep in the big living room, with the only bedroom in the house occupied by my parents.’ Harish was brought up by the same mausi, who was a professor of philosophy in a women’s college. Every night, she would put him to bed and read something to him. It was a very down-to-earth upbringing. Sports for Harish in his childhood meant playing football with kids from the chawls behind their house. As he says, ‘So even though I went to a very good school in Nagpur, there was so much learning we had on the football field of different aspects of life while intermingling with children from different backgrounds.’
After school, he chose to do his undergraduation in commerce and joined his father’s chartered accountancy firm for articles. Harish’s father was a practising chartered accountant before he joined politics. He and his partner had a small firm with an annual turnover of about Rs 5 lakh. Remembering those times, Harish says, ‘During my first year of college, I used to travel by bicycle in the sweltering heat of Nagpur.’ Colleges started in the month of March when day temperature in Nagpur is usually above 40 °C and burning. ‘I would come back, have lunch and then leave for office.’ As the peak summer months approached, the temperature would go up to 45 °C and Harish would cycle to office earlier in the morning. ‘There were times when we would be required to go to some factories in the afternoons and do an audit. I remember we used to take a wet towel and put it around our heads to avoid heat stroke and then cycle some 8 kilometres to reach the place,’ he says. ‘The so-called “big entertainment” in college and years after that was to go to a local dairy and have coffee or to go to Hanuman Mandir and have samosas. I usually stayed up the nights and studied. We would go to the railway station and eat at the dhabas there.’ That’s how Harish grew up. He credits these experiences for teaching him some very important values, making sure he’s never lost touch with that part of his life.
‘You switched from commerce to law. How did that happen? Did you complete your chartered accountancy?’
‘The moment I completed my graduation I joined CA, but found it very boring. Though the course was good, I knew that I would not stay in the audit and accountancy field. I was more interested in law and taxation. I completed CA only because it became a matter of prestige. Everyone said, “Yeh toh Salve sahab ka beta hai, ye thodi karega CA” (He is Mr Salve’s son, so he will not do CA) and my reaction was, “Ab toh pass karke chhodunga” (Now I will qualify and prove myself).’ Harish qualified for CA, and within two months gave up his certificate of practice to enrol at the bar. His father was very upset, but Harish was very clear that he wanted to be a lawyer. He had been a (Nani) Palkhivala fan from the age of fourteen as his father’s firm used to consult Mr Palkhivala on taxation matters, and Harish got the opportunity to interact with him a few times on cases wherein his father involved him. Harish thoroughly enjoyed income tax and learnt a lot from Nani, and gradually made up his mind that if he had to pursue taxation, it would be as a lawyer. The time had come for him to chase his dream.
Keen to know more about his relationship with his father, I ask, ‘You completed law from Government Law College, Nagpur, in 1980, and by then you had also managed to complete a couple of years’ internship with a law firm operating out of Nagpur and Mumbai, as well as acquiring the precious experience of working with Nani Palkhivala on the famous Minerva Mill case. Later, Nani recommended that you work as a junior with Soli Sorabjee who was then the Solicitor General of India based in Delhi. At that time, your father was the deputy leader of the Congress in Parliament under the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi and soon went on to hold other important portfolios in the Central cabinet—as minister of state for information and broadcasting (I&B), then minister of state with independent charge for steel and mines. How did the relationship pan out between the father and the son in terms of propriety—you as a budding lawyer and your father as an influential politician?’
‘My father joined politics when I was ten years old. All I have seen is a downslide in the quality of my life from the time he joined politics. His income went down and things didn’t change right through to the time I was doing my CA. I remember my mother telling me, “You cannot eat meat every day.” This is how it was even when my father was a member of Parliament (MP). Though he steadily grew in terms of his political stature, it didn’t translate into financial gains. The sense of righteousness was very strong in him, so he made sure that the boundaries between our professions remained concrete. When my father was inducted as a minister in the Central cabinet in the 1980s, I never attended a single official party. I went to his office only once when he was in the I&B ministry because he wanted me to sign some papers. For several years after my father was the minister of power, I didn’t know that his office was in Shram Shakti Bhawan.’
It was only much later when, as Solicitor General, Harish went to Shram Shakti Bhawan for a meeting with Suresh Prabhu—who was the minister of power then in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet—regarding the Dabhol case that he realized that it was his father’s office!
‘When my father was the minister of steel, he called me up one day and said that he wanted to know how much work I had got from the Steel Authority of India in the last year. I totalled it, and it came to about Rs 3000 when I had a practice running into some Rs 40 lakh at that time. When he became the minister of power, he called me and told me that he did not want me to work for any public sector units that came under his ministry.’ Harish assured him he would not and at the same time brought to his father’s attention how there were a bunch of third-grade lawyers whom ministers patronized and that they should be barred from appearing. ‘I ended up becoming the cause for a rumpus that followed in the ministry,’ chuckles Harish and adds, ‘It was only once that I worked for the ministry of power, and then too, instead of getting any benefit, I ended up giving free advice to the government.’
‘You imbibed taxation and law from your family environment. What about politics? Have you ever considered joining politics?’
‘My personal view is that there are two kinds of reactions when you see power and politics very closely—you love it or hate it. I hate it.’ Harish is clear that he has never even considered the idea of joining politics. As a student of public affairs and law, he likes following politics and understanding it because it is important—not in its narrow partisan sense but as an important part of governance.
‘As a renowned constitutional lawyer, what are your observations on India as of today—the way the country is being managed and where it is headed?’
Harish ponders briefly and then very eloquently expresses his key concerns about Indian polity. He cautions and remarks, ‘I think right now India is going through a very negative mindset and if we don’t realize this soon enough and do something about it, we are going to pay a very dear price for it. We have, from about 2011 onwards, created an impression that everybody in power is corrupt, everyone who has a car is a crook, everyone who lives well is a crook. We must realize that India’s biggest fault line is between the haves and the have-nots. In the power game of politics, instead of taking hard decisions for development, people are being pitted as rich or poor—us versus them. In this way, we are gradually cultivating complete disrespect for our constitutional institutions.’
Harish’s analysis is that we are being misled by a wealth-hungry media. The media decides who is corrupt and who is not, and we basically assume if a person is rich and influential, he/she must be corrupt. The reality is that governance comes from institutions, and wealth comes from private capital. By giving them a bad name today, Harish believes we are sawing at the edifice of democracy. This trend is alarming and nothing, nothing appears to be above partisan politics—whether it’s land acquisition, foreign direct investment (FDI), or even the Naga Accord. Not blaming any one political party for it, he points out that everybody does it, with politicians attending to their personal interest first and functioning with a ‘to hell with the nation’ attitude.
However, he acknowledges that we still have a lot of very fine politicians and conscientious MPs, having known them well. ‘There are a lot of lower-middle-class MPs who live in two-bedroom flats and go back to do some good work in their constituencies. But you’ll never hear about those people. On the other hand, if one person makes some communally sensitive statement, it immediately makes for front-page news,’ he says.
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