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Non-fiction: Galileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger

Fiction: The Thousand Autumn of Jacob De Zuit by David Mitchell

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I think it’s going to be very difficult to fix the economy as long as analysts & civil servants have to worry about running afoul of the Modi govt’s political narrative.

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Now that people can no longer pretend that the economic slowdown is a not a serious problem, here’s what needs to be done to get back onto the growth path

Nitin Pai boosted

The year is 3001. An unknown alien power is pulling planets out of their orbits and placing them in a straight line.

3001: A Space OCD.

Many media owners and media persons have a lot to answer for. History will not judge them kindly.

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Media coverage treats politics as a spectator entertainment where cleverness & shamelessness is cheered. This lowers & removes *expectations* that public officials observe constitutional norms.

We must bring back the expectations of constitutional behaviour.

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On a Constitution Day filled with irony, I have a piece in ThePrint on why we must *expect* individuals holding public office to behave in a constitutional manner.

It is important to keep in mind that the section on “Fundamental Duties” was inserted by the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency.

As we mark Constitution Day amid wanton violation of constitutional norms by our political institutions, a reminder that the most fundamental duty of a citizen is to hold those in power to their constitutional remit. My column in The Print:

“when citizens look away as their leaders engage in these corrosive behaviors, their republic is in mortal danger. Unpunished political dysfunction prevents consensus and encourages violence…This is how a republic dies.”


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“the Roman Republic teaches the citizens of its modern descendants the incredible dangers that come along with condoning political obstruction and courting political violence. ”


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“Within a generation…politicians had begun to arm their supporters. Within two generations, Rome fell into civil war. And, two generations later, Augustus ruled as Roman emperor.”

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“the last century of the Roman Republic reveals the tremendous dangers that result when political leaders cynically misuse these consensus-building mechanisms to obstruct a republic’s functions.”

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The Roman Republic “served to keep the process of political negotiation going until a mutually agreeable compromise was found. This…worked only because most Roman politicians accepted the laws and norms of the Republic. ”

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“Rome shows that the basic, most important function of a republic is to create a political space that is governed by laws, fosters compromise, shares governing responsibility among a group of representatives, and rewards good stewardship”

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“When freedom leads to disorder and autocracy promises a functional and responsive government, even citizens of an established republic can become willing to set aside long-standing, principled objections to the rule of one man and embrace its practical benefits.”


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Some quotes from “Mortal Republic” by Edward J Watts in this thread.

“No republic is eternal. It lives only as long as its citizens want it. ”


(Navy Secretary) Spencer said that he couldn’t “in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

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