My friend Amit Varma, who you should follow for informed libertarian commentary on contemporary affairs, blogs at India Uncut and edits Pragati magazine.
Amit is a two-time winner of the Bastiat Prize for libertarian writing. And, happily, in less than a year of its revamped launch, Pragati has two writers (by a happy coincidence, both good friends) in the shortlist for this year’s Bastiat awards (the only Indian media house of any type to make the shortlist): Devangshu Datta for his series on victimless crimes and Shruti Rajagopalan for an astonishing eight-part series on the right to property.
A brief segue: Besides her writing skills, Shruti is an excellent teacher. The two of us once met up for a pub crawl through New York City. The hours passed, we hopped from pub to pub and finally, well past midnight, came to roost at an Irish pub in midtown Manhattan. That is when I said something incredibly ill-informed about the economy. Shruti went on a tear. She grabbed up a heap of napkins from the bar, borrowed the bar-bloke’s pen, and with sketches and charts, began explaining macro-economic concepts oblivious to the fact that she was collecting something of a crowd around her. It was a magical moment; I ended it stone cold sober and considerably more well-informed, proving the point that you have to lose something to gain something else.
Anyway. Amit also hosts a podcast, The Seen and the Unseen — an always insightful, occasionally quirky series of conversations between Amit and various guests on matters to do with the economy, with polity, and with society. Here are the archives. And here is the latest: a three-way cricket conversation featuring Gideon Haigh, among the best cricket writers of this or any generation, Amit, and me.
And oh yes, apologies for the radio silence. After reading your various inputs — for which I cannot thank you enough — and also reading what seemed like a rainforest’s worth of commentary on demonetization across websites, I finally managed to figure out what I want to say and how to say it. The finished piece, as of a few moments ago, is with the BuzzFeed editors, and should go up at some point tomorrow. Also tomorrow, I’ll get to my shamefully delayed responses to your inputs and questions, and ease back into daily blogging. Apologies again for the silence, stay well, keep in touch.