Thuglaq turns 54 and The Forgotten art of Dialectic!

 

 

The late “Cho” Ramaswamy was a Indian actor, comedian, editor, political satirist, playwright, film director , Member of Parliament and lawyer . in 1970 he had an argument with his friends who dared him to start a magazine  and to win the bet , he launched a political magazine that turned 54 this year. The first issue had this iconic cartoon where one donkey says to the other ” Looks like this Cho fellow has launched a magazine” and the other replies “Great , we will have a feast then!”.  The cartoon donkeys make their appearance once in a few years while all of us readers have been reading Thuglaq for decades !

I happened to attend the 54th annual meet of Thuglaq, the one-of-a-kind event where the entire rank and file of the magazine meet with its readers, on Pongal day ,as it always happens. This unique practice was started by Cho and after his death in 2016, S. Gurumurthy, the Chartered Accountant, Journalist and RSS Idealogue has been successfully running the magazine while maintaining such traditions as well. Cho, while his sympathies for the right wing and Modi was always transparent , also was known for changing his views as the situation on the ground demanded and did not hesitate to critique even sharply the parties he supported. He was famously responsible for the TMC (Tamil Manila Congress – Moopanar and P.C Chidambaram led) formation and TMC – DMK alliance and helped in shaping the BJP-DMK Alliance during Vajpayee’s time as well when he went against his childhood friend Jayalalitha. Under Gurumurthy, while Thuglaq retains most of the founding tenets of the magazine, discussing mostly only politics and a sliver of spirituality, the irrepressible and at times irreverent humor of Cho is definitely missing. Gurumurthy seems to have almost made it a dry right leaning political magazine to the mild disappointment of long-time readers like me.

 

In spite of the strong shift to the right, Gurumurthy has retained and even strengthened some unique features of Thuglaq. One being inviting political leaders of all hues including the ones he opposes like DMK, Congress, Communists to share their experiences and points of view in the magazine. And to continue and strengthen this annual unique event on Pongal day when the Editor of the magazine and his entire staff meet and interact with all the readers and invite political leaders to address and interact with the audience as well. Who’s who of Indian politics have attended these meetings – Advani, Modi and most of the BJP Leaders, the erstwhile Janata leaders like VP Singh,  senior communist leaders and Tamil Nadu leaders across political parties.

 

For this year’s event, the two main guests were Shashi Tharoor from Congress and K Annamalai, the firebrand BJP Tamil Nadu Chief. Sadly, since Annamalai was coming in from a meeting at Delhi, his flight was delayed and by the time he entered the Music Academy Hall, Shashi had finished his speech and had left. The program began the way it always does, with the editor introducing the entire staff of the magazine on stage starting from the veteran reporters like Ramesh whom most of Tamil Nadu knows to the attenders.  This is again a unique gesture that surely must be appreciated. Then selected readers from the audience come to the stage and make their comments, queries and criticisms to which Gurumurthy replies. This year, apart from the  regular questions about state and national politics , there were a few questions and concerns regarding the Maldives standoff and Guru gave his opinion and also deferred to the veteran diplomat and politician and ex Minister that Shashi is and requested him to give his point of view when his turn came. The audience as expected was mostly sympathetic to BJP’s cause.

Shashi spoke well, noting down all the key concerns and objections raised by the audience against Congress and addressed them valiantly. He also accused Modi government of subsidizing North at the cost of the South, lamented the subjugation of federalism and also explained the Maldives situation in an objective way without blaming the BJP government but cautioning it to be careful not to push Maldives into the axis of China.   Ram temple issue being a topical one, he took it head on saying that he will visit the temple but not on the 22nd as he has in any case not been invited and would not want to go even if he were as he felt it was made into a political event. This caused some unrest in the audience as it did when he was overly critical of Modi. Overall, it was a measured speech, fully knowing it was a partisan audience who were against his world view, Shashi Tharoor, I felt stood his ground gracefully.  It was comforting to see Gurumurthy come up to the stage after and admonishing the audience for interrupting Tharoor’s speech, commenting that since Dr Shashi Tharoor maintained the decorum of the forum, it behooves the audience too to do the same even if they believe he is all wrong.

 

Then came the star of the show, Annamalai who has caught the imagination of the public in the state especially those who desire an alternative to the Dravidian parties. His was a systematic take down of the DMK, its history and all that he felt was wrongs done by them. He also attempted to answer all the criticisms laid by Dr Tharoor, replying to the preferential treatment to the North charge, gave a population-based defense of the budget allocations favoring the North. He explained the BJP’s plans for the south and Tamil Nadu in particular.  Gurumurthy too jumped on to the same North – South subject later and gave a historical perspective based on argument that the north suffered more from the partition which at least I could not buy fully.

 

A few broad inferences for me from the event

For Congress, it appears as though this boycotting of hostile TV Channels and media is a petulant and self-defeating act. I too cannot stand some of these loud TV Channels and can understand the reasoning but if one is running a political party, surely one needs a thicker skin and like Shashi Tharoor showed, one can hold their point of view even among a partisan hostile crowd and come out with head held high! I overheard a lot of the audience commenting that “Tharoor is a good leader but will he survive in the Congress”. It is up to the Congress to convince people of that and give such leaders more responsibilities and have them engage with people more.

 

For BJP, this preferential treatment of North over South and the damage to the federal structure narrative is hitting home to the audiences in this part of the world and even to those who are favorably disposed towards it. The narratives countering it, the ones I heard from Annamalai and Gurumurthy were not entirely convincing. There have been other arguments on this subject which have featured in BP Podcasts by folks like Maneesh about Freight Equalization policies and such which seems to have some merit in them but are seldom heard here. Are those too nuanced and complex arguments, am not sure but the ones that I listened to now still leave me with the feeling that we in the south have been hard done by both the Congress and more so by the BJP Government.

Interacting with the audience live, especially if it is a large one and answering them impromptu seems to be a rare occurrence and should be celebrated more. The audience too needs to learn to respect the speaker and not jeer if an opposing point is presented. The audience in this event have been that historically and when they went a bit haywire, they were immediately pulled up. Politicians, those who are well qualified (Please note I do not say educated!) and passionate about a subject can still convey their stances without resorting to name calling and hyperbole. Both Shashi Tharoor and Annamalai were strong but objective and respectful in their speeches.

The argumentative Indian can also be objective and respectful and can engage in constructive dialogue and achieve much more!

The YouTube Recording of the entire event.

The mystery of high fuel prices in india

This post is contributed by याज्ञवल्क्य, also known as @Saiarav Sai (@Saiarav) / X (twitter.com) from X.

The God lording over the oil market has almost always turned a benign eye towards Modi. Oil prices fell by nearly half within a year of him becoming the PM and has stayed moderate for most part of his rule, a big blessing for a a country which depends on imports for more than four-fifth of its consumption. And Modi has used this divine largesse really well, taxing it heavily and testing the limits of his political capital and used these revenues to fund his ambitious capex program amidst anemic overall tax collections. How the timing of oil price movements has been near perfect politically for him can be a separate post in itself; but I will just note that if you had asked an oil analyst in March 2022 where oil prices would be at the start of 2024 if A) the Russia-Ukraine war continued to drag on and B) the developed world saw a period of double digit inflation — his/her answer would likely have been a triple digit figure. But yet here we are, at the start of 2024, with Brent trading under $80.

Petrol and diesel prices stay high despite lower oil prices

So here we are, with oil under $80 and yet the Modi sarkar has not deemed it fit pass on the munificence to the hapless consumers who still have to cough up nearly Rs.100/litre for petrol and diesel, the same level it was in early 2022 when oil had crossed $100/bbl. You might be wondering why I have started with a rambling introduction to get to this point — and I have no reason to offer, except perhaps that I am abusing the munificence offered by Medium, liberated from the character limit from my standard social media app. Thanks for indulging me, dear reader, now I will get down to business, I promise. (Not a good thing to abuse munificence of any kind, which is kinda the point of this post).

A lot of noise, too little light in the debate on fuel pricing

While this issue periodically generates heated debates on X, for the most part, it has been largely ignorant chatter and largely driven by one’s political leanings. And I have not come across any piece in mainstream media which has attempted to shed light on this issue. And that is both astonishing and extremely sad — here is the question regarding pricing of the most important commodity for any economy, and people do not know how it is priced? And we are talking of third largest oil consuming economy in the world here. It is astonishing because oil and its products constitute one of the most transparent, liquid and well understood markets amongst all commodity markets.

So here is my modest attempt to shed a tiny bit of light.

In India, the oil marketing business is largely dominated by oil PSUs who also have a refining business. The business model for oil refining and marketing is pretty straightforward:

A) OMC purchases oil, most of it is imported. The price of oil is linked to Brent, the global oil benchmark. So the refiner pays Brent oil price + ocean freight + insurance. (I am keeping it simple here — the actual price can be a bit higher or lower than Brent)

B) The OMC refines the crude oil in its refineries resulting in various petroleum products — primarily three high value products diesel, petrol and ATF but also propane, naptha etc. The chart below shows the yield of BPCL refineries in 2022–23 — the three high value products account fot nearly 80% of the total output.

C) The products are sold to end customers. For petrol and diesel, which is what this discussion is about, this would mean transporting the products to petrol pumps. Further, the marketed volumes for an OMC could be higher than its refining capacity, which means it will have to buy some part of its products from private refiners (Reliance and Nayara).

The OMCs provide value-add at two stages — refining the oil and marketing the oil and expect to be rewarded for the same. Let us take an example of how that works. First, at the refining stage, the company makes a margin which is the difference between weighted average selling price of all the refined products less the crude landed cost — this is called Gross Refining Margin or GRM. High value products (petrol, diesel and ATF) sell at a price well above the crude oil price while a product like Naphtha sells for less than the crude price. But keep in mind, the high value products account for 80% of volume and hence driven the GRM. As the term implies, this is just the ‘gross’ margin and the company obviously has operational expenses during the refining process.

At the marketing stage, the company would expect a margin for maintaining a retail network and transporting the products to the dealers. And of course, there are costs of marketing the products as well. As of 2019, the per litre marketing cost + margin was Rs. 2.0–2.5 per litre (source: page 60 of this Petroleum ministry report). So let us say, its Rs. 2.7 currently accounting for inflation. The unit of measurement will keep shifting from barrels to litres, so you might want to keep in mind that 1 barrel = 159 litres.

Continuing from the above table, let us say, the OMC sells petrol at the refinery gate at a price of $92 (which would be refining margin of $9/bbl). Adding in a marketing cost of $5, the price to the dealer would ultimately come to Rs. 50.9/litre.

Adding to the price paid by the dealer, we then have the central and state government taxes and the dealer margin. Currently the price build-up for petrol and diesel (for Delhi) stands as follows:

Source: PPAC November 2023 report

Note that the price at which it is sold to the dealer is Rs.57–58 which implies a per barrel price of $109–110 while Brent currently trades at <$80. Since the marketing cost & margin is fixed, that means, the OMCs are getting a refining margin of $20+/bbl on both petrol and diesel.

Is $20 high, or is it low, or is it normal? Below is the chart of BCPL’s GRM for the last 8 years. Note that this is the GRM for its entire set of product and petrol and diesel margins will be a couple of $ higher.

Typically, OMC GRMs have averaged mid single digits and the last two years, and especially FY 22–23 were outliers.

But what is the official pricing policy?

In theory, petrol and diesel prices are deregulated which means prices track the global prices for the two products (which is simply Brent price + regional refining margins). But it does not take an oil market expert to figure out that the policy has been quietly buried since early 2022.

The pricing is arrived at by what is called the Trade Parity Price (TPP) which is the weighted average of Import Parity Price (IPP) and Export parity Price (EPP) weighted in the 80:20 ratio. IPP simply means what is the theoretical price at which petrol or diesel can be imported to India ( we do not need to import since we have surplus refining capacity) — that price is basically the one at which refiners in our region will find it attractive to export to us. In other words, IPP for petrol and diesel is based on the refining margin of the two products in our region. The same concept applies for EPP — it is the price at which one can export which is linked to refining margins in the key export markets. Typically, the margins in Singapore market is used as the benchmark. And that explains why refining margins shot up in the last couple of years.

Underrecovery ….or how OMCs made bountiful GRMs but little money in FY 22–23

A $20/bbl GRM in FY 22–23 should have been a major cause of celebration for OMCs but it was not for the simple reason that the GRM was a notional number. For all of FY 22–23, the OMCs were selling petrol and diesel at Rs.57–58/litre to the dealers which is roughly around $110/bbl. Now considering Brent averaged $95 during the year and shipping costs had shot up during the year, this is how BPCL’s overall margins would have looked for petrol assuming a $22/bbl margin. Remember that the company is supposed to make $5.15/bbl towards marketing margin and costs. Instead, they incurred a loss of $11/bbl. And that is what OMCs, quite morosely, term as underrecovery. In reality though, the company did make a combined refining & marketing margin of $11/bbl but if one assumes refining and marketing costs of, say $8–9/bbl, they made very little in terms of cash profits from sale of petrol. There is also the further angle that they would have had to purchase some portion of petrol and diesel from Reliance and Nayara at global prices (ie $95+$4+$22 = $122) and sell that for $110. And on top of that, they had to incur huge losses on LPG cylinder sales, so yea overall a tough year, but I digress. The case that BPCL will be putting forth to the government is that they made $16/bbl underrecovery on petrol and diesel in FY 22–23 and they should be allowed to recoup those “losses” — my rough estimate is that that amounts to Rs.25,000 crores to be recouped!! To put this number in perspective, BPCL annual profits have averaged 8–12K crores in the past and the company is asking that they be allowed to make 25–30K crores for FY 22–23 because, hey, GRMs were so high.

So what is a reasonable GRM for OMCs?

Singapore refining margins for petrol and diesel are currently around $10 and $20 respectively. So if one goes by that figure, diesel should be around Rs.55 to the dealer might well be justified while petrol price should be around Rs.51. As a reminder, the current price to the dealer is Rs.57–58.

So even based on market pricing, there would be a case for cutting the petrol price. Of course, the question that arises is what about the losses incurred in FY 22–23, which I will come to later. But I would argue that the government has anyway jettisoned their pricing policy and should therefore stick to that changed stance and just view it as what is a reasonable GRM that the OMCs should be getting. I would say, $6.5/bbl is a pretty healthy margin. Or stick to the current pricing policy and slap a windfall tax (just like they do on exports of refined products).

One counterargument to this is that OMCs have ambitious growth plans and these high GRMs will be really helpful. In my view, they should just be asked to borrow money.

In the next section, I discuss what the potential for cutting prices is.

If we go strictly by the official fuel pricing policy, then BPCL needs to be allowed to recoup its underrecoveries of Rs.25K crores, so any cut is out of question, for this year, or the next, or maybe even the one that follows — and that is asuming oil does stay at $80. Or Modi could request BPCL to be let bygones be bygones — and I am sure the BPCL CEO, as a good corporate citizen, will give it a sympathetic hearing — and ask them to adjust the price down to current TPP levels, in which case, as I have pointed out earlier, there is scope to cut petrol prices by >Rs.5/l and diesel by a couple of Rupees. Votaries of free market can stop reading at this point because as I had suggested in the previous part, the government should just tell the OMCs that they stay happy with a GRM of $6.5/bbl. That would be $8.5/bbl refining margin for both petrol and diesel.

If we go with $8.5/bbl, then what would be the price to the dealer? I am assuming Brent price of $80/bbl though prices have generally remained a few dollars below that level over the last few weeks. Also note that since a large component of our imports are now discounted Russian crude, the average import price should be below Brent ( we also buy cheaper quality, lower price crude vs Brent generally, but not getting into further details). At $80/bbl and $8.50/bbl of refining margin, we can potentially reduce prices by Rs.6–7/litre. But there are two factors which need to be considered as well, one positive and one negative — the OMCs are sitting on huge surplus profits built up over the first nine months of FY 23–24. On the other hand, the OMCs are currently selling LPG cylinders at a loss.

How much surplus profits have OMCs build up?

Let us look at BPCL’s financial performance since the start of FY 22–23. Excluding exceptional items, the company’s profits during FY 22–23 would be around Rs. 5–6K crores. This compares to historical annual profits of Rs.10–12K crores. So that would mean a loss vs historical average to be recouped of, say Rs. 5K crores (not the insane underrecovery figure of Rs.25K crores or ~Rs.20K crores post taxes). How much after-tax profit did BPCL make in 1H 23–24? Rs.19K crores!! Yes, you read that right — they made 1.5x in 6 months vs their peak annual profit historically. If we consider Rs. 13K crores as reasonable profits for FY 23–24, they have already achieved it *AFTER* recouping their losses for FY 22–23. In other words, even if they do not make another Rupee for the rest of the year, they would be fine. But given benign oil prices in Q3 , they should be making outsized profits in Q3 as well. Short point: the company is sitting pretty as far as profits go.

While I have not analyzed the other two OMCs in similar detail, the profit performance broadly follows the same trend as BPCL, as is to be expected.

Losses on LPG sales, possible combinations for price cuts

At current global LPG prices, OMCs are making a loss of between Rs.150–175 per cylinder sold. The OMCs have made humongous surplus profits from LPG sales in 1H 2023–24 — as per this article by Devangshu Dutta, those profits are not recorded in the books, the surplus profits are instead placed in an adjustment account to offset future losses. Mr. Dutta estimates the fund has accumulated Rs.12K crores by end-September. I will leave out this part in my analysis since there is no disclosure by OMCs in this regard but if true, it provides further upside to potential price cuts.

At $80 oil price, this is how I see surplus daily profits earned by the OMCs in aggregate. They collectively make Rs. 1.89 billion of surplus profits every day.

So a price cut can follow any of the following combinations. Politically, a sharper cut in petrol and LPG prices is more preferable ahead of the elections (scenario 2 and 3) while a cut in diesel prices would be better for battling inflationary pressures. And there is upside to these price cuts if one considers that the OMCs are sitting on large surplus profits this year so far. My own preference would be somewhere between scenario 1 & 2 but I would definitely not grudge Modi dipping into the OMC’s surplus proifts and going for a bigger cut. Of course the risk in that case is he will need to revert to more normalised prices by the end of this year. Or horror of horrors, bring down the fuel taxes.

I would like to highlight that I consider these cuts as the floor estimates considering assumptions for the price build-up are quite conservative, whether it be on crude oil landed cost or marketing costs and margins. Apart from the fact that OMCs are already sitting on huge surplus profits.

Postscript: I have grown tired of explaining why these price cuts have no impact on the fisc. As you can see from the analysis above, price cuts do not require even a single Rupee of tax cuts by the centre. Currently, all the surplus profits are just flowing into OMC’s Profit & Loss account.

Appendix — LPG cylinder price math

Source: based on this 2017 PPAC report — domestic costs in 2017 was Rs.120. Should possibly be currently in the range of Rs.150–175 after accounting for inflation

The India They Saw: When Socrates Met the Sindhu

Time was a cycle for the wise ones. The glittering stars of the heavens danced to the rhythm of the gods. A thousand mind-born Manus had birthed a thousand humanities. The Blessed Lord had sung his sacred song to a thousand suns and a thousand Arjunas. The divine comedy of karma had crossed a thousand ironies and a thousand tragedies. So for thousands of years, those believers of this great cycle, the Indians, did not write their histories. Indian history became stories moving from ear to ear. A magical tongue rang around sacred fires as these stories soon morphed into a society.

Soon etchings would erupt along the Indus, the Saraswati, the Ganga, the Yamuna, and more and more rivers. Many were lost with time as the history of India captured in its early construction returned to the soils and sands from whence it came. But some etchings evolved. The Itihasa and Puranas would form a cultural encyclopedia of ancient India. Poetry and prose defined its people.

The successors of these great reservoirs of Dharma were the Sramanas. Lord Mahavir and Lord Buddha would turn the wheel of Dharma as a grand march of fire-cloaked mendicants began across India and beyond into the unknown realms of Asia. India entered the Axial Age with a turning of the mind. In the golden shadows of these Mahatmas, we find some of the first records of those who journeyed to India – of the Greeks and the Romans. This is the India they saw.

Continue reading The India They Saw: When Socrates Met the Sindhu

Jatitva: When Caste Becomes a Cancer

Caste is the basic building block of Indian society and democracy. It decentralizes India and creates a fractal overlay across society enveloping every facet of life. Much can be said about its origins and heterodoxies, but today I want to explore how it influences politics and modern society. While caste’s impact on Indian society is mixed, I believe caste politics is the single most corrosive and destructive element in Indian democracy today. So many policy problems can be traced to the dizzying devilry that results from the lunacy of caste tribalism.

But why is caste so important to Indians in the first place? Caste serves multiple functions. Caste is a community. A sense of belonging and asabiyyah when times get tough. When the riots hit, it is your caste kin who will take and throw punches for you. It gives you your rituals, your traditions, your ways of worship, and so much more. Many castes have a divine origin story or a tale where their caste bravely overcame injustices from that caste. Caste is a polity. When election time comes, the candidate from your caste ensures your castemen will occupy government positions, be forgiven of crimes, and have a seat at the roundtable of power, perhaps even the throne itself. Caste is an economy. It can be a financial safety net, a business network, or a source of credit and capital. It can be the cornering of a market or government seats. Caste is all-encompassing, as real and essential as air and water for so many Indians.

So what separates run-of-the-mill 1990s Mandal-type caste politics from Jatitva? Jatitva is the political expression of Critical Caste Theory. Jatitva is Mandalism taken to its logical conclusions. It is the view that the Indian state should exist to be beholden to one’s caste. If Hindutva means a Hindu Rashtra, Jatitva means Jati Rashtras, where one’s caste must be the most powerful demographic group in their locale; if this isn’t achieved, then India must be decentralized heavily or even break. Jatitva means caste should define India. It claims one’s caste is more important than an overarching Hinduism, if not the rejection of mainstream Hinduism itself. Jatitva presents Hinduism as a societal ruse of ruin, Hindutva as a political conspiracy, and the Indian state as an economic oppressor.

Continue reading Jatitva: When Caste Becomes a Cancer

History and Evolution of Malayalam Cinema

 

Arun talks to Maneesh on the history and evolution of Malayalam cinema.

What makes Malayalam cinema different from Tamil and Telegu cinema, the influence of communism on its early years and how the OTT phenomenon is helping a generation of film makers take Malayalam cinema to a new audience.

1IndiI. A Hindu Business Line article, which, while trying to explain why South Indian cinema has box office muscle also shows an excellent visualisation that explains the limitation of Kerala’s screen real estate
2. An Economic times article lamenting the lopsided economics of Malayalam cinema
3. Whitepaper from Kannur University talking about the conscious role of Communism in shaping Malayalam cinema
4. Screenwriter Joh Paul talks about the environment of early Malayalam cinema of the 50s

Modinomics: Why India is Rising

India is changing. For years the BJP has been banging drums, tolling bells, and blowing conches to signal a New India. A mammoth mandate in 2019 was an early smoke signal for the fire that had erupted in the Indian market, but now a flurry of foreign praise answers the call of the drums, bells, and conches previously labeled as empty and enemy propaganda. Ironically, the newly found foreign admirers just a few years back cried wolf as they predicted India to turn into a hellscape due to what they saw as economic mismanagement, not listening to “experts,” religious tensions, some random picture they saw on the internet, or any other reason a comprador elite would pass on from the home country. What changed?

There are plenty of articles about India’s rise, but very few about why. The reason for this is that they would have to associate with someone untouchable in their ivory towers. The government primarily responsible for this rise is not only the arch-nemesis of the narrators of India to the West but also has a terribly difficult time presenting their case in a manner that doesn’t involve frothing at the mouth. There have been many mistakes made along the way. There are many critiques worth their weight. But one has to start acknowledging that something special is occurring in India. Let’s explore why.

Continue reading Modinomics: Why India is Rising

A Sojourn to Swades

For a foreigner, India is an assault on the senses. A land of every extreme you can imagine, every data point you can parse, and every anecdote you can hazard is found in this heterogenous homeland. An opulent ancient structure makes way for decrepit shantytowns which morph into a 21st-century skyscraper. Blaring horns that find a home on every road transform into the blowing of a conch and eternal songs. Pollution stings your nose and strangles your throat until you find refuge in the appetizing aroma of an eatery. Every flavor is expressed in a single bite of a chaat, akin to instruments combining in an orchestra of taste. An omnipresent dust travels across your skin as you hold the hands of a loved one not seen in ages. At this point, I feel a bit like Rupi Kaur narrating a diaspora novella about a visit to the homeland, but I’m guessing you get the point.

Continue reading A Sojourn to Swades

Episode 22 – The British East India Company

Another Browncast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

In this episode, Shrikant, Gaurav and Omar talk to Maneesh about the beginning, consolidation and end of the British East India rule in India. We end the episode on the 1857 revolt.

References:

The East India Company; the most powerful corporation in the world- Tirthankar Roy
Indian Empire – its People, history and products – William Wilson Hunter
Empire – Niall Ferguson
The Men who ruled India – Philip Mason
The Anarchy – William Dalrymple
1857 revolt – RC Majumdar
The British Empire – Stephen Sears
The European theft of India – Roy Moxhom
The inglorious empire – Shashi Tharoor

Episode 19 – The Rajputs

Another Browncast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!


The references for the podcast are:

1. Early History of Rajputs (750 to 1000 A.D.) by C.V Vaidya
2. History and Culture of the Indian People – Vol III, IV, V, VI & VII
3. Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7th-11th Centuries by André Wink
4. Al-Hind, Volume 2 Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th Centuries
by André Wink
5. The Political History of the Hunas in India by Atreyi Biswas
6. The Making of Early Medieval India by Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya

Brown Pundits