The Filter Coffee – a new blog on The Indian National Interest

Perspectives on foreign policy, defence, strategic affairs and governance

Rohan Joshi joins us on INI with The Filter Coffee, a blog “dedicated to raising awareness of issues relating to foreign policy, defense, strategic affairs and governance so that India’s citizens can demand the accountability they deserve from their elected representatives on the pursuit of India’s national interests.”

Smell the coffee. Better still, sip it every day.

Top blog in India, this is

But don’t let it go to your head

And suddenly, The Acorn finds itself ranked at the top of’s IndiRank ranking of 7895 Indian blogs. (via tweets from indiblogger & Overlord. Gauravonomics has an analysis of the State of the Indian Blogosphere 2009).

Yes, yes, you know such rankings are never perfect; the Bongs (great, full or fractional) might not have been counted (or better still, were unfairly discriminated against); the top position is ephemeral and all that. But that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating…a little. Like all the hardworking staff who run this blog. Because, dear reader, your favourite blog squeezed past Digital Inspiration, Gauravonomics and other fine technology, business and management blogs.

When was the last time you found more people in a foreign policy seminar than in an IT exhibition or a management workshop?

Sunday Levity: Why did the chicken cross the road?

How some INI bloggers would respond to that great question

Pragmatic Euphony: The Army HQ is engaging in emotional blackmail by showing how even chickens are quitting the army. They are also spreading the canard that only chickens cross into civvy street.

Offstumped: It didn’t. The English language media has gotten it wrong. A Google search for “chicken and that side of the road” shows fewer hits than “chicken and this side of the road.”

Swaraj (blog undergoing maintenance): Chickens are free to go anywhere they like. If you want it to remain this side, then you need to embed a microchip with a smart card that entitles it to chickenfeed.

Polaris: The Obama administration’s policy towards chickens crossing the road in South Asia will have to change in the face of reality. If chickens have a safe-haven on the other side of the road, then it is the other side that needs to be the focus of Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon.

The Gold Standard: What do you expect? This side of Wall Street had all the banks. The chicken should exchange all its assets for gold, preferably physical gold.

Retributions: (Doesn’t write about it, claiming that this topic is suitable for “Streetcar”. Over at Streetcar he posts about how dumb womyn let even chicken escape)

The Acorn: If only the Indian foreign policy establishment shows some imagination, it would realise that the inevitable journey of the chicken is an opportunity to extend Indian power to the other side of the street, by exporting the Indian version of Chicken Biryani.

The Gold Standard – a new blog on The Indian National Interest

Perspectives on finance, economics and policy

V Anantha Nageswaran joins us on INI, with The Gold Standard, where he intends to “improve the information to noise ratio in the world of finance and economics while having some fun and learning in the process.” The blog will cover issues such as “if all currencies have some highly urgent reason to remain weak or be devalued, what happens? Who bears the brunt?”

Do make The Gold Standard a part of your regular reading. (And in case you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our combined RSS feed.)

Polaris – a new blog on The Indian National Interest

Perspectives on international relations

Dhruva Jaishankar joins us on INI today with Polaris, where he will write “primarily on strategic affairs and Indian foreign policy, but also on a variety of other issues: US foreign policy, significant developments in Europe and East Asia, Indian and regional security, and—occasionally, when relevant—cricket”.

Do make Polaris a part of your regular reading.


(With no offence to Forumism)

No, a Centralist is not a shopper who prefers a chain of smart malls sprouting across India. A Centralist “(articulates) his or her worldview from within the existing (constitutional) framework. He also better understand(s) the power of free markets, trade, and economic growth, and are liberated from social orthodoxies.”

Like your seventh standard classmate who stuck things on your back while you were answering the teacher, Etlamatey has pasted this label onto this blogger.

Do read the post, because Mr Etlamatey disapproves of Centralism. And because it’s well-written.

Swaraj – a new blog on The Indian National Interest

It will be about individual rights, economic development, and smart welfare

Harsh Gupta joins us on INI with Swaraj, new blog that will discuss “issues that are not really big ticket glamorous ones, but rather more like Raghuram Rajan’s A Hundred Small Steps.” His first post addresses the problem of malnourished children and how to tackle it India must “slowly but surely…replace the public distribution system (PDS) with food stamps.”

Go visit Swaraj and subscribe to his RSS feed.