Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: About me

Why am I on a political sabbatical? – a video blog

In this video blog I respond to a number of people who’ve written to me, to clarify matters.

My key message: I’ve not resigned from Swarna Bharat Party nor do I intend to do so.

I expect everyone involved in promoting liberalism in India to take this forward to the best of their ability.

Continue Reading

On sabbatical

I’m taking a sabbatical from all Indian issues. Although I remain a member of Swarna Bharat Party, I will no longer lead the party or engage politically.

Comments on this blog have been disabled.

I want to stop thinking about India completely. Therefore, I will now unfriend all Indian friends on social media, including leaders of Swarna Bharat Party and former colleagues in the IAS. Only family members will remain connected.

I will also not respond to any email regarding India.

I plan to focus on economics and many other writings. Plus a lot of readings and a some painting.


Continue Reading

Planning an AMA on reddit r/india

Reddit is extremely confusing, but it is possible to understand it with some effort.


Properly done, the Reddit AMA (short for “Ask Me Anything”) can generate hundreds of thousands of impressions and drive fans into a frenzy. It can reinvigorate an established persona or hoist a completely obscure or unusual person into the Internet spotlight. [Source]


It is a thread of questions within Reddit, hosted by an interesting person who declares “I Am [Person X], Ask Me Anything.” The Reddit community responds with the type of honest, earnest and provoking questions that would rarely show up in your typical media interview. Anyone can participate, from the host to the casual Reddit user to the fans who simply upvote questions. [Source]


Technically, anyone can post — just start a thread on the forum and see if Redditors care to learn more. But the best way is to plan ahead and talk to the people in charge. [Source]

My test AMA

To test AMA, I created a simple text message yesterday. Basically it looked something like this (this is an attempt to replicate it)

Then there is a thing called “flair”. It is essential to give everything a “flair”. I didn’t have much choice there (there was nothing called “AMA” flair, so I gave it “AskIndia” flair. However, later on I notice that the moderators changed it to “unverified”.

Once I posted, I waited and soon there were questions.


  1. Read the wiki document from r/india on AMA and also read this PDF (on my server) rom r/india
  2. Write to the moderator expressing an interest in doing an AMA (there is a link on the wiki above, else write via email – see PDF above)
  3. Upon getting a response, finalise a time and date and let the moderator/s know. Provide them some proofs, e.g.
    1. Write the time and place on a paper and take a photo like this (or like the one in the PDF) and upload it on your website e.g. SBP website [this photo is called a “proof page”]; and
    2. Talk about it on appropriate twitter handles and provide these links to the moderators as well.
  4. This will ensure that the moderators are prepared + the AMA could get listed on Reddit’s “upcoming AMA” sidebar
  5. Create a detailed FAQ as a google doc. That way people can find most of their answers (e.g. draft docx FAQ for SBP for this AMA)
  6. Publicise the forthcoming AMA it over social media, etc.
  7. Around 15 minutes before the scheduled time, put out your post – to allow questions to build up. The post should “make it clear who you are and what you do or have done. It can be helpful to provide links to some of your past work.”At the time of the post, make sure that all proofs are provided so users don’t need to wait for you to add it.
  8. Immediately also let people know on Twitter and FB page the appropriate URL of the AMA.


How to create a wiki on reddit. Very simple.

You visit the page you’d like to make, e.g

and then reddit will offer to create it for you.

For styling, including flairs, see /r/csshelp and its wiki.



Continue Reading

I’ve now set up a small home studio for video recording

It’s been my goal for many years to be able to record high quality videos at home.

I had bought a Sony camcorder DCR-HC96E sometime in the early 2000s with 3MB resolution. After FTI was formed, I used it on 24 December 2008 to create two short videos (I had to do that since at that stage Youtube did not permit videos longer than 10 minutes). I recorded these in my backyard. But I found that disturbance of sound and, of course, the video resolution was quite poor.

In September 2014 I took the Sony handycam indoors to avoid sound disturbance and tried recording something. Since lighting was a major problem, I went near a window in the bathroom from which sunlight was streaming in. But that meant that only one side of my face lit up.

Now, I also had no idea of video editing, so I was forced to press the button and get in front of the camera.  A couple of years later I tried recording on my smartphone but the sound quality + picture quality was unsatisfactory.

It was only in June 2017 when Asif Iqbal brought a DSLR from India to Interlaken in Switzerland to record some interviews with me that I realised that I needed to upgrade to a DSLR with an external mike. But DSLRs also have some limitations – they record only for 10 minutes at a time, and have no auto-focus.

Anyway, I bought the cheapest DSLR with external mike (Nikon d3300) from India in June 2017 along with a lapel mike that had a longe cable. Unfortunately, this long cable didn’t help – the sound got delayed – and so after more research I’ve finally purchased a cheap external directional mike and some internal lighting and created a small (but very low cost) “home studio”.

The studio finally got operational today morning. Here is my first video.


I was requested for detailed specs of my “studio”. These are:

a) Camera: Nikon d3300

b) External mikePromate Pro Desktop Condenser Mic w/built-in Vol Control, Adj Tripod, 3.5mm AUX for $36 AUD

c) Lighting  Yescom 2x Photography Soft Box Softbox Light Stand Kit Continuous Lighting Studio Bulbs for $66.

I already had a tripod.

Video editing software: Shotcut. This is free.

To set up this “studio” I have put a chair next to a wall, with the directional mike on a raised table in front of me. It is that simple.


Continue Reading