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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

The Road to Redemption

Never, ever tell me that chess is a boring sport. On the last day of March in 2015, two players…

Assembly Proceedings

This is the 28th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

The Baptist, the Bootlegger and the Dead Man Walking

This is the 35th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. Appearances…

The Seen and the Unseen 5: This Is All Because Of Rupal Ben

This is the fifth episode of my weekly podcast, The Seen and the Unseen. [embedded podcast] A few years ago,…

The Landscape of Freedom in India

Here’s the video and transcript of a keynote speech I gave at the Asia Liberty Forum on January 11, 2017…

27 October, 2009

The Bastiat Winners for 2009…

... have been announced. My congratulations to John Hasnas for winning the Bastiat Prize for 2009. Hasnas beat out former winner Robert Guest with this superb piece of his: “The ‘Unseen’ Deserve Empathy, Too.” Going by previous years, I have no doubt that all the nominees were most worthy.

I won the prize in 2007, and the prize candlestick, which I can see now across the room, is one of my treasured possessions. The prize money enabled me to give up freelance journalism and focus on writing novels, an effect that, for the Bastiat organisers, was surely in the category of “that which is not seen.” I’d count it as a one-off positive externality, so all’s well.

This year, the Bastiat guys also instituted a separate prize for online journalism. I was one of the judges for this, along with Jimmy Wales, Esther Dyson and Scott Banister, and was blown away by the quality of the entries I read. I’m delighted that the prize has been shared by Daniel Hannan and Shikha Dalmia—both of them deserve it, and this is a fitting result.

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Oh, and here’s the column I wrote after I won the Bastiat Prize in 2007: “Remembering Frédéric Bastiat.” And here are the three pieces I’d entered that won me the prize:

“Where’s the Freedom Party?”
“A Beast Called Government.”
“The Devil’s Compassion.”

You can read all 48 installments of my column for Mint, Thinking it Through, here.

Posted by Amit Varma in Economics | Freedom | Personal

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