On Power

I was most surprised at my inclusion in Business Week’s list of India’s 50 Most Powerful People, but I was as surprised by the huge number of people congratulating me. Firstly, most of them surely know that I am, actually, not very powerful at all. (One of them started laughing today when I told him the news. Quite.) Secondly, even if my inclusion on the list was to somehow make me magically powerful, is that something that calls for congratulations?

Look at it this way. Power really amounts to two things:

One, it is a byproduct of other achievements, such as earning much money or winning an election, in which case surely those achievements deserve congratulations, and not the mere declaration of power.

Two, it is a means to an end, and enables us to do worthy things. In that case, the congratulations should be for those worthy things, not for the power itself.

I was delighted at my inclusion on the list because I saw it as a validation of the blogging and writing I’ve done over the last few years. But so is the time that all my readers spend on reading India Uncut—indeed, the very fact that you are reading this right now. One of those is indispensable to me—so if you must congratulate me for something, congratulate me for the fact that you are reading me.

That shifts the burden of immodesty on you, so I can relax now. Thank you.