Visiting Faculty, Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Dr. Uday Balakrishnan is a former officer of the Indian Postal Service 1975 batch. He retired as Member Postal Services Board and Chairman Investment Board of the Rs.20,000 crore Postal Insurance Fund in 2010. Uday has worked across India, in various capacities in the Government of India, in and out of the Postal Organisation. He has been in charge of the National Child Labour elimination programme and has also worked as the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Ministry of Labour. He has also served as Welfare Commissioner and been in charge of Women, migrant and unorganised labour. His articles have appeared in leading newspapers and journals Uday has been twice Visiting Fellow at the Central European University Budapest and has been invited by the Jawaharlal Nehru University-New Delhi. Wissenschaftskolleg – Berlin, the Parmenides Foundation, the Ruhr University – Bochum, and the National Institute of Advanced Study Bangalore among several others. He was also Principal Adviser to the internationally acclaimed art exhibition, Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014 edition. Dr. Balakrishnan set up the archives of the Indian Institute of Science and co-created the 2008 exhibition on Etikoppaka, a village inspired by Gandhi held in the Open Society Archives Budapest. Uday Is currently working on his book on India - the Mega State and is is Visiting Faculty at the Centre for Contemporary Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore where he also teaches a course on Introduction to Governance to the undergraduate students of the Institute.
As we were getting ready to leave our lecture-hall in Manchester University, the secretary of our course announced that exiting on to Oxford Street would be difficult as a “huge” demonstration was imminent. My friend and course-mate, a senior police officer from India, enquired how big the demonstration was likely to be and guffawed when informed that between 50 to a 100 people were expected to gather. “Is that a demonstration?” he asked, “that is the average gathering at a bus stop in Delhi every day!”
India is close to becoming an appropriated state, taken over by the rich and powerful and their retinue of fixers and bullies. It has already become a place where well-connected, well-heeled murderers of innocents like Jessica Lal, who are supposed to be serving long sentences, make a mockery of the system…