12 May, 2021

Nandan Nilekani

One proposal which I’m considering is to issue every citizen a new mobile phone. The cell number becomes their UIN...

Illustration by Sorit
Nandan Nilekani

It’s unbelievable! Still, I knew all along that I would be part of Team Manmohan. Guess how? Well, there’s a little story here. Not many of you know that the great soothsayer, Nostradamus, visited Karnataka in 1536 and pronounced some Bharat-related predictions which were duly recorded on palm leaves by an anonymous scholar. This priceless manuscript was discovered a few years ago by a peon at the Oriental Research Institute (ORI), Mysore, who found it hidden in a back issue of Mad magazine. (Incidentally, it was at the very same institute that the revered scholar, Shamashastry, discovered Kautilya’s Arthashastra 100 years ago.)

That aside, among the many things the Nostradamus manuscript revealed was one entry about the Nilekani clan. To quote: “A man of trade will rise from among their midst and reach the mountain top (read laptop). He will be asked to deal in numbers. Unique will be his labour. And unique will be the man who shall invest him with power.” What a prediction! But then,...

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