Every time anybody talks about politicians and austerity, I’m always reminded of Sarojini Naidu’s famous remark about how much it cost to keep Mahatma Gandhi in poverty. Naidu meant that if the Mahatma intended to travel by third class in a train, then a whole bogey had to be cleared so that he could be secure. The symbolism of third-class travel was powerful and effective but the cost was rather more stupendous than the Congress was willing to let on. Read more

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