A quiver-full of humanitarian legislation has been brought on the statute book by the Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh power structure since 2001. Of these, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 2005 (MNREGA) should salve the conscience of the haves-most. However, one’s first instinct is to be critical of an Act that guarantees 100-days’ employment to all unskilled rural workers above the age of 18 years. A corrosive and debilitating cynicism pervades the politi