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Showing posts from May, 2015

Be wary of Mann ki Baat: Modi dumbs down issues comprehensively, deliberately

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By Leo Saldanha*I heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “Mann ki Baat” address to the nation on May 31, 2015. About how this innovation has captured the attention of the nation and people world over, there is plenty that has been said on TV and also written about. The point of this piece is to ask what is Modi's project when he so shares his thoughts and feelings with the “people”.
Just plain listening to Modi's “Mann ki Baat” gives one the feeling that Modi is reaching out, explaining stuff, making people part of his decisions.

Will opinions put forth by right-wing groups alone be allowed on IIT-Madras campus?

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Reproduced below is the abridged version of statement issued by the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC), which was barred from continuing its activities on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras:
We, the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC), an independent student body of IIT Madras (IITM) have been derecognised by the Dean of Students (DoS), on May 22, 2015, who stated that we have misused the privileges given by IITM. We were later informed that this move is based on a letter from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Modi's plea to farmers to retain a third of holding for farming: Shifting people from Bharat to India

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By Mohan Guruswamy*
In his speech to a farmers' gathering in the capital the other day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised them to retain a third of their holding for farming, another third for fodder for the cattle and livestock, and the final third to grow timber. He seems to be oblivious of the reality.
The average size of a farm holding is 1.15 ha. Of which the PM wants the farmer to reserve about 0.36 ha for growing crops for sustenance and sale, 0.36 for fodder for livestock, and the rest for growing timber, which will take a quarter of a century to mature.

Username India, password Gujarat: Even choreographed auction of pinstripe suit "chose" Modi's home state

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By RK Misra*
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative but success is a science. If you have the conditions, you get the results.Thus goes an old saying. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi heading a BJP majority government loosely garbed in an almost redundant National Democratic Alliance (NDA) completes an year in office, it is time to delve deep and dissect dispassionately to foresee the future.

A Nirbhaya from Hyderabad: Why is there no protest? Because she is not from Delhi?

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By Merlin Francis*This is our second Nirbhaya but from Hyderabad. But you wont hear about her. Because she is not from Delhi. Or maybe because protesting for her tragic death is not part of a bigger plan to overthrow a central government. But she died. She was 25 years old. Mother of a little boy. She died on May 19. After being raped by her live in partner and his friends for three months in confinement...

Draft National Tourism Policy: Placing central bureaucracy, corporates at core

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By R Sreedhar*The new draft National Tourism Policy is really a mockery of the policy formulation process. For one, the government must be clear of what policy is and what are structures and process. While a policy needs to be a short statement of the of the intent of the government which follows up with the required legislative and procedural processes, the draft produced by the Ministry is clearly a consultant’s rambling on the basis of some wishful thinking and imagination, and reads like a badly drafted project report.

Need to deepen fight against Modi government, seeking to do away with social existence in rural areas in one sweep

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By Suneet Chopra*The hot debate over the land acquisition ordinances of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is not accidental or restricted only to the matter of access to a scarce resource. Land rights, and especially those that we achieved after our struggle for independence from colonial rule, are crucial to our social existence as citizens with equal rights under the Indian Constitution. The denial of any of these rights is an attack on our right as citizens of India.
It must never be forgotten that for over a thousand years we were able to keep a fifth of our population in the shackles of untouchability and semi animal conditions by simply denying dalits land rights in the village. A similar situation prevails in the case of women who may reproduce the family line but are denied the right to land in both the family they are born in and the one they may marry into.
Social marginalization like this may be traditional but it violates our rights as full citizens of a stat…

India blocks listing of chrysotile asbestos in Rotterdam Convention: Hides behind smokescreen of bogus science

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By Mohit Gupta*
India along with a handful of countries including Russia, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Cuba once again blocked the listing of Chrysotile Asbestos in the Prior Informed Consent list (PIC) at a UN convention meeting currently underway in Geneva, using bogus science and advocating “controlled use”.

PM's China visit: Made in China hallmark of relations with northern neighbour

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By Shaktisinh Gohil*Merchant of fake dreams, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken off on a paid vacation to China to avoid uncomfortable questions about his one year tenure as Prime Minister. Modi completes his one year tenure on May 16. All his fake promises of employment of 15 lakh youth in each department, strengthening of the rupee, no farmer will ever commit suicide, safety for women in public spaces and others have proved hollow during the year. To avoid accountability and facing the nation, Modi has gone off to China on an official trip.

Heads I win, tails you lose. Modi doesn't believe in sharing power, he only commands

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By RK Misra*Destiny is a tyrant’s authority for tomfoolery and a fool’s excuse for failure. More so in politics. Not all are born great; some have greatness thrust on them but then neither are those perceived as great, always wise. And when respected citizen-journalist Arun Shourie speaks, the toast of the times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi need take a reality check on his politics and pursuits rather than be guided by personal pique to engineer a contrived PR show counter.

Degradation of juducial system: Criminals feel free to intimidate judiciary

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Seventy-two prominent individuals, including activists, civil society representatives and scholars, have protested against the “degradation of Indian criminal justice system” as found reflected in the threat issued to retired judge Jyotsana Yagnik. Yagnik was instrumental in the conviction of BJP minister Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 30 others, finding them guilty of the 2002 massacre of 97 Muslims at Naroda Patiya in Ahmedabad.

The Delhi chief minister must withdraw circular allowing criminal defamation

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ND Pancholi, President, People Union for Civil Liberties (Delhi) has stongly condemned the Delhi Government's recent order to sue its citizens for defamation. Following is the text of the statement: PUCL (Delhi) is shocked to learn that Govt. of Delhi has approved a policy to initiate prosecution of the citizens under section 499/500 of the Indian Penal Code for making defamatory imputations against the Chief Minister, Ministers and various government officials. The Delhi government has issued a circular dated May 6, 2015 in this connection.

CPI-M is stuck in past models of socialism, eulogizes Chinese authoritarianism, North Korea dictatorship

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By Prasenjit Bose*
Far from transparently and decisively resolving the issues which plague the party and the Left movement in India, the 21st Congress of the CPI(M) has yielded a schizophrenic outcome. The purported ‘political line’ adopted by the Party Congress and the ‘unanimous’ choice of the new general secretary are quite contradictory, which will only perpetuate the ideological-political incoherence that has gripped the CPI(M) and may further contribute to its organizational disarray.

How three adivasi girls in Bastar were chased, beaten, made to march for 8 hours and locked up overnight

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By Himanshu Kumar* Three young girls were allegedly chased, beaten, made to march for eight hours and locked up in a police station. Next day, they were sent 400 km from their homes. A note put up before a magistrate in Dantewada by three adivasi women, Somdi, Gangi and Lakme, recounts the events of April 27 that have resulted in their daughters – three minor girls, one aged 15, the other two aged 17 – being taken 400 kilometres away by the police.