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Showing posts from October, 2015

Seventeen months in saddle, riding astride an overwhelming mandate, Modi government "loses" its way

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By RK Misra*
India today is a sitting duck. Like a turkey voting for an early Christmas. Let’s sample a recent day’s national headlines.
It no longer informs. It screams. Hatred in Mumbai. Violence in New Delhi. Fanaticism in Bengaluru. Punjab on the boil. Protests in Kashmir. Trucker killed in Udhampur over rumours of cow slaughter...

New Gujarat Land Law Triggers Fears Among Farmers in State

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By Rajiv Shah
The Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2015, unanimously passed in the two-day monsoon session of the Gujarat state assembly – after Congress MLAs were suspended for creating a “ruckus” – is finally beginning to get national attention. The Bill is lying with President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, awaiting his final nod after the Gujarat governor, O.P. Kohli, sent it to Delhi for approval. According to sources, the risk-averse Kohli felt that its provisions needed “Central scrutiny”.
Gujarat Congress leaders met the President recently, asking him not give sign the Bill. They allege that it seeks to “hand over” surplus land – acquired during the land reforms days of the 1960s but lying idle since then – to industry and not to landless and marginal peasants. Taking a similar line, Gujarat-based farmer activists have begun pointing towards how the Bill seeks to do away with the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act, 1960, whose main purpose was to distribute s…

‘I translated “Saraswatichandra” because we have not done it for 128 years’

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The prominent Gandhi scholar Tridip Suhrud has taken on the task of translating the massive Gujarati classicBy Rajiv ShahThe great nineteenth century Gujarati classic, Goverdhanram Tripathi’s four-volume Saraswatichandra, is known outside Gujarat more through the well-known 1968 feature film starring Nutan, and the TV serial. Its first volume is now available in English for the first time, translated by the prominent Gandhi scholar Tridip Suhrud; the three other volumes will be published over the next year-and-a-half.
The 1,700-page novel is known more for its love story between the protagonist Saraswatichandra and Kumud, which fails to materialise, culminating in his marriage to her younger sister Kusum after his marriage with the widowed Kumud became impossible. But as Suhrud says in the introduction to the first volume, “The readings which privileged one story – the story of Kumud, Saraswatichandra and Kusum – as the principal theme and consider all other themes as unnecessary diver…

Gujarat BJP sans Modi: 30 meetings statewide stormed in fortnight, forcing leaders to beat hasty retreat

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By RK Misra*
Wounds bleed. They also stain. The Patidar (Patel) agitation which began as a blow meant to bruise Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel is now a bleeding wound with a spreading stain inching forward to sully the crispy kurta of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.