Reflex Action

Harihar Swarup
If convicted in Babri case L K Advani and others would get a minimum of five years in jails. Apart from BJP veterans Advani, M M Joshi and others, it is the BJP credibility that will be on trail for next two years and the outcome will coincide with the Lok Sabha elections. Their conviction would mean a sad end to political careers built on inflaming communal passion that had resulted in the Babri Masjid demolition and some 2,000 killings in riots that followed. They face the prospect of spending their sunset years in prison. Some of them had...

Subrata Majumder
A big jolt was made to Mauritius foreign direct investment in India, after the new tax treaty snapped the benefits of tax haven status of Mauritius. Despite being the least developed country, Mauritius has been the biggest foreign investor in India. It accounted for 33 percent of the total FDI flow in India. Paradoxically, the main investors were non-Mauritius companies.  The major investors through Mauritius were American and European companies and large investments were made through round-trip money by Indian honchos. With the amendment in...

Sankar Ray
Although India and even a section of free-thinking Pakistani intellectuals – mainly peaceniks – are critical about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), there is a growing support to the US $ 75 billion handshake, mainly funded by the Export Import Bank of China, as it is projected to create over two million jobs, directly and indirectly and jack up the GDP growth to 7.5 per cent, according to the US-based consulting firm Deloitte and Touche. It will build power plants and boost infrastructure and cause substantial addition to aggregate...

S. Sethuraman
Two power-driven factions of ruling AIADMK, a magnificent political structure that late Amma Jayalalithaa created in her lifetime, were nearly bringing down the edifice, before agreeing on a truce on April 22 though with substance yet to be negotiated.  For months as the rival groups merrily engaged in their games, governance in Tamil Nadu was at a standstill, a State wracked by the worst drought and widespread water crisis in a hot summer. This unprecedented political crisis in Tamil Nadu, also fiscally strained and highly indebted, was...

Arun Srivastava
The road to the prime minister’s official chamber goes through Champaran, Mahatma Gandhi’s karmbhumi. Of late karmbhumis across the country have attained immense importance for the political system of the country as well as to the practitioner of the trade. They have come to realize that for decent survival it is imperative that he should identity with any of the legends.       Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar too has come to realize this allegory and to encompass it he is busy ordaining a new image makeover; other than his image of being an...

Arun Srivastava
After bombing Syria on the pretext of avenging chemical attack on the rebels, Trump also severed its personal relations with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Strange enough before making this decision Trump did not wait to weigh the pros and cons of his arbitrary decision. Certainly having a good relation with Russia would have helped Trump in a better way. Trump would have been credited with retrieving some of US glory and hegemony lost in the wake of Russia taking initiative on war against the terrorists and ISIS in Syria. The US-...

Amulya Ganguli
A fraudulent political exercise under a self-confessed anarchist is coming to an end. The writing on the wall on the withering away of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) was seen in the Punjab and Goa polls. Now, the prognosis has been virtually confirmed by its resounding defeat in New Delhi’s Rajouri Garden by-election where the AAP candidate lost his deposit. It is now fairly certain that defeat stares the party in the face in the forthcoming Delhi municipal polls. Arguably, it will mark the beginning of the end for the party which appeared on the...

Mrinal K. Biswas
Final answer to the question of to be or not to be is before India on striking a Teesta river water sharing pact and approaching for the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar road connectivity, both being important parts of Modi government’s Act East policy. A breakthrough in these areas, to start with,  will no not only emphasize India’s capability of deliverance on toxic international issues but will at the same time diminish the air of inevitability about a future Sino-centric Asia. The 1983 India-Bangladesh agreement for sharing of its water...

K R Sudhaman
With the dust settling down on demonetisation, several serious analysis have started appearing on whether it has served the purpose for which this major and unprecedented economic exercise was undertaken. As former RBI Governor Y V Reddy puts it, there has perhaps been no other policy decision that has affected the lives of a billion people directly and all at once. It is difficult to find a parallel in terms of the range of economic activities that have been hit by an economic policy decision. The end result seems to be none too encouraging...

P. Sreekumaran
A debilitating body blow to the forces of communalism; and a morale-boosting victory for the secular parties. That is the unmistakable message delivered by the Malappuram by-election result. The by-election had been caused by the death of Indian Union Muslim League national president, E Ahmed MP. As expected, the IUML retained the seat with its general secretary P K Kunhalikutty winning it by a huge margin of over 1,71,000 votes. The only point of interest was whether Kunhalikutty would surpass the record of over 1,94,000-vote majority Ahmed...

Prakash Chawla
Well before the November 9 demonetisation of high denomination notes, banks in sync with the Reserve Bank of India had been working on development of different technology- based solutions for electronic transfer of money. There were already systems available in the banks through which one could transfer funds from one bank or branch to the other, in a matter of a few hours. That itself was a good facility replacing quite fast the age-old money transfer through cheques which had to be, first received by the beneficiary, then deposited in the...

S. Sethuraman
At last, the eight-year old crisis is giving way to global output and trade gaining momentum while India’s policy-makers seem to be making little progress with easing constraints to investment and growth revival to lift a stagnating economy, let alone job creation to write about. And the Modi Government’s focus is increasingly turning to an outright “pro-poor” agenda, as the Prime Minister kicks off elections in more states, buoyed by BJP’s spectacular win in UP. The ruling party is far ahead of any credible opposition visible to challenge...

Pradeep Kapoor
BSP supremo Mayawati is now willing take support from Samajwadi Party and be part of the grand alliance to take on BJP after humiliating defeat in recent assembly elections. The initiative was taken by Samajwadi Party national president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who had announced the willingness to take support from BSP even before the results were out. As a part of the strategy, Akhilesh Yadav first consolidated his position in party as national president and changed the party constitution to extend the term of the office-...

P. Sreekumaran
It is gratifying to note that the unfortunate recurrence of the war of words between the CPM and the CPI has been halted with the call for restraint by both the CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and his CPI counterpart Kanam Rajendran. Kodiyeri’s offer of talks to sort out the differences has been welcomed by Kanam. That is how it should be. What had led to the verbal spat was the rushing to the press by both sides instead of discussing the contentious issues at the appropriate forums like the LDF Coordination Committee. It goes...

Santosh Jain Passi Akanksha Jain
Our country is afflicted with the dual burden of disease – non-communicable diseases (NCDs) posing a major public health challenge. On one end are the nutritional deficiencies/infectious diseases associated with poverty, deprivation and poor environmental conditions; while on the other are the NCDs caused due to dietary excesses/imbalances and metabolic disturbances.Text Box: Proportional mortality in India       (% of total deaths, all ages)  The epidemic of NCDs is mainly attributed to modernisation, urbanisation, sedentary lifestyles and...

Nantoo Banerjee
As of Thursday, April 13, 2017, India’s population, based on the latest United Nations estimates, was 1,339,040,095, only some 47 million more than China’s total population on that day. The UN estimate (Worldometers) records India’s population as 17.86 per cent of the total world population as against China’s 18.47 per cent. In 2016, India’s population grew by 1.20 per cent, compared to China’s 0.54 per cent despite the latter’s lately liberalised two-child-per-family population policy. Demographers have forecast that India may overtake China’...

Dr. R Balashankar
The NDA government’s renewed emphasis on agriculture is a well thought out strategy to finally eradicate poverty and make rural poor an integral part of India’s growth story.  Rather, such spending has proved to be of temporary relief without really changing the ground reality.  It is experience that has prompted the government to initiate schemes meant to build durable rural infrastructure to motivate people adopt agriculture as a viable alternative career option. This is an interesting departure from the past. The government’s plan is to...

L.S. Herdenia
Though the Congress could retain Ater with a narrow margin of three digits it is being regarded as a trend setter for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year sometime in the month of November. Two by-elections were held in Madhya Pradesh. In both the by-elections both Congress and BJP retained their seats which they won in the 2013 Assembly elections. The BJP retained Bandhavgarh seat with a big margin. A newspaper reported Bandhavgarh victory with the headline "BJP roars in Bandhavgarh gets 50 percent votes". In...

Barnali Das
Take any project from the Mars Orbiter Mission to the simultaneous launch of 104 Satellites, the contribution of Indian women scientists in their success is being hailed and celebrated not only by India but also across the globe. Scientists like Dr. Tessy Thomas, N. Valarmathi, Minal Sampath, Anuradha TK, Ritu Karidhal, Moumita Dutta, Nandini Harinath have made every Indian feel extremely proud. Just like these scientists there are a lot of women who are trendsetters and are glowing examples of excellence and knowledge in diverse domains....

Harihar Swarup
Sometime in late 1960s, after a massive victory of the Congress in an election led by Indira Gandhi, the then Jana Sangh made allegation that elections were rigged. The Party President Balraj Madhok alleged that a special ink was brought from the then Soviet Union which could be easily erased after a voter casts his vote. He can, therefore, easily vote again. The allegation spread like wild fire and, it appeared, it was true. But when investigations were made, the allegation proved to be wrong, no erasable ink was brought from Soviet Union....

Amulya Ganguli
There was a slight lull in the murderous antics of the gau rakshaks or cow protectors after Narendra Modi said that a majority of them were anti-socials. After the BJP’s sweeping victory in UP, however, the rakshaks have regained their righteous anger against the suspected killers of cows, especially if they are Muslims.This fateful religious identity where the Hindu Gestapo is concerned motivated the killers of Pehlu Khan, who was leading a group of dairy farmers, mostly Muslims, transporting cows from Alwar, Rajasthan, to Mewat, Haryana. It...

G. Srinivasan
A land-mark legislation aimed at securing a modicum of order in the country’s chaotic road traffic and encouraging some relief from egregiously unruly drivers is on the anvil when the Lok Sabha passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 on April 10. The well-intentioned amendments moved by a few responsible Opposition members were rejected as they lamentably lacked the legitimacy of numbers; still, the Bill, with the due sanctity of law after assent from the Upper House and the subsequent Presidential imprimatur, is poised to improve the...

Priyadarshi Dutta
A new liberalized E-visa regime has come into effect from April 1, 2017. It will bring cheer to citizens from 161 nations around the world planning to visit India. The window period for online applications and period of stay in India have simultaneously been enhanced. The conventional process of granting visas by Indian diplomatic missions, however, will not be discontinued. The system of E-visa has actually evolved over the last seven years. On the New Year’s Day, 2010 India launched Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) limited to nationals from...

Nantoo Banerjee
It is good to notice that foreign investors — in the both primary (FDI) and secondary (FPI) markets— have renewed their interest in India. For the first time, FDI-boosted foreign exchange reserves with RBI are being used to fund India’s current account deficit. The stock market is witnessing fresh FPI raids. BSE’s 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) is hovering around 30,000. With stocks rallying to record peaks and the rupee appreciating to a 20-month high on the back of $13 billion moving into the stock and bond markets this year so far, India...

Priyadarshi Dutta
The centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s first Satyagraha in India is being marked this April. It was undertaken in the erstwhile undivided Champaran district in northern Bihar. He went there in April, 1917 on learning about the abuses suffered by the cultivators of the district, forced into growing indigo by British planters/estate owners. ‘The Champaran tenant’, informs Gandhi, ‘was bound by law to plant three out of every twenty parts of his land with indigo for his landlord’. This system was called Tinkathia. Agrarian issues rarely formed the...