Reflex Action

K. Raveendran
Modi came to power promising to eradicate black money and corruption by putting end to a system where the ruling elites and their cronies pocketed all the wealth while people struggled for survival. With only months to go for his term, whether it was the first only posterity will tell, he has become very much part of the system he was promising to fight. Today he is steeped in all the vices that he had accused the dynastic Congress of monopolising. Having failed on every conceivable front, the Modi government is engaged in creating a make-...

B. Sivaraman
Google employees are at it again. In April 2018, 3,100 out of 4,000 employees at the Google headquarters signed a letter protesting Google’s contract with Pentagon to develop an artificial-intelligence-based autonomous weapons system and forced the Google management not to renew that contract. On 1 November 2018, thousands of Google employees took out marches in scores of cities across the world to protest absence of unbiased and firm policies against sexual harassment at work. On 27 November 2018 again, there was another bout of protest—this...

Anjan Roy
The sheer audacity of Piyush Gupta’s ambition is astonishing. He is aspiring to create an eco-system which will transform the entire transport system of India by making EVs (electric vehicles) ubiquitous. That, he believes, should cut down India’s oil import bill by no less than $100 billion — his avowed target. Pray, how? Gupta is looking forward to a future in which transport equipment will all become electric vehicles from the humble auto-rickshaws to the monster trucks. Gupta is working towards removing the biggest bottleneck in this...

Dr D Harishkumar
A few seconds of impatience on roads leads to permanent patients with disabilities in life. Life is so precious and we all know how difficult is it to cope up with sudden loss of life of near and dear. One of the major reasons for sudden death is due to accidents which could have been easily avoided by mere patience. An accident means an unexpected and unintentional incident causing damage or injury. The victim could have been a sole bread winner of the family, only son or daughter of parent and with the dreams of forthcoming marriage and so...

K R Sudhaman
India’s retail sector, cruising towards $1 trillion by 2020 growing annually at 20 per cent, is in for exciting times as consumers want “clean and swanky” stores, even as ecommerce and kirana stores grow side by side as they too have their utility and share of the pie. “India is in a bright spot… Very soon fancy stores will be coming into India…. Eventually shopping will become very clean, very luxurious and retailers will make their shops destination oriented,” said Dunnhumby India head Anthony Kilili, an expert in predictive analytics....

Barun Das Gupta
General elections in Bangladesh will be held on December 30. The opposition had boycotted the last elections in 2014, only to regret it later. The ruling Awami League, won 127 out of 154 seats uncontested and scored a cake-walk victory.  This time the opposition is not going to make the same mistake. It is going to take on Sheikh Hasina’s party in the absence of its main campaigner, Begum Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).  Khaleda, a former prime minister, has been sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment by a court in a...

Aditya Aamir
Different strokes for different people are giving Kerala Police a bad name. Shouting ‘Sat Sri Akal’ doesn’t invite instant arrest in Amritsar post the recent grenade attack, which killed several people, but chanting ‘Sharanam Ayyappa’ in Sabarimala can land the Ayyappa devotee in the slammer, especially if the hombre is a BJP or per chance an RSS activist. This ‘difference’ is giving the BJP and an “RSS TV channel” grist to drive a wedge between Hindu and other communities. Tuesday, the “real opposition” in Kerala – the Congress – took the...

Gopal Sankaranarayanan
At the beginning of last month, Justice Ranjan Gogoi commenced his term at the helm of the Supreme Court. He was quick to admit that he was “strict” and that he ought to be accepted thus. For those us who have crossed his path these half dozen years, this comes as no surprise. It is a welcome attribute in fact, if one has to truly retrieve an institution that is creaking under the heavy burdens of its past. From teeming arrears of cases to disillusioned members of the Bar, the Court requires not just some gentle course correction, but a...

Amulya Ganguli
Mayawati’s comment that she is not interested in a post-poll pact with her latest ally, Ajit Jogi, in Chhattisgarh is yet another example of her singularly self-centred brand of politics which has little place for political partners outside her immediate objectives. In Chhattisgarh, the objective begins and ends with fighting the elections and winning, if possible. As she has clarified, if she fails to win, she will sit in the opposition and not let her alliance with Jogi reach an understanding with another party – either the BJP or the...

Amritananda Chakravorty
In recent times, the Supreme Court is not just the final arbiter of rights, but also the hub of all political developments. Not a day goes by when the Highest Court does not deliberate on extremely pertinent issue, with wide ramifications. In the last one month, the entire country is fixated with the two cases that are currently being heard in the Court, with each hearing revealing huge exposes on misuse of public office, collapse of institutional checks and balances, and a government out to destroy all institutions. As we know, the cases...

L.S. Herdenia
Rebels are continuing to pose serious challenge to BJP as they have refused to withdraw nominations despite the efforts by the top national and state leaders of the party. According to estimates, more than 62 rebels are still in the field after the date of withdrawal. The most significant aspect of the crisis caused by the rebels is that most of them belong to the RSS. Among the rebels declining to withdraw is Ram Krishna Kusumaria. How much importance he enjoyed in the BJP is indicated by the fact that he was included in the list of state...

Harihar Swarup
Can the Ram Mandir agitation of the 1990s be revived in 2018? Politics of Ram Mandir may just be a spent force. Even Indira Gandhi could not revive “garabi hatao” slogan twice. Come election and the “Build Ram Mandir in Ayodhya”, or Mandir Wohin Banayenge slogan — comes to fore like a seasonal crop and then peters off. This Diwali, the last before the general election in 2019, Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya, and the city dressed up to welcome the victorious king. We are seeing the philosophical luminosity of the festival of lights dimmed by...

Marcus Barnett
Max Levitas was a towering figure of Britain’s labor movement. A hardened enemy of the Blackshirts in the years before World War II, the Irish-Jewish communist devoted nearly a century to fighting injustice. With the death of Max Levitas, who passed away on Friday, November 2 at the age of 103, Britain has lost one of its most beloved Communist figures. An adopted son of London, and the East End particularly, Max was a towering figure in his local community, widely respected for his staunch advocacy of working people against racism and...

Dr. D Harish Kumar
Lifestyle diseases are hitting the patient’s life where they don’t even accept the disease mentally but the reality is that if they accept it has many positive responses in the body. Yes positive thinking strengthens the immunity and negative emotions can weaken it. In our body inflammation and oxidation are the major setbacks which lead to diseases and the good immunity lessens the inflammation. Positive thinking is a mental attitude in which we expect good and favourable results, positive mind waits for happy ending in any situations it is...

Aditya Aamir
Sujata. Girija. Lalitha. The trio caused an upheaval at the Sabarimala temple Wednesday morning. Blame it on Kerala women and coconut oil, Parachute! One of the ladies did not look her age (52), her hair darker than a tropical forest, her time on earth looking less than the required 50+ summers, and the male Ayyappans surged in protest, over 3,000 defiant bristling chins. The 2,300 policemen were no match and it required an Aadhaar test of age for tempers to settle. The Kerala Police enterprise to dictate proceedings, control the chessboard,...

Kalyani Shankar
Now that the Supreme Court has made it clear that the Ayodhya title suit is not its priority and even the hearing date will be decided next January, the saffron parties are getting agitated about the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. “We have other priorities,” a bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said last week. Building the Ram temple in Ayodhya has long been a promise of the Sangh Parivar. The RSS is of the view that temple must be constructed at the birthplace of Lord Ram and the site should be given to Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas,...

Amritananda Chakravorty
Not a week goes without reports about the deliberate destruction of the autonomy and robustness of the institutions critical for the Indian democracy. Last week was the turn of the Central Bureau of Investigation (‘CBI’), aka ‘caged parrot’. No one was under any illusion about CBI’s autonomy or its independence, but the events of the last week even surprised, rather shocked the known sceptics too. Though the reports of feud between the top two officials of the CBI, Alok Verma, Director of CBI, and Rakesh Asthana, Special Director, CBI, have...

Barun Das Gupta
The political storm that was brewing in Sri Lanka for quite some months under an apparently tranquil surface has now broken out in full force. In a quick succession of events, President Maithripala Sirisena has dismissed his prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place and “prorogued” parliament till November 16. On his part, Wickremesinghe claims he has the majority in parliament, his dismissal is illegal and unconstitutional, he is still the prime minister and will not vacate Temple Trees – the official...

Nantoo Banerjee
Official data are like audited corporate financial accounts that hide more than they reveal. Just as some of the latest top level governments statements that claims 80 percent of the mobile handsets are now manufactured in India and the country “was able to save around Rs. three trillion in cell phone import bills during the last four years”. They reveal, at best, only one side of the story. The real story is that the so-called high domestic production led to much higher telecom imports, mostly components, during this period. Records show that...

Aditya Aamir
The media and political build-up was cut short abruptly. Almost laconically, CJI Ranjan Gogoi read out the order. The matter will be listed in January to decide which court and when this matter will be heard. It can be heard in January or February or May whatever. Which means, what? It means a decision on Ram Mandir will overshoot general elections 2019 by when the next government will be in place, maybe led by Modi, maybe not! The Congress – especially Congressman Kapil Sibal who had sought exactly such a directive – must be loving it, but...

Arun Srivastava
The Lok Sabha elections for 2019 in Bihar promise to be a significant political battle between the backward and upper castes. There is simmering discontent in all the caste groups, irrespective of their class character and economic profile that the coalition governments have failed to improve their conditions. While the backward castes and dalits with leaders like Nitish Kumar, Sushil Modi, Ram Vilas Paswan etc feel that all the benefits have been conned by the upper caste people, who, however, the opposite to be true. After the upper caste...

Harihar Swarup
Sadly, the Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s premier investigative agency, has been described as “Comical Bureau”, “Bureau of Intrigues” and headlines in newspapers, reflecting internal tussle inside the CBI, screamed “CBI vs CBI”. Why this prestigious agency has come to such a pass? Possibly, its misuse by the political parties—Congress or the BJP— when in power, to meet their political ends. The agency has been losing its credibility. The latest is — ostensibly, in a bid to end the war between two top officers of the CBI, the...

Ian Goodrum
“The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,” published on Tuesday by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, attempts to smear socialism—worker ownership of production—as a bankrupt ideology. The 72-page paper uses the 200th anniversary of socialist thinker Karl Marx’s birth as a jumping-off point for condemning everyone who doesn’t pray at the altar of the free market. Not even capitalist social democracies like Norway and Sweden are spared from blistering attacks. The paper itself is nothing new. It’s a regurgitation of old narratives...

K. Raveendran
We know how the world views Taj Mahal as a beautiful monument of love. We also know that the world considers Bangalore and Hyderabad as Indian versions of Silicon Valley. But we never knew that there is a world famous stretch of land near an airstrip in Nagpur and it happens to be owned by Anil Ambani. The discovery has been made possible by the Rafale deal with Dassault Aviation. In a reported conversation with CNBC-TV18 in Paris, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier says his company picked Reliance as its partner because the Anil Ambani-led company...

Sonali Huria
While the Rafale fighter jet deal will entail huge financial losses for the country, the agreement for the world’s largest nuclear power project at Jaitapur in an ecologically diverse and fragile region like Konkan, along with attendant concerns of the safety of EPRs, an unsteady French nuclear industry and its inexperienced Indian counterparts, will pose serious challenges to the environment, biodiversity, health and livelihoods of lakhs of people in and around the region. While the Rafale deal has already seriously undermined the...