Reflex Action

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...

B. Sivaraman
Apprentices, badlis, casuals, probationers and temps—one thing common to all these five categories of workers, besides contract labourers, is their precarious existence as workers. Not only they have no job security, they are also invariably underpaid, often doing the same work as regular workers usually at a fraction of their earnings. In fact, apprentices are not even officially considered as workers. Textile industry now has policy sanction to employ badlis for fixed-term contracts sans all other statutory entitlements. The Modi government...

Dr.S.Ganesan
The entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands population has already seen the significant role(s) played by Social Workers and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) during post-Tsunami operations.  More than hundreds of NGOs from various part of world have visited here and established their camp office for community work for the affected population of ANI.  We all know that the problems of the individuals who stay in temporary and short stay homes are diverse in nature.  For the migrant and disaster affected, the needs of providing immediate basic ...

Nitya Chakraborty
Come December. It can be the cruellest month for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party BJP. If the present trends continue and the Congress and the other opposition parties can meet the electoral challenge of the assembly polls in the five states-Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana, the results on December 11 might be devastating for the saffron forces. If the BJP loses MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the ant- BJP forces will be getting such a momentum that the most powerful government of the BJP at the...

Arun Srivastava
Lynching and urban naxals have the same ideological background. While lynching was resorted to by the RSS and its frontal organisations to terrorise Muslims, Dalits and other minorities, traditionally anti-saffron and secular forces, the phrase urban naxal is the latest weapon designed by the RSS to frighten the progressive voices. Urban naxals have proved to be a major stimulating force to counter communal forces. In a backdrop where the urban middle class has been lured by the tricks of RSS and BJP to act like, a vanguard to usher India...

B. Sivaraman
If the ability of the state to protect its citizens—be they religious minorities or migrant workers from other provinces—from mass atrocities is the test for democracy, then Gujarat has failed the test again and again. In 2002, it was a failed communal state. In 2018, it has again proved itself to be a failed chauvinist and racist state. On 28 September 2018, a 14-month old girl child gets raped. A heinous act, no doubt. But what followed was no less heinous. The police arrest the alleged culprit, a migrant worker from Bihar. For about a week...

K R Sudhaman
India, which imports 80 per cent of its oil in requirement, has at last woken up to the reality and embarked upon a plan to attract investment of up to $1 trillion in the oil sector to bring about much needed energy security. This includes investment opportunities of $300 billion in the hydrocarbon sector over the next 10 years to keep pace with India’s energy demand. Indicating this, petroleum minister Dhramendra Pradhan said at the recently held India Energy Forum organized by CERA Week that an exchange platform is also being set up to have...

B. Sivaraman
First it started as a trickle of bold expose by a few. Then it opened up the floodgates of years of pent-up frustration and anger of numerous women. The ‘Me Too’ phenomenon then literally turned into a deluge. The true colours of many big guys—from Bollywood celebrities to top-notch media barons, from reputed academic dons to NGO bosses—got exposed. Their credibility is lost beyond salvage. Some technical and legalistic objections were raised, of course: “Why not then and why now?”, “Why you didn’t follow the due process of law and file a...

Arun Srivastava
Barely a month after JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar announced that an honourable agreement had been reached with BJP, some senior JD(U) leaders have expressed unhappiness with the BJP's proposed formula for seat sharing in Bihar for the 2019 general elections. The party resolved at a meeting of the senior leaders recently held in Delhi that it would be the major partner of NDA in Bihar and Nitish Kumar will be its face in the state. With the office of the prime minister out of reach, Nitish and his aides are now concentrating on Bihar. Nitish had...

Kalyani Shankar
Telangana, the country’s youngest state, will face elections on December 7 for the second time since its birth in 2014. Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao took a big risk by advancing the polls by eight months. It was also his bravado to announce the list of 105 candidates on the same day even before the Election Commission announced the polling date. Will he succeed in his gamble? Though it was the Congress government at the Centre, which agreed for bifurcation of the state in 2014, the TRS came to power riding on the Telengana wave. Contrary...

Amulya Ganguli
Since offence is the best form of defence, it is not surprising that Union minister of state for external affairs, M J Akbar, lost no time on his return to India from a foreign tour to launch defamation proceedings against one of those who had accused him of sexual misconduct when he was an editor. The Union minister’s response is likely to become the standard riposte of some of the others who have faced similar charges from the followers of the #MeToo movement by women directed against lascivious men. This is just as well, for the courts...

Ashok B Sharma
Tourism has become a mantra for Uzbekistan to bolster its economy. There is a steady rise in the contribution of travel and tourism to the Uzbek economy. With a number of sites in the country designated by UNESCO as heritage sites, the Central Asian Republic has drawn up a perspective plan to market tourism in a big way on a global scale. As most of the UNESCO heritage sites belong to the Islamic period, the country is planning to expand its basket of tourism products by including sites of pre-Islamic period, namely ancient Buddhist sites. It...

Arun Srivastava
During the 2014 general election campaign in his Varanasi constituency Narendra Modi had said; “Ganga Maa has called me to serve her”. But after becoming prime minister, he conveniently forgot his words and promises. A true son of Ganga, Prof G D Agarwal, lost his life after 111 days hunger strike for protection of Ganga, but it failed to move his conscience. After Agrawal’s death the local people came to realise his sacrifice. They reminisced Modi’s words during the campaign and started searching her son; but he was not to be seen anywhere...

Nantoo Banerjee
The US trade and economic sanction against Iran and Russia opens an opportunity for the country to explore the possibility of trading in Rupee not only with these two countries, but also with other likeminded nations, including Venezuela, Indonesia and, even, China. India is among the world’s top 10 importing countries. Cumulative value of imports for the period April-March 2017-18 was US$ 459.67 Billion (Rs. 2962897.70 crore). India is the world’s third largest oil importer, after China and the US. India is also the world’s third largest coal...

Arun Srivastava
In a late-night encounter in Salarpur diara (a small island) on the Ganga River on the outskirts of Khagaria, a young police officer Ashish Kumar was shot dead by dreaded gangster Dinesh Muni while Nitish Kumar was hauling up his police officials at a seminar for their abject neglect of citizens’ lives. The remote Salarpur diara is known to be the hiding place for notorious criminals. Almost all the top criminals of the region operate from the reverine belt. Last year Muni had survived a bullet injury after he was shot during an encounter...

Nitya Chakraborty
The Supreme Court’s Directive to the Modi Government on October 10 asking it to provide the details of the decision making process on the Rafale deal to the Court in a sealed cover by October 29, has rattled the Modi Government. The Prime Minister’s Office which in fact spearheaded the revised agreement that was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 10, 2015 in Paris is in jitters as the entire process of decision making is marked by violation of the standard procedures of defence procurement. The Supreme Court has set the...

Harihar Swarup
The coming elections in the five states—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram — have been rightly described as the “semifinal” to 2019 Lok Sabha polls. With the announcement of these elections, India has well and truly entered the poll season. Doubtless, the stakes are higher for the Congress but the popularity of the BJP too will be put to test in the coming assembly elections of the five states. The Congress hopes to rejuvenate the party by romping home in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where it is pitted...

L S Herdenia
Congress has received a big boost with the Sadhus and Sants of the state assuring the party of support. A delegation led by Mahendragiri Maharaj Dandewale and Mahant Ramdas paid a visit to PCC chief Kamal Nath at his residence on the day Congress announced the launch of its poll campaign for Madhya Pradesh. They blessed the former Union minister, who is leading the Congress into 2018 battlefield. They also promised Nath that Sadhus and Sants will not only participate in the Congress’ ongoing Ram Van Gaman Path Yatra from Chitrakoot to...

Arun Srivastava
In Nitish Kumar’s Bihar it is the rule of criminals and goons that prevails, with the lives of the common people, especially women, who are supposed to be his trusted vote bank, being decided by them: certainly not sushasan as claimed by the chief minister and his supporters. Leaving aside the first five years of his NDA government, Nitish has not succeeded in providing a good governance in the state, despite tall claims of Bihar having the most fair and good governance. But the fact remains that the state suffered administrative epilepsy and...

Nantoo Banerjee
The rising incidents of gold and US$ smuggling in and out of the country, following the downward exchange value of Indian Rupee, have become a source of major economic concern. They are threatening to further weaken the Indian currency. Recent reports from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) suggest that the greenback outflow through illegal channels is growing on account of smuggling. In fact, DRI has launched a nationwide crackdown on foreign exchange smuggling, particularly of US$. For long, legal gold inflow occupied an important...

Amulya Ganguli
It began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advice to the Supreme Court judges in 2015 to be wary of the “five-star” activists who tried to push their social reforms agenda through the courts via public interest litigation. The advice was in keeping with the growing official impatience with non-government organisations (NGOs), especially those with foreign links since the government suspected their commitment to the ruling party’s policies. Since then, there have been several occasions when the judiciary’s “activism” has annoyed the...

Aboobacker K.P
The A&N islands consists about 572 Islands, Isles rocks etc with a costal line of 1962 Km having total area of 8249 sq.km. (As per latest reports A&N group of Islands consist 836 islands, isles and rocks including 20 unnamed Islands). Out of this geographical area about 7170.69 sq.km that 86% is covered by forests. As per available records 25 Islands in Andaman group and 13 islands in Nicobar group are inhabited. It is true and fact that we have to protect and conserve the environment so that the eco-system of Andaman and Nicobar...

Arun Srivastava
Arithmetic is not the determinant of the political permutation and combination. It has many indices and the most vital has been the political awakening of the people, in this case the Dalits and mahadalits of the Hindi heartland. Some columnists recall the political maneouvering of the BSP founder Kanshi Ram. To stress upon that what Mayawati is doing in 2018, just before the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Jaipur, is politically correct, may prove to be disastrous for her. 2018 is not 1987.  A paradigm shift has undergone...

N Sundaramurthy
Inequality and income disparities are growing. Rich are becoming richer. ‘Barclay’s Hurun India’ has published the ‘Rich list for 2018’. It is a list that carries the names of individuals with net worth exceeding Rs.1000 crore. The wealth of India’s top 100 richest people has jumped by Rs.3.08 lakh crore in 2018 to Rs.30.59 lakh crore, from Rs.27.51 lakh crore in 2017, a jump of 10.1 per cent. Mukesh Ambani has topped the list with an estimated wealth of Rs.3,71,000 crore. There are in all about 800 superrich in India. Of these, 233...