Reflex Action

John Wojcik
Another problem for die Linke, ironically, results from some of the successes it has had. Die Linke has achieved power in Red, Red, Green Coalitions in three East German states and is the ruling party in one of them. In Berlin, for example, the mayor is a Social Democrat and the Vice Mayor is from die Linke. The ruling Senate has three Social Democrats, three die Linke members and three Greens. The conservative CDU, the pro-business Free Democrats and the AfD are completely frozen out of the government. Sahra Wagenknecht, 49, co-chair of die...

Dr. S. Ganesan Regional Director, IGNOU
Development of any country depends mainly on human resources and social factors (64%) followed by its natural resources (20%), infrastructure (16%) and so on. The A & N Islands has high literacy rate (86%) as well as gross enrolment ratio. Due to the same, the demand for college education is increasing day-by-day. Obviously, the common education structure 10+2+3 normally targets at degree colleges, (first degree or UG level), as compared to professional /technical courses. It is a common phenomena to have more number of schools and...

John Wojcik
During my two-week vacation in Germany last month it was clear to me that Germany, like the U.S., is at a crossroad. Dangerous developments connected with a rising fascist movement under the banner of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) are underway. Germany’s Left Party (die Linke), on the other hand could well be on its way toward mounting an effective fightback. First, the bad news The German version of the Nazis and KKKers who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, last year are out and about in that country too. They’re in the streets...

Harihar Swarup
Election Commission has rightly scotched idle speculation in recent days on the possibility of clubbing Lok Sabha elections with 11 assembly polls. Drastic solutions like imposing President’s Rule in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram were mooted so that polls here could be delayed and synchronized with general elections. But the Election Commission has checked this harebrained idea before it gains more tractions, by stating that President’s rule cannot be applied for wanton reasons.  Recognizing the unconstitutionality of not...

Anjan Roy
Most politicians when they die, evoke mixed feelings and despise even when their achievements are supreme. In many time, they are bitterly remembered because they hit so many so hard. The singular exception about Atal  Bihari Vajpayee will be that he will universally be remembered fondly without much of a variation. Those he fought will remember him, as always, being above board, those he had worked with will remember him with nostalgia. Who will not remember when the name Vajpayee is said the broad visage of a man with intense expression,...

Amulya Ganguli
History will see Atal Behari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi in completely different lights for being almost diametrically opposite to one another. The differences between the two BJP prime ministers related mainly to their temperament and outlook, which, in turn, guided their approach to governance where it concerned coalitional politics. There is little doubt that Vajpayee established a record of sorts by running a mammoth coalition comprising 24 parties which had never been accomplished before and is unlikely to be achieved by any of his...

Mrinal K. Biswas
Arun Jaitley’s return to finance ministry after convalescence from serious surgical operation will give him little respite as he will be under tremendous pressure to firefight the multiple heads of discord in the  country’s economy. To keep the threat of inflation away is the most important task before the government at this critical juncture of uncertainties on the global and domestic fronts. Inflation hits the commoners most and the power that is looking askance at this threat in the election time round the corner. India has long ceased to...

P. Sreekumaran
These are not frightening frames from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. These are shocking sights of a real-life tragedy unfolding its horrors. And it has been the lot of God’s Own Country to witness it. Kerala is no stranger to rain havoc and the resultant flood fury. But the ordeal by water the state is undergoing at present has no parallels. The solitary exception, perhaps, is the rain of misery which battered the state 90 years ago. To say that fear and tension stalk the state is perhaps an understatement. The people of Kerala are petrified by...

K R Sudhaman
Prime Minister Narendra Modi coined a new phrase ‘Minimum Government; Maximum Governance’ in 2014. Recently in his ‘mann ki baat’ radio address, he said good governance is the birthright of every Indian citizen like swaraj (independence) and we should have it. Nearly four and a half years after Modi came to power, has his government delivered on good governance or is it just a hype? Has Modi delivered on his promise of good governance or has he just been a good event manager? The growing perception is he has failed to deliver. The reality is...

Nitya Chakraborty
In the wake of the Independence Day address of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the publication of an opinion poll of a news channel that the Congress has good chance of regaining all the three states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the coming assembly elections, the highest level of the BJP leadership is seriously thinking of proponing the Lok Sabha poll to December this year coinciding with the assembly elections. A close analysis is being made by the top BJP leadership at its newly built headquarters, of the mood of the...

U.BHARATHI
It was the story when the British raj rule transferred from the East India Company to the crown. The India post was founded on 1st April 1854 .  By 1861 there were 889 Post offices which was handling nearly 43 million letters over 405 million of  newspaper annually.The first superintendent of the post office was appointed in 1870 at Allahabad. The volume of mail moved by the postal system increased significantly it was doubled between 1854 and 1866 and doubled again in 1871 as a results the lower rates were fixed for “steamer” mail to Europe ...

B. Sivaraman
“The Hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Repeating these words of Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland, the Delhi High Court in its judgment on 4 August 2018 set aside the 14 September 2016 Delhi government notification on minimum wages, which increased the minimum wages in Delhi to Rs. 13,350 to the unskilled, Rs. 14,698 to the semi-skilled and Rs. 16,182 to the skilled. Early media reports, however, were a bit vague and suggested that the court had set aside the notification because “it was a ‘hurried’ decision taken without hearing the...

Nantoo Banerjee
Parliament might have had its best monsoon session in the last 18 years going by the hours of operations of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the number of  bills passed, yet nothing could explain why it failed to move and pass the critical anti-trafficking and consumer protection bills. The Executive should probably explain why it did not show enough interest to see the two extremely socially important bills through to become law after the mandatory President’s consent. This is especially surprising in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s...

Sankar Ray
Incorrigible optimists in Pakistan, albeit very few in numbers, are disappointed with the US decision to suspend military and educational training of 66 Pakistani officers under the ‘International Military Education and Training program’, thanks to the obstinacy of President Donald Trump. This is the first awkward bouncer to new Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi in the foreign policy arena as if reminding that his glorious cricketing career is irrelevant. But the sanguinary reality that the pitch for the new innings for the PM was queered by the...

Sushil Kutty
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul should have been given the honour of being the first man sent to Outer Space, the spaceship programmed not to ever return. He was that kind of man – a surly exile, with a dark presence. A man who saw warts before he found beauty, if ever. The child of indentured labour, he laboured to cast a critical eye. To the point it came natural to him. Naipaul’s life was cast on a ship that beached. India, his grandfather’s country of origin, was an ‘Area of darkness’, where people, if he had allowed his imagination to...

Nitya Chakraborty
More and more details are coming out of the controversial deal concluded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jet planes for the Indian defence forces and it is apparent that the Prime Minister has totally sacrificed the interests of the high performing public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to patronize a company of an industrialist which has no experience in the area and which set up the unit only ten days before the deal was conncluded. The most astonishing part of the developments is that...

Rapti Ray & Dr. Buddhadeb Ghosh
The ‘Prime Minister stays in foreign countries and occasionally visits India.’ Such is the allegation of opposition parties against Narendra Modi. But they are not admitting the fact that India’s foreign policy for the first time since 1947 has reached a youthful stage after 70 years of childhood. The Modi government certainly has not altogether reversed the path of foreign policy followed in previous decades, as it is neither feasible, nor desirable. No country’s foreign policy can be partisan, and there can never be a tectonic shift when...

B. Sivaraman
“US-China trade war can make Indian products competitive”— declared some newspaper headlines on 5 and 6 August 2018, reproducing verbatim the press release of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). One started wondering why the premier industry chambers in the country should just restrict itself to seeing only new opportunity opening up due to the unfolding trade war instead of expressing concern over the possible overall adverse fallout of it. After examining 818 product lines where the US has raised tariffs for imports from China, the...

G. Srinivasan
India’s policy wonks and mandarins in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry have at long last woken up from their feigned slumber to put in place a draft National Policy on Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) a few days ago. This draft with warts and all would now be scanned by a heavy 70-member think tank chaired by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu. As the draft was authored by the just-retired Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, it had all the ingredients to make the stakeholders feel frustrated. This...

Sankar Ray
Political breeze in Islamabad stinks as the foul smell of many a compromise takes away fragrance from the hitherto street-smart Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf president Imran Khan Niazi as he had to compromise unethically to ensure a stable government. If all goes well, the formal announcement of Prime Minister (obviously ‘King Khan himself) will coincide with finalised results of National Assembly and provincial assemblies. The PTI chief will swear in at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the residence of President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain on 11 August. The...

Gyan Pathak
Poverty is no crime, because a poor man does not commit a crime by not being able to overcome his poverty. He is rather a victim of the complex socio-political system that makes him poor, keeps him so, and exact penalty for not being able to overcome his poverty. The banks in India under the present dispensation is precisely doing the same. They have raised about Rs 5,000 crore in penalty from the poor account holders in the financial year ending March 31, 2018 for their failure to maintain sufficient bank balance. On the other hand, the same...

Sushil Kutty
Guess governments start to get more and more influenced by the party that forms the government as general elections approach. Witness the BJP-led Modi government. It has become more party-focused than country-concerned these last several months. The impression gaining ground is that the party’s base is dictating the government’s behaviour. Like in the appointments of Supreme Court judges. Ideally, the government should not be seen playing politics in such serious endeavours. But the way the government has treated Justice KM Joseph’s...

Aditya Aamir
The Supreme Court of India has ‘reserved’ its judgement on the petition seeking entry of women of all ages to Sabarimala. It is gender-equality versus religious privilege/isolation. So far, there is no constitutional right for women of certain ages to enter Sabarimala. The Supreme Court has been requested to make it into a couple of articles. The fight is enshrined in the entry ban of women between 10 and 50 years of age into Sabarimala. Women between those ages are banned because of the menstrual cycle. Malayali women have for centuries...

Mark Gruenberg
It’s been 44 years, come August 8-9, 1974, since Republican President Richard M. Nixon resigned in disgrace – before being thrown out of the Oval Office via impeachment and conviction – due to the accumulated scandals, constitutional crimes and cover-ups collectively known as Watergate. And now, the parallels to that era, but this time involving Republican President Donald J. Trump, are getting pretty long, and pretty obvious. The only thing missing so far? A Congress, with the notable exception of the Senate Intelligence Committee, willing...

Nitya Chakraborty
If the reports about the negotiations among the leading opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh- Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal, on seat sharing for the coming Lok Sabha poll are any indication, the opposition parties have made a major breakthrough in achieving their objective of unitedly ousting the Narendra Modi government from power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Once, the deal is officially announced, possibly before the coming assembly elections in the three BJP ruled states by the end of this year...