Reflex Action

Sankar Ray
Twenty-five years ago, as grapevine had it, when the then general secretary of Communist Party of India Indrajit Gupta was reportedly approached to write a forward for the first comprehensive English version of Karl Marx’s Mathematical Manuscripts from the Russian text, the CPI leader declined confessing that he couldn’t write anything about a work which he wasn’t aware of, let alone having read it. However, the translator, Pradip Baksi, a Kolkata-based- Marx scholar and a rare strain of polymath, is not aware of this. But the maverick CPI(M)...

Nitya Chakraborty
Only a month has passed since the results of the Karnataka assembly elections were out on May 12, but for the Congress Party, this has been the period of great learning about the dynamics of coalition politics. Congress led by Rahul Gandhi has become more sober and practical in dealing with the regional parties as also the smaller parties whom the Congress leadership did not take into account earlier. Rahul Gandhi is certainly a changed man now and he has come to the conclusion that the Congress has to enter into alliance with the maximum...

Subrata Majumder
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not a radical reformer. He is a great administrator and not a reformer as he seems, the Economist said. The report card of his four years governance envisages that he is more laudable in administration and bureaucracy than in economic reforms. Nonetheless, he ushered the country into high growth trajectory and bolstered it into the highest global growth trend, surpassing China. With absolute majority in Lok Sabha, high hopes loomed large for reform oriented planks, which would make a corruption free society and...

Gyan Pathak
Against the popular belief among Indians that India is one of the most peaceful nations of the world, it has been declared 28th worst peaceful nation ranking 136th out of 163 nations measured for peacefulness by the Global Peace Index 2018. In comparison to last year, India scored only a little better by 0.025 pushing its rank up by four from 140th rank. The country’s overall score is 2.504 on a scale of 0-10. The slightly improved overall score for India was due to the government’s efforts to tackle violent crime, falling levels of military...

Aditya Aamir
Lynching is mob action. A ‘group of people’ lynch. So the term ‘mob lynching’ is an oxymoron. Lynching is mostly out in the open. In town and village square. In the Wild West of America it was stringing from the nearest tree. A couple or more people cook up a lie over a rumour spread like wildfire. And the falsely accused is killed by the group without trial. The choice of weapons is left to the moron: Scythe, machete, club and spear. The long rope! A lynching can also be bloodless. Priyanka Chopra mouthing ‘Hindu terror’ in the Romeo episode...

Nantoo Banerjee
Not many people in Bengal may have ever heard the name of a outfit called CPI-ML Red Star, not until it attacked a Power Grid Corporation’s (PGCIL) sub-station project, being built in co-operation with the West Bengal government, at fast developing Rajarhat in Kolkata’s outskirt. The central transmission utility had sought cooperation from all stakeholders for completion of the Rs. 800-crore Rajarhat sub-station project. “Considering advantages of the Rajarhat 400/220kV sub-station project, Power Grid Corp solicits cooperation from all...

Arun Srivastava
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has lost the battle for survival even before it was trumpeted. The manner in which Nitish has been shifting the goal post and shuffling agendas gives a clear indication that he is in deep crisis and unable to evolve his future course of action. Like any other politician, after the worst drubbing of the BJP at the by-polls, Nitish too has been finding ways for his existence. He has become conscious that the continuation of the tieup with BJP would prove counter-productive as the popularity graph of its leader...

Harihar Swarup
Encouraged by the poll success in Karnataka and by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, Opposition unity looks certain in the run up to the general elections in 2019. If the Opposition sticks together, the BJP led by Narendra and Amit Shah, appears to be in trouble. Presuming the BJP is routed in Lok Sabha election in May, next year, what will be the scenario like? First, who will lead the grand coalition? The Congress, which may emerge as single largest party, is bound to stake its claim to leadership, but there are many aspirants for the Prime...

K R Sudhaman
Three years after setting up of Niti Aayog and path-breaking award of 42 per cent devolution to states from the central pool of taxes by the 14th Finance Commission, the question is now asked whether fiscal federalism has really got a shot in the arm by these path-breaking steps. Has Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieved the much-touted promise of fiscal federalism? Modi as Gujarat chief minister was among several chief ministers critical of what they called over-centralisation and arm-twisting approach of the Planning commission. So a major...

K Raveendran
The most hilarious court judgment ever is attributed to Sir Roger de Coverley, an Old English fictional character. Sitting in judgment for three days, hearing a dispute between two men complaining against each other, Sir Roger finally gave the verdict: Much might be said about both sides. The decision by a vacation bench of the Supreme Court in a case about reservation in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes last week may not have been as hilarious as Sir Roger’s, but it was in a similar vein. The court said: “We can say that...

Dr. S. Ganesan Regional Director, IGNOU
The school education ends at higher secondary level and make the eligibility to go for college/university level education. During my college days, one of my college professor said that our next 40-years of life is determined by the first degree. It was always echoing in my mind during my B.Sc, Physics studies, and remained as constant motivator for entire study period. I personally is a witness of enjoying the benefit of first degree (UG) to get government job based on B.Sc. Thus, I can say with confident that fate of our life (after 20 years...

L.S. Herdenia
Eight days of farmers’ agitation have passed off peacefully. The only major event during this period was the visit of Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Mandsaur district, which saw six persons killed in violence last year. Five of them were killed by police bullets. Congress arranged the visit of Rahul Gandhi to coincide with the first anniversary of this brutal act of the police. Besides addressing a massive rally, Rahul also met the family members of those who were killed by the Police. It was shocking to learn that family members had been...

K R Sudhaman
The Indian economic growth figures for January- March 2018 quarter announced early June are certainly encouraging. The CSO figures say fourth quarter of 2017-18 recorded 7.7 per cent GDP growth, which is an eight quarter high. Following this growth momentum, the overall GDP is now revised upwards to 6.7 per cent for 2017-18. This indicates that the demonetization impact is fading and GST related glitches are getting resolved, rating agency Crisil says, adding the broad take away is that there has been a sharp upturn in economic activity. The...

G Srinivasan
For the Modi Government, the celebration of the four years of corruption-free governance with the receipt of the mixed message of the latest batch of by-polls to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies across the nation behind, the crucial final year of its first term is replete with existential challenges on the economic front. Politically, Modi may be invincibly in a pole position to lead his party for a second term with the rank and file adoring him as the mascot of the BJP with all the adulations due to a celebrity leader, despite the manifest...

Amulya Ganguli
As in London last April, Narendra Modi participated in a choreographed question-and-answer session in Singapore recently, where one of his responses was apparently to a pre-set query. The difference between the two events was that the BJP aficionado and censor board chief, Prasoon Joshi, managed to camouflage the pre-arranged nature of the show in London with much greater efficiency than what was done in Singapore.    The faux pas of the organizers in Singapore related to the mechanical act of the English translator of Modi’s replies in Hindi...

S. Sethuraman
The poll battlefield for Lok Sabha 2019 has become wide open in the aftermath of Kairana, the third script-changing by-poll loss for the ruling BJP in its heartland (UP). This was on top of other countrywide reverses the party suffered over recent weeks. It may be somewhat early to read in all these a nation-wide anti-incumbency wave against the majoritarian Modi Government. There is, however, no mistaking the widespread dissatisfaction over the four-year clumsy record of BJP with signal failures in meeting the promises held out by Narendra...

Sushil Kutty
Arundhati Roy’s first book God of Small Things won the Man Booker in 1997. Second book Ministry of Utmost Happiness made it to the list but sank in its own sea of utmost unhappiness. Not surprising. For, it is like “beyond the flyover, the city got less sure of itself.” That’s a quotable quote from The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, in which “weevils learn to stand upright” and “dams light up cities”. Read Arundhati Roy if only for the quotes! But Arundhati falls off the writing block when she says Muslims ghettoized only in the last four...

P. Sreekumaran
There is no mistaking the signs: Kerala’s political landscape is all set to acquire a deeper shade of red in the wake of the Chengannur assembly by-election result. CPI(M) candidate Saji Cherian retained the seat by trouncing Congress candidate D Vijaya Kumar by a  record margin of over 20,000 votes. BJP’s P S Sreedharan Pillai, who was hopeful of upsetting the applecarts of both the LDF and the UDF came a distant third. The by-election was necessitated by the death of CPI(M) MLA K K Ramachandran Nair. The most significant feature of the...

Nilanjan Banik
For India, the case of rising income inequalities deserves special attention. New World Wealth, a Johannesburg-based company, published a report where it claimed that India is the second-most unequal country in the world, with millionaires controlling 54 percent of the wealth. In Japan, the most equal country in the world, millionaires control only 22 percent of national wealth. A reason for the rise in income inequality has to do with large dependence on the less productive agriculture sector: more than 55 percent of Indian population still...

Aditya Aamir
Jocko Street cut short the overseas call. “Shashi Tharoor is in trouble, what will I tell my friends in Thiruvananthapuram? Their hearts will be broken, especially the women.” Alec Smart stabbed a finger in the air: “What happened to Tharoor? Last I heard the man was doing fine?” Jocko rose to his full height, 6’1” in his socks. “They have named him accused in Sunanda’s suicide, abetment something. They will stand him in court and ask him personal questions. How can they do this to Sunanda, such a lovely woman? Sunanda will be heartbroken!”...

Sushil Kutty
Mark Zuckerberg must not like the New York Times anymore. The clean-cut CEO of Facebook, social media where friends serenade friends and get high on ‘likes’, was just getting over the profligacy of Cambridge Analytica when the NYT comes out with this report that Facebook had parted with extensive user information to phone makers, from Apple to Samsung to Blackberry, a total of 60 device makers including Amazon. Poor stinking-rich Zuckerberg must maybe now order another suit to go with another tie and shirt. You can’t expect a billionaire to...

Atul Malikram
In the course of changing time, we have seen various trend related to Advertisement, Marketing and Branding which gives a new hope in upcoming days. The important aspects are that the Digital Media, Social Media and Influencer Marketing are its foundations. The Importance of Increase in new trends on the advertising market and effect of Technology in Advertisement is important. Now Advertisement is not limited to newspaper and Television. A new trend is all about advertised your product on Social Media and in Digital Media. Statistics show...

Aditya Aamir
A Kaala war is on in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Karnataka, two states with links to Kaala superstar Rajinikanth, a man whose name recognition in distant shores – Japan to Singapore to sister-city Dubai – is like ‘Hail the Queen’ in the United Kingdom, where films walk through cinema halls in silent progression unlike in Tamil Nadu, where movies pass muster in theatres in vociferous glee as if to the cinema-born, which they are, especially a Rajinikanth-flick. Rajini, who is one of two recent Tamil cinema actors-turned- politicians – the...

Arun Srivastava
Like his illustrious leader, Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh is also a brainy politician and can dare to come out with any statement. Taking a leaf out of his past experience, he described the two-day-old farmer agitation a publicity stunt. According to him, the farmers resort to such gimmicks only for cheap publicity. Singh said, "Any organisation will have 500, 1,000, 2,000 or 40,000 farmers, and they have to do something unique to appear in the media. The country has 12 to 14 crore farmers and an agitation by a few would have...

Nantoo Banerjee
India’s business houses and entrepreneurs are going all out to acquire companies across the world, thanks to the support from the government, RBI and banks. The global deal-street now seriously takes note of Indian bids and transactions. India’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) in equity, loan and guarantees is largely funded by the Reserve Bank of India. Funds invested are large, running into billions of dollars, every year. Unfortunately, most of them generate little benefit for India, by way of corporate remittances. In contrast,...