Reflex Action

Mark Gruenberg
The new tax law the passed by the Republicans-run Congress and signed by President Donald Trump “stakes out America’s bid to become the most extreme society in the world” in unequal distribution of wealth, a new United Nations report says. And, adds Philip Alston, the UN’s specialist on extreme poverty and human rights, that chasm is “shockingly at odds with” among other things, the nation’s “founding commitment to human rights.”   Poverty is the U.S. is also laced with “racist stereotypes that are not far below the surface,” Alston says,...

Born in a farming family of Sundar Singh and mother Inder Kaur in a village called Goaltian in the District of Sialkot, now in Pakistan on 22.05.1897, Dr. Diwan Singh was orphaned when still a child and had, early education in Daska and Sialkot, brought up by his paternal uncle. After passing matriculation examination in 1915, Dr. Diwan Singh joined the Medical School at Agra. During last 2 years of his stay in Agra, he often gave public discourse on the teaching of Guru Nanak, the Budha, the Prophet Mohammed and of course, Jesus Christ, while...

Amulya Ganguli
Ever since the degeneration of politics into a virtual cesspool, as Amitabh Bachchan called the profession after a brief period of entry and exit, Indians in general have been fascinated by the idea of a knight in shining armour wielding a broom to clean the Augean stables. Indeed, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chose the broom as its election symbol to denote its intention of sweeping away the accumulated crime and corruption before realizing that the task was beyond its capability. Now, another warrior has appeared with the promise to do what...

G. Srinivasan
With traditional investment avenues not guaranteeing even plausible returns and the equity markets stymied by the greed and recklessness of firms floating even initial public offerings (IPOs), leave aside those established ones not living up to their reputations for fair-play, it is small wonder that legions of even ill-informed Indians scramble to trade in virtual currencies (VCs) such as bitcoins! In desperate times, there is a tendency to seek desperate remedies and the latest bonkers is for bitcoins whether such people are from the tinsel...

Aditya Aamir
A Tamil nationalist party called Naam Tamihzar has told Tamil superstar Rajinikanth – in whom “politics has entered” – to storm no Tamil bastion because he is not Tamizh. Well, to them should be asked the question, who was MGR and where from came Jayalalithaa? MGR for all his Tamil films was born in Kandy to a Hindu Malayali family which migrated to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) from Kerala. And Jayalalithaa was born in Mandya district of Karnataka in a Tamil Brahmin family. Rajinikanth was born in a Maratha family in Bangalore, Karnataka. He was named...

Kalyani Shankar
Tamil super star Rajinikanth’s punch line in his super hit film Kabaali is “Naan Vandthttenu chollu (Tell them I have come.)” On Sunday, wearing a spotless white kurta and pants, Rajinikant announced to his millions of fans: “My entry into politics is certain”, thus ending the two-decade-long suspense. He is not the first mega star who had chosen to do so as there are many others like M.G. Ramachandran, J. Jayalalithaa, Captain Vijayakant and others. Even the former DMK chief ministers like C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi had come from the...

Arun Srivastava
With British Prime Minister Theresa May unable to handle effectively the Brexit issue and the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn emerging as the most favoured candidate for the top job, a section of the Labour leaders opposed to Corbyn’s entry into the office of the prime minister have launched a sinister campaign against him. They have been creating the impression that the core support group of the party and its voters have been opposed to the party’s current stance on Brexit. They are, in fact, in league with the Tories to stop the...

Amritananda Chakravorty and Mihir Samson
In a sudden move, the Central Government introduced a bill criminalising the practice of unilateral instantaneous divorce by Muslim men, commonly known as triple talaq, vide, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha on 29.12.2017. The Bill was passed, amidst lots of opposition, especially amongst Muslim women’s groups and organisations. The Bill essentially declares the pronouncement of talaq, which is defined as triple talaq, to be illegal and void, and makes it a punishable offence, i.e., any Muslim man...

Nantoo Banerjee
It is good to know that the government is working on a first ever national employment policy that will address the crucial issue of jobs creation in the country. The policy is intended to outline a comprehensive road map with focus on creation of quality jobs across sectors through economic, social and labour policy interventions. It may be announced in the upcoming budget session though it may take several months before the final document is ready. The task is, by no means, easy. The existing economic environment and job market situation are...

L S Herdenia
Year 2017 was a highly stormy year both for the government and the people of Madhya Pradesh. Unprecedented happenings took place during the year. Most important was farmers’ agitation. The agitation was so violent that the police had to kill about six agitators when the situation went out of control. The angry farmers and their supporters destroyed public property including buses, vehicles etc. In a bid to defuse the crisis, the chief Minister announced help of Rs.  One crore each to the families of diceased.    However the agitation...

Sushil Kutty
When the scam broke the country was absolutely shocked. The loss to the exchequer ran into lakhs of crores of rupees. It was labelled as the biggest political scandal in the world, second only to Watergate. The scam-tainted UPA government was thrown out by the people and the country’s reputation was in tatters, humiliated on the world stage as an epitome of corruption. Now, six years later, the people of India are once again absolutely shocked. What, no scam? No loss of money, thousands and thousands of crores of rupees? What is notional loss...

Arun Srivastava
With British Prime Minister Theresa May unable to handle effectively the Brexit issue and the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn emerging as the most favoured candidate for the top job, a section of the Labour leaders opposed to Corbyn’s entry into the office of the prime minister have launched a sinister campaign against him. They have been creating the impression that the core support group of the party and its voters have been opposed to the party’s current stance on Brexit. They are, in fact, in league with the Tories to stop the...

L S Herdenia
Year 2017 was a highly stormy year both for the government and the people of Madhya Pradesh. Unprecedented happenings took place during the year. Most important was farmers’ agitation. The agitation was so violent that the police had to kill about six agitators when the situation went out of control. The angry farmers and their supporters destroyed public property including buses, vehicles etc. In a bid to defuse the crisis, the chief Minister announced help of Rs One crore each to the families of the deceased.    However the agitation...

Nantoo Banerjee
It is good to know that the government is working on a first ever national employment policy that will address the crucial issue of jobs creation in the country. The policy is intended to outline a comprehensive road map with focus on creation of quality jobs across sectors through economic, social and labour policy interventions. It may be announced in the upcoming budget session though it may take several months before the final document is ready. The task is, by no means, easy. The existing economic environment and job market situation are...

Yogesh
Seeing your pictures in blue.. Captivated I am with beautiful you.. Holding you close to my heart deep.. Dreaming of seeing you soon as I sleep.. Beautiful you with smile sweet.. Seem fascinating in deep blue.. May I kiss your hands sleek.. Dear dream girl as I meet you sweet.. Saying nothing you only smile a little.. Charming cheerful young angel.. Beautiful you in deep blue.. Speaking in silence I do love you.. Whispering back in your ears.. I too love you like anything dear.. I do kiss your diamond studded ears.. Sparkling like...

Amritananda Chakravorty and Mihir Samson
i. Penalty of Rs 1 lakh imposed on petitioner seeking imposition of Prohibition: An NGO from Vishakhapatnam had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking it to direct the implementation of the Directive Principles of State Policy in Article 47 of the Constitution, which requires the state to work towards the prohibition of intoxicating drinks, amongst others. The NGO had conducted a study in the slums of Vishakhapatnam and came to the conclusion that increased alcohol consumption was a cause for the increase in violent incidents, illnesses...

C.H. Venkatachalam
The Cabinet approved the FRDI Bill (Financial Resolution & Deposit Insurance Bill) and thereafter the Bill was introduced in the Parliament on the last day of the last Session and now the Bill has been referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee. The Bill has created widespread fear, apprehension and panic amongst the depositors that the government is contemplating to liquidate the banks and the deposits of the banks will not be returned because of the Bail-in Clause of the Bill. In March 2016, a committee was set up under the...

Victor Grossman
Berlin and Germany offer plenty to write about, sometimes much of it unpleasant. As we approach the New Year, none of it is burningly new or urgent. Bargaining on forming a new government will last well into 2018, with little prospect thus far of change for the better, or of hope generally. So, with this a holiday season for so many, I decided to stray briefly from politics – if you will permit. As an old birdwatcher, absence from my U.S. homeland meant losing friends of my young years, birds so common they were taken for granted. Among the...

Amritananda Chakravorty and Mihir Samson
Special CBI judge O.P. Saini acquitted all the accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases. The accused included A Raja, then Telecom Minister, K. Kanimozhi, daughter of M. Karunanidhi of the DMK, Shahid Balwa, Sanjay Chandra, Reliance Telecom and Gautam Doshi, amongst others. An accompanying case had Ravi Ruia, Anshuman Ruia and Essar Group companies as accused. The scam pertained to the allocation of telecom licences arbitrarily, in a manner which the accused companies were allegedly favoured. The main allegations included manipulation...

Kalyani Shankar
Tamil Nadu is back in focus again, this time in view of the surprising results of a by-election. They have raised a pertinent question whether corruption is an issue at all in this country. The results say no. Who would have thought that the people of the RK Nagar constituency held by the late J Jayalalithaa would elect a man with a perceived corrupt image? With the return of TTV Dinakaran, nephew of Sasikala, Jayalalithaa’s companion, the Mannargudi clan is back in the reckoning. Dinakaran fought as an Independent because the ruling AIADMK...

Arun Srivastava
Like any other developing country, market forces played the decisive role in the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the president of the African National Congress (ANC). By virtue of being the party president, he would eventually become South Africa’s next president. What has been significant is while the voters did not whole heartedly support Cyril, his victory was, nevertheless, hailed as a “humbling rebuke” of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and a stark rejection of his policies. Had there been a suitable alternative candidate, the people...

Harihar Swarup
Gujarat election results may be a zabardast jhatka (severe jolt) to the BJP but it is, paradoxically, a victory in defeat for the Congress. Gujarat poll was the first test for Rahul and he has done reasonably well by putting a new life into his party. A resurgent Congress will have to face challenge after challenge in 2018. If fact, it will be apt to call the new year an election year in run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. Within months, the Karnataka elections are due and they are not less important than Gujarat. The southern state ruled by...

S. Sethuraman
For a chastened Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who could just manage to keep Gujarat for BJP by striking a parochial chord and thereafter claiming an “emotional victory”, 2018 would be full of challenges on all fronts, political, social, and in reshaping our foreign policy in a world order under dismantling with the revival of cold wars among military giants. His acclaimed ‘reforms’ are struck in marshes, bar the loud claims, the economy is limping, and politically he will brace himself for more poll fights in 2018 in both BJP-ruled states and...

Sushil Kutty
“Public perception has no place in judicial proceedings.” These are words from the 2G verdict that set free 17 accused. The judge without saying it plainly blamed the media – especially the tribe of investigative journalists – for blowing up the case into a scam. Special Judge O P Saini said that his seven year wait for evidence was “all in vain” because the case was mainly based on “rumours, gossip and speculation.” With that “truth” out in the public domain, should not the media, especially the print media, make amends, give an...

K. Raveendran
The spectre of artificial intelligence (AI) eating away millions of jobs haunts India more than any other BPO destination in the world and has been agitating policy planners, trade unions and the country’s software and other industries. India’s dominance as the outsourcing hub, which is responsible for creating one of the most dynamic growth drivers for the country, hinges on the abundant availability of low-cost and low-skilled personnel. Many of these jobs are supposed to be made redundant by automation. All reports on the subject so far...