Reflex Action

Aditya Aamir
The hunt for the ‘real core Hindu’ is on. Somebody ‘right’ asked the other day: ‘Will the real core Hindu please stand up?’ So far nobody has stood up. Resident Indian National Congress leader in Pakistan Mani Shankar Aiyar is not ‘real core Hindu’. He told his Pakistani constituency that 69% of India did not vote for ‘Hindu nationalist party’ BJP. Aiyar’s main point was the 69% who did not vote Modi were a “fractionized” lot. The ‘real core Hindu’ is different from 'hardcore Hindu'. He is supposed to have certain standard traits. He should...

Amulya Ganguli
Eighty years after Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s portrait was put up in Aligarh Muslim University, the BJP’s electoral compulsions in Karnataka have made the saffron apparatchiki call for its removal. The delayed reaction is typical of the Hindutva camp. Its devotion for Lord Ram, for instance, came to the fore only in the late 1980s although the RSS was formed in 1925 and the Jan Sangh in 1951. It was only in 1989, however, that the BJP’s national executive endorsed the VHP’s decision taken four years earlier to “liberate” Ramjanmabhoomi where the...

L S Herdenia
Kamal Nath’s visit to Bhopal and the mammoth reception he got opened a new chapter in the politics of Madhya Pradesh. The mature way he behaved has forced the ruling BJP to realise that the challenge was real and it can’t afford to be complacent. By all accounts the reception was unprecedented and biggest since BJP came to power in 2003. Normally people are brought to participate in such events. But this time it is claimed that people came on their own. What does this massive turnout mean? Firstly it means that people are fed up with the...

Dr Arun Mitra
Every year 6.3 crore people of our country are pushed below poverty line because of out of pocket expenditure on health. This fact is admitted by the National Health Policy document 2017. Nearly 67% of this expenditure is incurred on drugs. Therefore, it is important that prices of drugs should be brought under control. To regulate the pharmaceutical companies, a Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) was prepared by the department of pharmaceuticals, Government of India in 2011. But it was said to be voluntary for some...

Barun Das Gupta
General elections are scheduled to be held in Bangladesh by the end of this year, though the poll schedule is yet to be announced by the Election Commission. As in the previous elections, so in the coming elections, too, the main battle will be between the two Begums – Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister and head of the ruling Awami League; and Khaleda Zia, chairperson of the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, backed by Jamaat-e-Islami, which provides the muscle power to the BNP to take on the Awami League. Begum Zia insists...

O.P. Sabherwal
The 125th death anniversary of Karl Marx is at hand, recalling the words of Frederick Engels, “The greatest living thinker (has) ceased to think”. The critics may go wild, but the BBC forum listing the ‘greatest of the millennium’ at the turn of the century, conferred a similar epithet on Marx – “greatest thinker of the millennium”. The BBC’s Radio 4 listeners voted Marx as the “greatest philosopher of the millennium”. The greatest philosopher who propounded dialectical materialism? Or is he the great economist, who discovered “surplus value...

Gyan Pathak
Psychology of crime in India has been changing at a very fast pace outsmarting our overall crime control strategy. The strategy we adopt always becomes outdated in the changed situations in the society. The government and its agencies responsible to control crime tend to stick to the older strategies despite the changed scenario, resulting in their failure. Though the data in the annual report 2017-18 shows only a minor increase of 0.9 per cent in Indian Penal Code related crimes in 2016, compared to the previous year, the changing pattern of...

Subrata Majumder
A perpetual border settlement between India and China is untenable. Then, why not use economic engagement to soothe the relation. Against the backdrop of US trade war against China, Prime Minister Modi’s reciprocation to Beijing’s urge for amelioration of ties is a timely step for his Act East policy, which has been shadowed by China’s BRI (Belt and Road initiative). India has declined to be party to BRI. The informal Wuhan summit has helped to morph Doklam tension into a softer China and its yearn for India’s support for its role in Asia...

C.J. Atkins
Make time for Marxism. That’s the advice Chinese president and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping gave his members this week. On Monday, while presiding over what Xinhua News Agency described as “a group study session of the Political Bureau,” Xi stressed the importance of The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels some 170 years ago, and told the party’s 90 million adherents to devote themselves to studying it. The push for cadres to brush up on their ideological knowledge comes just in time for Marx’s 200th birthday...

Harihar Swarup
Knowing well that its impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dipak Misra, will be rejected by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, the Congress went ahead with the motion. Expectedly, the motion was rejected by the Vice-President and now Congress proposes to go to the Supreme Court. Government and its allies dubbed the motion as “politics of revenge”. The Congress leaders and the brain behind the move, noted jurist Kapil Sibal, say “only CJI’s removal process is political, motive is not”. There is no chance of the impeachment...

Sushil Kutty
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a sea of swirling plastic waste in the middle of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas and thrice that of France, is difficult to remove. Similarly, human garbage, trash like self-styled ‘god-man’ Asaram Bapu, is hard to get rid of. But April 25, 2018, Judgement Day, this Bapu of all things base in Man and worse in ‘god-man’, who has lakhs dancing to his tune, stood convicted for rape. He was sentenced to life in jail until death, the quantum of sentence not quite the quantum of solace he and his supporters...

Aditya Aamir
To wake up to the headline ‘Tragedy in Kushinagar’ doesn’t give anybody ‘Kushi’. Add to that the number ‘13’ and ‘superstition’ drops anchor. Last heard, ‘13’ was still an unlucky number. And 13 children died in Kushinagar when their school bus was blown off the tracks by a rushing train at an unmanned level crossing in Uttar Pradesh Thursday morning. Happiness fled Kushinagar. Such an unhappy name for a town in grief. There is an opportunity here to provide jobs to wayward unemployed youth. Give them the responsibility to man unmanned level...

Subrata Majumder
Farmers’ suicides are back in the limelight and have become a major political weapon for political parties. Since 2010, farmer’s suicides have been a perennial problem for the ruling parties. Even the biggest loan waver by UPA-2 in 2008 failed to prevent suicides by farmers. Surprisingly, the rich states were more susceptible to farmers’ suicides than poor states. In other words, agricultural distress was more prevalent in the rich states than in poor states .A National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report revealed that Maharashtra – one of the...

Amritananda Chakravorty
In the last one week, the country has been rocked by the reports of two horrific rapes, one in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir, and the other one in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, which indicate the considerable complicity of the State/politician machinery with the accused persons, and the impunity with which law is violated. In Kathua, Jammu, an eight year old girl, from the Bakarwal (nomadic) community was kidnapped, sedated, gangraped, tortured for over eight days in a temple and eventually killed. The crime was apparently masterminded by the Sanji Ram...

Dr. Arun Mitra
Way back in history when the knowledge of causation of illness and remedy was primitive, cause of disease was attributed to some divine powers. The same powers were looked for salvage. With the passage of time the human race tried to find the causes responsible for poor health in surroundings and thus they searched for remedy also in nature. This led to the development of various systems of medicine in different parts of the world. Modern system of medicine advanced further in a scientific manner through intensive research to find pathogenesis...

Arun Srivastava
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made two important statements on a single day, that too within a couple of hours; he accused the Congress of killing democracy by not allowing parliament to function even for a day and second, he accused the Opposition, especially the Congress of disintegrating the society by fanning communal tension. On a day the BJP government was trying to invoke the Gandhian message, curiously Modi was being projected as the new Gandhi of modern India, striving to resuscitate as the New India. When he snatched the power from...

Barun Das Gupta
Nepal Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli came to New Delhi on a three-day visit last week. The tone for the talks he had with the Indian side was set by Oli himself. Three days before he left for Delhi, Oli told the Nepali Parliament that he would not sign any agreement with India at the cost of Nepal’s pride and prestige and national interest. Also, that he would not sign any new agreements but urge the implementation of the ongoing projects. Oli emphasized that Nepal’s relations with its neighbours would be based on “mutual benefit,...

L.S. Herdenia
Whatever steps Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister takes to win over voters prove counterproductive. He decided to raise the retirement age of government servants from 60 to 62 years. He expected that this decision will add the votes of state government employees and their families to his vote bank. But this decision did not please a substantial number of government servants themselves. Besides, the government had to face the wrath of unemployed youth, whose number runs into several lakhs. The raising of the retirement age has jeopardised chances of...

G. Srinivasan
The changes incorporated in the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2017 after a Parliamentary Committee made its recommendations that were mostly endorsed by the Union Cabinet on March 28 has still left many a serving doctor community sore and sullen. In a country of continental size and vastness such as ours, the importance of keeping the populace in the pink of health so that the productivity of the economy is kept up at least half of its potentials can seldom be gainsaid. Still, down the decades and despite the touted benefits of India’...

Harihar Swarup
Smriti Irani has been media unfriendly since she took over the charge of the sensitive Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Her order a couple of months back was to cancel forthwith the allotment of a small room occupied by the Press Association, oldest organization of accredited journalists to the government of India, in the National Media Centre. The room to the Press Association was allotted years back when Press Information Bureau was in Shastri Bhavan. The successive I & B ministers never thought of throwing out the office...

Amulya Ganguli
The restiveness among the BJP’s former and present allies has spread from the Shiv Sena, which was the first to say that it would not align with the BJP in 2019, to Telugu Desam and Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Jitan Ram Manjhi to Nitish Kumar and perhaps even Ramvilas Paswan. While the Shiv Sena was the first to sense that Narendra Modi’s magic was fading, the Telugu Desam realized that being with the BJP was becoming more of a liability than an asset and, therefore, used the denial of a special package for Andhra Pradesh as the reason for its...

Gyan Pathak
National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRlM), launched in June 2011, was one of the flagship programmes to eradicate rural poverty in India. By the 7th year of its implementation it was to cover all the districts and blocks of the country. Only after two months the time will be over, but the government has failed to achieve the target. It succeeded only in renaming it Deendayal Antyoday Yojna (DAY) in November 2015. It shows the commitment of the ruling establishment to the sectarian view of nationalism and lack of commitment towards poverty...

John Wojcik
Five decades have passed since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. In that city this week, thousands gathered to commemorate the civil rights icon’s life. From symposia hosted by the National Civil Rights Museum to rallies under the auspices of the new Poor People’s Campaign, Memphis was filled with activities marking the King legacy. The Mountaintop Conference, organized by AFSCME, the union that represented the striking sanitation workers King was in Memphis to support in...

Arun Srivastava
The marriage of deceit and intrigue is on the verge of cessation. Publically both the partners, JD(U) and the BJP have been claiming to enjoy a successful and happy connubial, the reality is they have ceased to be a perfect bed partner. The major partner BJP has been systematically resorting to arm twisting and giving a bad name to JD(U). The relation between the two has dipped to such a low in the wake of communal clashes in Bihar that for last two days the JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi have been sending warnings to BJP by way of...

Arun Srivastava
The marriage of deceit and intrigue is on the verge of cessation. Publically both the partners, JD(U) and the BJP have been claiming to enjoy a successful and happy connubial, the reality is they have ceased to be a perfect bed partner. The major partner BJP has been systematically resorting to arm twisting and giving a bad name to JD(U). The relation between the two has dipped to such a low in the wake of communal clashes in Bihar that for last two days the JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi have been sending warnings to BJP by way of...