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  • WHEN FLOODS DIVIDE JANA GANA    (20-08-2018)
    The ‘North India-South India’ binary has started bothering a big bunch of people. You cannot blame them. The Centre’s stingy response to the flood-fury in Kerala is partly responsible. Rs 100 crore and then Rs 500 crore. Misers rule India. Is it because the Bharatiya Janata Party is a party of north Indians and the Marathi? Will it have reacted differently if the deluge had taken toll of a state north of the Vindhyas?
  • BANGLADESH WEIGHING IMPACT OF ASSAM NRC    (20-08-2018)
    The publication of the National Register of Citizens in Assam has caused concern in Bangladesh for obvious reasons. Names of some 40 lakh people did not find place in the NRC and concerns were naturally raised about their future status as citizens. Although the date for inclusion of names “with proper documents to prove citizenship” has been extended, many fear that even in the revised NRC hundreds of thousands of people are likely to find their names missing. The BJP, from president Amit Shah down to the party’s street fighters, are constantly saying that those who cannot prove their citizenship will be “sent back” to Bangladesh. But Bangladesh claims no citizen of theirs is illegally living in India and that they will not take back anyone sought to be pushed across the border as being an “illegal infiltrator” from Bangladesh.
  • INDIA’S GDP IS HIGH ON SELLING, LOW ON MANUFACTURING    (20-08-2018)
    The government is believed to be ready to shortly wheel a new industrial policy. Such an idea is pending with the authorities for quite some time. The latest reform initiative by the government is being pitched as potentially the biggest overhaul of industrial policy in about three decades and will come just ahead of the coming national election. However, it is not clear why it could not come much earlier. Recently, the government had also set up a task force on imports.
  • NATIONAL TV MEDIA FINALLY SMELL ‘PETRICHOR’    (18-08-2018)
    It took a pyre lit to look at a province drowning. Atal Behari Vajpayee couldn’t have died at a more wrong time. National television news media couldn’t take eyes off the ex-PM. His poetry became the anthem, the lament of the dirge from God’s Own Country lost in the distance. Till Vajpayee hogged news-time, it was saturation coverage of the hearse and the horse leading the death march, not of water-saturated deathly Kerala.
  • MODI GOVERNMENT FAILED TO BREATHE LIFE INTO MSMES    (18-08-2018)
    Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in India have been suffering for the last four years due to the insensitivity of the Modi government. How much of it was intentional in favour of big corporate sector, and how much of it was the result of policy experiments is difficult to ascertain, but this much is certain that most of the 63 million units, employing 111 million people, are under great duress though showing signs of hope at the fag-end of Modi’s term.
  • MAMATA GOVT ADOPTS BRAZEN ANTI-WORKER STAND    (18-08-2018)
    The three-day strike by the tea workers of West Bengal on 7–9 August 2018 posed several questions: What exactly was the strike by 29 unions intended to achieve and what exactly did it achieve?
  • MALAYALI GREED HAS COME HOME TO ROOST    (18-08-2018)
    Nothing should take precedence over relief and rescue operations in the unprecedented devastation brought by overflowing dams and torrential rains in Kerala, claiming over 300 lives and displacing over 2 lakh people from their homes. Over 1,500 relief camps have been opened. It was as though the moment of truth has arrived for Malayalis, with people used to driving down in luxury cars being put in large cooking vessels and pushed to safety; women and children hauled up on the upper floors of their premium homes sending desperate SOS messages on social media to save their lives and inhabitants of posh localities trying to grab a piece of loaf hurled at them by rescue workers.
  • UNCERTAIN TIMES FOR GERMANY’S POLITICS    (18-08-2018)
    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.
  • ELECTION COMMISSION SHOULD NOT ALLOW SIMULTANEOUS POLLS    (18-08-2018)
    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, Chattisgarh 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 conducting elections in time, EC is going ahead with preparations and is expected to deliver results for these four states by December 15 this year.
  • SWACHH BHARAT A SKEWED MISSION    (17-08-2018)
    Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has neither been a ‘Jan Andolan’ nor a mission. It is indeed doubtful whether it was the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019. The manner in which the so called mission was launched at Rajpath in New Delhi on 2 October 2014 showed that it was purely a populist programme meant for the image make over of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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