Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hide Act

A section by section analysis of the Act passed by the US Congress reveals stipulations that tie India down. Yet the fiction has been purveyed by the government through the media that these provisions have been dropped. The prime minister’s assurances to Parliament may not mean anything. Arun Shourie, Indian Express, 22 December 2006

No Water? Drink Coke!

"We have arrived at the decision to ask both Coke and Pepsi to stop production and distribution of all their products, based on scientific studies which have proved that they are harmful," said Mr. Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan. Chief Minister Achuthanandan also pointed to the four year campaign by the community of Plachimada in Kerala where the community has protested falling water levels and pollution of the groundwater and soil - directly as a result of the Coca-Cola company's bottling operations in the area. -, 10 August 2006

Taking Reservations Little Too Far

In a significant development after the tabling of the Sachar report, Muslim MPs, cutting across party lines, today handed over a wishlist of sorts to Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh: IITs and IIMs exclusively for Muslims, 5,000 schools, 2 lakh scholarships and more campuses of the Aligarh Muslim University across the country. - Indian Express, 20 December 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nuclear Co-operation or Compromise

Indian scientists have raised objections on certain points of the Indo-US nuclear deal. They have objected to the clause, which says India can't reprocess nuclear fuel. Questions have also been raised on the clause dealing with the inspection process. Scientists feel this will destroy the secrecy of India's nuclear program. More objections – this time to the clause, which forbids India from testing nuclear weapons, making the safety of existing nuke weapons difficult. - CNN-IBN, 17 December 2006

Sporting Blues

Men's hockey was a disaster waiting to happen as India lost to China and for the first time ever in the games history failed to qualify for the semi-finals and in the process also failed to directly qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The over 350-strong (exact numbers not known) contingent which took part in more than 28 disciplines was reduced to the 'also ran' category at the continent's biggest sporting arena. Display by most of them did not even merit mention in any local paper or TV shows beamed all over the world. - Zee News, 16 December 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Indian Cricket Hits Rock Bottom

It did not take long for coach Greg Chappell to slump forward in his chair, hands locked together, supporting the weight of a thousand thoughts. His team was on the verge of its sixth straight defeat, its second series loss in six months, the tricolour lying trampled and limp somewhere on the highway to the World Cup. One block away, South African batting great Barry Richards was reaching for the coffee, shaking his head as former home skipper Kepler Wessels walked in. “No, No,” said Richards to Wessels, who replied with a wry smile. Even they had wanted India to put up a fight at the Centurion. Hoo Haa India? By the end of it all, the Blue Billion had given it their own spin: “Hai Hai India.” Indian Express, 03 December 2006

Think Small

There can be no denying that an industrialisation impetus would involve land acquisition in rural areas, with property becoming prohibitively expensive in cities. But why target prosperous rural regions, where people are not interested in leaving their land for other occupations, when 21 per cent of India, or 68 million hectares, is wasteland? A conflict situation can derail the momentum of an industrial venture and dent the image of industry and government. - Times of India, 05 December 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ministers & Murderers

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not show much reluctance in re-inducting Soren into the union cabinet in late November 2005. Exactly a year later, just as the UPA regime entered the post mid-term comfort zone, Soren has struck again. This time the case is a lot more serious. He is the first minister to have been convicted by a court on charges as grave as kidnapping and the conspiracy to murder. - Indian Express, 1 December 2006

Be Dud Buy Dud

The precision strike capability of the Indian military has taken a hit with the Russian Krasnopol 155-mm terminally guided ammunition turning out to be “defective” during Army test-firing in the Mahajan ranges in Rajasthan. The Krasnopol deal had been cleared by the NDA government during the Kargil war and is under the CBI’s scanner. – Indian Express, 26 November 2006

Human Rights or Human Wrongs

The people of Manipur are on an ongoing struggle against the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) imposed in Manipur since 1958, which equips security forces with unrestricted powers. Manipuri activist poet, Irom Sharmila Chanu who is on an indefinite hunger strike againstpolice firings in Malom district on November 2nd, 2000, which killed 10 innocent and unarmed civilians, has now entered its sixth year. She has been held under arrest repeatedly on charges of “attempted suicide” by the government, and is being forcibly nose-fed. Even as most political parties have favoured repeal of AFSPA from the State, the ruling coalition partners Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India remain ambiguous on the vexed issue. For more go to