Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Exercise Your Right To Information

Triveni is a poor woman. She lives in a slum in East Delhi. She holds an Antyodaya card issued by the government to the poorest of the poor. However, it isn't easy to get ration from a ration shop. She didn't receive any grains for the last six months. Whenever she would go to the shop, the shop would either be closed or the shopkeeper would say that there was no stock. In February 2003, Triveni filed an application under the Right to Information Act asking for the quantity of ration issued to her as per records and also copies of cash memos purported to have been issued to her. Before she could take any action, the shopkeeper came to her house and pleaded with her not to take any action and that he would mend his ways in future. Since then, Triveni is getting right amount of ration at the right price. -

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

US H1B Protectionism

NASSCOM, the body that represents Indian software companies, has once again refuted claims made by some US senators that Indian IT companies are abusing H1B visas. H1B visas have nothing to do with US job losses and wants to speak to US senators. “H1B visa is not limited to the IT sector or Indians alone and any move to prohibit companies from hiring H1B visa holders is "protectionist",” says NASSCOM. -CNN-IBN, 30 May 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Blame it on Gujjars

Gujjars and Meenas who lived peacefully as neighbours for decades are today at daggers drawn. Lifelong friends have developed visceral hatred for each other. As politicians play their games, the nation is being torn apart. Those who think the crisis has ended need to re-think. The crisis has begun. It will spread to other states, among other communities. Sociologists are poring over data to determine which caste fits which category. Politicians and media are busy analyzing recent political moves for the blame game. Why don't they see the big picture? - Outlook, 12 June 2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

G8 Hypocrisy

India and China are coming under increasing pressure to sign up to a mandatory limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the G8 summit in Germany. But, India says it cannot take steps which will retard its economic growth which is the only way to deliver the vast majority of its people from poverty. Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon says it is unfair to target India when the problem of global warming has been created by the industrialised countries. "Once our per capita emission levels reach the same as those of the industrialised countries, we'll be very happy to do our share too." - BBC News, 06 June 2007

Mobile Rules No# 06

Friday, June 01, 2007

India: A Failing State of Affairs

The UPA Government completed three years at the Centre on Tuesday but rising inflation and an agrarian crisis seem to have put a dampener on any plans for a celebration. - CNN-IBN, 22 May 2007

General Injustice

The government banned demonstrations in Pakistan's capital Friday, the latest effort to quell mounting political turmoil over President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's decision to suspend the chief justice. Thousands of Pakistanis have joined a series of protests since the March 9 ouster of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, accusing Musharraf of trying to sideline the independent-minded judge before elections this year. Riots erupted last month when authorities stopped Chaudhry from leading a demonstration in the city of Karachi, leaving more than 40 people dead. - Washington Post, 01 June 2007
Then, on ‘Black Saturday’, armed members of opposing political parties converted the streets of Karachi into a battle zone. Almost 50 were dead by the end of the carnage and hundreds wounded. The Karachi killings became a sideshow in the running battle of nerves between General Pervez Musharraf and Iftikhar Chaudhry, the chief justice he is attempting to oust. A lawyer-led mass movement has emerged against the president, with the chief justice as an icon and rallying point. Despite heavy-handed police action against lawyers’ demonstrations and fundamentalist-engineered diversions, the tide of support for Chaudhry has not slowed. -