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First World War Today

HEADS of 83 countries, monarchs and elected presidents/prime ministers included, converged in Belgium to commemorate the centenary of the World War (the war to end all wars!), while Israel is bombarding Gaza. New York Times reporting the event writes “Some took the moment to recall more modern crises in the Middle East and Europe that are rooted in the fighting between 1914 and 1918 that toppled empires and redrew the world map. Some dwelled on a vision of reconciliation among former foes”.

Catch them Young It is the Textbooks Once Again

AS the first full session of the newly elected parliament comes to a close, it has been clearly established that the economic path of the BJP government will not be any different from that of the Congress. On the contrary, the policy pronouncements of the BJP government betray its aggressive intent in furthering the neo-liberal policy trajectory. So, the natural question, wherein lies the difference between the two governments is now slowly being answered – it will be in injecting communal venom into the society using its reins on State power.

 

Change of Design needed to Ensure Minimum Submersion & Maximum Benefits

THE process of bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh has turned the Polavaram issue into a more complicated one. The former UPA-2 government in its hurry to push the bifurcation bill had wanted to satisfy its own party leaders in Andhra area and therefore gave the national project status to Polavaram project. In 2009 itself, the then union government promised 10 district Telangana state including villages which would get submerged due to the project. The bill categorically stated that the submersion villages should be shifted to the residuary Andhra Pradesh.

Budget Puts Urban Poor At the Mercy of Corporate Capital

THE Modi government’s first budget lays out a clear road map for the privatisation of governance and corporatisation of public spaces. Key to this strategy is the development of smart cities which have emerged as the pet project of Prime Minister Modi. As the finance minister stated in his speech, “the pace of migration from the rural areas to the cities is increasing. A neo middleclass is emerging which has the aspiration of better living standards. Unless, new cities are developed to accommodate the burgeoning number of people, the existing cities would soon become unlivable”.

The “Role” Governors Play

EVER since the Congress’ monopoly of power ended, first in the states and then at the centre, the governor’s post has been mired in controversies. It began with the first breach in the Congress’ monopoly of power in 1957, when in Kerala the then undivided Communist Party of India won the elections. The Communist Legislature Party, which included five independent MLAs, elected EMS Namboodiripad as their leader, who in turn staked claim to form the government. Governor Ramakrishna Rao, refused to accept the claim.

The Intelligence Bureau Report

THE Intelligence Bureau report suggesting that foreign-funded NGOs are holding up the nation’s “development” could be dismissed as a silly piece of officialese, were it not for the fact that the government of India seems keen to use it not just for acting against some particular NGOs but for breaking down any opposition to the process of primitive accumulation of capital unleashed by neo-liberalism.

Calendar of Shame: Rapes Every Day & Every Where

HUMANITY'S collective conscience is raped. Of course, if we have one. Strong feelings? Feeling disgusted and sad that could not express in more stronger terms. If December 16 was not enough, what else would? Experience of each passing day teaches that sadism can get even more sadistic, brutality even more brutal and violence, even more violent. If December 16 was a red letter in the calendar, there are no more blue letters on it. Every day is getting a new coat of red, as it recedes into history. A paint of red. A stain of blood.

On European Union Election Results

THE results of the recently concluded elections to the European Union parliament were compared to an 'earthquake' by the French prime minister. He was referring to the setback received by the social-democratic and conservative parties in these elections. Media reported that these 'mainstream' political parties, though had retained their hold on the EU parliament, had lost the elections. According to them, these elections were won by 'Euroskeptic', 'fringe' parties, belonging to both extreme right and left.

A Case for Proportional Representation

THE recently concluded general elections, apart from spelling out the winner, also threw many interesting, but important sub-texts. Here are a few:
No party has ever before won more than half the seats with a vote share of just 31 percent, the previous lowest vote share for a single-party majority was in 1967, when the Congress won 283 out of 520 seats with 40.8 percent of the total valid votes polled.
The Congress secured 19.3 percent votes, winning 44 seats, while in 2009, the BJP secured 18.5 percent votes but won 116 seats.

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