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‘Virtually All of Death Row Convicts Are Poor’

LADY Justice is depicted as blindfolded, but is she blind and without any bias? Not always. A recent empirical study of convicts on death row confirms the fact that the capital punishment in India is reserved for the poor and the marginalised. While the poor get gallows, the rich mostly escape. According to a study, three-fourths of those given death penalty in the past one-and-a-half decades belonged to the backward classes and religious minorities.

BJP’S CORRUPTION: Govt Disrupting Parliament To Protect Guilty

CLEARLY, this BJP government is brazening out the turmoil in the parliament and is hoping to `ride the storm’ and escape parliamentary scrutiny over grave charges of corruption that have been raised by the united opposition. On the eve of this monsoon session of parliament, this BJP government and PM Modi, celebrating their first year in office, bombastically claimed that they have provided a corruption-free government as opposed to the scam-ridden UPA-2 government.

Modi Govt's Foreign Policy

AS the travel logs show, Narendra Modi has been spending considerable time in foreign climes. On his many visits abroad, he has steadfastly refused to take the external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj along. Important foreign policy decisions now seems to be exclusively formulated within the confines of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This trend had started during the tenure of the previous government after it had gone on overdrive to secure the US-India nuclear deal. But in those days, the foreign office at least provided serious inputs that were acted upon.

Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC): Confusion on Landlessness in Kerala & West Bengal

THE Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) was carried out between June 30, 2011 and December 31, 2011 by the ministry of rural development, government of India. The three stated objectives of this Census were to enable state governments to prepare below poverty line (BPL) lists, to arrive at a caste-wise enumeration of the population, and to ascertain the socio-economic and educational status of the enumerated castes.

Pushkar Tragedy – A Monumental Failure of the State Govt

GODAVARI Maha Pushkaram started off in the state of Andhra Pradesh on an unimaginable sad note resulting in the loss of precious lives and grievous injuries to many. It is for the first time in the history of Godavari Pushkaralu that such a massive tragedy has taken place. This ghastly incident has severely dented the credibility of the TDP government and remained as the worst nightmare for the people of Rajahmundry.

Are Racial Attacks Not Acts of Terrorism?

IN one of the most gruesome racial attacks that we have heard in recent times, a 21-year old white man had shot dead nine Afro-Americans, who were attending a Bible study at the AME Church in Charleston. This is indeed more horrendous than the bomb attack on the 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, by the KKK (white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan), a tragedy that had galvanised the Civil Rights Movement in the US. In that attack, four girls died and it was termed as a 'terrorist act'.

Delhi Turns into a Battleground For Centre-State Relations

A SERIES of events has turned the capital Delhi into a battleground in recent weeks. First it appeared that a typical power struggle between opposing political forces had broken out. There was open mudslinging between Delhi’s Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), over who has the right to appoint senior bureaucrats and others in sensitive positions.

Fearing the Word

STOP reading. Stop writing. Stop discussing. These are the new three monkeys that our drawing rooms need to be decorated with. Let go off those three monkeys of Gandhi, that old Gujarati. Here we have now a brand-new Gujarati, the 56-inch, decisive, fashion-icon, 'pradhan sevak'. Give way, the dhoti-clad Gandhi, to the monogrammed suit wearing Narendra Damodar Modi.

Response to Modi 'Open' Letter(s)

DEAR prime minister,

Your 'open letter' on the occasion of the first anniversary of your government was duly delivered to me this morning by my newspaper delivery man.  In fact, two different letters in more than two different languages! I can't help but thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to write not one, but two letters and give a glimpse of your government's achievements and priorities. But the differences in the two letters have left me perplexed.

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