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Misuse of Census Data on Religion for Narrow Political Gains

THE belated release of census data on religion has been followed by predictable reactions from sections with a motivated interest in promoting sectarian divisions on religious lines. Judicious interpretation of census data can be a powerful tool for planning as demographic trends are good indicators of underlying socio-cultural and economic factors that determine changes in the trajectory of populations. India is perhaps the most culturally diverse country in the world and disaggregated census data provides information about social, cultural and economic trends in different communities.

Stand Up, Start the Change

COME the Independence Day, comes the discussion on patriotism. Some wear it on their sleeve. Literally. The one who is speeding in his car, with the national flag, thinks he is extremely patriotic. The one who salutes the flag, thinks he is the (lot of emphasis) patriot. Not to forget the ones who post their 'selfies', all the while saluting (don't ask how they mix a salute with a selfie, it's all a heady patriotic cocktail).

SECC Excludes More Than It Includes Amidst High Rural Distress

COMMISSIONED by the UPA government in 2011, the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) was to collect data on caste, urban and rural socio-economic status. The preceding BPL census was undertaken in 2002, which collected information on 13 indicators for every rural household. Households were selected on the basis of their total marks, the cut-off being the total marks at which the number of BPL households in a state equalled its poverty estimate as determined by the Planning Commission. This process was problematic, procedurally and conceptually.

‘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'.

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