Transforming the Library

WHILE Kerala can be proud of the large number of functioning public libraries in India, Kannur district located in the north of the state has the distinction of ranking first in the state with more than a thousand libraries.  Kannur has thus become the logical place of choice for holding this first Indian Library Congress from January 1-3, 2023.Kerala has pioneered the growth of the public library through popular participation for more than a century, taking this institution beyond the confines of universities, state repositories and privately held book collections.

Significance of October Revolution in Our Times

THE world today seems very far away from those heady revolutionary days when the October Revolution in Russia happened. It is 105 years since this historic revolution took place which resulted in the world’s first socialist State.  It is 31 years since the end of the Soviet Union, the period since which was marked by the ascendancy of imperialism.The three decades since 1991 saw a renewed round of aggressive wars of intervention by US imperialism and NATO.  The targets were developing countries which did not possess nuclear weapons and had comparatively weaker armed forces.

Morbi Bridge Collapse: The Questions Gujarat Govt Needs to Answer

THE Morbi pedestrian suspension bridge over the Machchhu River collapsed on October 30, leading to the confirmed death of 141 persons and injuries to more than 100. In this column, I will not repeat what is widely known regarding one of the worst bridge disasters in India. The question that needs to be raised is whose responsibility is such a bridge in India and whether the authorities carried out their responsibilities. This is more than simply filing police cases against lower-level staff in the company, Oreva, a manufacturer of electronic clocks, CFL bulbs and e-bikes.

Rising Distress Suicides: Inconvenient Truths, Lies and Silence of Convenience

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with Narendra Modi leading from the front had in 2014 launched a big campaign about the agrarian crisis that was prevalent under the then Congress-led UPA-II government. The attractive promises made by Narendra Modi and his pack had in no small measure enticed the rural voters comprising the peasantry, agricultural labourers, tenants and the poor to vote for the BJP in the 2014 elections; and why not?

Contextualisation of the Symbol of the Hijab

THE images of women in Iran burning their hijabs has prompted the social media trolls of the BJP in India to taunt women activists who have opposed the Karnataka government’s ban on wearing the hijab to educational institutions. One of them said “show these (the photographs)  to shameless Indian women who want to cover girls in hijab”. As usual the trolls have got it wrong. In Iran the custodial death of Mahsa Amini, the 22 year old Kurdish woman in Teheran has led to a series of protests in Teheran and elsewhere.

The Case on Ethical Code for Marketing Medicines

A TWO-JUDGE bench of the Supreme Court, on August 18 afternoon, issued an order on the legal code for the marketing of medicines.The Federation of Medical and sales Representatives’ Associations of India (FMRAI), had filed a petition in the court urging the government to enforce a legal code for marketing of medicines.The Indian media, however, has distorted facts and misreported the issue by selectively highlighting the issue of perks given to doctors to improve the sales of one product, Dolo-650, an antipyretic drug.Dolo-650, produced and marketed by Micro Labs,  contains 650 mg of parace

BJP’s Freebie Campaign: Yet another Assault on the States’ Rights

THE freebie debate has raised a hornet’s nest regarding its definition, implications for the poor, impact on fiscal consolidation, propriety of judicial system usurping the domain of the legislature and political process and so on. But a dimension that has not received adequate attention has been the consequences for the federal structure.The states are alleged to be steeped in “revadi culture” and distributing too many freebies risking their financial stability.

Why Lok Ayukta Amendment?

THE Kerala Assembly has passed the Lok Ayukta Amendment Bill after detailed discussions. The assembly came to the general point of view that the bill has constitutional and legal validity. This bill has been formulated as per the provisions of the Central Lokpal Act and the State Lok Ayukta Model Bill by upholding the provisions of the constitution. As per the Lok Ayukta Act, this system will be responsible for investigations and inspections.


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