HISTORY is repeating itself with the United States dictating whom India should buy oil from. The US had forced India to drastically reduce buying oil from Iran after it imposed unilateral sanctions on Iranian oil trade last year. Now, the US is back to the business of coercing India to stop buying oil from Venezuela on whom it has imposed illegal sanctions.
THE 17th Lok Sabha election, the notification for which has been issued, is going to be the most consequential election in the history of independent India. Much is at stake. This election will have a bearing on the future of the secular-democratic Republic as enshrined in the Constitution.
Five years of Modi rule have already weakened and eroded the basic principles on which the Constitution rests. An authoritarian Hindutva State looms ahead if the BJP succeeds in coming back to power.
THE promise of the Modi government to double farm incomes by 2022 seems to be a cruel joke on farmers who are suffering the reverse - a steady decline in farm incomes. The Central Statistics Office has added credence to the allegations of the peasantry that the last five years have seen continuously low incomes. CSO figures show that farm income growth crashed to the lowest in 14 years in the last quarter of 2018 (October-December).
THE National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has condemned the brutal lathi charge on disabled protesters in Pune, Maharashtra, on February 25.
The protesters mainly belonging to the deaf community were demanding the implementation of the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act with regard to education and employment. They sought to highlight the fact that an overwhelming majority of educational institutions continue to be inaccessible. There is a huge backlog of vacancies which the government refuses to fill.
THE aerial strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed run camp in Balakot in Pakistan was conducted to send an effective message that India will not tolerate terrorist attacks such as in Pulwama, sponsored from across the border. The extent of the success of the operation, in terms of destroying the militant base, is yet to be established. The reputed international defence monitoring media agency, Jane’s Information Group, has termed the claims about the operation’s success as “speculative”.
THE death of 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the horrific attack in Pulwama has caused sorrow and outrage among people throughout the country. Thousands of people attended the funerals of the killed jawans who were drawn from 16 states of the country.
THE more the prime minister and his government seek to brush off questions regarding the Rafale deal, the more they are getting embroiled in the quagmire of the murky deal.
Ever since Prime Minister Modi went to Paris in April 2015 and announced the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter planes, instead of the earlier agreement to buy 126 planes, the deal has been enveloped by a veil of secrecy and controversy.
THE Supreme Court order directing the Kolkata police commissioner to present himself before the CBI for questioning at a neutral venue and, at the same time, directing the CBI not to take any coercive action like arrest against the police officer has exposed the political posturing by both sides – Mamata Banerjee and the TMC government on one side and the BJP and the Modi government on the other.
THE United States has declared war against the legitimate government of Venezuela headed by President Nicolas Maduro.
This is the meaning of the brazen act of interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela with the Trump administration announcing the recognition of a rightwing opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as the interim president. Alongside this illegal act came also the call to the Venezuelan armed forces to withdraw support to the lawfully elected president.