Editorial

Jackboots on the Campus

THE RSS-BJP drive to bring universities and higher educational institutions under its political-ideological domination is in full swing. The latest attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and its student community was almost predictable given the recent events in other educational institutions which come under the purview of the central government. The JNU has become a prime target as it stands for all that is antithetical to the RSS-Hindutva forces.

Iniquitous Taxes on Petrol and Diesel

IN the month of January alone, there have been three rounds of increase in excise duties by the central government on petrol and diesel. These increases amounted to Rs 2.12 per litre of petrol and Rs 5.5 per litre of diesel. So far there have been nine hikes in excise duties since November 2014, as a result of which the total excise duty of petrol went up by Rs 11.77 and diesel by Rs 13.37 per litre respectively.

Arunachal Pradesh: Misuse of Article 356

THE imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh is an assault on the federal principle and yet another misuse of Article 356. The BJP government at the centre and the state governor J P Rajkhowa have played a sordid role in the whole episode.

The political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh began in November last year when a group of MLAs belonging to the ruling Congress party revolted. They approached the governor for impeachment of the speaker of the assembly.

A Besmirched Chief Minister

THE spectacle of a chief minister steeped in a corruption scandal and brazenly refusing to resign is unfolding in Kerala. The Congress Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, has been embroiled in the solar panel scam, from the outset, since it was exposed two and a half years ago. The scamsters, Biju Radhakrishnan and his partner Saritha Nair, were found to be operating in collusion with the personal staff of the chief minister. When the scam was exposed, three of the personal staff were clearly seen to be involved.

Moral Authority Lost

THERE are times when a single incident can shatter the moral authority of a government. The death of Rohith Vemula, a research scholar at the Hyderabad Central University (HCU), who was driven to commit suicide is one such.

The Republic under Siege

AS India observes the 66th anniversary of the Republic, it is necessary to have a hard look at the state of affairs in the country. The adoption of the Republican Constitution on January 26, 1950 was a major achievement of the independent India. It is under the Republican Constitution that a parliamentary democratic system was instituted.

Economy in Trouble

THAT the economy is in trouble is seen by two figures which have come out. The first is the index of industrial production which contracted by 3.2 percent in November 2015 and the second is the retail price index which registered a 5.61 increase in December.  The industrial output figure is cause for worry as the manufacturing sector within this index has declined by 4.4 percent.  Capital goods sector has declined by 24 percent, a clear indication that investment is not forthcoming.

Pathankot Lessons

THE Pathankot terrorist attack has come within four weeks of the announcement of the resumption of dialogue with Pakistan during the visit of Sushma Swaraj to Islamabad.  Such an attack was anticipated by many observers on both sides of the border. The Modi visit to Lahore may have just speeded up the plan to attack.

No Military Bases for US

DEFENCE Minister Manohar Parrikar’s first visit to Washington has led to various initiatives in defence cooperation with the United States.  The most serious and disturbing of them is the willingness expressed by the minister for giving US access to Indian military bases and ports. Media reports suggest that Parrikar has conveyed to his US counterpart Ashton Carter that the Indian government has an open mind on the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA). 

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