Editorial

Panama Papers: Modi Regime’s Toothless Action

THE Panama papers have given a glimpse of the extensive network of shell companies and secret entities in tax havens around the globe which service the needs of the wealthy and powerful of the world. The Indian Express has published details of Indians who have utilised the services of a law firm, Mossack Fonseca, headquartered in Panama for acquiring shell companies off the shelf. These shell companies are registered in various tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands.

Uttarakhand: Assault on Democracy

THE imposition of president’s rule in Uttarakhand and the dismissal of the Harish Rawat government is a blatant attack on democracy, constitutional norms and states rights by the Modi government. Coming after the imposition of president’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh a few weeks earlier to facilitate a government with defectors from the Congress and the BJP, the Modi government has shown that it will utilise the draconian Article 356 of the constitution to topple non-BJP state governments, utilising any opportunity available.

Nuclear Safety Compromised

THE leakage of heavy water in the unit one of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS-1) has once again raised fears about the safety and reliability of the nuclear power plants in the country. As per the sketchy reports emanating, there was a moderately large leakage of heavy water in Kakrapar on March 11, 2016. The power plant has been shut down and inspection is on by the scientists from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to assess the nature and seriousness of the accident and to ensure that the safety of the plant is assured.

Towards Assembly Polls

ELECTIONS to the five state assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamilnadu and West Bengal have been announced. Polling will begin on April 4 and the process will continue till May 16. Counting for all the states will be held on May 19. These elections are important not only because it will determine who will form the state governments there, but it will also have a bearing on the future course of national politics.

Hate Speech of Minister

THE spectacle of a minister in the Modi government making a speech of communal incitement and violating his or her oath of office has become a regular feature. Even so, the latest instance of Ram Shankar Katheria, the minister of state in the human resource development ministry making a hate speech against Muslims in Agra has to be taken with the utmost seriousness.

PM’s Conspiracy Theory

BARELY two years in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is already showing signs of strain and frustration. He has made an astounding speech in which he has accused various forces of conspiring to destabilise his government. Speaking at a rally in Odisha, Modi pointed fingers at various quarters who he alleged are unable to tolerate him as prime minister and his government.

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.

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