Column

Mental Cruelty in Matrimony

IN THE judgement of the case – Joydeep Majumdar v. Bharti Jaiswal Majumdar delivered on February 26, 2021, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy, has ruled that in a case where wife’s irresponsible allegations affect the career and reputation of her husband irreparably, that behaviour on ..

RAISING ‘PITCH’

TRUST Ravichandran Ashwin to slay criticism in a manner befitting a cavalier warrior. The off-spinner, who has scaled the prestigious Mt. 400 Test wickets peak, gave it back to the critics of the Ahmedabad Test match pitch in his own usual non-chalance by posing a teaser, “What is a good cricket surface?”. Ashwin’s poser should clear many prejudiced opinions about the Indian pitches whenever a visiting team is confounded by the spin on offer. This time it was the English team’s turn to face the heat...

Public Laxity

DESPITE the raging war cry of precaution against COVID-19, people are getting lax and as a result, the numbers of newly-infected are surging rapidly, pointing to a more widespread second wave lurking ahead. The recent surge in corona cases in 5-6 major States of the country has set the alarm bells ringing. According to data released by the Central Government, Maharashtra and Kerala are witnessing a steep rise over the last seven days or so. Punjab, Chhattisgarh and MP are also nearing the dan..

V-shaped!

THERE is good news from the economic front, with the economy getting poised for what the Ministry of Finance described as V-shaped growth in the quarter ending March 31, 2021. The economy has gotten out of recessionary phase that the nation endured for two successive quarters due to coronavirus pandemic. Now is the time of better health, better prospects, better times for all sectors of the economy, as the Government has asserted. It is necessary to analyse this development in the right perspective. ..

Together, very good; In front of TV, not very good

THANKS to the conditions thrust upon the larger society by the coronavirus pandemic, countless numbers of families are seen spending their evenings together in front of television. Initially when the lock-down was imposed, people did find creative ways and means to engage themselves in different activities. But soon, television re-asserted itself and was back in the daily time-table with a vengeance...

Beyond Motera

  Ahmedabad, February 24 (Agencies): President Ram Nath Kovind, on Wednesday, inaugurated the world’s largest cricket stadium and named it after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The cricket stadium is part of a massive sports complex -- traditionally known as Motera Sports Stadium -- already named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. World-class facilities for several sporting disciplines are being created in the complex as part of an ambitious programme that may prove to be a new symbol of ..

IT’S ALL GREY

  ON EXPECTED lines the Paris plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has continued Pakistan on increased monitoring list for serious deficiencies in checking terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan will remain on the ‘grey’ list till it addresses all 27 action items before the next plenary. On the face of it Pakistan’s continuance in the ‘grey’ list may look a tight rebuke for its failure in taking action against UN-designated terrorist and ..

MUCH-NEED

  THE three-tier framework created by the Centre to determine the contours of digital media, OTT platforms and news publishers is a much-needed step that must be hailed by the larger society. Though some voices have cropped up over tight Government leash on creative content showed on such platforms, especially the OTT medium, recent controversies on some web series clearly show why regulation is necessary to avert divide on caste as well as religious lines.  The guidelines also take ..

BIG TASK

AHEAD JUDGING by the overwhelming response to the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country, the second phase starting March 1 for the next target group is likely to achieve the same success rate. The first phase of the world’s biggest vaccination drive saw over one crore frontline and health workers getting inoculated for the Coronavirus. Over 14 lakh of them also received the second dose as the drive went off without any fault, barring a few technical glitches. H..

Lanka’s Independent Policy

INDIA-SRI-LANKA relations under the presidency of Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be interesting to follow. It may be recalled that when Gotabaya became the President of Sri Lanka in November, 2019, there was palpable unease in the South Block. Both he and his brother Mahinda (former President and present Prime Minister) are known for their pro-China leaning. Gotabaya had openly declared his intention to undo the pro-democracy reforms made by former President Maithripala Sirisena and introduce the presidential ..

SEE SENSE

IT IS time the protesting farmers saw sense in the offer of Union Agriculture Minister Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar to re-open talks. Mr. Tomar has made it clear that the Government is ready to put the three new farm laws on hold for 18 months and form a joint committee to discuss an agreeable way out of the deadlock that has lasted for months. If the farmers reject this offer as well, they will be the biggest losers of whatever public support they may be enjoying for now. The nation -- and even the ..

Resurrection of a landmark

THANKS to solicitous response from the Daga family, the famed Kasturchand Park has got back the marble statue of (the late) Sir Kasturchand Daga. That had become necessary as the old statue, standing at the north-eastern tip of the Kasturchand Park had come down when a massive tree-branch crashed upon it a few months ago. The family took upon itself the task of making of a new statue of one of Nagpur’s most celebrated sons -- giving back the place its old glory. This resurrection of a historic landmark ..

ROUTINE EXERCISE

THE point made by Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Mr. Satya Nadella needs to be understood by Governments the world over. He has insisted that there should be a global regulation as regards safety and privacy of data so that various tech products are safe to use. Against the background of the complex issues that are dogging authorities and global tech majors..

Himalayan Disaster

THERE is a huge tectonic place below the land mass of India known as “Indian Plate.” The rotation of the Earth is causing this plate to continually move northward just like any matter moves to the top in a centrifugal machine. The Indian Plate crashes into the Tibetan Plate as it moves to the north. The pressure between these two plates is leading to the continual rise of the Himalayas a..

Didi’s problem

THE trouble with West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee is that she has currently to fight on two fronts -- political and psychological -- as the State is getting ready for legislative elections that may prove to be most acrimonious ever. That the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has posed a very serious challenge to her supremacy, is only one part of the detail. ..

ROUTINE EXERCISE

THE Election Commission of India (ECI) has done well to explain to the people that its decision to deploy Central Police Forces in poll-bound West Bengal is a routine exercise -- which is carried out in all States that go to polls. This explanation has its own importance against the background of the complaint from the ruling Trinamool Congress that the Centre was trying to brow-beat the electoral process through deployment of Central Police Forces. It is unfortunate that Trinamool Congress and ..

Indian-Americans’ Mindset

THE 2020 survey carried out by Carnegie Endowment, tries to find and analyse the reasons for Modi’s popularity in the United States. Indian-origin American citizens now comprise the second-largest immigrant group in the USA. Over the years with increasing political influence and playing an active role in the US internal politics, this group also tends to be actively involved in the politics of the country of their origin. Since the turn of the twenty-first century the burgeoning US-India partnership, ..

SELF-RELIANCE

PRIME Minister Mr. Narendra Modi went full distance at a webinar to explain India’s current philosophy about total self-reliance defence production. He expressed his grief that a country that can send a spacecraft to the Mars cannot make weapons for itself and become self-reliant. But this is being changed and the country is engaged in a massive programme of achieving self-reliance in defence production, he insisted, thus underlining the change of tide in a critical national sector. The Prime Minister ..

WELCOME IDEA

IT IS good news that the Centre is contemplating appropriate regulations on social media so that it does not go berserk. Hinting at the possibility, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mr. Ram Madhav said that the social media has a borderless expanse and it has the potential to topple governments. Hence the need to have appropriate regulations in place so that such a potent tool in the hands of common people is not abused. For quite some time, thinking people have been feeling the need to have such ..

Rossby Waves, And Wave-7

IT’S NOT funny when people die of the cold, but there was some innocent amusement to be had from the indignation of Texans unable to boil their drinking water during the Big Freeze because the power was still out. Things like that are not supposed to happen in a modern, developed country like the US of A. How dare they? Others, aware that Texas has cut every corner in the public services that it’s possible to cut, were unsurprised by the five-day mini-disaster that struck the country’s second-biggest ..

THINK afresh

EVEN as India and China engages each other in continued rounds of negotiations to work out reasonable way out from the eastern Ladakh quagmire, time seems to have come for India to think afresh its approach so far to handling situations of such nature. Even though the world acknowledges that India stood tall and strong against China and made Beijing to take a relook at its stance, it cannot be concluded that the problem is over once and for all. Those who understand the Chinese ch..

Pre-Deposit Rule In Appeal

THROUGH the judgement of the case – Kotak Mahindra Bank Pvt. Ltd. v. Ambuj A. Kasliwal and Others , delivered on February 16, 2021, a 3 -judge bench of the Supreme Court consisting of the Chief Justice Sharad A Bobde, Justice A S Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian, has made it clear that total waiver of pre-deposit rule in filing appeals before the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) is not permissible. The short issue before the Supreme Court for consideration was with regard to the correctness ..

'OPEN' ERA

THE outcome of the latest edition of year-opener Australian Open Grand Slam tournament shows another kind of ‘open’ era in which some old calculations have endured and some new ones have got established. With the victory of the veteran Novak Djocovic in Men’s Singles finals against Danill Medvedev (7-5, 6-2, 6-2) established the domination of the old guard, and the 6-4, 6-3 victory of Naomi Osaka against Jennifer Brady in Women’s Singles Finals showed emergence of new powers-to-be...

Grim Reminder

THE recent glacial lake burst in the ecologically sensitive Chamoli region of Uttarakhand is a grim reminder of the rapid environmental degradation we are going through and the disasters that loom large before us for want of proper planning and assessment of the potential hazards of human development and proliferation in vulnerable zones. The latest tragedy is only one in a series of suc..

GOOD RETORT

IT IS good news that as many as 47 legal luminaries and former top police officials -- such as Chief Justices of High Courts or the Directors General of Police -- have written a letter to President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, condemning those who have criticised the Delhi Police for arresting activist Disha Ravi as part of the ongoing investigation of the Republic Day violence and pro-Khalistan activities. Such a representation provides a strong and nationalistic alternate narrative to the usual crap that ..

Scary possibility of return of coronavirus

OF COURSE, coronavirus had never been defeated. It was all the time there once it entered our lives about a year ago. But then came the massive national and international effort to fight it back. Various social, health and other measures were put in place with utmost care. A global research effort produced good enough vaccines, too, as a necessary step to combat the dangerous menace that claimed crores of lives across the world. And the world heaved a sigh of relief! -- under the impression that coronaviru..

MATTER OF WORRY

IT IS a matter of real worry that coronavirus cases have begun showing signs of increase in numbers, no matter the fact that the national recovery rate is still very high. Reports are pouring from all directions that the dirty virus is again showing its enhanced dirty impact on the larger society. However, it must be noted with much concern as well as grief that this new trend is being caused due to the careless attitude masses are reported to be following. It will be a huge national shame if the ..

The Sheikh And His Kin

DUBAI can be amusing, in a voyeuristic way, for a week or two. Tallest building in the world and the mall with the shark tank, but it’s the people, really. There are a quarter-million expats, mostly British or American, living much higher on the hog than they ever could at home – but bored out of their minds, like refugees from a Somerset Maugham novel. Drunken buffet lunches on Fridays at one of the big hotels are as good as it gets. Offstage, there are also a couple of million servants, menials ..

SANE APPEAL

INDIA’S appeal to the nations of the world from the high perch of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to show “vaccine nationalism” and start practising internationalism as a core principle to bring a greater strength to the global fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, makes tremendous sense in the current conditions. Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar made it clear in his address to the UNSC that narrow-minded practices would only defeat the global efforts to attain collective ..

MILITARY MANNER

THE Myanmar military that staged a coup early this month and ousted popular leader Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, is busy finding newer ways to hold her in prison as long as possible. It has slapped new charges on the leader and almost ensured that it can keep her behind bars for indefinite period. This is how military often behaves when it dabbles into politics -- which is a universal experience. The charges that had been slapped against Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi earlier, too, were frivolous, to say the least. ..

US Curbs On Venezuela

ON JANUARY 28, a group of U.S. Congressmen, led by former Green Beret and now Republican Party legislator, Michael Waltz, introduced into the Congress a new Bill dedicated to smashing democracy in Venezuela, cumbersomely entitled the “Bipartisan Banning Operations and Leases with Illegitimate Authoritarian Regime (BOLIVAR) Act.”..

MYTH BUSTED

THE Central Government has almost succeeded in busting the myth that the current protests going on near New Delhi is not an agitation by genuine farmers. The central agencies have gathered enough evidence to prove that the protests are nothing but actually a well-organised political racket stemming from international conspiracy. No matter the bravado by the leaders of the protesting mobs, it is almost clear to everybody that in due course of time, the agitation would melt -- in the absence of substan..

GREAT WIN

THERE could not be a more emphatic outcome than the victory India’s cricket team has scored in the second Test at Chennai against the visiting England team that came with a brilliant track-record of in the past few outings. The win in the second Test match put India team’s confidence in itself back on top once again. The team has restored its psychological buoyancy that it lost in the first Test at the same venue a few days earlier. When the team travels to Ahmedabad for the third day--night pink ..

Another Nuclear Bungle?

THE self-esteem of two-year-olds and nation-states is too fragile for them to admit they were wrong, which makes it hard for them to move on from blunders. That’s why the toys don’t get picked up and the broken treaties don’t get fixed, and why there may be a tantrum (in the case of two-year-olds) or a nuclear war (in the case of the United States and Iran) the latter contingency is implausible, but there is a bipartisan effort in the United States to make it more likely. Until a few weeks ago it ..

SLOW PROCESS

NO MATTER what some people in the political Opposition might say about the current process of disengagement of the Indian and the Chinese Armies from forward positions in Pangong Lake area, it must be recognised that the episode should be termed as a success of India’s ‘military diplomacy’, a phrase used by a former Chief of Indian Air Force -- Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis years ago. The phrase entailed use of the country’s military capabilities as a diplomatic tool to counter a hostile country’s ..

BY A WHISKER

FORMER United States President Mr. Donald Trump scraped through his impeachment trial in the US Senate because the impeachment lobby could not muster enough numbers on the floor of the House. Though a massive ignominy was averted, the world knows that Mr. Trump had made himself vulnerable to some punitive action, thanks to his statements and conduct. The current Senate acquittal came on one count -- that Mr. Trump had instigated his supporters to mount an ..

The Disengagement Begins

AS PER reports, India and China have agreed to a monitored disengagement on both banks of the Pangong Tso. China had intruded into Indian territory north of the lake in May last year. The rapid deployment led to the Chinese being blocked in their tracks. Galwan displayed a strong Indian intent of not backing down. The award of war decorations to those who were involved in Galwan conveyed the message that India considered Chinese intrusion as an act of war and would escalate if needed to ensure defence ..

J&K STATEHOOD

UNION Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah’s candid statement in the Parliament that Jammu and Kashmir would be given statehood at an appropriate time, demonstrated the Government’s open mind on the issue. If the Kashmir region returns to complete normalcy, the Centre may not mind restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Shah stated. However, as he explained the details of the successful moves by the Centre in Kashmir, Mr. Shah indicated that much work needs to be in the region ..

No Legal Disability

IN THE judgement of the case- Nawal Kishore Sharma v. Union of India & Others, delivered on February 10, 2021, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court, consisting of Justices, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy have held that a heart ailment is not covered within the definition of “disability” in the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 and the Court would hesitate to import words, which the legislature chose not to, in their definition of ‘disability’. The C..

WHEN HE HITS...

A PREMIER batsman with all boxes ticked to qualify as a permanent resident of any team for the longer format is subjected to intense scrutiny as a matter of habit after even a minor blip. And he rises from the criticism in his own style, throwing another solid one at his detractors to keep them quiet and at the same time wonder at his potential. Rohit Sharma has been playing the act for years together despite six centuries in his kitty apart from some brilliantly-constructed innings for the team’s ..

Philosophy, a way of life for her

These five lines in her very first anthology of Marathi poems, Joginderkaur Mahajan bring to fore a fine mind that reacts and responds to life’s bliss and blight in short expressions that often leave the reader asking for more. This anthology -- Rund-Arund (Broad-Narrow) -- won her Maharashtra Government’s literary award. It also fetched for her a couple of other honours. And a generation of young writers came up trying to emulate her style -- crisp but not emotionally bereft. Crisp and emotion-filled ..

The bicycle, a metaphor of freedom for kids

THE boy had his little bicycle. But it broke -- beyond repair, so to say. So, his parents bought for him another, taller and stronger, bicycle, simply because the boy, too, had grown taller and stronger in the past couple of years. And, how can a boy -- or a girl -- survive without a bicycle of his own? So, a decent sum was spent to acquire a brand-new bicycle for the little one --who did not waste even half a minute in riding off on it even when it was well after evening and the colony had nearly ..

Of A Great Kinship!

But those who have seen and worked for the success of dialogue as a core principle of democracy are unfazed. They travel beyond the political zone and emerge as humane entities with all qualities of head and heart. That is when we see members of other parties crying openly during their speeches of condolence to leaders such as Mr. Arun Jaitley or Mrs. Sushma Swaraj.New Delhi, February 10 (Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi was moved to tears on several occasion as he spoke in farewell of Congress ..

DIGITAL MIS

   UNION IT Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad’s chagrin towards social media platforms is pretty much understandable after the growing misuse of these mediums to spread fake news and unsubstantiated videos. The Centre has flagged several issues to microblogging site Twitter and platforms like the Facebook for their misuse by certain elements to spread fake news and incite violence. While Twitter has put up a lame defence of users exercising freedom of expression, Mr. ..

BIden’s call

  CHINA’S perceived mending of ‘friendly’ relations with the United States after a regime change in the White House may not be a smooth affair as the communist leadership had planned. Such inference can be drawn from the first call between US President Mr. Joe Biden and Chinese premier Mr. Xi Jinping after the former assumed new office. Mr. Biden was clear in his concerns over China’s coercive and unfair economic practices, its crackdown in Hong Kong increasing aggression ..

CLIMATE JUSTICE

PRIME Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s idea of climate justice to fight the climate change is borne out of the Indian philosophy of treating nature as a benevolent mother. Health of people and health of their surroundings are two intricately connected issues which now need to become a cohesive idea for humanity for evolvement of the concept of climate justice. Mr. Modi has, in effect, exhorted the international as well as local society to take it as their individual duty to fight the climate change. India ..

Darwin’s Challenge

DARWIN was born this same day February 12th in 1809. Darwin studied the evolution of turtles in the Galapagos island of South America. He came up with the theory that the present man had evolved from apes. At that time, the Western world believed that God had made man as a sculptor makes a statue with hammer and chisel. Thus, the Bible says, “God created humankind in his own image… male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Instead, Darwin suggested that there was no intervention by an external ..

A NEW MARK

THAT the Armies of India and China have begun the slow, synchronised, calibrated process of disengagement from the north bank of the Pangong lake and parts of eastern Ladakh, is certainly a noteworthy development. Beijing was the first to talk about it, while New Delhi chose to remain silent for 24 more hours. Then came the word from Defence Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh in the Parliament stating that disengagement has begun. This time-gap between the two statements has its own significance in the handling ..

WHO, WHAT?

ALREADY facing issues of credibility for the handling of coronavirus pandemic when it gripped the world early in 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) seems to be in a mood to put itself under further harsher scrutiny over its investigation into the origin of the virus from the dreaded laboratory in Wuhan, China. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is in the eye of storm for its alleged role in outbreak of the coronavirus. Various probes had suggested role of an intern messing up wit..

Taxation Of Agriculture

THE United Nations Development Programme studied the agricultural taxation in four developing countries. They found that agriculture has been subject to Income Tax like other sectors in Kenya since 2018. Previously, Income Tax was payable on agriculture on incomes above US Dollars 600 per year. This limit has now been reduced to US Dollars 108 or about Rs one lakh per year. Agriculture is similarly subjected to Income Tax like other taxpayers in Cameroon though it is not actually collected. The Agriculture ..

‘The’ truth

THE truth is that the Congress party that is opposing the three central legislations on farm sector suggesting a wide range of reforms, has played foul on the issue only because it suits its politics. This truth now stands exposed when the news filtered out that Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh chose not to implement the reforms suggested by a panel headed by none other than Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the high-profile former chief of the Planning Commission. That happened because the Congress ..

CRUCIAL ISSUE

BLASTING some sections of the media for spreading rumours, Union Minister Of Information and Broadcasting Mr. Prakash Javdekar has insisted that that did not represent the concept of freedom of press. Citing the example of how one journalist portrayed the death by accident of one protesting farmer as death by a police bullet, Mr. Javdekar suggested that such an approach meant abuse of the freedom the media has in India. This is not the first time that somebody respon..

Republican Split?

IF THE Republican Party splits, what name should the breakaway part use? The White People’s Insurrectionary Libertarian True-Blood Republican Party (WPILTBRP), or just the Trump Party? Or maybe the hijacker-in-chief gets to keep the name of the party he stole, in which case the rump has to come up with something completely different. The Conservative Party, maybe? This question has not become a burning issue yet, because it’s far from clear that the Republican Party really will split..

GLACIER BURST

THE Himalayan tragedy that unfolded in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier came-off to trigger an avalanche has brought back the horrific memories of the 2013 deluge in the State. Over 5,000 people had been killed in that disaster while more than three lakh were trapped in the valleys leading to the Char Dham pilgrimage sites. Bodies from that tragedy are still being recovered near Kedarnath. Now, the Chamoli tragedy is another warning signal to humans that ..

SC On Proving Bribery

IN THE judgement of the case – N. Vijayakumar v. State of Tamil Nadu, delivered on February 3, 2021, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M. R. Shah, has in its ruling very unambiguously stated that mere possession or recovery of currency notes is not sufficient to constitute such offence (of bribery). In several judgements, the SC has held that even the presumption under Section 20 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 can be drawn ..

‘ROOT’HLESS

HIS smiling face and boyish looks capably mask the ferocity that Joe Root’s batting unleashes in an elegant manner. An unending hunger drives his run-machine as India found out in a profound manner in Chennai when the England captain effectively shut the victory door for the hosts with a gritty and masterly double hundred. The first Test will now head either to an English victory or a draw but before the end result comes Root has marked a place for himself among the modern day batting greats...

Hope For Ganga

THE Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in the second phase of its survey of the entire main stream of the Ganga river (the main river without its tributaries), has found that 49 per cent of the river has high biodiversity and that biodiversity sightings, including of the Gangetic Dolphin and otters, have increased in the river. Scientists at the institute say that this indicates reducing pollution levels and a healthier state of the river. The study was initiated by WII on behalf of the National ..

HAPPY AUGURY

THE decision of the Central Government to lift curbs on High Speed Mobile Services in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) exactly one and a half years after the abrogation of Special Status to the region has come in at a right time when things were settling down there. The J&K administration has thanked the Centre for the development that would bring solace to young generations in the Union Territory...

In school, mostly friends come first, studies later

“OF COURSE, we go to school to meet friends and play. Studies comes later,” was how a 9th standard boy said, as schools reopened after nearly a year of shut-down during the terrible coronavirus pandemic. Children were eager to return to school because they missed their friends and their social life in the ever-expanding confines of the class-rooms and playfields and libraries and laboratories and school buses. Even though the schools have reopened on a limited basis, the kids are happy to return ..

crucial point

THE open and forceful assertion by the United States embassy in New Delhi to the Government’s efforts to resolve the current impasse over farmers’ protests comes at a very right moment when vested interests are trying conspiratorially to drum up ill-informed support to the agitating farmers by so-called foreign celebrities. The American embassy has said in a clear-worded statement that it favours dialogue between the Government (of India) and the farmers. The embassy statement also recognises that ..

Chauri Chaura Metaphor

The fight for Independence took place not only in the streets and legislative chambers and legal courts but also in the playfields and theatres of art and massive sheds of industry. Literature was one tool the country used liberally and effectively to make the British appear as they actually were -- villains, rogue-governors. ..

OUR OWN DEFENCE

THE biggest ever indigenous defence procurement programme, kickstarted with the Rs 48,000 crore deal to buy 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, is the new path that India is seeking to follow to shore up its defence. A contract was signed with State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the single-engine but highly agile multi-role supersonic aircraft to pave way for home production of defence equipment needed by the Armed Forces. Defence ..

Ensuring Safe Future

ANNIVERSARIES are a mark of looking back and also looking to the future. The world had remembered one year of COVID – 19 outbreaks on January 21, when the first case of Novel Coronavirus was reported in Wuhan. As it spread to other countries, the world woke up, and the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic. The Novel Coronavirus was indeed novel, and scientists and doctors cannot find the real reason for its spread till today. Now millions of people are getting vaccinated amids..

Serious Isuue

BY EXPRESSING its concern over China’s habitual intimidation of neighbouring countries, the United States has picked up a serious issue right at the start of the regime of President of Mr. Joe Biden. This is a continuing concern the White House has felt under different administrations over the past some years. It is obvious Mr. Biden, too, will continue to hold China as sort of a regional bully and shape the American foreign policy accordingly. In the international realpolitk, this carries its own ..

Budget For Growth

HISTORIC Budget with growth as the centre piece. Pump priming the economy to strengthen recovery. Delivering on her prosmise of unveiling a ‘Budget Like No Other’, the Finance Minister announced a raft of prudent measures aimed at rejuvenating Government spending towards critical areas of increasing allocation on infrastructure expansion, education, housing and health as India rolls out a vaccine drive to inoculate 1.3 billion people. Laying down the vision for providing further fillip to the Gov..

MYANMAR MESS

MYANMAR’S planned tryst with democracy came to an early end after the country’s military detained senior politicians including State Counselor Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and President Mr. Win Myint and seized power. A coup d’etat, third in Myanmar’s political history, was on cards once the political class and the Election Commission started ignoring the military’s allegations of an electoral fraud in last year’s general elections. The timing and audacity of the military junta, also called as Tatmadaw, to ..

GOOD MOP-UP

THE record Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections in January can be seen as harbingers of economic spurt in the next quarter. It means the economy is slowly but steadily picking the right path, adding to the mop-up in a pronounced way in the near future. The revenues for January touched an all-time high of about Rs 1.20 lakh crore which is a rise of 8.1 per cent, the highest since the July 2017 rollout of the GST regime. After the slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown,..

US: Force For Good Again

WITH the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, America is closing one of the darkest and saddest chapters in its history and opening a new one filled with hope and optimism. The swearing-in of the former Vice President and Senator heralds a new dawn not just in the United States but the world as well. The destructive nature of Trump’s presidency has been well-documented by the US and international media. To name just a few of his transgressions during the four years ..

THE RIGHT MIX

WHEN the economy is generally described as a political thought-process, when the entire political activity is woven around how the State would fare better with a higher prosperity quotient, the annual national budget becomes an exercise with a high degree of impossibility to attain evenness of allocations of resources as a defining factor. With the nation still smarting under the shadow of one of the worst pandemics in world history, the union budget presented by Finance Minister Ms. Niramala Sitharaman ..

Of meeting of verses

“Conversation”. THIS word has its own fascination! And it offers countless possibilities of interpretation. “Conversation”, actually, is one word that has defined human progress in the most profound manner. Whatever the word indicates, in reality, forms the core of human togetherness. The human community holds itself together -- through thick and thin, through light and darkness, through rough and tumble of life and its uncertainties and impossibilities and improbabilities and implausibilities -- ..

Human Fallibility Behind Review

IN THE judgement of the case – Rajendra Khare v. Swaati Nirkhi and Others, delivered by Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Indu Malhotra, at the Supreme Court on January 28, 2021, have pointed out that the basic philosophy inherent in granting power of review of its judgement to the Supreme Court under Article 137 of the Constitution of India is universal acceptance of human fallibility and further, held that the rejection of Miscellaneous Application (M.A.) does not preclude fili..

NEW CHALLENGE

BACK from a rigorous examination of nerves, skill and mental fortitude, Team India is ready for another enticing challenge at home. Their triumph in Australia under excruciating conditions is yet to sink in but there is no time for a lull as the next opponent – England – is as good as they come. The four-Test series, starting this week in Chennai, is set to be another battle of equals. Th..

THE INDIA WAY

AFTER repealing another covert aggression by the Chinese forces in Sikkim on January 20, 2021, India has showed remarkable progress in its strategy to deal with the diabolical neighbour. The ingression had come on the same lines of the Galwan misadventure on June 2020 but this time the Indian troops had already prepared for all clandestine overtures by the PLA forces. India’s firmness against China’s expansionist plans is coming out in a profound manner throughout the long stand-off. And if the latest ..

SAD SLIP

INDIA’S fall of six places to 86th among 180 countries in a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is a reminder to the entire society that rooting out corruption is still a distant dream in the country...

Upcoming Exit Of Merkel

 By Victor GrossmanTHE US-American nightmare, tight-lipped and pouting, was finally forced to gallop off to its luxurious stable in Florida. Almost every European joined in “Hurrah!” cheers as it watched him go! In Germany, national elections in September 2021 will also be featuring the departure, in this case after sixteen years, of a very different kind of leader, Angela Merkel. The results are still nine months away, but we all know how much can develop in just nine months! An..

opening up

  REMOVAL of curbs on domestic travel, cinema halls and similar other relaxations by the Central Government are happy pointers of the COVID-19 situation in the country scaling down to manageable levels. While the Centre has asked the States and Union Territories to maintain surveillance and follow containment measures, the fact remains that substantial gains have been achieved against spread of the virus.  Declining number of people testing positive for the virus and normal life beginning ..

IMF boost

  WHILE projecting India’s growth at 11.5 per cent in 2021 as the country boosts its bid to reclaim the status of world’s fastest-growing economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also backed the three farm laws which are in the eye of a storm in the national capital. IMF Chief Economist Ms. Gita Gopinath has said that the recently-enacted agriculture laws hold the potential to increase farmers’ income. The three farm laws enacted in September have been brought ..

Taiwan: War Games

All China’s leaders since the Communist victory in 1949 have claimed that Taiwan is a renegade province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), not a separate country. Most of them did nothing about it, because in the early days the US Navy controlled the Pacific Ocean right up to the Chinese low-tide mark, but President Xi Jin-ping has made Taiwan his legacy project.MOST news agencies reported on Sunday that China sent large groups of fighters and bombers into the Taiwanese airspace ..

ENGLISH TEST AHEAD

   The high of the historic and perhaps the greatest Test series victory against Australia in their own land is yet dissipate in the country even as the Indian players bask in their well-earned glory. However, hangovers can be dangerous if they continue for a longer time. For the Indian team, it would be better to get back to work soon as another good challenge awaits them in a few days. They will open the Test series against visiting England in from February 5 in Chennai. Although, ..

ABOMINABLE

  BLIND faith is often the sole reason for a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. And when faith in spirituality turns into a dangerous belief in supernatural powers then the end has to be absolutely gory. The bizarre incident reported from Andhra Pradesh confirms the shocking fact. Apparently “transcending the peaks of spiritualism” a highly educated couple bludgeoned their two young daughters to death with a belief that they would come back to life within hours as spiritual ..

DON’T DELAY

AFTER the landmark verdict of the Supreme Court asking the Centre to grant Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers in Army’s non-combat units, a wave of hope and cheer had swept across the nation. The Centre, too, had issued an order in this regard. However, as things stand, after a bunch of petitions filed by some women officers in the apex court, the Army seems to be taking time to address the issue. The women officers have alleged that out of 422 officers found fit for ..

Need Job Oriented Budget

THE first budget of the Narendra Modi Government in a period of pandemic is being presented on February 1 this year. Hardly ten days are left. The pandemic and lock down battered Indian economy is looking for a recipe which should be of relief to those who have been most affected and still distressed during the present fiscal. They are primarily, the jobless, young entrants to the employment market, small businessmen and unorganised workers including rural poor. The young people in the country ..

‘VACCINE MAITRI’

CHINA’S smear campaign in the State-owned media outlets against India’s vaccine distribution in the neighbourhood countries is a ready pointer of the global success of New Delhi’s health diplomacy. The “Vaccine Maitri” drive undertaken to gift COVID doses to friendly countries has started healing the neighbours. It is bound to be a gamechanger for India’s diplomatic strategy while countering a chequebook-rich China...

On Appointing Arbitrator

IN THE judgement of the case – Haryana Space Application Centre (HARSAC) & Another v. M/s Pan India Consultants Pvt. Ltd. delivered on January 20, 2021, Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi have held at the Supreme Court that section 12(5) read with the Seventh Schedule of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is mandatory and non-derogable (non-repealable) provision. In the facts of the present case, the Principal Secretary to the Government of Haryana has been held ineligible ..

GUTS & GLORY

A BOWLING strategy hatched in a period when cricket was struggling to stand on its feet after being pushed down by the coronavirus pandemic, a midnight call from a despondent but resolute captain to the coach, a small pledge to defeat humiliation, little plans formulated by novices forced into a Gladiatorial battle ... threads of the momentous victory carved by the Indian cricket team in Australia are surfacing as the high of the moment sinks in slowly in the numb minds of the stars on their return ..

Biden’s Pro-People Plan

  By NITYA CHAKRABORTYPRESIDENT Joe Biden has given a great start to his four year tenure as the head of the United States of America by announcing a massive programme which not only rolls back some of the racial and anti-people policies of the Trump regime, but also includes a few pro-people policies which are of immediate importance to the common American people.For the underprivileged Americans, the Biden announcement of more relief to the unemployed along with the $ 1400 stimulus as ..

rooted to ground

  THE stories of grand homecoming of the victorious Indian cricketers from Australia offer a wonderful peep into their upbringing and culture. A young bowler, who stayed back in Australia for the team despite his father’s death, walking straight to the departed soul’s grave after landing home stirs the heart. The enormity of the success Mohd Siraj achieved in one of the toughest tours is not lost on the bowler but his ability to remain rooted in reality warms the cockles of the ..

vaccine diplomacy

  STICKING to its image of a ‘friend in need’, India has started sending domestically developed vaccine shipments to the immediate neighbourhood as per the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Vaccines have started arriving Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Next in line to receive the doses are Myanmar and Seychelles. In the meanwhile, 92 countries have approached India for the COVID-19 vaccines further bolstering credentials of the Indian jab with transcontinental ..

Supreme Anguish

THE adamant stand taken by some farmers unions protesting against the new farm laws will lead the issue to nowhere despite the best efforts to by the Supreme Court to resolve it. Some unions have told the court that they would not be meeting the Court-appointed panel of experts. This is plain blackmail and contempt towards the court’s good gesture aimed at ending a long stalemate. More than the refusal to meet the panel what has irked the Supreme Court more is the aspersions cast by some farmer unions ..

Lenin Comes To Town

WHEN Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny returned to Moscow on Sunday after convalescing in Germany from an attempted poisoning by the FSB domestic spy agency, the regime-friendly media loyally failed to mention his arrival. With one striking exception: ‘Vremya,’ the flagship news show of Russian State television. Presumably somebody there was hoping to win favour with the Kremlin, because they briefly mentioned Navalny three-quarters of the way through Sunday’s two-hour program..

joe’s time

THE United States of America (USA) officially entered the Joe Biden era on Thursday after a phase of tumult that tested all dynamics of politics, statesmanship, personal relations in an electoral process that will be long remembered by the world as a scary fight of acrimony. It had almost reached the dangerous precipice of an anarchy when an angry mob charged violently at the temple of US’ democracy, the Capitol, before sanity prevailed and the rightful place to the ultimate winner, Mr. Joseph Robinette ..

GOOD STEP

OFTEN a thing of public ridicule, the heavy subsidy on food served in Parliament canteens for Members of Parliament has finally been stopped by the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The move will help in saving of an estimated Rs 8 crore annually. The decision is most welcome, for, it finally fulfills a long-standing demand of the public of ending unnecessary special favours to the country’s lawmakers. In the age of digital media, the Parliament canteen menu card was among the most trolled subjects by the general ..

Protect The Rivers

THE farmers are agitating for ensuring the continuation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) by legislation. One aspect of this demand is that they be assured of minimum remunerative prices for their produce. Another aspect is that MSP can become the instrument for saving our rivers. According to the Consortium of the Indian Institutes of Technologies that made the Ganga River Basin Management Plan, the rivers are the best measure of the overall health of our environment. The condition of our land is ..

AFTER THE JAB

WITH the world’s biggest immunisation off the blocks in a spectacular fashion with the first shots of two COVID vaccines to the healthcare and frontline workers across India, the focus now shifts to the monitoring and precautionary measures to ascertain efficacy of the shots. Apprehensions over the first dose of vaccine and the fear of adverse events have already started gathering pace among the populace. Two deaths in separate parts of the country, too, were attributed to the coronavirus vaccine ..

CHINA AT THE DOOR

THERE seems no end to provocation by the Chinese as they continue to take aggressive actions to keep the border with India hot. Still in a process of dialogue over the nine-month long stand-off in eastern Ladakh, China is now engaged in infrastructure construction acitivity along the Arunachal Pradesh border. Reports indicate that China has already constructed a new village near the border, on the banks of the Tsari Chu river. The place is at the centre of dispute between the two countries for ..

Sky-high Expectations

BACK when the election was tightening and just a week away, US President-elect Joe Biden went big. He flew to Warm Springs, the Georgia town whose thermal waters once brought Franklin Delano Roosevelt comfort from polio, and pledged a restitching of America’s economic and policy fabric unseen since FDR’s New Deal. Evoking some of the nation’s loftiest reforms helped Biden unseat United States President Donald Trump but left him with towering promises to keep. And he’ll be tryi..

BOYZ II MEN

THERE always is a wonderful romance in mighty accomplishments of the underdog, in a fight billed as ‘battle of unequals’. A feeling of great gratification takes the moment to a heavenly high. On January 19, 2021, India experienced that moment of eternal bliss when a battered, bruised, abused, injured bunch of gritty cricketers carved out one of the most satisfying, if not the greatest, Test series victories against Australia in their own backyard. The enormity of this moment is humong..

CENSORING OTT

AS THE debate over censoring the content on offer on Over The Top (OTT) platforms goes on in the country, another controversy has erupted over depiction of deities in a web series. Some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have demanded ban on Amazon Prime Video’s new series ‘Tandav’ for allegedly mocking Hindu deities. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has taken note of the complaint and will act accordingly but the issue yet again raises the need of controlling the..

Carnage In Balochistan

THE resignation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi’s spokesman Nadir Afzal Chan on Thursday morning over differences on the mode of retaliative strategy in tackling the virulent reaction over the massacre of 11 coal miners of Hazara community in Machh town of Bolan district, about 60 km south-eastward from Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan on January 3, is a recognition of growing indignation of the Shia minority community. Once again, the Baloch ethnic people’s ..

REBOOT IN US

HOURS before his inauguration as the President of the United States of America, Mr. Joe Biden has embarked upon a tedious exercise of undoing the legacy of outgoing POTUS Mr. Donald Trump. The President-elect has announced a masterplan for first 10 days in office with focus on economy, healthcare and immigration. The plan aims to reboot the US as Mr. Biden and his Democrat colleagues seek to “unTrump” the country and “reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration.” Going by th..