Watchdog or Lapdog: How Media ‘Covers’ Modi
By Subhash Gatade *
On completion of 30 days in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he had no luxury of 'honeymoon' period. Any neutral observer would tend to disagree and can easily throw light on the great hiatus between Mr Modi’s claim and actual situation on the ground.
India’s Foreign Minister Wins Hearts and Minds
By Shastri Ramachandaran *
If there is one leading light of the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who struck the right notes, made the right moves and generally impressed observers and her audiences, it is, without doubt, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
She hit the ground running as it were: From keeping up the momentum in relations with the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations, following their leaders' visits for Prime Minister Modi's swearing in, the first foreign visit to Bhutan, to the fraught situation in Iraq and the evolving situation in Afghanistan, Swaraj has been on the go from Day One.
Nehru’s Legacy in the Present Juncture:
Assessing Economic Successes and Failures
By Arun Kumar *
Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, passed away fifty years back in 1964. It is time that an objective assessment is made of his contributions to the nation at that critical juncture of its existence. The newly independent nation was grossly underdeveloped due to the colonial rule. Colonization led to India falling considerably behind the advanced nations in every sense due to drain of wealth and lack of investment in the economy.
Debating Secularism in a Communalized Society
By Ram Puniyani *
In the aftermath of the recent elections Congress, Communist parties, Samajvadi and Lalu’s RJD, which can be called secular in some sense; bit the dust. In the review of defeat the major opposition party Congress, which has been in power for maximum number of years, one major opinion from its top leader A.K. Antony came forth to say that the secularism practiced by Congress was seen more as an appeasement of minorities (read Muslims) and so the large sections turned against it emasculating it to a mere 19% votes with 44 seats in Lok Sabha. In a free for all; different opinions on secularism, and failure of Congress are coming forth.
If Only Cities Can See Wetlands
By Sunita Narain *
Sixty people died in a building collapse in Chennai last fortnight. There is much more than the municipal incompetence that needs to be fixed to avoid such tragic incidents. This building was located on Porur lake, a water body that provides services like groundwater recharge and flood management to an otherwise water-starved city. If you care to ask the obvious question how construction was permitted on the wetland, you will get a not-so-obvious response. Wetlands are rarely recorded under municipal land laws, so nobody knows about them. Planners see only land, not water and greedy builders take over.
Movie ‘Punjab 1984’ - Its Content And Intent
By Ajmer Singh *
Before analyzing the movie, one question that really needs to be answered is, how ‘well thought’ was the name of the movie; ‘Punjab 1984’?
With all fairness to the hardworking team of this project, let’s safely presume that it was pretty well thought out. And, after that presumption, my immediate reaction is that the contents, the story line and the message of this film has no relevance to its title what so ever. It is, perhaps, manipulatively misleading.
Is it Asthma or COPD?
By Shobha Shukla *
Both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are chronic diseases involving airflow obstruction and are consequences of gene environment interaction. COPD includes progressive respiratory diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis and is characterized by decreased airflow over time and increased inflammation. While airway obstruction in asthma is reversible, airflow limitation in COPD is usually not reversible, although one third of COPD patients do respond to bronchodilators agents and show good reversibility.
Assam: Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) Mayhem
By Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On July 23, 2014, a youth leader identified as Manoj Das, former General Secretary of the Baksa unit of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and executive member of the Asom Sena, was killed by unidentified gunmen at Mushalpur in Baksa District in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD), governed by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).
Gujarat: Politics of “Development” or Politics of “Erasures”?
By Mitul Baruah *
If chai was our national addiction previously, the 2014 election has changed it. Now our new addiction is to a chaiwala called Narendra Modi, at least that is what appears from the unprecedented coverage of Modi and his politics in Indian media. But because any addiction has serious long-term consequences, it is important that we do some critical reflection about this one now before it is too late. In what follows, I demonstrate how, contrary to the popular rhetoric of “development”, Modi’s politics is a politics of “erasures” – one that erases ecologies, social fabric, certain histories, and diversity.
Haryana Government's Gurdwara Act: Interference in Sikh Religion
By Jaspal Singh Sidhu *
The Sikh intelligentsia has rarely raised a finger at a popular narrative that “the Sikhs have earned the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925 after numerous sacrifices and a protracted struggle”.
Under the Act, a Sikh shrines management body—SGPC—was created which manages Sikh affairs. The SGPC is elected through universal adult suffrage among the Sikhs. Created and sustained by vested interests, the narrative is, often, goes hyperbolic that ‘the SGPC is mini-parliament of the Sikhs’.
J & K: Trails of Death
By Anurag Tripathi
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
On July 3, 2014, Security Forces (SFs) foiled an infiltration bid across the Line of Control (LoC), killing at least three terrorists. The incident took place in the Balnoi area of the Mendhar Sector in Poonch District, along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).