Uganda: A brilliant genocide

From 1986 to 2006, President Museveni’s troops drove nearly two million Acholis, 90% of the population, into concentration camps. In all that time, the Ugandan military machine continued to be financed by the US.

Conflict between freedom of expression and religion intolerance in India

Historian Romila Thaper and prominent advocate Rajiv Dhwan also have expressed their deep concern over politicians supporting and propagating extreme religious nationalism. Increasing fundamentalism in Indian society is active in suppressing dissenting opinion and quite often refer liberal voices as an anti-national.

Open letter to SAARC leaders on Human Rights Instruments

In order to make SAARC more effective as a regional mechanism to combat impunity, promote basic rights of the peoples of the region, SAARC should reform from within to create a new mechanism. This body should be based on legal framework, a charter to guide whole body. The new mechanism should develop its identity as a part of the region by forging links with various institutions in the region dealing with issues of human rights and justice.

Shyam Benegal: The Pioneer of Parallel Cinema

Shyam Benegal is rated as a trend setter in so far as parallel cinema in India is concerned. It can be said that no director since Satyajit Ray has done more for Indian cinema than Benegal, endearingly addressed as Shyam babu by his friends and admirers. Benegal provides an alternative history of cinema in India, away from willing suspension of disbelief and which the mainstream cinema specialises and he has consistently drawn attention to myriad inequalities and disparities which scar Indian society, polity and economy. These basic, grim and stern realities of life were conveniently airbrushed by the popular cinema to create an artificial make-belief world.

Monetary Policy Making At Mint Road

This is a very lucidly written book which takes us into the heart of monetary policy making by the reserve bank. It gives us an idea of the pulls and pressures the governor has to bear in his work. It touches upon the theoretical underpinnings of modern monetary policy making but it could have been more interesting if it had discussed in a bit more details the theoretical debates in monetary policymaking.

Dreaming, scheming, never growing old: remembering Abbas Kiarostami (1940 – 2016)

I didn’t grow up with Kiarostami’s films. I discovered Abbas Kiarostami long after he’d become Kiarostami, during the same time that I began devouring everything having to do with Iranian culture. I vaguely remember visiting the Film Museum off of Vali-ye Asr Avenue in Tehran with my friend one hot summer’s day, when I was around 16 years old. I had no idea who the man in the sunglasses was, only that he was of significance where Iranian cinema was concerned.

The Indian Constitution: The wonderful consensual document that binds this heterogeneous land

Madhav Khosla sums up the key essence of constitutionalism as the following: A written constitution, independent judiciary with judicial review powers, the doctrine of rule of law and separation of powers between different organs and institutions, democratic government responsible to the people and elected through a transparent process, fundamental rights of the people (that are the cornerstone of the Constitution), the principles and practices of federalism, decentralised governance with power to the grassroots level self-governing institutions.

J&K: Time to break-up the fiction.

The Indian state has now to offer something tangible to satisfy most aspirations in Kashmir, and we are talking only about Kashmir. J&K is an artificial and recent construct. Its long past its use by date. We must also accept that reunification with the POK part of it is neither desirable nor feasible. Historically, culturally, ethnically and linguistically Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir have as much in common as Tamil Nadu has with Punjab or Assam with Gujarat. The destinies of the people of Jammu and Ladakh have to be delinked from Kashmir. Nor are they exactly happy to be dominated by Kashmir.

SINCE 1991 ARE WE ABLE TO CREATE ENOUGH JOBS?

Compared to 1991 more people are unemployed now and the gap between total number of workers and employment is increasing. And this is official government version of the data. Latest Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, released by UNDP, says that between 1991 and 2013, the size of the “working age” population increased by 300 million. But, Indian economy could employ only 140 million – less than half of the new entrants to the labour market.

Should Syria be a litmus test for the left in the 2016 elections?

To start with, as I have pointed out before, a search in Nexis for “Jill Stein”, “Green Party” and “Syria” returns zero articles while for “Jill Stein”, “Green Party” and “fracking” returns 18 and “Jill Stein”, “Green Party” and “global warming” returns 21. So this will give you an idea of where her priorities are.

सउदी अरब तथा अन्य खाड़ी देशों के प्रति मोदी सरकार का ढुलमुल रवैया क्यों?

प्रधानमंत्री मोदी को जिन्होंने खाड़ी देशों में यात्रा करने वाले प्रथम भारतीय प्रधानमंत्री होने को ट्वीट कर देश को बताया था। उन्हें याद रखना चाहिए देश आपकी सऊदी शाहों के साथ सेल्फी, मस्जिद यात्रा व नागरिक सम्मान के तस्वीरों से खुश होने वाला नहीं आपने वहां भारतीय मजदूरों के संग खाना खाया था, किन्तु आज वो खाने को मोहताज है, पीने के पानी नहीं है और आप अपने शाही दोस्त से शिकायत तक नहीं कर पा रहे हैं। यह समझ से परे है।