To the supporters of the Trinamool Congress led by the irascible West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Saradha scam is an acute embarrassment which comes just before her government completes two years in office. To its opponents, it is the TMC’s richly deserved nemesis, and a political opportunity to put the ruling party on the mat on the eve of the state’s panchayat elections.
t’s no small irony that even as employment, and the share of the national income going to the poor, have decreased in India over the past five years, car sales have doubled. Automobile manufacturing is one of India’s fastest-growing industries, thanks to the consumerism of the upper-middle class and its elitist notions of lifestyle, personal mobility and the glamour it attaches to cars.
rinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee must be India’s most abrasive and volatile political personality. She goes hysterical at the slightest sign of dissidence. But she exceeded even herself with the tantrum she threw when confronted by a protest in Delhi by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) activists against her trivialisation of the custodial death of Students’ Federation of India leader Sudipta Gupta in Kolkata as a “petty” matter.
"Modi moves centre-stage!" "Modi storms in as the BJP’s PM candidate." "It's Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi!" "Modi wants to serve the nation" (read, become prime minister).
When Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the second largest component of India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), walked out of the alliance last September, nobody thought that would immediately destabilise the government.
An outstanding Marxist scholar, historian and essayist, and editor of the New Left Review since 1962, Perry Anderson is known for a rich, incisive body of work spanning European history, the contemporary world, the Western Marxist tradition and intellectual history. The distinguished professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, now trains his lens on modern Indian history. His latest book, The Indian Ideology, just published by the Three Essays Collective, is a scathing critique of the dominant celebratory discourse of the Idea of India, or the lionising of the democratic stability, multi-cultural unity and impartial secularity of the Indian state as a miracle. His three recent essays on the subject in the London Review of Books have already generated considerable debate. In an e-mail interview with columnist and writer Praful Bidwai, Anderson discusses his book at length
About 1,000 Muslims died in the Gujarat riots, under Modi's watch. Without justice, there can be no reconciliation
Announcement: Koodankulam -Nuclear Power or People’s Power? A Public Discussion at Council for Social Development, Lodhi Estate (Oct 18, 3:30pm) New Delhi
speakers: Ashwin Gambhir (Prayas Energy group, Pune) and Prof. Praful Bidwai Durgabai Deshmukh Chair, Council for Social Development and Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace
Glowing tributes have been lavished on Brajesh Mishra, the former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and National Security Adviser (NSA) who died last week, mourning him as a visionary and statesman. Any death is a human tragedy to be mourned. But amidst the deluge of eulogies about Mishra’s “steely determination”, conceptual clarity, and his “guile” coupled with “generosity”, it must not be forgotten that he was pivotal to bringing about far-reaching but questionable shifts in India’s security and foreign policy stances and forging a hard-line national security apparatus.
Even the most zealous supporters of nuclear power generation should logically concede three things to their opponents. First, after the grave disaster at Fukushima, it is natural for people everywhere to be deeply sceptical of the safety claims made for nuclear power, and for governments to phase out atomic reactors. That’s exactly what’s happening in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and now Japan.
Imagine a society where 80 percent of grocery sales are monopolised by just five giant retailers like Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour, where locally grown fresh food is largely replaced by processed, plastic-packaged items with low nutritional value, and where great heterogeneity of attire based on traditional and ethnic fabrics is gradually destroyed—and so-called “consumer choice” is reduced to competition between a handful of brands and logos.
The movement against the Koodankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu has entered a new phase with a Jal-satyagraha following the repressive police action of September 10. More than 120 eminent citizens from different walks of life have signed the following statement expressing solidarity with the protesters, and calling for serious engagement with them on vital issues of safety. The signatories include former Chief of Naval Staff L Ramdas, former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian and former Planning Commission member SP Shukla, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman A Gopalakrishnan, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court AP Shah, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen, scientists PM Bhargava, D Balasubramaniam, Satyajit Rath, MV Ramana and Suvrat Raju, social scientists Romila Thapar, Sumit and Tanika Sarkar, Rajeev Bhargav, Amit Bhaduri, Manoranjan Mohanty, Gyanendra Pandey, Achin Vanaik and Zoya Hasan, writers Adil Jussawalla, Arundhati Roy and Arvind Krishna Mehrotraq, dancer Leela Samson, artists Ghulam Shaikh, SG Vasudev, Vivan Sundaram and Sheba Chhachhi, and many other scholars and social activists such as Vandana Shiva, Aruna Roy and Ashish Kothari.
Even the most incurable optimists among the globe’s spin doctors will find it difficult to dress up the Rio+20 summit of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development as a halfway modest success. Indeed, it represents a failure of epic proportions, which proves that the world’s leaders have learned virtually nothing during the 20 years that have passed since the landmark 1992 earth summit, which negotiated path-breaking conventions on climate change and biodiversity and made commitments to poverty eradication and social justice.
CLIMATE TALKS IN DEEP CRISIS: WHAT WAS DONE IN DURBAN ? By Professor Praful Bidwai Durgabai Deshmukh Chair, Council for Social Development (On 5 January 2012, Thursday, 3.30 PM / At Durgabai Deshmukh Memorial Hall, CSD, 53 Lodhi Estate)
We speak with Indian writer and analyst Praful Bidwai, author of the new book, "The Politics of Climate Change and the Global Crisis: Mortgaging Our Future." While the U.S. has cited China’s emissions as an excuse to slow negotiations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the COP 17 talks, Bidwai says that "we cannot forget historical responsibility. Three-fourths of all the greenhouse gases that have accumulated in the atmosphere, and will stay there warming us up for thousands of years, come from developed countries of the Global North, led by the United States, which is responsible for more than one-quarter of all emissions accumulated in the atmosphere." Bidwai also addresses the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, which he calls "a turning point" for nuclear power, adding, "I don’t see nuclear power surviving in the developed world at all after this. This is the worst crisis of credibility that the nuclear industry has ever faced." includes rush transcript
Orient BlackSwan and Kitab Khana invite you the book launch of The Politics of Climate Change and The Global Crisis by Praful Bidwai
Invitation to panel discussion on the occasion of the launch of the book The Politics of Climate Change and the Global Crisis (1 Dec 2011, Bangalore)
Centre for Contemporary Studies invites you to a panel discussion on the occasion of the launch of a book by Praful Bidwai: "The Politics of Climate Change and the Global Crisis | DATE & TIME: THURSDAY, December 1, 2011, 4 pm VENUE: Centre for contemporary studies, Indian Institute of Science, BANGALORE
Orient BlackSwan and Crossword invite you to the book launch at The Politics of Climate Change and The Global Crisis by Praful Bidwai.
As crucial climate talks begin in Durban, attention is focused on the likely role of the major country groupings. The outcome of the UN climate conference will be largely decided by the interplay of forces between the Basic (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) group formed two years ago, the EU, and the umbrella group of developed countries, led by the US and comprising Russia, Japan, Canada, Australia and others who oppose legally binding climate commitments.
Praful Bidwai lays bare the contours of climate politics as it has evolved over the past two decades at the international level as well as within India. While criticising the developed world for doing nothing to cut down emissions and relying on market- based mechanisms such as carbon trade to fulfil their climate responsibilities, the author finds India’s policy equally flawed as well.
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