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Showing posts from June, 2010

NREGA IS A GREAT DEVELOPMENTAL INITIATIVE, BUT THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO ENSURE THAT THE ADDITIONAL INCOME IN THE HANDS OF THE RURAL POOR GETS MOBILISED

TOWARDS LONG TERM PRODUCTIVE MEANS AND NOT ALCOHOL! When NREGA was launched in the year 2006, it was one of the biggest leaps taken by the UPA government to productively engage the underprivileged rural folk and connect them to the mainstream, a move which was due for long. From Rs 11,000 crores as the initial outlay, the same NREGA has grown to Rs 40,100 crores in the current year, encompassing each and every district of the country. Although a phenomenal initiative, from the very beginning, the NREGA has been marred with delivery bottlenecks. Like in most other cases, corruption this time too at every stage robbed the poor rural folk of their dues. The only consolation being that at least something is reaching them, compared to nothing in the past! But then, I recently came across this disturbing news! It has been reported that Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) sales have been going up as an aftereffect of the NREGA scheme. On hindsight, this was clearly predictable, but this was s

AS MANIPUR BURNS AGAIN, THE CENTER CHOOSES TO REMAIN INDECISIVE

As this magazine goes for print, the inhabitants of Manipur possibly would be getting some kind of relief from the ordeal that started on 11th of April. It was on that day that the All Naga Students Association blocked the National Highway 39 (the lifeline of Manipur) in retaliation to the Manipur state government’s decision to not permit National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) leader Muviah to visit his native village in Manipur. The Manipur state government took this stance as they feared that Muviah’s visit might again instigate unrest in the region. In fact, they even turned down the request from the Center to provide adequate security to Muviah during his visit, forcing Muviah to camp at the borders of Manipur. The situation further flared up when a couple of NSCN (IM) supporters got killed in police firing. What followed after that was an indefinite blockade by NSCN (IM) supporters, which almost drove Manipur to a state of complete collapse. With rice selling at Rs.

I WONDER WHAT THE US ADMINISTRATION WOULD HAVE DONE, HAD A BHOPAL LIKE GAS TRAGEDY HAPPENED THERE...

I wonder what the US would have done, had a Bhopal like tragedy happened out there. If on account of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre– which unfortunately took 2995 innocent lives, including that of not-so-innocent 19 terrorists, and injured almost 6000 people– they demolished a complete nation in search of one individual, I wonder what would have they done if someone’s negligence had killed a staggering 22,000 innocent people, including children and women, and had caused permanent damages for another 120,000 people and affected some 5,50,000 people in some way or the other! If something like this would not have triggered a demolition drive, like they did in the former case, just on account of the merit of the crime (as World Trade Centre was an orchestrated crime and Bhopal tragedy was a criminal negligence), I am sure they would not have let any nation safeguard the perpetrator of the crime, like they have been doing with respect to Warren Anderson, the former CEO of Un

COMPARED TO MUKESH AMBANI, EVEN A BILL GATES IS INSIGNIFICANT AND POWERLESS. AND NOW, THE COMING TOGETHER OF THE AMBANI BROTHERS

WILL ONLY MAKE THEM MORE POWERFUL! I was in Cannes this year for the annual film festival! The day after the inaugural show, was a symposium on Indian flms. While speaking at the symposium, I said that the West better take India very seriously as sooner or later, in any case, Indians or Chinese will be owning all the major Hollywood studios, since they are mostly bankrupt and on sale. At the end of my speech, most people who came up to me seemed disturbed by my statement! Many asked whether I really meant that statement! Well, I surely meant that! One look at the global rich list today and you will see how it has been stormed by the Indians. The reasons, as I said in one of my previous editorials, is of course more to do with the way Indian governments have helped privatise national resources than encourage real brand building abilities – (‘Blood billionaires. Scam Billionaires. Indians storm into the Forbes billionaires list’; December 23, 2007). The best proof of my statement is t