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Showing posts from January, 2011

We need a budget for the aam aadmi and not a budget that pleases the aam aadmi

I am almost one hundred percent sure when I write this that the budget, which our honourable finance minister is going to present before the Parliament next month, is going to be a hugely populist one. Although nothing different from other previous budgets – which were more of political rhetoric than anything else – this time, it is different. This time, it is more of a compulsion for the UPA, which is finding itself cornered with respect to untamable inflation on the one hand, and equally unbeatable corruption cases and scams on the other. Ever since it has come to power in 2004, UPA has never been in such a position ever. A never-ending series of scams that eroded crores of rupees not only tainted the UPA’s political image, but also dented their performance ratings in a big way. If the CWG scam dented the global image of the government – where crores were siphoned-off and the infrastructure promised never came to shape – then the 2G scam broke all records of corruption. As per conser

Even in stampedes, those are our poor who lose their lives

Sabarimala is considered one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations, so much so that it finds its place in the global list of top pilgrimage sites, sharing space with the Vatican and the Kumbh. Even Forbes Traveler features this destination among its list of the “World’s 10 most popular religious pilgrim centres”. Paradoxically, this pilgrimage destination that attracts around 60 million tourists (both domestic and foreign) annually, has failed to make the site safer for its pilgrims. The recent stampede incident that occurred on January 14, 2011 taking the lives of more than 100 people and injuring several more is not the first one. A similar incident occurred back in 1999, killing more than 50 people. In fact, both the unfortunate incidents occurred precisely on the same very date – January 14. For that matter, January 14 is considered the most auspicious day for visiting this destination; and obviously, that day witnesses the maximum number of footfalls of tourists. A conservat


There seem to be two commodities that are all set to face each other in a combat mode. If on the one hand, bidding at IPL-4 is breaking and making newer records by offering otherwise affordable players, almost unaffordable bids and making them out of the reach of smaller teams, then on the other hand, an affordable and staple vegetable – the onion – is all set to make newer records with its price rise, again making it unaffordable to almost every consumer! The prices of onions have been exponentially shooting up since December 2010, mercilessly burning the pockets of consumers at large! As per figures released by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the wholesale price index (WPI) for food climbed up by more than 12 per cent in the first week of December 2010. Comparatively, onion prices have shot up by anywhere between 80 to 150 percent during the same period across the country. What has been intriguing is the manner in which the government has dealt with the entire crisis! It is not


Of late, other than the stink of onions, the only other news that has earned a lot of editorial space – and thankfully so – is that of the life sentence that has been awarded to Binayak Sen. However, the issue has taken up an intellectual tone; so the common man hasn’t quite gotten involved in a way he had gotten involved with the Jessica Lal case due to the glamour element. While that was a common rage-driven murder case of comparatively less significance – murders, however unfortunate, are common crimes – the Binayak Sen case is of far more significance to the society since it is about the common man’s predicament and every individual’s democratic rights in India. It is about our right to ideology and our right to work for a better society. And therefore, every Indian must get involved with this case and come out with a strong opinion against such injustice. Before I discuss the whole debate around Binayak Sen, let me introduce him first. The reason why I want to introduce him is be