Politicians and Public – Dangerous Standoff

Democracy is about peaceful change. If that hope of peaceful transformation is extinguished, all that is left is anarchy or violent upheavals. President Abdul Kalam’s courageous act in returning the patently unconstitutional Representation of the People (Amendment) Ordinance 2002 for the reconsideration of the Council of Ministers is a great morale booster for all those who seek peaceful change. This act of diligence and statesmanship helps uphold the letter and spirit our Constitution as few official actions have done in recent times.

Keep Your Hands Off Cooperatives!

There is an old adage that “if some thing isn’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing”. But the AP government is exactly attempting to do the same through its proposal for amending the Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies (MACS) Act, 1995. For some of you who might not be familiar with what is happening in the field of cooperatives, a little backgrounder.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward!

One of the disquieting features of Indian politics and public policy is the colossal damage done to the rural and agricultural sector by successive governments, all in the name of the people. If the explicit objective is to undermine the rural agriculture-dependent population, our governments could not have done a more thorough and effective job!

Freedom and Citizenship

Recently, Lok Satta released a list of 51 politicians with criminal antecedents, based on nine verifiable, rational and objective criteria, including those who were acquitted in cases pertaining to grave offences. Looking to the ground swell of public opinion in support of the list, the political parties had to at least temporarily defer nominating the politicians who figured in the list.

Opposition to Disclosure – Defense of the Indefensible ?

The March 13 verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) on candidate disclosures declaring Section 33B of the Representation of the People (3rd Amendment) Act, 2002 (Amendment Act) illegal, null and void, and reiterating its earlier judgment on May 2, 2002, generated a serious countrywide debate on the jurisdiction of courts.


Economists are rightly concerned about the slowing down of our growth. But they are wrong when they link our slow growth with global recessionary trends. And lately, 11th September has become the excuse to explain away our own sluggish economy. The problems of our economy are far more fundamental, and have little to do with global cycles.

Democracy and Media

The events of the past fortnight have once again demonstrated the fragility that characterizes the fundamental rights in this country. The Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly found five senior journalists guilty of violating the legislative privileges and sought to imprison them. This episode brings into relief many questions. First, can Article 194, pertaining to legislative privileges, override freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19? Can judiciary adjudicate on the question of legislative privileges?

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