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Sorted by :  January  2014
by Paul C Roberts & David Kranzler on 31 Jan 2014 2 Comments

The deregulation of the financial system during the Clinton and George W. Bush regimes had the predictable result: financial concentration and reckless behavior. A handful of banks grew so large that financial authorities declared them “too big to fail.” Removed from market discipline, the banks became wards of the government requiring massive creation of ne...

by Ramtanu Maitra on 30 Jan 2014 4 Comments

On Jan. 6, a day after the Bangladesh Awami League led by Premier Sheikh Hasina Wazed won an uncontested parliamentary election, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf issued a press release expressing the Obama administration’s “disappointment” with the outcome. Carrying the flag of democracy, the State Department called on the Government of...

by Come Carpentier de Gourdon on 29 Jan 2014 2 Comments

The 2014 edition of the Jaipur Literary Festival was at least as bustling and crowded as the previous two and it is to the credit of the organizers that in spite of an often inclement weather that made the mostly open air venue rather uncomfortably drafty and soggy, the programme proceeded with very few hitches. The choreography of this annual logo-technical...

by Sandhya Jain on 28 Jan 2014 11 Comments

Overwhelmed at the sheer diversity and apparent chaos of India, American economist and envoy John Kenneth Galbraith dubbed it “functionary anarchy”, a description that has evoked smiles over the decades. It has taken less than a month of the Aam Aadmi Party to turn the national capital into a dysfunctional anarchy. One can only shudder at the fate of the nat...

by B R Gauthaman on 27 Jan 2014 23 Comments

Students sporting tilak on their foreheads and amulets on their bodies were stopped by the Physical Instruction teacher of a Government-aided minority institution before they entered the school premises. The sacred threads and rakshas (amulets) worn for protection round the necks or arms were cut off, and the sindoor, tilak on the...

by A Nameless Nonentity on 27 Jan 2014 2 Comments

Dear Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, It is only with great trepidation that I am committing the audacity of addressing a letter to you. I live in a crowded suburb of western Mumbai and am fully aware that I am not fit to live within a radius of 100 km of people like you. After all, I did not go the Doon School, nor did I study at St. Stephens or Cambridge, UK. I ...

by Rijul Singh Uppal on 26 Jan 2014 7 Comments

"Some say I am an anarchist, yes I am", grinned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a dharna in the National Capital on January 20, 2014. Yes that’s right; the Chief Minister and his cabinet (constitutional post holders) were staging a protest in their own state (city-state)! Anarchy is a political theory that holds all forms of government to be unne...

by Virendra Parekh on 25 Jan 2014 3 Comments

If finance minister P Chidambaram were in charge of preparing accounts of a corporate entity, his own officers would possibly have charged him with malicious manipulation and misrepresentation. High handedness, sleight of hand, deception, plain unfairness - anything goes, if only he can get that magic figure for fiscal deficit. The finance minister has made ...

by Reva Bhalla on 24 Jan 2014 1 Comment

International diplomats will gather Jan. 22 in the Swiss town of Montreux to hammer out a settlement designed to end Syria’s three-year civil war. The conference, however, will be far removed from the reality on the Syrian battleground. Only days before the conference was scheduled to begin, a controversy threatened to engulf the proceedings after the United...

by Nachiketas on 23 Jan 2014 3 Comments

The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan celebrated its Platinum Jubilee Year in 2013, which was also the 125th birth anniversary of its founder KM Munshi. Given the magnitude of resources available to the Bhavan, it was disappointing to see that the twin celebrations turned out to be a low key affair, not befitting the stature of this cultural institution and its visiona...

by James Petras on 22 Jan 2014 3 Comments

Saudi Arabia has all the vices and none of the virtues of an oil rich state like Venezuela. The country is governed by a family dictatorship which tolerates no opposition and severely punishes human rights advocates and political dissidents. Hundreds of billions in oil revenues are controlled by the royal despotism and fuel speculative investments the world ...

by William Blum on 21 Jan 2014 0 Comment

“At last the world knows America as the savior of the world!” – President Woodrow Wilson, Paris Peace Conference, 1919. The horrors reported each day from Syria and Iraq are enough to make one cry; in particular, the atrocities carried out by the al-Qaeda types: floggings; beheadings; playing soccer with the heads; cutting open dead bodies to remove organs j...

by Shelley Kasli on 20 Jan 2014 6 Comments

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) often uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source. From the early 1950s to the present, the CIA’s intrusion into the foundation field was and is huge. A US Congressional investigation in 1976 revealed tha...

by Virendra Parekh on 19 Jan 2014 4 Comments

The entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with a bang is fast changing the political scene of the country. People from all walks of life and strata of society are joining it in thousands, and sensing the groundswell of public response to its brand of politics, the party has lost no time in announcing its national ambitions - latest reports say it will contest 4...

by K P Prabhakaran Nair on 18 Jan 2014 8 Comments

A recent article by the writer on the drift in agricultural research in India elicited scores of positive responses from readers, but none from any agricultural scientist, barring a tame one from a Principal Scientist affiliated to the Planning Board, Government of Kerala, who was candid enough to say that he is working “just for his bread and butter”. While...

by Virendra Parekh on 17 Jan 2014 4 Comments

Make no mistake about it. The millions of countrymen, especially the young generation yearning for deliverance from the corrupt, insensitive and decrepit UPA regime will be wasting their vote if they are swayed by the syrupy rhetoric of Aam Aadmi Party and decide to support it in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. A vote for AAP would mean a vote for more ...

by K P Prabhakaran Nair on 16 Jan 2014 6 Comments

It may sound farfetched, but the writer is of the opinon that food inflation has propelled the downfall of UPA-II. The Congress president Sonia Gandhi attributed said that inflation was responsible for the decimation of the party in the recent elections to four major north Indian states, but I wish she was more specific and had stated that the culprit was...

by Vijaya Rajiva on 15 Jan 2014 17 Comments

Many ancient civilisations (Mayans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Babylonians) have been sun worshippers. They have fallen by the way side and Hindu civilisation alone has survived for several millennia, despite brutal conquests and occupations. The Rig Veda inaugurated the worship of the sun in India, through an elaborate set of rituals called the yajnas, which have p...

by Sandhya Jain on 14 Jan 2014 40 Comments

Probably the most powerful spectacle at the star-spangled Saifai mahotsav was the cynical disdain of the Samajwadi Party and its Government in Uttar Pradesh towards human suffering, specifically in the Muzaffarnagar relief camps where 34 infants and children are officially admitted to have died of cold and disease. But the deeper lesson that the minority com...

by Krishnarjun on 13 Jan 2014 7 Comments

Recently there have been some reports in the media that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seriously thinking about some “artha-kranti” proposals that will revolutionize the Indian economy. The proposals seek to eliminate all direct and indirect taxes like income tax, sales tax, corporate tax, service tax and replace them with a single flat bank transaction...

by M Pramod Kumar on 12 Jan 2014 11 Comments

Youngsters in India often rebel against rules and regulations in the name of ‘freedom of choice’ or ‘freedom of expression’. “Colleges should not impose a dress code on students,” some say, claiming that they are now grownup and capable of making their own choices. “Cell phones should be allowed in the campus,” others say citing the need for latest technolog...

by Radha Rajan on 11 Jan 2014 25 Comments

The Aam Aadmi Party, in case the BJP missed the point, did not win the elections. And yet, Arvind Kejriwal has been sworn in as Chief Minister of Delhi and has “won” the first trust vote on the floor of the Assembly. This was subversion of the electoral process, and a severe let-down for all who voted for the BJP. By refusing to fulfil its obligation...

by Shenali Waduge on 10 Jan 2014 3 Comments

Is it just a coincidence that virtually all the world’s current conflicts finds roots in British divide or rule policies or the policies of other European colonial rulers? Sudan’s case is no different. The handful of nations being used as the big bullies in a new wave of military interventions on the pretext of solving conflicts devise their plans...

by The Saker on 09 Jan 2014 1 Comment

The recent double bombing in Volgograd (ex-Stalingrad) represent a definitive escalation in the low-level but constant war which has opposed Wahabi insurgents to not only the Kremlin, but also to all the traditional Muslim authorities in Russia. Before looking into what these latest attacks could mean for Russia in general and for the upcoming Sochi Olympic ...

by Rijul Singh Uppal on 08 Jan 2014 3 Comments

“There are provisions for stripping the powers of MCD if they don’t clear map layouts for construction of new schools,” threatened Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s new Education Minister in the capital’s first Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government led by Arvind Kejriwal and supported by the Congress, just two days after being sworn in. One hoped the nation’s intelligentsi...

by Ashok B Sharma on 07 Jan 2014 2 Comments

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seems to have inadvertently foiled the planned ‘Rahul Show’ at the gala 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas beginning January 7. While interacting with the media at his third press conference in nine years, Dr Singh used the official venue of the National Media Centre last Friday to declare Rahul Gandhi’s “outstanding credentials” for ...

by Adity Sharma on 06 Jan 2014 2 Comments

Western nations have shown a shocking lack of understanding when it comes to a multifaceted democracy such as India, and the ancient time-tested Hindu Dharma. This lack of knowledge is evident in school textbooks and in higher educational institutions. But recently, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Indian secular elite, fattened on an unhealthy diet of ...

by James Petras on 05 Jan 2014 1 Comment

In ancient Rome, especially during the late Republic, oligarchs resorted to mob violence to block, intimidate, assassinate or drive from power the dominant faction in the Senate. While neither the ruling or opposing factions represented the interests of the plebeians, wage workers, small farmers or slaves, the use of the ‘mob’ against the elected Senate, the...

by Paul Craig Roberts on 04 Jan 2014 3 Comments

2014 is upon us. For a person who graduated from Georgia Tech in 1961, a year in which the class ring showed the same date right side up or upside down, the 21st century was a science fiction concept associated with Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” To us George Orwell’s 1984 seemed so far in the future we would never get there. Now it is...

by Naagesh Padmanaban on 03 Jan 2014 5 Comments

The electronic and print media in India have consistently projected a perverse and dismal image of the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, notwithstanding the fact that he has been unequivocally cleared of any wrongdoing by a special investigating team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court of India. Its findings have now been accepted by the metropolitan ma...

by James Petras on 02 Jan 2014 2 Comments

Following the Vietnam War, US imperial intervention passed through several phases: In the immediate aftermath, the US government faced a humiliating military defeat at the hands of the Vietnamese liberation forces and was under pressure from an American public sick and tired of war. Imperial military interventions, domestic espionage against opponents and us...

by Ramtanu Maitra on 01 Jan 2014 1 Comment

“The best possible way that Japan could contribute in Afghanistan’s future, and thus stabilize a perpetually unstable country and pave the way for multi-nation efforts to interconnect Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran to South Asia, is riding on India’s shoulders.” There is no dispute about the technological brilliance and economic successes that together m...

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