This is the world today

Mr. Trump Makes a Spectacle of Himself


Here is one thing we are reminded of over and over about President Trump: The man simply cannot help himself — especially when cornered. Given one more chance to forcefully condemn the neo-Nazis and white supremacists whose rally in Charlottesville, Va., ended in violence and a counterprotester’s death, Mr. Trump angrily insisted, as he had suggested on Saturday, that both sides were equally to blame — a false equivalency that not just his critics but also an increasing number of his supporters have urged him to abandon.

The setting was a bizarre and contentious press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan that was originally meant to be about infrastructure but quickly escalated into a shouting match about Charlottesville. Gone was the measured tone that the president’s aides had talked him into on Monday, when he said “racism is evil” and appeared to distance himself from his earlier claims about shared THE NEW YORK TIMES


What Mohan Bhagwat’s I-Day Outing In Kerala Proves



On the 70th anniversary of independence, two incidents took place at opposite ends of the country, one in Kerala and the other in Tripura, which symbolize much of what is wrong with the functioning and approach of the present central regime and the politics it represents.

Let’s take the incident in Kerala first. Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief decided, that he was going to hoist the national flag in Kerala in a government-aided school in Palakkad district. There are certain protocols and rules that the central and state governments follow for the hoisting of the flag on ceremonial occasions. In Kerala, too, the concerned department issued necessary instructions on August 5, 2017, that Independence Day should be celebrated appropriately in all educational institutions. It stated that the national flag should be hoisted by the head of the institution. This is a perfectly rational order and the state government is well within its rights to issue such an order. Mr. Bhagwat is not the principal of the school. The institution Mr. Bhagwat heads is far away in Nagpur. But Mr. Bhagwat chose to violate this order.

The UP government headed by Mr. Bhagwat’s chosen Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, had also issued a circular. It concerned the raising of the national flag followed by the singing of the national anthem in all madrassas in the State. They were warned of strict action if instructions were not followed. Principals were asked to film the function as evidence that the government’s instructions were being followed. As most of the press reported, this, in…THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Fifth Column: A bad week for corrupt politicians


Tavleen Singh

What a week! In Pakistan corruption charges felled a powerful prime minister. In Bihar corruption charges felled a powerful political leader. So it was a good week for higher standards in public life, and a bad one for political leaders who become inexplicably rich. Lalu Prasad and sons run a small enterprise compared to Nawaz Sharif and family, and so, did not make the Panama Papers like the Sharifs did. But, it’s basically the same story on both sides of the border. It is a story of political leaders who in the name of public service end up putting their family’s…THE INDIAN EXPRESS

Fifth column: Good speech, but not enough

The Prime Minister said last week that nobody had the right to take the law into his own hands. So what he needs to do now is investigate why it is mostly in states ruled by BJP chief ministers that we have seen so many incidents of cow vigilantism.


There is a sad sort of irony in the Prime Minister’s choice of the Sabarmati Ashram to finally speak out last week against vigilante killings in the name of cow protection. Does he not know that the Mahatma is not a hero in the ‘new’ India? No sooner did he finish his speech than angry voices filled the realms of social media. In shrill tones they denounced Gandhiji for being a symbol of an ‘impotent’ India. In their view, that impotent India is a country that belongs in the past. They mocked Narendra Modi for speaking of non-violence in the ashram of a man whose non-violence they blame for hundreds of | INDIAN EXPRESS

Out of my mind: The last frontier

Make no mistake, if Babasaheb Ambedkar is being honoured by all parties, if Dalit candidates are sought after, it is because the Dalit vote bank is a formidable one. With 18 per cent of the population, Dalits are one of the largest minorities.


During the Janata Party government of 1977-1980, came the first possibility of a Dalit (Harijan as the Congress used to say) politician becoming prime minister. Babu Jagjivan Ram’s chance was denied by Charan Singh, a Jat leader of the Bharatiya Lok Dal and a power in the coalition.

Jagjivan Ram, one of the most senior leaders of the Congress and an ‘untouchable’ from Bihar, never became prime minister. It says something about how far India has travelled in the last 40 years that in the presidential election, his daughter Meira Kumar is ….


Ambedkar’s armies

Saharanpur’s Bhim Army is part of the tradition of organisations for the self-defence and cultural assertion of the Dalit community

Raja Sekhar Vundru |JUNE 09 2017

The Bhim Army in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh has brought movements of Dalit assertion to the forefront once again. In fact, it is being seen as an alternative politics for the community. However, the outfit is, in fact, one in a long line of pan-Indian Ambedkarite assertions. Coinciding with B.R. Ambedkar’s 77th birth anniversary in 1968, the Bhim Sena was born in Gulbarga, Karnataka, created by an Ambedkarite Dalit leader in the Nizam’s Hyderabad, B. Shyam Sunder. Bhim Sena was a volunteers corps, seeking equality and self-defence. Soon, it was able to strike terror amidst the perpetrators of atrocities against Dalits. Shyam Sunder was Khusro-e-Decaan,


Across the aisle: CSO calls the government’s bluff

I have been making the arguments for weeks — that the government has totally failed to address the issues of declining investment as a proportion of GDP; sluggish credit growth; and non-creation of new jobs. These trends were visible in early- and mid-2016.


Image result for P CHIDAMBARAM

There are three kinds of people who claim to have some knowledge of the state of the economy — economists, quacks and students of economics. I believe I am a student learning economics every day since Eco 101 in 1967-68. Most of my learning was on the job as Commerce Minister or Finance Minister.

My first teacher was Dr Simon Kuznets. I am proud to count among my teachers Dr Manmohan Singh, Dr C Rangarajan, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Dr Venugopal Reddy, Dr Bimal Jalan, Dr Parthasarathy Shome, Dr Saumitra Chowdhury, Dr Jahangir…


No tears for Ummer Fayaz

A human shield in Kashmir received voluble support. A slain soldier did not


Recently, two Kashmiri men were assaulted. One man was tied to an army jeep and paraded about villages, labelled — via a placard — a stone-pelter. The other man lost his life. The first man, understandably traumatised, received an outpouring of support, angry editorials, incensed articles, TV outrage, online fury. The other man received barely a tweet. There hangs a tale.

By now, the story of Budgam’s shawl weaver, Farooq Ahmed Dar, who stepped out to vote on April 9 and found himself strapped to an army jeep, is well-known. Anyone with a…THE INDIAN EXPRESS

The real beneficiary

Aadhaar doesn’t empower people, only the state


Ironically, in the week that the UIDAI revealed its draconian face, serving a legal notice to those who exposed flaws in the Aadhaar eco-system, Ajay Pandey (CEO, UIDAI), wrote, “The critics tend to forget that Aadhaar empowers the people, not the state” (‘Criticisms Without Aadhaar’, IE, May 13). However, government data reveals that Pandey is wrong to believe that “Aadhaar empowers the people”.

Peddling long-debunked assertions on savings as facts without any proof is an old UIDAI strategy. Pandey’s strongest claim, “an independent study by the World Bank”, reportedly estimates that “Aadhaar can potentially save Rs 72,000 crore every year…


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