Sunday, December 19, 2010

Editorial, 'WikiLeaks and Radia Tapes' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 December 2010 issue

WikiLeaks and Radia Tapes

Two sensational and crucial developments in two different spheres of the globe we are witnessing today in Julian Assange’s Wikileaks which revealed the dastardly secret diplomacy as also the inhuman atrocities of American imperialism in collusion with many so-called democracies of the world, and in the tapes of secretly tapped conversations of Nira Radia, an upstart corporate NRI businesswoman playing a key role in the now Parliament-paralyzing multi-billion dollar 2-G scam in India. The former involves serious questions of principle and policy concerning the freedom of speech and expression, of diplomatic delicacies and confidentialities and charges of treason and betrayal of a nation, etc. Julian Assange is now the centre of whole world attention, hailed by the young and activists in civil rights movements as a hero but denigrated by the hurt and angered governmental and political leaders of America and elsewhere as a villain, so much so that the famous Life magazine displays a slideshow: ‘Julian Assange: Hero or Villain?’, and circles from the Russian Presidential office hint at his nomination for the Nobel Prize even. The latter is certainly not a heroine but may not be a vamp or foreign spy either though there are serious allegations against her on those counts. The point is, in the all pervading corruption in Indian society she was able to manipulate the highest circles of administration and political fields to her quick advantage and build up a multi-crore business barely in nine years. Also she damaged the reputation of many a famous figure including Ratan Tata who is now praying the Supreme Court for protection of his privacy. Here also the question of freedom of speech and information is involved and as the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frak LaRue, has rightly stated, one should not face legal accountability for any information they disseminated and “if there is a responsibility by leaking information it is exclusively of the person that made the leak and not of the media that publish it. And this is the way that transparency works and corruption … confronted in many cases.” §§§

Editorial, 'INDIA PROSPERING, NOT INDIANS!' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 30 November 2010 issue


A recent UN working paper states that China and India are generally regarded as the two large countries in the developing world that are the “suc­cess stories” of globalization, the success defined by the high and sustained rates of growth of aggregate and per capita national income and the substantial reduction in income poverty; further China is described as becoming the “work­shop” or “factory” of the world through the expansion of manufacturing production, and India as becoming the “office” of the world, in particular because of its ability to take advantage of IT-enabled services off-shoring; however, in both countries, the growth has been associ­ated with sharp increases in spatial and vertical inequalities, greater fragility of incomes among marginalized groups and adverse shifts in certain human development indicators. It quotes the most recent World Bank estimates which number the absolutely poor people in India in 2005 to be 456 million, significantly more than the Indian government’s own estimate of 301 million in 2004-05, and also the Asian Development Bank (2008) estimate of the number of poor in India in 2005 at 622-740 million. As for our own estimates, the latest Tendulkar Committee Report put the poverty in our country at 37% whereas the earlier Arjun Sengupta report gave the very high figure of 77% living on less than Rs. 20/- a day and the N.C. Saxena Committee put it at 50%. And with the Tendulkar Committee report accepted by the Planning Commission, we can “proudly say 37% of our population still lives struggling with extreme poverty and fighting with pangs of hunger.” As such no wonder India may seem prospering if GDP growth rates alone considered, but our agricultural production has been stagnant and certainly bulk of Indians are marginalized. All this needs a radical shift in priorities of funds allotment and good governance with stress on poverty alleviation, agriculture by medium and poor peasants, education, housing and health needs of the bulk of the people and elimination of corruption; but not gloating about the so-called development at the cost of people and environment §§§

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Editorial, 'Canker of Corruption' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 November 2010 October Revolution Special issue

Canker of Corruption

is eating irreparably into the vitals of our society it appears, or has it already done that? All the ideals adumbrated in our Constitution for the establishment of an egalitarian social welfare society seem to have been thrown to the winds and the ruling coteries as also the aspiring parties, groups and persons, save for a few honourable exceptions, seem to have joined in the rape of the motherland. Veterans who still remember the days of the British rule generally rue that society had not fallen to such abysmal depths and corrupt drains in those days despite all the high-handed and atrocious conduct of the imperialists. Not only we see scams everywhere – of the Adarsh Housing Society in Bombay, illegal mining and land allotments in Karnataka, real estate and mining scams in AP and above all the 2-G scam which is creating tremors in the Union Government now, but also the corrupt and inept administrators seem to be confident of sailing through all the hazards of prosecution and punishment for their illegal activities in absolute safety. The Courts occasionally bark for the protection of the ideals underscoring the need for zero tolerance to corruption but then they too face serious allegations of corruption within their wing, which even if 10% of the same be established, stand as a matter of unredeemable humiliation for the society. While the rich, neo-rich and super rich are joyfully sailing on waves of affluence and luxury, comes the gruesome news of poor and hungry mothers selling away their children for paltry hundreds as the only way to save their families from sure starvation deaths! And now Mr. Kar, a senior economist, comes with the sensational revelation that more than 20 lakh crore rupees of black moneys are stashed away overseas right from 1948 till date and the so-called liberalization policies claiming to create more transparency have in no way reduced corruption but exacerbated it. He says with such huge amounts we could have paid for the entire infrastructure needs of the country and much else – better schools, better health and nutrition programmes for the poor, etc. Regrettably, instead of fighting this malaise with all devotion and strength people seem to be frittering away their energies in silly parochial and petty agitations which deliver no real fruits to the needy. All this fortifies our convicton that a real revolutionary upheaval by the people, rising above all petty concerns, against corruption, misrule and concomitant evils and atrocities can alone save this country §§§