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The way to deal with Shiv Sena

It is about time we stamped out political terrorism, or terrorism by political parties. The Thackeray family has made a political fortune by intimidating people and governments alike, the latest threat being directed at Shah Rukh Khan. The star has been warned that his film will not be allowed to screen unless he apologises. His unmentionable crime, he said he felt bad for the Pa

Amar`s devious divide-UP plan

Even before he was expelled from the Samajwadi Party (SP), Amar Singh set the ball rolling for his future course of action. He is working on the adage that “enemy`s enemy is a friend” and co-opting dissidents with the SP. He is goading a few influential leaders in eastern UP to float a political platform to raise the demand for separate statehood for the region. Ther

“Two-party system would be ideal"

Nitin Gadkari, 52, belongs to a new generation of BJP leaders on whom the party has pinned high hopes. When he succeeded Rajnath Singh as the BJP president, there was skepticism all around. Some described him as a rubber stamp of the RSS which is hell-bent on controlling the country’s second largest national political party. In an interview with managing editor Ajay Singh

Edged out of the Republic

Abraham Lincoln had the right idea but he wasn’t able to offer the complete recipe for the magic potion called democracy in creating a government for the people, by the people, of the people. Just the fond hope that somewhere, like the fleece and the grail, it existed. So, all these many years down the road in the world’s largest democracy you get the distinct feeling that it is mor

State of education report by Pratham

India’s progress in the education sector hasn’t been exactly stellar. Although the latest Annual Status of Education Report brought out by Pratham, a leading NGO in the sector, says that 96 percent of children in rural India in the age group of 6-14 years are now enrolled in schools, the quality of education remains dismal. The report says that just 69 percent of class I stu

Governance for the game

Each year the Indian Premier League brings forth new complexities to cricket. This is only natural, just as been the experience for all modern sport.  However, in India this experience is turning out to all the more complicated for a variety of reasons. The latest controversy in the IPL is, of course, all about the exclusion of Pakistani players from the most recent round of player

The Gandhi nobody wants to know

The year was 1909. Forty-year-old Mohandas Gandhi wrote incessantly for ten days on board the steamer Kildonan Castle, like the mythical Savyasaachi, using both hands. He wrote because he could no longer “restrain himself.” At the end of this restless period he made a claim, utterly unlike him, “I have written an original book in Gujarati.” This book was Hind Swaraj (or

Shiv Sena makes it 3 Idiots

Shiv Sena forgot to count itself in when it accused actors Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan of idiocy over the Indian Premier League (IPL) controversy. While idiocy is not a crime, though, vandalism certainly is. So, while you may disagree with Shah Rukh Khan`s duplicitous show of support to the Pakistani cricketers, you can only deride the Shiv Sena`s reaction as downright unpardonable.

Toxic Toys

Do you know the toys that your child plays with can cause asthama, other lung problems and stunt growth of reproductive organs? Well, this is what a study by the Centre for Science and Environment has found. The CSE picked up plastic toys randomly from the markets in Delhi and found that they contained a toxic chemical, phthalates, in much higher amounts than what

Rekha`s honour, or insult?

Rekha, Muzaffar Ali`s immortal Umrao Jaan, has finally won the Padma Shri. The recognition may have come 29 years after her arguably most memorable screen performance, but she has joined a truly illustrious group. Sahir Ludhianvi, Hindustani cinema`s social conscience and greatest poet, is a member. So are a few legends of screen acting, including Balraj Sahni and Suchitra Sen, as is the melodi

Monumental Obsession

In course of an argument, UP chief minister Mayawati`s counsel in the supreme court contested that the erection of her statues in Lucknow and Noida was part of Mayawati`s political project to empower marginalised social sections through symbols. This argument implied that despite her four stints as the chief minister of the country`s most populous state, Mayawati still considered symbolism as a

`Eco-tourism can help Indian wildlife conservation`

Prof. Raman Sukumar is not one of the salesman conservationists that you meet every other day trying to pitch themselves up rather than the wildlife they pretend to conserve. Yet, he is the most respected, most popular, most distinguished, and if one may say, the most saleable face of wildlife conservation in India and Asia – considering that Asian wildlife conservation needs, and can c

Agri sector: Basic flaws persist

Sixty years into the Republic, India’s agriculture sector is serving up some rather unpalatable facts: we have not eliminated hunger; we are not self-sufficient in food; we have not bettered farm incomes. On the other hand, we have bankrupted our natural resources and created a system which is ecologically and economically unsustainable. The absence of famine has not transl

Joshi bats for Sarpanchs

In an exclusive interview with Governance Now`s Shivani Chaturvedi, Union Minister for Rural Development Dr C P Joshi talks about his efforts to make  the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) more effective. Strangely, he is persisting with a system that makes sarpanchs both the judge and the jury. The sarpanchs are the ones who get the NREGA projects executed in the

`Make Intelligence Accountable`

VP wants intelligence agencies accountable to the legislature........ Here we produce the speech he gave at the RN Kao Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on January 19. "I am honoured to be invited today to deliver this lecture to commemorate an iconic personality who dedicated his life to the service of the Republic and created structures deemed essential for the securit

From Republics to Republic

The release of this inaugural issue of Governance Now, on the completion of sixty years of the Republic of India, naturally raises the obvious question as to what have been the achievements, or failures, of our republic in these sixty years. This logically leads to the still deeper question that comes to the mind, viz, did India become a republic only on the adoption of the constitution which d

Subsidy Riddle

Good politics is bad for economics, and this is true of fertiliser subsidy. Driven by the political compulsion, fertiliser subsidy has come under severe criticism from all quarters. The IIM Ahmedabad carried out a study which shows that fertiliser subsidy has increased significantly since 1991. It finds huge disparity in distribution of  subsidy in different states. The UPA

`Only solution is to finish off Maoists`

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister speaks about the Maoist menace..... In an exclusive interview with Governance Now Deputy Editor Prasanna Mohanty, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh says the Maoist menace can be tackled by the judicious use of force and development work. Below are some excerpts on key issues: Q: Why is the administration finding it so tou

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