Onus on Modi to dump ‘tainted’ ministers, says Court

modisNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday strongly advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his chief ministers not to induct into their teams those against whom charges have been framed in criminal and corruption cases.

By refusing to prescribe disqualification from ministership for tainted people, the Supreme Court has put the issue of decriminalising politics back into the executive’s court. Continue reading

Re-emergence of ebola underscores continued risks from diseases

ebolaCOMMENT, NEW DEHLI: The past two decades have seen the world experiencing, with alarming regularity, outbreaks of viral diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), bird flu and swine flu.

These have caused alarm and spread panic not only in populations that are directly affected but also in places away from the locations of these outbreaks. Continue reading

Modi sends to ‘exile’ ex-leaders Advani, Vajpayee, Joshi

modiNEW DELHI: Veteran BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee were on Tuesday dropped from the party’s main policy-making body, the parliamentary board.

The changes in the party organisation effected by BJP chief Amit Shah had the distinct stamp of Narendra Modi all over it. These also had the endorsement of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Continue reading

Latest govt move leaves India’s onion farmers in tears

onionNASHIK:Onion cultivators in Maharashtra faced devastating losses this season due to crop damage by hailstorms. Things had only just begun to improve when the Central government recently decided to include onion in the essential commodities list.

The government purportedly took the step in a bid to check rising prices and clamp down on hoarding by traders as they now cannot stock more than a prescribed quantity. It, however, hampered farmers’ chances of recouping their losses as prices have fallen. Continue reading

Dalai Lama returning to China?

dalailamaLHASA: China’s government in Tibet claims that the Dalai Lama is in talks with Beijing through “personal envoys”, but the talks are only about the possibility of his return to Tibet.

Wu Yingjie, the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee for Tibet, told a group of Indian journalists in Lhasa on Sunday that the talks with the Dalai were “ongoing and always smooth, but we are discussing only his future, not Tibet’s.” Continue reading

Sri Lanka’s TNA seeks Modi’s help with refugees

modiCOLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has sought India’s help in the return of Sri Lankan refugees from India.

“There are over one lakh refugees in Tamil Nadu living in 115 camps. We have requested the Indian government to pressure the Sri Lankan government to release their [refugees’] land in the north which has been taken over by the Army,” said senior TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah, who was part of the six-member TNA delegation that met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Aug 23. Continue reading

Will Modi say ‘no’ to communal politics?

Narendra_ModiCOMMENT, NEW DELHI: There is a slow but systematic attempt to change India’s name from Bharat to Hindustan — playing up the word “Hindu” in Hindustan and trying to repackage it as the abode of the Hindus. B.R. Ambedkar and his team that drafted the Constitution of India consciously avoided the term “Hindustan” as they could foresee its implications in a land that takes pride in its diversity. Continue reading

Controversy over wine during mass in churches

churchTHIRUVANATHAPURAM: Joining the liquor controversy in Kerala, senior non-Catholic bishop Philiphose Mar Chrysostom, of Mar Thoma Syrian Church,  asked the Churches to rethink about using wine during Mass.The use of wine at churches for Mass has come to the liquor controversy after prominent backward Hindu leader Vellappally Nateshan questioned the logic of allowing Mass wine when Indian made foreign liquor is banned in a phased manner.

Continue reading

Coalgate: Supreme Court declares 218 blocks ‘illegal’

coalNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday declared allocation of 218 coal blocks across the country as “illegal”, “arbitrary” and done in “most non–transparent ways.”

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice R M Lodha held that all the allocation done in the last two decades “suffer from vice of arbitrariness” and could not withstand the test of legal scrutiny. Continue reading