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India’s Godman Syndrome; My Reflections
by Dr. Sulekh C. Jain

During the last 2 weeks nearly all media in India and some in US carried the news of the arrest of the self-Styled Godman Rampal of Satlok Ashram in Haryana. Here is a sampling of some of the Headlines that I came across;

• Operation to arrest Godman Rampal cost over Rs. 26 crore.
• Godman’ Rampal’s lavish lifestyle inside Satlok ashram.
• Haryana and Punjab High Court sent Godman Rampal in judicial custody ... Read More

Amid India’s Coal Fields Death Lurks in Poisoned Water
By Rakteem Katakey and Rajesh Kumar Singh

Death crept without warning to the mud huts of Jogaeal in central India.

One by one, children began to die, often in agony and exhibiting similar symptoms: convulsions, burning pain in the extremities, nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. By the end of 2011, parents buried 53 of them in this forested hill country village occupied mostly by subsistence farmers and day laborers.

That scenario played out in ... Read More

‘Aakash Can Help Drive US Tablet Prices Down”: Vivek Wadhwa
“My goal is to cause tablet prices in the US and abroad to fall precipitously–to the $50 level, and head towards zero,” says Vivek Wadhwa

Silicon Valley-based Vivek Wadhwa, who helped trigger off the North Carolina pilot project for the Aakash, and other Aakash-based pilot projects in the US, is an evangelist for low-cost tablets. This entrepreneur-academic (at Stanford and Singularity universities) has written in the Washington Post and elsewhere about their ability to transform education ... Read More

"The future I dream for India is the future I wish for our entire region": Modi at SAARC
The last Summit was three years ago. Only two of us here were present in Addu. Even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come here after her re-election. President Rajapaksa will soon go into one and I wish him good luck. I especially welcome our newest colleague, President Ghani.

Ours is a region of thriving democracy; of rich inheritance; the unmatched strength of youth; and, a strong thirst for change and progress.

In the ... Read More

The Exiled Heart: A New York Times Correspondent’s Story of Fleeing Iran
When reporter Nazila Fathi and her family were forced to flee Iran, she thought they would be gone just a few weeks. Then the weeks turned to years. . . .

The officer took one look at the names in our passports and disappeared. Clenching my clammy hands into fists, I surveyed the vast marble expanse of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. It was 2:00 a.m., and the departures hall was almost deserted. My eyes darted ... Read More

Meet India's four great dictators
Here are four of them...

1. Jawaharlal Nehru: Had Nehru not become the Prime Minister and the cult of Nehru not been propagated, then it is possible that Nehru would not have even been counted among the top ten freedom fighters of India.

Mahatma Gandhi was the giant. He was briefly overshadowed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. In the unofficial vote for India's first PM, Sardar Vallabhai Patel came first and JB Kriplani second. Finally, only Chakravarti ... Read More

Jawaharlal Nehru was the architect of modern India, says Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata: Terming Jawaharlal Nehru as the "architect" of modern India and a "socialist", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday paid rich tributes to the country's first Prime Minister on his 125th birth anniversary, saying great leaders like him are beyond political boundaries.

"Of course there are political boundaries... but those (leaders) who will be remembered (for contributions to the country) for all times to come cannot be bound by political boundaries," Banerjee said while ... Read More

An Interview With the Anonymous Media Watchdogs Who Accused Fareed Zakaria of Plagiarism
On August 19, two bloggers calling themselves CrushingBort and BlippoBlappo published a blog post titled “Did CNN, The Washington Post, and Time Actually Check Fareed Zakaria’s Work for Plagiarism?” on their media watchdog blog, Our Bad Media. In it, the pair highlighted 12 examples of alleged plagiarism on Zakaria’s part. It was not the first time the writer weathered such accusations. Zakaria, a celebrated columnist and author, had previously been suspended from Time and CNN ... Read More
Before Accusations, Uber Was a Boon for Indian Women

NEW DELHI — There is never a bad time to state a plain fact. Uber is a greater friend of urban women in India than the government ever was. Over the past several months, women have taken to the smartphone app with enthusiasm. They grade the drivers and convey to Uber their compliments — and their complaints about bad manners and body odor.

Many rate the Uber experience higher than sitting in their own ... Read More
-Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni-
In life, a man sees many ups and downs. The challenge lies in balancing oneself well in both the phases. Many people walk ahead in life searching for reasons to be happy and motivated. In this process, what they really lack is the quality to admire things that they have in their hands.

Different people have different perceptions and ways to look at things. The challenge appears when things turn up differently ... Read More
My Love-Hate Affair with Kerala's Cuisine
Reshmy Kurian

My Love-Hate Affair with Kerala's Cuisine It troubles me that 'home' to my parents always means our ancestral home in Kerala's Syrian catholic headquarter - Kottayam. Each summer, we take the 48-hour train journey to Ernakulam Junction at the opposite end of the country.

A hired open jeep picks us up from the station to take us to my father's village, bumping through the potholed road. And as we watch the tarred, rain beaten road ... Read More
Indo-US ties will stir if Narendra Modi keeps his pledges
K.P. Nayar
The invitation to Barack Obama to be the chief guest at next month’s Republic Day celebrations is prima facie a good decision by Narendra Modi, but it is based on hollow foundations if he expects it to result in any ambitious agenda for bilateral relations. The invitation sprang from an unexpectedly good rapport that the president of the United States of America established with the prime minister of India at their first meeting in ... Read More
India's Two-Speed Economy
By Dhiraj Nayyar

India’s growth rate has been strikingly uneven over the last decade, plunging from over 9 percent in the boom years between 2004 and 2007 to below 5 percent between 2012 and 2014. That’s a large part of the reason new Prime Minister Narendra Modi sailed into office so easily. If Modi wants to fulfill his promises to revive India, though, he’s going to have to address a different kind ... Read More
If Bhopal Happened Today, Would the World React Any Differently?
By Paul M. Barrett
Thirty years ago, on Dec. 3, 1984, an enormous 40-ton plume of poisonous gas escaped from a Union Carbide (DOW) insecticide plant in Bhopal, India. Three thousand people died within days, tens of thousands over subsequent years. An estimated 500,000 suffered lung cancer, kidney failure, and other diseases.
Union Carbide, one of the 30 companies then in the Dow Jones industrial index, became a symbol of corporate irresponsibility. In the U.S., that ... Read More
Bhopal: The World's Worst Industrial Disaster, 30 Years Later
Thirty years ago, on the night of December 2, 1984, an accident at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released at least 30 tons of a highly toxic gas called methyl isocyanate, as well as a number of other poisonous gases.

The pesticide plant was surrounded by shanty towns, leading to more than 600,000 people being exposed to the deadly gas cloud that night. The gases stayed low to the ground, causing victims ... Read More
A comprehensive plan to utilize NRIs for India's development
The following suggestions have been made to the Prime Minister of India by the Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust:

In response to your request to give the suggestions related to various issues related Non Resident Indian(NRI) prior to Bharatheeya Pravasi Divas 2015 will be held in Gandhinagar, on behalf Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust (PBWT) we would like to present the following suggestions:

1. Give a chance to participate in the Make in India ... Read More
A Master of Memory in India Credits Meditation for His Brainy Feats
The opportunity to witness the feat of memory drew a capacity crowd of 6,000 to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. The exhibition was part of a campaign to encourage schoolchildren to use meditation to build brainpower, as Jain monks have done for centuries in India, a country drawn both toward ancient religious practices and more recent ambitions.
... Read More
Discreet probe into choice of date that stalled Modi-Sharif meet
Nov. 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has triggered a discreet and informal investigation into how November 26 was chosen for the inauguration of the 18th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc).
The choice of the sixth anniversary of the Pakistan-linked terrorist attacks on Mumbai made it impossible for Modi to meet his counterpart from Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif, on the opening day of the summit even if their relations with each other ... Read More
A toast to India and three cheers for Pak
Nov. 22: Even as hurried toasts were proposed last night in south Delhi’s upscale drawing rooms following a surprise prime-time announcement about Barack Obama’s second coming to India and BJP ministers smugly sat back in Lutyens Delhi marvelling over another diplomatic coup by their government, the ground quietly shifted from under the feet of Narendra Modi, the author of what could be the biggest transformation in Indian strategic thinking in many decades.
Those who were ... Read More
Modi will bring new life to the Saarc summit in Kathmandu
K.P. Nayar
Precisely six months after Narendra Modi took office as prime minister and his promise of achche din or “good days” caught the imagination of the Indian people, the high expectations raised by Modi’s style and governance are spreading in the country’s neighbourhood. When Modi and seven other heads of State and government from South Asia meet in Kathmandu a week from today, India will stop being treated as the whipping boy within the South ... Read More
Long road to justice: Human rights of female migrant workers
Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service
In her opening address at the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Beijing+20, being held in Bangkok, Kate Lappin, Regional Coordinator, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) mentioned that, "Migration into exploitative work is continually on the rise, living wages and decent work conditions are being denied and with deadly consequences. The cheap, exploitable labour of women is underwriting the so-called 'Asian Century' and is used to attract ... Read More
In India, Jewels a Maharani or Grandmother Could Love

My grandmother was an avid traveler, and in every place she visited — Bangkok, Cairo, Rome — she would buy a piece of jewelry. My sisters and I could rummage through her jewelry box, and take a virtual tour of the world.
I still remember the woven silver earrings from Mexico and the black pearls from Tahiti. She was also quite fond of buying gold charms that she would attach to one of her ... Read More
Secularism a compelling necessity for country: Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi: Seeking to reassert Jawaharlal Nehru's legacy, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said secularism is a compelling necessity for a country as diverse as India.

She also said that there can be no India without secularism and it remains more than an ideal.

Addressing an international conference on the 125th birth anniversary of Nehru in New Delhi, Gandhi said secularism was an "article of faith" for the first Prime Minister of the country.

"There can be ... Read More
India ‘link’ to Raphel fall
New Delhi, Nov. 8: A tip from Indian soil which shed new light on how US diplomat Robin Raphel empowered the Taliban may have hastened her downfall in Washington.
Accounts from Raisina Hill, the seat of government in New Delhi and from Chanakyapuri, the capital’s diplomatic enclave, however, indicated that India’s official apparatus was not involved in the tip. The US embassy was behind relaying the information, albeit in the course of routine transmission of ... Read More
An interview with Chanda Kochhar
There is a huge potential to actually unlock some of the investments [that we have done in the past. Chanda Kochhar MD & CEO ICICI Bank As CNBC-TV18 celebrates its 15 years of leadership in the business space, it sits down with a business leader whose organization has seen a similar stellar run over the same period. In an interaction, CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan spoke with Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank , who ... Read More
Electricity Returns to Bangladesh After Power Failure
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A power failure swept through Bangladesh on Saturday after a transmission line in the electrical grid failed, causing a nationwide blackout.

Masum-Al-Beruni, managing director of the state-run Power Grid Company of Bangladesh, said that “the whole of Bangladesh” was “completely out of power” for an hour on Saturday, though the effects of the electrical failure continued well into the evening. The blackout began around 11:30 a.m., Mr. ... Read More
There are events in history that tell us much about the era’s social views and prejudices. The Komagata Maru incident is one of those.
One hundred years ago a ship named the Komagata Maru dropped anchor in Vancouver with 376 passengers on board. The majority of these passengers were Sikh men and British subjects intending to immigrate to Canada. The journey was a challenge to a Canadian law that prevented immigration aboard ships that had not ... Read More

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