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Ralph Roodale, MP
More and more Canadians are deeply suspicious of Stephen Harper's so-called "Fair Elections Act", known as Bill C-23. On the surface, it sounds like a lot of technical stuff that would only interest political science policy wonks, not the general public. That's what Mr. Harper is counting on.

But look again -- This Bill will disenfranchise some voters, suppress others, put a government gag-order on Elections Canada to shut them up ... Read More

Could Modi be a development disaster?
By Ashish Kothari

Perhaps those who will cheer most if Modi becomes PM are the corporate sector and a part of the upwardly mobile middle classes. To them, people's struggles for justice, movements by the poor to resist displacement and land acquisition, and environmental activism are all 'hurdles' to the profits and prosperity they dream of.

According to Prajapati and Shah, Gujarat today has 30 per cent of India's major "accident hazard" industries and over 4500 hazardous ... Read More

Why is much-needed infrastructure investment being cut?
David McGuinty, MP

Investments in public infrastructure are the single most cost-effective way for the Government of Canada to help drive jobs and growth. So why are the Conservatives slashing new funding for the biggest federal infrastructure fund by 90%?

The old Building Canada Fund had grown to about $1.6 billion a year for community infrastructure projects across the country. But this year new money for the fund drops off a cliff, falling by close to 90% ... Read More

How To Live & Die
- Khushwant Singh
I’ve often thought about what it is that makes people happy—what one has to do in order to achieve happiness.

First and foremost is good health. If you do not enjoy good health, you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct something from your happiness.

Second, a healthy bank balance. It need not run into crores, but it should be enough to provide for comforts, and there should be something ... Read More

Myanmar's Indian independence veterans demand recognition
By Swaminathan Natarajan BBC
Veteran Indian soldiers in Myanmar who took up arms to fight against the British to secure Indian independence are demanding that they should qualify for a freedom fighter pension from the Indian government.

Thousands of Indian soldiers joined a militia formed by charismatic Bengali leader Subash Chandra Bose (see image) in the final years of the independence struggle.

With help from Hitler and imperial Japan he formed the Indian National Army (INA) to fight ... Read More
Khushwant Singh: India’s gadfly
AT THE mere age of 28, when he was still a briefless barrister in Lahore, Khushwant Singh wrote his own death notice. Besides his grieving family, he left “a large number of friends and admirers”. Among the visitors to the residence were “several ministers, and justices of the high court”. He would have been shocked to know that, when he actually died, the president of India, Sonia Gandhi of the Congress party, Narendra Modi of ... Read More
In Kerala’s social lab, a Modi formula
Narendra Modi has set the CPM’s tail on fire in Kerala in this election although it is unlikely to bring electoral dividends in terms of seats for the BJP. The party has never won a Lok Sabha or an Assembly seat in this state and its fortunes may not change during polling on April 10.
Independent of the state’s BJP, however, Modi has triggered a process that may eventually lead to the ... Read More
10 things we Indians love to do
by Gitanjali Roy

Cross the road without looking
Red, yellow, green? Despite our fabled love of colour, we ignore the red and the yellow at traffic signals. For us, it's always green. That's when we cross the road at a signal at all. Mostly, we just saunter over to the other side without looking right and left and right again, confident in the knowledge that whichever passing car's way we happen to be in will screech to ... Read More
Church Authorities Neglect Natural Justice, Kingdom Values
By Father Anand Muttungal

The Catholic Church in India is grabbing headlines these days for wrong reasons giving ample opportunities to those opposed to it to question about the values and principles it preaches. The suicide of Salomi, the wife of Professor T J Joseph whose hand was chopped off by Muslim fundamentalists for an alleged error in setting question paper for his students in Church run Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala state.

The very fact of ... Read More
Liberals Force Conservative Government to Back Down on Plan to Force Languages Tests on Spousal Sponsorships
OTTAWA – Liberal pressure has forced the Conservative Government to back down from its ill-conceived plan to impose language testing on spousal sponsorship applications said John McCallum, Liberal Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.

“Pressure from the Liberal Caucus in the House of Commons has forced Minister Alexander to clearly, and publicly state that his government will abandon their rumoured plan to impose these ridiculous, Orwellian language tests on the spouses of Canadians,” said Mr. McCallum.

It was ... Read More
Acid Violence - Physical, Psychological, & Social Scars for Life
Hanan Chemlali*

Acid attack is a heinous form of violence, one that has instantaneous and lifelong consequences for victims and survivors. Acid violence constitutes a perennial rights violation issue for women in several Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Cambodia.

Even though acid violence occurs against men and boys, it is categorized as gender-based violence due to its disproportionate impact on women. The perpetrators usually aim for a woman's face in an attempt to disfigure ... Read More
Nidhin Shobhana

For many days now, I have been grappling with a strong sense of unrest
within me. I am thankful to the recent debates on Arundhati Roy and her
mighty long introduction to 'S. Anand's critically annotated Annihilation
of Caste' which inspired me to finally ventilate this unrest. Oops! I
forgot to mention the real author's name, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. This is
what big names like 'Arundhati Roy' do to you... you miss the ... Read More
The Greatest Mobilization on Earth
By Lavina Melwani
Of all the amazing, larger-than-life things about India, perhaps the most stunning is the grand spectacle of the general elections in the world’s largest democracy. Every five years millions and millions of people across this vast land stand patiently in line to invoke the power of their vote. Many are illiterate and can only sign their name with their thumbprint—yet it is the one day they all have a voice. Without firepower or ... Read More
Next Prime Minister: Who?
Dr. James Kottoor

It looks an election fog has descended on the country suddenly obliterating clear vision to the multitude of voters to see and judge the real face of parties and candidates posing as saviours and seeking their vote.

Most confused are the first time voters eager to vote and can’t decide whom to. For the rest, the vast majority had an experience of one to 60 years of voting. Once ... Read More
Ukraine will make India rethink its strategic priorities
K.P. Nayar
Ideally, the next government in New Delhi ought not to have to make hard choices early on in its honeymoon period. But a rapidly changing global order may make it imperative that a new prime minister will not have the luxury of putting difficult and challenging foreign policy decisions on the back-burner.

Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovich, fled Kiev on February 22, the day on which his detractors illegally assumed power. For 12 days after ... Read More
Blackout Risk Increases With Surging Populism: Corporate India
In India, sporadic power outages have hobbled Asia’s third-largest economy for years.

The government’s solution was a $31 billion bailout of utilities, whose debts were so big and cash flow so small that they can’t provide a steady flow of electricity to homes and businesses. Now that bailout is in jeopardy.

A populist movement sparked by an anti-corruption crusader is forcing utilities to slash the price they charge consumers. Because most of these power retailers ... Read More
A democracy that gets hurt by books, but not the body bags
By Avinash Pandey

At 218 in 2013 and 237 in 2012, one would expect a national outrage on the unusually high number of body bags returning to India from Qatar. One would think especially so, for the fact that these body bags belonged to Indian citizens. It must have incensed even the apologists of neoliberal regime for whom the idea of citizenship might be passé but still value the significant foreign remittances sent by those ... Read More

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From the bushes to the centre of Canadian civil service and public life
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