Sow some optimism

In recent years, the agrarian crisis has been largely discussed and described in terms of farmer’s suicides. Obviously, this is a serious issue and merits very careful consideration and appropriate remedial action, considering the fact that agriculture is the main life giving profession of humankind. Although this matter rightly attracts attention, we need to go into greater depth on the problems being faced by farming communities in our country. I suggest a 10-point action plan to reverse with trend of decline in the productivity of major crops.

Power of risk in politics

A counter na-rrative appears to be emerging in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh government action against slaughter houses and restaurants selling meat products. Firstly, that representatives of the affected restaurants and slaughter houses have expressed a willingness to work with the state government. That is a contrarian view from the one that emerged at the outset, that raised questions of deliberate polarisation. Secondly, the health department has put out information that there are about 300 registered meat sellers within Lucknow.

The Congress quandary

A government without an opposition is an unfortunate scenario in a democracy and the BJP’s emphatic victory march in successive state polls has ensured a resistance-free run for the Modi government in the remaining two years of its term at the Centre.
The Modi-Shah team has acquired an unbeatable status and if the current state of opposition is a reflection of things to come, majoritarianism is in for a long spell.

What China wants

Looking at the world from Beijing these days cannot be a comfortable situation. Though secure at home, “core leader” Xi Jinping has to contend with the five-yearly Congress of the Communist Party of China later this year. This congress is crucial for Xi to put his own stamp on the party and put in place individuals who will owe their jobs to him and push his policies. Further, they may be the key to Xi getting an unprecedented third term as the General Secretary of the CPC and the President of the country.


On Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate sent a show cause notice to Kolkata Knight Riders and its co-owners Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla in the long running saga of causing a Rs 73.6 crore loss under FEMA in an IPL related case. At the very kernel of the case is the sale of some shares of Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd to a Mauritius based firm at a cost lower than their actual value resulting in the alleged loss of foreign exchange amounting to Rs 70 crore and change.

Pitfalls of handing a walkover

Congress workers in Lucknow are said to be behind posters, stuck across the city, mockingly seeking the whereabouts of Prashant Kishor, the vaunted political master strategist who had been passed on to the Congress by the Janata Dal (United) after Nitish Kumar’s election win in November 2015. In a season of despondence, it is commendable that the anger of the drubbing in Uttar Pradesh has been channeled towards dark humour.


Push the enemy into an unreal world, one where he believes what he is being fed and told. At a time when chaos and bedlam are consuming the world, Pakistan’s compulsions regarding China Pakistan Economic Corridor or the One Belt One Road phenomenon are such that it is forced to take certain nebulous decisions against this, India has to safeguard its geo strategic interests at all times.

Right wing is here to stay

By appointing Yogi Aditya-nath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, prime minister Narendra Modi and his Man Friday Amit Shah might have raised many eyebrows, but the decision to have a branded Hindu hot-head as the head of the UP administration in Lucknow, is in sync with their ideological grounding and larger political objective.
The politics of masks in BJP had ended long ago in early 2000s when Atal Bihari Vajpayee showed the door to RSS ideologue Govindacharya for mocking the liberal minded prime minister as only a face (mukhauta) shielding the hardliner LK Advani.

Indian pharma exits the trauma room

India's generic drugmaking industry is getting wheeled out of intensive care. But is it really going home?
The US Food and Drug Administration this week lifted the import ban on a factory that Mumbai-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries inherited as part of its takeover of Ranbaxy Laboratories. The plant, in Punjab state, became the third owned by Ranbaxy to be shut out of the US when the FDA imposed the prohibition in September 2013, causing the Indian company to lose a third of its market value in one day.

Jeeva’s son, Muthu

Muthu Krishnan came to the city with one thought in mind. To become an intellectual. A Dalit intellectual has various obligations, which include being part of a larger community, and working for that community. He brought with him the love for his grandparents, parents and siblings, and the idea that he owed them a universe. When he wrote, he constantly described himself as Jeeva’s Son. Jeeva, the labourer, he hoped, would one day greet him, Muthu, as the one who had a degree, who would one day have the title of Dr before his name.