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Showing posts with the label Democracy

Assembly Election Dates Announced By The ECI: Step Aside, Omicron!

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has today, a day when the country logged 1,41,986 new COVID-19 cases, announced the dates for assembly elections in 5 states of India, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa, starting from February 10, 2022. The polling in all five states will be completed between 10 th February and 7 th March in seven phases while the counting is to take place on 10 th March for all five states. UP election will be spread over all the seven phases till 7 th March; Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa will have single phase polls on 14 th February; and Manipur will have two-phase polling due to security concerns in the state on 27 th February and March 3, 2022. More than 180 million citizens are set to exercise their voting rights during this what is often referred as festival of democracy.   The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sushil Chandra, assured while addressing a press conference in the national capital Delhi that the elections would b

The Year-Long Farmers’ Movement In India Ends!

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In a huge relief for the whole of India, the Government and the farming community the year-long Farmers’ Movement has come to an end today after the Joint Farmers Front leaders announced in Delhi that the Government had accepted all their demands that prominently included the promulgation of a law guarantying Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for their crops and the withdrawal of all charges against the agitating farmers. The leaders described this as a historic victory against an arrogant government further saying that their peaceful movement was unprecedented in India as well as in the world. The farmers would start leaving the Delhi borders from the 11 th of this month, after the state funeral tomorrow of the CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat who died in a tragic chopper crash yesterday, with a victory march to their respective home states, they added. The leaders also said that the Joint Farmers Front which was formed with the constituents of all farm unions across the country to steer the movement

Prime Minister Speaks: And Then The Three Farm Laws To Be Repealed!

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In a totally unexpected development, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in an address to the nation early morning today has, on the occasion of Guru Nanak Birth anniversary called Guru Purab or Prakash Parv (a holy festival observed by the Sikhs on the birth/demise anniversaries of the their Saints/Gurus), announced the Government’s decision to repeal the three controversial Farm Laws the constitutional formalities of which are going to be completed in the winter session of the Indian Parliament starting from 29 th November 2021. The Prime Minister, though, stoutly defended the Farm Laws saying that these reforms were brought in favor of the farmers, particularly the small and marginal farmers; however, he admitted that the laws could not convince sections of the farmers and dissatisfied cultivators cannot be left behind. Narendra Modi added that perhaps the government’s ‘dedication’ to uplift the cultivators of the country was not enough. The Prime Minister also promised to

Welcome President Biden! Long Live Democracy!

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Joseph R Biden or popularly known as Joe Biden, the 46 th President of the United States of America, was sworn in a modest inauguration event on the 20 th of January 2021 held in the premises of Capitol Hill which was invaded by Trump supporters two weeks back. At 78, he is the oldest ever President of the country to be sworn in: however, his arrival at this juncture is seen by many as momentous and much-needed in view of the aftermath of Trumpism.   Not surprisingly, considering the bitterly divided American society, President Biden pleaded for national unity and the end of the uncivil war with the slogan ‘shun division, embrace unity’. He explained that ‘unity’ is required in view of the paramount need, which he termed as ‘a desperate call for survival coming from the planet earth itself’, of countering the challenges of rising political extremism, white supremacy racism, domestic terrorism and the pandemic that caused more damage in one year than the whole of the World War-2

US Capitol Shame: Unprecedented Assault On Democracy Even As The US Congress Certifies Biden Victory!

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Just when the bicameral United States Congress was to sit in a rare joint session to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory mobs descended on Capitol Hill, the celebrated seat of the US Government, and drafted a black chapter not only in the country’s democratic history but also in the world’s democratic traditions. Supporters of the outgoing President Donald Trump gathered in large numbers and breached the security to carry out an unprecedented act of desecration and vandalism. At least four people were killed in the violence, and the security personnel, totally overwhelmed by the surging mob, arrested around fifty rioters. Coming in as a light at the end of the tunnel the US Congress had met later and certified Joe Biden’s electoral victory which means that Biden is now the rightful official President of the country set to take over on the 20 th of this month. As per the latest news reports Trump has finally conceded his defeat and acknowledged Biden’s democratic victory.   The h

An Ode To Arrogance!

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Arrogance is one of the defining characteristics of human beings. Arrogance can be easily discerned or felt by us in every word or act or posture or gait displayed by the inflicted persons. We confront them everywhere—at home where the arrogance of the head of the household is as ancient as the homo sapiens; at workplace where the arrogance of the boss percolates down the line very often apart from the others in various sycophantic roles; at educational institutions where the most scholarly often displays the most arrogance apart from the others in various emphatic roles; in the ruling class hierarchy arrogance has been a trademark notwithstanding the transformation from monarchy/dictatorship to democracy in many nations of the world; and so on. Of course, no generalization has been attempted here: else, how on earth can we have the magnanimity of discussing it! The word ‘arrogance’ has, logically, numerous synonyms. Here we’ll mention a few examples so that our discourse is e

Waylaying Common Sense!

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Assuming that our kind readers have understood the ‘sense of it’ from the headline we start straightaway, at the macro level first. Let’s consider a democratic country where, supposing a scenario, the masses are up in vehement but peaceful protests against a certain state policy; the masses here comprise of farmers, students, teachers, professors, intellectuals, advocates, artistes and all of the kind. Problem is, the state refuses to believe in this mass movement or that they could be wrong; they steadfastly allege that the masses are being misled by certain political and other forces who want to destabilize the country. Common sense tells them that all the people, by the people and for the people of a democracy cannot be misled or misguided continually, and that the movement requires them take a relook. But no, they continue to defy common sense, and thus put their stakes in absolute peril in the next elections. Some of them, who must be totally rid of any sense, threaten to

Kolkata College Violence: Politicians Of Future?

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Times of West Bengal, a state of eastern India, seem to be marching step-in-step with the increasing intolerance shown by its Chief Minister Mamata Bannerji to almost everybody living in her state—from writers, journalists, cartoonists, rape victims to even foreign investors. As we have often referred to her in these pages ‘merciless’ Mamata promised a new beginning by uprooting the 34-year-old stagnant and autocratic rule of the Left in May, 2011 and by bringing her Trinamool (grass-roots) Congress (TMC) overwhelmingly into power. But over time she has managed exactly to shake up those very grass-roots of West Bengal. She has managed to antagonize political parties and citizens alike thus creating an unhealthy atmosphere of mistrust, doubt and malevolence. Today we have witnessed another shame happening to this state known once for having a most literate, cultured and sensitive population.   It was just a college in prime Kolkata that like any other college is supposed to

Dismal Voting in Mumbai

Today, in the third phase of General Elections 2009 and the last phase in Maharashtra, Mumbai recorded only about 45 per cent of voting. Only seen in large numbers were the celebrities, politicians and the Bollywood stars. And why not, they will only be grateful for the bonus doses of publicity. There was total apathy from the common man. Maybe because of the fact that their problems remain always. Or maybe because of the soaring mercury. Or maybe because of the casualness of the Mumbaikars who like to plan weekends with this extra holiday on account of election. But the terror trauma of 26/11 may be the real dampener too. Most urban places of Maharashtra had poor turnouts and moderate polling in the rest. Many other states of India too recorded pathetic turnouts. This may really be ominous in terms of the possibility of a hung parliament. Indian democracy at the crossroads?