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TN's hour of shame

It is eternal shame to Tamilnadu and the state of its politics that the bye-election to the R K Nagar constituency has been cancelled. The Election Commission had no other go but to put off the polls in the light of unprecedented malpractices — especially money distribution — allegedly by all candidates (but the charges on AIADMK (Amma) candidate T T V Dhinakaran is the most vehement). The money distribution

Surprise strikes

With the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles from warships by the US in the Mediterranean Sea, targeted at an air base in Syria, in reaction to the gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians by the Assad regime in which several people including women and children were killed, US President Donald Trump has signalled his toughness. The strikes mark a possible end to Trump’s honeymoon with the Russians who are staunch

African agony

It is unfortunate that after all the effort that the Narendra Modi government has been making to reach out to nations in Africa for stronger political and economic ties, the recent incident of a brutal assault on some African youth by a mob in a mall in Greater Noida area of the National Capital Region has soured relations with the community in New Delhi. That the chiefs of missions of

Welcome reforms

It is heartening that Chief Justice J S Khehar has made sure that 15 of the Supreme Court’s 28 judges would forego their summer ‘vacation’ to hear three important constitutional matters through three constitution benches this summer and two other judges would hear other matters during the vacation period. When earlier chief justice T S Thakur had complained to the Prime Minister about the government sitting on recommendations for appointment of

Shaken and stirred

It now appears that the Supreme Court ruling barring the sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways though well-intentioned was not well-thought-out. It has indeed opened up a Pandora’s Box with its crippling effect on government revenues and the scary fallout of throwing thousands out of jobs. Tourism will doubtlessly be badly hit by the measure. Estimates made by the government say that the States would lose a whopping

Poor show

A new controversy has surfaced on celebrities nominated to Parliament for ‘special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service’ not devoting time to Parliament sittings and showing shockingly poor attendance. Among others, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and cine stars like Rekha fare very badly on the session roster record book. In the four-and-a-half years that Sachin and Rekha have held their nominated

Infringing on personal rights

The Gujarat government’s amendment of the Animal Preservation Bill to provide for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and a minimum of 10 years for cow slaughter is hardly the kind of governance that the people would have been looking for. They would have liked more development and consequently more jobs, better education opportunities and improved health care as priorities. Of late, BJP governments have turned populist and much of

Dangerous provisions 

The amended Finance Bill that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley bulldozed through the Lok Sabha recently without drawing much public attention makes a mockery of the transparency and openness that this government has been promising since it came to power. It is difficult to believe that this legislation has come out of the BJP’s closet. Taking advantage of the provision that money bills can pass muster without having to be cleared by the Rajya

Tough stand

The Supreme Court’s order banning sale and registration of vehicles that don’t meet at least the Bharat Stage-4 emission standards from 1 April  is an uncharacteristically tough measure that may well cripple the automobile industry in the country. While the apex court can’t be faulted on the logic that the health of millions of citizens was more important than commercial interests of manufacturers, a little more notice could have been

Yogi's challenge

The initial days of the Yogi Adityanath regime in Uttar Pradesh have been a mixed bag. There is indeed tangible headway on the administrative front with greater accountability of the bureaucracy and perceptible change in the way double standards were being practised by the erstwhile Akhilesh Yadav government in favouring a certain caste and appeasing some religious interests for vote gains. There is a refreshing even-handedness and a no-nonsense approach

Minding minds

It is happy augury that the mental healthcare Bill, which decriminalises suicide and guarantees the right to better healthcare for people with mental illness, has been unanimously passed in the Lok Sabha. The Bill mandates that a person attempting suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from ‘severe stress’ and, therefore, shall not be tried or punished by law. It also ensures that persons with suicidal tendencies be given help and