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Quiet after storm

After four senior judges of the Supreme Court had, on Friday, staged a tableau of delirious discord, a tense congeniality has since descended upon the Supreme Court. The dissenting judges are attending court as usual, and Attorney-General K K Venugopal, the most respected legal luminary around, declared that the storm in the tea cup had petered out. A key republican institution has been spared a prolonged crisis. Various Bar associations

Passport to liberalism

India is changing, so must its rules. Single-parent friendly passport is a progressive step in consonance with the fast-evolving social ethos where single parent families are not unusual. The Foreign Office’s decision to exclude the parents’ name from the passport will no longer worry children of divorcee/separated parents, orphans and even those born out of wedlock. The online passport application form too would require the name of only one parent.

Israel and it's real

Despite the several reservations, for historical and cultural reasons over the relationship with Israel, India is now opening up to Tel Aviv. The well-entrenched foreign policy establishment and the large Muslim minority at home which has all along harboured anti-Israel feelings, with the cause of the Palestine providing a fig leaf for their prejudiced world-view. Given that over the years, Israel has served well the cause of India, whether it

Cruel fights

Cockfights have become a controversy for the last few years with animal welfare organisations and NGOs approaching the court urging it to impose ban on the blood sport. This has become a regular feature every year. The High Court upholds the ban on cockfight and the Government of Andhra Pradesh issues orders that people should honour the court orders and follow instructions by ensuring that they do not tie knives to

Courting controversy

The manner in which four senior judges of the Supreme Court – Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Bhimrao Lokur and Kurian Joseph – revolted against the administration of the apex court, principally Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and held a media conference to go public with their complaints has no parallel in post-Independence Indian judicial history. For a start, the judges could well have gone to the Union Law Minister

Piecemeal reform

One area where the government has lagged far behind is disinvestment. When Modi first came to power, it was expected that the disinvestment of unproductive public sector assets would be taken up speedily. Despite setting a modest target for disinvestment in the last Budget, the actual realisation will woefully fall far short. Belatedly, when the government failed to stop the State-run Air India from bleeding – its cumulative debt now

Anthem and them

There seems to be utter confusion about the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls. Now, they don’t want to compulsorily play it before the screening of films. Very good, then. Playing of the national anthem was enforced universally in all cinema halls following the Supreme Court order in November 2016. Since then, there have been several incidents of violence and recriminations between patrons over the lack of respect

Welcome change

The decades-long struggle by gay activists, supported by the media, gender activists and liberal movements towards pluralism and multi-culturalism, has radically changed attitudes to homosexuality the world over. In an age when Humanism informs our attitudes to those outside the mainstream, homophobia is seen as no less contemptible than racism. In the event, the Supreme Court’s decision to review Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises sexual activities ‘against the

Aadhaar agonies

Those who manage the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) are in an unenviable situation. There are several privacy concerns, especially when Aadhaar is being extended for delivery of more and more government and semi-government services and subsidies. And UIDAI has also had to face motivated criticism from certain sections of the media and the liberal clique. Given the ever-mounting threat of terrorist violence and other gruesome crimes, as also

Crypto conundrum

The government seems to have woken up to press the alarm bell against cryptocurrencies. The finance ministry has publicly admitted that there is a ‘phenomenal increase’ in the prices of virtual currencies, including bitcoins, which are like ‘Ponzi schemes’. Undoubtedly, the finance ministry’s invocation of the Ponzi scheme is noteworthy. It is named after Charles Ponzi, the notorious scamster who duped investors of about $20 million way back in the 1920s. The

Double standards

Strange are the ways of our politicians. In the Lok Sabha they did not murmur a word in protest when the Government brought for passage the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill. The Bill seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq among the Muslims, prescribing a three-year sentence for the offenders. No division was pressed by the Congress Opposition when the Bill was passed with an overwhelming