Legal logjam

The Supreme Court’s direction to the Centre to constitute special courts to exclusively try criminal cases involving politicians may be a step in the right direction but its purpose can be served only if there is an honest intent to get things moving. There can be no two opinions that the country’s political system sorely needs a spruce-up. But experience has shown that a mechanism like fast track courts is

Welcome rise

The WB’s ease of doing business has noted that India has moved up as many as 30 notches in the rankings, reaching 100 among 190 countries. That is a substantial improvement and need not be sniffed at by anyone. A leap of 30 in just one year was made possible by a slew of reforms. India was one of the top ten improvers in this year’s rankings, implementing reforms in

Malware from PC

Only the naïve fools will delude themselves with the notion that when Kashmiris demand ‘aazadi’, they do not seek separation, nay, secession from India. To say that the aazadi-seekers want nothing more than autonomy is to gloss over fully the enormity of the problem in Kashmir. For over 70 years, successive central governments have given a long rope to the Kashmiris in the name of autonomy. Sheikh Abdullah, a schoolteacher-turned-leader

Clean up Cricket

Does cricket have a serious drug problem? Not really. In the latest World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report, there are 73 doping violations by Indian sportspersons — of them, only one is a cricketer. It is a strongly-held belief among coaches that performance-enhancing drugs do not help in cricket, in which there is a sharp focus on skills rather than pure strength or endurance. But is cricket clean? Not quite. In

Aadhaar anxieties

At one level, the Modi Government’s insistence on linking Aadhaar card to more and more services and schemes, including bank accounts, property transactions, may be justified due to the endemic dishonesty and fraud prevalent in the economic sphere. The argument that those who have nothing to hide can have no objection if Aadhaar is linked to an increasing number of private and public services resonates with a huge section of

Pain in Spain

All nations that were at the receiving end of Europe’s preachy sermons on human rights and self-determination must be silently gleeful over its predicament ever since the Syrian refugee crises began. Europe pulled up short on the very standards it had set for the rest of the world in dealing with economic refugees. And the world watches again as Europe tackles another tricky political issue — the independence of Catalonia,

Birthing issues

The Supreme Court has done well to rule that an adult woman had an unimpeachable right to give birth or terminate pregnancy. In a case which involved a woman’s husband reaching the court to declare her decision to abort as illegal, an SC bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asserted that no express or implied consent of the husband is required for

Fresh start in J & K

The Congress loudmouths have found fault with the appointment of an interlocutor for Kashmir, taunting the Modi Government if that meant the failure of its tough, no-talks stance. Notably, before the appointment of the interlocutor the party had been pressing for the resumption of talks with all the relevant stakeholders in Kashmir. Regardless, the belated initiative of the Modi Government to appoint Dineshwar Sharma, a former head of the Intelligence

Hope for revival

A comprehensive package to boost economic growth was on the cards, especially after the rather poor numbers last quarter. Thanks to the disruption caused by the introduction of the revolutionary Goods and Services Tax, this had become all the more necessary. In the event, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has not disappointed. The stimulus package will go some distance to boost the sentiment. In the main, the public sector banks,

Anthemic issues

Is the expression of patriotism as consequential as its inherent feeling? Do citizens, in every step of their life, have to prove their Indianness to be understood as a true citizen? In a ruling last year, the Supreme Court had made it mandatory to play the national anthem at movie theatres prior to the screening of every film. This order was met with protest from civilians joined by even those

Mersal madness

The TN BJP, by making loud noises about the latest Vijay-starrer for some, albeit untrue, references to the GST, demonetisation, has ensured much wider publicity for Mersal both within and outside the usual catchment area of Tamil cinema. This was foolish, to say the least. In any case, it is not the business of some low-level party apparatchiks in Chennai to protest the contents of a movie which had been