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Sat 2Jul2016

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Why muddy the debate around AFSPA?

A massive rally in Imphal on February 19 demanding the repeal of AFSPA has highlighted yet again the place of this special legislation in the world’s largest democracy and the blurring of the lines between policy, strategy and tactics, writes Sumona DasGupta


Direct Benefits Transfer as pro-poor populism

By Karishma Mutreja

The Direct Benefits Transfer Programme has been hastily launched in 20 districts. But there is evidence to prove that transferring purchasing power can have a socially desirable outcome only where there is a strong rural infrastructure and easy access to banks, schools and hospitals


‘Media trials are the bane of jurisprudence’

By Rashme Sehgal

Media and public pressure has seen 26 special courts set up to deal with corruption. But cases of rape, murder and communal violence, where human lives are at stake, continue to be dealt with by a slow and overburdened judicial machinery. Have we lost our sense of priorities, asks criminal lawyer Rebecca John


150 serious attacks on RTI activists since 2005: Aruna Roy

By Diva Arora

The Whistleblowers Protection Bill and the Grievance Redress Bill have become victims to the more high-profile and politicised Lokpal debate, says Aruna Roy in this review of generation-next legislations introduced and pending in India



We need a politics of the poor: Nikhil Dey

By Pradeep Baisakh

Social activist Nikhil Dey discusses the flaws in the Lokpal, Grievance Redressal, Food Security and other bills


Indian spring?

India will not see the transition that mass protests can impel as long as urban India refuses to see the close connect between rural and urban, and continues to dismiss people's movements in rural areas with a 'who cares?', writes Keya Acharya


Civil society as the watchdog of democracy

Civil society protests in India – for justice for the victims of Godhra, for those living around the Koodankulam nuclear facility, for those affected by AFSPA – are keeping democracy alive in India. The state’s attack on such non-violent activism in support of progressive causes is reason for grave concern, writes Rohini Hensman


The public interest in subsidies and tax exemptions

Why is cutting subsidies seen as the only way to cut down the government’s fiscal deficit, asks Kannan Kasturi. What about raising additional revenues by increasing direct taxation of the rich, reducing corporate subsidies and increasing customs duty on items such as gold?


What is the real goal of the Anna movement?

It was clear from the start that the real root of corruption -- unaccountable power and impunity -- was not the target of the Team Anna campaign, writes Rohini Hensman. Is their goal then regime change, or constitutional change? And if so, could the movement unwittingly pave the way to fascism?


Beyond the Lokpal: Fighting corruption on multiple fronts

While punishing the corrupt is important, institutions such as the Lokpal or Lokayukta can play only a limited role, says Samuel Paul. What we need is reform of public service design and delivery, transparency in public governance, and the end of discretionary decision-making by bureaucrats and politicians