FEATURE

Government’s Lokpal Bill: A Farce

Existing investigative agencies such as the CBI and CVC in India are ineffective because in many cases they are subservient to the very same people whom they are expected to investigate. That is why they have been so susceptible to

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UPA’s Food Security Bill: Recipe for Dismantling PDS and Procurement

The draft National Food Security Bill 2011 that has finally been approved by the empowered Group of Ministers contains several dangerous provisions that point towards a tendency to curtail and dismantle the PDS system itself. It directs Central, state and local

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Scrap LARR Bill 2011 – Protect Agricultural Land By All Means

Jairam Ramesh, the UPA government’s Minister of Rural Development, has come up with a draft Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill that will replace the notorious Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The draft bill clearly seeks to legalise and intensify

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Spending More Than Rs 25 A day? :: You’re Rich, According To Manmohan Singh!

[In September, the Planning Commission submitted an affidavit, approved by the Prime Minister’s Office, to the Supreme Court, laying down the norms for identifying BPL households. A person, the Planning Commission says, is rich if he or she spends

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Seeking to Legalise Land Grab

(We are grateful for insights provided by Pranab De’s note on the Draft LARR Bill 2011.) Jairam Ramesh has been declaring that the LARR Bill, proposed to replace the notorious 1894 Land Acquisition Act, is a result of Rahul Gandhi’s

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Maruti Workers’ Struggle

[AISA activists visited the workers on dharna at the Maruti’s Manesar plant several times. AISA President Sandeep Singh writes about one such visit. Inputs from Saptorshi and Agnitro.] As they described how the assembly line of workers prepares a

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“No True Democracy Is Attainable When The Process Is Determined By Economic Power”

(From Declaration of New York City General Assembly, September 29, 2011) “As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel

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First Peasant Movement of Assam

(Police firing this October in Mangaldoi, Assam, on jute farmers demonstrating for remunerative prices, claimed four lives – of farmers Moinul Haque, Syed Ali, Billal Hussain and Akbar Ali. Earlier this year, in June, police firing on a rally protesting eviction

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Promoting ‘Profit-Sharing’ or Land Grab?

India’s mining sector is notorious as the source of some of the country’s biggest corruption scandals. Illegal mining activity and blatant violation of existing legislations is rampant in the mineral-rich areas of several states. Moreover, mining companies wishing

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Communal Violence Bill

The Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill 2011 prepared by the NAC has been sharply attacked by the BJP, on the grounds that it is biased against the majority community. Nitish Kumar of the NDA

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Towards An Effective Lokpal

It is by now widely accepted that the sarkari Lokpal Bill is extremely weak and inadequate. There has been heated debate over the scope, functions and powers of the Lokpal Bill. In the public domain, apart from the government Bill,

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Planning Commission’s Poverty of Sensitivity

Following national outrage against the Planning Commission’s Rs 26/Rs32 poverty line, the UPA Government went for some damage control. It was announced that the Planning Commission poverty lines would not be used to fix PDS allocation caps. But has

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