Commentaries & Articles
Guest Column : Tackling the Naxal Insurgency
The Naxal Insurgency started in the tiny thatched hut village of Naxalbari in 1967 by Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal. By 1969, it had spread all over West Bengal. The main cause was economic, rampant poverty. The insurgency had, by 1969, spread to the urban areas as well as the mofussil; to the universities, colleges and schools. They had taken over Jadavpur University. Their HQ was in Presidency College. They were active in the factories and were trying to take over the Trade Unions. The situation was indeed grim and the Police and Para-military were unable to cope.
Tackling Maoism - Hopes of A Political Consensus
Though, as always, valuable time of parliament was lost in disruptions and political bickering, the just concluded Budget Session had one significant outcome – the emergence of a consensus across the political divide on the need for firm measures to tackle the threat that Maoists are posing to democracy and the rule of law.
Manipur’s Disturbing Downslide of Terrorism, Law and Order and Corruption-2009 and 2010
“When Jammu and Kashmir was blockaded a couple of years ago the matter kept the Government and media preoccupied for months. Manipur has been blockaded for at least a month and a half, without any respite-people are starving, there are no medicines-but there has been no concern shown by either.
Left Wing Extremism – The Threat and Response
Six years back, when on November 4, 2004, the Prime Minister proclaimed Left Wing Extremism as the biggest threat confronting the nation that had to be dealt at ‘war footing’, it had a ring of resolve of a freshly elected government to take the bull by its horns. However, when he repeats the same now, it carries an air of helpless lamentation. The efforts at war footing notwithstanding, during the last six years, the area under Naxal influence has nearly doubled extending to nearly 203 districts in fourteen states.
Laser Isotope Separation and the CTBT
Nuclear weapons based on fissionable Plutonium 239 (Pu-239) have generally to be tested because of the problem posed by the Isotope Pu-240. Pu-240 forms easily in nuclear power reactors due to the irradiation of the fuel rods containing Uranium 238. (U-238). Since Plutonium unlike Uranium is lethal because, of the radioactivity it cannot be enriched or separated in conventional technology like the gaseous centrifuges. There is no such problem with Uranium, the isotopa U-235 and U-238 can be separated in conventional enrichments plants.
Should our tryst with EVMs end?
The Electronic Voting Machines have attracted a lot of attention in the media of late. Why is it that technologically advanced countries like the United States (Florida), Germany, Netherlands and Ireland have rejected the use of these machines? There are informed articles by experts like J Alex Halderman that suggest that these machines can be tampered with or hacked by experts to fudge the results. There is no way of recounting or double-checks. Why then has India alone placed such an oracular faith in the EVM? Do we have the technology that is different and superior to anything else in the world? Could this endanger democracy? Do we need a serious rethink? A. Surya Prakash carries out an in depth analysis.
Ethics in Governance - The Government has Promises to Keep
“You must be the change you wish to see in this world. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves”. The report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) on Ethics in Governance begins with this quote from Mahatma Gandhi. At first glance this quote from the Mahatma would seem like a routine cut and paste job by a hack who is burdened with the task of churning out a commission report.
VIF News Digest
Defense, National Security and Terrorism, VIF Alerts
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