Free Press Journal
  • Supreme Court Crisis: Forgive and forget, Chelameswar and Co.

    The crisis in the Supreme Court triggered by the unprecedented press conference by the four senior-most judges last Friday continues. Contrary to earlier reports, no less than the Attorney General K K Venugopal has publicly stated that it is unresolved. The same impression was given by the head of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Meanwhile, the judges, including the four recalcitrant ones, have resumed normal work. Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan

  • Supreme Court Crisis: Judging the judges

    The unprecedented turmoil in the Supreme Court in the wake of the four senior most judges taking exception to CJI Dipak Misra’s style of functioning last Friday continues to fester and has not been resolved so far, Attorney General K K Venugopal acknowledged Tuesday.

  • Dalits raring to go

    A century after the Indian National Congress formally condemned untouchability and 68 years after the Constitution mandated affirmative action, India is still wrestling with The Dalit Question. Social tensions, such as the face-off between the Marathas and Mahars (two centuries after Bhima-Koregaon) continue to disrupt ‘samajik samrasta’. As every Indian acknowledges, social parity is still very much a work in progress.

  • The Supreme Chaos of India

    Should we draw comfort from the fact that in the past too, serious assaults have been attempted and made on the Supreme Court by the executive, Indira Gandhi’s government to be precise, and the institution has survived, perhaps even revitalised itself to become more independent than before? It’s worth reminding ourselves of those swipes at the SC by a power mad ruling party which only paid lip service to democracy and brooked

  • Indo-Israel ties offer immense gains

    In the early decades of the Republic, Israel was a pariah as far as official India was concerned. There were no diplomatic contacts, the non-aligned India during the Cold War was openly hostile towards Israel and openly supportive of the Palestine cause. Left-liberal ideology that informed the conduct of Indian foreign policy sanctioned no-truck with Israel.

  • Not an easy ride ahead for Modi, BJP

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most interesting politicians of our times. He is oratorical, disruptive, melodramatic and rhetorical. He believes in radical actions. Modi is also a leader who is more popular than his party. His support base comes from the upper caste, middle class and urban voters. Modi polls high approval ratings in most polls, though the polls may not be entirely reliable or scientific enough. But the fact remains

  • Yashwant Sinha, indian economy

    Aggressive promotion of economy

    In the penultimate day of the all-too-brief Winter Session of Parliament, there was a brief but interesting discussion on the economy in the Rajya Sabha. Anyone who heard that debate, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s very erudite reply, would have been struck by the two very different accounts of where stands today.

  • FDI decision: ‘Make in India’ gets another boost

    What was happening, not happening for the last three years has finally happened and the Narendra Modi Government announced its decision to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in single brand outlets. Going by the recent mood of the government, it was vivid that the new wave move in the direction of liberalisation would soon take a proper shape. Even worst critics of Modi and the BJP Government would agree

  • My Lords, the whistle-blowers

    It is wrong to regard a country’s constitution as an inert document, the renowned constitutional expert S C Kashyap once wrote. A constitution is a living organism of functioning institutions. Every constitution gets meaning and content only from the manner in which and the people by whom it is operated, the effects it acquires from how it is interpreted by the courts and the conventions and practices that grow around it in

  • Supreme Court Judges Press Conference: Revolt sets a bad precedent

    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 or taken

  • The flame of liberty, sacrifice and integrity

    The Chinese may well read considerable political significance in the report that 18,171 young Indians are studying in China against 18,015 in the United Kingdom. Informal interaction at this level might help to bridge the gulf in understanding that today separates Asia’s two major nations, aggravating memories of the territorial dispute that led to the 1962 war leaving behind a legacy of bitterness.

  • Meet the justices who knew too much

    June 22 will see a revolutionary Supreme Court judge demitting office. He is Justice Jasti Chelameswar, the senior most Supreme Court judge, who was sworn in on October 10, 2011 with the present Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dipak Misra who is younger than his next-in-command by 101 days, so that the CJI retires by exactly the same number of days, at the age of 65 years.

  • Welcome opening up of FDI

    The Government was slow in pushing economic reforms, believing in incrementalism when the gains could have been much greater had it undertaken these in a bold and decisive manner early on in its term. This is not to say that some of the most progressive reforms, vital for re-ordering the economic system in a transparent manner, have not taken place. They have.  The GST, the Real Estate Regulation Act, and the Insolvency

  • Multiple fault lines in Indian society

    The founding fathers of our Republic handed over to us a liberal and secular constitution that visualised making India a progressive democratic country, though they were aware of the inherent contradictions in a diverse, backward and traditionally unequal society, hoping that this ancient land would emerge as a modern state, serving as a model on governance for the rest of the world, neutralising the barriers of birth, caste and religion. And, after

  • Why is national anthem even ‘optional’ in cinema halls?

    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 shown by

  • Indian immigrants on tenterhooks

    US President Donald Trump’s first year in office has been a mixed bag for India. Though the apprehensions which he evoked at the start of his innings are still lingering in many minds for good reason, there is a measure of satisfaction in India over Trump’s tough stance towards Pakistan.

  • Economic growth continues to falter

    So, it is finally official. For the second year in a row, India’s GVA (Gross Value Added) growth has slowed down.  It went up during 2015-16. It appeared that the Modi magic was beginning to work.  But the subsequent years have been a dampener. What should worry politicians most is the drop in the growth rates of agriculture. Agricultural growth rates were promising immediately after the Narendra Modi government was formed. It

  • No Aadhaar for media panic

    Indeed, the Aadhaar is a project of Himalayan proportions. It is undoubtedly the biggest digital platform any government anywhere in the world could be proud of handling without, in relative terms, few glitches. To manage a unique identification number for over a billion people, and to be able to maintain its security and sanctity is no mean feat. Those who manage the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) deserve to be encouraged

  • Reasons behind simmering discontent in Iran

    The anti-government protests that rocked Iran over the past fortnight in which 21 people were killed and over 400 arrested, are said to have been fuelled by economic woes, rampant corruption, unemployment and rising food and fuel prices. In 1979 too, flawed economic policy and resentment against Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi’s autocratic rule had fuelled similar dissent against his regime, which resulted in the overthrow of his authoritarian rule by an Islamic