01 April 2005 Newsletter
The news that matters
Editors: Subramaniam Vincent, Ashwin Mahesh
The April 01, 2005 newsletter from India Together includes an
articles in the following regular sections: Agriculture, Book
Education, Environment, Government, Media, Opinion, Security,
and Right to
Information. In addition, all India Together articles are
archived and freely
available online. Several Interact conversations are also open.
01 APR 2005
Dissent isn't defection : Our anti-defection law disqualifies
switch allegiances when a government's majority in legislature
and rightly so. But by stretching to it to penalise lawmakers
who simply vote
against their party's stand on normal legislative matters, our
has curtailed dissent itself. The India Together editorial.
Organic farming takes hold in Rajasthan : Large numbers of
farmers have opted
for a way of cultivation that does away with chemical
pesticides, and most
importantly, uses less water in a water-starved state. The
dramatic results are
nowhere more visible than in Rajasthan's Shekhawati belt,
reports Deepa A.
An organic cup of tea, please : Since 1980, organic tea
consumption has grown by
leaps and bounds. India too has joined this new green revolution
already growing organic tea or converting their
plantations to do so.
However many barriers have to be overcome before this sector
realises its full
potential. K V Prayukth reports.
Aiyar logic, weaker argument : In his defense of secularism,
Mani Shankar Aiyar
fails on two counts - his poor arguments for secularism, as well
as his scant
attention to his party's role in creating the economic
communalism. Ashwin Mahesh reviews Confessions of a Secular
Pulling the workhorse, driving the rickshaw : Despite
notoriously variable and
low earnings, close to 30% of the male population in Bilaspur's
slum are cycle-rickshaw pullers. Third in the SLUM DIARIES
series, Ashima Sood
cuts across boundaries to chronicle the forces impinging on
The needs of today, hopes of tomorrow : There is a surprising
hope in the most
despairing places. It isn't often that many of us see this, but
when we do, we
are struck by the determination with which enormous
is tackled by
real heroes. Somnath Mukherji encounters the work of Tomorrow's
Kalighat, West Bengal.
Orissa's aluminum mining costs are steep : The Central Empowered
the Supreme Court has found illegalities in central government
Sterlite Industries' bauxite mining project in Orissa. The
recommended (to the apex court) against diversion of forestlands
project. Kanchi Kohli reports.
Researching turbulent waters : Researchers around the country
discuss solutions to the key water-related problems India faces.
between states, to water-saving agricultural practices, to
receding glaciers, a
number of issues were raised, and their economic and social
weighed. Surekha Sule reports.
TN's e-Gov experiences spotty, but ongoing : Tamilnadu's foray
has not yet lived upto potential because policy makers may be
driven projects with little public participation.
state does have its
own examples of how things could work. Krithika Ramalingam
New boundaries, old limits : A study on coverage of
developmental issues by
regional newspapers in the three newest states of the Union -
Chhatisgarh, and Uttaranchal - reveals public as well as media
the plight of people living in rural areas. Aman Namra reports.
Nice painting, poor canvas : Total plan funding for urban
is Rs 3,500
crores, but for rural programmes, it exceeds Rs 40,000 crores.
In the meantime,
the urban poor often live in sub-human conditions, and the
barely able to cope. Ramesh Ramanathan says we need more rigour
in our policy
Inspiration from Pakistan : Perhaps one of the most moving and
to have come from Pakistan in recent times is the story of
Mukhtaran Bibi or
Mukhtar Mai as she is now called. Her fight is an uplifting
example for all
women, not just those who are victims of sexual crimes, says
Peace and security
An illusory battleground : Among military planners, it is common
to devise war
games to counter any nuclear attack by enemy states. The
theories put forward in
such games, however, are not always grounded in reality. The
should alertly challenge such thinking, says Firdaus Ahmed.
Right to Information
RTI finding : Cities subsidising the rich : Property prices have
gone up over
the decades, but Mumbai leases land to private interests at
rates as low as
Rs.7 per sq.m. In the last three years
authorities have on
average lost close to Rs.48 crores, estimates Shailesh Gandhi.
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India Together is a broad-spectrum public-interest publication
Society Information Exchange Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. Every day,
in-depth information and news on the issues that matter covering
topics and over 20 states. Leaders, experts, practitioners,
artists take their ideas, insights and concerns expeditiously to
interested global audience. This newsletter may be freely
Editors: Ashwin Mahesh, Subramaniam Vincent
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