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Rupashree Nanda
Thursday , November 14, 2013

Arvind Kejriwal - has his ear to the ground and the ears of the aam aadmi

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The aam aadmi Party will face its first electoral test just seven days after it turns one. It is up against the three decade old BJP and the twelve decade old Congress Party. Other regional parties like the NCP, BSP, SP are also in the fray. For Arvind Kejriwal who is a mechanical engineer from India's elite IIT, has worked as a corporate employee with Tata Steel, and then as a bureaucrat with the Government of India before moving to social activism, for someone who never participated in student politics, for someone who was the architect and not the face of the anti-corruption movement, politics comes naturally. Every other role that he has performed so far seems, in retrospect, to be a preparation for this one. At Mangolpuri, the AAP has organized a street corner meeting with Arvind Kejriwal. As dusk falls, a group of approximately 300 people....

Friday , November 01, 2013

Get the vote out - Obama's experience comes in handy for Kejriwal

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"Yes - we are doing all that, our team has studied the Obama campaign very closely," replied Arvind Kejriwal to a question from the audience in Singapore via a Google hangout in his office in Gaziabad. The questioner wanted to know if Kejriwal had studied the election strategy of Barack Obama who'd used the internet to create a large base of volunteers and whether he was tapping into elite institutions to get students' to support, to get the message out, basically, get the vote out. Kejriwal urges the audience to donate " large sums" and requests each person to make at least thirty calls to potential voters and convince them to vote for the AAP. Kejriwal should be hopeful as one voice from the other side says that AAP is a party which is for the common man and which needs the common man as much as the common man....

Monday , February 27, 2012

"Honestly and with good conscience"

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More than two years after he imposed a moratorium on the commercial release of BT Brinjal, Jairam Ramesh defends his controversial decision says, "On BT Brinjal, I would not say, from my experience that foreign NGOs influenced the decision". His remarks came against the backdrop of the Prime Minister's comments that some NGOs based in the United States and Scandinavian countries were not "fully appreciative" of the development challenges India faces and were creating controversies on issues like GM food. As environment minister, Jairam held public consultations over seven months which saw the participation of 8000 people, wrote 50 letters to scientists across the world, wrote to all chief ministers only to discover the absence of consensus on BT Brinjal. He spoke to CNN-IBN's Rupashree Nanda in Kochi while on a three-day visit to Kerala. Rupashree Nanda: As environment minister, you imposed a moratorium on BT....

Tuesday , January 24, 2012

Dr Singh, don't MNREGS workers deserve minimum wages?

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Minimum Wage. Fair Wage. Living Wage "Minimum wage" is different from "fair wage". "Minimum wage" and "Fair wage" are different from "Living wage". Since you and I may differ on definitions, the 1967 SC judgment in the Kamani Metals and Alloys v Their Workmen could be a step towards clarity. In the Kamani Metals and Alloys v Their Workmen, the SC said, "It (Minimum Wage) sets the lowest limit below which wages cannot be allowed to sink in all humanity" and must be paid under all circumstances. Whereas, a "fair" wage must be sufficiently high to provide for food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education. A "living" wage, it said, provides for comfort and ability to tide over old age and bad times. In other words, a minimum wage may not be enough for shelter, or clothing or medical care or education. So....

Friday , November 25, 2011

I don't feel threatened: Sharad Pawar

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Union agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar was slapped by Harvinder Singh as he was returning from a public function on the 24th of November. Pawar admits that some people could be unhappy with his policies but does not take kindly to Anna Hazare's first reaction, 'just one slap'.

Rupashree Nanda: In your long political career spanning more than 45 years would you say this day was one of the most difficult days for you? Sharad Pawar: It is not difficult. It is the first incident I can say in 50 years in public life and 44 years in parliamentary legislative career...this is the first incident. And, one thing, I always keep excellent relationship with everybody. Whether he belongs to opposition side or ruling side it makes no difference for me. There are many instances where I fought with some people, that was a political fight,....

Friday , September 30, 2011

The claim that sparked a row

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The Planning Commission's affidavit in the Supreme Court claiming that Rs 32 in urban areas, and Rs 25 in rural areas is adequate to meet expenditure towards 'food, health and education' has sparked widespread condemnation, disbelief, outrage. There is a division within the planning commission itself with two members making their displeasure evident. At the end of the two-day politburo meet, Prakash Karat has said said that the poverty line is a starvation line and that any caps on social security should be scrapped. Jairam Ramesh, minister of rural development says India's very approach of estimating poverty needs a re-look, adding that he does not agree with caps either. On the 3rd of October, deputy chairman of the planning commission will meet all concerned members, Jairam Ramesh, Aswini Kumar in an attempt to forge a way forward. Meanwhile, Colin Gonsalves, the lawyer who is arguing the....

Tuesday , April 19, 2011

Arundhati Roy on Binayak Sen bail

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'Little pinholes of light have come out in this judgement' says author and activist Arundhati Roy on the Binayak Sen bail order by the Supreme Court. In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN's Rupashree Nanda, she also says 'democracy is on a very slippery slope in Chhattisgarh'; that it is important to remember several others who are jailed under similar charges under 'undemocratic laws'. Rupashree Nanda: I remember you'd said that the judgement of the Raipur session court was intended to be a message, as a warning to others. What is the message of the Supreme Court bail order? Arundhati Roy: I think that the Supreme Court granting him bail and the comments that were made in court do suggest that somewhere the Supreme Court is of the mind that it was a vindictive judgment and that he does deserve the benefit of....

Monday , April 18, 2011

Aruna Roy on Binayak Sen's release

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Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan founder, Ramon Magsaysay award winner and National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy welcomed the Supreme Court's order to grant bail to Dr Binayak Sen jailed on charges of sedition and called "the good Doctor" an icon of free speech. Rupashree Nanda: MKSS was one of the organisations that strongly protested the conviction and denial of bail by the Supreme Court. What is your first response to the Supreme Court order of granting bail? Aruna Roy: I am very happy, relieved because the Supreme Court has also commented on the sedition aspect of the charge sheet against him and his conviction. It's a great relief to human rights activists all over the country. It's a great fillip for the fight against injustice and gives us hope that the courts will deliver. Basically, it is faith and hope that Indian democracy will deliver. ....

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

BJP's Ram slams Raman Rajya

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Chhattisgarh High Court will give its order on the bail plea of Dr Binayak Sen and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha on Thursday, 10th February. Prosecution wound up its arguments on the 9th taking a little over an hour. Ram Jethmalani and Surinder Singh had argued for almost four hours over two days for suspension of sentence earlier in the end of January. Justice T P Sharma, the senior judge in the two bench court was extremely well- versed with the ins and outs of the case and, did give prosecution a few uncomfortable moments. Justice T P Sharma was also the state law secretary when the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act was formulated. On Wednesday, two members from the European Union, one representative of Amnesty International were also present in the court. As we await for the order, this is the complete interview with eminent jurist....

Saturday , January 22, 2011

Binayak Sen on Naxal vs state battle

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Dr Binayak Sen's wife Ilina Sen awaits his upcoming bail appeal on January 24, 2011. She says that even animals live in better conditions in their cages than prisoners in high security cells. That Dr Sen only gets his hands on newspapers once they are scissored of 'sensitive news'. That she wants justice, but not of the kind where it took 35 years for the Supreme Court to acknowledge that the Emergency violated fundamental rights of a large number of people. Exactly a month after he was convicted for sedition and sentenced to life, the Chhattisgarh High Court is going to hear the bail plea of Dr Binayak Sen. We go back in time with this interview that was conducted in 2009. It came just a day after the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli, where more than 15 policemen were killed. The doctor and civil rights activist, then out on....


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