ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Celebration and Introspection

The Osmania University, now a 100 years old, has, especially from the 1940s onwards, played a pivotal role in shaping the intellectual, social, cultural and political life of Telangana. But tragically, the present dismal state of affairs in its portals does not befit its centenary status. Sincere support from the Government of Telangana is the need of the hour.

Fault Lines in the Legal Framework of Industrial Relations

Central labour laws in India have grown obsolete, and recently proposed labour codes do not address these issues adequately. The issues that deserve urgent attention regardless of the proposed labour codes are highlighted.

Victory sans Grandeur

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s dream of a Congress- mukt Bharat has received a setback and the verdict has debunked the myth of invincibility surrounding the party while demonstrating the limitations of a formidable electoral machinery. The metanarratives of caste, rural–urban divide and Hindu nationalism form the three leitmotifs of the recently concluded electoral battle in Gujarat. This election also became a referendum on Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.

Women in Cinema Collective and the Malayalam Film Industry

In May 2017, in a pioneering move, a group of women creative workers from the Malayalam film industry formed the Women in Cinema Collective to address gender issues in the sector. The formation of the collective not only challenges the patriarchal world view of Indian cinema, but has dragged into the limelight the ugly underbelly of commercial film-making controlled by cliques, cartels, and celebrity power. On a more positive front, it prepares the ground for women who are joining the film industry in larger numbers to lay claim to legitimate spaces for self-actualisation and creative satisfaction.

Contestations of the RTI Act

The Right to Information Act, 2005 holds out the promise that it has the power to cleanse governmental systems in India. The act has made people aware of their rights and, by and large, has been used effectively. However, some provisions of the act leave its users perplexed. This article analyses these provisions and rules that leave interpretation and implementation open to considerable subjectivity. It argues that the practical regime of the RTI Act thusremains labyrinthine.

The Afrazul Killing Video as a Perfect Anti-Muslim Crime

The video with the killing of Mohammad Afrazul by Shambhunath Raigar in cold blood, without any immediate motivation or excuse, is a watershed moment in the new-age social-media-driven communal crime in India. Where all such hate crime shared on social media, especially lynchings, builds an ever-present sense of fear for the Muslim, this video does away with all padding, any semblance of rationale, the use of passion as motivator, and mob as executive. This is a radical break from the past where the Hindu right felt a need to justify itself even to the rest of the country.

Right to Protest

Flagrant violations by the state of the right to free speech and expression in India tend to be met with silence or half-hearted protests. However, in 2016, the Supreme Court sent a clear message that any irresponsible exercise of the state’s power to restrict protestors’ right to free speech and expression willattract legal consequences and not just censure. This decision is likely to be a landmark in constitutional actions against the state in the context of the right to protest and corresponding limits on state action.

Right to Information Constricted

The Girish Ramchandra Deshpande judgment has had the effect of amending the Right to Information Act. The denying of personal information in this case under the RTI Act is contrary to the law and constricts the fundamental right of citizens far beyond what is permitted in Article 19(2). If steps are not taken to correct this, a major objective of the RTI Act, to curb corruption and wrongdoing, will be impeded.

Rethinking Regional Planning

As India urbanises, every city and town should brace itself for growth. Each such city or town will look for precedents in the country and planning models to emulate. One such will inevitably be Mumbai. So we need to assess Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s Draft Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Plan 2016–36, and see it not just in relation to its area of concern, but also in the context of wider application as an aspirational model.

Caste Conflict in Maharashtra

The demand by Marathas to repeal the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, as voiced strongly in the recent Maratha agitations, is critically analysed.

What Next for Zimbabwe?

Robert Mugabe stepped down as President of Zimbabwe after pressure from the Zimbabwean army and parliament. Mugabe was a popular leader, but his reign was marked by brutal suppression, ethnic and racial violence, and widespread corruption. The new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was with Mugabe throughout, promises to provide an alternative future for Zimbabwe.

WTO and Food Security

At the forthcoming World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Argentina, the global community must address real subsidies in agriculture rather than a theoretical construct on the measure of support that also includes impacts of subsidies in rich countries and the tariffs that are duly allowed.

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