ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Gautam NavlakhaSubscribe to Gautam Navlakha

Military's Manpower Costs

The financial implications of the "one rank, one pension scheme" for the armed forces, and other associated issues, are quite startling. Even if the government must accept the scheme, having committed itself to it, the issue of its financial burden and the underlying policy assumptions cannot be sidestepped. This article looks at some of the wider financial, political and administrative implications of implementing OROP.

Greenpeace Ban: Violation of Rights

(The following are extracts from an open letter sent to the Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, protesting against the decision to freeze Greenpeace India’s accounts.) The move by the central government to freeze Greenpeace India’s bank accounts and block sources of funds, is a blatant...

Arms and Men

India is planning to push up domestic defence production by roping in the private sector, especially multinational corporations. Though this seems a laudable aim at fi rst sight, the wisdom of letting in private players inspired by profi ts and a reluctance to be regulated into the strategically signifi cant defence sector is suspect. The argument that the public sector has shown itself to be incapable of meeting the country's defence needs rests on fl imsy ground. Above all, the government has so far shown that its dogmatism is its own worst enemy.

Kashmir Deluge

The floods that overwhelmed Jammu and Kashmir last month were a terrifying natural disaster on their own without the civilian government or the military authorities having to make it any worse. But confused priorities and a lack of preparation and coordination ensured that this happened. The Indian Army plunged into rescue work, and did a creditworthy job, though it is debatable whether its efforts matched the high praise the media showered on it. It was the local people who helped themselves and their neighbours when outside assistance was slow in coming, and they were undoubtedly the heroes in this cataclysm, which was worsened by a history of neglect and an unresolved conflict.

Military Budget 2013-14

An amazing amount of money is spent on the armed forces, which depend heavily on imports of everything from weapons systems to spares, even as they are increasingly deployed to deal with internal conflicts. This article points out that both the dependence on arms imports and the expansion of the forces to tackle domestic troubles not only push up costs but also jeopardise the country's strategic manoeuvrability. It contends thatit is high time the received wisdom on these matters was closely examined.

Much Ado Over Nothing

The report of the interlocutors on Jammu & Kashmir is a major disappointment, for in the end all that it does is unintentionally convince Kashmiris that there is little likelihood of a democratic solution within India that will guarantee them a life of dignity and freedom that they are aspiring for.

Killing the Talks and Faking an Encounter

A 22-member team of four constituents of the Coordination of the Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO) undertook a fact-finding into the alleged encounter killing of Mallojula Koteswara Rao (Kishenji) on 1December 2011. The team visited Sorakatta hamlet of Burisole and Gosaibandh village of Paschim...

Lokpal Movement: Unanswered Questions

Why is it that the Anna Hazare-led movement against corruption does not seek to have the Lokpal cover NGOs, corporate houses and the corporate media?

Squeezing the Media in Kashmir

On 12 October Mail Today carried a story on page 3 that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had last August sent a communication to 30 odd union ministries and agencies, including public sector units, asking them to stop issuing all advertisements to five newspapers of J&K (Kashmir Times, Greater...

J&K: When the Personal Becomes Political

The Indian state is bent on ensuring "normalcy" in Kashmir. This means it will go to any extent, including denying citizens the basic freedom of travelling to the state. A first-person account, in two parts, of how Sahba Husain and Gautam Navlakha, two activists, were refused entry into Kashmir and turned back.

Justice for Niyamat Ansari-I

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent murder of NREGA activist Niyamat Ansari in Kope Gram Panchayat (Latehar district, Jharkhand), as well as a similar attempt – the same day – on the life of his associate Bhukhan Singh. Briefly, the murder was the culmination of a series of acts of...

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