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

Gautam PatelSubscribe to Gautam Patel

A Woman's Right to the City?

Why Loiter? Women & Risk on Mumbai Streets by Shilpa Phadke, Sameera Khan and Shilpa Ranade (New Delhi: Penguin), 2011; pp 200, Rs 299.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Corruption

The Lokpal Bill movement of Anna Hazare assumes that monetary corruption can be separated from policy and that a skewed set of development priorities can peacefully coexist with complete and transparent financial honesty. This is a fundamental mistake. The Lokpal Bill is not ill-intentioned and some version of it is even necessary. But it needs specificity, clarity, well-defined objectives and constitutionally valid methods. Such a separation of powers is essential. Without it, the Lokpal runs the risk of becoming its own worst enemy.

Idols in Law

The findings and orders of the special full bench of the Allahabad High Court on the successful Bhagwan Sri Ram suit and the dismissed Wakf Board suit demand close examination. Central to the final order are two findings - that the disputed site in Ayodhya is the birthplace of Ram, and that it is a juridical entity. Both conclusions are of extremely doubtful legal tenability. In addition, it is on the basis of the dubious legal proposition of faith and belief that the court arrives at a finding of legal and lawful ownership. The placing of idols in the disputed site in 1949 was as much an act of illegality as the events of 6 December 1992, but the court gingerly steps around them. In short, its September 2010 verdict surrenders judicial soundness and integrity for political expedience.
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