India’s Nuclear Scientists Have Been Dying Mysteriously And No One Knows Why-Abhishek Saksena (Kractivism, May 5,2015)

Here are some disturbing facts. In 2009, 48-year-old Lokanathan Mahalingam, a scientist working at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station, went missing from his morning walk only to be found dead five days later in the Kali river. A few weeks before this incident, Ravi Mule, who worked at the Nuclear Power Corporation was also found dead in the same forest. In 2010, M Iyer, an engineer at BARC was found dead at his residence. In 2011, another BARC scientist Uma Rao was found dead.

More recently KK Josh and Abhish Shivam, both of whom were working on India’s first indigenous nuclear ballistic submarine, INS Arihant, were found dead on railway tracks by workers. They had apparently been poisoned before being left on the tracks. And it isn’t a new phenomenon either. Back in 1966, the death of Homi Jehangir Bhabha, father of India’s nuclear program, was also subject to conspiracy theories. He had died in a plane crash over the Swiss Alps.

What’s worse is that these deaths end up being classified as suicides or as unexplained killings. Police investigations lead to nowhere and the cases are closed. In case of Mule’s death, his family had raised the issue of conducting a probe because of police apathy, while Uma Rao’s family contested the police verdict of the death being a case of suicide.

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Does India need so many tribunals?- Major Navdeep Singh (Moneylife, 7 May 2015)

tribunals, India, tribunalisation, Supreme Court, Narendra Modi, regular court,

Notwithstanding the repeated red-flagging by the Supreme Court, excessive Tribunalisation, with the eagerness of the executive to give it impetus, slowly and surely threatens the judicial fabric of our democracy with the creation of parallel extra-judicial super courts. These are now dangerously hovering over the citizenry with a life of their own without being effectively amenable to the regular judicial set-up of the Westminster model.
The recent statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over functioning of Tribunals vis-a-vis regular Courts rightly created a lot of buzz and was reflective of the concerns of jurists, lawyers, litigants and bar associations over the functioning of Tribunals. The Tribunals in their present form do not inspire confidence of stakeholders and end up as post-retirement sinecures or a case of ‘dangling carrots’ rather than the noble aim of rendering justice in the form of public service to the community.
To take a few examples, many Tribunals function under those very ministries against whom they have to pass orders. The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) and the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) function under the Ministry of Finance, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) functions under the Ministry of Defence while the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) functions under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (IT). These Ministries not only control Tribunals with invisible strings but also with tangibles such as infrastructure, finance, salaries and staff along with the rule-making power.

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Goodwill Hunting In Kathmandu

“Only India and Modi are helping us,” says earthquake victim Dhruba Kandel in a Reuters report from Dhading. Four days after the earthquake, Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju told Parliament that India had emerged as “a leading nation in disaster response”.

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Geography, Culture, Rootedness, A Large Heart

The “Hinduness” or the Hindu awareness as something more than a geographical phenomenon is attested clearly in the 14th century inscriptions which appear in South India. Indologist David Lorenzen, in his book Who Invented Hinduism? Essays on Religion in History, concedes:

“One interesting earlier reference comes from Andhra Pradesh. Cynthia Talbot has analyzed how the military expansion of Muslim dynasties into the Andhra region in AD 1323 led to a sharper sense of regional, political and religious identity among the Hindu population in the region. She notes that the title ‘Sultan among Hindu kings (Hindu-Raya-Suratrana)’, perhaps the earliest use of the term in Indian language, ‘begins to figure in Andhra inscriptions from CE 1352 onward’.
Talbot suggests that these references to Hindu kings possibly implied more a geographical than a religious identity. Negating this is the fact that Muslim dynasties had already been in control of most of the Ganges valley since the end of the 12th century, for about 150 years before the first appearance of the phrase “Sultan among the Hindu kings” in the Andhra inscriptions. In such circumstances how could the Andhra kings consider their Muslim opponents to be non-Hindu in a merely geographical sense, i.e. non-Indians?”

Lorenzen also refers to an earlier Hindu source Prithviraj Rasa, a historical romance attributed to a Canda Baradai. Traditionally thought to be written not long after the 1192 CE defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan by invader Muhammad Ghori, scholars consider that all, or all but one of the versions of the text are more recent, but they have not reached a consensus about which was written when. Here too in all versions, “Hindus” and Turks are mentioned, and in one version the religious nature of the term Hindu is well defined.

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That moment when Senegalese writer Fatou Diome kicked European Union butt

Lately, images of migrant boats capsizing in the Mediterranean Sea and bodies washing up on beaches have shocked the European Union’s moral conscience–that is if one assumes that the EU had a moral conscience to begin with.

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