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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Arunachal Pradesh. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Arunachal Pradesh. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, May 02, 2013

'ARUNACHAL' TOPS IN HANDLING 'CHILD NUTRITION'

By M H Ahssan / New Delhi

The problem is likely to be less severe than UN statistics indicate, given faulty yardsticks. If asked to name the state with the lowest incidence of child malnutrition in India, readers will overwhelmingly pick one of Kerala, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab or West Bengal. But they will all be wrong by a wide margin: none of these states appears among even the top five performers. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Exclusive: How ULFA Strongholds Are Falling To The Reds?

By Akshaye Mahapatro / Guwahati

Maoists in Assam tap ethnic discontent to make inroads into an already volatile region. n April, Assam Governor JB Patnaik summoned all top officials of the state’s insurgency-hit Tinsukia district to the Raj Bhawan in Guwahati. He was keen to know about the development work in the state’s eastern-most sub-division, which is part of the district. Cut off from the rest of the district by the Brahmaputra, Sadiya, 60 km from Tinsukia, has turned into a cradle for the Maoists who are trying to make inroads into the Northeast. That is why the governor wants to keep an eye on this remote area.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

NaMo On AAP, Says Delhi Govt Bringing Shame To India

By Aniket Sharma | INN Live

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi hit out at the AAP government in Delhi saying the kind of governance the party was not helping Delhi as a global city. In a clear indication that the upcoming Lok Sabha polls was now a multi-cornered fight between the BJP, Congress and the AAP,  Modi questioned the recent law and order incidents in Delhi where African women were attacked by Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti as well as the alleged racial attack and death of Nido Taniam, a 19-year-old from Arunachal Pradesh. 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

A Must See Place: Mishmi Hills's Flying Colours In AP

By Rajan Bala / Itanagar

INN takes in Arunachal Pradesh’s remote and unsurpassed beauty on a birding trip to the Mishmi Hills. These are a beautiful world of jaw-dropping landscapes—tropical forests, alpine meadows, shrubby woods, bamboo groves and sloping grasslands so deeply hued that verdant would be an understatement for this high rainfall biodiversity hotspot. The setting is simply other-worldly. Cerulean skies seem to reach out for the rolling hills. Trees wear giant creepers, elegantly draped. Orchids flower profusely on the forest floor as well as high up on trees. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Who Will Control Law And Order In 'New' Joint Hyderabad?

By Syed Amin Jafri (Guest Writer)

OPINION  The major hurdle that the Group of Ministers (GoM) on formation of Telangana state faced was with regard to determining the ‘status’ of Hyderabad as common capital for the State of Telangana and the residuary state for 10 years consequent to contemplated bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. The GoM was also tasked to suggest “legal and administrative measures required to ensure that both the State governments can function efficiently” from Hyderabad as the common capital during this 10-year period. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

WHY ASSAM IS FERTILE GROUND FOR MAOISTS?

By Sunderlal Behruaa / Dispur

Decades of militancy have pushed Assam back by ages, economically and otherwise. Now as the state finds a semblance of normalcy, there’s a new menace threatening to undo all the good work over the years. It’s the Maoists. While no incident of violence by the Left ultras has been registered so far, there are clear indications that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is making a serious effort to strengthen its base in the state. The broader aim is to make it part of the zones under their control.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

‘If Digged, 'Big Dam Scams' Could Be As Big As Coalgate’

By Uday Thakur / INN Live

Environmental journalist Urmi Bhattacharjee has released a research guide on dam-building in India. The report details the whole process of building dams on rivers, including their sanction and impact on life and livelihood. In conversation with INN Live, Bhattacharjee explains the politics of dams and the risks of building big dams without proper assessments.

Edited excerpts from an exclusive interview:

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Special Report: Another 'Major Disaster' In The Making

By M H Ahssan, Ashok RaiWalchuk Minga & Kajol Singh

More than 150 hydel projects are being pushed in Arunachal Pradesh to claim the so-called first user right on the common rivers before China dams them. At risk are the life and livelihood of millions in northeast India.

Nijor naak kati xatinir jatra bhongo (cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face).” Near Gogamukh, a few activists milled around their young leader Keshoba Krishna Chatradhara as he explained the local opposition to the Lower Subansiri hydel project on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

WHAT DOES CHINA WANT FROM INDIA?

By Rajinder Puri / Delhi

There is widespread speculation about China’s motives after its troops encroached into Ladakh and camped there before the forthcoming visit of the Chinese Premier  Li Keqiang. I present my take on the subject. I know of course that it is only of academic interest. It is futile to discuss foreign policy as long as moronic puppets continue to dominate India’s political scene.

To assess Chinese motives there is need to appraise the personality of China’s new leader  Xi Jinping; China’s new priorities in a changing world; and Beijing’s assessment of India in the perspective of China’s future global role.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Is Northeast India's Next Disaster Point After Utt'khand?

By Vijay Wahiktu / Dispur

Arunachal Pradesh is planning on at least 150 MoUs for power generation in the fragile hills of the Eastern Himalayas in high seismic zones. Is the Northeast in the next disaster point after Uttarakhand? Environmentalist Neeraj Vagholikar said, "Arunachal is no different. It's a part of the Himalayas and it's prone to such natural hazards and while Arunachal goes to exploit its hydel power potential, there's a need to really ensure that you have followed all the steps."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Villages Disappear As Rivers Change Course In Arunachal Pradesh

A number of hamlets in the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh and upper Assam have disappeared under water in the last few decades with climate change causing rivers to migrate from their route, experts say.

Many such cases of inundation were initially described as flash floods by the administration, but gradually it has emerged that rivers like Bikram, Ranga, Bogi, etc, originating from the Arunachal mountains have actually changed their course due to long spells of high intensity rainfall.

A number of small villages like Hatkhola, Kapisala, Tenga, Bango and Vikram Chapori in Assam’s Lakhimpur and Dhemaji district and Papum Pare district in Arunachal have been among the worst affected as a number of settlements have gradually submerged under water, this visiting correspondent found.

An analysis of geological data shows that in some places the rivers have changed their course by 300 metres while in other areas the change was as high as 1.8 km in between 1963 and 2009.

“As a result, parts of some villages have gone under water while in other cases the entire villages have simply vanished,” points out geologist S K Patnaik of Arunachal’s Rajiv Gandhi University.

A study under climate change fellowship by the New Delhi -based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) shows that this has not rendered hundreds of people homeless but also damaged agricultural fields and the rich biodiversity of this north-eastern state.

Although the total rainfall hasn’t changed much all these years, yet there has been an unprecedented increase in the duration and intensity of rainfall as well as cloudbursts in the Eastern Himalayas, explains Dr Prasanna K Samal, scientist in-charge at the G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in Itanagar.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Life has new meaning in the Himalayas

By Raja Murthy

An intrepid tribe of scientific Indiana Joneses has unearthed a remarkable treasure trove of unknown species in the eastern Himalayas, marking one of the biggest-ever series of discoveries of new life forms on Earth.

In a search from 1998 to 2008 that covered the eastern Himalayan regions of India, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, scientists found 353 new species - including 242 plants, 16 amphibians, 16 reptiles, 14 fish, two birds, two mammals and 61 invertebrates.

The high number of new species found in one sub-region suggests a call for increased investment to learn and care more about terrestrial life forms - before spending billions looking for extra-terrestrial versions in Mars and beyond.

With the major success of the biological brand of Indiana Jones in the eastern Himalayas, the region ranks among the top of famous biological hotspots among 200 globally designated areas rich with animal and plant life, such as Borneo in Asia and the California Floristic Province in North America.

A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report released on August 10, titled "Collision of Worlds - New Species Discoveries, Eastern Himalayas", gave more details of the fascinating finds over the past decade.

Star discoveries included the leaf deer (Muntiacus putaoensis) which is now the world's smallest deer, standing 60 centimeters to 80 centimeters tall and weighing about 11 kilograms.

Other significant recent finds included the primate Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) that is the first new monkey species found in over a century, and a brightly colored bird named the Bugun Liocichla (Liocichla bugunorum) that an Indian astronomer and bird-watcher Ramana Athreya first spotted in 2006.

The discovery of the Arunachal macaque, for instance, was most significant, say scientists. The macaque, a type of monkey, was named after India's Arunachal Pradesh state where it was found. Finding new mammal species, especially primates - the order of beings that include lemurs, apes, monkeys and, allegedly, us humans - is ranked high in the "very rare" list among scientists worldwide.

"The Arunchal macaque is also one of the highest-dwelling primates in the world, and certainly of all macaques, occurring between 1,600 meters and 3,500 meters about sea level," said the WWF report.

The biological exploring of the the eastern Himalayas included the Chinese botanist duo of Yuan Yong-ming and Ge Xue-jun, who discovered the blue diamond impatiens flower in Medog, Tibet, a remote region nearly 1,000 meters above sea level and 100 kilometers from any roads.

The blue diamond impatiens (Impatiens Namchabarwensis) was named after the remote Namcha Barwa canyon where the Chinese duo first spotted it. Growing to 60 centimeters in height, it can blossom all year and its petals dramatically change color according to season. It sometimes appears beautifully blue during cool weather and then turns purple, as if angry in hotter temperatures.

Biologists Yuan and Ge found this highly endemic (meaning region-specific) marine-blue flower in 2005. They had determinedly plunged into the bowels of the Namcha Barwa canyon, a gorge nearly 250km long and with some of its areas nearly twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US.

More such fascinating floral life forms could be waiting to be discovered in the Himalayas, for instance in the Valley of Flowers in India's Uttaranchal state.

The Himalayas, the world's largest range of mountains, is already designated home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, 300 mammal species, 977 bird species, 176 reptiles, 105 amphibians and 269 freshwater fish.

More famously, the eastern Himalayas also hosts the highest population of the Bengal tiger and the one-horned rhino in the world, two majestic beasts facing extinction thanks to human greed and foolishness.

The near-mystical snow leopard, too, prowls this region. Myth has it that the Yeti, the un-abominable snowman, resides somewhere in a penthouse cave in the Himalayas.

Much life already teems in the Himalayas. "The world's northern-most tropical rainforests can be found in the eastern Himalayas and nearly half of the flowering plant and bird species known from India," confirms the WWF report "Collision of Worlds". "The plant life of Arunachal Pradesh is considered among the most diverse in the world, ranking second only to Sumatra in Indonesia and greater than Borneo, Brazil and Papua New Guinea."

The title "Collision of Worlds" refers to the creation of the 3,000-km "Himalayas", the word meaning "abode of snow" in the ancient Indian Sanskrit language. The Himalayas arose from a mighty collision of two continental plates - the chunk of earth containing India crashing into the rest of Eurasia - some 50 million years ago.

The collision of the two "worlds" was so emphatic that the pressure is still being felt 50 millions years later. Geologists say the Himalayas continues to grow taller into the skies.

Inevitably, the 30-page "Collision of the Worlds" report listing discovery of so many life forms - in so brief a period in just one region of the Himalayas - makes one wonder how many more life forms await discovery in the rest of the land and water of planet Earth.

Oceans, for instance, from where the mighty Himalayas arose, cover about 70.8%, or 361 million square kilometers, of the Earth's surface. What strange and wonderful creatures do the oceans of the world hide?

"There are more species of animal in the deep sea than beetles in the rainforest," according to Dr John Copley, a deep-sea biologist in the National Oceanography Center, Southampton, quoted in Britain's Telegraph newspaper in its May 11, 2009, edition.

An intriguing hint of what incredible and mysterious life forms lurk in watery depths comes up in deep-sea exploration projects such as HADEEP, in collaboration with the University of Tokyo.

Funded by the Nippon Foundation in Japan since 2006, and by the British Natural Environment Research Council since 2007, HADEEP is the Indiana Jones of the vast ocean depths. The project uses deep-sea machines, or "landers", carrying high-definition video cameras that can operate at ocean depths where no human can survive.

At depths where the mountain of water above is equivalent to the pressure of 1,600 elephants standing on the roof of a small car, HADEEP machines - with their roof made not of glass, but a sheet of sapphire - produced footage that stunned scientists.

They expected to find little or no life at ocean depths of 11,000 meters, a depth vertically more downwards than Mount Everest in height, where there is little oxygen and light for life forms to survive. Yet they found this ocean depth awash with life.

"We got some absolutely amazing footage from 7,700 meters," project leader Alan Jamieson, aboard the Japanese research ship Hakuho-Maru, said in a media release dated October 7, 2008. "More fish than we or anyone in the world would ever have thought possible at these depths."

The incredible life forms included the black dragon fish that emits infra-red light. Another strange creature of the deep, the spookfish, also called barreleye - because its eyes can turn through 90 degrees - has a transparent skull through which its glowing green brain can be seen throbbing.

How many life-filled Himalayas lie in ocean depths? The 353 new species found in the past decade in the eastern Himalayas finds awesome perspective in the "Census for Marine Life", a decade-old global network of researchers in over 80 countries that is studying life in oceans.

The census, a first-of-its kind project undertaken by the Washington-based Consortium for Ocean Leadership, plans to release "the world's first comprehensive census of marine life - past, present and future" in 2010.

Involving an astonishing number of over 400 governmental and private organizations worldwide, the Census for Marine Life is one of the most significant and least-known projects in the world.

Its participants include the New York-based Alfred P Sloan Foundation, Google, the Cousteau Society, the National Institute of Oceanography of India, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the European Commission, the National Geographic Society, Stanford University, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the World Wildlife Fund, Canada.

Biologists have already identified 1.5 million terrestrial plants and animals in the 23% of land that forms the Earth. But if an average of 30 new life forms is being discovered in one sub-region of the Himalayas, how many more unknown millions of remarkable creatures share our land space?

The remaining 73% of watery Earth hosts a confirmed list of 230,000 species of marine animals, the number a mere fraction of what scientists expect to find in the deep. They estimate a mind-boggling 10 million undiscovered species living in the oceans, undetected perhaps for millions of years. The number might as well be 100 million, given the vast ocean depth terrain.

Vast underwater oceanic mountain ranges, also called sea-mounts, number in the tens of thousands and offer secluded places were it may take centuries of evolved high-technology scientific equipment to detect life forms.

For instance, the deepest place on the surface of Earth is under ocean waters. It's called the Mariana Trench, near Guam in the Pacific Ocean, east of the 14 Mariana Islands, at 11"21' north latitude and 142" 12' east longitude, and near Japan. Scientists say that if Mount Everest were placed in the deepest part of the trench, there would be 1.6 kilometers of water above it.

The "Collision of the Worlds" report and the Census for Marine Life project strongly indicate how many more millions of life forms exist. Sadly, if the endangered Asiatic elephant, the Bengal tiger and the one-horned rhinoceros could hire public relations agencies, they might warn these undiscovered, exotic species to stay hidden from humans.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Colours, Pride, Fervour Marks Indian Republic Day In India

By Likha Veer | INN Live

The 65th Republic Day was celebrated on Sunday across the country amid tight security and hoisting of the National Tricolour in different states.

West Bengal: In Kolkata Governor M K Narayanan presided over the marchpast of armed and police forces. Colourful parade  and procession with decorated tableaux portraying the state’s culture and heritage were highlights of the programme, which was attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Assam: Assam Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik today appealed the underground militant groups to abjure violence and come to the discussion table to solve the issues for an overall development of the state. Hoisting the National Flag on the 65th Republic Day here, Patnaik also condemned the recent incidents of violence in many districts across the state.  Besides, various initiatives were started under the Multi Sectoral Development Plan in areas like agriculture, cottage industry, drinking water and education to uplift the minority communities.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Over 1,000 IAS Officers Fail To Submit Property Returns

Over 1,000 IAS officers have failed to submit their immovable property returns (IPRs) to the government within the stipulated time frame this year.

Of the total of 1,057 officers who did not submit their IPRs for 2012, a highest of 147 are from Uttar Pradesh cadre, 114 of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT), 100 of Manipur-Tripura, 96 of Jammu and Kashmir and 88 of Madhya Pradesh cadre among others, according to Department of Personnel and Training data.

Suspended IAS couple Arvind and Tinoo Joshi of MP cadre are also among the list of erring officials. Joshis, both 1979 batch officers of Madhya Pradesh cadre, made headlines after Income Tax department raided their residence in February, 2010 and allegedly unearthed assets worth over Rs 350 crore.

58 IAS officers of Karnataka cadre, 53 of Andhra Pradesh, 48 of Punjab, 47 of Orissa, 45 of West Bengal, 40 of Himachal Pradesh, 35 of Haryana, 25 of Jharkhand, 23 of Assam-Meghalaya, 22 of Rajasthan, 20 of Tamil Nadu, 17 of Maharashtra, 16 of Nagaland, 14 of Gujarat, 13 of Bihar, 10 of Kerala, nine each of Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh and eight of Sikkim cadre have not given their IPRs, it said.

The total sanctioned strength of IAS is 6,217, including 1,339 promotion posts. Of these, 4,737 officers are in position.

An all-India service officer is bound to file property returns of a year by January end of the following year, failing which promotion and empanelment to senior level postings may be denied.

Besides, there are 107 IAS officers who have not submitted their IPRs for 2011. As many as 198 IAS officials did not give their property details for 2010. “A circular has already been sent to all cadre
controlling authorities to inform them about timely submission of their IPRs,” said an official of the DoPT, which acts as a nodal agency for administrative matters of the IAS officers.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Frank Opinion: When Did Civil Service Become Synonymous With Self-Service?

By NAMRATA GOSWAMI | INNLIVE

In 2008, I was in Chandel district of Manipur on field work. As I went about listening to local people's stories about their lives and aspirations, most of them kept praising this particular woman administrator, an IAS officer. She was from South India, they said, and yet she was able to blend in with local people and was very responsive to their needs. As I walked towards the office of the Block Development Officer (BDO), 

I understood what they meant. It was an office with an open door, and there were no "middle men" to stop people from meeting the officer. The people waiting outside did not have the look of being intimidated by power.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Commentary: Who Shall Guard The Guardians Of India?

By Aruni Mukherjee (Guest Writer)

Not many of us know of the words, originally espoused by Thomas Macaulay in the context of ancient Rome, inscribed on the war memorial in the tranquil Buddhist monastical town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh:

''How can a man die better than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers and the temple of his Gods''

- To the sacred memory of the Heroes of Rezang La, 24 martyrs of the 13 Kumoan, who fought to the last man, last round, against hordes of Chinese on 18 November 1962

Better known among Indians is the bravery with which the country's soldiers defended their territory against invading People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces despite being hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Exclusive: Loyal Congressman GK Vasan quits party after 14 years: Here's why Gandhis should be worried?

The first major fissure in the Congress has surfaced, with former minister GK Vasan all set to break away from the party to revive his father’s legacy and outfit, the Tamil Maanila Congress in Tamil Nadu. Vasan’s move may have its roots in the conviction of AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa who had to step down as chief minister thereby creating a politically fluid situation in which both the ruling party as well as the opposition DMK are in a state of flux.

"This has raised hopes in other parties and leaders who think they can create space for themselves in the state which was dominated by either the AIADMK or the DMK for close to half a century. This is the best opportunity to come their way. And this includes the BJP which is stands benefit the most from the situation in the state where it wants to set up its footprint," said a Congress leader.

Friday, May 02, 2014

How BJP Duped EC With White Lotus, Varanasi On Polling?

By M H Ahssan | INNLIVE

EYE OPENER When the Election Commission finally filed an FIR against Narendra Modi on 30 April for waving a white lotus around while addressing a press conference, it wasn't like the BJP, its prime ministerial candidate and pretty much every party hadn't already been making the most of loopholes in its model code of conduct. 

The case that was finally lodged against Modi was under sections 126- 1(a) 126- 1(b) of the Representatives of People's Act for holding up the party symbol while addressing a press conference. He now faces a maximum punishment of up to 2 years in jail or could be let off with a rap on the knuckles and a fine. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

THE DEADLY REBELS: ASSAM BRACES FOR NEW 'THREAT'

By Simantik Dowerah (Guest Writer)

Barely out of the decades old Ulfa terror, Assam is staring at another similar, and potentially bigger, menace: Maoists. While there is no concrete proof yet that the red rebels have entrenched themselves in the state, stray indications point to that fact they could be in the process of doing so. Some recent cases prove that Maoist leaders from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are trying hard to spread out in the state by recruiting local youth.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fermenting India

India these days seems to be in ferment. If one picks up a newspaper one gets hit by headlines that certainly do not bode well for the country, at least, not in its immediate future. While one can discern a severe churning taking place in the country’s social, political and economic life, the government, at the same time, is largely perceived to be drifting along.

Protests against governmental actions/inactions both, at the Centre and in some states have been raging for months. Tamilnadu in the South has witnessed an agitation against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant that is only few months away from attaining criticality. The pathetic fate of far-away Fukushima in Japan and its ill-fated victims have justifiably induced fear in the surrounding villages of Koodankulam. People in general have become resistant to the idea of nuclear power and fearful of the nuclear power plants.

Another anti-nuclear protest by villagers earlier this year in the idyllic Konkan region in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri District against a mega Nuclear Power Park had boiled over for weeks and had even become violent. Acquisitions of fertile lands under an antique law for mining, industry and power – thermal or nuclear – in pursuit of double-digit GDP growth gave rise to agitations of farmers and tribal communities in several states. The government has been hard put to subdue them.

The country has also seen protests in the North-East, in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, as also in the Himalayan states of Himachal and Uttarakhand against construction of dams for irrigation and generating hydro-power. While people, especially rural and tribal communities, have become more alert about safeguarding their rights and livelihoods, the governments, both at the Centre and in the states have been tardy in shedding their autocratic attitudes and have failed to take people into confidence before conceiving projects that impinge on their wellbeing.

Today, with information being available at the remotest of outposts ordinarily people refuse to be taken for granted by governments and their functionaries. A decades-old movement for creation of the Telangana state (to be carved out of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh) has gathered strength and is continuing now for months with no solution in sight. The Congress Party which had merged the region with the then newly-created Andhra Pradesh more than half a century ago against the wishes of the locals and against its own better judgement has now been facing the music. With passions running high, life in the state and its capital, Hyderabad, is paralysed with considerable impact on it administration and economy.

The social activist Anna Hazare’s two successive fasts, with unprecedented country-wide support, for enactment of a strong “Janlokpal” (anti-corruption ombudsman) law and later the government’s capitulation are recent history. India Against Corruption (IAC), led by Hazare and his team, are still hitting headlines. It has decided to canvass against Congress candidates at the 2012 state polls if the Parliament reneged from its commitments given during its last session for legislating for a strong “Lokpal” – the reasoning being the Congress leads the coalition at the Centre.

Although the context might be different, IAC’s efforts of swinging elections away from the Congress remind one of the campaigns of The Tea Party in the US during the 2010 Congressional elections. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s first tenure appeared sedate until, of course, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, insisted on signing the Indo-US Nuclear Deal even at the cost of losing support of one of his important allies – the Left – risking his government’s survival. The government did survive and win the “Confidence vote” only after the “cash-for-votes” scam exploded in the Parliament in 2008. The Congress-led ruling combine’s brazen efforts to soft-pedal investigations into the scandal invited a scorcher from the apex court. And yet, the trial that was hurriedly commenced, based on seemingly skewed investigations, appear to be farcical as none from among the beneficiaries – the Congress-led UPA government – of the scam has so far been hauled up. After IAC’s massive anti-corruption movement the government’s attitude appears somewhat brassy.

UPA I’s survival by dubious means has come to haunt it in its second avatar. All the scams that are currently hogging the headlines are of UPA I-vintage. The biggest of them all – allotment of 2G spectrum – saw a cabinet minister, a member of parliament (both of a southern ally) and a few corporate honchos into the jail, besides embarrassing the Prime Minister who tried to hide behind the nebulous “coalition compulsions”. He was, nonetheless, forced to act by an aggressive Supreme Court. Later, even the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) got into the act, putting the finger at the loss of incredible hundreds of thousands of billion rupees.

The relentless media exposes of scams of another few hundred thousand billion rupees during the run up to the Commonwealth Games in 2010 forced the Prime Minister into action to have it investigated by a former CAG. Having shot himself in the foot, he lost credibility. And, it led to a curious crisis of confidence that stalled governance and induced a policy-paralysis even as sycophants of Sonia Gandhi undermined his stature by repeated assertions about eligibility of her son to occupy the highest executive position.

Today, the busiest organisations are the courts, especially the Supreme Court, and investigative agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and other police outfits. While virtually every day there are reports of court orders pulling up a public organisation or an individual, every new day brings also the news of a big wig either being put in the coup or refused bail. A large number of politicians of different hues are in Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail. While the Law Minister, strangely, feared for drop in investments with so many corporate heads in jail, the apex court was taken aback when warned by a government lawyer of destabilisation of the government if it went after high functionaries like the home minister, a case for whose prosecution contributing to the 2-G scam is also currently being heard.

A recent headline spoke of “scams, graft (are) hitting growth”. Indeed, GDP growth has slowed down. Scams and graft could well have been very important reasons. No less important has been the reason of inflation which has been biting the industry and the common man, the very aam aadmi, whom the UPA swore by. The prices have gone through the roof and what hurts the most is the food inflation that has moved beyond 10%. The declining value of the rupee has pushed a few more millions below the poverty line. And yet, the government unmindfully has sought to peg the poverty line at a ridiculous Rs. 32 .00 and Rs. 26.00 per day in urban and rural areas, respectively, fuelling fresh controversy.

None in the government seems to have bothered to enforce checks on the inflated prices of essentials like vegetables and food grains. While the prices of agricultural produce rule high squeezing the common man the farmers commit suicide and, ironically, the cartels and middlemen make their piles. Even, the middle classes have got the wrong end of the stick with repeated hikes in interest rates to combat the prevailing inflation, pushing, inter alia, housing and automobiles out of the reach of many.

Economic growth has, on one hand, been accompanied by growth in numbers of billionaires, enriched ministers and MPs/MLAs, rising numbers of private aircraft, luxury yachts and high-end luxury cars on the roads and, on the other, by huge numbers of discontented and resentful poverty-stricken, malnourished and hungry – by some estimates around 60 million (77% by the reckoning of the late economist Arjun Sengupta) – in rural and urban India. Jobs remaining scarce, petty and other crimes have shown an inordinate rise. Snatchings, thievery, rapine, kidnappings etc. have become common. Worse, while mafias stalk the honest and whistleblowers, murder and rape have registered a sharp rise. Security of life and property has become tenuous.

Polarisation in politics has bred acute intolerance for a contrarian view. Two prominent IAC activists were assaulted – one was beaten up on camera for holding views on Kashmir disagreeable to the extreme right and the other for canvassing votes against the Congress if it did not fulfil its commitment of legislating for a strong Lokpal. While unbridled pursuit of economic growth has made only the rich and the unscrupulous prosperous and happy, it has spread unhappiness and misery among a very large section of the people. At the same time, it has demolished the anchors of Indian society in a mad rush for money; the get-rich-quick syndrome is eating into its moral fibre. Ethical life in India today has been shoved on to, no, not the back seat, but the boot. Reversing this now well-established unholy trend might well be an impossible proposition.