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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

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Jayalalithaa should punish forms of sycophancy

193 people committed suicide on hearing of then Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s brief incarceration in a disproportionate assets case. The AIADMK leader has announced a cash relief of Rs 3 lakh to the families of those who died.

This Diwali, let the lights keep shining

This Diwali, let us resolve to get rid of complacency and inaction when it comes to tackling social ills. While it is not our intention to cast a dampener on your Diwali, it might be a good time to introspect on some areas where we need a healthy dose of enlightenment.
Reserving one-third of constituencies for women and rotating these constituencies in successive elections is unknown in the world. Democracies have usually taken a different route to gender equity in their legislatures.
The Right to Information Act was supposed to be India’s own version of Glasnost. But several trends suggest that the law may soon become ineffective.
The sense of relief among many countries including India, however, might be short-lived. A new set of challenges confront New Delhi, compelling it to revisit its Afghan policy to ensure that the decade long gains are not frittered away. 

The raising of ISIS’ flags does not reflect the Kashmiri youth’s political stand but tells a lot about their anger against the system. Shujaat Bukhari writes.

Diwali, which is just round the corner, is believed to herald joy and cheer. The climate is propitious for a switch from a regime of doles to one of entrepreneurship and innovation, writes NK Singh.

Sexual minorities and live-ins coming into the mainstream will make the family unit more compassionate and giving. Sharif D Rangnekar writes.

Another committee on the Railways, to ‘restructure’, headed by economist Bibek Debroy, has been formed. A similar one in 2001 by Rakesh Mohan had recommended ‘corporatisation’ as a panacea for all its ills. He had also suggested creating an arm’s length relation between the Railways and the government, which perhaps was not palatable to the netas. RC Acharya writes.

What do the results in Haryana and Maharashtra mean for the Modi government in Delhi? By 2016, these states (along with others the BJP won a year ago) will begin to bolster the government’s numbers in the Rajya Sabha, writes Ashok Malik.
Many Indians are already engaged in atithi bhojana and earning merit thereby. In case we have not had the time or opportunity to practice that ourselves, reviewing our attitude to fine clothes and jewellery and dedicating a portion of those expenses as 'Dipavali zakat' could be an elegant personal way to light up, by lightening up.
The country is ostensibly in the throes of a great social movement for sanitation. Cleaning India requires dismantling the deadweight of India’s inequalities and the neglect of women and  people of disadvantaged castes and religions.
The verdict of 2014 will be remembered for, among other things, the BJP’s haul of 14 of the 36 seats in the city. It rivals the Shiv Sena’s tally of 15 but its import is beyond what the numbers show, writes Smruti Koppikar.
NCP's support to the BJP — even if the party eventually turns it down – is just a form of buying insurance against any future action the incoming government might want to take against the NCP members.
Rising sea levels pose a significant risk to India’s economic growth given our extensive coastline, writes RK Pachauri.
It is not unusual for people from the Northeast, Ladakh, and even Delhi’s Manju ka Tila to be asked if they are Chinese/Japanese or if they need a passport to get here. Workmates, landlords and neighbours are often intolerant towards their lifestyle preferences.
It was nice to spend a few hours at Tiecon Delhi last week, in the congregation that helps startups happen in India. Tiecon (Tie Conference) has its roots in The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a US-based network that played on the India-US (Ind-US) expression in the Silicon Valley.
The real significance of the Haryana and Maharashtra results lies beyond the simple fact of who wins. It’s the implied message about the churning in Indian politics that is of deeper importance, writes Karan Thapar.
Mr. Congress been suffering from chronic dynasty-itis, acute kowtowing and high corruption-pressure for a long time. Recently he also suffered from driving-the-economy-down-the-tube-itis and inflationosis, writes Manas Chakravarthy satirically.
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