Uddalok Bhattacharya

Uddalok Bhattacharya was part of Hindustan Times’ nationwide network of correspondents that brings news, analysis and information to its readers. He no longer works with the Hindustan Times.

Articles by Uddalok Bhattacharya

Rahul Gandhi must substantiate corruption charge against PM

It is not as though Mr Modi has not been attacked. He has been, but many of them did not wash with the people.

File photo of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi(PTI)
File photo of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi(PTI)
Updated on Dec 14, 2016 05:40 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Good policing can’t do much without a social transformation

Improvement in criminal justice means much more than uplifting the police system and the magistracy. It means a gamut of changes that lead to empowerment and a redistribution of assets and social power

Repeated lapses in the delivery of criminal justice in matters of terrorism charges are not to be seen in isolation because they have prejudices and social conflicts built into them. It is not surprising that the Muslims form a large proportion of undertrials in India
Repeated lapses in the delivery of criminal justice in matters of terrorism charges are not to be seen in isolation because they have prejudices and social conflicts built into them. It is not surprising that the Muslims form a large proportion of undertrials in India
Updated on Dec 14, 2016 11:14 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

If there is a grand alliance in UP, the Congress should pitch for it

Friendly gestures of Congress V-P Rahul Gandhi and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav towards each other offer a meeting ground. And also Congress strategist Prashant Kishor meeting SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav could be a straw in the wind

Lucknow: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi with UP Congress President Raj Babbar and party's CM candidate Sheila Dikshit at a road show during his Kisan Yatra in Lucknow(PTI)
Lucknow: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi with UP Congress President Raj Babbar and party's CM candidate Sheila Dikshit at a road show during his Kisan Yatra in Lucknow(PTI)
Updated on Nov 03, 2016 03:12 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Delhi’s anti-pollution plans are at best piecemeal

The government has decided to introduce vacuum cleaning and sprinkling of water on the roads. The question is how many vacuum cleaners and mist sprayers can be installed and how far they will be effective in places such as ITO or Anand Vihar, which are supposed to be some of the most polluted places in Delhi

Air pollution the morning after Diwali in Connaught Place, New Delhi(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Air pollution the morning after Diwali in Connaught Place, New Delhi(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 04, 2016 02:27 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Cracker pollution during Diwali is a minor problem

Asking for a stop to bursting crackers is to stop being part of a living history that goes back 150 years at least. Many accounts of old cities are full of soul-lifting discussions how Diwali or Kali Puja tugged at the heart-strings of people

Children burst fire-crackers during Diwali festival celebration on Sunday, in Gurgaon(HT)
Children burst fire-crackers during Diwali festival celebration on Sunday, in Gurgaon(HT)
Updated on Nov 21, 2019 04:17 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Hindutva is a way of life with some outposts

That religion and politics must be kept apart is a maxim that all parties had followed until externalities such as “people’s sentiments” and “correcting the wrongs of history” entered the picture to break the fragile arrangement between the law and faith

Hindu saints protest against Salman Khan's movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan.(HT)
Hindu saints protest against Salman Khan's movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan.(HT)
Published on Oct 26, 2016 08:44 PM IST
Hindistan Times | By

The return to pass-fail policy should be a cautious one

With years of getting used to ‘no fail’ policy, students might find it difficult to let themselves be evaluated rigorously. The number of failures is likely to be more than what used to be before the new policy was introduced

With years of getting used to ‘no fail’ policy, students might find it difficult to let themselves be evaluated rigorously(Hindustan Times)
With years of getting used to ‘no fail’ policy, students might find it difficult to let themselves be evaluated rigorously(Hindustan Times)
Published on Oct 20, 2016 07:27 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

PM knows best: Dalit atrocities can end with empowerment

The assistance of the State towards the community must continue. But the policy of reservations must be rationalised. If we have a third-generation beneficiary of reservation policy, it amounts to depriving someone whose forefathers could not avail themselves of it. It is this that Mr Modi can now look at

Ahmedabad : Police detain Dalit community leader Jignesh Mevani during a protest against atrocities against the Dalit community in New Delhi(PTI)
Ahmedabad : Police detain Dalit community leader Jignesh Mevani during a protest against atrocities against the Dalit community in New Delhi(PTI)
Published on Oct 19, 2016 10:11 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Society must sensitise itself to the differently-abled

We should have laws for their convenience at airports in the manner the US has. Having amenities for them could be part of corporate social responsibility

The 2011 census says there are 21 million differently-abled persons in India(Gurinder Osan/HT PHOTO)
The 2011 census says there are 21 million differently-abled persons in India(Gurinder Osan/HT PHOTO)
Published on Oct 19, 2016 07:55 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Killing of RTI activists: No protection available to them

The RTI has been an instrument in bringing in transparency and curbing corruption, thereby enhancing democracy at various levels. But unless there is a way to protect the activists, the purpose behind such openness will be defeated

According to the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, in the past decade, 275 people have reportedly been assaulted or harassed for invoking the law(HT)
According to the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, in the past decade, 275 people have reportedly been assaulted or harassed for invoking the law(HT)
Published on Oct 17, 2016 05:15 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

IIMs should now have little to complain about

The new Bill gives the IIMs a free hand to manage their own affairs

Student in front of the auditorium at IIM Calcutta. The most important change the ministry has brought in is removing the HRD minister from the position of the head of the IIM Coordination Forum. This will make it easier for the IIMs to coordinate among themselves(Hindustan Times)
Student in front of the auditorium at IIM Calcutta. The most important change the ministry has brought in is removing the HRD minister from the position of the head of the IIM Coordination Forum. This will make it easier for the IIMs to coordinate among themselves(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Oct 08, 2016 10:02 PM IST

Bihar’s new liquor prohibition law too may fail to stand up in court

It should be a generally accepted rule that whenever governments go in for bans such as these, there should a reasonable timeframe, with respect to geographic locations, for those to come into effect

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s enforcement of prohibition should have been accompanied by a policy on providing alternative employment to people engaged in the liquor business(HT file photo)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s enforcement of prohibition should have been accompanied by a policy on providing alternative employment to people engaged in the liquor business(HT file photo)
Updated on Oct 03, 2016 09:32 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The Maratha movement is driven by historical memory

The Marathas want three things: The gallows for those who had raped and killed the girl in Ahmednagar, 16% reservation for the Marathas, and a modification of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

Given the alacrity with which state governments are placating powerful communities by promising them reservations in government jobs, the Maratha movement could escalate into a fullblown one in favour of quotas(PTI)
Given the alacrity with which state governments are placating powerful communities by promising them reservations in government jobs, the Maratha movement could escalate into a fullblown one in favour of quotas(PTI)
Updated on Sep 27, 2016 02:24 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Chhattisgarh: Another instance of police brutality due to social pressures

The deportment of the police is closely wired into the social power structure in which the police operate. There is community pressure acting on the police to behave in certain ways

There have been successive commissions to reform the police but the efforts have been mostly unavailing so far(HT)
There have been successive commissions to reform the police but the efforts have been mostly unavailing so far(HT)
Published on Sep 19, 2016 01:08 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Yechury vs Karat: The CPI(M) starts a debate

Over decades the arch enemy of the communists and socialists had been the Congress, which in their characterisation was a party of landlords and big industrialists, and not the BJP

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury: Marxists owe their political existence to a certain history and a certain book and, when thrown against the welter of events, facts have often not fitted into their theory(PTI)
CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury: Marxists owe their political existence to a certain history and a certain book and, when thrown against the welter of events, facts have often not fitted into their theory(PTI)
Published on Sep 16, 2016 08:05 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Quotas in hiring IIM teachers not a good idea

The government, through its nominees on the governing councils or boards, can push the idea of introducing courses on Dalit entrepreneurship, etc

The IIMs are some of the finest of our educational institutions. They need a measure of autonomy
The IIMs are some of the finest of our educational institutions. They need a measure of autonomy
Published on Sep 15, 2016 05:08 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Centre, UP govt have a responsibility towards Bareilly rape survivor

When seen in a broader perspective, incidents such as these are used to further put women and girls in a tighter situation, with more fetters on them or denying education to them.

The girl had terminated her education after class 5 because of her penurious conditions and also because of being compelled to do so that she could perform household chores(HT)
The girl had terminated her education after class 5 because of her penurious conditions and also because of being compelled to do so that she could perform household chores(HT)
Updated on Sep 15, 2016 08:51 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Sexual harassment charges won’t spare top civil servants

Merely transferring an officer is not a sufficient guarantee that he cannot influence the investigation. We have had instances of people trying to influence investigation even they do not hold any office

Till recently misbehaving with a woman and getting away with impunity was no rare occurrence for people in the higher levels of government service
Till recently misbehaving with a woman and getting away with impunity was no rare occurrence for people in the higher levels of government service
Published on Sep 14, 2016 02:24 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

BJP leader should explain what he means by eco-friendly Eid

All festivals cause air and water pollution through the bursting of crackers and immersing icons in rivers that are already dying

There is a school of thought, to which a former environment minister of India belonged, that being a vegetarian is a good way to prevent environmental degradation(Special arrangement)
There is a school of thought, to which a former environment minister of India belonged, that being a vegetarian is a good way to prevent environmental degradation(Special arrangement)
Updated on Sep 26, 2016 07:41 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The government should tell students why they shouldn’t leave IITs

Forcing students to finish MTech won’t do, gentle persuasion might help

Excluding the ones pursuing MTech courses from jobs even though they have the necessary degrees can run into legal difficulties, and the government’s position may not stand up in court(HT)
Excluding the ones pursuing MTech courses from jobs even though they have the necessary degrees can run into legal difficulties, and the government’s position may not stand up in court(HT)
Published on Sep 12, 2016 04:38 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The number of judges in India must increase

The judiciary’s role in Indian society is always expanding

Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. That the judiciary is vital to our economy cannot be overstressed(Hindustan Times)
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. That the judiciary is vital to our economy cannot be overstressed(Hindustan Times)
Published on Sep 12, 2016 12:40 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Anna Hazare need not feel sorry that Kejriwal has ‘changed’

Kejriwal did not share Hazare’s near-rejection of parliamentary democracy. He could not reconcile himself to the posture that the movement was superior to parliament when it came to law-making

Is Kejriwal secure in the fact that he has parted ways with Hazare? Such a sense of security may turn out to be illusory for him
Is Kejriwal secure in the fact that he has parted ways with Hazare? Such a sense of security may turn out to be illusory for him
Published on Sep 10, 2016 09:16 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Office of profit: Precedents Mr Kejriwal can use

Though the constitutional provision is specific on the matter, it has not been followed in letter and spirit

Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal: In the Delhi government’s view, the office of ‘parliamentary secretary’ is not an office of profit. But still the question remains why it did not wait for its Bill on exemption from office of profit disqualification to receive presidential assent.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal: In the Delhi government’s view, the office of ‘parliamentary secretary’ is not an office of profit. But still the question remains why it did not wait for its Bill on exemption from office of profit disqualification to receive presidential assent.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Published on Sep 09, 2016 01:09 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The new rail fare structure is confusing and will help airlines

Black marketers will have a field day in the new system. There is every possibility that tickets will just vanish from the buying counters

The ministry of railways should immediately clear all doubts at this stage, because the new scheme kicks in on Friday(Hindustan Times)
The ministry of railways should immediately clear all doubts at this stage, because the new scheme kicks in on Friday(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Sep 08, 2016 12:16 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

UP chief minister should calculate the cost of freebies

As it is, the finances of state governments are constrained. On top of that, if populist measures continue in this manner, running a government may not be viable in the future

Whatever may be their differences, Akhilesh Yadav and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are on the same page when it comes to recognising the importance of having a laptop(PTI)
Whatever may be their differences, Akhilesh Yadav and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are on the same page when it comes to recognising the importance of having a laptop(PTI)
Published on Sep 06, 2016 02:59 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

We haven’t given primacy to primary education

Children’s education has not received the attention it deserves. Without that our social infrastructure is bound to flounder

A class without a teacher in Lucknow(DEEPAK GUPTA / HT)
A class without a teacher in Lucknow(DEEPAK GUPTA / HT)
Published on Sep 06, 2016 01:05 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Ashutosh did not defend rape, so do not harass him

If Ashutosh called it ‘consensual sex’, so did many others, for which they are not morally or legally to blame. The National Commission for Women is wrong in summoning him

if Ashutosh is guilty, why not hold a whole citizenry guilty? For example, by this logic a person who kept quiet can also be held guilty of abetting a criminal act of which he actually had no knowledge of(Hindustan Times)
if Ashutosh is guilty, why not hold a whole citizenry guilty? For example, by this logic a person who kept quiet can also be held guilty of abetting a criminal act of which he actually had no knowledge of(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Sep 06, 2016 01:30 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

It is tough to rein in gau rakshaks at this stage

If this was a matter of simple crime the criminal could have been easily apprehended. But when religiosity becomes packaged with state policy, the reach of the strong arm of the state shrinks

Hindu Vahini members at a protest march over cow protection in New Delhi(India Today Group/Getty Images)
Hindu Vahini members at a protest march over cow protection in New Delhi(India Today Group/Getty Images)
Published on Sep 06, 2016 09:01 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

This all-India labour strike will not be the last one

While the unions have a point, one thing missing in the discourse is that they often adopt violent methods in dispute resolution, as had been seen in the Maruti incident in 2012. They also do not take into account that sometimes labour laws do stand in the way of job creation

A closed United Bank of India branch as several trade unions call strike against central government in Mumbai on Friday(Arijit Sen/HT PHOTO)
A closed United Bank of India branch as several trade unions call strike against central government in Mumbai on Friday(Arijit Sen/HT PHOTO)
Published on Sep 02, 2016 02:22 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Bodo agitation exposes Assam’s faultlines

The resurrection of the demand for the state of Bodoland can have dangerous implications and the Centre should immediately sit in discussion with the agitators

Activists of All Bodo Student's Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Progressive (NDFB-P) and People's Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) shout slogans while blocking the National highway 31 to demand the creation of a separate state(PTI)
Activists of All Bodo Student's Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Progressive (NDFB-P) and People's Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) shout slogans while blocking the National highway 31 to demand the creation of a separate state(PTI)
Updated on Sep 01, 2016 08:15 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By
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