Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Law of Intelligence Agencies

New allegations on the Purulia arms drop case underline the need for parliamentary oversight of intelligence agencies.

Intelligence agencies claim that the nature of their work demands that they operate in secrecy; however, this licence they enjoy gives them a measure of autonomy and power that can be and is used to undermine democratic processes. Stories are legion of how India’s intelligence agencies – especially the Intelligence Bureau and even the body supposedly dealing with external matters, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) – have launched independent ventures in different parts of the country and wreaked havoc on the polity and society. Nothing has ever been proven for they enjoy de facto immunity, outside the pale of parliamentary accountability and at times even outside ministerial control.

To Read from the EPW Editorial, click Here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

US Lawlessness at Guantanamo

WikiLeaks again exposes the hypocrisy and brutality at the heart of US policies.

WikiLeaks’ expose of the starkly illegal and brutal nature of the extrajudicial detentions at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, through its access to detainee assessment briefs and documents that are guidelines for interrogators, tell a lot about US lawlessness and brutality in the course of its so-called “war on terror”. The accounts, numbering around 750, could possibly constitute the final tranche of documents reportedly leaked by the former US army private Bradley Manning.These documents are military “assessments” written between 2002 and 2009 and give an ample picture of the brutality at Guantanamo.

T0 Read More from the EPW Editorial, Click Here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Analysing the 2011 Assembly Election Results

I did a sequence of interviews with senior journalists/ political analysts, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Sukumar Muralidharan and Shankar Raghuraman to analyse the assembly election results in West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu respectively for Newsclick. The videos are embedded below -

"The Left has to introspect and rethink after this huge loss in West Bengal" - Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

This was not merely an electoral loss but a major defeat of a bastion, says Paranjoy Guha Thakurta about the Left Front's loss in West Bengal. He argues that there has to be a rethink in the Left's political outlook and organisation following this loss.

"Creditable performance by LDF in Assembly Elections" - Sukumar Muralidharan -

The LDF misses victory by a whisker in the 2011 Assembly elections in the state. The good image of the outgoing VS Achuthanandan led government was a factor responsible for the creditable performance. Sukumar Muralidharan comments in an interview with Newsclick

"Price Rise, Corruption and the Sri Lankan Issue responsible for the anti-DMK wave" - Shankar Raghuraman

Associate Editor of the Times of India, Shankar Raghuraman comments on the 2011 assembly election results in Tamil Nadu state. He identifies three major factors acting against the DMK, besides acknowledging the presence of a formidable alliance building tactic by the AIADMK led front.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Defending Mutual Interest

The Sanya declaration shows that BRICS is slowly getting its act together to defend mutual interests.

"BRICS” was a slogan invented by Goldman Sachs in the early years of the previous decade as part of its marketing drive to consolidate itself in the large “emerging” economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The grouping has travelled a long way from then. It has now given itself a separate identity, has organised three summits, expanded to include South Africa, and is slowly but surely beginning to defend mutual interests. That at least is the conclusion one can draw from the Sanya declaration issued at the conclusion of the BRICS summit on 14 April in the coastal city of China.

To Read More from the EPW Editorial, Click Here