Tag Archives: Pranab Mukherjee

A letter of protest to the President of India against the execution of Afzal Guru: JTSA

This letter, signed by 202 citizens whose names are given at the end, has been put out by the JAMIA TEACHERS SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION

The Hon’ble President of India

Respected Sir,

We write to you in deep anguish, despair but in outrage as well. Afzal Guru was hanged on Saturday (9th February 2013) in secrecy. We have been told – after the hanging – that you rejected the mercy petition filed by Guru’s wife Tabassum, on 3rd February. We believe that you made a grave error in rejecting the mercy petition. If you had perused the trial records and the lengthy documentation put together over the years by lawyers and civil rights activists, or even the Supreme Court judgement which sentenced Afzal to death, you would have known, that his guilt was never established beyond reasonable doubt. The fact that the Court appointed as amicus curiae (friend of the court) a lawyer in whom Afzal had expressed no faith; the fact that he went legally unrepresented from the time of his arrest till his so-called confession, the fact that the court asked him to either accept the lawyer appointed by the Court or cross examine the witness himself should surely have concerned you while considering his mercy petition. Continue reading A letter of protest to the President of India against the execution of Afzal Guru: JTSA

CPI(M)’s ‘July Crisis’ and Challenges for Rebuilding the Left

In an unprecedented move ,  the JNU unit of the SFI (SFI-JNU) has been dissolved by the ‘Delhi State Committee of the Students’ Federation of India’ [SFI is the CPI(M) student wing]. What is interesting about the press statement issued by the ‘Delhi State Committee’ following this momentous decision, is that it is signed by the Acting President and the Acting Secretary. The state secretary Robert Rahman Raman has since resigned in protest against the decision and the state president, according to him happens to be among those expelled. The state secretary in his statement has protested against the SFI Delhi state committee’s decision, ‘taken with just 12 members present and without adequate consultation or effort to retain the unit.’  The matter then, is far bigger than that of an errant SFI unit.

Clearly, leading state functionaries of the organization too are involved in the heresy that has called forth this action by the high priests of the CPI(M). Anyone who knows the command structure of the CPI(M) and how it works, can see immediately that a decision as important and unprecedented as this cannot have been taken by something as inconsequential as the Delhi state committee of the SFI. Indeed, even the Delhi state committee of the CPI(M) could not have taken this decision without the concurrence of the highest leadership – in this case Prakash Karat, the general secretary, himself. Continue reading CPI(M)’s ‘July Crisis’ and Challenges for Rebuilding the Left

FDI In Retail – What Does the Government’s Own Data Say? Shankar Gopalakrishnan


In his budget speech, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee declared that the government’s “decision” to allow FDI in multi-brand retail outlets “has been held in abeyance” until there is a “broad based consensus.”  In other words, it’s already a decision, but it’s just being held back until the government feels it can go ahead safely.  The question though is: why is the government so convinced of its decision?  How does Mr. Mukherjee so firmly declare that “organised retail helps in reducing costs of intermediation… benefiting both consumers and producers”?  Has the government done the homework to justify its actions?  This note looks at the government’s own data to find out.

As far as is known, there was only one study commissioned by the government in this regard (Business Standard 2007)  This was done by ICRIER in 2007, first published as a Working Paper in 2008 (Joseph et al 2008), and subsequently converted into a book – Retail in India: A Critical Assessment – in 2009, with one chapter added by other authors.[i]

Continue reading FDI In Retail – What Does the Government’s Own Data Say? Shankar Gopalakrishnan