Don’t be held ransom

Financial motivation has always been the major factor behind crime. Holding someone hostage and asking for ransom money was very common. Over the years, things have become digital. Most valuable information is stored on digital devices. Evolution of digital age didn’t stop crimes from happening. Even today the motivation is financial gain. The only difference is, the criminals hold the digital information hostage for ransom. This has led to the latest hack which affected more than 230,000 devices across 99 countries.

Green revolution@50

The green revolution was a transformational event changing our agricultural destiny from one of ship to mouth to one of right to food with home grown food. This transformation came at the time when the world was full of doomsday predictions concerning the fate of Indian agriculture and food security. For example, the famous scientists, Paul and William Ehrlich made the following predictions: 1) Sometime between 1970 and 1985 the world will undergo vast famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.

Cut & Thrust: The Idea of India in peril

Newly elected MP from Srinagar, winner of a farcical election in which 7 per cent of the voters turned out — Farooq Abdullah — waded through the political vector this week to explain one of his hobby horses — the J & K Assembly’s autonomy resolution of 2000 — and how this could become the basis for a dialogue and negotiation between the state and the centre.

Bridge or wall?

On May 9, the voters of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) were called to vote on a new president. The election had to be preponed as the sitting president, Park Geun Hye had been impeached and dismissed. Park, the daughter of long time dictator Park Chung Hee, had been the first woman to occupy the Blue House in Seoul, seat of the South Korean presidents. Park had fallen over allegations of serious corruption and nepotism.

Tagore’s idea of development

In his tweet on Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary, May 9, prime minister Narendra Modi said, “Gurudev Tagore will always be remembered for his powerful thoughts and contribution to the freedom movement.” As an acknowledgment of the great poet’s worldview, it is an interesting observation considering how the Bharatiya Janata Party’s aggressive brand of nationalism and Hindutva clashes head on with Tagore’s liberal outlook and internationalism.

Cut & Thrust: Jackboots replace dialogue

Former BSF DG EN Rammohan, considered one of the foremost experts on fighting guerrillas and insurgents having served in all the trouble spots, has said in an interview that the anti Muslim and Hindutva approach of the BJP in Kashmir is damaging and counter productive, “You have to tell the public of Kashmir that you are above all religion.

Not just modified VAt

Under the indirect taxes structure in India, indirect taxes like VAT, excise, service tax and entry tax are levied on consumption whereas the direct taxes (income tax) are levied on the income earned. Increasing the indirect taxes makes consumption more and more expensive and, therefore, has an inflationary effect, which makes the poor to suffer the most. Because of this reason indirect taxes are usually seen as regressive, whereas the direct taxes, which targets the richer section of the society, generally seen as progressive.

Every drop counts

Climate change brings about dramatic catastrophes. One of our problems is, of course, to be alert to the facts of history. The dinosaurs were killed by a meteor strike, or by their own avarciousness. After their extinction, or miniaturisation, life continued to evolve. As humans, we know our consciousness allows for both alertness and detachment. The elite have access to water, because they can afford to buy water. The debates on water sharing have been the most volatile of political histories of the 21st century.

A thorn in the flesh

If running out of patience is a sign of frustration, exhausting the options signifies botched strategy. When it comes to dealing with Pakistan, the nation has lost patience and the Modi government seems to have run out of options.
Border Security Force head constable Prem Sagar and army’s naib subedar Paramjit Singh are not merely the new names in the list of Pakistan army’s barbaric ways but they are permanent scars etched on a nation’s psyche.

Cut & Thrust: Let’s take stock in may

Is market mein aur jaan hai ki, ab ludke ga kya? A common refrain these days on whether the market will take a tumble after its high octane journey to 30,000. As the BSE Sensex flirts almost daily with 30,000 and the Nifty Fifty tries to keep its head above 9300, trade has got range bound, after a gangbusters vertical climb, courtesy bulge bracket FPIs and huge liquidity from domestic investors.