Infocus

  • There is growing dissidence across the Middle East
    Angry demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon (January 25) cast a spotlight on grievances throughout the Arab world that are often aired but rarely dealt with. For the first time in generations, dissidence is gathering momentum and many leaders seem rattled.The ball is in the governments' court as people demand the democratic voice they have been denied for too long. Egypt's Interior Minister urged the country's intellectuals to impart their wisdom on the “young people”
  • Opportunities for investment in Nagaland
    I am happy to have this opportunity to present the opportunities for investment in Nagaland. Coming to the issue of investment in the region, I am compelled to express the common concern of the North East States that despite sustained efforts of the DoNER Ministry and the ICC, and the ‘Investor Meets’ held as far away as Thailand, Vietnam and even New York, very little tangible investment has taken place in the region, especially in Nagaland. The question that needs to be a
  • Lee Kuan Yew: Man who made Singapore
    "So, when is the last leaf falling?" asked Lee Kuan Yew, the man who made Singapore in his own stern and unsentimental image, nearing his 87th birthday and contemplating age, infirmity and loss. "I can feel the gradual decline of energy and vitality," said Lee, whose Singapore model " of economic growth and tight social control made him one of the most influential political figures of Asia. "And I mean generally, every year, when you know you are not on th
  • Farce follows tragedy in Myanmar
    If Karl Marx was right that history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce, Myanmar may have just entered the farcical phase of its long-running military rule. The first general election held in over 20 years last November and announcement that a new elected National Assembly will be convened on January 31 have not excited many ordinary Myanmar citizens, but have led to wild speculation among foreign pundits about what it all means for the country's political future. Many se
  • Reforming microfinance
    The T.H. Malegam committee on microfinance institutions has made valuable suggestions that are contextually significant. Barely four months ago, the MFI sector seemed to be riding a crest. Though comparatively new to organised finance, it was growing rapidly, particularly in the southern States, with Andhra Pradesh in the lead. With an estimated Rs.22,500 crore lent to nearly 2.7 crore borrowers, it seemed to have become a mainstream financial activity. Yet in a matter of months, the f
  • Indian constitutional democracy: a freedom in crisis
    Sixty years ago, the First Amendment to India’s Constitution imposed restrictions on the right to freedom of speech and expression, in contrast to its celebrated namesake in the United States.  Free speech—the very essence of democracy—has since been subject to much judicial and political controversy, but confronted with significant economic, social and political stresses it faces particularly grave challenges in India today, as events of the past year highlight.
  • New Philippine counter-insurgency strategy fails to address the causes of conflict
    2011 marks the dawn of a new strategic approach to combating insurgencies that have long bedevilled the Philippines. An internecine conflict, bred by a political system that entrenches the segmental concentration of power in the archipelago, has resulted in a catalogue of state-led extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The new tactic - ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ (‘Operation Community Volunteerism’) – purportedly promotes the protection of human rights
  • Legacy of our Leaders
    Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8The secret behind every success lies in the mind of every concerned individuals and leaders. The great men and women of God did not become great because of their own strength but they became legends because of their dependence on the Spirit of God. When we study the life history of all these s
  • The winter of Kim Jong-il’s discontent
    Riding the wave of missile-and-nuclear tests in 2009, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il capped 2010 with a much-anticipated crowning of his third son as heir and two deadly assaults on his southern neighbor – the sinking of a warship in March and the shelling of an inhabited island in November.By beating against South Korea's shore, Mr. Kim expects to reap in 2011 the fruits of his extortionist labor. His new year’s wishes are not entirely misplaced, as such has been the ba
  • ‘I have lost my son, but I am proud of what he did’
    The street vendor who set himself alight, sparking an uprising which swept away 23 years of dictatorship in Tunisia and triggered protests across North Africa, had been beaten down by years of poverty and oppression by the authorities, his family told The Independent last night. The mother of the street vendor who set himself on fire, and triggered protests across North Africa, talks to Kim SenguptaMohamed Bouazizi – whose desperate act, copied in countries including Algeria and
  • Way forward in India-Pak relations
    Fifteen years ago, in a book called “Pakistan Papers,” largely comprising a long despatch I wrote in my last days as Consul-General of India in Karachi, which I was surprisingly permitted by the government to publish as representing my “personal views”, I had first suggested a process of “uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue” as the only way forward for our two countries. My suggestion had no takers then. It has no takers now. Yet, I see no alt
  • Identity of the Nagas in Crisis
    This land of ours is a gift from God and we are to honor Him by forsaking the evils that entices us. The traditional values and cultures that we boast of are of little importance as far as the security and the dignity of our nation is concerned. The efforts that are made to preserve the cultural identity of the Nagas are laudable to some extend. But taking into consideration the crisis that may befall us is a matter of concern. The truth is we are so gullible and that is also a reason
  • After Telangana comes Frontier Nagaland
    Once again there is a separate statehood demand and this time it’s in Nagaland. The Frontier Nagaland demand has not come out of nowhere, but does it have the potential to create roadblock for NSCN (IM)’s Greater Nagaland agenda? Ratnadip Choudhury tries to find outThe Telengana movement in the south has ignited a similar spirit in the hills of Nagaland. Inspired by the statehood stir in Andhra Pradesh, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) has come forwar
  • Migrants: Exploited by all but healed by none
    Just two full-grown human beings can walk simultaneously in the narrow lanes that separate the countless housing area of migrant workers, especially the daily wage earners. The passage of clean air is almost unfeasible in these areas whereas the smell coming out from the unattended and hold up nullahs can cause severe health related troubles. This populace can barely feel the fresh breeze of the morning and they also fail to see the first light as they are so overly crammed in extremel
  • Infrastructural Deficit
    ‘School for government’! The graffiti was written on the wall of one of the government lower primary schools in the hill districts of Manipur. It was written in dark charcoal. A dilapidated structure standing in the middle of the village; the walls are gone; so have the tin roofs and the floorings of the four room structure. Few shabbily clothed children were freely running through the structure. It is difficult to tell whether their parents dressed them that way or the sch
  • What does President Barack Obama really believe?
    Quick quiz: In one sentence, describe FDR's political philosophy. Good, now summarize Reaganism. Pretty easy, right?OK, do the same for President Obama. Still thinking? Don't worry, Mr. Obama is, too. And that's bad news for all of us. Because no matter how you feel about Obama, his lack of clear philosophical values is not only a political problem for Democrats but a moral problem for America.Ad hoc balancingIt didn't start like this. Obama surfed into the White House on a wave of see
  • Martin Luther King & the Palestinians
    Today, January 17th an American holiday commemorating the birthday of Martin Luther King (January 15th) the famous Oprah Winfrey’s show played clips of older shows that dealt with racism and discrimination against black African Americans in the US. The bigotry, elitism, discrimination, racism and hate crimes of white Americans against African Americans reminded me of the bigotry, elitism, discrimination, racism and hate crimes of World Zionists and Jewish Israelis against Arabs i
  • It's time to expand the UN Security Council. But who gets a seat?
    During his Asian trip last November, President Obama expressed support for installing India as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the power center of the international body. It was an intelligent proposal for enlarging a critical UN institution whose membership (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France) has remained unchanged for decades. But it is not a question of adding one worthy nation. It must come as part of a major rearrangement.This
  • Brazil to step up plans for disaster preparedness
    The Brazilian government said on January 18 that it would accelerate efforts to devise a national system for preventing disasters and alerting the population quickly when they occur, in response to the deadly landslides in the state of Rio de Janeiro last week that killed at least 710 people. President Dilma Rousseff met with ministers and announced the government's plan to improve its disaster readiness, which will include maps of high-risk areas, better training and improved collecti
  • Letting Go Takes Love
    To let go does not mean to stop caring,it means I can’t do it for someone else.To let go is not to cut myself off,it’s the realization I can’t control another.To let go is not to enable,but allow learning from natural consequences.To let go is to admit powerlessness, which meansthe outcome is not in my hands.To let go is not to try to change or blame another,it’s to make the most of myself.To let go is not to care for,but to care about.To let go is not to fix,bu