Violation of right to life in a MiG-21

A MIG in action. Over 6 deaths of pilots have been reported by MIG crashes in India since 2000 | Image: ibnlive.com

Squadron leader Sanjeet Singh Kalia stated in Delhi high court that “Flying a MiG-21 has resulted to violation of my fundamental right to life”.

On January 4 ,2005 when  Sanjeet was going through an exercise, his flight, a MiG-21, caught fire after the take off which he was informed by the second pilot who was flying along with him. Assessing the emergency,he promptly carried out all the essential directives and got the tyres of the aircraft down for a landing. He performed all the necessary actions in spite of the fire which engulfed the aircraft. Despite the condition, he managed to steer the aircraft away to a safer place from a crowded nearby village.

Kaila stated that following the incident he was injured and later forced to discontinue flying after a comprehensive medical examination which showed that he was suffering from cercalgia and disc bulges of vertebrates. The medical report also clearly mentioned that Sanjeet was rendered unfit for flying duties because of the incident. Kaila has claimed that he has not yet received any response for the report that he sent to the government on December 25 seeking compensation for the loss he suffered as a result of air crash. The matter was filed before the court in May 2013. Bench of justices Geeta Mittal and Deepa Sharma had issued notice to the government and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) who are the respondents in the petition.On July 16, HAL appeared through its counsel but there was no representative from the government.

The Egyptian Spring: Chapter 2

 

Protests spark revolutions, revolutions mark change but that change is sometimes an undesired product. Egypt has shown that the paradox of a protest is sometimes its only inevitable outcome. Inspired by Mohammed Bouazizi’s self immolation in front of the Tunisian parliament, Egypt rose to the global media fore demanding a change, and most West Asian ‘totalitarian’ countries followed suit in a process that came to be casually known as the ‘Arab Spring’.

When Mohammed Morsi was declared the 5th President of Egypt, the country danced to tunes of democracy after being under Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship for over 30 years. Morsi’s Freedom for Justice Party, founded during the Arab Spring, was a direct product of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its anti-capitalist, orthodox Islamic standpoint saw it win the majority’s approval and this change brought with it hopes of peace and stabilization of the nation. However, Morsi’s usurpation of unlimited power to ‘protect the nation’ did not go down too well with the public in general. To add to that, his support of passing a referendum on an Islamist supported draft constitution and the disastrous economic state of the country, opposition began gathering in numbers across Cairo and Alexandria chanting choruses of democracy and secularism.

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What is the future of Egypt? | Image source: theatlantic.com

On the 3rd of July the army staged a coup and General Abdul Fata al-Sisi removed Morsi before suspending the constitution. However, there was support for the ousted President as thousands took to the streets demanding for his reinstatement. And, as was expected, clashes broke out leaving over 60 dead amidst demands for a peaceful protest by the Muslim Brotherhood. The newly elected cabinet by the interim President Adly Mansour comprises only Liberal figures and how the pro-Islamists react to it will be a major concern. Failures leading to the blame-game have been projected around with the US receiving much of the unwanted attention. Both pro-Morsi and pro-Liberals have blamed the US for its role post the 2011 protests. Whatever be it, if one understands the pattern, the future is likely to be marred by deaths, sexual offences, huge waves of anti- establishment crimes and unwarranted counteractions.

Alaa Reqaby, a supporter of Morsi, feels that the army’s political interference is purely selfish rather than a testament to the people’s sentiments. “Mr. Morsi will be back, he will be back. Yes, we can. I want to say to Obama; Yes, we can,” said Alaa Reqaby. However, the complexity of the situation in Egypt is rather interesting because it seems as if two forms of governance are happening alternately. The current liberal form is somewhat similar to Mubarak’s anti-Islamist, pro-development (economic and social especially) style of governance. Morsi’s conservative approach served as the much needed change for many pro-Islamists who were especially against Mubarak’s stance on Israel. Obviously it was corruption that got Mubarak removed but going back to the same political pattern will spell uncertainty as is evident with the increasing support for Mohammed Morsi. Hence, when protestors like Reqaby see the rising sun everyday as a symbol of hope and peace, the more logical tangent would be a doubt which asks: ‘Where exactly is Egypt heading?’

Agents holding up Soldado deal

Roberto Soldada has scored 30 goals in 46 appearances for Valencia | Image source: skysports.com

Tottenham Hotspur have broken their transfer record to agree a fee with Valencia for Roberto Soldado, but the player’s representatives are believed to be delaying the deal.

Speaking to local media on Wednesday, club president Amadeo Salvo said “The deal with Tottenham has been completed. A problem with Soldado’s agents has come up and the player will not leave the club until a solution has been found.” This after Salvo claimed last week that Soldado would not be sold below his release clause of 26 million GBP.

Tottenham have been chasing the Spaniard’s signature for quite some time now, after an impressive last season where he scored 30 times in just 46 appearances.

Read more here.

Caste out by law

 

Protests against caste discrimination| Image source: demotix.com

One would think that the age long discrimination on the basis of caste and religion is a long forgotten rite. But recent studies give overwhelming evidence that point to the contrary. What’s even more disturbing is that these studies were conducted in the United Kingdom. The silver lining in all this though, is that on June 25th, the British parliament , UK’s sovereign body, activated clause 9 (5) (a) of equality act 2010 to outlaw discrimination on the basis of caste. Yet, British government  assented to the relevant measure only after the House of Lords had for a second time defeated the executive by insisting that the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill, included caste discrimination as a form of racial discrimination under the Equality Act.

Helen Grant, junior minister in the ministry of justice even wrote to the lobbying group, the alliance of Hindu organizations, expressing her sorrow for the passing of this bill, dismissing it on grounds of lack of evidence for the same.

Caste discrimination, studies found, has been a big part in the lives of British Asians and is a particularly strong factor when it comes to arranged marriages. Dalits are not even allowed into places of worship of the so called upper caste Hindus. The passing of the act is a ray of hope for the several dalits who have been mistreated by the law of the very country they live in.

To read more on the story, click here.

Demands for separate statehood

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Demand for a Gorkhaland | Image source: Reuters

 

Telangana’s formation has triggered a wave through states demanding the same. Mayawati, the Bahujan Samaj party’s chief, has reignited the demand to divide UP into four states. Similar incidents were reported from Assam as 20 people were reported injured in police firing and one killed. In west Bengal, the demand for a separate state in the Himalayan region also sparked off, with Gorham Janmukti Morcha reigniting the demand for Gorkhaland in Darjeeling. Bimal Gurung, its party chief has resigned from his post as chief executive of Gorkhaland territorial administration. There would be a two day respite for residents to stock up and for tourists and students to leave the hilly region and there would be an indefinite strike from Saturday onward.

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It’s now or never

Image source: telegraph.co.uk
Image source: telegraph.co.uk

With a comfortable 2-0 lead over the Baggy Greens, England seems all set to wrap up the series at Old Trafford with the Test starting tomorrow.  Though the hosts were lucky enough to stay on the safer side in the close shave first Test which they won by a mere 14 run margin, they surely lived up to prove it wasn’t a fluke at Lords, where the former champions were humiliated by a 347 run mammoth drub.

A comeback for the Aussies, from this bad a condition however looks quite improbable by the outlook of the Englishmen, however not impossible. It has actually even happened, but only once, during the 1936-37 series where Gubby Allen’s side was 2-0 up only to witness an Australian comeback at the end of the series.

Pietersen is likely to make a comeback that would boost the attitude of the squad if not anything else, as against the Aussies who needs to get their basics right. With Haddin’s buttery fingers behind the stumps and Agar’s naïve bowling, they do have a lot to worry with England’s best batsmen for the past two years, Cook and Prior yet to go all guns blazing.

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TMC triumphs in Bengal rural polls

TMC workers celebrate the victory | Image source: hindustantimes.com
TMC workers celebrate the victory | Image source: hindustantimes.com

Despite all the odds, criticisms, scams and allegations of an unruly government, it’s all green at the Bengal Panchayat elections in what seemed to be the first real test for TMC, ever since coming to power back in 2011. Having won 13 out of 17 zilla parishads, it might add up 3 more to their tally if they ally with Congress again.

Jalpaiguri is the only zlla parishad that the Left has managed to win though they are tied in 16 all with Congress, at Malda where the TMC has managed just 6. Similar is the case at North Dinajpur where the Left has 13 but cannot form the parishad alone without help from Congress which has 8 seats to 5 seats of TMC. Nadia was another district where the Left marginally failed to have it in their grasp.

Murshidabad, the stronghold for Adhir Chaudhary is the only place the Congress can boast of their existence. Besides the mammoth success in the zila parishads, the ruling party of Bengal also captured 213 out of 329 panchayat samities and 1763 out of 3215 gram panchayat seats.

However it wasn’t all clean as there were reports that around 6250 seats which went unopposed where the TMC are accused of terror tactics alleged both by the Left and the Congress.

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