The Great Debate (India)

from For the Record:

Counting quality — not characters — in social media

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dean-150Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.

Are we too connected?

In recent days and weeks I’ve been wondering if our mobile phones, Blackberries, text messaging and constant access to email and social media have brought us too close together for our own good.

Or maybe the quality of our connected life is only as good as the information we share.

At this point, social media and microblogging phenomena like Facebook and Twitter focus on short answers to such generic questions as, “What are you doing?”

Should Rahul Gandhi join the cabinet?

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Prime Minister-elect Manmohan Singh has said he will try and persuade Rahul Gandhi, heir apparent to the Congress party, to take on a cabinet position in the new government. Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi, whose father, grandmother and great grandfather were all prime ministers, had become the most visible campaigner of Congress in the month-long election to win over Indian youth as well as millions of poor villagers.

Is this the end of the road for Advani?

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Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani’s prime ministerial ambitions were crushed when the ruling Congress-led coalition defied predictions to sweep the 2009 general election.

LAL KRISHNA ADVANIPrime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition was only about 11 seats short of an outright majority from the 543 seats at stake, according to election commission data.

from India Insight:

Women wield power in election wrangling

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With the wrangling for allies in earnest ahead of election results due Saturday, women leaders hold an inordinate amount of power in deciding who will form the new Indian government.

Women leaders have always had a role in the rough and tumble of Indian politics, from Sarojini Naidu and Annie Besant in the independence struggle to Indira Gandhi, the second woman in the world to become prime minister.

Congress or BJP – who will win?

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Poll symbols of the BJP (L) and the Congress

With just hours to go before the counting of votes, several exit polls have shown that India’s ruling Congress-led coalition is slightly ahead of the BJP-led alliance.

The probable lack of a clear winner has stoked concerns that the coalition that emerges after a month of elections may be unstable.

Who will be India’s PM?

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As election fever reaches its peak amid the counting of votes on Saturday, all eyes are now on which party will cobble up a majority and stake claim to form the new government. And who will be India’s new prime minister? Will it be –

MANMOHAN SINGH INDIA/

The father of India’s economic reforms, Singh’s image of a compromise prime minister opened him up to criticism that he took orders from Congress party boss Sonia Gandhi and he has been criticised as a weak and directionless leader.

from The Great Debate UK:

Sri Lanka’s death zone

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Donald Steinberg is Deputy President of the International Crisis Group, www.crisisgroup.org-- Donald Steinberg is Deputy President of the International Crisis Group, www.crisisgroup.org. The views expressed are his own. --

Civilians are dying by the hundreds and possibly thousands in the northeast of Sri Lanka. As government troops converge on the remaining forces of the rebel LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in a tiny strip of coastal land, tens of thousands of civilians remained trapped in the crossfire -- getting killed and maimed in large numbers both by indiscriminate army shelling and by the rebels preventing them from fleeing, with equally lethal force.

Greatest democratic show on earth to begin

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(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own.)

Uday BhaskarIf elections are the single most visible element of the democratic experience, the biggest show on earth is all set to unfold on Thursday when a large percentage of more than 700 million voters will participate in the first phase of the 15th Indian general elections to the Lok Sabha – the lower house of the Indian parliament.

from The Great Debate:

Pedro’s story still relevant today

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clinton5- Bill Clinton is founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the 42nd President of the United States. The opinions expressed are his own -

Fifteen years ago, when Pedro Zamora appeared on MTV's The Real World, he changed the face of HIV/AIDS in America.

For the first time, viewers saw an openly gay, HIV-positive young person on national television. As we followed his story each week, Pedro humanized the growing epidemic, reducing our ignorance and fears and increasing our determination to act. By living bravely and allowing MTV to show his story, Pedro set an extraordinary example of what a tremendous impact a single person can make in our world.

What I would do if I were India’s PM

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INDIA/As the world’s biggest democracy goes to polls in April and May, Reuters India gives its readers the chance to say what they would do differently if elected the country’s prime minister.

Will you speed up foreign investment projects? Will you focus more on agriculture, putting more money in the pockets of farmers? How will you tackle militancy? And what will you do vis-a-vis Pakistan?

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