India Insight

from Photographers' Blog:

Born free

September 20, 2011

By Adnan Abidi

The joy of being born in a free country is a gift I received from those who sweat and bled in the struggle for Indian Independence. I accept the fact that I do very little to appreciate that gift. The most I do is fly a kite on August 15th, like many others. Quite a few of my fellow 'post-independence born' countrymen have little clue about the struggles our martyrs undertook to achieve what, today, we enjoy with much ingratitude. Freedom has been taken for granted.

Technology – India’s quiet anti-corruption crusader

September 9, 2011

Technology, not protest marches, might be the biggest eradicator of corruption in India where under-the-table bribes thrive in the world of face-to-face transactions. Many facets of India’s government still operate in Dickensian offices where floor-to-ceiling stacks of paper files can provide good cover and easy excuses for “delays” that only a sweetener of a few hundred rupees can cut through.

VIDEO: Reactions to Anna Hazare’s agitation

August 22, 2011

Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption united tens of thousands of people across India. The social activist is now recovering from the near-two week fast in his home village of Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra. But the government still faces the challenge of passing the Lokpal Bill. Reuters spoke to a few people on the streets to get a sense of what the common man thinks about the anti-corruption debate.

Defining democracy: the challenge on Independence Day

August 15, 2011

As India celebrates her 65th Independence Day, a potential spat between the government and members of so-called “civil society” raises important questions about the dichotomy in a democracy.

Graft charges bite as Mayawati eyes polls

By Reuters Staff
August 10, 2011

By Annie Banerji

While the government of India announced austerity measures in July to rationalise its expenditure in an attempt to meet its fiscal deficit target, the chief minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh didn’t seem to get the message.

PM, Sheila Dikshit caught in the eye of another storm

By Reuters Staff
August 8, 2011

By Annie Banerji

With greying hair, humbly garbed in a sari and a smile that adorns her grandmother-like appearance, 73-year-old Sheila Dikshit finds herself in the spotlight over the Comptroller & Auditor General’s (CAG) report, right after combating the Shunglu Committee report.

Is the world’s largest democracy yielding to politicians before its citizens?

By Reuters Staff
August 2, 2011

By Annie Banerji

One would think India would be able to have a parliament worthy of its name to represent the world’s largest democracy.

Civil society points finger at PM in 2G scandal

By Reuters Staff
June 24, 2011

By Annie Banerji

He can run, but he definitely cannot hide. The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to release information regarding correspondence between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former telecom minister A Raja related to the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, which caused a loss of up to $39 billion to the national exchequer, in response to an applicant under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

M.F. Husain, Swami Ramdev and the world’s largest democracy

June 9, 2011

M.F. Husain, India’s most famous modern artist, died at the age of 95 this morning, not in Maharashtra, his home state, nor New Delhi, where many of his ground-breaking works were exhibited, but in London, where he lived in exile with Qatari citizenship. The ‘Picasso of India’ has for five years felt unable to live and work in his country of birth.