In what is most likely the last cabinet reshuffle for the UPA-II government before the 2014 general elections, 22 ministers were sworn in at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Sunday.
There is a workshop near my home in Noida, east of Delhi, where sculptors mould clay into idols of Hindu gods and goddess all through the year for festivals. These occasions mean brisk business for the craftsmen, who work in a makeshift hut covered by tin sheets. The idols sell for 500 to 700 rupees, depending on the size.
The idols of the goddess Durga and other characters in her story are being built because the Durga Puja is only a week away. I asked the people in the workshop if I could shoot, and they gave in after a bit of persuasion. The pictures that follow are of these craftsmen painting the idols of Durga.
Images of a bespectacled, bearded and tousle-haired young man, waving his arms in defiance as police tried to shove him into a car, have taken Indian media by storm.
The arrest of Aseem Trivedi on charges of sedition for having drawn satirical cartoons, including one that depicts the parliament building as a lavatory buzzing with flies, is being seen as an attempt to stifle the freedom of speech and expression, a fundamental right under the Indian constitution.
Passions are running high in parliament and the stakes are huge. The contentious issue of reservation is back to haunt Indian politics and it may well decide who runs the next government in the world’s largest democracy. Sparks were seen flying in the upper house on Wednesday when two MPs from rival parties came to blows during the tabling of a bill to amend the Constitution, providing for reservations in promotions at work for backward castes.
The issue, however, is nothing new. Reservation is a recurring theme in India’s democracy. And Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s embattled government seems to be returning to identity politics at a time when it is badly cornered, thanks to a string of corruption scandals, a ballooning fiscal deficit and low investor sentiment.
Imagine this: some tourists, from India and abroad, fly to Jammu and Kashmir, and are eager to escape the confines of Srinagar airport and to get themselves a lungful of that pristine Himalayan air.
Upon arrival, they are advised to visit the official clothier’s outlet of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department before they hit the
streets. They need to make a stop there so they can shed any “objectionable” attire and don a traditional pheran to respect the “local ethos and culture” of India’s northernmost state.
For a politician whose party’s symbol is a bicycle and who used the “aam aadmi’s” (common man’s) mode of transport for an election rally, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has stoked all the wrong emotions with a proposal to let lawmakers buy cars using up to 2 million rupees (about $36,800) from their local area development funds.
Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have panned the chief minister’s proposal, one that would cost the state exchequer 806 million rupees ($14.6 million) — in case all 403 lawmakers in the state assembly buy cars priced at 2 million rupees each.
CHENNAI, India (Reuters) – The “thump” is gone, but sales are booming. Royal Enfield, a 119-year-old Anglo-Indian motorcycle maker with a cult following, has brought its distinctive bikes into the modern era with new and quieter engines and can’t make them fast enough to meet demand.
The once-sleepy company sold 74,600 motorcycles in 2011, a 40 percent increase, all made at its 57-year-old factory in Chennai, and is spending $30 million this fiscal year in a push to double capacity and upgrade manufacturing technology.
CHENNAI, India, April 20 (Reuters) – The “thump” is gone,
but sales are booming.
Royal Enfield, a 119-year-old Anglo-Indian motorcycle maker
with a cult following, has brought its distinctive bikes into
the modern era with new and quieter engines and can’t make them
fast enough to meet demand.
NEW DELHI, March 9 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp
Blatter reckons “sleeping giants” India are slowly waking up to
their potential and that bids to host two world championships
are positive developments.
The head of world soccer’s governing body was on a visit to
India, which has a population of 1.2 billion people but is 158
in FIFA’s rankings.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter reckons “sleeping giants” India are slowly waking up to their potential and that bids to host two world championships are positive developments.
The head of world soccer’s governing body was on a visit to India, which has a population of 1.2 billion people but is 158 in FIFA’s rankings.