ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by A G NooraniSubscribe to A G Noorani

The Press Council s Bill on Right to Information

The Press Council of India has prepared a draft Right to Information Bill, 1996. It is preceded by a brief explanatory note. The Bill is a step in the right direction and the Press Council and its chairman. Justice P B Sawant deserve praise for this. The Bill merits close study by the media and wide public discussion.

For Civil Libertarians

A G Noorani Civil Liberties: Cases and Materials by S H Bailey, D J Harris, B L Jones; Butterworths;

International Law and Human Rights

great leveller of individual will, pronouncing the exemplary mea culpa. I feel my nostrils dilate, savouring the acrid smell of gunpowder and blood, of the enemy's death; I brace my body, ready for combat, and prepare myself to be a sacred precinct within which the bestial howl of the victorious proletariat can resound with new vigour and new hope" (152).

The Citizen and Political Finance

The Citizen and Political Finance A G Noorani The Supreme Court's judgment on the petition of H D Shourie on the maintenance of audited accounts by political parties is a powerful blow for the cause of free and fair elections. The judgment has been rightly lauded, but its nuances need to be better understood.

Kashmir Elections under Delhi-Sponsored Terrorists

Kashmir Elections under Delhi-Sponsored Terrorists ON July 15, two leading dailies published reports of pronouncements on Kashmir by two politicians neither of whom can be criticised as hostile to the government of India, let alone to Kashmir's accession to the union of India. The Indian Express published the National Conference president Farooq Abdullah's interview to Ritu Sarin in which he roundly denounced the parliamentary poll in the state as "a concocted and rigged exercise". The Times of India published a report of a press conference in Srinagar, on July 14, by Mohammed Maqbool Dar, union minister of state for home, in which he said that "the situation in Kashmir would not have improved to the extent it has but for the contribution of these counter-insurgent groups" a euphemism for the state-sponsored terrorist groups who have wreaked havoc in the state. Dar himself admitted that they had "committed gross excesses on the common people". They were sponsored with the specific purpose of making it possible to hold at least a rigged election.

Riots and State Responsibility

in agricuiture, mainly through better irrigation and multiple cropping, or of increasing the stock of viable employment opportunities outside agriculture. Rural investment should be undertaken and encouraged towards these objectives, while employment guarantee (which can be paid for through effective transfer of foodgrains as mentioned earlier) can provide the framework within which this can be done without sacrificing the immediate goal of combating poverty. For such investments to be effective in these various aspects, one option could be to give a wage subsidy equal to employment guarantee wage for each unskilled worker working on a class of well-defined investment projects. The final choice of projects should be decentralised and left in the hands of local democratically-elected bodies, to ensure better utilisation of funds and more effective delivery. Indeed, such decentralisation must be an integral part of the rural investment allocation process.

Civil Rights Movement in Sri Lanka

Civil Rights Movement in Sri Lanka A G Noorani It is a pity that there is so little interaction among civil libertarians in south Asia. Neglect of the civil rights movement in Sri Lanka by Indian media and civil rights activists is particularly indefensible.

Partition of Kashmir

Partition of Kashmir A G Noorani The Peacekeepers of Kashmir: The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan by Pauline Dawson; Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1995; Rs 350.

Landmines and Blinding Laser Weapons

Landmines and Blinding Laser Weapons INDIA has ranged itself strongly against international terrorism and has begun enlisting support from other countries. It is only another aspect of that vice, another front in the good battle for India to take keener interest and light with greater determination and clarity than it has the menace of landmines that lie scattered over very large parts of the globe and the laser weapons that are used for blinding soldiers and civilians.

The Real Situation in Kashmir

A G Noorani Heat and 'Mast' in the Valley, Committee for Initiative on Kashmir; B-10 Green
SINCE the outbreak of militancy in Kashmir six years ago, the Committee for Initiative on Kashmir has established a formidable reputation for its reports on the situation there. Readers of this journal are familiar with the excellent analyses by one of the leading members of the committee, Gautam Navlakha. This is not a report only on the destruction of the shrine at Chrar-e-Sharief on May 20, 1995 though a long part of it is devoted to an on-the-spot report following the visit to the place by a team from the committee consisting of Ashok Aggarwal, Tapen Bose, Dinesh Mohan and Gautam Navlakha. They were in Kashmir from June 25 to 30 and the report contains a careful resume of events preceding the destruction of the shrine based on first-hand reports and an incisive analysis of the various versions. The questions they pose brook no evasion.

A Sane Nuclear Policy

Indo-Pak Nuclear Standoff: The Role of the US by P R Chari; Manohar Publishers, Delhi, 1994; Rs 350.
A NATION'S sanity, as that of an individual, is put to test when the peril touches survival itself. As it is, discussions on foreign policy in India and Pakistan reek of chauvinism, dressed in self- righteous rhetoric which never succeeds in concealing double-standards. This book is an outstanding exception. It is a powerful plea for sanity in nuclear policy. What is more, it is extremely well documented and fairly sets out and analyses contrasting viewpoints. Published under the auspices of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, it is in a sense a working paper for the policy-maker and analyst. The relevant material is cited in the book, options are defined and conclusions stated. The reader who disagrees with the analysis on any point will be able to pursue the leads since nothing is suppressed from him.

Right to Assembly

Right to Assembly The Supreme Court had ruled, 20 years ago, against arbitrary power to ban public meetings. Recent instances reveal that the judgment has had little impact on the minds of governments. A reminder from the Supreme Court is overdue.

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