Showing posts from July, 2011

Hyderabad Declaration for Boycott of UID/Aadhaar

Citizens Question UID Number/ Aadhaar Initiative Coorganised by Deccan Development Society National Alliance of People's Movements & Human Rights Law Network Hyderabad Declaration for Boycott of UID/Aadhaar Meeting at Hyderabad on July 30, 2011, we the citizens of Hyderabad join citizens from other parts of India in voicing our loudest protest against UID/Aadhaar Number and demand its scrapping, since we view it as one of the most intrusive, coercive and anti democratic acts of the Government of India. We believe that the UID Aadhaar heralds the emergence of a surveillance state and goes against the very grain of the largest democracy in the world. We underline several of the intimidative aspects of the current UID/Aadhaar initiative. Firstly Aadhaar was billed as a totally voluntary provision. But it has ceased to be anything but voluntary. Today we confront the fact that whether we want to buy a cooking gas or purchase our PDS grains, Aadhaar becomes the basis

Why Nandan Nilekani could lose his job

Why Nandan Nilekani could lose his job The old maxim, 'If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear' has been given a very public burial. Database State, a report from the United Kingdom states, 'In October 2007, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs lost two discs containing a copy of the entire child benefit database. Suddenly issues of privacy and data security were on the front page of most newspapers and leading the TV news bulletins. The millions of people affected by this data loss, who may have thought they had nothing to hide, were shown that they do have much to fear from the failures of the database state.' Who is afraid of scrutiny in a context where corporate contributions to political parties are all set to be raised to 7.5 per cent from the existing 5 per cent of the average net profits during the three immediately preceding financial years? Let us first identify the donors of political organisations before identifying the residents of I

Parliamentary Standing Committee to Discuss Unique Identification (UID) Bill today

Parliamentary Standing Committee to Discuss Unique Identification (UID) Bill today Citizens to Deliberate on Threat to Human Rights, Natural Resources and National Security Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by Shri Yashwant Sinha is meeting today in the Lok Sabha Secretariat to hear testimony on National Identification Authority of India Bill (NIAI), 2010. This Bill an after thought because Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was created in January 2009 through a notification of Planning Commission, not through any ordinance. Even before the passage of the NIAI Bill MoUs have bee signed and contracts awarded. The MoUs signed by most States and Partners with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is available here: Some of the contracts awarded are available here:

Norwegian Killer's Manifesto Talks of "Uniqueness" and "Identification" like UID

Press Note Norwegian Killer's Manifesto Talks of "Uniqueness" and "Identification" like UID New Delhi: In a letter to the re-constituted Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) has drawn the attention of its members towards the manifesto titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence” that has been brought out by the Norwegian gunman and neo-Crusader, Anders Behring Breivik who carried out the heinous attacks on his fellow citizens and his repeated reference to "identification". CFCL has pointed out that this manifesto refers to the word "identity" over 100 times, "unique" over 40 times and "identification" over 10 times. There is reference to "state-issued identity cards", "converts’ identity cards", "identification card", "fingerprints", "DNA" etc. The "unique identity"

"Culture of Silence" in the News Industry

Address of the Hon'ble Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari at the Bhashayi Patrakarita Mahotsav 2011 (Prabhash Prasang) on 15th July 2011 at Indore, Madhya Pradesh July 15, 2011 Indore It gives me immense pleasure to be visiting Indore and inaugurating the Bhashayi Patrakarita Mahotsav organised by the Indore Press Club to commemorate the 75th Birth Anniversary of distinguished journalist Late Shri Prabhash Joshi. Joshi ji's career and life serve as a shining example worthy of emulation by all journalists. He was not only a distinguished editor but represented the voice of the people. He used simple language and local idiom to communicate the issues of the masses. He was a strong votary of ethics and transparency in media. His approach was summed up in a pithy observation: Sabki khabar le, sabki khabar de. Friends We have been witness in recent years to rapid, and unprecedented, changes in our society, economy and polity. These have al

Murdochs Run a Family Business

News Corporation is a family business Terry Smith Murdoch is protected from angry investors by an obscenely nepotistic shareholding structure Last week while I was in New York, I had the unusual experience of being interviewed about the implications of the phone-hacking scandal in the newsroom of Fox News for Sky TV. So I was being interviewed in the centre of Rupert Murdoch's news empire in America for the satellite TV channel where his son James is chairman and in which, at least until last week, his News Corp master vehicle was trying to buy out the outside shareholders. What happened in the interview was revealing about some aspects of this scandal which have yet to come into full focus. In my view, the Sky News interviewer, Anna Jones, demonstrated a pro-Murdoch bias. I suggested to her that, as the CEO of a public company, I think the shareholders would have had me fired if I had indulged in the following: 1 Paid $580m (£360m) for MySpace and then sold it for $35m (£22

Indian Media & Murdoch Phenomena

Why none of this would happen here Our media as an institution is in the business of raking in money rather than handing it out for stories. And our politicians do not hold the media to account here. They accept that it is always supposed to be the other way around. SEVANTI NINAN on the take away for India from the Murdoch story What is the take away for us, the Indian press and our TV channels keep asking, as they stay riveted to the unspooling of the Murdoch empire’s crimes of commission. There are facetious replies to that as well as serious ones. First, it is unlikely to happen here because our media as an institution is in the business of raking in money rather than handing it out for stories. The hacking on a industrial scale also involved bribing or payouts on the same scale, and which of our tight fisted proprietors would authorize that? Or sanction humongous enough budgets to make it possible? Whether it is paid news, or succumbing to the corporate blandishments of a

Murdoch’s American Scandals

With Rupert Murdoch’s empire engulfed in scandal in the U.K., Michael Tomasky asks whether the trail of wrongdoing could end up consuming the mogul’s many holdings in the U.S. by Michael Tomasky | July 17, 2011 The question every right-thinking American is asking: Is there any chance, please, that this electrifying Murdoch scandal will spread with full force to America? Pleasing as it is to see Rebekah Brooks arrested, she’s not responsible for helping to ruin my country. So I’m not really feeling it like I would if I had the pleasure of seeing Roger Ailes perp-walked into the Midtown South precinct. Alas, I wouldn’t bet on it spreading (beyond Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton, who resigned last week). Fox News and the New York Post commit innumerable sins, but illegal phone-hacking or some kindred behavior seems to me unlikely to be among them. Still, we can dream. Here are three ways the scandal might come stateside. First, there are the Dan Cooper allegations. Cooper is a former Fox e

Fifth summit conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians

The four-day conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The themes chosen for discussions at the conference include 'Consolidating Democracy, Strengthening trust between Parliament and People, and Sustainable Development in SAARC Countries - The Way Forward'. Full text of the PM's speech at the 5th Conference of Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians: “I warmly welcome all the distinguished delegates at the Fifth Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians in India. I extend a special welcome to the delegates from Afghanistan, who are participating in this Conference for the first time. South Asia has seen many changes since the first Conference was held in 1995. The winds of democracy have swept across the length and breadth of South Asia. In some cases, there has been a peaceful transition from an old order to a new one. In some, the end of war and conflict has opened new opportunities for political accommodation

UPA’s crumbling credibility

By E A S Sarma 11 Jul 2011 10:43:00 PM IST UPA’s crumbling credibility If the executive wantonly chooses to commit improprieties and abets illegalities, it cannot find fault with its legal advisers for not defending it successfully. Gopal Subramaniam’s offer to resign from the office of solicitor general of India is certainly a wake up call to the prime minister and his colleagues on the manner in which the UPA government has conducted its affairs during the last seven years. The resignation of the second highest legal officer of the government comes in the wake of a series of cases before the apex court in which the government’s actions have come under judicial scrutiny for good reasons. But for the intervention of the apex court , the people of this country would never have known the enormity of the loss to the exchequer caused by the then telecom minister in the infamous 2G scam in which he drew strength from the silence of those who could have intervened. When the apex cou