Death of a public sector industry

In the era of free market enterprise and acute competition a state undertaking can hardly survive with its rules-ridden administration and lack of flexibility in marketing its products No wonder, the state units are also feeling the heat and one of them had succumbed only recently.

The Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) factories manufacturing wrist watches are all, barring one, going to be closed down. All of them are in pretty bad shape, some are not even able to pay their employees’ salaries on time. The death knell of this public sector company was sounded by liberalisation of the economy as also by technological advancement. That it survived for more than two decades after liberalisation of the economy says much about its intrinsic strength.

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Former Catholic Brother to be Sent to Australia to Face 250 Charges of Sexually Abusing Children






A High Court judge today backed a decision by the New Zealand Government to extradite a former Catholic brother to Australia to face 250 charges of child-sex abuse charges.

Australia requested the extradition of Bernard Kevin McGrath, 66, in November 2012 alleging that he raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at one of Australia’s most prominent Catholic religious orders – the St John of God Brothers between 1977 and 1986. According to court evidence the institution which specialized in accommodating boys, many of whom had intellectual disabilities, had an entrenched culture of sexual abuse.

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Ambivalence is Key: A Review of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please

Amy Poehler’s Yes Please has been the recipient of good and bad press, but also characterized by the stifling expectation to be funny. Predated by Tina Fey’s Bossypants and often compared to Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, readers had high expectations of Poehler’s inaugural memoir; it has even been heralded as the “best non-self help book”.

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Sydney Siege Gunman – a Muslim Refugee

The Sydney siege gunman who took 17 people hostage for sixteen hours at a Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday has been identified as 49 year old, Iranian-born Man Haron Monis. He was a Muslim who was given refugee status in Australia when he arrived there in 1996. Iranian media have identified him as Mohamad Hassan Manteghi, a former Shiite cleric who changed his name when he moved to Australia.

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By Gage Skidmore (Flickr: John Boehner) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (

House Leader Boehner Opposes E-Cigarette Ban

Photo courtesy of flickr user Gage Skidmore via wikimedia commons
The electronic cigarette industry is a booming business for individuals who are trying to give up smoking or simply want to get away from the smell that is associated with traditional cigarettes. Recently, Speaker of the House John Boehner, a user of e-cigarettes himself, is opposing measures that would strictly regulate the devices, citing concerns that it will hurt the industry.

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K. Satchidanandan on V T Nandakumar.


K. Satchidanandan, previous year’s Nobel nominee for poetry; the author’s brother-in-law.

V T Nandakumar was a writer caught between heaven and Hades.

I stood witness to the ashes that were once Nandettan, floating over one of the tiny lakes, scattered as shattered memories of the pristine immensities of Bharatha Puzha in Thiru Navaaya. Along with my sister, brother and the children of Nandettan. I don’t know what was the final prayer those ashes made to that liquid Sita, which kept on threatening in silkened soft voice to vanish underneath. Was it, take my hand and lead me into the secrets of earth? Or, perhaps, sour my sublime soul to the unknowns beyond the skies?

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A mishap to ponder over.

One night, in my hometown, on the highway, a scooter was hit and run over by a car. There were two passengers on it – a man and his son. The time was seven in the evening. As the man lay there bleeding to death, the second-grader child tried to thumb down every vehicle passing that way. No one bothered and sped past. Finally, a man in a car stopped after four hours and helped take him to a hospital. By that time, the victim was dead.

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