News Wrap


Local Tribal people cele brated the 50th anniversary of the ‘Naxalbari movement from 23 May 2017, to mid-September 2017, in Khammam and Bhadradri-Kothagudem districts (Telengana state). Moaists intensified a poster campaign against ‘Operation Green Hunt’, which is described as a ‘‘fascist offensive’’ against people in Dandakaranya forest region. Posters written by Maosits surfaced at the busy Ambedkar Centre, in the temple town of Bhadrachalam, the tribal heartland of Telengana. The temple town is the gateway to the Dandakaranya forest belt, mainly spread in the restive Bastar region of adjoining Chattisgarh state. The Sabaricharla Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist) urged people to fight against ‘‘sand and mining mafia’’, to protect the interests of Adivasis in the agency areas. The committee has demanded that the Land Transfer Regulation (1 of 70 LTR) Act should be implemented in tribal areas, and pattas for ‘podu lands’ be distributed among tribal people.

Contempt of Courts
The Contempt of Courts Act is a draconian jurisprudence and distinct from classical Roman law. Justice C S Karnan was born in a humble dalit family, in a remote village in Cuddalore district (Tamil Nadu). As judge of the Madras High Court post 2008, he had passed strictures against the Chief Justice. When he was transferred to the Calcutta High Court in 2017, he issued an order, staying his own transfer. On 23 January 2017, Justice Karnan sent a letter to the Chief Justice of India, levelling serious charges of corruption against fellow judges, including a few from the Supreme Court and seeking an enquiry into them. The named persons in the higher judiciary have not sued Justice Karnan for civil and criminal deformation. The Supreme Court has already punished Justice Karnan twice. First on 08 February 2017 by issuing a notice, directing him to refrain from handling any judicial or administrative work. On 1 May, 2017, the Supreme Court restrained all courts and tribunals/commissions, from taking cognizance of any orders passed by Karnan, after 08 February 2017. Justice Karnan’s tenure as judge of Calcutta High Court was to have ended end-May 2017. On 09 May 2017, a hurriedly constituted seven-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court convicted Justice Karnan of Contempt of Court, without a trial, and sentenced him to six months of imprisonment. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court also on 09 May 2017, held liquor barons Vijay Mallya guilty of Contempt of Court. The smaller bench gave Mallya ample time to appear in person in Court on 10 July 2017, and make his submissions, before pronouncing any punishments.

Lay-offs in IT Sector
For the next three years, job cuts in India’s Information Sector will be between 1.75 lac and 2 lac annually, due to under-prepareducess in adapting to newer technologies. Nearly half of the workforce in the IT service firms would be irrelevant over the next three to four years. The bigger challenge for the industry would be to retrain 50 to 60% of the workforce, as there would be a significant shift in technologies. India’s IT industry employs 3.9 million people, and the majority of them have to be retrained. 30 to 40% of the workforce cannot be retrained or reskilled. If half of this workforce continues to work on old skills, then balance will become redundant. The job cuts are not expected to take place in major cities like Mumbai or Bengaluru, but cities like Coimbatore or a few remote places. The growth in digital technologies like cloud based services is happening at much faster pace. The IT companies are combining learning of some of the new technology, the most affected will be the professionals aged 35 and above, for it would be very difficult for them to get jobs. US President Donald Trump has fulfilled the election promise of giving jobs to local people, including IT professionals, by tightening H1-B visa norms, which were being misused by companies, by paying less to foreign professionals, working in the USA.

The IT industry grew on its own in India. At later stages respective state governments and the central government provided them facilities like land or special economic zones, among others.

Wars in Middle East
The seven wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somali and North-East Nigeria are continuing. ISIS and al-Qaeda are growing in the anarchic conditions. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are using their oil and gas reserves to influence events in other Middle Eastern countries, and rifts between them are altering the political environment in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. US President Donald Trump blames terrorism almost exclusively on Iran and the Shia minority in the region. But al-Qaeda has notoriously developed in the Sunni heartlands ant its beliefs and practices primarily stem from Wahabism, the sectarian and regressive variant of Islam, prevalent in Saudi Arabia. In Bahrain, where a Sunni minority rules a Shia majority, the security forces attacked the Shia village of Diraz on 24 May 2017. Diraz is home to the island’s leading Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, who recently received a one-year suspended sentence for financing extremism. Trump’s ‘‘Principled Realism’’ is a declaration of proxy war on Iran.

Vol. 50, No.11, Sep 17 - 23, 2017