Interviews

Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General of India, interviewed by Anuradha Raman (The Hindu)Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General of India, interviewed by Anuradha Raman (The Hindu)

-The Hindu The former Attorney General about recent landmark judgments of the Supreme Court, the credibility of the court, and the sedition law Former Attorney General of India, Soli Sorabjee, was given the Padma Vibhushan 15 years back for his defence of the freedom of expression and protection of human rights. Now, at 87, Mr. Sorabjee says he is looking forward to making his arguments in a pending case on Aadhaar. Excerpts from a wide-ranging interview: * What are the implications of the Supreme Court’s privacy judgment on Section 377 of the IPC (that criminalises homosexuality)? I think Section 377 is very questionable now in light of the privacy judgment. The Supreme Court overturned a very good judgment by the Delhi High Court, which had struck down Section 377. In view of the unanimous privacy judgment of the court, it is clear that what you drink and eat and whom you consort with cannot be...

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Himanshu, an associate professor in economics at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, interviewed by Nitin Sethi (Scroll.in)Himanshu, an associate professor in economics at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, interviewed by Nitin Sethi (Scroll.in)

-Scroll.in JNU professor Himanshu says the economic slowdown is not the result of a one-off event like demonetisation, the slump began almost two years ago. The economy is in a trough. The first quarter of 2017-2018 saw the growth of gross domestic product (the total value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year) drop to 5.7% from 7.9% in the corresponding period last year – the lowest rate in the three years the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has been in power. The Index of Industrial Production for July released on Tuesday came in at 1.2%, after contracting 0.2% in June, showing that manufacturing has not picked up. On the same day, the Consumer Price Index showed that the inflation rate had risen to a five-month high of 3.4%. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley acknowledged that the GDP numbers for the April-July quarter were of concern. But then, BJP...

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Lucas Chancel, economist working on inequality, interviewed by Sanjay Vijayakumar (The Hindu)Lucas Chancel, economist working on inequality, interviewed by Sanjay Vijayakumar (The Hindu)

-The Hindu The top 1% of earners captured less than 21% of total income in the late 1930s, before dropping to 6% in the early 1980s and rising to 22% today, says renowned economist Lucas Chancel According to a research paper by renowned economists Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel, income inequality in India is at its highest level since 1922, the year the Income Tax Act was passed. In December, they will release the first ‘World Inequality Report’ where they will compare India’s inequality trajectory with other emerging, industrialised and low-income countries and suggest ways to tackle global and national inequality. In an e-mail interview, Lucas Chancel discusses the findings of the paper titled ‘Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?’ Excerpts: * Can you summarise key findings of the paper? According to our benchmark estimates, the share of national income accruing to the top 1% income earners is now at...

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Justice (retd) KS Puttaswamy, original petitioner in the right to privacy case, interviewed by Avinash Bhat (The Hindu)Justice (retd) KS Puttaswamy, original petitioner in the right to privacy case, interviewed by Avinash Bhat (The Hindu)

-The Hindu Original petitioner welcomes Supreme Court verdict on privacy The original petitioner in the right to privacy case is a happy man after Thursday’s verdict from the Supreme Court. In 2012, Justice (retd) K.S. Puttaswamy had approached the apex court as petitioner in a case which has seen several landmark judgments. While the Court will still hear the case on the use of Aadhaar, the judgment by the nine-judge bench delivered on Thursday deals with the larger issue of the right to privacy of an individual and its classification as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Hindu spoke to Justice (retd) Puttaswamy following the verdict. * How will the judgment of the Supreme Court change the life of an individual citizen? So far, the right to privacy has been denied and people had not experienced it. The concept of privacy of an individual and its progress with this...

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MS Swaminathan, father of India's Green Revolution, interviewed by Vidya Venkat (The Hindu)MS Swaminathan, father of India's Green Revolution, interviewed by Vidya Venkat (The Hindu)

-The Hindu Fifty years since the Green Revolution, the architect of the reform highlights the crisis facing Indian agriculture today It is 11 years since agronomist M.S. Swaminathan handed over his recommendations for improving the state of agriculture in India to the former United Progressive Alliance government, at the height of the Vidarbha farmer suicides crisis, but they are still to be implemented. To address the agrarian crisis and farmers’ unrest across the country, he urged the government to take steps to secure farmers’ income. As India marks 50 years of the Green Revolution this year, the architect of the movement says sustainability is the greatest challenge facing Indian agriculture. Excerpts: * The greatest challenge facing Indian agriculture 50 years back was achieving self-sufficiency in foodgrain production. What is the greatest challenge today? There are two major challenges before Indian agriculture today: ecological and economical. The conservation of our basic agricultural assets such as...

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