Trampling on grassroots: On T.N. local body polls

Three years after they fell due in 2016, rural local bodies in Tamil Nadu will witness elections in the last week of this month. And, barring any further judicial intervention, urban local bodies are also likely to have elected representatives early next year. It is a travesty of the law that these elections have been delayed. Cities, towns and villages have been under the rule of unelected officials for too long. Under a Supreme Court order, polls for all local bodies will have to be held, except in those districts that have been divided recently to create new ones. It is the first time since local self-government became the third tier of governance under the Constitution that polls have not been held on time in T.N. — timely elections were held every five years since 1996. Administrative lapses and political litigation over ward delimitation in various local bodies in accordance with the latest population figures in the 2011 Census resulted in the unprecedented delay. Originally

Shooting in Pensacola: On Saudi aviation student’s crime

The deadly shooting at Florida’s Pensacola Naval Air Station by a Saudi aviation student that killed three and injured eight others is a fresh challenge to the Saudi authorities who are trying to remake the kingdom’s image after a series of recent setbacks. U.S. federal investigators say they are yet to establish the gunman’s motive, but some lawmakers have already claimed it was an act of terror. The suspect, Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, who had been training in the U.S. for two years, had watched mass shooting videos a week before Friday’s assault, say investigators. A Twitter handle that is believed to have belonged to him called the U.S. a “nation of evil” and blamed it for “crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity”. This is not the first time a Saudi national is attacking Americans inside the U.S. Fifteen of the 19 al-Qaeda-linked terrorists behind the September 11, 2001 attacks, were Saudi citizens. But U.S.-Saudi relations have deepened over the years despite the 9/11

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Black day Rajiv Gandhi moments before he was killed by a suicide bomber in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai.
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