- [Mar 02, 2007]
"No Patent" low cost drug for Malaria proposed
A low priced drug for malaria has been produced by a paris
based drug company Sanofi-Aventis. The world's fourth largest
drug company has decided not to seek any patents so
the pills can be freely copied by generic companies like
those in India. The company proposes to sell the drug at no
profit at less than $1 to very poor customers and $3 to $4
to wealthier ones. The pill is designed primarily for Africa,
a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.
- [Feb 26, 2007]
UN incited Bangladesh's army take over
warned the Bangladesh Army chief that if it supported
the forthcoming elections, which the UN feared would be violent,
it might lose several peacekeeping contracts. UN peacekeeping
contracts bring in $300 million a year to Bangladesh which
is significant for the poverty ridden country. The next day,
the Army chief walked into the office of Bangladesh's president
and ordered him to declare
a state of emergency, cancel the election, and install
a military-backed caretaker government.
- [Feb 24, 2007]
Novartis throttling AIDS relief operations in developing
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is challenging the Indian
Governments decision to put peoples health before patents
and profits. Until 2005, India was able to produce affordable
versions of medicines which was pateneted elsewhere, since
the country did not grant pharmaceutical patents.
Indian drugs constitute one quarter of the drugs brought
by over 30 developing countries worldwide. 80% of medicines
used for the treatment of AIDS in the developing countries
come from India. Novartis is effectively trying to shut
down the pharmacy of the developing world.
India has 5.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS, according
to the United Nations, which is the world's highest caseload.
But the prevalence rate is much lower than in most of Africa.
India complied to the The World Trade Organization's (WTO)
Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
agreement in 2005. But this agreement includes provisions
to safeguard public health and India
has included only these in its patent laws.
The Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health signed in
2001 reinforced the right of individual countries to implement
Challenging the public health safeguards in the Indian Law
by Novartis will affect the access to medicines in developing
countries when the TRIPS agreement by itself has made it difficult
for India to produce affordable medicines.
Network for People with HIV/AIDS (INP+), the People's
Health Movement, the Centre
for Trade and Development (Centad), the international
medical humanitarian organisation Mèdecins
Sans Frontiéres (MSF) have all expressed their
protest on the lawsuit. They have opposed patent applications
for crucial AIDS drugs that they need to be able to access
at affordable prices. The survival of these organizations
and their effort to fight AIDS all depend greatly on winning
these patent oppositions.
forced the Novartis to abandon a similar legal action
agains the South African government in 2001.
these efforts to get Novartis to back off from India.
- [Feb 5, 2007]
Killing innocents for promotion and rewards
In the 17 year old insurgency in Kashmir, more than 60,000
people have been killed. Recently a
new trend has been observed in these killings. Police
officers have been conducting "false encounters"
and killing innocent people to claim rewards and promotions.
- [Feb 4, 2007]
Rape and ye shall marry? In India, Yes.
Rapists in India has an option now - Marry and you may get
away scot free.
Last year, a Delhi court asked a rape victim to consider a
marriage proposal from her rapist in a bid to escape conviction.
Women's groups, including the National Commission for Women
the court for even entertaining such a proposal.
- [Jan 9, 2007]
Indians offered cash prizes for marrying beneath
The Indian Government is offering 50,000 rupees to higher-caste
people who marry spouses from the lowest castes in its latest
controversial effort to dismantle the ancient Hindu social
- [Jan 6, 2007]
India's national carrier dishonours Indian Currency
Air India flights accepts only US Dollars or Dirhams on it's
flights to UAE for in-flight purchases. If being in international
territory is the reason for this, why would the tea vendor
in the departure lounge (after emigration) accept Indian Rupees?
- [Aug 9, 2006]
High priest sacked on allegations of sexual harassment
The preliminary police investigations showed that the priest
had visited a flat in Kochi and spent time with a woman.
There is a case of immoral trafficking pending against the
woman in question whom the priest had gone to meet.
This is believed to be part of the same master plan that propagated
the desecration story since the priest had opposed the move
for corrective rituals and had alleged that the story was
- [Aug 1, 2006]
Actress breached security and touched idol at Sabarimala
Controversy erupted at Sabarimala when a film actress admitted
to have entered the sanctum sanctorum and touched the celibate
idol. Earlier an astrologer had discovered that a woman had
entered the temple which was out
of bounds for females between the ages of ten to fifty
and hence desecrated it.
priest at the temple denied the allegations and maintained
that it is part of a master plan to derogate the sanctity
and popularity of the temple. It is also alleged that the
is involved in this master plan and the whole set of discoveries
by the astrologer and the ensuing
revelation by the actress was fabricated.
It is believed that as part of the master plan, the presence
of "Lord Ram" was discovered in the devaprasnam. The corrective
action proposed was to instate Lord Ram also in Sabarimala
to eventually make the believers chant "Jai Ram", the infamous
slogan that preceded the destruction
of Babri Masjid. The relevance of Sabarimala in the context
of multi-religious fabric of Kerala is the glorious camaraderie
of Lord Ayyappa and Vavaru Swami. A muslim shine that co-exists
in Sabarimala for centuries and where the hindu pilgrims paid
a customary visit was also targeted in the master plan, threatening
the centuries old secular
tradition of the temple.
- [Jul 12, 2006]
No skirts for girls in the campus
The women's commission of a state in India is considering
a ban on skirts for girls and to enforce strict dress
codes for women to prevent crimes against them.
The mindset prevails in these societies that it is the fundamental
right of a man to misbehave with a woman and it is a woman's
responsibility to protect herself.
- [Jul 05, 2006]
Girl child labourer tortured and murdered
The 10 year old girl who was caught trying on her mistress's
lipstick was tortured
and killed by an educated urban mother of three.
- [Jun 21, 2006]
Rapist escapes jail by marrying victim
A 25-year old man charged with raping a young hearing and
speech impaired woman in Chennai has escaped
conviction by marrying the victim after striking a compromise
with her family.
women rights activists who feel this could be a precedent-setting
- [May 23, 2006]
Spammers win the battle once again
In a disheartening development in the ongoing battle against
spam by computers users, a computer security company waved
a virtual white flag of surrender and closed down its
- [May 11, 2006]
Idealist politics humbles mafia rule
Former minister and prime accused in the infamous ice-cream
parlour sex scandal, IUML leader Mr. P.K Kunhalikutty was
defeated in a historic
electoral reverse by his former aide Mr. K.T.Jaleel who
was earlier expelled from the party since he began questioning
the style of functioning of the party.
- [Apr 06, 2006]
Police torture boy in custody
A 13-year-old boy taken into custody by police for alleged
theft was tortured
in a police station in Kerala.
- [Feb 25, 2006]
Show cause notices issued to hostile witnesses
In a landmark
judgment an Indian judge awarded life imprisonment to
the Best Bakery case accused but also accused perjury on the
witnesses giving a clear warning message to several other
similar cases around the country where witnesses have been
to change their statements owing to life threats.
- [Jan 10, 2006]
Parents of peace activits killed by Israeli bulldozers
Parents of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist
who was crushed
and killed by an army-driven Caterpillar bulldozer in
Gaza are suing Caterpillar for violating the Geneva Convention
and American torture laws in allowing its equipment to be
used against the Palestinian people and their homes.
There is a boycott
of Caterpillar, the company that makes the bulldozers
Israel uses to knock down Palestinian homes.
- [Jan 1, 2006]
Rigorous imprisonment for sexual harassment
A court in Kerala has issued a sentence of rigorous
imprisonment for sexually harassing a Calicut University
employee in a bus.
P.E. Usha, the mother of a 12 year old girl, received little
help from the state. For pursuing the case, even her daughter
was not left out. She
was threatened over the phone that her daughter would be kidnapped,
raped and killed. The State Women's Commission had refused
to intervene since it is a police case. Though the entire
state had been talking about Usha's case, there were few organisations
willing to support Usha.