POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Feb 20, 2015 AT 23:45 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 20, 2015 23:45 IST

Three of India's Nobel Laureates, coincidentally, seem embroiled in controversies almost at the same time.  

The reputation of Kailash Satyarthi and R K Pachauri is hanging on a string, while Amartya Sen's career as Chancellor remains suspended in a mesh of messy political whims.

Reason why their lives are in doldrums? The answer is pretty predictable -- money, sex and politics.

It all started with Kailash Satyarthi, the latest addition to India's Nobel hall of fame. 

A PTI report carried by Outlook reads:

Vital records of a charitable trust (Mukti Pratisthan Trust), which along with one of its trustees Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and some others is embroiled in a suit relating to alleged misappropriation of funds, have gone missing, a Delhi court has been informed.

When the court was informed about it, the judge said it would not be possible for the receiver to complete the entire report. She asked the plaintiffs, including another trustee Sheo Taj Singh, and defendants Satyarthi and Sumedha to inform the court about the place where the post-1987 records had been kept.

The court passed the direction while hearing the civil suit which alleged that the plaintiffs had come to know about embezzlement of huge sums of money belonging to the trust and expropriation of huge amounts by maintaining false accounts.

The plaint alleged that when Singh conducted an inquiry into the affairs and accounts of the trust, he came to know that "major part of the trust funds, running into huge sums of money has been spent by the defendant trustees (Satyarthi and his wife) either on foreign trips and other luxuries or have been embezzled by way of falsification of accounts".

Next came The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) chief R K Pachauri, who received the Nobel in 2007 on behalf of an international panel on climate change. One of his junior employees at TERI lodged a complaint against him for sexual harassment and the Economic Time was the first to report. The report which has been removed from the ET website says:

The complainant, who works as a research-analyst at the New Delhi-based energy think tank, has cited unwanted physical advances besides being the recipient of SMS and WhatsApp messaging, emails and a handwritten note with dates and time that began soon after she joined TERI in September 2013.
 

 According to the complainant:

On many occasions, against my wishes and despite knowing that I am totally against any such behaviour/act, Dr Pachauri has forcibly grabbed my body by hugging me, holding my hands, forcibly kissing me and touching my body in an inappropriate manner. 

Amartya Sen, before the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections in which the Modi wave swept over India, declared that he doesn't want Modi as his prime minister. 

The Hindu carried a PTI report:

"Yes, I don’t want him," Dr. Sen told CNN-IBN in reply to a question on whether he wanted him as his prime minister.

"As an Indian citizen I don’t want Modi as my PM... He has not done enough to make minorities feel safe," he said.

On being asked why he did not want so, Dr. Sen said, "He could have first of all been more secular and he could have made the minority community feel more secure." 

Amartya Sen seems to feel like it's pay back time. Recently, Sen withdrew his candidature for a second term as Nalanda University Chancellor, saying the Narendra Modi government does not want him to continue in the chair.

In a letter addressed to his colleagues, Sen wrote:

Non-action (by government) is a time-wasting way of reversing a board decision, when the government has, in principle, the power to act or not act...It is hard for me not to conclude that the government wants me to cease being the chancellor of Nalanda University after July, and technically, it has the power to do so.

This delay, as well as the uncertainty involved, is leading, in effect, to a decisional gap, which is not helpful to Nalanda University's governance and its academic progress.

I have, therefore, decided that in the best interest of Nalanda University, I should exclude myself from being considered for continuing as chancellor beyond this July, despite the unanimous recommendation and urging of the governing board for me to continue...Even though the Nalanda University Act, passed by Parliament, did not, I believe, envisage political interference in academic matters, it is formally the case -- given the legal provisions (some of them surviving from colonial days) -- that the government can turn an academic issue into a matter of political dispensation if it feels unrestrained about interfering.

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POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Feb 20, 2015 AT 23:45 IST, Edited At: Feb 20, 2015 23:45 IST
POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Feb 18, 2015 AT 23:05 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 18, 2015 23:05 IST

As other big developing markets stumble, India is emerging as one of the few hopes for global growth. This is the line the New York Times takes in an article published this week. It says while China, Brazil and Russia are struggling, it is India – with its surging stock markets, robust rupee, and with multinationals looking to expand their presence – that is the only one shining.

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POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Feb 18, 2015 AT 23:05 IST, Edited At: Feb 18, 2015 23:05 IST
POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Jan 27, 2015 AT 18:41 IST ,  Edited At: Jan 27, 2015 18:41 IST

An advertisement released by the Information and Broadcasting ministry on January 26 2015, has caused a controversy as the image of the preamble in the ad's background is seen without the words 'secular' and 'socialist'.

Congress leader and former Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari attacked the Centre on the issue, claiming the government advertisement "deleted" the two words, which was only a prelude to their "substitution" with "communal" and "corporate".

Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore, however, was quick to dismiss the charge, saying his ministry had only used an "original" picture of the Preamble as it appeared before the Amendment, to "honour" the first Preamble.

The Union Minister also claimed that the same picture had been used in an advertisement by the I&B Ministry in April 2014. Tewari had helmed the ministry at that time.

"Let me assure you, we are celebrating the 66th Republic Day, that is, we are celebrating an anniversary of the Preamble that was made way back then. The photograph that we have put is of the first Preamble that our great leaders had made at that point of time," Rathore said.

"Are we to say that the governments before 1976 were not secular? That's not the point. We were secular we will always be secular. We are honouring the first Preamble, hence this picture for the advertisement," Rathore said.

Twitterati have reacted to the ad, mostly expressing displeasure with the government:

 

 

While some have explained how the original preamble actually did not include these words and that 'secular', 'socialist' and 'integrity' were added to the Preamble in 1976 by the then government:

Meanwhile, indiaresists.com has launched an online petition condemning the 'mischievious government ad', urging social media users to protest against the ad. The petition says:

At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf
At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf
At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf
At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf
At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf
At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf
At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf
At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable. - See more at: http://www.indiaresists.com/condemn-the-mischievous-govt-ad-on-26th-january-omitting-secular-and-socialist-from-the-preamble-of-indian-constitution-petition/#sthash.zT3hGfUh.dpuf

"At the time when the people of India, and even the global community, have genuine apprehensions about the secular character of the Indian democracy, which stands threatened by a right-wing government formed with less than one-third of the popular votes, this omission is utterly condemnable."

 

(With inputs from PTI)

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POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Jan 27, 2015 AT 18:41 IST, Edited At: Jan 27, 2015 18:41 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 01, 2014 AT 18:52 IST ,  Edited At: Nov 01, 2014 18:52 IST

When Yella­p­ragada Sudershan Rao, a staunch proponent of the view that Ramayana and Mahabharata are truthful accounts of events present in the collective memory of people, known for placing primacy of faith over reason, was appointed the head of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) by the BJP-led NDA government, there was widespread dismay in academic circles, but little surprise.

But when Lokesh Chandra, the 87-year-old Indira Gandhi loyalist, with links to leaders of the erstwhile Soviet Union, was appointed president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the country’s cultural interface with the world, many eyebrows were raised.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 01, 2014 AT 18:52 IST, Edited At: Nov 01, 2014 18:52 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 15, 2014 AT 15:23 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 15, 2014 15:23 IST

The health minister Harsh Vardhan was recently in the news for his views on sex education.

EastIndiaComedy looks  'at India's attitude towards sex through a "government approved" sex education lecture.'

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 15, 2014 AT 15:23 IST, Edited At: Jul 15, 2014 15:23 IST
     
 
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