Recently, a fundamentalist cleric from J&K issued a fatwa against the first all girl rock band from the valley. Before that, the band also faced threats on their Facebook page. It was heartening to learn that state Chief Minister himself reacted promptly on Twitter against those involved in these acts, but more needs to be done. Freedom of Speech and Expression ( under Article 19) and Right to Life and Liberty (under Article 21)are guaranteed as fundamental rights in our constitution. Further, such incidents put India in a bad light which as a liberal democracy is striving towards a uniform civil code under Directive Principles for all its citizens irrespective of their race, religion and creed. State should deal with such self-styled moralists with tougher hand so that it doesn't paint itself as a mute spectator and in turn indirectly encourage fanatics to repeat their misdeeds.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Anna yesterday reiterated that he won't support Kejriwal's party. Millions others also think like him. They would love to support movement of Kejriwals, but not their political party. The reason - politics is dirty and by corollary, those who are in (or want to enter) politics must also be dirty. This misplaced reductionist approach is surely hurting the honest reformist efforts of a few spirited people who have dared to challenge the stalwarts of Indian politics. It's the gross skepticism of masses that stereotypes torchbearers like Kejriwal. Bigger challenge before nation is not corruption, nepotism or dirty politics, but lack of enthusiast nationalist who can champion the cause of nation, rise above their narrow self interests and decide what is good for nation as a whole is good for them also.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Recently, Kamal Hasan threatened to leave Tamil Nadu after much heartburn over disruption of release of his movie and subsequent apathy of state government and antagonism of some fanatics. In India, over-powering of state institutions by vested interest groups has almost become a fashion. Statutory bodies are found to kept hostage illegally by such groups and state remains a mute spectator. In such a frustrating situation, one may find approaching judiciary as the only way out, but doing so in a frequent manner raise questions about the very existence of statutory bodies and their competence. Government should put its foot down in wake of such sundry protests and should refrain from taking a soft stance so that such acts are not encouraged in future.
Monday, January 28, 2013
One of the Delhi rape accused who is barely a few months short of being a 'major' has been declared a 'minor/juvenile' by the Juvenile Justice Board. This has enraged the whole nation, but at the same time highlights another contentious issue of the definition of the word 'minor' itself. In India, more than 10 different legislations define 'Child' or 'Juvenile' in as many different ways. While labor laws consider only the ones who are below 14 years as children, armed forces take this age as 16 years for enlistment. Indian Penal Code on the other hand under section 83 considers anyone above 12 years as fit for taking criminal responsibility, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act even mentions different ages at which one becomes an adult depending upon sex (18 & 21 for females and males) and to cap it all there is no defined age anywhere in law for sexual consent!!! This is not peculiar of definition of 'minor' alone. Our country has zillion of overlapping and contradictory archaic laws which have complicated the justice delivery mechanism. Simplifying such a web of laws is also one of the recommendations of Justice Verma Committee and the various law commissions in past as well.
Friday, January 25, 2013
गणतंत्र दिवस or Republic Day signifies the day we declared our nation as the one which is ruled by its people. After adoption and enactment of constitution on 26th November 1949, India was declared a republic and constitution was put into full force on this day in 1950. A 'Republic' is different from a 'Monarchy' (as in UK) or other form of polity as head of state is directly or indirectly elected by people themselves. Will of people is supreme in a republic. Today, however, will of people has been marginalized and a few power-mongers are calling the shots in every sphere of socio-political life. Oligarchy is becoming the de-facto governing system. Time is ripe for reclaiming the republic character once again. Jai Hind!!
Barely a day before BJP's election for its presidential post, IT department raided on the shell companies of its the then president Nitin Gadkari. Gadkari has to pull back his nomination after the internal ruckus that followed in the party and post-elections a miffed Gadkari declared that 'Jo officers involved the unko dekh lenge power mein aane ke baad...' If the raid was politically motivated, it may well prove suicidal for Congress as it provided BJP an opportunity to get rid of its black sheep which BJP itself could not do after best of its internal squabbling. This might put BJP on a moral high ground when it will attack Congress on corruption in next elections as well as strengthen its internal organisation in preparation for 2014 Loksabha elections.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
West Bengal Chief Minister said that she can't 'beat' PM (as only Soniaji has that privilege) to get grant for funds for the state. She, later, claimed to have been quoted out of the context (while the already scared Manmohanji took a sigh of relief). The incident highlights the way in which our netalog use their jubaan without putting any lagaam and how they can still go un-reprimanded. Same Mamta Banarjee has violated the fundamental right to expression by ordering arrest of cartoonists and writers in the past for the crime of writing against her, but has herself reserved all the rights of even over-expression. In past Sushil Kumar Shinde, Digvijay Singh etc have given some other illustrious examples of bad tasted comments.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Scheduled Tribes (ST) 7.5%
Other Backward Class (OBC) 27%
Gandhi family in Indian politics 100%
Reservation as an affirmative step for the victims of thousands years of atrocities of Caste system and other kinds of social stratification was indeed much needed at the time of independence. Today, however, when there is a time for government to introspect fruits of 65 years of reservation policy government is unfortunately looking exactly in opposite direction. At center, Congress wants to appease minorities, in states like Haryana government is ready to kneel in front of mighty 'jaat' votebank. Internally, Congress has already filled 100% quota for Gandhi family for top posts. The time is ripe to have a re-look at structural aspects, rather than giving the sections of population the crutches of reservation. Will reservation be required at all if quality education is given to everyone, poverty alleviation and social security programs are run without corruption? No. It will lead to disappearance of backwardness (and of votebank too!!) and ruling parties are too unwilling to do that.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Congress convened its 'Chintan Shivir' in Jaipur. It is more than a mere coincidence that in the promotional posters and hoardings, Rahul Gandhi's picture was omnipresent and later Gandhi dynasty scion was also appointed as Vice-President (which was pre-planned rather than, as declared, a democratic selection) all in name of the virtues that Rahul Baba possesses on account of being a 'Gandhi'. It again highlighted the political and moral bankruptcy of Congress party which is trying to foist him on Janta of this largest democracy as a 'natural choice'. Janta is very much aware that his 'poverty tourism', media exposure and sycophantic chants of Digvijay Singh Co. in praise of Rahul Baba etc is mere a sham to justify the dynastic rule of Congress.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
CBI Court held former Haryana CM Chautala & Sons guilty of JBT Teachers' Recruitment Scam after 10 years along with some 50 others. This is a welcome step as it shows that none is above law. While the convicted party may cry hoarse that CBI is being politically utilised, the fact remains that Chautala and Sons had acted in a high handed manner in past and some even say that they didn't even spare MLAs leave alone Aam Aadmi. 'Chautala ke farmhouse par MLA ki jamkar kutai' was an often heard statement among local Haryanvis. Another important facet of this case is that it deals with the root cause of corruption. When recruitment is not transparent, it sows seeds of corruption in the impressionable minds of the new incumbent public officials on one hand and fills the public at large with despair and dejection towards system on the other. Recruitment is bedrock of a clean system and the verdict on punishment which is due on 22nd January 2012 should set a benchmark for future perpetrators also.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Last year a Mumbai based businessman purchased a few memorabilia of Gandhiji from an auction in UK. A few days back the items arrived in India (which also include Gandhiji's blood stained grass and soil). But the irony is that these items were declared taxable by government even after the businessman declared that they are only for public purpose. The items were later handed over to social activist Anna Hazare and will be displayed all over the country in tours to promote Gandhian Philosphy. This also cannot deter taxman and Rs 20 Lakh worth of duty had to be paid before the belongings of Gandhiji could be showcased in his own country !!
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Sangam or the confluence of the three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and the now extinct Saraswati - is one of the most sacred places of Hindus where Maha-kumbh mela is organised after every 12 years. Today, these rivers need to be protected from a different demon altogether - the demon of pollution. PM on inception of the mela declared that polluters will be stringently punished. However, it is ironical that he himself chairs the supreme authority NGRBA (National Ganga River Basin Authority) that is responsible for keeping the holy river clean and he has convened its meet only three times since it was formed in 2009 when Ganga was also declared as 'National River'. Similarly, earlier Ganga Action Plans, precursor to NGRBA, and Yamuna Action Plan had also failed to impress despite draining thousands of crores literally. Pollution is a threat to not only the fauna of rivers, but also to the health of pilgrims.
Monday, January 14, 2013
UPA gvernment in its second innings has earned much infamy by successive revelations of scams and unprecedented inflation despite otherwise tall claims. While it is hell bent on saving pennies on subsidies, ration etc that is given to the poor, but shamelessly fritter away thousands of crores in ill conceived projects, red-tapism and corruption. Gandhi was opposed to the idea of continuation of Congress as a political outfit and Nehru too reflected on quitting Prime Ministership in his second term. On other hand the present government is too willing to bask in its reflected past glory, but too unwilling to take positive steps to improve social, political and economic health of this nation and its decisions are characterized by obstinance, shamelessness and what not.