Friday, January 31, 2020

Who is the Ghaddar feeling Hurt?

  Who is the Ghaddar feeling Hurt?
By Amba Charan Vashishth

                The decision of the Election Commission (EC) of India to ban the Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur and BJP MP Parvesh Verma from campaigning for the current elections to Delhi Vidhan Sabha for 3 and 4 days, respectively, saying that it was not satisfied with the reply given by the two leaders. The EC further said that its earlier order to remove the two leaders from the list of star campaigners would also continue.  
EC direction may be heartening to some sections of political parties but it does not stand the test of being rational. It has handed out two punishments for the same ‘offence’  of having made one single statement.
Further, EC issued the January 30 order finding having  been “not satisfied with their reply”. But the first order directing their party to remove their names from the list of “star campaigners” was issued in post haste and was arbitrary because it was done without seeking an explanation from the two leaders before issuing the first order.
Goli maaro ghaddaaron ko” (kill the traitors) is a very common phrase in our day-today life and society. “Main tumhen goli maar doonga” is a phrase used even within a family when a child or wife/husband is going to commit something wrong which is not in tune with the family and society’s traditions. In cases where girls and infants have been murdered after rape, the victims and their families have always been demanding (goli maar do un gunahgaaron ko” (kill the guilty). In the notorious Nirbhaya rape and murder case, her mother has been running from pillar to post to get her daughter’s killers hanged at the earliest. Is it a crime?
In the instant case, Thakur demanded and Verma supported:”Goli maaro ghaddaron ko”. They have just demanded the killing of the traitors; they have not identified or named who are the traitors. Does the EC and the people feel that it is against law or Model Code of Conduct to demand traitors to be hanged? Identifying traitors is the function of the investigating agency and judiciary to punish the ‘traitor’.
To quote just a few cases, Maqbool Butt in J&K, Afzal Guru accused in the 2001 Parliament case, 26/11 Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, were tried and ordered to be hanged by the highest court of the country and not by the common man in the street.  It is a different matter that the common man did demand these traitors to be killed (goli maaro).  The common man is not guilty of any crime in demanding it.
A boy abducted an infant from his neighbourhood in Shimla for the purpose of ransom more than two years back. When failed, the boy killed the infant and dumped his body in a water storage tank. After a few months, the guilty boy was named and arrested. His mother was so dejected that before the Press she said: I will shoot him myself on the Mall road. Did she commit a crime by saying so?
The then Congress President while campaigning in 2019 elections to Parliament openly alleged repeatedly in a number of electoral rallies that “chaukidar chor hai” obviously meaning PM Narendra Modi who had been claiming to be a chaukidar of the nation. But, surprisingly, EC did neither take note of it and neither acted on it. Why?
Our law says that murder/rape/treason is a heinous crime and if anybody does commit such a crime he stands to be hanged or given some other punishment. Recently, a new law has been passed providing for a very high punishment or fine for breaking traffic laws. Doies our law threaten people? Our law does threaten the law-breaker but not the innocent law-abider. And so does the EC or the election law. If one is not a traitor, why should one lose one’s sleep?
There is another side of the story. The CBI has come out with a charge-sheet against former JNUSU president Kanhaiyya Kumar. But the AAP Delhi government is sitting over the matter of sanctioning his prosecution for the last about two years. A Delhi court also regretted this fact. The Delhi government should have taken a decision on merit by either sanctioning his prosecution or refusing it one way or the other. It should not have sat over the file for so long.  AAP CM knew that granting sanction or denying it will cost it losing electoral gain from one section of the people. It is a travesty of facts that this very government had been criticizing the Lt. Governor for sitting over some of its files.
In its anxiety to look impartial, EC itself has raised a question on its own image.  The EC should not only be fair and impartial, but should also appear to be so.  
  The writer is a Delhi-based political analyst and commentator

Sunday, January 26, 2020

BJP’s New National President Jagat Prakash Nadda has many FIRSTs

BJP’s New National President
Jagat Prakash Nadda has many FIRSTs

By Amba Charan Vashishth

The new unanimously elected 11th National President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which came into being on April 6, 1980 forty years ago, Shri Jagat Prskasdh Nadda has many firsts to his credit.
He is the first person from Himachal Pradesh to occupy the coveted office of the National President of a national political organization. Earlier, he was the first Working national president since June 2019. He was the first national general secretary and first member of the BJP Parliamentary Board from Himachal. In 1991 he became the person to become President of the BJP Yuva Morcha.
In 1993, he contested the Himachal Assembly election for the first time and won although the BJP lost heavily and could win only 7 seats. He also became the first person to have won the election for the first time and further elected the leader of the BJP Legislature Party in Himachal Vidhan Sabha.
          Born on December 2, 1960 at Patna (Bihar) to Shri N. L. Nadda and Shrimati Krishna, Nadda had his schooling in  St. Xaviers School, Patna. He had his graduation from Patna University. But he got his Degree in Law from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. As a child, he represented Bihar State by participating in the All India Junior Swimming Championship  held in Delhi that ignited in him the sportsman spirit.
His father was an academician who later became the Vice-chancellor of Patna University. Born and brought up in a non-political family, himself a JP (Jagat Prakash), he got fascinated by the Sampuran Kranti (Total Revolution) launched by JP (Jaya Prakash) Narain in 1973. He  “was inspired by the JP Movement to join the Chhatra Sangharsh Samiti”. That was his initiation into politics at the age of 13 as a student. He was detained for 45 days for leading a campaign for upgrading schools. Later, he got associated with the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student wing of RSS.
He earned his name in the ABVP for his organizational acumen, devotion and commitment. A senior colleague narrated that Shri Nadda was given an assignment in AVBP for which he got so much devoted that he didn’t go home for 6-7 days. The family had no knowledge where he was. Worried his father came searching for him in ABVP office at night. He was astonished to find his son Nadda sleeping on just a bedsheet on the floor.       
On 11 December, 1991Shri Nadda married Dr. Mallika, daughter of Smt. Jayshree Banerjee a former Lok Sabha member. This further strengthened his roots in national politics.
In 1991, Shri Nadda was made the national President of BJP Yuva Morcha. Two years later, to infuse fresh blood in the State politics he was asked to contest his home constituency of Bilaspur for the Himachal Vidhan Sabha.
          In 1998 he was inducted as a cabinet minister in Prem Kumar Dhumal’s BJP government with the charge of Health and Family Welfare portfolio. In December 2007 he was made Cabinet Minister for Forest, Environment, Science and Technology, Government of Himachal Pradesh in Shri Prem Kumar’s second term as Chief Minister. It was during this period that the forest cover in the State recorded an impressive expansion.
            His qualities of head and heart and organizational skills attracted the eye of the then BJP National President Shri Nitin Gadkari who in 2010 assigned him the onerous duty as BJP’s national General Secretary. He gladly preferred to quit the Himachal cabinet and serve the party organisation.
In 2012 he was elected as a Member of Rajya Sabha.
          In 2014 after BJP under Shri Narendra Modi romped home with absolute majority, a first non-Congress political party to do so in 72 years of India’s independence, his name cropped up for the post of BJP President vacated by Shri Rajnath Singh who was made the Union Home Minister. But Shri Modi inducted Shri Nadda as Health Minister and Shri Amit Shah who was instrumental in BJP winning 73 of the 80 seats in UP was made the national President.
          In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shri Nadda was in charge of UP. It was because of his skills and electoral strategy that BJP won 64 out of 80 seats, belying negative reports of election result predictors.    
          During the last organizational membership drive under Shri Amit Shah BJP earned the rare distinction of being the world’s largest political organization. In 2019 Shri Amit Shah was elected to the Lok Sabha from Gujarat. Shri Modi inducted Shri Shah into his cabinet as Home Minister. In keeping with party’s policy of one-man one post, Shri Nadda was in June 2019 made the Working President of the party.
          On the conclusion of the BJP’s organizational elections during which the party increased its membership by another more than 8 crore members, Shri J. P. Nadda was unanimously elected as the National President. On January 22 he became the President of the world’s largest political organization.
           At the time of felicitating Shri Nadda, both PM Narinder Modi and outgoing Party President Shri Amit expressed confidence that under Shri Nadda BJP will continue to rise and conquer greater and greater heights.
          Shri Modi recalled his association with Shri Nadda when they both travelled on a two-wheeler scooter while working for the organization. He said while being in charge of the Himachal BJP, he had the chance to work with Shri Nadda closely. He had great potential, Shri Modi recognized.
          Speaker after speaker at the function stressed that BJP was a political organization with a difference. It is the only party where an ordinary but devoted party worker could be the party’s national president and a prime minister. Here, they said, dynasty had no meaning.
          Shri Nadda is recognized as a soft-spoken leader who is very accessible to the common party karyakarta. He shuns limelight. He is satisfied being the man behind the machine. Yet he is a hard task master when it comes to implementing party decisions and achieving targets.
          His wife Mallika, a college teacher of history, is the person behind the man in the proverbial sense of “a woman behind a successful man”. She recognizes that with Shri Nadda’s rise in politics there has always been simultaneous less time he could devote to the family. But she and the children are equally appreciative of him. They recognize and go by the BJP’s philosophy: Nation first, party second and person and family the last. They are fully determined to do everything to help him reach the citadel of glory for the party.  ***    
The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator.

(Courtesy the weekly Organiser)

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

‘Liberal-Seculars’ Opposition to CAA Based only on Hypocrisy & Falsehood

‘Liberal-Seculars’ Opposition to CAA Based only on Hypocrisy & Falsehood

By Amba Charan Vashishth  

In a parliamentary democracy as we have in India, every enactment or an amendment to the existing Act of parliament has to be tabled in the two houses of parliament, must be discussed, after discussion put to vote of the house and passed by majority.
In the matter of the recent amendment to the Citizens’ Act 1955 this procedure was duly followed. After full discussion the opposition stressed on a division and the amendment was carried with a comfortable majority   311 in favour and 80 against in Lok Sabha and 125 for and 105  against in Rajya Sabha. After  the President of India gave his assent the Bill became the Citizens Amendment Act (CAA).  
What else could be the democratic process? How could then a section of the opposition allege that democracy in the country has been/is being throttled? Opponents fail to enlighten the countrymen as to what way should have been adopted to get a law, like the CAA, through in a ‘democratic’ way? The procedure adopted by the present NDA government to get an enactment through in Parliament or state assembly is exactly the same as had been adopted by any Congress or non-Congress government in the past.  
The people have not forgotten how did the then Congress-led UPA government of Dr. Manmohan Singh go to the extent of  ‘purchasing’ support of other groups to sail through the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal because  it did not command adequate numbers on its own strength. And yet that was perfectly ‘democratic’!
It is no democracy when those parties and leaders rejected by the people claim to be the custodians of peoples’ interests. It is a display of arrogance and autocracy by these self-righteous self-acclaimed ‘democratic’ leaders who cannot digest what the NDA government has gone so swiftly to fulfill the promises it made to the people during the general elections to Parliament held in May 2019.
And the parties and individuals opposed to NDA and others who supported CAA in Parliament are trying to undo this law passed by the two houses of Parliament by indulging in violence and arson resulting in loss of innocent lives and destruction of public and private property. They seem to be trying to kill parliamentary democracy through mobocracy.
As already made clear by both PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, there is no provision in the new amended law that any person belonging to any minority and majority group can be deprived of his/her citizenship.  In fact, CAA has been enacted only to provide citizenship to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Parsi and Buddhist minority which has been forced to leave Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan. Everybody knows that these minority groups are harassed, tortured and forcibly converted to Islam in these countries. Even the UN Human Rights Organisation has condemned these countries for human rights violation and torture of minorities in these countries.
To make Partition of India creating Pakistan in 1947 (and, later, secession of East Pakistan from West Pakistan to give birth to Bangladesh) look  ‘secular’ can be nothing else  but an act of self-befooling; it was a cent-percent division of India on communal lines. Besides other tragedies, it also goes to the lack of vision of the then Congress leadership which made no effort to evolve an agency to safeguard the interests of the minorities in the countries that separated from India. In 1950, Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the then Pakistan premier Liaqat Ali Khan did sign an India-Pakistan agreement to safeguard the interests of the minorities in the two countries.
While India did honestly implement the agreement, for Pakistan it remained just a piece of paper worth throwing into a dustbin. Facts speak for themselves.
In 2001-11 decade India’s population rose by 18 percent while that of Muslims went up by 24 percent. Accordingly, the percentage of Muslim population jumped to 14.3 percent from 13.4 while that of Hindus went down from 84.1 to 80.5 percent.
        On the other hand, the Hindu population in Pakistan which was 12.9 percent in 1947 fell to a meager of 1.6 percent now. In Bangladesh Hindu population according to 1951 census was 22.05 percent. It has been made to melt down to 8.5 percent.
        These facts hold a mirror to the reality how far are the minorities in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh being treated.  Can Pakistan or Afghanistan’s minorities hold protests the way a minority of India’s Muslims is doing in India? In these two countries even when Hindu population is being persecuted, yet no minority of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis are accused of any terrorist activity.
 People are being instigated against the amended law on unfounded and imaginary grounds that Muslims from these countries had been excluded from being eligible to get Indian citizenship. It would be a rank hypocrisy — and to a great extent laughable and foolish too — to assume that Muslims in these Islamist countries are a ‘persecuted’ lot. To think of Muslim ‘persecution’ in these Islamist  countries would be as much a stupidity as to presume that Christians in countries like Vatican City, Rome, Great Britain and USA could have been persecuted so much persecuted  on account of their faith forcing them to quit their mother/fatherland to seek citizenship in other countries. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has rightly said: India cannot be turned into a dharmshaala for giving citizenship to persons from every country in the world.
That is the reason why the Muslim community from these countries was excluded in CAA. Including majority community from these countries for citizenship would only have resulted in welcoming export of terrorist elements in the garb of their ‘persecution’.          
People are also being misled on imaginary provisions in the CAA to deprive India’s Muslim citizens of their citizenship and to throw them out of the country. The PM and Home Minister have challenged the leaders opposing the Act to show where at all there is a provision to cancel the citizenship of any Indian, not to speak of Muslim citizens of India. They have yet to accept the challenge.
In 1971 10 million refugees from the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) entered India. Why were they not given citizenship by the then ‘secular’ Congress government of Smt. Indira Gandhi?
Moreover, the anti-CAA elements must understand that there are about 50 Islamist countries in the world and India is the only one Hindu majority but secular country. If not India, where else can — and should — the Hindu citizens go if they are persecuted on account of their faith in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan?
It is a pity — and, to a great extent, hypocrisy — that Congress and other self-proclaimed ‘secular’ parties are now shedding tears on imaginary fears alleging ‘injustice’ to Muslim minority. Earlier, they had been supporting Articles 370 and 35A and now opposing when these have been scrapped. These very ‘secular’ parties had, in effect, been instrumental in allowing persistence of the worst kind of injustice to minorities and dalits in J&K because of these very articles. Successive J&K governments had during the past 72 years refused to grant citizenship to people who had migrated to the State at the time of Partition in 1947. More than 50,000 scavengers had been brought to the valley for serving the people of the State but they were neither granted citizenship nor allowed to do any other service. J&K women who married persons from other States were deprived of their rights in the State. The government had also denied rights to dalits and backward classes. Human rights, scheduled caste/scheduled tribes and backward classes commission had not been constituted in the State. Yet these ‘secular’ parties remained instrumental and silent on continuance of this injustice to the people. Why? They would not explain.                                                                              ***   
The writer is a Delhi-based political analyst and commentator.         

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How can exposing J&K to EU MPs be wrong?

How can exposing J&K to EU MPs be wrong?

By Amba Charan Vashishth

The opposition by some opposition parties to the visit of a delegation of the European Union (EU) MPs to Jammu & Kashmir is nothing new; it is in conformity with the India’s sacred Opposition dharma which ordains its faithfuls to always go against any word, policy and action of a ruling party. It goes to the credit of our opposition parties that they have religiously followed this dharma without any instance of their going astray from this path. Infidels to this great dharma have always been punished severely by the dharma gurus (supreme leaders) lest it instills loss of faith in the great dharma.
But this great dharma does make an exception. When it is a matter of enhancing pay, perks and privileges of public representatives, the opposition stands as a rock behind the ruling party in realization of this great interest of the nation.
From practical, legal and constitutional view, the fact is that practitioners of the Opposition dharma are always in minority and it is but natural that the majority represented by the ruling party and their members-followers-supporters should not be subscribing to this dharma’s teachings and principles however sublime these may be.
The EU MPs visit is all the more necessary to make the world countries aware of the background and reality of the government action on J&K.
Both the ruling and the opposition parties vie with each other in claiming the legacy of both the Iron Man and first Home Minister Sardar Ballabhbhai Patel and Law Minister Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. The first integrated more than five hundred princely States into the Indian Union. The second is recognize as the creator of our Constitution. Both these great men were on a different wavelength on Article 370 which is Pandit Nehru’s special gift to J&K.  
A majority of the countrymen have never been able to understand the rationality of Pandit Nehru to be so benevolent to extend special status to J&K through this Article which could not be justified on any ground. It was a measure to which both Sardar Patel and Dr. Ambedkar were vehemently opposed to. Sardar Patel told his secretary V. Shankar: “Jawaharlal royega (will weep over this)", and Dr. Ambedkar refused to attend the session that passed the motion.        
          The revocation of Article 370 has been done through a regular process of law provided under the Constitution.  The resolution to revoke the “Temporary and Transitional” Article and the bill for reorganization of J&K was debated and passed by the Rajya Sabha  with 125 (67%) votes in favour and 61 (33%) against and in Lok Sabha with 370 (86 %) votes for and 70 (14%) against.
Surprisingly — and to an extent, a hypocritical   international human rights groups condemned this action by India. One can only pity their jumping to conclusions without verifying facts. On the contrary, this is an act which has removed discrimination between J&K citizens and the rest of the country. It has removed injustice to women and extended now benefits to dalits and scheduled castes so far denied under the now revoked Article.
In contrast, the move has been supported by many major regional parties and even by some prominent Muslim organisation in India. The Buddhist community in Ladakh has welcomed the decision as, they said, they are now the "owners of our own destiny".
On May 06, 2017 BJP-PDP alliance J&K Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti declared: “I say today with authority……If anyone can find a solution to Jammu and Kashmir problem, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi….. He has a strong mandate. Whatever decision he takes, the country will support him.” Now that PM Modi has found a “solution” which, as she then predicted rightly, “the country will support him,” PDP chief has adopted the Opposition dharma and in keeping with its edits changed her tongue and tone.
The opposition leaders have kept tack with their stand. For the self-righteous political leaders and parties the enactments passed by Parliament, of which they are its constituents, are not the laws of the country but of NDA and those who supported it. This stand of theirs is an affront to Parliament and the spirit of the Constitution and democracy.
The likes of Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi and others had to be returned from the Srinagar airport for two reasons. One, the intention behind their visit was not to help promote and restore peace in the State but to foment trouble with their provocative speeches. Two, they could not be expected to be honest to report what they saw and felt. They would only have spread the unreal negative picture, which actually was not, just to promote their narrow political objective.
To expect our opposition leaders to be objective and constructive is like expecting stones hurled by rioters at the opponents not to hurt but caress them affectionately. Can those who called the stone-pelters as ‘patriots’ and expected their targets just to smilingly get hurt and not react; those who did not condemn those who went on rampage killing innocent people and destroying property following killing of dreaded terrorists in encounters with security forces, can they be expected to be true to tell the country what they saw?
In the stand of those opposing revocation of Article 370, one thing is not understandable. They do oppose it but do not say that if they come to power, they will rescind the revocation and return to pre-August 5, 2019 position in J&K.  They must come out with their alternative proposal.  
It is immaterial as to which individual or NGO sponsored the visit of EU MPs. What is necessary is to expose elected public representatives from various countries to the reality of the situation in Kashmir.  Their eye-witness account will give a lie to the rumour-mills daily churning out falsehood to mislead the world.
 Many raised the point that while Indian MPs were turned out and denied entry into J&K, EU MPs were allowed free walk. This was necessary because these MPs had no political axe to grind and they reported what they saw and felt. If it was a “guided tour”, as some opposition parties alleged, the EU MPs would not have spoken about corruption and the need to allow Indian MPs also to visit J&K.
 The statements of some of Indian leaders are also providing much-needed raw material to the rumour mills of Pakistan. Some of our opposition leaders appear very popular on the front pages of the Pak print media and get extensive footage in the electronic media.      
Since there has been comparatively peace in J&K, on the eve of the EU MPs’ visit Pakistan sponsored, inspired and aided terrorists did try to raise a façade of violence by throwing a hand-grenade at a bus in Sopore. Because of strict vigilance by security forces, terrorists failed to strike where they wanted to show to the visitors that all is not well in the State. In frustration they killed innocent West Bengal labours which only exposed their coward, ugly inhuman face fetching further disgrace to them.      
Now that peace and normalcy is fast returning to Kashmir, political leaders there are likely to be set free and there will be no restriction on anybody to see the situation with his own eyes.     ***
The writer is a Delhi-based political analyst and commentator.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Arun Jaitley Humble reminiscences of a Great Soul

Remembering Arun Jaitleyji

  1. Humble reminiscences of a Great Soul

   Amba Charan Vashishth

                When I came to BJP’s mouthpiece Kamal Sandesh (English  fortnightly) 14 years back, some ordinary karyakartas made me understand thatShriArunJaitley is very arrogant. He doesn’t recognize people. He doesn’t accept even Namaste from people. Later, I had the privilege of having interviewed him for the fortnightly.
Gujarat assembly elections were round the corner and ShriJaitley was the election incharge there. So I needed his interview about the situation in the State and BJP’s strategy and chances in the election. I told some people that I have to interview him again for the fortnightly. I said he knows me and I will have no difficulty. But they still warned me.
          In those very days, unfortunately, the senior BJP leader Shri J. P Mathur died. His funeral was to take place sometime later. So ShriJaitleyalongwith 3-4 more BJP leaders was returning to his office in 9, Ashok Road. Under the wrong impression instilled in my mind by others I greetedShriJaitleywith a “namaskaar’ to which he responded very nicely. I said, “Sir, I’m AmbaCharan”. On this he instantly said, “Why do you tell me your name? I know you well.”
          I felt sorry for believing what others had said about him. In the course of time, impressions ingrained in me by some proved to be false. I found him very polite who encouraged karyakartas to rise.
          On another occasion I sought an appointment with him for another interview. He asked me to come the next day at 3.00 PM. As I was going to enter his office, I found Jaitleyji coming out. He said, “Sorry, I have to go to some senior leader who had called him”.
          “It’s all right”, I said, “I will come tomorrow”.
          Then he asked me, “Can’t it be in the car?”

          I said, “No problem. It can be done in the car also.”
          “Then come”. He made me sit with him. He was so clear and at ease in replying to my questions that I got greatly proud. My more than 10 question interview was over in about 30 minutes.
          About 7-8 years back he was BJP’s election incharge for Punjab assembly elections. I was in his room for another interview. In the meantime his associate O. P. Sharma (now MLA in Delhi assembly for the second time) came in and said some BJP people from Punjab had been waiting to see him. On this he burst into anger. “These people have met me 5/6 times earlier. What do they want? They don’t bother about my health. I am not going to meet anybody”, he said emphatically.
          As a good associate, Sharma calmly said, “Sir, you kindly meet them for a minute and they will go back happy and satisfied that they had met you.”
          Jaitlyji relented. He said, “Send all one by one.”
As OP Sharma went to call visitors, I said, “Sir, you seem to be not well. I will come tomorrow or dayafter.”
          “No, no. You wait”, Jaitleyji said. “I will dispose them off in minutes”.
          In 10-15 minutes Jaitleyji disposed of 50-60 persons. As a person entered, he immediately said, “Your name is under consideration….There is much opposition to you in the area…..You’ll get the ticket…and so on.”
          Later, he made me put my questions. Very calmly he answered my questions. I was free in just another 15 minutes.
            I am, by nature, not used to bothering senior leaders calling on them for a Namaste and no work. This was true with Jaitleyji too. I had not met him for about more than a year. ShriJaitley was then Leader of Opposition in RajyaSabha. ShriPrabhatJha, RajyaSabhaMP was also incharge of Literature and Publication Cell while I was the National Convener of this Cell. ShriJha once met him. ShriJaitleyji was so kind to enquire about me from ShriJha about me. I was just a small fry. Jhaji told him that I was very much there in Kamal Sandeshand the Cell.
          Jhaji told me of ShriJaitley enquiring about me. He advised me to meet ShriJaitley. I told Jhaji that I have no politics to discuss with him. Therefore, I will certainly go, meet him and record an interview with him. I sought time and he gave it immediately. For having an interview I took along two of my colleagues in Kamal Sandesh. When I told him that I have also brought two of my colleagues with me, he immediately called them in. He enquired from them which place they belonged, what were they doing in the magazine and enquired whether they had any problem. He gladly had a photograph with all of us.
          After he became Finance Minister in Modiji’s cabinet, I had no formal meeting but just chance meetings in various functions.
             Jaitelyji had a multi-faceted personality. He was to-the-point on every occasion. He was very clear in his opinion. He had no time whiling away his time for nothing. He was articulate and brief. His answers to questions in interviews and while addressing press conferences were quick and sharp. Never did he ask me to change a word or sentence from the interview he gave. He was so sharp and clear in his mind that whatever he said once was not to be changed.
          Shri Jaitleyji was a priceless jewel in politics, a par excellent lawyer, a lover of sports and cricket, an exceptional orator and chum of the media.  As a party spokesperson, he was a doyen of the media. After formal press briefings, he would come down the dais and sit with media persons to have an informal chat with them.
          His void will for long be felt by politicians, media, legal fraternity, and the common karyakarta and people.
          God may give peace to the departed soul!                              ***

The writer had been the National Convenor of the BJP’s Literature and Publication Cell.
      (Courtesy: Uday India weekly)

Monday, May 20, 2019

Detractors call Modi a fascist, a dictator, an autocrat But boot seems to be in the other leg

Detractors call Modi a fascist, a dictator, an autocrat
But boot seems to be in the other leg

By Amba Charan Vashishth

          The fragmented opposition in the country shares one thing in common: All of them seem united in calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a fascist, a dictator, autocrat and what not. He, they allege, refuses to hark the voice of those who do not see eye to eye with him. They hurl unlimited abuses at him, the abuses one feels shy of repeating here. Country's election was fought in the past on principles, performance and promises made to the electorate. This time political leaders seem to be in a hurry to be the first to conquer the Mount Everest of filthy abuses to gain an edge over their opponents to spit foul language against the PM.
               They further accuse the BJP-led NDA government of undermining the constitutional institutions like the Supreme Court (SC) and Election Commission (EC).  Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are some of the other important arms of the Government.  National Investigation Agency (NIA) was constituted through an act of Parliament in 2008.
               As a matter of course, every institution whether a product of the Constitution or an arm of the government as a department is expected to function in a free, fair and impartial manner to fetch justice to  all without fear and favour. And, above all, these should not discriminate against anybody on grounds of caste, creed, sex and region.
                The record of those who now accuse Mr. Narendra Modi of being a fascist, autocrat, a dictator who cares for none, not even his party, do not stand vindicated by their own record when they were in power. Recall UPA’s stubborn arrogance under Dr. Manmohan Singh to get the nuclear deal with USA approved by Parliament. Allegations of money having been exchanged to buy support for the move were not proved to be false.
               It was during the UPA regime that the Supreme Court of India was constrained to dub the CBI a "caged parrot". No need to say any further.
               It is on record that an IT team raided in January 2011 business houses with which the then BJP President Nitin Gadkari was connected — a day before he was to file his nomination papers for election to the office of BJP national President for another term. Feeling so much hurt, Mr. Gadkari decided not to seek re-election. Congress-led UPA did succeed in its design to frustrate Gadkari's bid for re-election. The then government failed to justify the raids because nothing came out of this raid during the next three years it remained in power.
               When the same IT did the same with Congress and other party leaders after the hue of the Union Government had changed, the Congress calls it a political vendetta to defame the party and its leaders.
Election Commission
                During the Congress regime when campaign to UP state assembly elections was in full swing and Model Code of Conduct had been enforced by the EC, two Union Ministers Salman Khurshid and Beni Prasad Verma openly defied the EC by promising reservation to Muslims on religion basis during the election campaign. Mr. Khurshid was censured by EC but he still continued unabashedly defy the EC till polling was over in his wife's constituency. Afterwards, Verma took the thread from where Khurshid had left and repeated the same promise. UPA PM Dr. Manmohan Singh kept silent, as was his font.  That speaks volumes for Congress respect for the institutions of the Constitution.  
               The 'secular liberal' media and intelligentsia — some political parties also included — who accuse others as communal and fascists are themselves no less guilty of this very crime. They continue to treat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the world’s largest social voluntary organization, as ‘communal’ and dreadful although it or its members have never been charged and convicted by any court of law for indulging in subversive or anti-national activities. They are seen, at many occasions, on the side of people indulging in anti-national, terrorist, and subversive activities.
               Recall the JNU incident where some student leaders celebrated the death anniversary of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and raised slogans like “Bharat tere tukde honge, insha allah, insha allah”.  Mr. Rahul Gandhi was the first politician to rush to JNU to express their solidarity for the attack on the right of students' freedom of expression. These politicians feel honoured to share space with terrorist and anti-national leaders but not with RSS leaders.
               Courts have framed criminal charges of cheating, breach of trust, illegal use of funds, even rape and murder against many in the top echelons of some political parties. They are on bail. Many Congress leaders were named for their involvement in 1984 anti-Sikh riots by various commissions of inquiry into these riots. Still Congress nominated them to fight Lok Sabha elections and some of them were made ministers even.
                Dr. Vinayak Sen who was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Chhattisgarh High Court on charges of treason and contacts with Naxalites, to cite just one instance, was appointed by Congress-led UPA government to Planning Commission's committee on health, the very next day he was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
               On the other hand, Congress party is protesting against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur who is contesting Lok Sabha poll against Mr. Digvijay Singh from Bhopal. She has, as yet, not been found guilty by courts for any criminal act.
Gandhiji's words proved prophetic

               "Addressing about 500 members of the Rashtriya Sewak Sangha at the Scheduled Caste Colony, Gandhiji said that he had visited the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh Camp years ago at Wardha, when its founder Shri Hedgewar was alive. The late Shri Jamnalal Bajaj had taken him to the camp and he (Gandhiji) had been very impressed by their discipline, complete absence of untouchability and rigorous simplicity. Since then this Sangh had grown. Gandhiji was convinced that any organization which was inspired by the ideal of service and self-sacrifice was bound to grow in strength. But in order to be truly useful, self-sacrifice had to be combined with purity of motive and true knowledge. Sacrifice without these two had been known to prove ruinous to society.( "Mahatma Gandhi's writings, philosophy, audio, video and photographs" available at Gandhian Institutions — Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal & Gandhi Research Foundation )
These views should open the eyes of those who otherwise swear by Gandhiji in every election and important political forums.

The myth RSS was 'pro-British'
               A myth has been created and spread that RSS before Partition was a pro-British organisation and it played no role at all in the fight for India's freedom. This stands falsified in an article "Gandhi's relations with RSS need open-minded acceptance, not suspicion" (Indian Express, April 25, 2019) by Divyansh Dev, a practicing advocate at Delhi High Court and also United Nations Global School Ambassador from India. He states: "As for the Quit India Movement, the report of the CID, Home Department and British intelligence describes the Sangh’s members as “anti-British volunteers who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of the country”. Another British intelligence report in 1943 states that “the ulterior objective of the RSS is to drive the British away from India and free the country”.  Further, Swayamsevak Hemu Kalani and RSS leader Dada Naik were hanged in 1943 by the British. It was during Quit India Movement that RSS provided shelter to Aruna Asif Ali, Achyutrao Patwardhan and Nana Patil, to protect them from the ire of the British.
               Not in the words of his associate Pyarelal, but of Mahatma himself, who paid a visit to RSS in 1934, and commented: “When I visited the RSS Camp, I was very much surprised by your discipline and absence of untouchability.” In one of his documented interactions with RSS workers in 1947, Gandhiji recounted that visit by saying, “Years ago, I went to a camp of the RSS in Wardha. At the time, its founder, Mr Hedgewar was alive. Mr. Jamnalal Bajaj took me to the camp and I was very impressed by the strict discipline, the simplicity of those people.” (


There were two big riots in the country — one anti-Sikh riots in 1984 and riots in Gujarat riots in 2002.
Over 2800 Sikhs lost their lives in Delhi in a brutal reprisal to the assassination of India’s Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 at the hands of two of her Sikh policemen on security duty at her residence. More people died in attacks in various parts of the country but confined to States which had Congress governments, nowhere else. Unconfirmed reports put the figure of deaths in Delhi at 5000 and about 1000 at different places in the country.
Further, while nobody justified the riots in Gujarat, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is on record having said: "When a big tree falls, the earth shakes."
               Even after about 35 years justice has deluded to the bereaved families of Sikhs. Only 2-3 cases have been taken to their logical conclusion. Last year, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, ex-MP of Congress was awarded imprisonment for life.
               On the other hand, in riots triggered by the burning alive of 59 karsewaks in a stationary train at Godhara railway station on February 27, 2002, as per the figures given by the Union Minister of State for Home Shriprakash Jaiswal, who belonged to the Congress Party, in Parliament on 11 May 2005, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots, 2548 people were injured and 223 people were missing. A report placed the number of riot-affected widows at 919 and the number of children orphaned at 606.  
               In Gujarat riots numerous cases have been taken to their logical conclusion and a number of political leaders awarded jail sentences. Many more such cases are still under trial in various courts.
               The same is not true of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
               For the ‘secular-liberal' intelligentsia and media as also many politicians, it appears, the anti-Sikh riots were 'secular' and, therefore, pardonable and those in Gujarat were 'communal' and therefore, deserve model punishment. That is why they always cry hoarse for justice to those affected by Gujarat riots and not against anti-Sikh riots.
               No 'secular-liberal' scholar, media and some political parties sheds tears for justice to 59 kar sewaks burnt alive in Godhra which triggered riots in other parts of the State. On the contrary, these gentlemen try to explain away the killings by advancing various excuses. Courts have convicted a number of persons for this crime. For these gentlemen convictions of those responsible for Godhra riots are an "injustice" to the minority community.
               In his article "15 years after Godhra, we still don’t know who lit the fire" in the Hindustan Times (May 10, 2019) Mohan Guruswamy, in a way, questioned the court judgement which convicted the persons accused of the crime.
               "According to official sources", Guruswamy quotes, "790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, and as many as 100,000 Muslims and 40,000 Hindus were rendered homeless. About 130 are still reported missing. But we know that official estimates are always low and in this case the estimates are from the Gujarat government." This clearly smashes the impression created in the country, and the world over, that it was an "anti-Muslim" pogrom. The facts show that was a strife between two communities as both sides suffered losses.
               "Civil rights and Muslim groups report that more than 2,000 Muslims were killed by Hindu mobs. Muslim mobs too were active and exacted retribution wherever possible. But it is clearly evident that the Gujarat Police acted more firmly on Muslim mobs as 24 Muslims and 13 Hindus were killed in police firings."  If Civil Rights and Muslim groups report was genuine, why were they shy and silent to report the number of Hindus who were killed? If Gujarat police "acted more firmly on Muslim mobs (alone) how come that they killed 13 Hindus?

Hinduism a way of life, not religion
               The case dates back to 1995, when a three-judge SC bench led by Justice JS Verma overturned a Bombay high court order that scrapped the elections of nine BJP candidates because they had sought votes to create a “Hindu state”.
               The SC said that “Hindutva/Hinduism is a way of life of the people in the subcontinent and is a state of mind” – not a religion – and therefore seeking votes was not illegal under the Representation of the People Act, which outlaws poll campaign on religious grounds.
               The court declared Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s statement “First Hindu state will be established in Maharashtra” as not illegal under electoral law. “It may well be that these words (Hindutva/Hinduism) are used in the speech to promote secularism and to emphasise the way of life of the Indian people and the Indian culture or ethos,” Verma ruled.

Courts wrong, they right
               But for the superior intelligence of our secular-liberal intelligentsia and a section of media court judgements on any issue are of no consequence and meaning. For them Hindu, Hinduism and Hindutva remain something obnoxious.  Court verdicts are laudable for them only if they satisfy their whims.
               For them, RSS (as also the Bhartiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena, Shiromani Akali Dal and the like continues to be a hateful organisation despite the fact that no court in the country has ever described it as a spiteful organisation, 'communal' in words and deeds. It has a membership composed of all other faiths.
               On the other hand, Muslim League and other such political organisations whose membership is restricted to one religion, continues to be 'secular' in their estimation. Nobody can challenge it.
               They subscribe to another strange philosophy. If a political party which they dub as 'communal' enters into an alliance with these 'secular' political associations, it instantly turns 'secular'.
               Opposition criticises calling it a Modi government. But if Mr. Modi calls it "my government" and on the same analogy "my army" or police, it hurts the opposition. In various addresses at various occasions, the Presidents of India have been calling it "my government". What is objectionable?
               Mr. Narendra Modi is holding an office of the Constitution. He is the prime minister for the country as a whole. He represents the whole nation. If he has raised the esteem of the country in the world, it is a matter of pride for the whole nation, including his detractors.
               If Mr. Modi has been honoured with six international awards by various countries, it is an honour not for Mr. Modi individually; it is for the whole nation. This is something unique. This is the result of what he did for the country and the world. This has never happened earlier.
               Contrast it with what other countries do and what our opposition does. For the world Mr. Narendra Modi is a person to be honoured. But what language is our opposition using for him? Never, perhaps never, in any democracy, such words have been used against a PM. It is not in our culture even. 
               In spite of all this, our 'secular-liberal intelligentsia continues with its main na maanon (I don't agree) stubborn stance.  Let the people decide who is a fascist, dictator and autocrat? Who is denigrating the institutions of the Constitution — PM Modi or his detractors?                              ***  
Courtesy": Uday India online