Thursday, June 18, 2020

PM Modi’s Historic Achievements Opposition’s Blurred Vision fails to See


  
ONE YEAR OF MODI GOVERNMENT 2.0
PM Modi’s Historic Achievements
Opposition’s Blurred Vision fails to See

By Amba Charan Vashishth

                 
          A friend threw a grand dinner party on the occasion of his son’s marriage. The arrangements were perfect, fault-proof. The menu was so lavish that everybody found something of his taste. Dessert items were so many that one could hardly take one spoon of each if one wanted to taste the all. He served drinks, both soft and hard, of everyone’s choice. After dinner two friends came out. One said, “It was a marvellous dinner. He had spent lakhs of rupees on making perfect arrangements. But one important item was missing paan. Many people want to chew it at the end of a dinner. But this item remained missing. It would not have cost much”.
          “Yes. You’re right”, his friend agreed: “There are people who wish to smoke immediately after the dinner. Had he arranged some good cigarette packets that would have been fine and perfect, added to the pleasure”.
          That seems exactly true of our Opposition which can never find anything to appreciate in any action, programme and policy of government.
Problem lies with the polity that has evolved in the country since independence. Our Constitution does not recognize political parties in formation of a government. Article 75 just provides that the “Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President” (obviously who enjoys confidence of the House), “the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister” and the “Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People”. From the words and actions of the Opposition it transpires  that Shri Modi may be the Prime Minister of India yet, for them —quite funny indeed — he is just the prime minister of the political party/alliance he belongs to. This outlook seems to betray the well-established concept of “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” They also seem to forget that a member of the Lok Sabha may be voted by a particular parliamentary constituency yet when elected, he is a member of the Parliament of India representing a particular constituency. Once elected the person becomes the representative of all the constituents of the constituency, even of those who didn’t vote for him.
 Shri Narender Modi commenced his second inning with a thunder. He launched upon giving shape to the promises held to the people. The Modi government shifted additional security forces, abruptly discontinued the Shri Amarnath Yatra, and asked tourists staying in Kashmir to leave the valley immediately. The people did start anticipating that something extraordinary was going to happen in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) but could not visualize what.  The notable aspect was that there was not even a slight murmur of protest by any section of the affected people. That is the barometer of the amount of confidence the Modi government had been able to generate among the people.  Everybody seemed to have the satisfaction that whatever it may be, it was sure to be in the best interests of the country.
          The mystery got unraveled when on August 5, 2019 the Home Minister Amit Shah rose to move a Bill in the Lok Sabha to sound a death knell to the “Temporary and Transitional” Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution. The new law created two Union Territories, one for Jammu & Kashmir and the other for Laddakh region. It ushered in complete integration of the J&K with India, a step which successive governments during the last 70 years had been evading for vested political interests overlooking the interests of J&K and the country. The Bill instantly generated a sense of glee all over the country. The law was passed with a respectable majority, more than the actual strength of the NDA in the two houses of Parliament. Even some groups outside the NDA did vote for the enactment. The opposition termed the measure to be against the people of J&K, undemocratic and unconstitutional.  If a law passed by the parliament after a debate in the house is not democracy, then what else can be?
During the debate Home Minister Amit Shah challenged the Congress and other opposition parties to declare that if they ever came to power at the Centre they would bring back Article 370 and 35A. But none was forthcoming. Obviously they were just opposing for opposition sake.
          As PM Modi completed his first year of his second term (2019-2024) his achievements outshone him as a leader who has a vision and the strength to make it a reality.        
Some 30/40,000 innocent civilians, security and paramilitary personnel stand devoured by the proxy war Pakistan has been waging against India for the last over 3 decades. This figure is more than what the country lost fighting the Chinese aggression in1962 and four wars with Pakistan in 1948, 1965, 1971 and the 1999 Kargil mis-adventure.
 During the last one decade rule of Congress-led UPA with Dr. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister till May 2014 terrorists always had a field day. With a sense of pride they could strike at will anytime, any day, anywhere and walk away safely after realizing their objective. They left behind a trail of hundreds of women widowed, children orphaned and aged people deprived of their only life-sustaining help in the twilight of their life. In the process, the country lost hundreds of innocent civilians and security forces on duty at the international borders and the Line of Actual Control in J&K to safeguard the territorial integrity of India. The security personnel performing their duty with utmost sense of valour and patriotism did have guns but not the authority to use these to retaliate against Pakistan-sponsored terror. They had to look up, in vain, for orders to use their arsenal against the enemies of the nation. At the end of each terrorist adventure Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was heard repeating every time: They (the terrorists) cannot defeat our resolve to continue the dialogue process with Pakistan. This, on the one hand, lowered the morale of India’s security forces and, on the other, emboldened terrorists to be more aggressive and ruthlessly violent against the country.
           The dawn of Shri Narinder Modi as Prime Minister of the country with full mandate from the people changed things overnight. He gave the security forces a free hand to sternly deal with the perfidy of Pakistan. When Pakistan committed Uri attack India reciprocated with a surgical strike. When Pulwama happened, Indian forces launched Balakot operation inside Pakistan destroying terror camps and killing about 200/300 terror-trainees there.
          Today Kashmir terrorists are on the run. Modi government has launched a campaign against Pak-sponsored terrorists either to surrender or are being eliminated. Gone are the days when terrorists struck in J&K and elsewhere and safely went back to their hideouts. A sizeable number of commanders and deputy commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad etc. have been done away with, something unheard of earlier.
           Pakistan and the main opposition party Congress appeared to be on the same wavelength on this issue. They earned appreciation in Pakistan and  hogged headlines in Pakistani media.
                   Modi government also passed an amendment to the Citizens Act (CAA) which provides for grant of Indian citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Budhists, and Christian minorities being persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, etc. forcing them to leave their country and seek refuge in India. Some opposition parties wanted Muslim to be included. It looks funny that Muslims would be persecuted in Islamic countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to an extent they are made to leave their country for India.   
          First, China tried to test the waters of India’s ocean of strength in 2017 by raking up the Doklam border issue. India stood firm behind a lifetime friend, Bhutan on this border dispute. Trying to overawe India by reminding her of the 1962 war, Modi government made China understand that India was not what she was in 1962 and was now under a much different leadership of PM Modi which can make any sacrifices to protect the territorial sovereignty at all costs. The strong stand paid and China made a retreat.
          In May 2020 China once again repeated its treacherous game in Laddakh region. Modi government reiterated its firmness to brook no nonsense. That made China to see the reality. It drew India to talks at the level of Lt. Generals to settle the matter peacefully. But China cannot live without its treacherous mind. While, on the one hand, it was seeking to settle the dispute through mutual talks with three rounds of negotiations had already taken place and, on the other, it killed 20 brave Indian troops while its own loss was reported to be about 43. The sentiment in the country is now tit for tat. PM Modi has already declared that the sacrifice of patriotic soldiers will not go waste.
          During the last six years of the reign of Shri Modi the very outlook of India throughout has witnessed a sea-change. Today India is looked up with respect and her view matters, is sought after and it is she which sets the agenda. India has come to be recognized as a world leader. Under Shri Modi every country, be it USA, UK, France, Arab countries, Germany, Israel and others wish to have the best of relations with India. India succeeded in isolating Pakistan which tried to seek support of Muslim and Arab countries against India on latest steps in J&K. No country came to Pakistan’s side on the issue.
          What else could be the proof of India’s standing in the world that she has been elected to the two-year term as member of the Security Council garnering 184 out of 192 votes cast.
          Prime Minister Modi has brought great laurels to the country. He has been conferred more than eight international awards for himself. It is an honour both for Shri Modi and the country. No politician and Prime Minister had been able to receive such and so many international honours for the country in the last 73 years.
          India has come to be recognized as a world leader. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly declared that India is a great friend of the world’s oldest democracy of the world. He has invited India to the G-7 summit. This step is ultimately expected to pave the way for India joining this prestigious group of nations in the times to come.
          It goes to the credit of Prime Minister Modi to have taken India’s friendship with USA to greater heights.
          The ‘Howdy Modi’ event organized by American citizens of Indian origin in Houston (USA) on September 22, 2019 was attended by 50,000 people. This not only established PM Modi’s popularity among Indian diaspora but also provided the US President Donald Trump an occasion to meet and address such a large audience in USA. The occasion provided President Trump the opportunity to address such a large a gathering unheard of in USA.
          In February 2020 an event “Namaste Trump” was held in Ahmedabad (Gujarat) in which US President was entertained to address a gathering of more than one lakh 25 thousand people, another unusual event for the American President. Enthused by the sea of humanity that had gathered to greet him, President Trump declared, “America loves India, respects India”. To the roars of approval by the audience, he added, “India gives hope to all of humanity”. In his gushing speech paying tribute to PM Modi as an “exceptional leader….and a man I am proud to call my true friend”, President added, “Everybody loves him but I will tell you this, he is very tough”, obviously referring to occasions when matters of interests of India are concerned. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/24/namaste-donald-trump-india-welcomes-us-president-narendra-modi-rally)
          Besides USA PM Modi has taken India’s friendship to much higher heights with Japan, Israel, Russia, UK, France, Germany and many Muslim nations. He was greeted in those with feelings of greater warmth.
          The Modi government has vowed to take India’s economy to $3 trillion mark in two years. It had taken numerous positive measures in this connection. But in the meantime Covid-19 stepped in. The lockdown for about 60 days has taken a great toll of our economy. PM announced a Rs. 20 lakh crore financial package to boost the country’s economy.  The role of the Reserve Bank of India in these difficult times had also been very helpful. It is expected to make up many of the country’s losses. The lockdown was also followed by a huge exodus of labour, skilled and unskilled, to UP, MP, Bihar, Jharkhand etc. It will also cost the agricultural and industrial production sector heavily because labour is going to be scare. The government is looking into this aspect of the problem also.
          It was Modi government’s apt handling of the Covid-19 problem that for about more than 3 months India’s share of infections was minimal. Had it not been for Modi government and the States to have taken steps in time, India would have stood at number one position in this calamity unknown in the history of mankind. In contrast to smaller countries, the Covid-19 is much under control as compared with the situation in other countries. PM Modi prepared the people of the country for hard steps when he first gave a call for a one-day janta curfew and later lockdown.
          The World Health Organisation (WHO) has lauded "India's tough and timely actions" against the Corona virus under the leadership of Prime Minister Narender Modi. Bill Gates too has showered praises on India’s handling of the situation.
          India could not be put under lock for indefinite period. It would have proved very destructive for the country. 
           But the role of the Opposition has always been critical and negative. First it criticised the lockdown. Now that lockdown has been made to usher in unlock, it is again critical. It has no constructive suggestions to make.
           Some chief ministers in States have failed to handle the situation effectively. Some are even indulging in politics to deal with this humanitarian and health problem. The worst States in the country in the matter of dealing with Covid-19 are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and Rajasthan. 
          From June 8 some States have opened places of worship, hotels, restaurants and malls while observing the social distances norms a must. Their effect needs to be watched. The success of this measure will make the government take a decision in other matters as well in the time to come.
Despite the Modi government having done exceedingly well in so short a time for the welfare of every section of society, Opposition’s blurred vision unfortunately fails to see the reality.        ***
The writer is a Delhi-based political analyst and commentator.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Country to stand by Ghaddaars?

Country to stand by Ghaddaars?

By Amba Charan Vashishth

    Yes. This can happen only in India because she is a unique, the largest democracy in the world, secular and socialist. USA too is a democracy, the oldest one in the world. It has many a time celebrated Hindu festival like Diwali, the festival of lights with puja and chanting of shlokas even in the White House, the official residence of the President of United States of America.
   The United Kingdom (UK) is a monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. It is a democracy with a Westminster system of parliamentary government. India’s Constitution is, more or less, based on this very system. Though secular, yet its present Prime Minister Borris Johnson had no hesitation to visit an Indian guru, pay obeisance to him and perform puja. Nobody criticized him or labeled him ‘communal’.
   Yet, both USA and UK did not lose their adherence to the spirit of secularism and governments there were not dubbed ‘communal’. Had this happened in India, the birthplace of these Hindu rituals, our too-vigilant opposition, the ‘liberal-secular’ intelligentsia (L-SI) and a section of media (SoM) would have raised a hell for the government accusing it of lynching the spirit of secularism. 
   One more unique thing is going to happen.  And this too can happen only in India. It may be a new trendsetter for many secular democracies in the world. The Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur during election campaign for Delhi assembly raised a slogan “goli maro gaddaron ko” which received a spontaneous response from the audience. He received support from BJP MP Parvesh Verma also. The vociferous
( L-SI) has created a great furore over it. It is out-and-out trying to interpret this slogan as a “hate speech” and demanding Thakur and Verma’s prosecution for this “criminal offence”. But the “hate speech” against whom? The persons being accused of the ‘crime’ did not direct their slogan or insinuation, directly or indirectly, towards any individual, group, community or caste.  It is agreed that a ghaddar (traitor) has no caste, no religion, no gender and no region. Then the “hate” slogan is directed towards and meant against whom? Obviously the ghaddaar, the traitor. But which individual or the group is the ghaddaar? Nobody, neither the persons raising this slogan nor those demanding criminal action against these persons have identified the persons who have been hurt physically and emotionally. Unless the persons operating as ghaddars are nailed or people themselves come out in the open to aver that it is they who have been hurt and humiliated by such slogans, the case against the likes of Thakurs and Vermas will not be able to stand the test of judicial scrutiny in courts.
   This situation raises another question: since when has the government, the people and the law turned patrons and protectors of the traitors? Which Article of the Constitution extends protection to the traitors?
   To proceed further, the police have first to identify the ghaddars to whom Thakur and Verma said, “goli maro ghaddaron ko”.  We have so far heard of police filing an FIR against unknown persons for the murder or rape of a person when the name or identity of the persons who committed the heinous crime is not known. But in the instant case the victim is not known.  Filing a criminal case against anybody, say Mr. Thakur, for a “hate” slogan not speech will only amount to putting the horse before the cart. It will, perhaps, be the first and the rarest of the rare examples in the history of criminal jurisprudence where the victim is not known.  The investigating agency will have first to identify an individual or a group who are the ghaddaars adversely affected.   If that happens, it will also be a rarest of the rare case in which ghaddaar/ghaddaars are eulogized and deterrent punishment is given to the people who demand punishment to ghaddaars so that no one else dares to do that in future.
   The democracy in India seems to be passing through a period of political churning because of the too vocal, but minority of the people who constitute the elite LSI and  SoM. The unfortunate part is that the silent voice of the majority remains unheard and ignored. Actually many of our troubles flow from this section which gives the impression that this ancient land of  India was bankrupt of any understanding of what nationalism, patriotism and secularism meant until the British made us slaves and later left us independent. They think that Indian literature and scriptures had no understanding of these ‘virtues’. The fact is that these great men and women have either not read the great Indian classics and thought or they are so blinded with western influences on their intellect that for them the Indian thought looks absurd, orthodox and obsolete.
   For them the opinion of great western writers and thinkers about India appears sacrosanct.  Modern thinkers like Swami Vivekanand who took the world by storm, Maharishi Arbindo, leave aside the Bhagwat Gita and other great Indian classic scriptures are, to them, without knowledge and wisdom.
   In his grave Lord Macaulay, the great English man of letters who gave to the country the Indian Penal Code and the Education Policy about two hundred years back, must be feeling happy and proud that if not earlier he has been successful in his mission “to form a class of persons Indian in blood and colour and English in taste, opinions in morals and in intellect.” This elite group considers itself always right in what it does or thinks.  
    But the reality is otherwise. They always stand by the minority. Thus they come out to be rank communalists always standing with the minority whether its cause is right or wrong.  It amounts to ‘minority communalism’ if they charge others with communalism.  It cannot be that the communalism they practice is an act of piety and what their opponents do is a sin and crime.   A theft is a theft whether of a hundred rupees and of 10 lakh rupees.       
   The great writer and thinker Mark Twain found India as the “cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions…”
   A sane voice like that of Mark Twain fails to impress these L-SI and SoM. And that is the real problem too.


   Referring to the wise sayings and thought of our great thinkers in our classics does not appeal to their logic in the present age. But they take pride in quoting what Dr. Johnson said more than 250 years.  A few years back, the veteran writer Ashis Nandy wrote an article in the weekly OUTLOOK quoting Dr. Johnson’s words that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. This writer wrote back that if not more, at least 99 percent of Indians are ‘patriots’ and therefore, according to Nandi’s interpretation ‘scoundrels’ and asked why Ashish was then living among ‘scoundrels’. It was so kind of the Weekly to publish it in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. Ashish didn’t react. 
   Before the Muslim invaders came, India had throughout been secular. No kingdom, big or small, in India ever adopted any religion as its official faith. Sarv dharm sambhav (all faiths are equal) was the ruling dictum. The only exception is when Ashoka the Great adopted Buddh dharma as the official religion. To India the world is one family. India daily prays for welfare and peace all over the world. It is only after the Muslims came that they forced their religion on the Indian population. They declared that their religion was the superior among all. When British rule dawned on India, the preaching of Christianity got a great boost.
   To these brown Sahebs nationalism and patriotism are outdated and abominable concepts. They think that forsaking these “isms” from the life of the countrymen will lead to ultimate peace and bliss in the country.  To be a nationalist, patriot and a fighter against traitors to the nation (ghaddaars) is a matter to feel ashamed of, an act of crime. They also want that the crime of treason should be erased from our Statute Book as it militates against the 21st century ethos and times. But it was these concepts which were the sole motivations for our freedom struggle. Sending these to exile will sap the very soul of our freedom. They want the country to blindly copy the western and global thoughts and standards. Human rights and environmental issues too should be governed by western and world stand points. They desire India to be turned into a mental slave to foreign thought. On the contrary, an overwhelming majority of the countrymen wish to make India retain its Indian identity. Otherwise the Indian government will be turned into slave to the world bodies. 
   They find nothing obnoxious in seditious activities like shouting slogans “Pakistan zindabad”, “Bharat tere tukde honge, insha illah, insha illa”, “Bharat ho barbaad, ho barbad”, questioning the hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab involved in 26/11 Mumbai attack, and earlier of Kashmiri terrorist Maqbul Butt. These are only some of the numerous instances. These activities should be respected under the right to opinion and expression.  The paid stone pelters in Kashmir, for them, were innocents. For some they needed to be honoured like ‘freedom fighters’. Any act of retaliation in self-defence by police and security forces was dubbed as a ‘heinous crime’.  When unruly, anti-social and anti-national elements attack innocent men, women and children, the security forces should silently stand bowing their heads before them and not to protest and cry even if they are hurt grievously. What a hypocrisy that these very ‘liberal-secular’ apostles of peace dub the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru as ‘judicial murder’ and acquittal of his accomplice SAR Gilani by the same court in the same case as ‘justice’. But can these elite men do the same in countries like China, Pakistan, Banglasdesh, and other Muslim and other countries?
      AIMIM leader Waris Pathan, a former Maharashtra MLA, in a  rally in the last week of February 2020 said that when the entire Muslim community of 15 crores comes together, they can become a bigger force against 100 crore people (referring to Hindus) and that Muslims are capable of "snatching away the aazaadi" from the majority community. In other words, in the opinion of Pathan the Muslim population which did not migrate to Pakistan at the time of Partition did not do so out of their love for India but preferred to live here without aazaadi. Pathan’s utterances, in a way, amount to threatening something like a civil war between the two communities. Is it an act of piety or a crime?  But the ‘liberal-secular’ intelligentsia, the Aamir Khans, Naseeruddin Shahs and the ‘heroes’ of award wapsi, as usual, continue to maintain a stoic silence.
      We need to understand that goli maaro is a phrase commonly used in day-today life and discussion. “Main tumhen goli maar doonga” (I will kill you) is an oft-used phrase even within a family when a child or wife/husband is going to commit something wrong not in tune with the family’s and society’s traditions. Generally, it is an empty threat. In cases where girls and infants have been murdered after rape, the victims, their families and general public have always been demanding goli maaro un gunahgaaron ko” (kill the guilty). In the notorious Nirbhaya rape and murder case, people all over the country demanded goli maaro in gunahgaaron ko. Is it all a crime?
Even when two or more persons are discussing the conduct of some people for a long time, they usually say “goli maro yaar usko” (leave him) and let us talk something else.
When some individuals and groups chant “Pakistan zindabad” and want tukde-tukde of Bharat before the cameras that clearly means that they have no love for the country from which they derive all the benefits available to every citizen of the country. This situation requires immediate enactment of a law to deport them out of the country to go to the land of their choice to have the aazaadi of their choice. What a hypocrisy, if we allow these people to shield themselves behind the right to opinion and expression and treat those as criminals who demand goli maro ghaddaaron ko!
   Our law says that murder/rape/treason is a heinous crime and if anybody does commit it, his/her sentence could be as high as being hanged till death. Recently, a new law has been enacted providing for a very high punishment or fine for breaking traffic rules. Does this law amount to threatening the innocent people? Our law does threaten, but only the law-breaker and not the innocent law-abider. If one is not a traitor, why should one feel hurt and lose sleep by people shouting goli maaro in gaddaaron ko?
                                  ***
 The writer is a Delhi-based political analyst and commentator.    

Friday, March 6, 2020

In our Democracy it looks Laws passed by Parliament Need to be Ratified by Shaaheen Baghs & Jamias?


In our Democracy it looks Laws passed by Parliament Need to be Ratified by Shaaheen Baghs & Jamias?

By Amba Charan Vashishth


It looks democracy in India is entering into a new phase where laws passed by Parliament in a democratic manner will need to be ratified by Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Islamia University hold-ups, violent protest demonstrations at various places  before these can be put into the Statute Book for implementation.

    
 Opposition is a vital pillar of democracy. Its absence robs the very sheen of democracy. Government and Opposition are not inimical to each other; they actually complement each other. Just as all religions and faiths lead us to realizing the Ultimate in their own way, in the same manner, both the ruling party and the opposition have — and should — the unity of thought and action to achieve the ultimate goal of public weal and security of the nation. The opposition voice needs to be heard and respected and not ignored or gagged unless, of course, motivated by narrow political and electoral interests.
Political parties in the country need also to understand that a council of ministers headed by a prime minister is the government of India and not of the ruling party or alliance they may belong to. Therefore, speaking for or against any member of the council of ministers should not transgress the limits of decency. 
 Our political parties also need to respect the people’s mandate. It has become a ritual for political parties to pre-empt their likely failure by alleging immediately after the polling and before the counting moment that electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been tampered with and questioning the security where these had been stored till the day of counting. For the Delhi assembly elections Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had done so in 2015 elections and this time in February 2020 elections. After their massive win 67 in 2015 and 62 out of 70 last time) — they failed to congratulate the Election Commission and EVMs for a free and elections. They should also have regretted their wild and reckless allegations.        
It has been found that political parties try to compensate their loss of mandate by being more aggressive and vociferous in putting hurdles in the path of the ruling party to promote its vision of development and welfare of the people. 
            Six months back the NDA government at the Centre led by Shri Narender Modi entered into its second tenure with a mandate stronger than the last one.  It lost no time to aggressively launch upon to fulfill the promises it made to the people of the country.
 First it removed the “Temporary and Transitional” Article 370 and 35-A of the Constitution which for the last 72 years had been rendered almost ‘permanent’. These Articles had discriminated against the people in the rest of the country and even within the State of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). This action has now demolished the unnatural wall created by these very Articles to separate the citizens of J&K from those in the rest of the country. Now J&K people are as much proud citizens of the country as are of any other State of the Union.
Further, the Modi government amended the Citizens Act 1955 to give citizenship to those Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis who had been ill-treated, harassed and persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan and, to save their life, honour and freedom of worship, had sought refuge in their mother country from which they got separated on account of the unfortunate Partition of the country 72 years back. The sufferings of this population can be gauged from the fact that Hindus after Partition constituted 12.9   percent of Pakistan population have now been reduced to just 1.6 percent. In Bangladesh Hindu population according to 1951 census was 22.05 percent. It has been made to melt down to 8.5 percent. The percentage has gone down because of forced conversions and persecution. The same is true of Sikhs, Christians, Parsees. The situation in Afghanistan is more or less the same.
 Another ugly part of the Partition is that it did not provide for any mechanism to administer justice to those who for the love of their land of birth preferred to stay back in Pakistan and Bangladesh against the ethnic cleansing indulged in by these Islamist governments. In 1951 Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Pakistani counterpart Liaqat Ali Khan did sign a Pact to safeguard the interests of minorities in the two countries. (The present Bangladesh was then known as East Pakistan.) While India implemented its part of the Pact sincerely and honestly, Pakistan treated it just a paper worth throwing into the dustbin.
For political and electoral ends in view the political parties and individuals opposed to the NDA are trying to make a great issue of a non-issue. PM Modi and HM Amit Shah have from the day the bill was introduced in both houses of Parliament been reiterating that CAA is not against Muslims in any way. The Act provides for grant of citizenship to refugees from these countries and not to snatch the citizenship to any minority, including Muslims already Indian citizens. But anti-CAA elements continue to misguide the illiterate or semi-literate gullible people by spreading a false canard. The most unfortunate part is the attitude of literate students of some universities who can very easily go through the provisions of this Act to ascertain reality. That they are stoking fires of false propaganda certainly points to some ulterior motive.
Excluding Muslims from the provisions of this Act is certainly not sinister but practical. Can any sane person think of persecution of Muslim people in Islamist countries on grounds of religion? It is as ridiculous as to say that Christians could be persecuted on account of their faith in USA, Great Britain and even in Vatican for their faith in Lord Christ and holy Bible. Or Muslims could feel unsafe in UAE, Iran, Pakistan, etc and they flee to India for solace and safety. If India allowed embracing Muslims from these countries, it could only result in a flood of terrorists seeking asylum here in the garb of their being tortured for being Muslims. Some NDA ministers, like Shri Nitin Gadkari, have already said that India cannot be turned into a dharmshala for refuge in this country.
No one has prevented countries, like Pakistan and Malaysia to welcome with open arms Muslim from other countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan into their lands. They criticize India but don’t frame a policy in their own countries for lack of which they criticize India.
Amendment to the Citizenship Act 1955 (CAA) was adopted following a democratic process, as any other enactment in the past. After full discussion the opposition stressed on a division and the amendment was carried with a comfortable majority with  311 in favour and 80 against in Lok Sabha and 125 for and 105  against in Rajya Sabha. 
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?
 The opposition of some political parties to have a National Register of Citizens (NRC) also suffers from illogical arguments and practice. A country’s population is the sum total of all the families in a district and State. Every Indian citizen has a ration card which gives full detail of his family members. Every member, almost, has a PAN card and aadhaar card. Some have driving, gun licence and passport too. Some people are spreading the canard that for NRC they will be required to give the names of their father, mother, grandfather and place and date of birth also. One wonders why providing this information should annoy and embarrass anybody. This information is very basic to the identity of a person. Details of one’s father-mother’s name, date and place of birth, name of the school and college, educational qualifications, if employed or not, married or not, registration of one’s marriage, number of children, religion, nationality, voter ID card and much other information about self. Scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and OBCs have to get of their belonging to their castes etc. to avail of the concessions available to them. Then why should one feel hurt to disclose this information for NRC?
NRC will also do away with the practice of people having a number of voter IDs at a number of places, bogus ration cards and figuring of a person’s name in a number of ration cards at different places. 
The Ram-mandir-Babri masjid issue too stands resolved.
NDA has succeeded in addressing these core issues with speed and sincerity. Opposition feels rattled in its failure to block many such measures in a democratic manner. Therefore, they have brought Shaahin Bagh hold-up and unending strikes and blockades in some colleges and university campuses are examples. News channels have shown that many of the protesters were hired individuals who had come on the promise of daily wages. Some even did not know for what purpose they had come. The Government has used utmost restraint. The Supreme Court of India has also disapproved of the hold-ups causing untold misery to the people whose passage has been blocked for the last about two months.
 The unending sit-ins and hold-ups certainly point to an unfortunate situation that undermines democracy. It looks as if the laws passed in a democratic manner in the two houses of State legislature and in Parliament have to be subjected to ratification by the unruly mobs and violent demonstrations before these are put in the statute book and implemented.  Which side will our democracy drift then?                                          ***
The writer is a Delhi-based political analyst and commentator.

(Courtesy: SOUTH ASIA POLITICS MONTHLY)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

राजनीति के क्षितिज पर जगत में प्रकाश फैलाता एक नया सितारा



भाजपा के नए राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष जगत प्रकाश नद्दा
राजनीति के क्षितिज पर जगत में  प्रकाश फैलाता एक नया सितारा
        अम्बा चरण वशिष्ठ

20 जनवरी 2020 (20 की तिकड़ी) को भारतीय जनता पार्टी के    दीनदयाल उपाध्याय मार्ग पर स्थित राष्ट्रीय कार्यालय में सांय को एक नए प्रकाश की किरण फूटी जब पार्टी ने श्री जगत प्रकाश नद्दा को पार्टी के 11वें   राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष केलिए चुनाव निर्विरोध संपन्न किया| यह क्षण हिमाचल प्रदेश की जनता केलिए उतना ही हर्ष का विषय था जितना कि समस्त देश के भाजपा कार्यकर्ताओं केलिए|
इस चुनाव से हिमाचल की जनता और स्वयं नद्दाजी केलिए कई पहल स्थापित हुए | हिमाचल केलिए यह प्रथम सौभाग्य है जब इस प्रदेश का कोई व्यक्ति भाजपा के इस सर्वौच पद केलिए चुना गया हो| इससे पहले भी यह प्रथम वार ही था जब यहाँ का कोई वासी केंद्र में राष्ट्रीय महामंत्री और संसदीय बोर्ड का सदस्य बना हो| 2010 में तत्कालीन राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष नितिन गडकरी जी के कहने पर नद्दाजी ने हिमाचल में कैबिनेट मंत्री पद त्याग कर संगठन कार्य को श्रेयस्कर समझा|
2019 में जब भाजपा पुनः सत्ता में आई तो मोदीजी ने भाजपा राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष श्री अमित शाह को अपनी कैबिनेट में गृह मंत्री बना दिया| क्योंकि भाजपा के संगठन चुनाव समूचे  देश में चल रहे थे और नया अध्यक्ष दिसम्बर 2019 में चुने जाने की सम्भावना थी, इसलिए प्रथम वार कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष का पद सृजित किया गया और उस पर जून 2019 में  नद्दाजी को बैठा दिया|
1991में भी हिमाचल केलिए यह पहला ही अवसर था जब प्रदेश के सपूत नद्दाजी को भाजपा राष्ट्रीय युवा मोर्चा का अध्यक्ष बनाया गया|
श्री नद्दाजी का जन्म 2 दिसम्बर 1960 को पिता श्री एन एल नद्दाजी और माता श्रीमती कृष्णाजी  के घर पटना (बिहार) में हुआ था|उन्होंने अपनी पढाई  पटना के सेंट ज़ेवियर स्कूल में कीस्नातक की डिग्री उन्होंने पटना विश्वविद्यालय से प्राप्त की | फिर वे अपने प्रदेश चले गए और वहां  वकालत की डिग्री उन्होंने हिमाचल विश्वविद्यालय से प्राप्त की| इसी दौरान  वह अखिल भारतीय विद्यार्थी परिषद् की गतिविधियों में बहुत सक्रीय हो गए| इसी के माध्यम से वह स्वयं सेवक संघ के भी निकट आ  गए|
नद्दाजी के पिता एक शिक्षाविद थे| बाद में वह पटना विश्वविद्यालय के कुलपति भी बने| नद्दाजी का जन्म और लालनपोषण  एक गैर-राजनीतिक शिक्षक परिवार में हुआ| जब लोकनायक जय प्रकाश नारायण ने समपूर्ण क्रांति का आन्दोलन चलाया तो नद्दाजी उससे बड़े प्रभावित हुए| वह छात्र संघर्ष समिति में शामिल हो गए| 13 वर्ष की अल्पायु में ही यह उनका राजनीति में प्रथम प्रवेश था| बाद में वह अखिल भारतीय विद्यार्थी परिषद् में बहुत सक्रिय हो गएपरिषद् के कार्य में उन्हें एक अलग पहचान मिली|  वह राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ के भी निकट हो गए| संगठन कार्य में उनकी योग्यता, लगन, समर्पण और त्याग  की भावना को काफी सराहा गया|
नद्दाजी के एक वरिष्ठ साथी ने बताया कि परिषद् ने उन्हें कोई विशेष कार्य सौंपा था| वह उस कार्य को पूरण रूप से संपन्न और सफल बनाने में इतने व्यस्त हो गए कि वह 6-7 दिन अपने घर ही नहीं गए| उनके पिताजी चिंतित हो उठे| उन्हें ढूंढते-ढूंढते वह परिषद् कार्यालय पहुँचे जहाँ उन्होंने अपने बेटे को एक चद्दर पर फर्श पर सोये पाया|
       अपने बाल्यकाल में ही उन्होंने अखिल भारतीय कनिष्ठ तैराकी 
चैंपियनशिप में हिस्सा लिया जो दिल्ली में हुई थी
1989-90 में नद्दाजी को कांगड़ा संसदीय क्षेत्र का प्रभारी बना दिया| हिमाचल के मुख्य मंत्री बनने पर शांता कुमार जी ने लोक सभा की सदस्यता से त्यागपत्र दे दिया जिस कारण वहां उप-चुनाव हुआ| नद्दाजी ने सारी रणनीति बनाई और शांता कुमारजी की चुनाव सभाएं कहाँ-कहाँ करवानी हैं यह तय किया | जहाँ-जहाँ शांताजी ने पहुंचना होता था वह वहां पहले पहुँच कर सरे इंतज़ाम की समीक्षा करते और ज्योंही शांता कुमारजी एक स्थल पर पहुँचते वह अगले सभास्थल केलिए रवाना हो जाते| उन्हें यदि चिंता थी तो बस पार्टी की सफलता की, अपने लिए श्रेय की नहीं|
11 दिसम्बर 1991को नद्दाजी  श्रीमती जैश्री बैनर्जी, पूर्व लोक सभा सदस्य की बेटी डॉ मल्लिका के साथ  प्रणय सूत्र में  बंध गए| इस वैवाहिक गठबंधन ने उनकी राष्ट्रीय राजनीति में जड़ें और भी पक्की कर दीं
हिमाचल भाजपा व विधान सभा में नए रक्त का संचार करने के उद्देश्य से पार्टी ने 1993 के विधान सभा चुनाव में श्री नद्दा को चुनाव में भाग लेने केलिए कहा| उन्होंने प्रथम बार बिलासपुर सीट से चुनाव लड़ा और जीते| पर प्रदेश में भाजपा बुरी तरह हार गयी| 68 सदस्यों वाली विधान सभा में भाजपा को केवल 7 सीटों पर ही विजय मिल सकीनद्दाजी पहली बार विधान सभा में विजयी रहे और साथ ही उन्हें विधायक दल का नेता भी चुन लिया गया|
       1998 में श्री प्रेम कुमार धूमलजी के नेतृत्व में हिमाचल में भाजपा सरकार बनी और नद्दाजी को कैबनेट स्तर का मंत्री बना कर स्वास्थय व परिवार कल्याण का प्रभार सौंपा गया| 2007 में प्रदेश में फिर भाजपा सरकार बनी और इस बार उन्हें वन व पर्यावरण मंत्रालय का प्रभार मिला| उन्हीं के इस कार्यकाल में प्रदेश में वनक्षेत्र के फैलाव में काफी वृद्धी रिकार्ड की गई     
       इसी बीच श्री नद्दा के दिल व  दिमाग की निपुणता और संगठन कार्य की क्षमता तत्कालीन भाजपा राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष नितिन गडकरिजी को प्रभावित कर गयीं| उन्होंने नद्दाजी राष्ट्रिय स्तर पर पार्टी के संगठन में काम करने केलिए कहा| नद्दाजी तुरंत मंत्री पद त्याग कर केंद्र में संगठन कार्य सम्भालने पहुँच गए| गडकरिजी ने नद्दाजी को पार्टी का महासचिव व  केंद्रीय संसदीय बोर्ड का सदस्य मनोनीत कर दिया| उन्होंने संगठन कार्य में अपनी छाप भी बना ली|  
       2014 के लोक सभा चुनाव में नरेन्द्र मोदीजी के नेतृत्व में भाजपा ने अपने ही बल पर पूर्ण बहुमत प्राप्त कर लिया| यह पहला मौका था जब किसी एक विशुद्ध गैर-कांग्रसी दल को केंद्र में बहुमत प्राप्त हुआ हो| अपनी एनडीए सरकार में प्रधान मंत्री नरेन्द्र मोदीजी ने उस समय के भाजपा अध्यक्ष श्री राजनाथ सिंह को गृह मंत्री बना दिया| पार्टी के एक-व्यक्ति एक-पद के सिद्धांत का पालन करते हुए राजनाथ जी ने अध्यक्ष पद से त्यागपत्र दे दिया| उस समय भी नद्दाजी का राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष पद केलिए नाम उछला पर इसी बीच मोदीजी ने उन्हें अपने मंत्रिमंडल में स्वास्थय मंत्री बना दिया| अमित शाहजी भाजपा राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष के पद पर आसीन हुए |  
       2019 के लोक सभा चुनाव में नद्दाजी को उत्तर प्रदेश का प्रभारी बनाया गया था| उनकी देखरेख में भाजपा ने 80 में से 64 सीटों पर क़ब्ज़ा बनाये रखने में सफलता प्राप्त की और जो इस चुनाव में भाजपा केलिए प्रलय की भविष्यवाणी कर रहे थे उन्हें झुठला दिया|
       हॉल ही में भाजपा के संगठन चुनाव संपन्न हुए| भाजपा अध्यक्ष अमित शाहजी  के नेतृत्व में पार्टी के नए सदस्यों की करोड़ों की संख्या में  वृद्धि हुई और भाजपा को विश्व की सबसे बड़ी पार्टी होने का गौरव प्राप्त हुआ| 2019 के लोक सभा चुनाव में अमित शाहजी गुजरात से लोक सभा केलिए चुने गए थे| मोदीजी  ने उन्हें अपने मंत्रिमंडल में गृह मंत्री बना दिया| इस कारण 20 जून को नद्दाजी को कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष बना दिया गया | पिछले वर्ष चालु हुए संगठनात्मक चुनाव संपन्न होने पर 20 जनवरी को जगत प्रकाश नद्दाजी को सर्वसम्मति से राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष चुन लिया गया| उसी दिन उन्होंने राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष का पदभार भी संभाल लिया| इस प्रकार नद्दाजी पार्टी में तीसरे सब से अधिक सशक्त व्यक्ति होकर उभरे|
       नद्दाजी के उसी दिन हुए स्वागत समारोह में प्रधान मंत्री मोदीजी और निवर्तमान पार्टी अध्यक्ष अमित शाहजी ने आशा व्यक्त की कि नद्दाजी के नेतृत्व में पार्टी ऊंची से ऊंची ऊंचाइयों को छूती जायेगी|
       मोदीजी ने नद्दाजी के साथ संगठन का कार्य करने की याद ताज़ा करते हुए कहा कि जब वह हिमाचल प्रदेश के संगठन प्रभारी थे तो वह नद्दाजी के साथ स्कूटर पर बैठ कर प्रदेश के कई स्थानों पर घूमा करते थे|
       इस कार्यक्रम में वरिष्ठ नेता श्री लाल कृष्ण आडवानी और डॉ मुरली मनोहर जोशी भी उपस्थित थे| अनेक नेताओं ने इस बात पर जोर दिया कि भाजपा अलग दल है जिसमें छोटे से छोटा व्यक्ति भी पार्टी प्रधान बन सकता है और यहाँ वंशावली का कोई महत्त्व नहीं है   
       मृदुभाषी होने केलिए जाने-पहचाने जाने जाने वाले नद्दाजी छोटे-बड़े सब उनसे बड़ी आसानी से मिल लेते हैं| वह सबकी सुनते हैं और करते वही है जो देश व पार्टी हित में हो| आडम्बर और देख-दिखावे से वह दूर रहते हैं| वह मशीन के पीछे से काम करने में संतुष्ट रहते हैं| जहाँ तक पार्टी काम है उसे पूरा करने और लक्ष्य प्राप्ति में वह कोई ढील या लापरवाही बर्दाश्त नहीं करते|
       
      उनकी अर्धांगनि डॉ मल्लिका कालिज में इतिहास पढ़ाती हैं| वह सही अर्थों में सफल व्यक्ति के पीछे एक महिला होने का उदाहरण प्रस्तुत करती हैं| वह जानती है कि ज्यों-ज्यों उनके पति का दायित्व बढ़ता जा रहा  है त्यों-त्यों नद्दाजी का अपने परिवार को समय देना भी कम होता जा रहा है| वह और उनके दोनों बच्चे इस तथ्य से अवगत हैं और वह हर हालत में उनके साथ हैं| उन्हें  भाजपा के इस मंत्र पर विश्वास है और उस पर ही चलते हैं जिसमें कहा गया है कि राष्ट्र पहले, पार्टी बाद में और हम व हमारा परिवार अंत में| वह सब कुच्छ करने को तैयार हैं जिससे राष्ट्र और पार्टी के हित को बढ़ावा मिले और नद्दाजी इसका सूत्र बनें| नद्दाजी पार्टी और देश को और से और ऊंचे शिखर पर ले जाते रहें इसी में उनकी पत्नी और बच्चे खुश हैं|
       पार्टी कर्यकर्ताओं में भी उनसे बड़ी उम्मीदें हैं| जनता व पार्टी कार्यकर्ताओं के समर्थन, समर्पण व स्नेह से नद्दाजी को भी बड़ी उम्मीद है की वह सबकी आशाओं और आकांक्षाओं पर खरा उतरेंगे|       ***