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|       ***     

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.