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.” (https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mahatma-gandhi-m-s-golwalkar-rss-hindutva-nathuram-godse-5693117/)


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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Who needs Statehood for Delhi?

Who needs Statehood for Delhi?
By Amba Charan Vashishth

With the process of General Elections to Lok Sabha in the country already set in motion, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has become more vociferous and active to pursue his Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) demand for Statehood for Delhi. Next year, Delhi will also go in for elections to its Assembly. Kejriwal has also called on the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to press this demand.
Kejriwal had threatened to go on fast till the demand was met. But, in the meantime, terrorist struck on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir which killed more than 40 jawans. Keeping in view this tragedy Kejriwal postponed his fast. He continues to raise his demand at various forums. He has challenged the Congress and BJP to make their stand clear on the issue. Both these parties, Kejriwal alleges, had earlier promised full statehood for Delhi but never kept their word.
Statehood to Delhi may be the demand of the AAP — and earlier of some other political parties too — yet it is difficult to say that the common man of Delhi is put to any disadvantage or inconvenience because of the absence of full statehood to Delhi. For what the common man in Delhi has to knock at the doors of the administration pertains to visiting a Patwari and Tehsildar for some work relating to revenue department, Police, district magistrate, deputy commissioner,  a court, and the like. Absence of statehood does not stand in the way of an ordinary citizen to get a ration card, a driving licence and arms licence. The other organs to provide him daily civil services at present are the Delhi municipal council and New Delhi Municipal Committee. He never feels the pinch of the absence of  statehood for Delhi in getting his routine work done.
The statehood is virtually the exclusive demand of politicians — and not of the common man — to get more powers for themselves in the name of providing better services to the people. AAP and its government wishes the people to believe that if statehood was granted the Delhi government would be in a better position to deal effectively with the law and order, put a saddle on the police and bureaucracy, to control crime and to give better protection to women etc.
If statehood were the panacea for all the ills facing the people, then all other states in the country which enjoy this privilege should have been the models of good governance, of peace and prosperity, no crime, no corruption, no poverty, no unemployment, no price rise, no crime against women and so on. Self-sufficiency would have been the hallmark of these states. Yet, most of the states do not portray a happy picture. Even J&K, which enjoys autonomy greater than all other states of the country, cannot boast of such a reality.
Granting statehood to Delhi has political and administrative complications and ramifications. That is why the Congress which ruled Delhi for 15 years and had a government of its own at the Centre for a decade did not meet this demand. There can be instances when New Delhi, the seat of power of both the Union and the Delhi State government is ruled by two different political    parties, as at present, opposed to each other. In that situation, chances of a clash of interests between the two can be frequent. There have also been instances when Head of State of a country visits New Delhi and the political party running the local Delhi government is opposed to the programmes and policies of the visiting dignitary. Some political parties have been staging protest rallies against such foreign heads of governments or prime ministers on a State visit to the country.
The record of the present AAP ruling the national capital during the past more than four years when it had been at odds with the Centre has not strengthened its demand for Statehood.  For most of the time, it had only been fighting with the Centre and the Lt. Governor. The AAP government created an embarrassing situation for the national government when Chief Minister Kejriwal himself sat on a dharna opposite the Rail Bhawan adjoining the route of the national Republic Day parade which was to pass through it. Kejriwal went on to say that he is not worried if his dharna comes in the way of the national celebrations. It was at that time that he claimed himself to be an “anarchist”. Note the contrast — a chief minister himself the product of a democratic system believing in anarchy! AAP leaders and even ministers are on record having taken law into their hands.
While campaigning for his party during the Punjab assembly elections two years back, Delhi CM Kejriwal had threatened publicly that when AAP wins and forms a government he will personally catch hold of the Akali Minister by the collar and drag him to jail for his alleged involvement in drug trade. Can a chief minister assume the role of the police and the investigating agency? Does it behove a minister or chief minister to say and do so?
Then Statehood for whom — the politicians or the people?
Courtesy:  Weekly UdayIndia (English)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Beware! Skipping Breakfast May Lead To Many Health Problems

Beware! Skipping Breakfast May Lead To Many Health Problems
A good breakfast is usually composed of dairy products (fat-free or low fat milk, yogurt and cheese), a carbohydrate (whole wheat bread, bagels, cereals), and whole fruits.

Do you skip your morning meal and eat dinner late at night? If so, it may increase the risk of death and other heart-related problems, researchers have warned.
The findings, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, suggest that people with such an unhealthy lifestyle had a four to five times higher likelihood of early death and increased chances of a second heart attack.
(Read more ......https://www.ndtv.com/health/beware-skipping-breakfast-may-lead-to-many-health-problems-2025026
(Courtesy NDTV in public interest)

Monday, February 4, 2019

#MeToo now turns them bold

For years they acquiesced
#MeToo now turns them bold

By Amba Charan Vashishth

                The #MeToo movement is blazing a new trail in the country. Normally, a victim of a crime does —and should — knock the door of police to seek investigation and justice both to the accused and the victim after a court trial.  But, not now with #MeToo which inspires people to rush to the Facebook or Twitter or media to seek publicity and media trial as the aggrieved person. The beauty of the whole exercise is that what the accuser says is being taken as the gospel of truth and the person complained against is taken as guilty instantly without investigation and court trial. There is no onus on complainant to prove his/her allegations. The accused is being deprived of the right to prove his innocence. People now don't need to wait for months and years for investigation and verdict after trial in a court of law.  
        The trend started with a woman charging yester years’ popular hero Jitendra of having raped her at Shimla more than forty years back.
        #MeToo movement surfaced in Hollywood some months back. Bollywood jumped to follow it. The movement has startled our actors to crave their past to discover what wrong had been done to them. They are now spilling the beans of their having been subjected to rape, their modesty outraged and other kinds of sexual misdemeanour at the hands of their colleagues. More and more are now coming out with their disclosures.
        The world of journalism too has taken the cue. Demands are now being made to summarily remove the persons accused immediately from offices/posts they hold even before they are pronounced guilty of the crime by a court of law.
        The ‘secular, liberal intelligentsia’ had campaigned for extending full opportunity to prove their innocence to Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru, the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab caught live in 26/11 attack and Yaqub Memon guilty of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. But they are not willing to extend this very right to the persons complained against. They are the people who had throughout been taking a stand that a person proven guilty and given punishment by a court of law should not be taken as guilty till the Supreme Court had handed out its final verdict.
        The first essential requirement to prove an accused guilty of rape and attempt to violate the modesty of a woman is the medical examination report of the complainant and the accused besides other evidence. Can the medical examination of the complainant and the accused after years and decades prove the allegation?
        A rape is a crime if it is alleged within a reasonable period of time. Keeping quiet for years and decades leads one to conclude that the victim has, for some reason or consideration, compromised. This automatically gives the impression of it having been an act with mutual consent. Going vocal now after keeping silent for years comes to smack of it being an afterthought.
        Indulging in sex before marriage, obviously, implies each others' consent even if under the promise of a marriage or other considerations. Giving it the colour of a rape later is a relation gone sour. A sex act with consent today cannot turn an act without consent months and years later. No law or society condones it.
        Contrast the present controversy with the brave example of a Tehelka woman reporter who firmly stood up against her boss instantly in a similar situation. The person accused is facing a criminal offence in a court of law in Goa. What considerations did weigh with these gentle women to seal their mouths for so long?  
        Actors are willing to go ‘bold’ in displaying nudity and to enact bedroom scenes in a film. Even while promoting their films they are very courageous before an audience. But they are making accusations against members of their own fraternity as if they had always been a ‘touch-me-not’. For them, it looks, doing a thing before a camera is an act of art for which they are paid. Performing the same role becomes violation of law if not before a camera and is without payment.
        The movement gives rise to pertinent questions: One, can an individual's honour and the post/office one holds be made a prisoner to somebody, high or low, hurling wild charges which have yet not passed through the acid test of truth?
        Two, where was their moral courage when they did not stand up to their sexual exploitation and why are they bold enough to spill the beans now after decades? They now have had the best of the two worlds: acquiesced into their sexual exploitation standing against which would have resulted in loss of money and career. Now that they have nothing to lose, they have turned 'bold' and verbose.
        More surprising is the Editors' Guild of India calling upon the veteran editor M. J. Akbar "to show grace and withdraw his defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani "who had come forward against the former editor". It even threatened that if he did not do so, "it would offer all support to the women". In other words it means that the Guild has condemned Akbar guilty without a free and fair trial in a court of law.