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.