Showing posts with label Nitish Kumar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nitish Kumar. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ignorance can't be bliss for Arvind & Nitish

Ignorance can't be bliss for Arvind & Nitish

The way the self-confessed "anarchist" Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is behaving and blurring, it provides justification for denial of Statehood to Delhi, not at least under a maverick politician like him. Instances of his words and actions which do not behove a chief minister are unending. Sufficient to question his latest soundbite. Mahesh Giri MP "should be arrested n interrogated by Modi Police" for NDMC official MM Khan's "murder", Kejriwal tweeted, charging that "Modi Police was shielding him".
On the other hand, the beleaguered and bereaved family of Khan has pleaded with politicians not to play politics with their family loss but help get them justice.
Granting statehood to Delhi, in these circumstances, shall be like handing over a loaded gun to a child. The Delhi chief minister seems to be ignorant that under the law a chief minister — or, for that matter, even a prime minister — have no constitutional authority to order the arrest of an individual however heinous the crime of an accused may be.  It is for the police to register a case on receiving a complaint and investigate it. Going by his conduct, had Kejriwal been the chief minister of a full-fledged State of Delhi, he would certainly have ordered "Kejriwal" police to "arrest and interrogate" Giri for the alleged murder.
Similarly, we have another chief minister, Nitish Kumar of Bihar, displaying ignorance of law and the reality. While the world was celebrating the second Yoga International Day on June 21, it goes to the credit of Nitish Kumar to decide not to observe it, apparently taking offence at the BJP-led central government cold shouldering his call for countrywide prohibition.
Ignorance of law and the constitution may be bliss for the ignorant but not for a chief minister like Nitish or Kejriwal who share a common wish, at one time or the other, to be the country's prime minister. The home truth is that in his own State Nitish Kumar's Grand 'Secular' Alliance may have won 178 seats in a 243-member house but only with 41.9 percent votes against NDA's 34.1 percent votes with just 58 seats.
Further, he needs to understand that prohibition is a State specific policy and the Modi government has no authority to impose Nitish's will on the rest of the country. If NDA did, it would be the likes of Nitish and Kejriwal who will be the first to shout from the housetops that Modi government was transgressing on the rights of the States and arbitrarily imposing its will on the unwilling States for which it has no authority. They will then further allege that the States were not consulted and no effort was made to find a consensus.
Or is Nitish Kumar trying to build a ground to put the blame on the Centre if he fails to effectively enforce prohibition policy in the State?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

POINT TO PONDER Present election re-defining secularism?

Present election re-defining secularism?

It is difficult to determine who is secular and who not. Actually, 'secularism' is a notion and conception which is self-assessed and self-proclaimed. What a political party or individual claims is something opposite that looks to their opponent.

It is no secret or surprise that even the Indian Union Muslim League and other political organizations whose membership is restricted only to Muslims proclaim themselves to 'secular'. They exhort other political parties not to do anything that divides the 'secular' vote, a synonym for Muslim vote.

When the 'secular' Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi called on Abdullah Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid a few days back, Bukhari too spoke of the need for unity of the 'secular' vote and to ensure that it is not divided.  Bukhari claims to be the leader of Muslims and, at the same time, 'secular. He later obliged Mrs. Gandhi by calling Muslims to vote for Congress.

Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party is another political organization that professes itself to be the 'secular' icon and, at the same time, the only protagonist of Muslims. That is why Mulayam Singh also attracts the epithet of 'Mian" Mulayam. One of the leading lights of this 'secular' hoard is its prominent leader Azam Khan and presently a Minister in UP's Akhilesh government.  On April 8, 2014 he declared that it was not Hindu but Muslim soldiers who should be credited for the Kargil victory against Pakistan in 1999 war.

In the last Bihar Vidhan Sabha elections another 'secular' conglomerate in the State declared that it would ally with the party which promises to make Muslim  the State's chief minister. To corner 'secular' votes the leader took an Osama bin Laden look-alike during campaigning in the hope that Indian Muslims would be humoured with this gesture of his to vote for his party.

Another self-acclaimed die-hard 'secular' is the Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav of Bihar who has been sentenced to five years of jail in the fodder scam, presently on bail. He too pretends openly that Muslims are with him.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar does not wish to lag behind in this 'secular' marathon. He derides other parties' professions on this score. There are many other 'secular' groups who openly appeal for Muslim community vote during  the ongoing elections and previous ones too.

In the present election to the 16th Lok Sabha and some State assemblies there is free for all, everybody scouting for Muslim votes in the open. This appeal is being vociferously made despite the fact that under the Representation of the People Act 1951 imploring for votes in the name of religion is a crime. Anybody doing so can not only be tried for violation of law but if such a person gets elected, his election can as well be set aside on this count.

Further, all this is going on under the prying eye of the too vigilant and alert Election Commission of India.

What does all this boil down to — appealing to the Muslim community for votes in the name of religion is an act of secularism and doing so in the name of non-Muslims an unpardonable crime of 'communalism'?                                   *** 

Also published in the May 2014 issue of SOUTH ASIA POLITICS monthly.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

SUNDAY SENTIMENT Patna Hunkar Rally Modi braved terror & opponents' threat Saved Bihar and nation of a catastrophe

Patna Hunkar Rally
Modi braved terror & opponents' threat Saved Bihar and nation of a catastrophe

By Amba Charan Vashishth

Most counties, like USA and UK, have succeeded in eliminating terror from their soil. India with enormous resources of men and material at her command has failed to do so. Terror is a national problem eating into the vitals of this country. It is crying for a national resolution. But our politicians motivated not by considerations of national interest, but lured by narrow political and electoral considerations, do not wish to take a united stand against terror. They do not wish to commit political harakari because if they stop indulging in retailing in politics of opportunism, of 'secularism-communalism' they will, then, have to down their shutters.

Political parties in India, particularly those claiming to be ‘secular’, play the minority card to bloat their vote banks. Congress stands amply exposed on this score. Spurred by communal considerations of vote bank politics JD (U) too did not lag behind. This was amply demonstrated when Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) government in Bihar refused to take custody of the dreaded terrorist and Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal. That was the reason, according to press reports, why the National Inquiry Agency (NIA) had to be called in.


There is no gainsaying the fact that only two main political parties, JD (U) and Congress, were feeling nervous of the BJP’s 27 September Hunkar Rally in Gandhii Maidan, Patna to be addressed by BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. Nitish government tried its best to put every obstacle to see that the rally did not materialize. First, it cancelled the permission for the Rally in the historic Gandhi Maidan taking the plea that the President of India would be in town on that day for a two-day visit and it would be difficult to provide adequate security because  Bihar police hands would be tied up with President’s security.  Refusing to be a pawn in this political controversy, President Pranab Mukherjee curtailed his visit to one day. Nitish government was then left with no other alternative but to acquiesce into granting permission for the rally.
It is the moral and legal duty of any government to provide security to both the political leaders addressing the rally and people joining it. The Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is on record having claimed that his ministry had sent advance inputs about the threat to the rally. In spite of that, the terrorists could strike at the Patna railway station and in and around the Gandhi Maidan itself. There are reports that although the Bihar government claimed to have sanitized the area five times, yet bombs exploded inside the venue of the rally and a few feet from the dais from where the national BJP leaders addressed the meeting.
Eulogizing the BJP leaders of ""for their remarkable presence of mind, equanimity and far-sightedness in underplaying the bomb blasts, in his signed editorial in November 2013 issue of the SOUTH ASIA POLITICS  the Editor Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap lamented that "from media reports it is obvious that ….basic security drill was not followed, intelligence inputs were ignored, necessary security measures were not taken, there were no metal detectors or CCTVs installed, anti-bomb squads were missing, and on the whole, the approach seemed to be casual, callous and negligent." Bombs exploded while the rally was on.
Bihar government, for unexplained reasons, failed to discharge its constitutional obligation to provide security to those attending the rally. It was surprising that although 8 innocent people had died and more than 100 persons had been injured, some seriously, yet the Bihar government had no regret and on the contrary, was found finding fault with Mr. Narendra Modi and organizers for the tragedy.
JD (U) government claimed that Mr. Modi was informed of the blasts when he alighted at Patna airport and advised not to proceed to the rally site. Brushing aside the advice and the threat Mr. Modi forged ahead for the rally. So did the other leaders — BJP national President Rajnath Singh, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and other national and State BJP leaders.
Mr. Modi rose to the occasion and displayed a rare sense of courage and foresightedness in not abandoning the rally. He knew that his doing so would trigger instant panic and stampede resulting in possible death of not less than a few thousand from the crowd of more than five lakhs. That would also have painted Mr. Modi as a coward too keen for his own safety while  exposing lakhs of his supporters who had come from far and wide to an unfortunate orgy of death and destitution. The NIA charge-sheet against the persons accused, according to Press reports, states that their intention was to trigger a stampede killing thousands. Had the BJP leaders not been that prudent, they would have fallen in the trap laid by the terrorists and had only been instrument in terrorists realising their goal.
The speakers at the rally too did not give the slightest hint of anything being  amiss. They addressed the people as if nothing had happened. They trivialised bomb explosions as sound of cracker and tyre bursts which needed just to be ignored. In the process, they exposed their own life to great risk.
Five low intensity bombs exploded in the Gandhi maidan during the Hoonkar rally of Narendra Modi on October 27, four live bombs were recovered from the same venue later after end of the rally. In subsequent days, five more live bombs were found inside the maidan during search operation by Patna police and CRPF.
Everything else is self-evident, nothing more to elaborate.

Saturday, April 27, 2013



The JD(U) has recognized the right of BJP as the largest constituent of the NDA  to have its prime ministerial candidate stressing that it would support him/her only if he possessed “secular credentials”.
But neither JD(U) nor any other political organization has so far ever been able to define what constitutes “secular credentials”. So how to determine who has these and who doesn’t?
By all counts, India is – and has been -- a secular country all through.  India’s Constitution too has been secular in word and spirit. Yet, for reasons unexplained – and perhaps to appeal to the constituency of minority votes – the late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, through a Constitutional amendment in 1976 got the words “secular” and “socialist” added to the Preamble to the Constitution.
That Mrs. Gandhi did not, deliberately, venture to define the word “secular” is a clear indication to the functioning of her mind at that time. She wanted to keep it vague to use it as a tool against her opponents.
In fact, secularism in India has less to do with society and more with politics. It is a tool to strike at one’s opponents. Here every political and organisation claims to be ‘secular’ and lashes ouy at its opponent as ‘communal’. An individual and political party remains ‘communal’ as long as they remain antagonistic to the other. The moment they change their stand and support the other, overnight they become secular. In 1996 the United Front of H. D. Deve Gowda tried its best to rope in Akali Dal into its fold. When it failed, like grapes are sour, Akali Dal too became ‘communal’.
Except perhaps for Congress (though some Congress leaders did join BJP), at one time or the other since 1967 when Congress was enemy No. 1 of communist and socialist parties, the latter entered into a marriage of convenience to share the bed of power with Jana Sangh and later avtar Bharatiya Jana Sangh. They had no qualms of conscience when in 1977 they invited the ‘communal’ Jana Sangh with declared RSS links to merge with their parties to form a new political outfit called Janata Party which dethroned the mighty Congress from power at the Centre and many States. Everything worked smoothly till Janata Party remained in power. It was only after losing power that the thorn of Jana Sangh ‘communalism’ started pricking them. The great ‘secularist’ late V. P. Singh had no hesitation to welcome Jana Sangh’s new avtar BJP’s outside support to get PM’s throne. The conscience of communist parties did not prick when they shared common blocks of UF supporters in Parliament. The Muslim outfits like the Indian Union Muslim League, the successors to Jinnah’s Muslim League,  whose membership is restricted to Muslims only, are ‘secularists’ and Akali Dal and BJP who have every caste and religion in their fold are branded ‘communal’ when they do not see eye to eye with some self-proclaimed ‘secularists’.
‘Secularism’ is an alien concept which emerged in the West broadly meaning that the Church will have nothing to do with administration. Still it has no standard or legal definition.  This puts a great flexibility in the hands of our politicians.  A great hoax and hypocrisy, in instance, is the support and opposition to the Babri masjid and Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. For all intents and purposes, both are religious issues, though the Mandir has nationalist connotation too. Yet, those who support Masjid are ‘seculars’ and those who champion the cause of the Mandir ‘communalists’. Nobody can explain the logic and ‘secularists’ remain self-righteous.
At times, secularism comes in conflict with the spirit of nationalism and ‘secularists’ are too willing to sacrifice their nationalism at the altar of ‘secularism’. That explains the fact that when Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi defined secularism as “India first”, it raised  our ‘secular-liberal’ intelligentsia’s eyebrows. “India first” means that country comes first; we are Indians first and our religion, caste, region and language come afterwards. But that does not humour the ‘secularists’.
Various scholars have tried to define ‘secular’ in their own way. The most appropriate working definition which could suit the Indian conditions seems to be that of Donald E. Smith, Professor of Political Science in Pennsylvania University who said a secular state is the one “which guarantees individual and corporate freedom of religion, deals with the individual as a citizen irrespective of his religion, is not constitutionally connected to a particular religion, nor does it seek to promote or interfere with religion". 
Going by these definitions or by its own concept JD(U) needs to enumerate what it calls “secular credentials” and how does a person, like  Mr. Narendra Modi, does not possess it.   
If the 2002 riots stands in the way of “secular credentials” of a person like Mr. Modi, how could, in these circumstances,  how does the blot of’84 riots does not in the way of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and his Congress who continue to be the epitome of ‘secularism’? In that case, Nitish’s new found infatuation for Congress motivated by whatever reasons may put his own “secular credentials” in question.
There is something more than meets the eye in the design of JD(U)’s latest hostility towards Mr. Modi. Even for the 2009 Lok Sabha polls BJP had declared its prime ministerial candidate only in December 2008. But   JD(U) has been raising the pitch for the last more than six months back for BJP coming out with its hopeful, about more than 18 months earlier. And mark the stark contrast. Nobody in the UPA is raising heckles for naming its prime ministerial candidate here and now. The common refrain with politicians when asked by media on such matters is that “they will cross the bridge when it comes”. But JD)U), for unexplained reasons, seems to be wanting to strategise how to cross the bridge that is, as yet, miles and miles away.