Archive for April, 2010

Gujarat Governor returns bill on voting

The Gujarat Governor Dr Kamla has returned unsigned the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 which had sought to make voting in all self governing bodies compulsory. This on the basis of three objections:
1-Compulsory voting is a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution which gives the citizens freedom of speech and expression.
2-The second one which relates to a punishment to those who do not turn up to vote is also related to the first in that it violates the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression.
3-The third one points out that this compulsory voting was a failure in different parts of the world.
With due respect to the Governor Dr Kamla let me exercise my freedom of speech and expression to question the validity of her objections. Freedom of Speech and Expression is given under the Constitution but of what use will this be if the people do not participate in the operation of the Constitution; namely in making democracy valid and vibrant especially at the local levels? Does the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression mean non- expresssion non participation and non- articulation in that vital sphere of governance? If voting is a right then it has an obligation-to cast that precious vote. This is a very negative way of reading into Art 19-Freedom of Speech and Expression in operation means not voting-in operation means an indifference to the whole process of electing people’s representatives. What is the use of a Constitution which cannot make people constitutionally aware of their Rights in a positive way-namely to make democracy meaningful at the local level and uphold that very Constitution which ensures them of Rights? The Constitution then becomes a book of Rights in only in print.
When it came to the business of Hussain then one found this Right very much articulated and Hussain was defended on his right to the Freedom of Speech and Expression-even if meant committing jihad through his brush. Does Freedom of Speech and Expression mean indifference and non-involvement in the affairs which deal with one’s daily business of life? If one does not express this in the form of voting then how does one express approval/disapproval of functioning of the government at the local level? If one does not care to express through voting who should represent one in governance then what is democracy? Why then have a whole process of electing representatives when people are totally indifferent to this and now this indifference legitimated as a Right! Be it positive or negative Freedom of Expression in this specific case is expression through voting and does not by any stretch of imagination mean indifference. Why only in this the Right means inaction? As far as the spirit of the Constitution is concerned it calls for action, it calls for articulation in the democratic process. Citing that Right of Freedom to negate the right to better governance is not what that Right envisages.
To put in more succinctly it is taken for granted that the Constitution sleeps or at least is inactive and non-operational until and unless it is awakened. It suits most of the politicians that it sleeps. For example the oaths taken by all the Constitutional heads- governors, judges and the Ministers on the solemn promise that they would function without fear or favor. But this is not so in reality. Starting from the highest in the Judiciary-we have judges who instead of upholding justice was busy grabbing land, and refusing even to vacate the chair. We have the Prime Minister who looks on indifferently even when one of his cabinet ministers was absconding; he tells the Parliament that he is not aware of the whereabouts of the man . Now after years of the case against Sibu Soren just two days prior to the culmination of the long drawn case and the pronouncement of the verdict -the judge resigns. This would mean that the new judge must start at the very beginning. In the meantime Sibu Soren sits comfortably in the CM’s seat. So did the judges in the above two mentioned cases act according to the oath they took ‘to function without fear or favor? So such oaths are dead but only ceremoniously upheld without any meaning nor are they operational. Even the PM has failed to uphold the solemn oath he took-to function without fear or favour. Otherwise he will not countenance the continuation of his cabinet colleague A.Raja. The moment there is even a notion of fraud and corruption it is obligatory for the PM to ask the person concerned to put in his papers till his name and the alleged charges are cleared. So what is the substance of the oath of the PM in reality?
How are these related to Governor Dr Kamla’s sending back the Act passed by the Gujarat Assembly? Constitutional heads, taking of oaths in the name of the Constitution and Constitutional Rights are all inter related. Well the constitution also envisages the role of Governors. The institution itself is a legacy of the British Raj. It has to go by and large by what the CM and his council of ministers and the Assembly passes because the Governor is not the representative of the people and is not accountable to the people- The CM and his ministers are. So when Governor Dr Kamla points at the Constitution I am wondering how constitutional correct is she in citing the Art.of Freedom of Speech and Expression to send back an Act which the representatives of the people have passed? So like the oaths made by all the constitutional functionaries from the top to the bottom do we want a Constitution which in substance means nothing-which speaks of us as the biggest democracy etc but in practice it has become an oligarchy-a banana republic?
Democracy is based on numbers. It is the rule of the people for the people and by the people. But it has come to become the rule of a few by a few for all the people-Participation in democracy is the hall mark of making it vibrant-nay even valid. It is towards this that Narendra Modi’s government was working towards.
As for the second reason which is also linked to the Art. of Freedom of Expression and Speech to hold out a punishment to the people who do not make democracy valid and get involved in the governance at the local level seem to be sensible and does not negate Art 19.Carrot and stick is the method. Rights and obligations go together. But in India we have taken the easy way. This is precisely why our Public sectors are sick while the private sectors are minting money. The government is unable to pull up the babus who through their indifference, and don’t care attitude create such heavy losses. Even the government is a big defaulter in this respect. A small instruction to all ministers and officers to use only the Air India when on official work the GOI has failed to issue-result the AI is in red. Don’t punish, don’t reprimand, don’t streamline, let things go on-take it easy after all it is people’s money and hence not accountable for. This is a free for all country. Grab as much as you can, no laws will touch you as long as you are on the right side of the UPA-2.
Take the latest IPL controversy-Why was the GOI sleeping? Why had it allowed this obscene gambling with a sports item which former was sheer entertainment and everyone thoroughly enjoyed? Now with the entry of big-nay black money and fashion parade betting on players like betting on horses, came in corruption and the sleaze. Had Tharoor’s and Lalit Modi’s show of strength not erupted then everything would have gone on and the people of India will be cheated. Where were the Income Tax and the Enforcement Directorate? What was the PM and his council of Ministers doing about this? Now why suddenly the hectic raids and tracing the route of off shore black money involvement all being dug out? Is this part of the ‘to function without fear or favor” The same can be said of the CBI and the SIT. These are statutory bodies which the government uses as agencies of harassment against the political opponents or when it wants to take cover for its non governance.
All this and more calls for making the Constitution valid and vibrant.People need to become aware of their obligations not only Rights.How can the very Constitution which is the foundation of our democracy become valid if people are indifferent to casting their votes?Can democracy be democracy if a large section of the population not vote? To make is clear let me give an example-In any one ward/constituency (of say 1000 people) if only 45 percent(450) casts their votes and this get divided between the 10 contestants one with even just a 45 votes wins. He/She represents the 1000 voters and we call it democracy. Is this a valid democracy?
One must not make a mockery of democracy.Somehow we have done that.It is to stop such a mockery that Narendra Modi’s government came up with a Local Authorities Laws(Amendment) Act to make voting compulsory. Let democracy become more meaningful, at least at the local levels. It could be tried out and later amended to make it more viable. Instead the Governor sending it back and pointing at the failure of other countries as one of the reasons is not very encouraging for upholding of democracy in this country. As pointed out earlier the big question is- do we have a democracy? No country in the world claims to have a democracy as we do. Failures in other countries on compulsory voting are no indications that in Gujarat it will fail. Why not put it on trial?
Other countries have rejected the Electronic Voting Machine.Will our Governor Dr Kamla on the same basis make a case to the CEC to discontinue the EVMs? One can enumerate any number of reasons and cite examples to substantiate just one point; that anything good and new coming from Narendra Modi’s government must be rejected by the Centre and the Governor is an appointee of the Centre. This is the hard truth. I am using my right to the Freedom of Speech and Expression positively-without fear or favor-to state a truth. Even a law passed against the organized criminal activities in Maharastra was found valid and was approved by the President. But when a similar law was passed by Gujarat government there was opposition-by the Home Minister and a whole lot of Modi bashers were picking holes in it. The UPA2 advised the President against giving assent to it. The President sent it back. So here again democracy becomes valid in fits and starts. It must get the approval of the Centre and if the Centre and the State government are not allies then the problem arises. This is not a fantasy but a reality that we see. The step motherly treatment meted out to all non-congress State governments by the Congress led government at the Centre is apparent and obvious. When it comes to Gujarat it becomes blatant.
There are two yardsticks in this country which is a violation of the Constitution. When the Governor falls back on the Constitutional Right of the Freedom of Speech and Expression and state that Local Authorities Act is a violation of the Constitution I am stunned to speechlessness because of the contradiction. Equality is a Right in the Constitution but why has the GOI segmented people on religious basis for benefits? Is that not a violation of the Constitution so blatant and using people’s money towards operating it? Can any citizen be discriminated on the basis of religion? Yet the GOI has a whole ministry to uphold and finance this violation of the constitution. Does it mean that the Government under Manmohan Singh can violate the Constitution with immunity? It all points at one single motive-block all that Modi proposes.
It is a fact that Raj Bhavans in many States are becoming anti-constitutional in functioning.We in Gujarat are proud that the Raj Bhavan in Gujarat has not and will not fall into that category. Because Gujarat stands heads and shoulders above all States in India in its development and in its stewardship in administration inspite of the anti-Modism prevailing in some quarters, a concomitant of vote bank politics. We fervently hope that Dr Kamla our Governor would strengthen the vibrant Gujarat’s upward mobility built so judiciously and with such hardships-thanks to the untiring efforts of Narendra Modi the duly elected popular Chief Minister of our State.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
Vadodara

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April 20, 2010 at 3:46 am 140 comments

EU travel ban on Modi justified says German delegation

There was a news item in the papers on 10th April “EU travel ban on Modi justified, says German delegation”. It adds that the parliamentary delegation on a two day visit to Gujarat was unofficial and supported by Missio, catholic non-governmental organization. The four member team claims to have closely watched the developments following the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
What business has this unofficial team to make comments on Modi-a Chief Minister of Gujarat? Was it their business to closely monitor the developments following the 2002 riots? Why this special concern of Gujarat? No NGOs and specifically the Missio was concerned with the pogrom conducted ruthlessly by the Rajiv Gandhi government in thw wake of the assassination iof Indira Gandhi and even today a couple of the perpetrators are evading justice. If it is the lives of people snuffed out and innocent blood spilled is the concern then there should be no bias in their approach.
It is appalling how an unofficial team can pass such adverse comments on a constitutional duly elected Chief Minister of Gujarat. It is uncivilized, lack of probity, ill advised and shameless. It is a slur on the people of Gujarat.
By such standards of assessment not a single Congress leader should be allowed entry in the USA and other EU countries in the wake of the 1984 genocide. Kamal Nath is one such. Mrs Sonia Gandhi who was then part of the household during the genocide of the Sikhs had nothing to say when she silently stood by her husband, who like Nero fiddling when Rome was burning watched the ruthless butchering of Sikhs. One woman assassinated by her one of her own body guards justified the massacre of 3000 Sikhs. So when a great tree fell the small plants are crushed…was Rajiv Gandhi’s justification. He allowed the Congress leaders to supervise and to instigate the genocide. Today many of them have been rewarded by cabinet positions and are in the echelons of power. But the roasting of 59 poor kar sevaks is not worth even a mention. The killing of Kashmiri pundits also is of no consequence. This ethnic cleansing till date has not been condemned and the record put straight. Why is the Gujarat riots alone an obsession-simply because of the vote bank policy and pray let us know where and how does the Christian Democratic Union Parliamentarians come in the picture? Is it to play second fiddle to Mrs Sonia and the Congress through the Christian NGOs camouflaged development work?
It is minimum courtesy that one does not walk into another’s home and pass adverse remarks of the head of the family. It is uncivilized, bad manners to say the least.
It is relevant to note Pascal Kober stating that he has reports from people how conversion was becoming difficult under the new religious freedom law where baptism ceremonies were getting reported. The hidden agenda of the Catholic Missio and the Christian Democratic Union.- is very clear. No country would tolerate such blatant interference in its affairs. The CDU Parliamentarians have no business in this country. If they come to supervise or overseer the funds spent and the programs of the Missio they should stop with that and not comment on our laws. Yes Freedom of religion does not mean to proselytize under the garb of development. That is no freedom but compulsion and deception. Why can’t Missio just clear out of this country and direct its attention to one of the Islamic countries to convert them to the Catholic Church. Is India their poaching ground? But to go further in their uncalled for remarks Ute Granold said to the media, ‘the chief minister of Gujarat has a radical tone to his politics and is described as dictatorial. He has a wrong perception of religious freedom.’ Thank you for those uncalled for comments. The CM of Gujarat does not need a certificate from the CDU MPs. The CM of Gujarat is answerable only to the people of Gujarat and they in turn have showed their respect, trust and preference for Modi in re-electing him and entrusting him with the destiny of the State.We do not need the approval of the CDU nor the Missio.
The sooner the funding agencies wind up their work in India the quicker will tensions ease and harmony prevail. The NGOs are working as a multinational corporate. It is big money spinning business and the money is meant to poach in the poverty areas. It is high time these unofficial delegations are clamped down. If the government of India does not act then the people of Gujarat will have to act-prevent the foreign agencies from entering Gujarat. They are not our supervisors and their presence creates tension and rift between communities. This has to stop. Is the Catholic Church in need of armies or recruits to proclaim the strength of the Church? They better then concentrate in the so called Christian countries where the churches are empty and where the people are no more Christians. .Exploiting the vulnerability of the poor these NGOs are out ‘harvesting souls’. It is unchristian and unjust. The universality that lies in the core of the teaching of Jesus is warped by these NGOs and their brokers. I would emphatically remind the Christian Democratic Union Parliamentarians this: “For the sake of 12 pieces of silver Truth was betrayed-today it is the same for the sake of funds and finance Truth is being bartered. Keep off Gujarat and stop Modi bashing. Look for other poaching places and if you are really imbibed with such crusading zeal to convert turn your attention to Islamic countries after Christianizing the European Union countries. Common courtesy demands that you the delegation apologize to the people of Gujarat for insulting our CM. Please do not come again until you learn minimum civilized behavior.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,
VADODARA

April 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm 13 comments

On P.Chidaambaram and the Lilliputians we have in the UPA-2

Thinking Aloud

Funny men at home in office
By Dr Jay Dubashi
The trouble with men like Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh is that they are pen-pushers, taking hours to draft letters in Oxford English, which even the Britishers have forgotten. They can prepare wonderful drafts, as Nehru used to do, while addressing his ambassadors. But there the whole thing ends. Nehru could have written a wonderful note on how to defend our northern borders from the Chinese. But the Chinese, like the Americans, do not read notes. John Kennedy could not write even a short sentence correctly. They read guns and missiles, and they know how to differentiate a phoney world you read about in the books from the real world.
IT is time Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got himself a new home minister. The current HM, P. Chidambaram, is a disaster, a man who is long on talk and short on action, like most Congressmen. He has no idea what is happening in the country, or, for that matter, outside the country, and though he makes great play that he is close to the United States-maybe because he spent a few years there-the fact remains that the US government has little use for him. Of what use is such a home minister?

Take the latest case of David Coleman Headley, apparently a double agent who has worked and probably still works for both the US and Pakistan, and takes money from both. He has confessed his part in the Mumbai bombings of 26/11 and received what amounts to a pardon from both his masters. The Americans have agreed to Headley’s condition-mark you, it is a condition, not plea-that he will not be extradited to India, which means he will be out of bounds for Chidambaram & Co from now onwards.

On paper, Indians can question him through video conferencing and similar gimmicks. Anyway, that is what Chidambaram says, but Chidambaram’s credibility in this matter is zero. After all, Headley has come to terms with US authorities without Chidambaram & Co knowing about it, let alone being consulted. They may be able to question him on the screen, but they will not be able to touch him or see even his toe-nail. David Coleman Headley has vanished without trace and there is nothing Chidambaram & Co can do about it, though his crime was committed in India, and Chidambaram happens to be India’s home minister. As far as Indians are concerned, David Coleman, or whatever his real name is, is just a shadow on the screen which Indians will not even be able to touch.

All this has been arranged by the Americans directly with Headley, who is their man and also their employee, without a word leaking to Indians in Delhi. Chidambaram, for all his torrent of verbiage after the deal was signed, did not have the faintest idea of what was happening behind his back far away in Washington, or maybe in Langley, the CIA headquarters. For, as far as the Americans are concerned, Chidambaram simply did not count. The deal is simply between the US government and their spy, and men like Chidambaram have no place in it.

Remember that Headley is a double agent – a CIA man as well as a spy for Pakistan. Whatever he did in Mumbai and elsewhere, he must have done with the tacit understanding, if not permission or consent, of either the Americans or the Pakistanis, or both. If the Americans knew it, why didn’t they alert Delhi? They are not telling now either, nor handing over Headley to us, because if Headley talks, he will tell us much more than is good for the Americans as well as Pakistanis. So, he has to keep his mouth shut, and the only way to do so in put him in jail, see that he does not fall into the hands of Indians, and finally probably get rid of him for all time to come.

Chidambaram says that, under the agreement, Headley is supposed to tell us everything. If Chidambaram can believe that, he can believe anything. Headley will be in jail, serving a so-called life sentence, US jail, not Indian jail, and when he is brought into the hall before the video screen, nobody will be able to tell whether he is the red Headley or his double. We won’t be able to touch him, even see him in flesh and blood. We won’t know whether the man we are talking to is indeed Headley. But Chidambaram will be able to tell the Parliament that we were able to question the spook. What a story!

Five or six years from now, Headley will receive a fresh passport, a new ID, maybe a new face through plastic surgery, and the crook will be back in Colaba roaming through the smelly alleys behind the Taj which he so loves. And there will be a news item in an obscure Virginia newspaper that a man called Headley, or David, or Coleman, died in prison this morning and God have mercy on his soul. And Chidambaram will adjust his snow-white mundu, and fell the channels in Delhi that Headley is dead. Case solved!

Assume, for the sake of argument, that the boot was on the other foot, and that Headley was an Indian spy and was involved in the 9/11 attack in New York city. What would Americans have done? Would they have written scores of letters to New Delhi – The kind of begging letters Chidambaram has written to Washington – asking to hand over Headley to them? Would they have sent emissaries to Delhi every few days to pray for more information on Headley? They would have done nothing of the kind. Remember these are the people who sent a whole army to Afghanistan and reduced Kabul to rubble just because the terrorists who brought down the twin towers came from Afghanistan’s Al Qaida.

The Americans would have taken the first plane to Delhi, ask Chidambaram to receive them at Palam, and walk straight into his or Manmohan Singh’s office and ask them to hand over Headely to them, or else. They would have come with a contingent of Marines – not a whole army as in the case of Afghanistan – parked them on the lawns of the Home Ministry, and rattled their guns along the Rajpath. They know that Indians shiver, particularly Indians who have gone to Harvard or Cambridge, when they see guns, real guns, in the hands of a white man. And with the Marines marching up and down the Rajpath, Chidambaram would have meekly handed over Headely to them on a platter and asked the Americans, “Mere Liye Kuch Sewa?”

The trouble with men like Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh is that they are pen-pushers, taking hours to draft letters in Oxford English, which even the Britishers have forgotten. They can prepare wonderful drafts, as Nehru used to do, while addressing his ambassadors. But there the whole thing ends. Nehru could have written a wonderful note on how to defend our northern borders from the Chinese. But the Chinese, like the Americans, do not read notes. John Kennedy could not write even a short sentence correctly. They read guns and missiles, and they know how to differentiate a phoney world you read about in the books from the real world. This is why America is a powerful country with armies in almost every corner of the world, and that is also why we are not. Our world is confined only to dusty files and now, to the inanities on the TV. When Chidambaram appears on the TV channels and makes faces, he thinks he is addressing the world. Actually nobody is interested in him, except the men who adjust their cameras and take shots. The real world has better things to do.

It is not only the Mumbai attacks of 26/11. it is now nearly two months since the bombs went off near German Bakery in Pune and the state home minister, like the union home minister, says that investigations are going on. Chidambaram says that the state authorities were duly told about a likely attack on German bakery but the state Home Minister, not a particularly bright chap, says that they never heard anything from Delhi. And Headley, who seems to have been everywhere, was in Pune too, and stayed a whole day in a hotel near the bakery and whose fingers can be seen all over the place.

The Westerners treat us like nobodies, because we ourselves think we are nobodies. When you bend and cringe before foreigners, like well-behaved dogs, the foreigners think we are another canine species-and treat us accordingly. Here is a double agent who murders two hundred Indians and others in the heart of Mumbai and quietly walks away and all our home minister can do is twiddle his thumbs and talk about video conferences. Can anything be more shameful?

(The writer can be contacted at 301, Mani Kanchan Apts, Kanchan Galli, Law College Road, Pune-411004)

April 8, 2010 at 12:36 am 6 comments

UPA-2 A wrapper government

‘75 CRPF men and State policeman killed in worst Naxal attack’-screamed the papers on 7th April. The day started not with the usual coffee brew but with this bloodcurdling news. Just the previous day P.Chidambaram waxed eloquent-he blamed of course the State government because that would please the TMC-an ally which the Congress badly needs. He was so taken up with his own eloquence that from the political arena he slipped easily into the poker game and warned the CM that the buck stops with him. Poor Buddadeb Bhattacharjee is no illiterate of politics and of sports-he warned PC to mind his language. The very next day at though to make PC eat his words we have this bloody war. But does it affect the PM and the Home Minister. The difference of perception between the CM of W. Bengal and the Home Ministry has led to the 75 CRPF been caught in the cross fire. It is always a blame game and petty politics that the Congress indulges in. If the State is under a non Congress government then we find this game play. The result in no way deters the UPA from scoring brownie points. They have a set of spokesmen/women lined up and with a pro UPA media we are subjected to a totally biased discussion on whom to blame. Now Mani Shankar Iyer is also added to the team-Words and words and no action at all. Do we have an army/air force? Is it only for the Republic day shows that these are reserved? A war is on and no stringent action is taken. Mamata pulls one way and Buddhadeb in another and P.Chidambaram comes with his decision as to where the buck stops. Are the lives of people the pawns for the politicians to play with?
Listen to PC’s warning to the Maoists, “We won’t allow Maoists to succeed” PC must remember that the Maoists are not seeking his approval for their success. And the Home Minister has the cheek to tell the nation “something went wrong”. He must be grilled and probed to ferret out what went wrong .Should we get such a report from the Home Minister that something went wrong which resulted in the loss of 76 lives in such a brutal way? A whole paramilitary company has been wiped out .It is a war the Maoists are waging and we have a HM telling the nation that ‘something went wrong’, that the troops walked into a trap. Is it not a shame that we have a Home Minister and a Home Ministry which evades-fends at crucial situations and tries to talk its way out, shirking its responsibility? Do we need such a ministry which goes about reeling out which is a soft target and which a hard target-which holds out excuses for the blood shed and the loss of lives as ‘failure of the intelligence’ or ‘systems failure’. Even after the 11/26 blast PC very humbly confessed that ‘we failed” but this will not happen again. The elections were round the corner and the humble submission was all that the people had. The USA had just one horrific terrorism act -since then not a single one. But here in India it seems to be a routine matter. Promises-hollow condemnation-candles lit-21 gun salute and then everything is forgotten. It seems we are waiting for the next. Why should the people waste their hard earned money for these ministers and their babus? Let’s wait for fate-good or bad.
When it comes to the VVIP’s protection and security it is another matter-air, ground, and personal all beefed up with people’s money. But our paramilitary men-the ordinary citizens they face the mortars and the blasts. For heavens sake spare the people of the insult. Do not pour oil in the burning fire. If you cannot take action-don’t talk. We have enough of talks-enough of dossiers exchange-enough of sound bytes.
The Congress and his talking men are only obsessed by Modi and the Gujarat riots. But their hands are soaked in blood by the commissions and omissions and above all by the total indifference to loss of lives. Who is accountable? From the justice point of view should not P.Chidambaram be investigated for his utter failure to prevent this ‘horrific incident’ ( PM’s words)We have become the laughing stock of the world. A nation unable to face the challenge of the Maoists-is a weak nation and will not be able to face the challenges from outside. But then the UPA-2 is a government fit only to make announcements-confer wards at glittering shows. It is a wrapper government. The wrapper alone counts and is beautiful but within is rot and corruption. What can the people expect from a wrapper government which does not know what is governance for we have had none.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja
Vadodara

April 7, 2010 at 11:53 am 8 comments

Let the Congress explain-1984 pogrom

Let Congress explain 1984

A Surya Prakash

The Congress is unhappy that Amitabh Bachchan was invited to the inauguration of the second carriageway of the Bandra-Worli sea link. It is also troubled by the invitation extended to Amitabh Bachchan by the organisers of the All-India Marathi Sahitya Sammelan. Then comes the story of Abhishek Bachchan being given similar treatment in Delhi. Just before the start of a programme to mark Earth Day, his posters were removed and an audio-visual featuring him was taken off the programme.

The Congress is miffed that Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism. It believes that being the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism is equivalent to being the ambassador of Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi because it is still in the ‘Indira is India and India is Indira’ mode. It is unable to distinguish a State from an individual. That is why a spokesperson of the party threw a challenge at the film star the other day and said, “If he is a sensitive man, if he is a right-thinking man, he must come out and condemn the Modi Government for the post-Godhra riots.”

This constitutes a selective application of constitutional principles. The Congress’s shameful role in the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984 is still fresh in our memory. The Ranganath Mishra Commission said that 3,874 people were killed in the violence, of which 2,307 were from Delhi. Plus, 131 gurdwaras were destroyed or damaged in Delhi alone. It further stressed, “In these mobs were people with sympathy for the Congress (I) and associated with the party’s activities.”

Gen AS Vaidya, the Chief of Army Staff at that time, told the commission that though 6,000 troops were available in the capital, the Army was not immediately called in. The Nanavati Commission of Inquiry said, “Local Congress (I) leaders and workers had either incited or helped the mobs attacking the Sikhs.” It said, “They (the mobs) were assured that they would not be harmed.”

Rajiv Gandhi presided over the Government that remained a mute spectator as citizens belonging to a tiny religious minority were slaughtered. Despite desperate calls for deployment of the Army, the Government took its time in doing so, thus allowing the mobs to loot and kill at will. After it was all over, Rajiv Gandhi justified the pogrom and incriminated himself by declaring at a public meeting in Delhi that “when a big tree falls, even the earth trembles”.

Going by the Congress spokesperson’s self-righteous indignation before television cameras while talking about Amitabh Bachchan, one presumes that he is a citizen who is committed to core constitutional values, democracy and the rule of law. If that be so, we need to put this question to him: If you are a sensitive man, if you are a right-thinking man, you must come out and condemn the Rajiv Gandhi Government for the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984.

Amitabh Bachchan is an eminent citizen and a global icon who commands the respect of millions of people around the world. Every Indian who has followed his life and career from the heady days of Sholay to the days of deep distress brought about by financial and health problems, can only marvel at his inner strength and resilience. He carries himself with such dignity and poise that he is undoubtedly one of the ratnas of Bharat who has been chiselled into a good human being by his life and professional experiences. That is why a lot of his time and effort is devoted to national causes. It is foolhardy to trifle with such an eminent citizen that millions of fellow citizens look up to.

As regards the post-Godhra riots, it is true that Muslims were targeted by mobs in Gujarat and Mr Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister, must take responsibility for the brutal violence that was unleashed against a religious minority. By the same token, Mr Modi must also take responsibility for failing to prevent the barbaric killings of 60 Hindu kar sevaks by a Muslim mob at Godhra, which triggered the anti-Muslim riots. This brings us to the next poser for the Congress spokesman: “If you are a sensitive man, if you are a right-thinking man, you must come out and condemn the Modi Government for its failure to protect kar sevaks who were burnt alive in the train in Godhra.” The point is that selective application of secular and constitutional principles will not do. Selective memory will not do either.

The event that triggered the Congress’s tirade tells us a lot more about this party. India’s engineers have built a superb sea bridge connecting Worli and Bandra in Mumbai. This bridge ought to have been named after an eminent engineer or technocrat. Just as every prominent road, bridge and location in the country is named after Rajiv Gandhi (Connaught Circus is Rajiv Chowk, the clover-leaf flyover near AIIMS in Delhi is Rajiv Setu and a key intersection on NH 8 is also called Rajiv Chowk), even this engineering marvel in Mumbai was named after him. But, Amitabh Bachchan, one of India’s most distinguished citizens, should not even be present at a ceremony to mark the opening of the second carriageway of the sea bridge!

One of the standard mantras of the UPA since it assumed office in 2004 has been ‘inclusiveness’. But, as this incident shows, it does not include those who disagree with the Nehru-Gandhis. ‘Inclusiveness’ obviously means inclusion of sycophants, blind followers and sympathisers of the Congress. Since the party gets around 28 per cent of the national vote, it can be safely presumed that when the Congress runs the Union Government, 72 per cent of the citizens (including Amitabh Bachchan) stand excluded.

In his blog, Amitabh Bachchan has wondered whether he was hallucinating or “if there was a pattern to all this”. Yes, citizen Bachchan, there is a pattern. This is Congress haughtiness on display and we have seen this before, especially during the mid-1970s. Members of the Congress obviously view India as some kind of a jagir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. The sooner we disabuse their minds of this, the better it is for our democracy and our constitutional well-being. This is a worthy cause. Since we have no doubt that you are “a sensitive man” and “a right-thinking man”, we expect you to take the lead and launch this public-service campaign to build a truly democratic and ‘inclusive’ India.

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Let Congress explain 1984

A Surya Prakash

The Congress is unhappy that Amitabh Bachchan was invited to the inauguration of the second carriageway of the Bandra-Worli sea link. It is also troubled by the invitation extended to Amitabh Bachchan by the organisers of the All-India Marathi Sahitya Sammelan. Then comes the story of Abhishek Bachchan being given similar treatment in Delhi. Just before the start of a programme to mark Earth Day, his posters were removed and an audio-visual featuring him was taken off the programme.

The Congress is miffed that Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism. It believes that being the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism is equivalent to being the ambassador of Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi because it is still in the ‘Indira is India and India is Indira’ mode. It is unable to distinguish a State from an individual. That is why a spokesperson of the party threw a challenge at the film star the other day and said, “If he is a sensitive man, if he is a right-thinking man, he must come out and condemn the Modi Government for the post-Godhra riots.”

This constitutes a selective application of constitutional principles. The Congress’s shameful role in the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984 is still fresh in our memory. The Ranganath Mishra Commission said that 3,874 people were killed in the violence, of which 2,307 were from Delhi. Plus, 131 gurdwaras were destroyed or damaged in Delhi alone. It further stressed, “In these mobs were people with sympathy for the Congress (I) and associated with the party’s activities.”

Gen AS Vaidya, the Chief of Army Staff at that time, told the commission that though 6,000 troops were available in the capital, the Army was not immediately called in. The Nanavati Commission of Inquiry said, “Local Congress (I) leaders and workers had either incited or helped the mobs attacking the Sikhs.” It said, “They (the mobs) were assured that they would not be harmed.”

Rajiv Gandhi presided over the Government that remained a mute spectator as citizens belonging to a tiny religious minority were slaughtered. Despite desperate calls for deployment of the Army, the Government took its time in doing so, thus allowing the mobs to loot and kill at will. After it was all over, Rajiv Gandhi justified the pogrom and incriminated himself by declaring at a public meeting in Delhi that “when a big tree falls, even the earth trembles”.

Going by the Congress spokesperson’s self-righteous indignation before television cameras while talking about Amitabh Bachchan, one presumes that he is a citizen who is committed to core constitutional values, democracy and the rule of law. If that be so, we need to put this question to him: If you are a sensitive man, if you are a right-thinking man, you must come out and condemn the Rajiv Gandhi Government for the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984.

Amitabh Bachchan is an eminent citizen and a global icon who commands the respect of millions of people around the world. Every Indian who has followed his life and career from the heady days of Sholay to the days of deep distress brought about by financial and health problems, can only marvel at his inner strength and resilience. He carries himself with such dignity and poise that he is undoubtedly one of the ratnas of Bharat who has been chiselled into a good human being by his life and professional experiences. That is why a lot of his time and effort is devoted to national causes. It is foolhardy to trifle with such an eminent citizen that millions of fellow citizens look up to.

As regards the post-Godhra riots, it is true that Muslims were targeted by mobs in Gujarat and Mr Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister, must take responsibility for the brutal violence that was unleashed against a religious minority. By the same token, Mr Modi must also take responsibility for failing to prevent the barbaric killings of 60 Hindu kar sevaks by a Muslim mob at Godhra, which triggered the anti-Muslim riots. This brings us to the next poser for the Congress spokesman: “If you are a sensitive man, if you are a right-thinking man, you must come out and condemn the Modi Government for its failure to protect kar sevaks who were burnt alive in the train in Godhra.” The point is that selective application of secular and constitutional principles will not do. Selective memory will not do either.

The event that triggered the Congress’s tirade tells us a lot more about this party. India’s engineers have built a superb sea bridge connecting Worli and Bandra in Mumbai. This bridge ought to have been named after an eminent engineer or technocrat. Just as every prominent road, bridge and location in the country is named after Rajiv Gandhi (Connaught Circus is Rajiv Chowk, the clover-leaf flyover near AIIMS in Delhi is Rajiv Setu and a key intersection on NH 8 is also called Rajiv Chowk), even this engineering marvel in Mumbai was named after him. But, Amitabh Bachchan, one of India’s most distinguished citizens, should not even be present at a ceremony to mark the opening of the second carriageway of the sea bridge!

One of the standard mantras of the UPA since it assumed office in 2004 has been ‘inclusiveness’. But, as this incident shows, it does not include those who disagree with the Nehru-Gandhis. ‘Inclusiveness’ obviously means inclusion of sycophants, blind followers and sympathisers of the Congress. Since the party gets around 28 per cent of the national vote, it can be safely presumed that when the Congress runs the Union Government, 72 per cent of the citizens (including Amitabh Bachchan) stand excluded.

In his blog, Amitabh Bachchan has wondered whether he was hallucinating or “if there was a pattern to all this”. Yes, citizen Bachchan, there is a pattern. This is Congress haughtiness on display and we have seen this before, especially during the mid-1970s. Members of the Congress obviously view India as some kind of a jagir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. The sooner we disabuse their minds of this, the better it is for our democracy and our constitutional well-being. This is a worthy cause. Since we have no doubt that you are “a sensitive man” and “a right-thinking man”, we expect you to take the lead and launch this public-service campaign to build a truly democratic and ‘inclusive’ India.

——————————————————————————–
Email | Print | Rate: 12345

——————————————————————————–

Post Comment
COMMENTS BOARD ::

——————————————————————————–

Let Congress explain 1984

A Surya Prakash

The Congress is unhappy that Amitabh Bachchan was invited to the inauguration of the second carriageway of the Bandra-Worli sea link. It is also troubled by the invitation extended to Amitabh Bachchan by the organisers of the All-India Marathi Sahitya Sammelan. Then comes the story of Abhishek Bachchan being given similar treatment in Delhi. Just before the start of a programme to mark Earth Day, his posters were removed and an audio-visual featuring him was taken off the programme.

The Congress is miffed that Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism. It believes that being the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism is equivalent to being the ambassador of Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi because it is still in the ‘Indira is India and India is Indira’ mode. It is unable to distinguish a State from an individual. That is why a spokesperson of the party threw a challenge at the film star the other day and said, “If he is a sensitive man, if he is a right-thinking man, he must come out and condemn the Modi Government for the post-Godhra riots.”

This constitutes a selective application of constitutional principles. The Congress’s shameful role in the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984 is still fresh in our memory. The Ranganath Mishra Commission said that 3,874 people were killed in the violence, of which 2,307 were from Delhi. Plus, 131 gurdwaras were destroyed or damaged in Delhi alone. It further stressed, “In these mobs were people with sympathy for the Congress (I) and associated with the party’s activities.”

Gen AS Vaidya, the Chief of Army Staff at that time, told the commission that though 6,000 troops were available in the capital, the Army was not immediately called in. The Nanavati Commission of Inquiry said, “Local Congress (I) leaders and workers had either incited or helped the mobs attacking the Sikhs.” It said, “They (the mobs) were assured that they would not be harmed.”

Rajiv Gandhi presided over the Government that remained a mute spectator as citizens belonging to a tiny religious minority were slaughtered. Despite desperate calls for deployment of the Army, the Government took its time in doing so, thus allowing the mobs to loot and kill at will. After it was all over, Rajiv Gandhi justified the pogrom and incriminated himself by declaring at a public meeting in Delhi that “when a big tree falls, even the earth trembles”.

Going by the Congress spokesperson’s self-righteous indignation before television cameras while talking about Amitabh Bachchan, one presumes that he is a citizen who is committed to core constitutional values, democracy and the rule of law. If that be so, we need to put this question to him: If you are a sensitive man, if you are a right-thinking man, you must come out and condemn the Rajiv Gandhi Government for the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984.

Amitabh Bachchan is an eminent citizen and a global icon who commands the respect of millions of people around the world. Every Indian who has followed his life and career from the heady days of Sholay to the days of deep distress brought about by financial and health problems, can only marvel at his inner strength and resilience. He carries himself with such dignity and poise that he is undoubtedly one of the ratnas of Bharat who has been chiselled into a good human being by his life and professional experiences. That is why a lot of his time and effort is devoted to national causes. It is foolhardy to trifle with such an eminent citizen that millions of fellow citizens look up to.

As regards the post-Godhra riots, it is true that Muslims were targeted by mobs in Gujarat and Mr Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister, must take responsibility for the brutal violence that was unleashed against a religious minority. By the same token, Mr Modi must also take responsibility for failing to prevent the barbaric killings of 60 Hindu kar sevaks by a Muslim mob at Godhra, which triggered the anti-Muslim riots. This brings us to the next poser for the Congress spokesman: “If you are a sensitive man, if you are a right-thinking man, you must come out and condemn the Modi Government for its failure to protect kar sevaks who were burnt alive in the train in Godhra.” The point is that selective application of secular and constitutional principles will not do. Selective memory will not do either.

The event that triggered the Congress’s tirade tells us a lot more about this party. India’s engineers have built a superb sea bridge connecting Worli and Bandra in Mumbai. This bridge ought to have been named after an eminent engineer or technocrat. Just as every prominent road, bridge and location in the country is named after Rajiv Gandhi (Connaught Circus is Rajiv Chowk, the clover-leaf flyover near AIIMS in Delhi is Rajiv Setu and a key intersection on NH 8 is also called Rajiv Chowk), even this engineering marvel in Mumbai was named after him. But, Amitabh Bachchan, one of India’s most distinguished citizens, should not even be present at a ceremony to mark the opening of the second carriageway of the sea bridge!

One of the standard mantras of the UPA since it assumed office in 2004 has been ‘inclusiveness’. But, as this incident shows, it does not include those who disagree with the Nehru-Gandhis. ‘Inclusiveness’ obviously means inclusion of sycophants, blind followers and sympathisers of the Congress. Since the party gets around 28 per cent of the national vote, it can be safely presumed that when the Congress runs the Union Government, 72 per cent of the citizens (including Amitabh Bachchan) stand excluded.

In his blog, Amitabh Bachchan has wondered whether he was hallucinating or “if there was a pattern to all this”. Yes, citizen Bachchan, there is a pattern. This is Congress haughtiness on display and we have seen this before, especially during the mid-1970s. Members of the Congress obviously view India as some kind of a jagir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. The sooner we disabuse their minds of this, the better it is for our democracy and our constitutional well-being. This is a worthy cause. Since we have no doubt that you are “a sensitive man” and “a right-thinking man”, we expect you to take the lead and launch this public-service campaign to build a truly democratic and ‘inclusive’ India.

——————————————————————————–
Email | Print | Rate: 12345

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Post Comment
COMMENTS BOARD ::

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April 6, 2010 at 5:12 am 3 comments


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