Archive for January, 2011

The poster said it all !

The poster said it all ‘Hazrat Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi Sahib’ “YOU GO AHEAD INDIA WITH YOU”. Yes truth cannot be sliced into half truths and truth cannot be buried.It is honesty and integrity which prompted Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi to state what he stated-that there is no discrimination in Gujarat against the Muslims and that Gujarat has developed. That one has to move on and cannot be in freezed framed of Gujarat riots. He also said that riots anywhere be it in Gujarat or elsewhere is a blot. Muslims in Gujarat have developed. These are simple and plain truths. A man of the stature of Mohammad Vastanvi cannot politicize truth. He stands out as a man of impeccable character and one most fitting to lead his people. The true spirit of Islam flowed from him. There is forgiveness-hope and truth-there is no place for revenge and vengeance and hatred. Now does the Muslim community want the former or want to be dragged and anchored by the latter? Does it want to be narrowed down and live within a fixation with hatred biting at the heart. Is that Islam? Is that what the Prophet wants of his people and its leaders?

The NGOs who are supposed to fight for Peace and Justice have their own agenda. Vested interest makes them run around in circles without allowing the majority of the Muslims to carry on with the main stream of the people of Gujarat. A litmus test is- stop all money and foreign funds that flow into the kitties of these NGOS and then all the Peace and Justice which they say they hold on to and fight for, will evaporate.

It is a great honor for the Muslim community to have a man like Mohammad Vastanvi at the helm of affairs as the Vice Chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary which trains young people. To place road blocks on his path and to misinterpret his statements simply because they do no suit their own vested interest is doing great harm and injury to the welfare of the community especially its youth.

Gujarat riots were not the first of its kind in Gujarat. For that matter all over India we have seen communal riots erupting and the suffering of people. The politicians have made it worse by augmenting their divisive politics again for their own vested interest. Vote bank politics is the cruz of the problem.It is not pro-Modi and anti-Modi  which is the cause. For the vote bank politics Modi becomes the red rag because he has tried and is trying his best to erase the ghettos, to pull down the fences and walls of caste and creed and draw all people alike into the main stream of development. Any true leader of national stature would welcome this and Mohammad Vastanvi has. He refused to be ghettoed and biased. In him one sees the hall marks of a great and true leader. May his tribe increase!

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,

Development Consultant,

Vadodara

January 28, 2011 at 11:31 am 15 comments

The betrayal by the Prime Minister

Supreme Court questions secrecy on black money

The UPA government is brazen and thick skinned. It would not have mattered if they are endowed by these but in this case it matters because the Prime Minister and his government are abetting looters and plunderers of the country. The height of patriotism for the government to hide behind the niceties of various international treaties and tell the country that it cannot reveal the names because then other countries will not trust us. But then to whom is the government is obliged- to other countries or to the people of this country? First of all no other country will distrust the government if it reveals because it will only hail such a step and praise the government’s firm and fair intention to return the looted money. Here we have a government promising other governments that it will not reveal the names but use it only for tax evasion. Strange logic. Did all the money looted fall under only tax evasion or does it not fall primarily under criminal and plain plunder. So that criminality must be first deal with and then comes the tax evasion.

It seems  Manmohan Singh is hiding his friends-why is he so reluctant and giving all sorts of excuses even at the cost of violating his own oath to function without fear or favor? Denying the country the right to know the names of the looters and the plunderers is a crime. It is as simple as conspiring along with them to hurt the country. Mr Manmohan Singh’s patriotism is now at stake. The country cannot afford to have a PM whose patriotism is doubted and who complies with international treaties only to cheat his own country.

The list of those with black money stashed was given certainly not under confessional secrecy for the UPA government to hide the names. No other country would dare to do this. In fact not revealing the names only exposes the double standards-nay the fraud the government is indulging in and it will earn the disrespect of other countries. What was the Income tax department been doing and what has it so far done with all those tax evaders-like Hassan Ali Khan for example has to pay $8 billion which means 36 crores. How many years Mr PM  will your Income tax department and Enforcement Directorate need to collect the arrears already pending before moving on to the list of the looters acquired under secrecy? We do not have faith that this government is keen on taking any action against the looters of our national wealth. So please publish the list and then we shall see the action the IT and the ED takes to collect the taxes.

This is the hall mark of the integrity of Mr Manmohan Singh-the honesty seeps out when he is unable to rein in his corrupt ministers and now when he is seeking shelter under international treatises not to disclose the nation’s looters. It is not the Congress’ money and there is no option for the PM but to reveal the names because he is obligated by his oath when he took over charge to protect the national interest. How can we tolerate a PM who so easily abdicates his primary duty and betrays the national interest?

Tell us Mr PM whom are you sheltering and shielding. This nation has tolerated your omissions and commissions for too long- inaction in corruption-the nation has been patient with you for your being a rubber stamp, the nation has overlooked your inability to say ‘no’ to the appointment of tainted person like P.J.Thomas. Under your government every constitutional institution has been violated .No PM has invited the SCs ’ strictures as Manmohan Singh has.

The nation has watched with agony the refusal of your government to institute the JPC in the Spectrum3 episode. The nation has lost its respect under you with the various scams heaped on it and now the people are groaning under the weight of the prices of food items. How long can the people go on accepting your failure as an economist, your failure as a statesman, your failure as a person of honesty and integrity, your failure to take strong and firm decisions? But this time your failure is something which the nation cannot take-that of your betrayal of the people-your lack of patriotism to safeguard the national wealth and national security of the people. You will go down in history as a PM who failed the people on all counts-unless you get the history to be written by the coterie of Congress men and women but the nation has no dearth of honest historians who will write a correct assessment of you as a PM under the shadow of Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,

Development Consultant,

Vadodara.

January 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm 7 comments

Inclusion of the Minorities under the BPL

Page: 43/48

Home > 2010 Issues > March 21, 2010
Debate
Automatic inclusion of minorities in the BPL list!

By Dr Hilda Raja

What does ‘Minority’ mean? Is the Congress fighting shy of stating Muslims and so substitutes the word Muslim with minority? Then it should state so. Muslims form the majority of the minorities groups. If the Congress really means minorities then it means the inclusion to this automatic dynamics of falling below the PL applies to the Jains, the Buddhists, the Christians and the Parsis.

.The attack on poverty continued but was more shadow boxing and today we are told that poverty numbers are increasing and not progressive on the decline. Any fool will realise that the strategies which aimed and simulated as lifting the BPL people did not actually lift them but saw them slipping deeper into poverty and the head count increasing. A sensible government will realise that there is something basically wrong with the strategies and the approach and the operation. But government after government continued with the same structure which could not and did not deliver.

Poverty knows no religion and is not communal. The crux of the problem is the Congress latest enlightenment to attack poverty. So under CP Joshi it has communalised poverty and has projected itself as State-sponsored proselytiser. A new variable has been identified to net in poverty group-namely Muslims. It is demeaning to even think that by following a particular religion one falls automatically under BPL. THE Congress Government is toying with the idea of automatic inclusion of minorities in Below the Poverty Line (BPL) list accordingly to Rural Development Ministry under the Congress leader CP Joshi. A close scrutiny is called for. What comes automatically from the UPA 2 cannot be automatically accepted by the people. It leaves no doubt that this is a vote catching strategy not a development one. Having stated that lets us do some probing.

What does Minority mean? Is the Congress fighting shy of stating Muslims and so substitutes the word Muslim with Minority? Then it should state so. Muslims form the majority of the minorities groups. If the Congress really means minorities then it means the inclusion to this automatic dynamics of falling below the PL applies to the Jains, the Buddhists, the Christians the Parsis. I am not sure whether the Jains and the Parsis will like to be automatically pushed below the PL. So the Congress must first of all be clear on its target group and not hide behind the Muslims-the majority of the minorities.

How does one measure the Poverty Line (PL) and what exactly is the PL? A clear understanding of poverty, estimates of poverty and its impact must be the first premise for policy makers and politicians before they open their mouths on strategies targeting poverty. Unless this is grappled with, strategies are only cosmetic cover ups for the indepth poverty. There is a structural basis which throws up poverty. One cannot apply a strategy to catch the thrown up effect and think that is the solution without rooting out the lopsided structure that is oppressive and exploitative.

The structure needs to be pulled down or at least dismantled and a humanistic and equity structure set-up if poverty has to be tackled. Without directing and focusing attention to this, camouflage it with poverty alleviation programmes which means using the tax payers’ money without any accountability and qualms for wrong strategies and for communalising poverty cannot be tolerated. To think that the same structure can alleviate poverty is foolish to say the least. One cannot sow potatoes and want to reap tomatoes! It is in this context that one must look at the politicians and their thinking. Strengthening the existing structure with a little bit of luck galvanising the structure with youth power is no solution to poverty. It will only make it more unjust. Leelavatis are throw ups of this unjust structure which the Congress set-up and is reinforcing with its dynastic regime. To be the most powerful woman and the most popular leader in India is no great achievement but is a concomitant of an unjust structure- which keeps millions in starvation and semi starvation and projects a dynastic regime and fills the corridors of power with an elite coterie. Are we not inching steadily towards a Banana Republic? Youth power to only reinforce such a structure is an anti-people move.

The dynamics of such a structure will only push more and more people BPL and we will have any number of crumbs throwing strategies to keep the BPL population on a survival state. Unable to challenge, incapable of demanding, still worse off seeing through the deception of the politicians, the hungry millions watch the development momentum of our politicians who complain of no work but draw salaries and are given all the comforts. But the Congress has chalked out a 100 day work programme for a pittance. No work-no pay is the Supreme Court ruling. This is meant for ordinary people who stand and serve. Poverty impact is not a single point lifting up process, its structural impact encompasses a whole range of human/inhuman living and activity. It even touches on culture. This is exactly what is meant by impact of poverty. With half filled stomachs they go about trying to survive, if pushed too hard then they commit suicide giving an opportunity for the High Command to rush to wipe the tears and offer solace. Does the agriculture minister for example know what it is to lack purchasing power for a kilo of rice? How many crores does he own? The path to power is soaked with the tears and the misery of the powerlessness of the poverty groups. That is how the unjust structure of the polity is set-up and made to work. The Hand can wave to them and in their trance they will wave back, waiting for the green pastures promises held out to the hungry millions election after election.

Another aspect of poverty structure it is dehumanising and emits a nauseating and stomach churning stink. No wonder money and the muscle powers become the determinants to the power seats. The contradictions in this poverty upholding structure are evident in the corruption that has eaten into the entrails of Indian polity. With money anything can be achieved. There is a whole gamut of impact of poverty. The poor must be ghettoed in fences of poverty. It suits the political class especially the Congress who was at the helm of affairs the longest period in Independent India.

Look at the number of strategies it had devised for poverty alleviation. It started with Community Development Programme. As the nation marched through its decades of freedom, poverty alleviation strategies were tagged under different categories: Area-wise, sector-wise, occupation-wise, group-wise, and household-wise. To name a few, Intensive Agriculture Area Programme, Drought Prone Area Programme, Desert Area Programme, Tribal Area Programme, etc. From 1980 the attack on poverty shifted to specific groups-like the SCs and STs. Three major programmes were launched: namely the Integrated Rural Development Programme, National Rural Employment Programme, the Rural Landless Labour Employment programme. These were launched because the area-wise and sector-wise did not have any impact and poverty numbers kept increasing. A special noting here is that the much totted Congress’s Rural Employment Guarantee Programme is not the brain child of Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. To make the programmes effective, all the Poverty Alleviation Programmes should amalgamate and Integrated Rural Development Programme should be intensified and it should be specified that at least 30 per cent of the beneficaries should be SCs.

The attack on poverty continued but was more shadow boxing and today we are told that poverty numbers are increasing and not progressive on the decline, Any fool will realise that the strategies which aimed and simulated as lifting the BPL people did not actually lift them but saw them slipping deeper into poverty and the head count increasing. Any sensible government will realise that there is something basically wrong with the strategies and the approach and the operation. But government after government continued with the same structure which could not and did not deliver.

The crux was poverty, always an economic variable. Factors which assessed this economic variable were deprivation of basics, and lack of food and clean water, inability to access food and basics, unavailability of basic services, etc. It was a direct result of lack of money. Poverty globally and nationally cannot be measured in any other yardstick but economic. Be it wages, calories, assets, purchasing power, give it any name, it is economic. You can call it assetlessness, powerlessness, or simply deprivation, starvation, etc.

Now this is not based on a religion. Poverty knows no religion and is not communal. The crux of the problem is the Congress latest enlightenment to attack poverty. So under C.P Joshi it has communalised poverty and has projected itself as State sponsored proselytiser. A new variable has been identified to net in poverty group-namely Muslims. It is demeaning to even think that by following a particular religion one falls automatically under BPL. There are a number of implications. The root cause then to alleviate poverty is to get out of that religion. Is it as simple as that? Why blame a religion for poverty? Is the religion responsible for making its adherents poor? What happens to the Wakf Board assets across the country? What happens to the crorepati Muslims? Why had Islam not made them poor? The next thing to ask is should we believe that the Khans of Bollyhood, AR Rahman of Tamil Nadu, the former cricketer Pataudi and his family, Wipro Azim Premji, Ansari the Vice President of India (who was a bureaucrat), the film actors, those in the fashion world, MF Hussain will all automatically fall below the PL? What happens to all the flow of petro dollars from the Islamic world? The Congress forgets that business is also in the hands of the Muslims, why waste 16 to 20 years in an educational institution deemed or doomed and then look for a job? The Muslims are smarter, at a young age they enter business, even if it is to set up a small bunk, get an auto, etc and in no time they earn and are financially independent. The Congress cannot look at the migrants from Bangla Desh and Pakistan and make them the sample of poverty among the Muslims. As stated earlier poverty knows no religion. In fact the Muslims are hard workers and know to stand on their own. A National Survey Sample (NSS) of the government of India came out with the data that Christians are the poorest. This is understandable because the majority of the Christians are SCs and MBCs. This takes us to caste religion cannot become an identifying factor for poverty or a yardstick but caste can. This has historical empirical data. The SCs and the MBCs were deprived and denied of access even to drinking water. They were barred from certain professions, (not any more) education institutions they could not think of entering. This has changed too. But there is a cumulative culture of poverty when it comes to SCs. The Constitution and the Directive Principles point to this and makes the government accountable for their upliftment. Here again a caution-positive discrimination cannot be a permanent cure. It speaks volumes of the inability of the government to continue pushing larger and larger sections of the population as backward. So the bottom line would testify that after 62 years of Planned Development there is an increase in backwardness and poverty. Do we need a government at all for this downward trend?

Will not the ‘automatically’ falling BPL be an allurement for conversion to Islam? Is the Congress blatantly violating the Constitution? Is the Congress determined to communalise every aspect of this country and its governance? Yet it has the deception and the audacity to call itself ‘Secular’. A Ministry for Minority (read Muslim) affairs, a special budget for their institutions like madrasas, Haj subsidy all financed by the tax payers money, add to this the extension of the Aligarh Muslim University, should we call this secularism? Where does all this end? Communalism based on region (Telangana for example) caste, religion, majority, minority all are the divisive forces sowed and nurtured by the Congress, the great Secular Party the mother head of Communalism.

(The writer is a Development Consultant, Vadodara.)

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January 17, 2011 at 10:37 am 9 comments

Paper Rights

It looks like we are being overburdened with ‘RIGHTS’ which are more in paper than in reality. Take for example the right to life which means provision of food-water and other survival inputs. The same government which conferred on us this right has clearly abdicated its role as the provider. It is impossible to feed 1.15 billion people asserted our Finance Minister. Then may I ask Mr Pranab Mukherjee to withdraw that Right to life. Right to life also encompasses personal safety and security which again the GOI has failed miserably. Right to education-is another right which is observed more in its breach than in observance–when one sees child labor rampant and children out of school then one wonders what this right is all about. This is not to fully blame the government but just to bring to focus the fact that this government is a paper government-why is it so keen on conferring paper Rights which cannot be implemented these are just two examples in the long list of Rights.

Now the latest is the statement of the Minister for Law that soon we will be burdened with another Right-that is Right to Justice.Sounds good but let’s pause to incisively look into the justice which is going to be our Right. Should Justice be a Right-is Justice not by itself a guarantee that it is for all? Should there be Convocation of the people of India in which this Right will be conferred? And will be another Right on the list of the UPA to go for vote catching. Now what is the quality of justice that is being made a right? Is it the Justice which Ruchika was given, is it the Justice that evaded Aarushi. What is the Right to Justice that Veerappa Moily has in mind? Justice varies from courts to courts. Sentences pronounced in the lower courts are quashed at the Higher courts and those of the High courts in the Supreme Courts.
If Courts really are attuned to dispense Justice then why transfer of cases from one State to another-should not Courts in all the States dispense justice. What about the justice which the Courts have already dispensed with-say the sentences which it has pronounced why are these not executed? Afzal Guru’s case is a typical example. Should this nation not have Justice? Should it be burdened by having to spend crores of its hard-earned money on keeping these criminals in the prisons?

Justice is a much bandied word but who gets justice and at what costs? So it is amazing that Veerappa Moily has embarked on conferring the Right to Justice on us the people of India. If only the government and its long arms keep out of this area there can be justice. In Quottrrochi’s case it is the GOI that thwarted justice and made a mockery of the Justice-thanks to then Law Minster Bhardwaj Quottrrochi had the last laugh. Right from the beginning Quottrrochi had to be saved was the Congress sole motive. Even now the CBI is on the save Q path. Why is the CBI bothered about the taxpayers’ money that it gives this as a reason to close Quottrrochi’s case? That nothing new has come out of the Income Tax Tribunal regarding the kickbacks-states the CBI.- which means that earlier it had known the amounts and the persons to whom the kickbacks went and the tax evasion involved. This is the kind of justice we have and which Veerappa Moily wants to offer us? Not to speak of the Bhopal gas disaster-in which till date justice has not been dispensed with for the victims.This is a special kind of vision of the Congress.A justice which is wrapped in injustice and offered now as a Right. The less the Congress leaders talk of Justice the better because they have lost the ability to discern between justice and injustice

Is Right to Justice something like Right to Information, Right to Education? Where does this Right to Justice start and where does it end. How is it operational? Will the Law minister ensure that the Judges dispense justice? If only the GOI stops interfering in the judiciary and ban post retirement benefit there can be some justice .To keep prisoners on parole for years-to stretch the period of criminal justice for years allowing the rich and the powerful to buy time and closures of cases for ‘lack of evidences’ are all mired in corruption and corrupt judges. The whole judiciary has to be cleansed. We had the ex-CJI Balakrishnan who gave his full support to Justice Dinarakarn a corrupt judge -what was not good for Karnataka was good for Sikkim and so he was transferred there.

The people have become cynical of the justice system in our country thanks to the interference of the politicians and the rich. But still I must hasten to add that the Judicary is our only hope sans the interference of politicians. So to hear the Law minister telling us that soon we will have Right to Justice was ridiculous. I wish Veerappa Moily outlines how this Right would be implemented. Finally it must be stated that Justice has always a price-to go to courts one must have money and the capacity to wait for years. In no country does it take such a frustrating long period of wait for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied; one wonders what the Minister for Law is musing. The UPA government is creating a mirage of Rights, and a simulation of Justice.
Lets envisage a world where every person is assured of two meals a day, where every child is happily engrossed in school activities where every child is vaccinated and inoculated-where Health care is available and accessible to all-, where the communal divides fall, where there is justice at the door step for all, where there is peace and harmony-into that world- My Father let my people awake.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja
Vadodara

January 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm 8 comments


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