Archive for March, 2011

The Congress suffers from Modi phobia

With all the tremors caused by the WikiLeaks a small news item in the Indian Express (18th March 2011) would have been missed by many: ‘Congress MLA writes to ‘Minister  Antony over General’s praise for Modi’ It is ridiculous that the praise bestowed on Modi by Major General I.S.Singha should have irked the Congress party in the State. The Congress MLA writes that it is most unfortunate and a reflection on the deteriorating standards of the Indian army. Imagine the yardstick the MLA has used to measure standards of the Army! He hopes that Minister Antony would take steps to prevent ‘politicians earning legitimacy’ by inviting praise from serving Army officers..

Babu Shah the MLA from Rapar further clarifies that it is not to be construed as a complaint against the Major General but to request the Defence Minister to prevent politicians from earning legitimacy by inviting encomiums from serving officers of the Indian Army and to take appropriate steps in this regard. Does it mean that praising Modi reflects deteriorating standards in the army or does the deterioration of standards happen if only Modi is praised? Can other Congress CMs and the PM be praised? Will that reflect high standards of the Indian Army?

Does the Congress MLA want Minister Antony to give a blanket order that serving officers should not accept invitations from politicians and if they do accept not to praise them? Or does it mean that the Defence Minister should ban politicians from inviting serving army officers? Does this mean that Antony’s writ runs over not only the army officers but also over politicians? It is not clear why the Congress party suffers from Modi phobia and indulges at every drop of the hat Modi bashing. It seems to me that Modi is treated as an alien and the Congress party would rather extend praise to an enemy of the country –as Pakistan rather than Modi.

Modi has earned praise globally and the people of Gujarat love their CM and know what their CM is all about. But what irks one is the Congress MLA thinks that by the Army officer showering praise on Modi he has legitimized Modi and his regime. This is simply nonsense, because Modi is not handpicked-neither did he come through the backdoor as the Congress Manmohan Singh.He is neither an extra un-constitutional power as Mrs Sonia Gandhi. He is duly elected by the people of Gujarat so where is the question of legitimacy through praise of the Army officer? Did Modi wait and request Major General Singha to praise him? Gujarat does not function with a No 10 Janpath-everything follows the democratic norms and procedures. It is a travesty of justice that the Congress which has a super extra un-constitutional power centre should be faulting Modi .It is also a betrayal of the people of India that the Congress wants Modi to fail and falter in his development strides. That there is not a single Congress CM- for that matter even a Union cabinet minister to match the astute governance of Modi is a fact. Instead of being happy that at least there is one man to deliver the goods and strive ceaselessly for the development of his State the Congress sets hurdles and does not miss an opportunity to bash Modi. Is Modi’s government tainted by scams? Has Modi skeletons in his cupboard as the PM and the UPA have and which comes tumbling with regularity? A party which has politically sinned and is living and surviving in political illegitimacy should fault Modi and request Minister Antony to prevent politicians from earning legitimacy by inviting encomiums from serving Army officers is laughable.

The Congress men/ women should be given a primer in democracy and in political probity. Respect for elected leaders, adherence to democratic norms and procedures, honesty in governance and above all a healthy attitude to the Opposition-these the Congress men and women do not have and that’s the reason why Indian democracy is today more an oligarch.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,

Vadodara

March 19, 2011 at 9:21 am 7 comments

Error of Judgement

Error of Judgement

About two years ago a former student of mine sent me the Curriculum vitae of Dr Manmohan Singh and remarked-‘no PM of the world has such a CV we should be proud.it ’.I replied to her, ‘It is not the CV that makes a man it is the intrinsic values, the integrity and honesty ,the sensitivity to the downtrodden, the courage and firmness which enables one to uphold the oath which a PM takes when he assumes off ice that matters. I also reminded her that great leaders like Kamaraj Nadar, Nanda, Lal Badhur Shastri had no CV to boast of. But they loved the people and the country and stood for certain principles. When I read the media reports on Manmohan Singh’s CV I thought the same and midway through his tenure as PM I found myself anchoring on these values more than his scholarship. Today I am more convinced that Manmohan Singh lacked the administrative skills,the tenacity and the erudition to be at the helm of the country’s governance. He lacked the courage to act, he let down the nation when it looked up to him, he failed to safeguard the interests of the nation, and he simply pretended that the looters can continue looting the country. Would one call this honesty? But above all he failed to uphold his oath. Thus he failed miserably as a Prime Minister. What happens when a Principal makes ‘an error of judgment’ and thereby fails a student? What happens when a clerk makes an error of judgment and throws the promotion paper of a junior clerical staff in the waste paper basket? What happens when the Chief of Armed forces makes an error of judgment? What happens when the pilot of a jet makes an error of judgment? What happens to those holding the remote control of the nuclear power clicks because of an error of judgment? In all the above cases they take full responsibility and they cannot escape accountable and that what follows with such accoutablity What happens when the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh makes an error of judgment and accepts full responsibility for it? Is there not natural justice that he be made accountable for that error of judgment? By simply making statements in Parliament does it wash away his guilt?Can he be let off the hook without paying for it? Can his sins be washed off by his statements, “I am not that big culprit as is being made out” a pitiful plea and that from the PM of this nation. If he is not ‘that big a culprit’ then is he a medium size culprit? One must remember that this is not the first time that the Prime Minister has tried to escape by making statements in the Parliament without being punished for it. Every person who errs needs to be punished-that’s justice. All the more if he is supposed to be at the helm of affairs. In Quottrocchi’s case he pleaded that ‘he was out of the loop’. Was it not his responsibility to be very much in the loop? In 2G Spectrum he pretended that everything was fine till the Opposition shouted hoarse. Still he pretended to be deaf and like a robot moved on. Was it not his responsibility not to allocate the IT and communication portfolio to Dayanidhi Maran when his family is in the business of communication and media? Then when Maran was dropped because of family discords then A.Raja was given the portfolio. The media had brought to the notice of its readers the scam that was erupting in the department but Manmohan Singh continued as though everything was fine. He was forced to drop A.Raja and now calls it compulsions of coalition. Does it mean that compulsions of coalition calls for closing one’s eyes-not acting and allowing the nation to be looted? The Common Wealth Games had no compulsions of coalition and yet the Prime minister went about giving the impression that everything was fine. Meanwhile the loot was on. Is the PM insulated from governance or does he just allow his subordinates to call the shots. Coming to the appointment of PJ.Thomas as the CVC one simply cannot understand the compulsions of the PM and the Home Minister to select him when the leader of the Opposition had put in a dissenting note. Were there not two others from whom one could have been selected? This issue was raised in public forums-in Parliament and the Opposition make a hue and cry still the PM was unmoved. It is only when the Supreme Court raised questions and asked for clarification then the PM could not run for cover. So he coolly calls it ‘error of judgment’. Can a PM of the country afford to make an error of judgment? Can the nation rather afford to have a PM who yields to coalition pressures and when there is no coalition pressure then it is error of judgment? Every public enterprise there is a scam and Mrs Sonia Gandhi stated that the whole world knows that the PM is an honest man. How is honesty proved-by allowing scams-by allowing the country to be looted? The problem is much deeper. There is a dyarchy system in the country. There is no Parliamentary democracy but a mirage of it. Power is with Sonia Gandhi with no accountability, authority with accountability is with Manmohan Singh but with no power. Manmohan Singh is every grateful to Mrs Sonia Gandhi for selecting him as the PM. He entered Parliament through the backdoor-this honest man. He is subservient to Mrs Sonia Gandhi for her renunciation and for handpicking him to the gaddi. She was clever and he was naïve to say the least. His image would camouflage her motives-and her strategies. Look how he and his authority have been undermined by a National Advisory council. It is Sonia Gandhi’s Parliament. Her hand picked men/women to lobby for her pet schemes. Thereby undermining Parliament and pressurizing the PM to accept its recommendations. Then why is there a Parliament? The Prime Minister is more attuned to the corporate world. This has been his perception when he was Secretary of the SAARC and later in the World Bank.Now there seem to be a bigger scam looming that of Cairn-Vedanta. Will the PM wake up in time. It is no consolation for the Finance minister to assure the nation that black money stashed abroad in tax havens will be brought back. But laws have to be followed. What laws is he talking of? For scoundrels who have looted the nation-for traitors who have dealings with arms dealers-for men who followed no law what is the law Pranab Mukerjee wants to follow? And the Prime Minister is silent. Is it going to be the same game the GOI played by allowing Quottrrochi to walk away with the loot? Why did the Prime Minister and his party refuse to yield to the demand of a JPC there by allowed a hole winter session to be lost ?After all the demand of the Opposition was not unconstitutional and the demand of a JPC was it was not setting a precedent. Yielding to the Opposition is not a sign of weakness but a sign of vibrant democracy. The same in the appointment of the CVC. There were three names for the selection committee what was the compulsion and who compelled the PM and the Home minister Chidambaram to select PJ Thomas over ruling the leader of the Opposition Ms Sushma Swaraj? They could have at least gone in for any one of the other two names? Why this stiff unyielding posturing of the PM? Were the compulsions of the coalition pressure there? Or was it because the Kerala elections were round the corner and PJ Thomas belonged to a minority community? This is no statesmanship. It looks that Manmohan Singh easily falls a victim to pressures from within from without and that is no consolation for the nation to have such a person at the helm of affairs with his ‘error of judgment’. The Prime Minister is not made of the stuff of a politician . He has been lampooned for allowing the likes of A.Raja-he had under his nose the Commonwealth Games scam but nothing seems to move him.He shows an extra ordinary display of insulation to the shouts and screams-to the scum that is spreading all round him. He has allowed corruption of unimaginable magnitude to cover this country’s fair name. He seems to be immune to the fact that India is today known for its corruption. So how does one react to a man who does not act? It is whispered that Mrs Sonia Gandhi calls the shots and so Manmohan Singh like a loyal sepoy wants to protect her. It sounds plausible because he is indebted to her for making him the Prime Minister and he wants to be loyal. Come what may, his loyalty then is to Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her family rather than to the country. There seems to be no other way than to vote him and his party out. We must look for patriotism-not verbal but in action. We do not need scholars but simple men/women who can be entrusted with the national interests and who will not be an advocate of the corporate world but will stand by the down trodden. Manmohanomics has failed and failed miserably with the line of defense that the greater the growth the higher the inflation. The richer the people are the greater the shortage of food because they buy more and eat more-This theory has been rejected by the World Bank document. High growth does not mean high inflation if that growth is spread. It is the monopoly corporate world that shows growth and this is deceptive when it comes to the welfare of the billion. The top 2 percent accumulates everything and the trickle down theory will only give us doles and a National Rural Guarantee Employment Program which is a sedative to make the people zombies. So the talk of PM being a great economist is shattered. Is this nation not qualified to have a PM who can speak? One who can bravely articulate his vision and translate it into action? Is it too much for this nation to expect a PM to arrest the loot and to throw the looters behind the bars? Is it too much to want a PM who would not just carry his honesty on his sleeves but allow dishonest persons to thrive? Is it too much to want a PM who would adhere to his oath and stand by it irrespective of coalition pressures and Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s pulls? Is it not legitimate for this nation to deserve a Parliamentary democracy for which it had voted? Why has the PM yielded to a National Advisory Council which advises him? What has this nation done to deserve such an lame duck of a Prime Minister as Manmohan Singh? Can we afford to have a Prime Minister who admits to an error of judgment, accepts full responsibility for it but continues to hold on to the Prime Minister’s chair? Dr Mrs Hilda Raja Vadodara

March 12, 2011 at 11:28 am 13 comments

On Justice Saldahana’s Independent Probe

Justice Saldanha’s report reads like a political party’s demands. It is far from an unbiased Independent  report.

To call this an independent Tribunal Enquiry is far from what it reveals. On the basis of this report, Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) and other NGOs have called for action by the Union government.

The CSF is a misnomer. How can ‘Catholic’ be secular? Can we call the Indian Muslim League ‘the Indian Muslim secular League? The moment one tags an institution/organization with a religion it identifies its allegiance with the religion it has identified.

I wonder how ‘independent was the People Tribunal Enquiry. Justice Michael Saldanha claims to have visited 400 places and examined 3000 witness/victims. Why had Justice and the CSF not brought these witnesses to the notice of Justice Somasekharan?  Was he showed these victims and evidences? Did the Forum and the NGOs follow critically Justice Somashkaran’s probe and appear before him-place their objections and ‘crucial and critical evidences?

Just going through the ‘Highlights and Conclusions’ of Justice Saldhana one gets the feel that it is not only biased but sweeping and far fetched.

For example he accuses that the Hindutva brigade was behind the violence and that the CM and the Home Minister implicitly and explicitly abetted the Hindutva criminals.

Justice Saldanha should know that unless criminality is proved the allegations of ‘criminals’ is unjust and far from justice. To smugly point at the Chief Minister and the Home Minister as implicitly and explicitly abetting Hindu criminals questions the fairness of Justice Saldhana in his very approach. He should then have cited the ‘implicit and explicit evidences at least annexed these to his Independent enquiry.May be he has but when one Highlights areas these must be highlighted and I found none.

Next he cites the ‘brute force of armed police, State administration and lower judiciary was used against the hapless Christians’. This again calls for concrete proof. Brute force adjective is used in a sweeping manner for the police, administration judiciary et al. The result of this ‘brute force’ should have resulted in the death of hundreds, and brutalization of the hapless Christians. I suppose Justice Saldhana has counted the dead, enumerated the crippled and those who suffered injuries and other violations from this ‘brute force”. This is not highlighted again.

How the lower judiciary used ‘brute’ forced I am not able to gauge.

He then states that ‘religious violence’ was preplanned and executed with great precision for maximum impact and the persecution continued for three years. Reading the media which is already biased against Yeddyurappa one did not get such an impression. Again sweeping statements with no concrete evidence-at least a few instances could have been narrated. How this persecution for three years continued and to what effect? I found that Christian numbers have been growing-they have been able to worship without any hindrance and their institutions have been running smoothly. My friends and relatives quite a few are all harmoniously and happily living in Karnataka and do not report of any anarchy and fear. Is this the picture of a three year long persecution? Does the peace that prevailed in Karnataka reveal the ‘brute’ force, the pre-planned violence, the precision with which it was executed etc ? What was the impact which such precision and planning wrought ? May be you have information of the pre-plan- a blue print of the plan but do not want to make it public. Then your whole Independent Enquiry crumbles.

Justice Saldhana goes on to point at the ‘flagrant disregard to rule of law and an atmosphere of anarchy prevails. Justice Saldhana are you really honest and truthful? Was Karnataka embroiled in violence except a few stray cases-was there anarchy? These words are loosely used because people lived and continue to live peacefully. If there was anarchy why did we not have people fleeing the State? Justice Saldhana next mentions of non-state and extra constitutional players. May be he is bogged down by the extra constitution power centre at Delhi and the extra State players there. Hence these words have been thrown in liberally.

The next Highlight brings in the Muslims community-‘its stereo-typing and profiled’, its subject to attacks and lumpens all the ‘minorities’ as living in fear.

Is this not an exaggeration? Justice Saldhana is  better informed than this writer and hence should remember that when one Muslim doctor(Haneef) was harassed in Australia our poor PM suffered from sleepless nights. Hence had the ‘minorities’ been harassed and forced to live in fear will our PM and the extra constitutional power centre revolving round Mrs Sonia Gandhi just sit back and watch?

To come to the demands made by the CSF over the Justice Saldanha report

Justice Somasekhara needs to withdraw comments regarding conversion. Why should he when it is true? Except the Catholics who do not indulge in whole sale conversion business the other Evangelical churches business is nothing but conversion-adding numbers.

The Catholic Secular Forum wants to ask permission from the Governor to prosecute the CM and the Home Minister. The Governor will be too glad because his one motive is to unsaddle the Yeddyurappa government and that was why he was made the Governor of Karnataka. So the CSF has a strong ally in the Governor. But what made no sense is the statement that these two politicians must be debarred from entering Europe, America and Western nations for abetting hate crimes against fellow citizens and religious minorities.

This calls for special focus. Why has the CSF rushed to extra-territorial boundaries? Do these countries belong to the Indian Christians? Or are the Indian Christians’ loyalties anchored there? Who are they to seek to debar these two politicians? And after all the European countries and America are not heavens and I do not think Yeddyurappa and Dr Acharya are very keen to visit these countries. What do they gain and what do they lose. But what is revealing is how the CSF binds itself and allies with these countries. It will not be irrelevant to bring to the notice of readers and Justice Saldahan and the CSF that more than 3000 Sikhs were brutally butchered by the Congress leaders-three Congress leaders have been named by the Courts-the Bhopal gas disaster the biggest devastating industrial disaster globally found 13000 dead, maimed, crippled and diseased. The late Congress Arjun Singh was the Chief Minister at the State and Rajiv Gandhi the PM at the Centre,.Yet these two conspired and Warren Anderson was given a royal safe exit. What happened in Karnataka is it greater than these two human genocides? Did the Christians cry and wail and shun politicians who failed in their duty to bring to justice those responsible for these two massive human tragedies? Yes they only have the Gujarat riots forgetting the 59 roasted and burned to death and then again in Gujarat the human loss was just a fraction of the earlier two mentioned tragedies.

One of the demands mentions that dereliction of duty in Karnataka must be treated as ‘rarest of the rare crime. What strange logic. Justice Saldhana would know what is rarest of the rare crime.

Yet another demand calls for punishing police and government officers who were indicted. Then the same justice demands that starting from Manmohan Singh and Mrs Sonia Gandhi the whole of the UPA must be punished for what we see-scams raining all round-but for the Opposition hue and cry the looters were allowed to fleece the country and thereby hit at the poor. Punish these first. As the Supreme Court stated in the CVC case indicted persons cannot be called upon to probe and punish others.

The fourth demand shows complete ignorance of those who drafted it All Hindu temples’ monies go to the government but not a pie of the Christian churches offerings, donations; foreign funds go to the State government. Hence all Sammelans and Hindu religious functions must be from public funds because their funds are grabbed by the government. The Hindu Religious Endowment Boards in each State controls the temples and its finances. I am surprised that the CSF did not find this out till date. Lets us be fair and let all the monies of the churches be given to the State and then all the festivals of the churches can be celebrated with the government money. You cannot eat the cake and have it too. One should realize the injustice and bias-one religion is controlled by the State and Christian religion has a free run.

Why are the minorities considering themselves as a different species? Are they not all Indians? So best would be to shed the ‘minority’ tag and phobia from which they suffer. Karnataka has been a State when Hindus and Christians all lived in peace and harmony-it is so today too except for stray instances. Let us not blow up these- when one looks at the world situation of unrest. It is the politicians for their vote bank purposes have divided the communities into minority and majority into caste and creed. Let us pull down these ghettos-for all are one nation.

Finally the suggestion that the CSF intents to take up the cases with the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court is very sensible and wise. But make sure that the court verdicts are accepted and not lend itself to other Independent and not so independent probes on religious lines.

PS:-The Catholics are being persecuted in NAGALAND. There is large scale human rights violations perpetrated by the Baptists. In States like Andhra Pradesh,Orissa,Tamilnadu   Evangelical churches are out persecuting the Catholics and poaching among its ‘flock’ I hope Justice Saldhana and the Catholic Secular Forum are aware of this and would recommend the Centre Government to  probes these Christian churches and their anti Catholic activities. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India could take the issue to Vatican and internationalize it.

Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,

Vadodara

March 5, 2011 at 3:50 am 7 comments


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