Friday, July 31, 2009

PM’s defence of Sharm-el-Sheikh Joint Statement lacks conviction

Though Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made spirited defence of the Sharm-el-Sheikh Indo-Pak Joint statement in Parliament,which created the impression that India diluted stand on Pakistan especially in regard to terrorism. There was criticism from all quaters-media, opposition as well as ruling Congress party of the Joint statement. The Manmohan Singh-led UPA government had suspended the composite dialogue process with Pakistan immediately after 9/11 Mumbai attacks, which were planned, plotted, designed on Pakistani soil and carried out by 10 Pak-based terrorists that killed 170 inocent persons. It was apparently clear after the investigation that the attacks were carried out by Pak-based dreaded terrorisdt outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba under the supervision of its founder Hafiz Saeed. After the outfit was banned, he founded its front organisation Jamai-ud-Dawa. Hafiz Saeed masterminded the 9/11 Mumbai attacks. With the launching vigorous diplomatic offensive against Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice, international pressure mounted on it and Hafiz Saeed was put under house arrest. But his detention was set aside by the law court of Pakistan and he was set free because of the absence concrete evidence about his involvement. Pakistan appeared to have deliberately failed to produce evidence against him in the court. India provided clear evidence of involvement of Pakistani terrorists and asked Pakistan to bring these terrorists to justice. It clearly told Pakistan that untill the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks were broght to justice, the resumption of composite dialogue process is out of question. Then question here arises what led to the softening of India’s stand that it issued joint statement with Pakistan delinking action on terror from composite dialogue process and mentioning of Balochistan. Prime Minister Mr. Singh though has assured the Parliament that dialogue process can not resume untill the Mumbai attackers are brought to justice and the use of Pakistani territory is stopped for terror acrtivities against India.Mr. Singh said one important thing that this is first time on the part of Pakistan that it has accepted the involvement of its nationals in Mumbai tererror attack (9/11) through the dossier it handed over to India before the PM’s visit to Egypt.And it is also the first time that reference to Balochistan has been made in Indo-Pak Joint Statement. Pakistan rightly sees it a victory because it has got opportunity to raise the question of India’s alleged interference in Balochistan whenever India would raise the question of cross border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Because of Balochistan blunder, the ruling Congress party does not stand with the government in its entierty on the issue of Sharm-el-Sheikh Joint Statement. Though the Congress party leadership has suported PM’s defence of joint statement in Parilament but with subdued voice. Pakistan is our neighbour and we can not change it. It is also eqipped with nuclear power. So, in the prevailing situation war is abosolutely no option. Therefore engaging Pakistan in talks if it genuinely acts against terror infrasructure on its terrirtory and bring the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice is also a good idea. But as far as the question of acting against terror is concerned, Pak has shown no sincerity if the trial of the mastermind of Mumbai attacks Hafiz Saed is anything to go by. There is also contradiction in the statement of Prime Minister in Parliament when he reiterate India’s stated stand on Pakistan on one hand and asks it must act against terror before any dialogue process is set in motion on the other. But this is also a fact that without showing statesmanship by the leadership of both the countries-India and Pakistan, the amicable and friendly relations can not be established.Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilan has has lauded prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech in Parliament by praising his statesmabship. The situation demands that he must reciprocate his counterpart's statesmanship.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Strife-torn J&K need only peace and development

Defying boycott call by separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir in assembly elections 8 months ago, the people of the state participated in the electoral process in large numbers. Have the leaders of major political parties in the state Congreess, National Conference and People’s Democratic party ever paid any attention to why the people came out of their home to caste their vote by defying guns and what for? They are only yearning for the peace and development of the state. People of the state have great expectation from NC-Congress coalition of Omar Abdullah government. It has only eight months since Omar Abdullah been sworn in as the chief minister of J &K. Since Omar Abdullah was elected as the yougest Chief Minister of state, his government is facing violent protests over one incident or the other. At the very ordinary incident, to give bandh call in J & K by separatist leaders is very easy. The people of the state have become fed-up with strikes and bandhs. They have become the routine affairs in the state. Among the excesses by the security forces in the state in the last eight months, Shopian murder and rape case is the most infamous. The state has seen strike and Bandh over the incident for several days. Two young women were allegedly raped and murdered by security forces and the state police initially said that they died due to drowning. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also bought police version initially and mishandled the incident over which he drew flak. With the beginning of the assembly session first the theatrics by the PDP Chief in the assemby by storming into the well and uprooting the Speaker’s microphone over the Shopian incident as her way of protests were enacted,which amply shows the degeneration which has set in politics of the trouble-torn state of J & K. The show of hooliganism in the well of state assembly staged by her makes the mockery of democracy. She created bedlam in the House to attract people's attention in the state. Though this type of ruckus in the assembly has been enacted in several states of the country, this one is most deplorable where attention of the entire nation is focussed. The pandemonium of this type witnessed so far in the state assemblies is Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar. In all these assemblies the opposition has adopted the way of opposition by breaking microphone and furniture to attack the rivals. This type of behaviour by the elected represetatives only shows their lust for power and degradation among them. No political party is sancrosant whenever it get opportunity, it creates pandemonium in the assembly over trifle. The political class has stooped so low that they can go to any extent to level charges at their political opponents without the veracity of the charges. In the ongoing assembly session of Jammu and Kashmir, the senior PDP leader and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Baig dug out the infamous 2006 sex scandal of Jammu and Kashmir and levelled charge at Chief Minister Omar Abullah’s involvement in it. He said on the floor of the house that Omar Abdull’s name figures on the CBI list of accused persons. So , the chief minister has lost moral authority to rule the state and he must resign. The house was stunned into silence and and immediately there was imotional outburst by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah showing immaturity but standing the high moral ground by deciding to resign immerdiate till he is proven innocent. He left the assembly despite fierce opposition of his move of resignation by his own party’s MLAs. But he did not yield to any pressure and went to meet Governor to resign as CM of J and K . The CBI immediately denied about involvement of Omar Abdullah anywhere in 2006 J&K Sex Scandal. Home Minister P Chidambaram has also rejected the allegation of Baig against Abdullah outright. As far as the chasrge is concerned, it is very serious and it has been levelled by none other than Muzaffar Baig who is a senior opposition leader and a brilliant lawyer. Now it is up to him to prove the charge against Omar or face the fall-out. Though our law says one is innocent untill he is proven guilty by the highest court of the law, Omar Abullah has stood the moral high ground. But the demand of the people in the state on all political leadersto play positive politics and discard the negative one and government to respect the people's mandate by coming up to their expectation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heavy rains expose Delhi govt

Heavy rains-the first of this season- which started in the evening of Monday and continued up to midnight exposed the condition of civic amenities in Delhi. Though this is the first time that Delhiites have seen the heavy downpours in the season, it has exposed the hollow claims of cleanliness of the city by the MCD. The MCD has become the playground of corruption if the news report, published a few days back, of a prestigeous national daily is anything to go by. It had carried a detailed story about how the forgery is practised in the MCD in the appointment of staff meant for keeping the city neat and clean. Delhi is faced with one of the worst drainage system. There is hardly any drain in the city through which the dirty water could flow smoothly. What are the army of MCD staff doing? Are they meant for only drawing monthly salary by keeping their boss satisfied through bribery. Sheila Dixit government must cast off the cover of complacency and act immediately to fulfill her promises of making Delhi a world class city. Presently, it is worse than even a state capital of the country. The roads all over the city are turned into lakes whever there is a heavy rain and whether itis pedestrians, bikers and motorists all are inundated by heavy water. The city's drains are choked and it is very difficult for the traffic to move. Life comes to a standstill and there becomes chaotic situation all over the city as was evident in the late Monday evening when the Delhiites experieced the haviest rain of this season. All drains of the city appeared choked and there was no way for water to go out through proper channel. The life in the city was thrown out of gear. The pictures about dreadful traffic jams carried by almost all newspapers in the morning must have opened the eyes of MCD and the Delhi government. They painted the sorry state of affairs about the arrangement of civic amenities in the city. Delhi being the national capital of India, the civic amenities must be upto the mark. The heavy rains which were long awaited by the Delhiites first brought extreme pleasure for them but after the closure of the office in the evening and when they started going home, they started cursing the organisation whether it is Delhi government or MCD entrusted with task of looking after civic amenities for them. Knee deep water logged every where in the city and it appeared that the Delhiites are having worse civic amenities than that of a district town of our country. By only laying bridge overhead all over the city for Metro rail can not give the city a swanky look. The Delhi government must take the serious of the situation that arises in the city whenever there is heavy rain. Otherwise it paints a very sorry picture.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Populism must not be allowed at the cost of development

Populism must not be allowed to have its way because every move must not be aimed at only how to win elections. In democracy, to win elections are the first priority of the political party but for that matter the government must decide the priority keeping in view the benefit of the people. The people of the country thought that UPA in its second consecutive innings at the Centre in power will not be remote controlled by the political ally like CPI(M) boss Prakash Karat but to the disappointment of all the UPA-2 is faced with more rigid and maverick ally like Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Bannerjee. This was reflected in the last Cabinet meeting over the issue of Land Acquisition(Amendment)and Rehabilitation Bill 2007 when Mamata Bannerjee showed her tantrums the Cabinet meeting by opposing it fiercely. Mamata Bannerjee is opposed to any role of state in land acquisition for industry. She is dead against UPA being seen as “pro land acquisition ahead of 2011 West Bengal polls.If govt. is to help acquire land, say for SEZ, firms must first buy 70 percent at market rate, if need be, government will deal with ‘holdouts’ in remaining 30 per cent. Bill stresses resettlement berfore displacement; compensation is average of land price of last three years, plus 60 per cent of that value. Social impact assessment must if acquisition leads to displacement of 200 families in tribal areas, 400 families in plains. If land not used in five years, it reverts to government. Because she sees her loss of vote bank in her home state West Bengal where on the issue of Land acquisition in Nadigram and Singur for the industrialisation of the state, she had opposed vehemently and led the opposition of land acquisition in Nandigram and Singur from the front.She buit up mass support base and on the strength of that agitations, she trounced the Left front in its own den. She drove away Tata from Singur where it was to set up Car factory to manufacture the cheapest car the Nano. It was her fierce opposition and mass mobilisation on land acquisition that Tata had to leave the state. West Bengal Assembly election is going to be held in 2011 and Mamata Bannerjee has set her eyes on it and would try her best to defeat the ruling Left Front. Congress is the alliance partner of Trinamool but it also leads the UPA government at the Centre. It has to take developmental issue on priority basis and if the move of industrialisation will be opposed in this way what we can expect from the government. The industry will be set up on the ground and not in the space. It will need land primarily and if the land could not be made available how would the indutrialists set up industry. The Trinamool Congress chief is understood to have opposed a major provision in the bill which provides for private developers acquiring 70 per cent of the land for a proposed industrial project directly from the farmers and land-owners. The remaining 30 per cent is to be acquired by the state government, the bill proposes. Banerjee is understood to have strongly demanded penal provisions to check the use of money and muscle power by private developers while acquiring land from the farmers. The Trinamool Congress is of the view that these legislations fall short of protecting poor farmers as their rehabilitation and resettlement is not fully guaranteed by the provisions. The old law regarding Land acquisition of 1884 is that land can be acquired only by the government for its purposes. The land can be acquired only for government purposes. But the Land Acqusition (Amendment) Bill 2007 allows the industrialist to acquire 70 percent land directly with the landowners and 30 remains in government’s domain to take permission. The majority of the people are of the view that the law regarding land acquisition for industrialisation must be made to benefit the citizens who are displaced for setting up industry. THe rehabilitation of the displaced people must be made before their displacement.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

There should be no reference to Balochistan in Indo-Pak joint statement

The reference to Balochistan in the Joint Statment of India and Pakistan issued at Shram-el-Sheikh in Egypt on the sidelines of Non-Aligned Summit has drawn a lot of criticism from the Opposition parties as well as the ruling in India. The joint statement was issued after the meeting between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gillani. Prime Minister Singh has said that as India has nothing to hide, mentioning of Balochistan in the joint statement makes no meaning. But this is for the first time in the history of India and Pakistan that the name of Balochistan has figured in the joint statement of the two countries. Pakistan accuses Indian intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) of espousing the cause of insugency in Baloch. By mentioning Baloch, Pakistan can accuse India of fomenting and sponsoring insurgency before the international community as India has been doing against Pakistan in case of Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India. Home Minister P Chidambram has also said that India is not involved in Balochistan and it has nothing to do with interference in the affairs of Baluchistan. It also appears credible that why India will involve in the internal matter of its neighbour. On the contrary Pakistan alleges that Balochi insurgents are trained in camps in Afghanistan with the assistance of Indian inteligence agency RAW. Pakistan has also talked to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in this regar and he has assured of closing the camp if the allegations were found true. It is true that Balochi insurgent leaders appeal to India for providing help to them. But India has never obliged them. As far as Pakistani media report about handing over dossier on Balochistan to Prime Minisater Dr. Manmohan Singh by his Pakistani countrerpart Gillani is baseless. Shram-el-Sheikh joint statement also delinks action on terror from composite dialogue process and 26/11 is not to be bracketed with the dialogue process but India has clearly told Pakistan that the talks between the two countries hinge on terrorism.Before resumption of the talks, Pakistan has to act against terror. Actually other than the issue of terrorism, there is no point of contention between the two countries. If from tomorrow itself Pakistan stops sponsoring terror from across the border and dismantle the terror infrastructure on its soil, the cordial and friendly relation between the two countries will be automatically established. Because the common citizens in both the countries support encouragement to encreasing people-to-people contact. Though the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has brushed aside the rift between the government and the ruling Congress party over joint statement and said that it is media creation, the common perception in the country is that India has diluted the vital issue of terror with Pakistan. There is also general perception in the country that India has gone extra-mile to make the possibility of resuming dialogue process with Pakistan. India is right here when it says that it has nothing to hide in relation to Balochistan. Because its hands are clean an if ever Pakistan accused India of fomenting insurgency in Balochistan it can inspect the matter under question by an international agency and if it was found guilty it is ready to do whatever it is asked to do but the same parameter must be adopted in the case of sponsoring of terrorism by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A shameful act of woman's molestation in Patna

William Shakespeare the greatest playwright of English language has very aptly written about
woman. He said, "Frailty Thy Name is woman". The weak and the frail are synonemous for
women. The molestation of a woman in Patna in full public views makes Shakespeare's saying is
100 percent correct even in 21st century.The alleged stripping of the twenty two years old in full public view in Patna the capital of Bihar .
The woman was molested in full public view near Gandhi Maidan. The site of the incident is
hardly hundred kilometres away from police station but the police came half an hour late. Though
type of outraging the modesty of a young woman had taken place in Mumbai in full public view
also and no one from the mob did anything to either protect the woman or inform the police
immediately. The woman is reportedly belong to the Jashidih district of Jharkhand and allegedly involved in
flesh trade. According to the report one a man who is a suspected pimp blamed the woman of
snatching his mobile. She may be allegedly involved in flesh trade and there mightly be quarrel
over sharing money with the suspected pimp but whatever happened with the woman in full
public view in the busy Gandhi Maidan market is a shame for Patnaitesin particular and the
nation in general. We should hang our face over the molestation. The bestial act of molesting the
woman by a group of people in full view of the public which was played on the TV screen of
different news channels has even compelled the viewers to hang their head in shame. The cite of molestation and how the woman was pushed and pulled from all sides by the mob and
paraded almost half-naked on the rikshaw clearly portray the insensitivies of the mob. The public
watching the scene of molestation as mute spectators depicts the degeneration setting in our
society. The police too appeared inactive and their reaction to the incident is callous neglect of
their duty. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in his little more than three years in
power has tried his best to bring the state back on track which had completely derailed in the 15
years rule of Lalu-Rabri duo. He improved law and order and has taken several measures of
development of the state. Robbery, Kidnapping, rape and murder had become the industry in
Bihar during the regime of Lalu-Rabri duo. But CM Nitish Kumar has brought in some relief for
Biharis by taking initiatives for developmental projects and freeing state of kidnapping, roberry,
muder and rape by restoring rule of law . But the alleged stripping of 22 year woman in full public view is a shame for his administraction.
National Women Commission Chairperson Girija Vyas has rightly taken serious note of the
incident and asked CM Nitish Kumar to take stringent action. NSW team must also visit Patna to
make an on the spot study of the molestation of the woman and prevailed on Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar to act immediately. The NCW should not only centre its attention on high-ups in different
fields when they are found guilty in crime against women. A few months back film personality
Shiney Ahuja allegedly rape his maid and because the film personality was allegedly involved in
the incident of rape it hogged the headlines of national newsapapers and NCW chief herself
visited Mumbai and talked to the victim to know the detail and left no stone unturned in getting
Ahuja punished. NCW did the right job but it must also pursue the case in the same vigour in
which the commoner is involved and get the guilty to justice. Though Nitish Kumar has ordered for probe into the incident, it is not sufficient. The credit goes
to the media only which brought the incident into national focus because not even a signle person
from among the mob opposed the molestation of the woman. All were taking sensuous
pleasure.The culprits must be awarded deterrent punishment.CM Nitish Kumar must also create
an atmosphere that could inculcate sensitivity among the public against molestation , rape and
insult to the woman in society of the state.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

VIP security or a status symbol of politicians

VIPs mostly from among the politicians demand for VIP security to flaunt his status symbol in the socieity. Politicians are the representatives of the people; then why they are afraid of their own life or see any threat to their lives from their own people. Crores of public exchequer is drained on providing security to the VIPs mostly from our political class. In U.S., U.K., only constitutional heads are provided security at government expense while in our country over 45,000 policemen guard over 13,000 VIPs .The number of VIPs is increasing day by day and so is the security demand. In democracy and wellfare state, government is to protect life and property of every citizen of the country. It is duty bound to provide security to the people if the demand has been made are they are to pay for the security. But in the case of politicians as security is provide free of cost, they are treating it as their status symbol.Like Britain and the US in our country also only constitutional heads like President, Prime minister and Chief Justice of the country should be provided security by the government and if any other dignitary besides them demand for security they will have to bear the cost of it. Taking a cue from countries like the U.S. and the U.K. where only constitutional heads such as the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister and the Supreme Court Chief Justice, are provided security at the government expense, the Ministry is trying to cull out more information on the practices being followed in other countries on VIP security and hopes to begin a debate on it.As bulk of the VIP protectees are politicians, the big question remains: Who will bell the cat? Home Minister P Chidambaram is himself not very eager to pass through security paraphernalia. The increasing expense on the security of VIPs has become a cause of serious concern. The government must act to cut expenditure on VIP security. The government of India must brought a bill in the Parliament regarding this and enact a law. The country where a little less than half its population is struggling to make both ends meet can not afford to spend 600 crore on the VIP security. This is nothing but the mockery of our democratic system. Once one is elected to Parliament or State Assembly, one becomes the representative of the people. The people have sent their representatives to Parliament and State Assembly because they like them. What is the need of security? It only makes distance between the people and their representative. The public representative must know that they are not Rajas and Maharaja; they are only public representatives. On the one hand our public representatives claim to be the messiah of downtrodden and want to live like Rajas and Maharajas on the other. As far as threat perception of any individual or MP and MLA is concerned, it is the duty of the government to decide who deserves security of which category. Government must ask the VIPs to pay for security. Only a few days back, Parliament was halted on the issue of frisking of our former President APJ Abul Kalam. The parliamentarians took it as rude behaviour to our former constitutional head by the American airlines at Indira Gandhi airport in Delhi because it he was frisked. American airlines officials and staff are bound to go be the rule of their airlines company. They did only their duty by frisking Kalam. They had no intention of hurting our sentiment nor modest personality like president ever took the frisking exercise at airport as hurting or demeaning. With demands for providing protection to VIPs increasing with each passing day, there is serious rethink rightly among top echelons of the Union Home Ministry to streamline and review the entire gamut of VIP security.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kasab’s confession reflects clear Pak involvement

The lone surviving terrorist of 26/11 Mumbai attacks Ajmal Kasab has confessed his guilt. His confession has caught even the defence lawyer off guard while the prosecution lawyer has described his confessional statement as his yet another ploy. Though there is ample proof about the involvement of Pakistani nationals in 26/11, the Kasab’s confessional statement before the special court has exposed the misdeeds of Pakistan. Kasab is one of the 10 terrorists sent off from Karachi on a ship boat through sea route to Mumbai to carryout their evil design on the commercial capital of India in which 170 innocent persons lost their lives. The Pakistan-based dreaded terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) plotted the 26/11Mumbai attacks under the supervision of its Chief and founder Hafiz Saeed. When India accused Hafiz Saeed of his involvement in the Mumbai attacks and produced sufficient evidence and launched diplomatic offensive that brought Pakistan under pressure to detain Hafiz Saeed. Under international pressure, he was put under house arrest but when the pressure eased on it , the Pakistani law court set him free because of the absence of concrete evidence about his involvent in the Mumbai attack as chief conspirator, it set him free.Pakistan deliberately did not produce the concrete evidence that Pakistani prosecutors could prosecute Hafiz Saeed. Presently, Hafiz Saeed is the Chief of Jamait-Ud-Dawa, the front organisation of LeT. It was founded in 2002 when the LeT was banned after 9/11. Kasab has given the detailed account of how the mumbai attack was carried out by 10 Pak-sent terrorists and how they were trained by LeT commander Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi and others to carry out evil design on Mumbai. What will be the legal implication of Kasab’s implication is a matter of law court but it has exposed Pakistan's naked complicity in terrorism against India before the international community. Pakistani territory has been freely used by terrorists outfits like LeT and JeM for terrorist activities against India, though Pakistan may be busy fighting against the Taliban.The surviving 26/11 terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Kasab has reportedly told the special court that his decision to admit his guilt was not to seek mercy or escape death penalty. He is also reported to have said that he has not confessed to his guilt under pressure. The sudden change of heart on the part of Kasab that has made him so repentent of his heinous crime is a matter of conjecturs but one thing is clear that he has exposed Pakistan before the international community. His minute details about the preparations of Mumbai attacks leaves no in doubt about Pakistan's key in fomenting terrorism in India.Kasab told special judge M L Tahilyani that he had not made the confession seeking any mercy or to escape death penalty.The prosecution had earlier sought the court to verify whether Kasab was aware of the consequences of his confession.Judge Tahilyani said the court had taken all precautions to ensure that the confession made was voluntary and without external influence.Ajmal Kasab said that his mandate was to open fire indiscriminately at CST and take people “hostage” on the upper floor, as the special judge for the Mumbai attack trial weighed three options on how to treat the confession of the lone surviving gunman pleading guilty. One thing that clearly reflects his confessions that he wants to establish his innocence and the crime he committed was on instruction from the Pak-based trainers. India can use Kasab's confession a weapon in its diplomatic armoury to launch diplomatic offensive against Pakistan. His confession also can bring his country under obligation before the international community to stop using its territory for terrorism against India. Kasab may have made confessional statement to give a new twist to the trial, but it appears to be credible. The confessional statement may have been made to portray himself as innocent but Pakistan has been exposed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

US and India must come closer

Both US and India can be natural allies as the former is champion of democracy and
the latter is the largest democracy of the world. The US accords the highest priority to
India in the fast changing scenario in Asia. As India and China are emerging fast as
global economic powers, the sole super power can not ignore the region. Indian Prime
minster Dr. Manmohan Singh will be the first state guest of Obama Administration when
he visits the US in November. The several bilateral and multilateral pacts signed
between Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and the visiting US secretary of
State Hillary Clinton reflects the expansion of relations between the two countries.The civil nuclear deal has brought the two countries closer. With the successful visit of
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India, it has been made clear before the world
that in the changing world scenario and growing problems of different nature, it is
required on the emerging power like India to come forward with the US in solving them.
The crux of Hillary Clinton’s statement is that the US wants India to participate
prominently in solving the global issue and become an important global player. It is her
husband and former US president Bill Clinton is credited with starting the initiative to
develop close relation and strategic partnership with India. After Bill Clinton his
successor former president George Bush also carried forward the initiative and offered
India to strike nuclear deal with the US. He operationalised the deal in his own tenure.
Now President Barrack Hussain Obama will honour the deal in letter and spirit as his
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made clear in her talks with Indian leadrship
during her visit. She has also made it clear that US will continue to supply nuclear
technology and will not deny Enrichment Reprocessing Nuclear Technology(ENR).
She has removed all confusion over the issue. The confusion over the issue developed
after G-8 Summit in which the supply of nuclear technology and Enrichment
Reprocessin Technology was linked to the signature to NPT and CTBT, which India
has already described as discriminatory. As India has bluntly denied any emmission cut proposal from the developed countries,
Hillary Clinton appeared considerate after hearing its viewpoints from Environment
Minister Jairam Ramesh. On the issue of climate also, she appeared to be conciliatory
rather than trying to build pressure on India. Hillary Clinton also admitted that Pakistan is running syndicate of terrorism and is busy
in dealing with Taliban in its own country. She stressed the point of bringing those who
are involved in 26/11 attacks in Mumbai to justice. She pressurised Pakistan to bring all
those who are involved in Mumbai attacks . But one thing that she left mentioning is
about the Pak-based terrorist outfits- Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad
besides others - who are chiefly involved in creating mayhem in Jammu and Kashmir
and elsewhere in India. Though the US Secretary of State reiterated the ponit of
bringing the Pak-based culprits of the Mumbai attacks to books, she did not appear so
open in building up pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorism emanating from its
soil. It is a open case of India that the quantity of loss suffered due to Pak-sponsored
terrorism in terms of lives and property is incalculable . The terrorism pinches India in
the same way as it pinched to US in 9/11 attacks. How did it react? It invaded
Afghanistan unilaterally because the mastermind of 9/11suspected to be in that
country. The US to be fair in dealing with the issue of terrorism must provide full back
up to India to crush this scourage at the point from where it emanates. On the whole it
was a very successful visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India, which has
also strengthened the relation between the two countries and removed the confusion
between the two. The US must understand the problem of terrorism that India has been
facing for the last two decades because of its sponsorship from across the border.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Politics stoops to low level

Both BSP and Congress are beating the war drums against each other in the state. The recent ugly happenings at the Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s residence paint a picture of sorry state of affairs. It was noticeable when the mob led by ruling BSP MLA attacked Rita’s residence and set it on fire because of her alleged derogatory remarks against the BSP supremo and UP Chief minister Mayawati at a public meeting in Muradabad. The Mayawati government gives Rs 25 to 75 thousand to the rape victims belonging SC and ST. The rape is on rise and government is busy distributing money. If any one asks the UP CM if money can compensate the indignities suffered by the victims of rape, her answer will must be straight “No”. The money can not heal the wound in the heart of the rape victims. The accused of rape must be given deterrent punishment so that no one in society could dare commit this bestial act of rape. Bahuguna was addressing the public and as they were angry at the total failure of Mayawati government, she made anti-Mayawati comment. If she did wrong she must be punished. But it does not mean a mob of hoodlums under the leadership of a ruling party MLA should go and set her house on fire. There is law to take note of Rita’s derogatory remarks against Mayawati. The way UP police administration conducted reflects amply the dictatorial nature of the government.
Though the remarks by Rita Bahuguna against Mayawati was derogatory, the naked highhandedness of state police administration could be watched on TVs when in the presence of police personnel, Congress President’s residence in Lucknow was ransacked by the mob led by BSP MLA. Rita Bahuguna was also booked under ST/ST Act and she was taken into custody. The decorum and decency must be maintained in politics as well as public life. And at the same time power of the government must not be used against the opposition party leaders.
Undoubtedly, the law and order has broken down in the state and rape and murder have become a routine affair. Rape and molestation of SC/ ST women are the highest in Uttar Pradesh if the report of ST/SC Commission is to be believed. The people of Uttar Pradesh voted BSP to power in the state in great expectation of the all-round development. This is the fourth time that Mayawati was elected CM of UP. And this is also for the first time in the last 20 years that a single party rule was established in the state. BSP single-handedly won the majority in assembly elections. It had promised to the people of delivering a responsive administration but the BSP supremo Mayawati appears to have developed only excessive soft corner for installing her own statues at every Chowk at the expense of crores of rupees of the state exchequer. This is nothing but the squandering of public exchequer.
The resurgent Congress under the leadership of Party General Secretary and the future of the party Rahul Gandhi is beating the drum for the development of the state. Congress party has one-point agenda and that is of development in UP. The party sees complete revival in the coming assembly elections by capturing power in the state. If Congress party in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is revived, it will have no problem in getting back its pre-eminent position in the coming days. The party leadership is trying its best to infuse life into its workers who felt as orphaned in the last 20 years in Hindi heartland of UP and Bihar. The remarkable recovery of the party in the just-concluded LS elections by winning the highest number of MPs (21) in UP shows that it has guts to rejuvenate the organization and restore its past glory. It has boosted up workers morale in the state. So it is a warning for Mayawati that if she continued to go after statue spree, she will no longer the only hope of SC/ST in the state. Congress is retrieving its lost ground and time is not far off when it will be able to replace Mayawati on the strength of its growing influence among its old vote banks of Brahmin, Muslim, SC/ST, Backward and downtrodden in the state.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Terror issue must be the top priorityThe meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of NAM summit at Sharm-el- Sheikh in Egypt has yielded nothing extra-ordinary but has repeated the Havana type result when prime minister Manmohan Singh had met the then military ruler of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of NAM Summit after train blasts in Mumbai in 2006 by the terrorists sent from across the border. Pakistani side had pledged to act against terrorism and not allow its soil to be used for terrorism against India. But they did nothing and 11/26 mumbai attacks are all before us after that. The new thing that has taken place during this meeting betweem PM Manmohan Singh and his pakistani counterpart Gilani is that India has gone extra-mile by de-linking the action on terror from composite dialogue process. It means Pakistan will contitue to sponsor terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and create mayhem there and elsewhere in the country as the dialogue process will be unaffected. Pakistan has also secured extra-point by making India agreeable to gathering information in regard to the alleged involvement of Indians in the trouble of Bolochistan in Pakistan. India conducted in the way in talks with Pakistan at Shram-el-Sheikh that reflected as if it were under intense pressure to re-start the stalled dialogue process with it. Because in the given situation when Pakistan is not acting in the real sense of the term against those involved in Mumbai attacks, what India saw positive on its part that made it agreeable to delingking action on terror from the dialogue process. While Pakistan has only assured India that it will act within its authority and bring perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice. Pakistan’s sincerety in acting against the Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has been exposed when its law court set him free in absence of the concrete evidence against his detention. Pakistan deliberately did not produce concrete evidence against Saeed. Hafiz Saeed is the founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba who is accused of involvement in several terror acts in India and it was banned in 2002 after 9/11. After that he founded a front organisation of LeT the Jamai-ud-Dawa. Despite India provided substantial evidence which amply proves involvement of Saees as the key conspirator of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Pakistan facilated his release from house arrest. Pakistan is also in an advantageous position when it drew assurance from India that Mumbai attacks should not be bracketed with dialogue. It clearly means that terror acts against India will have no bearing on the composite dialogue process underway with Pakistan. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making visit to India from 17th of July. It is possible that the US would have exerted influence on both India and Pakistan to make way for resumption of the dialogue process before the visit of its Secretary of State to India. India has scored only one point at Shran-el-Sheikh that there is no mention of K- Word in the Joint Statement issued by India and Pakistan. But the Joint Statement is being interpreted in its own way by both India Pakistan. Pakistan interprets Mumbai 26/11 attack and bilateral talks are no longer connected while India interprets that Pakistan must take action on 26/11 attack or talks are meaningless. Although Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured the Lok Sabha that he has got assurance from his Pak counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani that Pak soil won’t be used for terror activities against India, how the assurance is delivered is to be seen. Whatever the Indian side may say about the talk at Sharm-e-Sheikh, it has climbed down considerably.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Safety first, everythingelse later

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) should have taken the safety measure as its first priority to save the lives of
labourers and engineers involved in the construction of bridges and Delhiites before providing them the facility of Metro
Rail to avail within scheduled date. There must not be pressure at the cost of safety measures for the completion of
work to meet the deadline of Commonwealth Game next year. Last year on October 19 , a major mishap had occurred on Vikas Marg in Laxmi Nagar in East Delhi when Metro rail
flyover caved in and that killed 2 persons and injured several. Besides this, several minor accidents had place in DMRC
and lives were lost. But no lesson was learnt. E Shreedharan has resigned as Managing Director of DMRC, taking moral responsibility of the accident at Zamrudpur in
South Delhi. Six persons including an engineer have lost their lives and several others have injured in that accident.
Shreedharan's resignation has rightly been rejected by Delhi CM Sheila Dixit. He is undubtedly the most efficient and
upright officer who has won sobriet Metro Man because of his uprightness. No doubt, he is a hard task master but it
does not mean that he does not care for the safety. Though he instantly resigned, he is in no way responsible for the
accident. It is either the contractors or the sub-standard materials were responsible for caving in of Metro rail
underconstruction flyover at Zamrudpur in South Delhi a day before yeaterday . Delhi is to host Commonwealth Games next year so the pressure for completition of DMRC projects or Metro Rail
Phase-11 before the deadline is natural. According to the report, the Pillar P-67 had developed cracks in Zamrudpur and
because of that the construction work there was stopped for two months on the pressure of locals and their complaints
about cracks. Only two weeks ago the Metro Rail construction work had resumed. Chief Minister Sheila Dixit has promptly announced the ex-gratia relief to the deceased and constituted an expert
committee comprising members from University and Technical institutions to go into the accident. The expert committee
will go into the reasons and had been asked to submit report within 10 days. Chief Minister Sheila Dixit has also rightly
rejected the resignation of Sreedharan. The entire staff of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation became disillusioned over the resignation of Shreedharan. They think
that with the exit of Shreedharan the DMRC will not remain different from a government office staff among whom there
are only complacency, inefficiecy , negligency and carelessness. It is Shreedharan who has infused a sense of duty in
DMRC staff to get the result in time. So, it would be great loss for Delhiites if Shreedharan’s resignation was accepted.
He actually resigned in an outburst of emotion. His resignation also should serve an eye-opener for politicians how an
upright officer took moral responsibity becausae of being the head of the organisation under question. Former Prime
Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri for the first time had resigned over a minor rail accident when he was the rail minister in
Nuhru’s cabinet. Now-a-days, no minister resigns for upholding moral responsibility in public life. Untill and unless they
are either dismissed or compelled to resign, they stuck to their chair. Shreedharan is an asset for DMRC and it is only because his perserverence and devotion to duty that Metro Rail
Phase-1 was completed ahead of schedule and within estimated cost and despite several hiccups in the form of
accidents, phase-11 is sure to be completed ahead of schedule and within estimated cost. Shreedharan also has
headed Konkan Rail Project and completed it ahead of schedule. He has received several awards from rail ministry for
his outstanding performance as an Technocrat. Time Magazine has also named him as the hero of Asia.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Immediate need to reform international institutions

In the fast changing world scenario in every sphere of life, the international bodies like United Nations Security Council (UNSC), International Monitory Fund (IMF) and International Financial Institutions must be immediately reformed. Without the participation of the emerging economic powers like G-5 Nations in international financial institutions, they can not serve their purpose . Majority of the poor in the world live in developing and third world countries. So, the G-8 of industrialised countries must make way for G-5 to participate and work for international bodies. Their participation will ceate new world order completely free any sort of discrimination. G-5 consists of five emeging economic powers among the developing countries. They are-India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico.Among the developing and emerging economy of the world, India deserves most for a seat at UNSC. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has rightly made a strong advocacy for a seat at the high table. UNSC consists of five big powers. They are: US, Britain, France, Russia and China. All are nuclear power states. India is also nuclear power state and the largest democracy of the world. With the inclusion of India in UNSC, the world will have a new and progressive direction. Among the developing countries, India is counted as emerging global economic power and it is held in high esteem because of its secular and democratic society.The US being the champion of democracy and sole super power of the world, it must work for facilation of India’s entry into UNSC to make it successful and meaningful. India by participating in the functioning of the UNSC will give voice to the developing and third world countries. But the way for it for getting a seat at UNSC is not so easy. Its competitor China and its hostile neighbour Pakistan are opposed to its seat at the UNSC. Britain supports unequivocally India’s claim for a seat at the high table. Russia also favours India. Japan in Asia itself tries to get a seat at Security Council. In the prevailing situation, Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has to put country’s claim strongly before the world leaders and to launch vigorous diplomatic effort to outmanoeuvre other claimant for the seat at the high table. When the Security Council was formed of the five big powers of the world, the situation was quite different at that time from the prevailing one. In the situation of economic downturn all over the world, India holds its forte. It is not behind any of the world’s five big powers in any field. Whether it is economic, scientific, education, art and culture, it has made its mark in every field the world over. The fast economic growth of the country has even compelled international financial institutions to acknowledge its mastery. Therefore, the time has come to reform international body like UNSC to facilitate the entry of India of more than 100 crore population. PM Singh had shown his straight forwardness in presenting country’s grievance when he asked his Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to not allow terrorist outfits to use Pakistani terrority for terrorist activities against India in the meeting with him last month in Russia. In a pull aside meeting with US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reportedly conveyed India’s concerns regarding terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil as also the urgent need for reforming international institutions. In his bid to meet as many international leader as possible to present India's case forcefully,Prime Minister Dr. Singh also had a one-on-one meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Both the leaders appear to have discussed a range of bilateral and international issues.