Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cash for vote scam is nothing but denigration of Parliament

The vote for cash scam is more of the denigration of the highest institution of democracy than of stage-managed act of defaming Manmohan Singh-led UPA-1 after the vote of confidence in Parliament.The scene of three MPs taking currency notes worth one crore rupees to descredit the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government that it won the vote of confidence by adopting foul means is nothing but denigrating the Parliament. The three BJP MPs wanted to show the nation that they were bribed by the ruling Congress party to vote in favour of the government in the House during the vote of No-Confidence . Though the parliamentary committee formed to look into the incident absolved the Congress party of adopting any foul means to win the confidence of Lok Sabha, the expelled veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh has made a startling revelation in an interview to an English Weekly that the leader of the opposition L K Advani was at the centre of the cash for votes drama in Parliament after the UPA government won the vote of confidence. Arun Shorie one of the senior leaders of BJP who is also in the dissident camp has rightly lamented that the credibility of the party has become so doubtful that when its three MPs displayed the hard cash blaming the Congress party that they had given them bribe to vote in favour of the Congress-led UPA government, people were heard saying that it is their own money and they have staged drama to defame the Congress party and they are staging drama in the highest institution of democracy. He also described the functioning of the leaders of BJP as Humty Dumpty and called its president Raj Nath Singh Alice in Blunderland . He has also said that the BJP has become directionless.It is intriguing and also suprising that despite of all the dirty linen of the BJP being washed in public,L K Advani who is one of the two tallest leaders of BJP after the retirement of Atal Behari Vajpayee is silent and watching the internecine battle among leaders in party in public. L K Advani must come forward and explain the truth behind all the controversies surrounding the party, including the cash for votes drama in Parliament. The incident not only descrits the BJP but it also denigrates the highest institution of democracy. L K Advani is the leader of Opposition and also one of the two tallest leaders after Vajpayee who have built the BJP. In democracy, there is a great need for a strong democracy for upholding and protecting the democratic institutions and keeping the ruling conglomerate in check. For the last 15 days, the dirty linen is being washed in public by expelled and dissident BJP leaders and the Opposition leader L K Advani is maining studied silence , which is not only weakening the party but also the democracy in the country. Undoubtedly, Lal Krishna Advani is a man of vaulting ambition and during the time the prime ministership of Atal Behari Vajpayee also , he was nurshig his prime ministerial ambition and it became so strong in him that might cause to stoop so low as to give green signal to his party MPs to display money in Parliament. Being the leader of prime ministerial stature, Lal Krisha Advani must not shirk from taking responsibility of the defeat on himself and must come forward amidst the unfolding unsavoury drama in the party and act to put a stop to all this. The situation in the BJP and the country demand on him to make way for smooth transition of leadership and ensure a generational change in the party.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Corruption must be rooted out

The corruption is rampant at all levels of the government departments and in society. It is no secret that now the money is charged openly for executing the work of the public in government offices is called speed money. And without the payment of speed money, no files can be pushed forward before higher officials for disposal of files. More than 24 years ago, the former prime minister late Rajeev Gandhi had said that only 13 paise of a rupee meant for the development reaches the public and the rest is consumed in its clearance. The PM has also chosen the right the occasion of the conference of CBI and anti-corruption agencies of the states to highlight perceived irregularities in NREGS, the government’s much publicised rural job scheme. There is a constant refrain in public that much of what the government provides never reaches the intended beneficiaries, whether it is subsidised foodgrain or the benefit of employment programmes.Corruption is like cancer which spreads fast and eats into the vitality of the country and would make it hollow if it was not checked immediately. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rightly asked the top investigating agency the CBI to catch the big fish involved in corrution. He also rightly said that there is pervasive impression among the public that only the small and petty corrupt officials got caught by the investigating agency and big fish are left to go scot free. Prime Minister has rightly suggested that the hunt for the corrupt had so far bypassed the top and urged the CBI to “net the big fish”.This must not happen.The message of PM would have gone across to CBI chief Ashwini Kumar and his team, who are seen as having made a string of forgery and petty crime arrests over the past few months even as big cases are relegated to the background. PM has also rightly said while addressing the conference of CBI and state anti-corruption agencies that they must ensure that the big fish involved in corruption are caught. Corruption is the bane of society and it is making the country weak and hollow. The judiciary must also come forward in dealing the with the corruption cases fast. There must be time frame within which corruption cases should be disposed off. There also must not be political interefence to influence the investigating officials to finalise the cases in favour of the guilty. Investigating agencies must be empowewred enough to withstand the pressure of political persons ,howsoever big, could exert pressure on them. As corruption is spreading its tentacles in every sphere of life, it must be rooted out without any loss of time. Otherwise its demon will devour the nation. It has been seen at several occasions in the recent past when the conduct of the bureau has come in for public criticism. The nation like the CBI to have a critical look at itself and introspect deeply to further improve its functioning.There must be rapid, fair and accurate investigation of allegations of corruption in high places should remain the utmost priority of the investigating agency.Anti-corruption agencies have to develop a system of investigation that factors this element into their thinking processes. It is as much the duty of investigating agency to protect the honest and the efficient as it is to prosecute and penalise the corrupt. The war on corruption declared by the PM must be taken seriously and there must not be any compromise on the issue of corruption.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

DDCA must look into Sehwag's concerns

India’s star opener Virendra Sehwag threatened to revolt against the highhandedness of sports committee and Selection Committee in the Delhi and District Cricket Association. This is not the first time that the players have revolted against the mismanagement in DDCA. The revolt of Virendra Sehwag was supported by the other star Indian players like Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma and Ashis Nehra against DDCA, and under the leadership of Sehwag they also threatened to leave Delhi and play for Haryana. The main reason of the dissatisfaction of the players with their Cricket Association is the corruption rampant at all levels in the different sports committees formed by the Cricket Association. Because of that the cricket associations whether it is BCCI or different state Cricket Associations has become the centre of attraction for the powerful politicians of the country. The main reason behind it is also the massive source of income of the sports bodies of different states. As for example, the DDCA is itself headed by a senior BJP leader Arun Jairtely and he is not only one politician who heads the state cricket association but there are many others like him who lead the cricket Associarttion of their respective states. The sports management bodies must be headed by the retired sports person and it must be the sole discretion of the sportspersons how to run their sports bodies.There must be no place for corruption in cricket association and there must not be favouritism in the selection of players. The procedures for the selection of players must be transparent and it must act in such a way as it could be seen so. The allegations made by none other than the former Test player and BJP MP Kirti Azad that Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) president Arun Jaitley is aware that alcohol, money and women were used to influence selectors of the Delhi team.The allegation of Azad is very serious and it needs immediate attention to look into the veracity of the allegations. If they are found to be true, the office bearers of DDCA must be maid accountable. The allegation becomes serious when Azad says that DDCA president was aware of the foul practices going on in the DDCA behind the scene.
These foul and sordid affairs are well known in the DDCA and have been going on for a long time, even before Jaitley took charge. IThis sort of problem has taken deep root in DDCA. THere may be political angle in the allegations made by Azad because the DDCA President Arun Jaitely is BJP leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and he was the election incharge of the BJP in the last general elections and he reportedly opposed Kirti Azad candidature from Darbhanga Lok Sabha constituency, though he got the ticket and elected to Lok Sabha from there.Because of the political tussle, Jaitley must not set aside the charges made by Kirti Azad against the DDCA and serious attention to them and root out without any loss of time. Otherwise, the malaise in the body he is presiding over will malign his political image. The revolt by Virender Sehwag may have ended with DDCA President Arun Jaitley accepting their demand of fairness in selection process,but the simmering discontent among players against the sordid affairs prevailing in DDCA may cause irreparable loss to the game of cricket.That is why the DDCA president Arun Jaitely must act to transparency in its function to leave no room for grievances of players and the cricket fans of Delhi.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ashes loss is a major jolt to Australia

The Ashes series between Australia and England is held every four years and has a great importance in the game of cricket. Both the countries treat it as a matter of great pride and put everything in winning the Ashes series. The just-concluded Ashes series which was played in England ended in the victory of England. And this is the great achievement for the English team under Strauss to have won the Ashes series. The British media has written the adulation of the players of team elaborately and the entire country showers enormous praise on the team under the leadership of Strauss.The Australian under veteran Ricky Ponting suffered a big humiliation. With the defeat of Australia in the Ashes series , its Badshahat in the world of cricket has also been ended with the loss of ICC ranking 1. Before this humiliating loss of Ashes series, it was unchallenged in the world of cricket. Autralia is no longer number one team of cricket in the world and its ICC ranking has come down to number 4 one below India which is at number 3 in ICC ranking.The falling in ICC ranking does not hurt the Australian team as much as its defeat in the Ashes series.It has hurt captain Ricky Ponting so much so that he has pledged to get back the Ashes Trophy in 2013 again. Australian cricket team under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting has not been doing well for the last one and half year. The most important reason behind the Australian team not being up to mark is the retirement of its three star players at a time - Macgrath, Shane Warne and Gilchrist- from teat cricket. They created a great vacuum in the team and Australian cricket board is facing great problem in finding the players of their stature to fill the vacuum. They are among the greatest world players who have retired from test cricket. One thing that also boomeranged on the Australian team is the foul means they usually adopt to defeat their rivals. There has been bad umpiring in the just concluded Ashes series which went against Australia. Sledging, cheating and taunting tactics the Australian players do of the players of rival team to unsettle them during the play are the their hallmark . When the team of any country makes tour of Australia to play cricket against them. It has been generally seen that the Australian team despite being strong in all fields of the game even adopt unfairs means to defeat the rival team on their home ground to draw false adulation. The Australian team almost adopts arbitrary manners and a facade of superiority to demorlise the rival team members. They don’t care about sportsman spirit and whether it is good or bad means when it comes to winning the match. Their main motive is not to maintain the spirit and decorum of the gentle game of cricket but to win by hook or crook. No doubt, the Australian team has extra-ordinary resillience to bounce back but presently it has been badly thrashed . Its morale is down with the defeat of Ashes series at the hands of its oldest and traditional rival England in the game of cricket.

Monday, August 24, 2009

NCP should merge with Congress

When the issue that caused parting of ways from the Congress by Sharad Pawar and susequent fornmation of Natinalist Congress party ceased to exist, there was no relevance in keeping the party afloat separely from the parent body Congress. The issue of separation from the Congress was the foreign origin of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. That issue is no longer relevant and the motive of Sharad Pawar behind formation of NCP to present before the desi alternative of the Congress failed to fructify miserably. There is no ideological dissimilarity between the Congress and NCP. NCP has the same ideology as Congress and all its leaders have Congress background.The prominent leaders who broke away with Congress under the leadrship of Sharad Pawar too like to merge the NCP Congress with its estranged parant Congress That is why there is no meaning in keeping afloat. With the passing of time, NCP is also losing its ground in Maharatra which has been reflected in the result of just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. However, Congress is going from strength to strength. Congress tally of LS members has risen up to 17 while NCP tally dropped to 8 from 11in Maharashtra in the just-concluded LS election. NCP also can not be a regional party to reckon with in Maharashtra as there are already two powerful regional outfits Shiv Sena and MNS nor it itself has regional outlook. The NCP is virtually confined to Maharashtra, though it reflects national ambition. The cosying up of former LS Speaker and senior NCP leader P A Sangama with Sonia Gandhi and the disgust expressed by Praful Patel, a strong NCP leader and Union Minister, over Sharad Pawar’s inclination of imposing dynastic political culture on the party amply reflect that majority of NCP leaders are in favour of merging with the Congress, though Sharad Pawar has already ruled it out. The growing clout of Sharad Pawar daughter and BaramatiMP of the party Supriya Sule does not appear to go down well with the senior leaders of the party. The day Sharad Pawar parted ways with Congress, he reflected his national ambition. But the resurgence of Congress under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi appears to have dashed his national ambition to the ground. It would be in the interest of the nation if secular forces in the country like NCP merges with Congress and fight Maharashtra assembly elections in a concerted a way to defeat the divisionary elements. Sharad Pawar himself is a veteran politician and known for upholding secular values in the country. Despite having good personal relation with Bal Thackeray, he has always differed with his politics of division. It is also a fact that there is no relevance of NCP in view of the resurging Congress and ideological similarity between the two. Maharashtra is goiung to polls in October. Congress is gaining the ground in the state with each passing day. If the NCP merger could not be possible, there must be pre-poll alliance between the Congress and NCP to return the NCP-Congress coalition to power.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Central and state governments must make concerted effort to check the spread of HINI virus

The countrywide toll has gone up to 46 due to swine flu. The World Health Organisation had declared Swine Flu as pandemic in April itself and alerted all the countries of the world about the infectious deadly disease. With the latest flu deaths, Bangalore now accounts for 11 fatalities while Chennai two. As many as 22 people have died of the virus in Maharashtra followed by five in Gujarat, two each in Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu and one each in Kerala and Uttarakhand.As many as 159 fresh flu cases were reported from various states till yesterday, taking the total number of those afflicted by the disease to 2,401.India itself reacted slow and showed lethargy in combating swine flu in the beginning itself. As the deadly disease affected India much less than the western countries where it has originated and spread from there, India’s response to take preventive measures against the disease has been comparatively slow in terms of its size and population. India is a Union of States and Health is a state subject. And state is duty bound to protect life and property of their citizens.Union Health minister Gulam Nabi Azad immediately called up on states to gear up itself to combat the disease after the report of fisrt swine flu fatality Pune girl Reeda came out. The health services of state government have really not shown serious interest in stopping the spread of HINI virus which causes swine flu. They have not come forward to mobilise private sector to co-operate in containing the spread of Swine Flu which is the most infectious disease. It needs to be immediately make concerted effort both by the Centre and states together to check the spread of the deadly disease. Fortunately, the disease is confined to big cities so far in the country and if it spread in the rural India, it would be a heart rending scene caused by the deadly effect of swine flu. Union Health Minister has rightly said that states are not doing enough. As Health is a state subject, the Centre has limit to ask states to do the reqiured thing. But India being the Union of States, the Centre has every right to interfere if the situation involves the lives of the citizens of the country. The Centre must do its job properly to overhaul health services in the entire country to contain the spread of HINI virus. The World Health Organisation has already warned that the swine flu will spread more and more in the future also. WHO has warned the countries to expect further cases and deaths as the spread of pandemic H1N1 swine flu virus speeds up, and there will come a point when case numbers will seem to explode. Centre must also take into serius consideration that why it spends least amount of money on health. The Centre must increase the amount for health sector in the General Budget.Most of the government health centres are ill-equipped to provide even first medical aid to the citizens. The Centre and the states need to chalk out fresh programmes to strengthen health services in the country. The need of the hour is not to indulge in blame game and the Centre and the states should make concerted effort to check the spread of HINI virus. Otherwise, the situation will turn out to be precarious.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jaswant’s expulsion to deflect attention

swiftness with which the BJP acted against the senior party leader Jaswant Singh by expelling him from the party for his Jinnah praise and criticism for the party's iconic personality Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel in his book “Jinnah - India - Partition - Independence”. Jaswant was expelled on the first day of the 3-day Chintan Baithak of BJP in Shimla. The BJP took the decisive step to deflect the attention from the issue of growing infighting on one hand and showed that it was uncompromising on the issue of ideology with any leader howsoever of high stature he is on the other. But it forgot that when the party's tallest leader L K Advani had described Mohammad Ali Jinnah as secular during his Pakistan visit in 2005, he was only asked to step down as party president. While Jaswant was expelled within 48 hours of his book release in which he has called Jinnah as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity and held Sardar Patel and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru responsible for partition of India. This shows BJP's double standard.The decision is being read in the party as a stern message of zero tolerance to ideological deviation and indiscipline. These were among several messages clearly conveyed to the BJP by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat in a television interview a day before Chintan Bhaithak. The BJP viewed his praise of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and his adverse comments on India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, as ideological heresy that required stern action.Since the day BJP tasted power in 1996 for thirteen days in its first stint, the factionalism and corruption took roots in the party. Though it won elections in 1998 and 1999 and ruled the country for almost seven years, it formed the alliance of about twenty four regional and state parties named National Democratic Alliance (NDA). BJP’s tallest leader Atal Behari Vajpayee who led the alliance and sworn in as Prime Minister thrice- 1996, 1998 and 1999. His personality was so towering and dominating that the voice of dissent within the party never surfaced. Till he was in active politics, his word was final in the party and he commanded enormous respect among party leaders. But after he announced retirement from active politics, his deputy and comerade-in-arms in building the party and bringing it to power, former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani became the sole leader to lead the party in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He was projected as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. But the BJP fell headlong and defeated badly in the elections. The dream of L K Advani becoming the Prime Minister of the country was shattered and dissensions, infighting and factionalism in the BJP came in the open. Its doting parent Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) also asked it to stop infighting and bring the youngsters to the fore to lead the party. Just after the drubbing in Lok Sabha elections, one leader after another started shooting off letters to BJP president Rajnath Singh to call a meeting to do introspection about the defeat and fixing responsibility. Though L K Advani resigned from the post of leader of the opposition immediately after the results of Lok Sabha were out and refused to continue as the leader of the party in Lok Sabha, it was his public show because when some of the leaders who form his coteries requested him not to resign and continue to lead the party, Advani gave in to pressure and took back his resignation. After that without having given a thought to the causes of defeat in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, he appointed his camp leader Sushama Swaraj as deputy leader of Lok Sabha and Arun Jaitely as the leader of the party in Rajya Sabha inspite of the fact that he was party incharge in the elections. This action of L K Advani infuriated the senior party leadrs Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shorie. One by one all these leaders shot off the letters to Rajnath Singh demanding a meeting of the party to analyse the defeat and fix accountability. They alleged that the leaders who have no base and do politics sitting in air-conditioned room and primarily responsible for the defeat of the party are rewarded and those leadrs who toil in fields in elections are ignored. The BJP has turned out to be a field of party leaders to wrestle with one another. Party president Rajnath Singh’s tenure is coming to end in December so he did not openly support any group within the party so that there could be no hurdle in his re-election as party president.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Destroyer of railway property must be dealt with sternly

As the women are the soft target for criminals and molesters, so is the property of railways to vent ire easily on them . The angry public destroys the property of railways at will. They appear to be the most unprotected of government property. Railways are the most easy target for vandals and protestors. The public don’t realise that the railway is the property of the government and whichever government owns is the property of the nation. In this way, they are destroying their own property. The Coaches of the Shramjeeve Express were set on fire at Bihta near Patna a day before yesterday. It shows how railway property is made easy target.In two separate incidents in Bihar, four bogies of the super fast Shramjeevi Express were torched on Tuesday morning while a bogie of the Patna-Pune Express was robbed late on Monday night.Students burnt four AC bogies of the train at Bihta railway station, about 35 km from Patna, following an altercation with railway security personnel who prevented them from forcibly occupying reserved seats.The clash occurred between the Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel and the students and that Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel were not involved.According to police, the students boarded the air-conditioned compartments of the 2392 New Delhi-Rajgir Shramjeevi Express at Ara railway station and tried to grab reserved seats. Mr. Singh said they picked a quarrel and clashed with the security personnel when they were asked to get down at Bihta, the next station. To attack any form of public transport systems whether it is bus or railway, the agitated people vent their anger by destroying it. The incident at Bihta station in Bihar where the AC coaches of Shramjeeve Express worth crores of rupees were burnt is the apparent loss of the government. Almost on daily basis railway property is destroyed here and there and that goes unreported. Though the railways must make full proof arrangement for the safety of passengers and ralway coaches when they are on their way to destination, the railway officials including security personnel attached to railways must act sensibly before the angry mob. The railway protection Force (RPF) must ensure that there should be no inconvenience to the bonafide passengers on account of hooganism and forcible taking of seats by unauthorised local passengers must be stopped at all costs. There is no doubt that the local paasengers pull chains and board long distance and superfast trains which passes through the small halts where there are not permitted to halt. They create a lot of problems for the passengers who are bonafide and have to cover long distance of journey. But it does not mean that every thing can be corrected at the gun point.Railways must launch an aware campaign among the public that by destroying the property of railways, they are destroying their own property.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PM’s remarks on terror threat warrants serious attention

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has made an absolutely appropriate remarks on the security scenario in the country when he said while addressing the Chief Ministers’ Conference on internal security that there was credible information that terrorists in Pakistan are planning to carry out Mumbai type attacks on India. His remarks are in contrast to the conciliatory approach he adopted with Pakistan by stating that he is ready to walk more than half for the friendly relations with Pakistan that was amply reflected the Sharm-el-Sheikh Joint Statement issued by him and his counterpart Pakistan Prime Minister Yusouf Raja Gilani.PM has rightly said that there was need for extra vigilance because the threat from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism extends far beyond the confines of Jammu and Kashmir and all parts of the country. He has also rightly alerted the country about the pervasive threat. After facing all round criticism for the country conceded a little more than Pakistan in the Sharm-el-Sheikh Joint Statement in which we agreed to delink terror from peace dialogue while the crux of the problem of the country is cross-border terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is trying to adopt tough posture in regard to terror. It is also correct that there is no other way than talks to deal with Pakistan. But the impression has gone out all over the country that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh compromised with the security of the country. That is why in order to set the matter in right perspective, he has made the right remarks on terror threat from across the border. The notice of alert against terror design being plotted is given by none other than the Prime Minister of India. So it can not be incorrect or misleading. While Pakistan reacted to PM’s remark by describing it as uncalled for because it refered to the Sharm-el-Sheikh Joint Statement in which it was said that any information about terror attacks would be shared with Pakistan and vice-versa.But PM’s remark about terror threat to the country is not out of place given the increasing infiltration from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir these days. The situation demands that security machinery is always tightened to deal with any eventuality at any point of time. There must be full proof arrangement of security and the action against terror must not be linked with any short of dialogue. It must be crushed as and when it raises its heads.

Govt must make arrangement for speedy disposal of pending cases

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Sigh has rightly expressed disgust over the long pending cases in all the courts of law in the country. Presently, more than 30,000 posts of judges are lying vacant in different law courts of the country. These vacant posts need to be immediately filled for speedier delivery of justice. CJI K G Balkrishanan also expressed dismay over the delays in disposing of the cases. Chief Justice K G Balakrishanan has also expressed concern over the “chronic shortage” of judicial officers, which is hindering efforts to overcome ever-increasing number of pending cases. There are structural obstacles which discourage talented law graduates from joining the judicial services and over 17 percent posts of judicial officers remained vacant in the subordinate judiciary. The state government should initiate steps to make the Gram Nyalay as such that could attract talented law graduates to join it as law officers. The CJI rightly quoted the Law Commission report to say that the judicial system needed to be expanded by at least five times in order to meet the judge-to-population ratio of developed countries.A considerable number of vacancies at subordinate level have been filled in recent months but still 2,783 out of 16,946 sanctioned posts are vacant which calls for a compelling need for state governments and high courts to work in close coordination to fill up the vacancies in a time-bound manner.The inordinate delays in disposing of cases result in languishing of undertrials in jails for more time than they will be awarded punishment and by the time they would have undergone imprisonment for more time. The judicial system in the country needs to be reformed and overhauled and technical experties should be hired for some time to bring the system in order. All court works should be computerised and all law courts in the country should be interconnected all the time so thatr there could be appraisal of the working of subordinate courts by the higher courts time to time. Besides this, accountability should also be fixed for the delays in disposal of the cases lying pending for the long time. The central government must also expedite the enforcement of Gram Nyalay which has been already legislated and enacted. It is the duty of the state government to take measures like implementing Gram Nyalay so that the cases for petty crime could be solved at village level.Like the 3-tier of administration- Village level, District Level and State level, the judiciary system should also be modelled on 3-tier system. And Gram Kachhari should be empowered to dispose of cases of small and petty crime and land and land dispute. It should be empowered to deal with all cases except of heinous crime. Take for example the cases related to dowry can be easily solved at village level itself if the government shows interest in forming Gram Nyalay in every village of the country. The state government must make arrangement for adequate funds for Gram Nyalay so that the talented lawyers should join Gram Nyalaya as Judicial officers to deliver justice smooth and fast and beyond any question mark. The members of Gram Nyalay must be of high integrity and honesty and there also should be provision to challenge the Gram Nyalay verdict in higher courts. There are highest number of pending cases in our country in comparison to any country of the world. Though we are also only second to China in the world in terms of population, the cases in China are disposed of faster. So, it is a matter of great concern for the country to dispose of long pending cases and get out those imprisoned persons from the jails who had already gone imprisonment more than what they would be awarded punishment by the court . Government must act for the speedier delivery of justice. Long pending cases also strengthen the view that jusice delayed is justice denied.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi's detention is totally unfair

Nobel peace laureate and Myanmar opposition leader fighting for the establishment of democracy in the country, Suu Kyi, has been sentenced to 18 months of house arrest for violating the terms of her detention after an uninvited American swam ashore to her house where she was already being held. Her conviction and continued detention were condemned by world leaders and sparked demonstrations in cities from London to Japan. The European Union began preparing new sanctions against the country’s military regime, and a group of 14 Nobel laureates, including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, called on the U.N. Security Council to take strong action against the country.Myanmar's military regime must listen to the group of 14 Nobel laureates in support of freedom to Suu Kyi. The impression about Myanmar's Junta has gone out that it has pronounced conviction against Suu Kyi amounting to human rights violation which it has been committing blatantly.The reason for her sentencing is nothing but an excuse to keep the most popular democratic leader out of the political stage ahead of the elections to be held next year. Hillary Clinton , US Secretary of State has severely condemened the sentencing of the Nobel laureatefor 18 months by the military regime of Myanmar. The Junta are adamant on keeping the democratic opposition leader behind bars so that they could prevent the establishment of democracy in the country. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has described the sentencing of Suu Kyi as monstrous and French President Nicholas Sarkozy described the Myanmar judgement against Suu Kyi as injustice. The West have come out openly in support of Suu Kyi’s freedom. The 27-member European countries have also demanded imposition of sanctions on Myanmar for not releasing Suu Kyi. The Asian countries like China, India and Thailand which could exert pressure of consequences on the junta of Myanmar to release Suu Kyi. But they appear to be indifferent.The military regime of Myanmar is doing great injustice to Suu Kyi only because she has been fighting for the establishment of democracy . The voice of the people who advocate for democracy is being throttled and the entire Asian countries are looking as mute spectactators. It is not a good sign for strengthening democratic forces in the region. Asian countries should at least extend support to the West in their endeavour for the release of Myamar leader Suu Kyi. This is 21st century where there is no place for suppressing the liberty of the individuals and throttling their voice. India is the largest democracy of the world and the US is the champion of democracy. The situation in the backyard of India demands that both India and the US together launch diplomatic offensive against the sententecing of Myanmar leader Suu Kyi and if after that also military regime of Myanmar paid no attention, the entire West should be mobilised to impose sanctions on Myanmar. The United Security Council (UNSC) is divided initially but they have to pose united picture against the sentencing of Suu Kui. When the entire West condemn the conviction of Suu Kyi, it is a low key affair in Asia. Despite the image of having excellent democratic record, India too is not coming in open to support the release of the towering democratic leader Suu Kyi. The situation demands that the entire world must together exert pressure on Myanmar’s military regime to set the democratic leader free so that she could participate in the democratic process next year. And democracy may dawn on Myanmar.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Take effective measures against swine flu immediately

The death from Swine Flu has gone upto 10 today and the number of cases infected by HINI viruses is increasing day by day. It has completely taken the form of pandemic disease. 168 countries have been hit by the Swine Flu. In comparison to other countries, the number of cases infected by HINI viruses is very low in view of the population and size of India. Though World Health Organisation (WHO) had already alerted the world by describing the disease as pandemic in April itself, the promptness and alertness on the part of India in taking preventive measures is slow. Feeling the gravity of the situation, the reaseach on preparing Swine Flu Vaccine is being undertaken and it is expected that the Vaccine will be availailable in US and UK by September. Health Minister has assured the nation that the moment the vaccine in available abroad, the health ministry will immediately import it. The Union ministry of Health has put all its resources to combat and contain the most deadly infectious disease and to awaken the people all over the country to be alert about the symtoms of the disease. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is himself keeping abreast about Swine Flu and asked the Health ministry to keep the PMO updated on the disease. The situation demands on Centre, States, Private Sectors, Social and Political organisations and NGOs to act together to stop the spread of the disease and make arrangement for proper treatment of those who have been tested positive for Swine Flu.The Centre has rightly unveiled fresh initiatives to contain the spread of the deadly H1N1 virus like allowing private labs to conduct swine flu tests if they followed its guidelines and installation of thermal scanners at all international airports in the country to detect afflicted persons. The Swine Flu must be declared national calamility.With the first death of 14 year old Pune girl Reeda Shaik , the number of fatality from it has statrted rising day by day and it has gone up to 10 till today. Taking into account the ferocity of Swinr Flu , the Government also must mobilise the selected Private sectors for the treatment of the disease. As its infection spreads very fast and its symtoms are almost similar to common flu, it is very difficult to single out the symtoms of Swine Flu. The media also must act to make awareness among the people of the disease and alert the state and central government time to time so that they could not be complacent in dealing with the disease. It must play the role that could not create panic of the disease among the people. The people must not be panicky and only carry out those things they have been asked to do by the doctors once the symtoms of Swine flu were detected. There must not be politicisation of the disease in the trying times as MNS workers did hooliganism at some schools for their forcible closure on account of the Swine Flu. The closure of schools will unnecessarily create panic among the people in society while there is only need to be vigilant and watchful on the part of teachers once the symtoms noticed in the child, he or she must immmediately be sent for testing. The Health Ministry also makes the arrangement for masks in adequate numbers so that the infection of Swine Flu could not spread. The need of the hour is to take urgent steps to check the spread of the virus as swine flu cases has risen to 864. Three more students from two of the Delhi schools have also tested positive for swine flu.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Landmark Education Bill will fulfil aspiration of millions of children

It is one of the most important days in the parliamentary history of the country that landmark Education Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha.The landmark education bill which seeks to guarantee free and compulsory education for children aged between six and 14.A quarter of private school places will be reserved for poor children. It would fulfil the aspiration of the poor children whose parents have no enough income to send their sons and daughters to the public schools. The bill, passed by the Lok Sabha, will set up new state-run neighbourhood schools. It will also force private schools to reserve at least 25 per cent of their seats for poor children. Presently about 70 million children receive no schooling, and more than a third of the population is illiterate. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha last month. It now needs presidential assent - a mere formality to become law. Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal has rightly described the passage of the bill as "harbinger of a new era" for children to meet the challenges of the 21st century.Mr. Sibal's concern is praiseworthy when he says that the country can not afford to sending children no school. One of the chief characteristics of the Education Bill that it has made separate arrangement for the education of disabled children. The children with disabilities must be treated equally and it is a positive thing that the bill covers children with disabilities and that the government is planning to set up special schools for them. This bill provides for the inclusion of children who are disadvantaged because of disability. The government is not only setting up special schools for them but doing all it can to provide education to them in all types of schools. The bill also ends widespread practices by which schools impose admission fees on parents to guarantee their children a place and bureaucrats enjoy discretionary powers on deciding who to let in. By doing away with the practice of imposing admission fees and privilege of bureaucrats to decide who to let in, the education has been universalised in the country. And it will prove to be the greatest achievent of UPA in its second phase. The government must focus all attentions on education in the country. In recent times, it has been experienced that education is being commercialised very fast. The expensive public schools are coming up in which the parents of poor children can not afford to send. The government after the enactment of education bill must revamp the education system in schools. It must make proper arrangement for the training of teachers to teach the students well and should impart knowledge with skill to compete. Achieving universal education is one of the UN's Millennium Development Goals to be met by the year 2015. Critics of the bill, however, say it is not clear how the government plans to pay for this. Also, they say it does not cover children below the age of six and therefore fails to recognise the importance of the early years of a child's development. They say it also does little to address India's inequitable school system under which there are vast discrepancies between well-funded private schools and state-run schools with poor quality teaching staff and infrastructure. At the moment India spends a little over 3% of its GDP on education.

A sense of alienation among Manipuris

It is because of continued neglect of the North-Eastern states by the successive governments at the Centre, a sense of alienation has set in the minds of the people of the region. They feel alienated from the Union of India that leads them to start secessionist agitations time to time. Several organisations led by major outfit Apunba Lup began agitation protesting the killing of Sanjit by police commandos in an alleged fake encounter at Imphal market complex on 23rd July.A pregnant woman was also killed and five others were injured by stray bullets in the incident. A Delhi-based news magazine had published 12 photographs of the ‘fake encounter’ in which Sanjit was taken to a godown of pharmacy and shot dead by the commandos. If the photographs of fake encounter is realy as such, the government must revoke AFSPA immediatetly to restore confidence among the people of North-Eastern regions. This type of police atrocities encourages the tendency of extremism and secessionism in the region.The security forces deployed in North-Eastern states to maintain peace and security in the region but on the contrary they have turned out to be the greatest enemies of the local people.The killing of an ex-militant and a pregnant woman in the fake encounter with the police commandos in Manipur has plunged the state into turmoil. The photos of fake encounter by police forces of Manipur carried in a Delhi-based English Magazine depict in minute details and in those photos the police forces are clearly seen pushing the ex-militant into a Pharmancy store and shooting him dead. This enraged the people and they instantly came out on the streets to protests against the fake encounter by police in the state at regular interval. A lady named Manorma five years back was also raped and killed in fake encounter by the police commandos in Manipur. Chief Minister Okram Ibodi Singh had to bow down to public outcry against the fake encounter and ordered the judicial probe into the incident. The public anger was so hightened that the Ibodi Singh government had to take note of and immediately suspended the police personnel involved in the encounter.The people of the North-Eastern regions demand the repeal of Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA) because it is proving to be draconian and is misused by the police forces in the region. AFSPA is imposed in the disturbed areas to bring the situation back to normalcy. The fake encounter by police in North-Eastern states is taking place at frequent intervals killing innocent people. This sows the seed of secession and fierce agitation in the region. The police atrocities coupled with corruption at all levels of government in the north-Eastern states have forced the people to rise in revolt agaionst the state. The police atrocities have also given birth to secessionism in the region. The successive governments at the Centre pump monetary package into N-E states for their development but the how money is spent is never accounted for nor any important diginary from the Centre visits the region to assuage the ruffled feather of the people. First of all, the Central government must act immediately to remove the alienation set in the minds of the people of the region by taking speps which could provide healing touch to them. The atmosphere must be created as such that they could develop feeling among them that they are also part and parcel of India like people from other regions of the country. And for that the government must assess the situation and decide whether the AFSPA is proving detremental to the unity and integrity of the nation and if that is so it must be revoked immediately.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Every one is equal before law

As corruption pervades through all spheres of society, judiciary is not bereft from it. Even the Chief Justice has reportedly expressed concern over corruption in judiciary. As also the rot begin from the head, so higher echelon of judiciary is also not bereft of corruption. Now the question arises is that how to check corruption in judiciary. When it is compulsory on the part of Executive and Legislative to declare assets and put in public domain to enable the public know through RTI about the assets amassed by them , why judiciary is not put in the same category as legislative and executive. The news about corruption involving the judge of the Punjab and Haryana High court hogged the headlines of the daily newspapers three years back. One former Chief Justice is also reported to have accepted how the time changed when he started practising law in 50s, it was held by the public in the highest esteem. He also accepted reportedly the fact that corruption is also rampant in supreme court, let alone the High Courts. As far as the question of disclosing assets of the judges is concerned, what prevents them from declaring their asset when their conscience is clean and their honesty is beyond any scruitny. The judiciary may enjoy other privileges that could keep them apart from legislative and executive that could also satisfy their ego of being above them. But when the question of equality arises, the judiciary must not be condoned.The public must be given the right to know through RTI about the assets of judges of all law courts in the country. The Government had to hastily defer the Judges (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) BiIl in the face fierce opposition in the Upper House.But if the news paper report is anything to go by, the corruption is rampant in judiciary also at all levels. From the District and Session court to the Apex court of the country, the news about the judges being influenced pour in frequently from all corners . The judgements are on sale mostly in sub-divisional and district courts of the country. In the given scenario of degeneration setting in every sphere of life, the citizen has no right to lodge complaint against the judges. Are they immune to the law of the land? The judiciary does not enjoy this type of privileges in any democratic country of the world, except India. In the US, which is considered as the champion of democracy, all citizens have right to lodge complaint against the judge. In Canada, corruption in judiciary is probed by a commission. In the same way, the accountability must also be fixed about judges also in India. Judiciary must be made accountable . The opposition in the Parliament has rightly forced the government to withdraw the Bill because it empowered judges not to declare their assets public scruitny. The opposition parties objected to the bill, which allows judges not to make their assets public, by calling it a violation of the right to equality.When the people in this country are sovereign and they are the masters in democracy, why they can not know about the asssets of judges.Judges Assets Bill at the introduction stage itself in the Rajya Sabha withdrawn in the face of a combined Opposition threatening to vote out the very introduction of the Bill. If this bill goes through, high court and Supreme Court judges will be the only people exempted from public scrutiny of their assets, a privilege not extended even to the President and the Prime Minister. Barring judges’ assets, only strategic and security issues are outside the purview of the RTI Act. Law Minister M Veerappa Moily who piloted the Bill has said the Government would prefer the Bill to be deferred for finding a consensus among the political parties and the House.The Bill seeks to exempt the contents of the assets declarations made by Judges of the superior courts from disclosure. The Opposition has rightly forced Law Minister M Veerappa Moily to withdraw the Bill because it is discriminatory in nature at first glance. When there is nothing to hide from public gaze, why are the judges hesitant to disclose their assets ? There must be transparency in the functioning of judiciary also so that the perception amog the public developed these days about rampant corruption in judiciary could be removed. The citizen must have the right to know the functioning of all pillars of the government- Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. There must not be iron curtain on judiciary and it must not made immune to public scruitny.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

CBI must be given free hand

Central Bureau of Investigation is the premier investigative agency of the country. These days the corruption among politicians, bureacrats and among the other sections of society because of that the role of CBI is increasing fast day by day. But because of the premier agency being under the direct control of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) , the allegation of political influence on its functioning is generally levelled. So by giving it autonomous status and making it transparent in its functioning, it would be more helpful in weeding out corruption, which is rampant at all levels, from the every sphere of society. On Friday last the son of the Chairman of National Commission of Sheduled Caste , former Union Minister and veteran Congress old guard Buta Singh, though he has been suspended from the party for contesting LS election as rebel candidate, Sarabjot Singh for his alleged involvement in the Rs. crore bribery case was arrested by CBI. A complaint was lodged with CBI by Ram Rao Patil a contractor of civic body of Nasik in Maharashtra that Buta Singh’s son Sarajit Singh demanded 3 crore for settling the case with NCSC of which his father is chairman. Patil also alleged that Sarabjot Singh took Rs. 1 crore as advance. The money was paid to him through the alleged hawala channel. For the last fifteen days, CBI was having regular track of him and it reportedly taped his phone talks with the Nasik civic body contractor Ram Rao Patil. CBI has claimed that it has water tight case against Sarabjot Singh. On the other hand, Buta singh has put everything into protecting his son and says that it is the conspiracy hatched against him under which his son has been implicated in the bribery case. He says that it is a political conspiracy against him. Sarabjot has reportedly confessed to CBI that he had informed his father about the promise about settlement process of the case with NCSC in advance. Congress party has already washed its hand off bribery case against Buta’s son and has said that law will take its own course and government will decide the issue of continuity of Buta singh as the Chairman of NCSC . Buta Singh is holding the constitutional post so CBI has to take permission if it required to questing him. Buta Singh is openly shielding his son and he is trying to get appointment with Prime Minister to tell him about the alleged bribery case against his son. As CBI is under the direct control of Prime Minister, it is to maintain fairness in its functioning at all costs. This is not the first time that Buta has come under the eye of storm. He had also become controversial when he was the Governor of Bihar. Whatever may be the authencity of the allegation against Buta Singh's son Sarajot Singh, the situation demands upon him to bequeath the constitutional post and let the CBI enquire into the case properly. In the capacity of the Chairman of a constitutional body, he can exert influence on CBI to favour his son during the investigation. Despite he is under expulsion from the Congress party for the time being, he is also an old Congress man in his right. So, it would be better if he would resign from the post of NCSC chairman to facilitate the CBI to probe the case without any sort of pressure. But he is not going to do so. That is why it is most necessary for the government to let CBI free to function as in the case of judiciary. The faith of the people in CBI is not strong because of its being under the direct control of the government. The impression has gone out in the public that CBI is used by the government to settle score with its opponents. This impression must be removed and it must be given free hand to root out corruption from the country.