Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An unintended tragedy

The NATO has tendered its apology to Pakistan for the incident in which 25 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an US air attack on Pak military post in the adjoining hilly terrain of Afghanistan border. They have also described the incident as unintended. This is not the first time that the Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the hard terrain close to Afghan border in US air attack. The Nato fighter plans are in pursuit of militants and Taliban in Afghanistan and during this exercise they cross border while chasing them. So, this incident should be treated as normal and unintended

Insurgents and Taliban find the hilly terrain in the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan a safe haven. They even operate from there against Afghanistan and multi-national forces. The killing of Pakistani soldiers is a case of mistaken identity. And Pakistan has to realize that. At the same, Pakistan also can not deny that the Taliban from Afghanistan have not taken shelter there after the killing of world’s most wanted and dreaded terrorist Osama bin Laden by the US military personnel in Abbotabad near Karachi. Though NATO fighter planes must not undertake cross-border attack as this act also leads to the violation of the sovereignty of an independent nation, the military exercise operating in the neighborhood might inadvertently be misdirected mistakenly.

Neighbours must show co-operation in military exercise against insurgents, militants and Taliban because they are the enemy of not only a particular nation but also of the entire humanity. Terror is a threat to entire world.

As far as the killing of Pakistani soldiers in US strike is concerned, it must be ignored because apology has already been tendered and it is also clear from the location of the spot of the incident that it was done inadvertently.

Pakistan has not the guts to dare the US. If the US stopped giving adequate financial package, which it gives from time to time, it would be forced to face acute financial crisis beyond imagination. Because Pakistan never used the US aid to the purpose it was given. It diverted the money only to strengthen its military might. It never used US money for industrialization and other developmental projects. That is why it remained dependent on the US for financial assistance.

China has also come closer to Pakistan but when the question of financial needs arise in Pak ,only the US can do the job. China can only provide Pakistan nuclear technology in making nuclear weapons on large scale to scare India. So US has been the savior of Pakistan. It can not be challenged in reality.

US military has its base in Pakistan since September 2010. The area along Afghan-Pakistan is terror zone of the south Asia region. So, it is necessary to clear the area of terrorists. But it can not be possible without Pakistan agreeing to the entry of foreign military fighter planes for fighting terror elements to finish. It must be done with utmost care and it must ensure that there is no civilian casualty in the area. Pakistan should forgive the US for undertaking air strike in its territory inadvertently.

Monday, November 28, 2011

FDI in multi-brand retail is beneficial economically

The winter session of Parliament has been held to ransom by opposition parties over their opposition to Cabinet nod of allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent in single brand retail. It is also opposed by ruling UPA’s own allies- Trinamool Congress and DMK. Entire opposition stands united against the FDI in retail.

The main opposition BJP-ruled state governments have already made it clear that they would not allow super market giants like Wal-Mart, Thesco, Carrefour and others to open their multi-brand retail stores in their states. West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamta Bannerjee has also opposed the FDI. TMC is one of the most important allies of the UPA government. DMK which also happens to be the important southern ally of UPA has also opposed it.

Chief Ministers of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chatthisgarh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand have strongly opposed the FDI in retail. Like almost all the previous sessions of Parliament, the ongoing winter session is being wasted without any debate and discussion. The parliamentary session is already shrinking.

The repeated chaos and stalling of Parliament cost national exchequer crores of rupees. This is a sheer wasteful expenditure due to the inept handling of parliamentary business by ruling UPA and rigidity of opposition parties. It reflects the undermining of the highest constitutional institution in democracy.

If the Dr. Manmohan Singh Cabinet gave its approval to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, there must be first open debate and discussion about its merit and demerit in Parliament rather than holding it to ransom to show opposition. It is not in the best interest of the people. UPA govt. says FDI in retail would provide one crore employment and would be beneficial for farmers as they would get opportunity to sell their produce to multi-brand retailer without any agent or mediator. With the coming of multi-national giants in retail like Wal-Mart, the prices would come down and give birth to competition. It would provide a win-win situation for customers. All these positives have been put forward by the UPA Government. Whether these plus points of FDI in retail stand to reason or not can only be clarified by a wide and good reasoned debate threadbare in Parliament in the interest of the people.

Undoubtedly, Dr Manmohan Singh govt. is under pressure and its confidence level is at the lowest ebb because of its utter failure in checking price rise and taking action on its own, which could reflect that it is serious to fight out corruption. It has failed to send the message out among the people that it is committed to check prices and corruption. People are getting disillusioned.

But this does not mean that all the steps taken by it must be opposed without putting its merit and demerits to reason through debate and discussion in the highest forum for the purpose in democracy. Government has bigger responsibility to ensure the smooth running of Parliament. But at the same time, opposition parties should also be considerate and co-operative.

Govt. says that it is ready to discuss any issue, and charges the opposition for stalling Parliament for the sake of political advantage at the cost of the interest of the people. While the Opposition says that the govt. has some malafide intention to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail. It is true that the main opposition BJP fears that FDI in retail would hit their vote bank hard as it has stronghold on domestic small retailers and business communities. It sees its political advantage and disadvantage.

All issues required to be put to discussion in Parliament. These days, the habit of stalling Parliament instead of being co-operative in running it is lacking in every political party. It is a bad omen for the democracy of the nation.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Economic Reforms agenda set in motion

By allowing 51 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and 100 percent in single brand, Dr. Manmohan Singh has tried to show that there is no drift in the government nor is there any policy paralysis. It was experienced by the corporate that the UPA-II was no longer serious about the economic reforms process in its second incarnation.

UPA-II Government's commitment to economic reforms seemed to be wavering and message spread out loud and clear that there was serious drift in the government as its economic reforms spree so far yielded no desired results. And the gap between the poor and the rich widened. The Government had not been able to rein in rising prices of essential commodities and growing corruption. The middle class became disillusioned with the government because of its slow economic reforms process, failure to check price rise and corruption.

To change the prevailing disenchantment of the people with the government, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh mustered courage and gave Cabinet approval of 51% FDI multi-brand retail and 100% in single brand despite some opposition from its own alliance partners like TMC and DMK.

There is no doubt that there will be investment in the country on large scale from the super market giants like Wall mart, Thesco, Carrefour and others with their entry in India to open multi-brand retail stores. But the Government must ensure that our domestic kirana (Retail) shops must not be destroyed with the opening of giant multinational multi-brand retailers, because after agriculture, domestic small retail shops provide the largest number of employment and contribute 7 to 8 percent to our GDP.

With the opening of foreign multi-brand retail stores in India, they would open Employment Avenue for crores of unemployed, provide domestic, food and other items with the freedom of pick and chose according to the choice of consumers. If the nation gets benefit, why they are to be opposed. Farmers will be benefited because they would get opportunity of talking directly with the officials of multi-brand foreign retail stores to determine the price of their produce. There would neither be any haggling nor any mediator and because of these two factors, the farmers would no longer be getting pittance of the price of their produce. Multi-brand retail shops of multinational super market giant can open in the city of more than 10 million of population.

Though in Europe and other western countries, there has been massive agitation against economic liberalization because of economic recession there for the last several years. They have not been able to overcome the economic slowdown. Despite that , they have not spurned economic reform process. China, Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil have already allowed FDI in retail sector and they have been benefited. Entry of FDI is giving good result by providing employment and satisfying consumers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

United Opposition must mount pressure

When the ruling UPA has failed completely in checking food inflation and price rise of all essential commodities in two years, Opposition parties have been left with no option but to paralyze the Parliament to bring its attention towards bringing down the prices.

There have been debate and discussions under the provisions, which entail no voting, but no solution came out of them. UPA-II government kept assuring the entire opposition as well as the nation since it came to power in 2009 that it would bring down inflation in two to three months. This kind of promise was made umpteen times but instead of bringing down prices, the Government has played contributory role in rising them in the form of lethargy, insensitivity to people’s concerns, callous negligence, inaction and faulty economic policy.

With the fast devaluation of rupees against dollar, the price rise is bound to go up and up. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is a world renowned economist. Naturally, it is expected that he would also be well-versed in Indian economy. Not only Prime Minister, Finance Minister is himself an economist of repute and a veteran politician with his feet on the ground and the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia is also an economist but the performance of the government on the front of price rise is a total failure and on this count it does not deserve to be in power any more.

Why there should not be adjournment motion on the issue of price rise under the rule which entails voting. Where is the question of secular and communal divide on the issue of price rise and corruption? Food inflation has hit the poor people hard irrespective of caste, creed and community. If the communist party has moved motion on price rise in Parliament, why should BJP not support it? If the BJP moves motion on corruption, why should left not support it? It is the tactics of the UPA government to create ideological division to hide its utter failure.

The poor people in rural villages and cities are crying in pain caused by the unbridled price rise. It appears in the current situation as if there were no government at the Centre. Dr. Manmohan Singh has lost the authority to rule the country. Either Prime Minister has no control on his government or his economic policy is totally misfit with the economy of the country. Market friendly economic policy is bound to fail in India.

The situation in the country due to sky-rocketing price of all commodities has come to such a stage as may force people to come out on streets against Dr. Manmohan Singh-led UPA government. The price rise has hit the people so hard that even the impassioned appeal of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi MP to the people of UP in coming assembly elections to vote for Congress is bound to make no impact due to the utter failure of Congress-led Dr. Manmohan Singh government on price rise front.

The entire opposition across ideology must stand united and compel the UPA-II to debate and discuss the price rise issue under the provision which entails voting. As the issue touches all sections of society, even some of the Congress MPs might go against the government. Opposition must not allow themselves to be blackmailed by the Government version that if it fell in Lok Sabha due to voting, mid-term election would be forced on the nation. Heaven would not fall if the mid term election takes place. Instead, people would take a sigh of relief from the total mismanagement of economic affairs by the UPA-II government.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Political motive

Armed Force Special Power Act is meant for keeping the unity and integrity of the nation intact. It is introduced to arrest the secessionist elements in the insurgent infested states of the nation. It is not introduced with any political motive of the government of India. That is why the army is employed in disturbed areas of the states and they are equipped with special power to act in a free, frank and impartial way in the interest of the country.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omer Abdullah finding himself in a politically very tight situation, he has raised the demand of lifting AFSPA from some parts of the state. It is politically loaded move as his term of office is coming to an end under the rotational formula of 3 years each of the NC-Cong alliance government. Having made this demand, he has also praised the good work done by army personnel in the state.
AFSPA has been put in place in Jammu and Kashmir and north-eastern states to curb militancy, which is supported and sponsored from across the border under a well calculated evil design on India. It has been in force in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since the worst days of insurgency, militancy and act of secession of 1990.
Separatist conglomerate of Hurriyat Conference has been advocating for lifting AFSPA from the state since its introduction. They describe it as draconian measure, which promotes human rights violations. Hurriyat sees it as a big hurdle in fulfilling their separatist aspirations.
However, the ground reality is that Army has nothing to do with politics of the state. It is neither benefiting any political party nor acting against a particular community in the state. AFSPA empowers the army to arrest or search a person without warrant on mere suspicion in view of the infiltration taking place in Jammu and Kashmir at regular intervals, though the atmosphere there is seemingly peaceful for the present. But behind this seemingly peace situation, there is every possibility that Pak-sponsored terror may raise its head any time. The encounter between foreign militants and the security forces is still taking place at regular intervals. The sneaking of militants from across the border is still taking place, though it is not at its height. Army plays the most vital role in Jammu and Kashmir in the interest of the nation. Our Army is regarded as the best one in the world. Terrorist violence has fallen because of the prompt vigil of Army Jawans and not because the terrorists have laid down their guns. They are still active and the seemingly peaceful situation in Jammu and Kashmir is like lull before storm that could take place any time. So, the question of removing AFSPA from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir is nothing but foolishness, self-defeating and anti-national. It is also like giving an account of the lack of farsightedness before the world. AFSPA must not be touched.
Chief Minister Omer Abdullah has been advocating for the removal of AFSPA for the last few days, though he has accepted the importance of Army’s role in the state. It is under the purview of the Home ministry. That is why Army refused to comment on CM’s advocacy for its withdrawal. The Jammu and Kashmir state police also do not favour army's withdrawal from some parts. Defence ministry also does not favour withdrawal.
The overall situation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir also does permit the army to leave. In the given situation, to bolster up the falling political rating, Chief Minister has raised this type of demand only to please the separatist elements, which will prove to be detrimental to the unity and integrity of the nation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keep downward trend continuing

With the slash of petrol prices by a little more than rupees 2 per liter, Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government has shown some sense of sensitivity about people’s prime concern. This is the first time that the price of petrol was reduced in 17 months after it was increased for 11th times in a row.

Though the cutting down of petrol price is minimal, it has lightened the burden of the poor people at least in the same proportion. The reduction in petrol price by only rupees two may be a measure of great relief for the over burdened people but it has certainly reflected a sense of the government about the people’s prime concerns.

The inflation graph of food items for the week has also shown downward trend since the UPA came to power for the second time in 2009. So far during the rule of UPA-II, the people have experienced only two things- corruption and price rise. The galore of scandals that have come to light show that corruption is rampant at all levels of the government departments. As rot starts from the head, so is the corruption.

The inaction of the top executive of the country leads to corruption in the UPA government. Why the scams like 2G, CWG, Adarsh have happened. It is only because of the indecisiveness, inefficiency and inaction by the authorities concerned to keep eye on the functioning of the departments. Corruption is not less than a heinous crime. In heinous crime, the life is taken away brutally and painfully whereas corruption is the loot of public money. Corruption ridden government makes the public pauper and their lives are taken away slowly and in a very depressing way. It is the biggest enemy of the nation.

Corruption also causes rise in prices of essential commodities that hit the people hard. Profiteers, hoarders, black marketers and dealers are left free by corrupt officials, who are entrusted with the task of keeping and eye on their unfair activities and wherever found guilty, they would punish them. They take no action against the wrong doer because they are already heavily bribed.

So, the need of the hour for the government is to fight corruption to finish. It is cancerous. If unchecked in the beginning, it spreads very fast and becomes incurable. The same has happened with Manmohan Singh government at the Centre.

The burning issue of the country is unprecedented price rise of all commodities. The way food inflation is going up and up, it has become difficult for majority of the general poor people to fill their belly even once a day. And it would not be an exaggeration of the precarious condition of the people in rural India due to rising food inflation that they might face starvation. So, the prime need for the UPA-II is to keep food inflation and price of other essential commodities in check.

Congress party leads the UPA Government. It is in power only because it had shown concern with the people on the basis of which it got their mandate. So, if it failed to bring down the prices of essential commodities, the Congress party would bear the brunt of public anger most in the outcome of UP assembly elections itself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

UP CM’s political gambit

UP Chief Minister Matawati has played a political gambit at the approach of assembly elections. To give the message to the people that she is concerned with the issue of development, Mayawati’s BSP government has given Cabinet approval for the division of UP into 4 states.

The Cabinet approval given to the division of the state of Uttar Pradesh into four states- Paschim Pradesh, Purvanchal, Awadh Pradesh and Bundel Khand- is nothing but a political ploy to distract the attention of the people from corruption and crime, which has gone all-time high during regime.

UP assembly election is going to be held early next year. Chief Minister Mayawati feels that this time it will be well-nigh impossible for her to secure majority on her own. So, by dividing the states, she would be able to secure majority on her own at least in one state on the strength of her Dalit vote bank.

UP Chief Minister Mayawat’s politics has always been based on division. First, she succeeded in dividing society caste-wise to polarize the Dalit votes and attracted the upper caste Bramins in her favour and secured majority on her own in the last assembly elections and formed the BSP government with herself at the helms of affairs. She has been in power for four and half years without and formidable opposition from any sides. Her government initiated no developmental projects except the projects of building statues and memorials of Dalit icons at the expense of public money worth crores of rupees. She did it for self-political aggrandizement.

Mayawati has only tried to give the impression through the statues and memorials only to her Dalit voters that she is their only messiah. But when it has become apparent from the mal-functioning and mal-practices of her government that she has nothing to do with the upliftment and other weaker sections of society, she has taken a political gambit by giving a lollypop in the form of dividing the state for development in the hands of the people of Uttar Pradesh.

By playing the game of dividing the state, she has herself admitted the failure of her government. From administrative point of view, the concept of smaller states may be justified but if we take into consideration the development of the latest formed smaller states- Jharkhand, Chattishgarh and Uttarakhand- no miraculous development has been experienced. There has only been rise in corruption and favourtism.

If the political leadership of big states had administered well and kept an eye on the all round development of every region, the necessity of carving out smaller states would not have arisen. If Mayawati is so serious, what was she doing in the first four years? She is nothing to do with the development of the state but only to keep the CM chair secured for herself.

Mayawati’s several ministers and MLAs have been charged with committing crimes. She has only been engaged in portraying herself as the Czarina of Dalits during her tenure. If she is now so concerned with the development of the state, why did she spend crores of public money on building statues and memorials instead on the development of Uttar Pradesh.

UP is the heart of India. It chiefly decides the power in Delhi. Samajwadi Party has rightly rejected outright the UP CM’s proposal for dividing the states into 4. Congress and BJP despite being the main national political parties give no clear view except opposing for the present. This is also the irony that these two political parties are at No. 3 and 4 in the most important state of the nation, which sends 80 Lok Sabha members. UP CM Mayawati finds it difficult to face the people as she has failed on all fronts. She has squandered the opportunity of developing the Hindi heartland of the nation and spent public exchquer on self-aggrandizement.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cong's UP poll bugle

Battle field of UP is tough and there is no dearth of battle-worn political leader. There will be four-cornered contest among BSP, SP, Congress and BJP. Each claims to defeat the other. The outcome will most probably throw hung assembly.

Congress scion and General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has launched Congress poll campaign for assembly elections to be held early next year in Uttar Pradesh from the Phulpur parliamentary constituency of his great-grandfather, country’s first prime minister and maker of modern India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru’s birth day happens to be on November 14 and it is celebrated as Children’s day in our nation. Rahul Gandhi chose this auspicious day for starting poll campaign of the Congress party for UP assembly elections.

The entire Phulpur was plastered with festoons, pamphlets. There were two big photographs one of Pt. Nehru and the other of Rahul Gandhi. The photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh occupied negligible space in festoons, postures and pamphlets. There was no trace of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s photo. It signifies that the party now realizes importance of Nehru's economic policy as the people see hopelessness in economic liberalization of present party dispensation. Nehru advocated mixed economy that had laid the foundation of modern India.

It is well known that Rahul Gandhi is the future of Congress and the outcome of this UP assembly elections will finally determine whether he has charisma or not. Because in the Bihar assembly elections, he failed to leave his imprint on its outcome and the party failed to improve its position. Though he has shown his political worth in UP in the parliamentary elections of 2009 by winning 22 Lok Sabha seats by leading the party during electioneering, UPA's failure on all fronts may cast doom.

Rahul Gandhi has delivered impassioned speech at Phulpur and tried his best to arouse the pride and ego of the people of Uttar Pradesh to fight out the corrupt, inefficient and casteist BSP government of the state. Undoubtedly, his speech would exercise influence on electorates because his intention is noble and he wants to do something for the people of Uttar Pradesh and rest of the country.

As far as the issue of corruption is concerned, UPA government is itself beset with corruption charges from all sides. Price rise has crossed all limits. Dr. Manmohan Singh government has mismanaged the economy and its economic managers have failed completely. If Rahul Gandhi failed to deliver in UP elections, it would not because of his fault but because of the rampant corruption in central government and its failure to rein in sky-rocketing price of all essential commodities.

The economic scenario of the country is bleak. In the given situation choosing Pandit Nehru as his role model to change UP by bringing it on the path of development, Rahul Gandhi has clearly given the message of debate and discussion in Congress party about economic policy change in near future. Economic reform process has been in full swing for 20 years but it has not given desired result. On the contrary, it has widened the gulf between the poor and the rich. Nehru’s photo has not been seen so prominently on postures and pamphlets of the Congress party in the last 30 years. Nehru had started industrialization so that the Indians could stand on their own feet. They could not move here and there for employment to earn livelihood. In the same tone and tenor, Rahul Gandhi asked the people in Phulpur how long you would beg in Maharshtra and earn livelihood as labourer in Punjab. He tried to awaken the people to the failures of Uttar Pradesh government that they have no employment opportunity in their own state. His Phulpur poll bugle has given enough hints on economic policy change and left an imprint on the electorates.

Monday, November 14, 2011

India should retaliate

The US has apologised to former President A P J Abdul Kalam for subjecting him to frisking at New York’s JFK Airport, an incident that provoked sharp reactions from India which threatened retaliatory action.

US in a written apology to Kalam and the Indian government has regretted that appropriate procedure for expedited screening of dignitaries had not been followed.

Though the US has expressed deep regret over the inconvenience caused to Former Indian President APJ Kalam as a result of the September 29 incident during the screening at JFK Airport in New York and has the utmost respect for him, India must record its anger at the hurting of sentiment of the whole nation due to the security screening of its dignitary.

The US must work actively to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. Otherwise, it must be prepared to face the suitable retaliatory measures. Both the countries are the champions of democracy. Both must pay the utmost respect to the dignitaries of each other.

Taking serious note of the incident, India has rightly threatened retaliatory action with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna directing Indian Ambassador to US Nirupama Rao to take up the matter in writing at the “highest level” with Washington.

80-year-old Kalam was frisked in New York on September 29 before boarding an Air India flight.

According to reports Kalam had taken his seat in the aircraft, the US security personnel forced the crew to open the door and took away the jacket and boots of the former president to check for explosives since they had forgotten to do so before his boarding. The items were later returned to Kalam.

It is not the first time that American security personnel have treated the Indian dignitaries at the US airport in a humiliating way. Former President ABJ Abdul Kalam was frisked twice at JFK airport by taking his shoes and jacket away in the name of screening despite the crew members told them that he is the former president of India. This humiliating act took place in September 29.

Before this humiliating incident, former Union Minister George Fernandes was also reportedly subjected to security search in a very humiliating way. This indecent act took place with him when he was Union Minister in National Democratic Alliance Government of Atal Behari Vajpayee. Bollywood super star Shahrukh Khan was also detained for three hours at US airport for frisking. All these personalities are not common Indians. They are persons of high regards for Indian people. Though US has tendered its apology for the inconvenience caused to Indian former President, here the question arises why the US security personnel act in a such humiliating manner with Indian dignitaries. The sentiment of the entire nation has been deeply hurt.

Once a former Indian ambassador to US was also reportedly treated in a haphazard manner because she had worn saree. Are the US security staff deputed at the airports to frisk passengers not provided with the information about their position and place so that they could differentiate and decide how to treat them with dignity?

The Government of India must lodge strong protest with the US Administration about the high-handedness of their security staff with Indian dignitaries and celebrities. It may be their rules and regulations to frisk passengers at airports but once it is known that such and such passengers are Indian dignitaries and celebrities, why do they behave in such an indecent way?

Though it is not only Indian dignitaries who are put to such humiliating process at the time of frisking air passengers at US airports, they do behave in the same way with the dignitaries of other Asian nations also. US has the habit of imposing its superiority on others to show that they are a class apart. They treat the developing and under developed countries indecently. Have the security personnel at US airport ever put the dignitaries of western countries to undergo frisking in the same way as they do with Indians and other Asians? If the former US President and other dignitaries were put to frisking at Indian airport in the same humiliating way as they did with Indians, what would be its reaction. Have they ever imagined this type of scenario? US must realise that the permanent relationship depends on mutual respect and trust.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Congress must act

The Rajasthan Congress government of Ashok Gehlot should have acted much earlier against former Water Resources Minister Mahipal Maderna who is allegedly involved in the abduction of a thirty six year old woman Bhanwari Devi. She was employed as an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village of the state.

When the Cabinet Minister could commit such bestial act and the government look the other way, what justice can be expected in the state of Rajasthan. The abduction of Bhanwari Devi and alleged involvement of former minister Maderna in it must take toll on the Ashok Gehlot government either by Congress High Command or by the public at the time of elections.

The Congress Party may interpret the Bhanwari Devi disappearance case according to its convenience but the public outcry over degenerating moral values among its minister likely to cost it heavily.

It is for the court of law to decide who is guilty finally in Bhanwari Devi abduction case but prima-facie former minister Maderna appears to be behind her abduction.

Chief Minister dropped only after Maderna’s name cropped up in a CD allegedly showing Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh in compromising position with Bhanwari Devi. It is alleged that because of this CD with Bhanwari Devi, who threatened Maderna to expose, he allegedly hatched conspiracy to abduct and kill her. When media outcry over the nexus between politics, sex and sleaze grew louder, the government had to recommend for CBI investigation and Maderna was dropped from Rajasthan state Cabinet. There is also a strong rumour that CM Ashok Gehlot had prior information about Maderna’s illicit relation with Bhanwari Devi. Maderna is not an individual but a public figure representing the ruling party of the state. That is why Rajasthan government owe explanation to the people about his role in the case of abduction.

Former Minister Mahipal Maderna is a veteran Jat leader of Rajasthan Congress and it is because of his strong political base, CM Ashok Gehlot hesitated to act against him in time. It shows that the moral degeneration has set in political class. The view of the Congress that it is an individual case and Chief Minister can not be held responsible in any way is only a face saver. Can the Congress reject the reality that its Chief Minister presiding was over the cabinet whose one of the members was allegedly involved in the abduction of a woman? The abduction of Bhanwari Devi clearly reflects that if a woman harbours ambition of being powerful and rich, she has to go through the exploitation by powerful politician of the state.

Bhanwari Devi has been missing for the 72 days. There is no information whether she is alive or killed. Who is responsible for providing safety and security to a woman in the state? It is the state government of Rajasthan, which has totally failed on this count.

Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the Bhanwari Devi disappearance case and It has interrogated former minister Maderna, Congress MLA Malkhan Singh, Maderna’s wife Lila and Malkhan Singh’s sister Indira. It has submitted a sealed to the court.

Congress High Command must ask Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to trace out Bhanwari Devi without any loss of time. Merely by dropping Maderna from the Council of Ministers, Rajasthan government can not be absolved of all responsibilities.

To take the moral high ground, it would be politically better for Congress to ask Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to set an example of upholding the moral values in politics by resigning.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jump off the sinking UPA boat

If the back breaking price rise and the growing corruption in the UPA Government at the Centre are any indication, it is a sinking boat. Now its allies like Mamta Bannerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party have set their preparation in motion to jump off the sinking boat of UPA.

The yesterday’s price hike of petrol by Rs. 1.80 per litre has evoked bitter reaction not only from the common men but also from Dr. Manmohan Singh’s UPA Government’s most important ally West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Bannerjee. Bannerjee has even warned of pulling out of the UPA alliance if it was not rolled back. This is the 11th time that the prices of petroleum products have been raised.

The most baffling thing is that the ruling Congress is showing insensitivity to people’s plight on the one hand and claiming to be with Aam Aadmi on the other hand. It is nothing but the cheating by the Congress party. It has now rightly been painted as anti-poor party.

The UPA government appears to be blind to the plight of the people. The constant price rising spree of the government has made the life of the poor people very difficult to sustain. The poor people are unable to manage their bare necessities and subsistence. Now the unbridled price rise situation has put a question mark on the survival of the people.

Dr. Manmohan Singh-led Government’s economic policy is dictated by the US and other western countries. It is oblivious of the poverty in the country. It gives its account of short-sightedness by following the capitalist model of economy, which is completely unsuitable in Indian economy.

UPA Government is absorbed in corruption. Its mismanagement of economic affairs and promotion of capitalist economy have brought the misery for the poor Indian people.

There has been public outrage for two years to bring down the prices of essential commodities and food items, but Dr. Manmohan Singh Government has done nothing. Instead, it has pledged to raise prices of all essential commodities. The situation is very harmful of the UPA allies politically if they remained with it despite public outpouring over price rise. If they remained with UPA, they would also have to bear the brunt of public ire. Feeling the disenchantment of the people with UPA government, Mamta Bannerjee has rightly warned of parting ways with it.

The weak and direction less government can not take drastic measure to contain price rise. Why government is weak? It is because prime minister is weak. He lacks assertive power and authority. This is the reason that despite being honest and world renowned economist, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has failed to act against his corrupt minister and officials.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, a veteran politician in his own right and NCP supremo, had also criticized the UPA government after defeat in the by-elections for some assembly seats in different states and the Hisar Lok Sabha seat. He had said that there was absence of leadership in the government and its image was dented by the 2G Spectrum Scam and others. If the rumblings of UPA allies over the utter failure of their government are any thing to go by, they may jump off the sinking UPA boat any time and the country may face a mid-term Lok Sabha poll two years before its due in 2014.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Back breaking food inflation

Commenting on the latest food inflation numbers, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the rise in rate of price was a matter of “grave concern”, but attributed this to the festive season, which led to an increase in demand.Most senior in the Dr. Manmohan Singh's Cabinet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is befooling the common people on the issue of continuing price rise by saying that due to festive occasions, demand has increased. This layman defence does not behove of him. Mr. Mukherjee must know that the people have now no confusion about your utter failure as finance minister in the UPA-II government at the Centre. Finance ministry has mismanaged the economic affairs and it is virtually playing in the hand of black marketeers, big businessmen, hoarders, profiteers, scandalous and corrupt corporate. That is why it has failed to check price rise.
Food inflation is a matter of grave concern and the way it is dangerously going up and up for the last two years may spell doom for Dr. Manmohan Singh-led UPA government at the Centre. UPA-II is showing complete insensitivity towards the plight of the poor caused by rising food inflation. It clearly reflects that the Government at the Centre is headless and it is moving in different directions, which only promotes corruption and price rise.
Food inflation rose to 12.21 pc. Time and again the UPA government assures the people that the prices of food items and all other essential commodities would come down in a month or two for the last two years. But in contrary to its promises, the prices are going up and up. It is common knowledge of economics that the price of commodities depend on demand and supply. And it because there is shortage in supply and rise in demand , price has risen. But at the same time it is the primary duty of the government machinery to make balance between supply and demand to stablise the price, where this government has miserably failed time and again due to its own callous and corrupt approach.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Finance Mukherjee Pranab Mukherjee and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia have completely failed to check price rise to give relief to the common poor people for whom their party avowedly declared to be with Aam Aadmi. If UPA Government’s assurance on price rise is anything to go by, the Congress party is cheating the Aam Admi and breaking their back instead.
Since Dr. Manmohan Singh-led UPA Government came back to power for second consecutive time, it has taken no step to lighten the burden of the common people. Instead, it has promoted scandals, corruption and price rise on the largest scale in independent India. It is now giving the impression among the people as the most corrupt, inefficient, callous, insensitive and the weakest government of the nation.
The common people of the nation is baffled why Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who has pro-poor and honest image, does not pressurise the Manmohan Singh Government to read writing on the wall and put a stop to runaway prices of all essential commodities? The common people are being burdened and the situation has reached to such a pass as the rising food inflation could cause unrest in the country. Common people are gasping for life due to the back breaking food inflation. Congress must read writing on the wall without any loss of time. Otherwise, It might meet its doomsday before 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

FI - A Sport of neo-rich

FI may be popular all over the world. But essentially it is the sport of neo-rich. It can not be popular in the developing country like India and other Asian countries. India may be an emergent economy but it can not afford to provide the facility and accessory required for FI, though it has started with a bang here.

FI has been organized in India with immense success. Except the high middle and higher class of Indians, very few know about this motor sports. It is virtually European sport. As the economic condition of Europe has been in mess for a long time, this FI sport endeavors to enter the emergent economic Asian power. India is undoubtedly an emerging economic power, at least outwardly.

So, some corporate giants invested their money to make arrangement for holding FI sport. Their main motive is to earn money, and not in any way to promote sports here. They had demanded tax relief from the Government of India. But the Union Sports ministry did not consider their demand, though it gives such relief to other sports. It is a right step not to grant any tax relief to drain public money for the enjoyment of the rich sports lovers and business houses.

The FI organizers in a huff did not even invite the Union Sports Minister to the inaugural event. Several luminaries of different fields were invited or they came on their own to watch exhilarating and exciting FI sport. Media also gave wide coverage to it.

The matter of the fact is that more than 70 percent of Indian population is unaware of FI. It is also correct that it is economically unviable for mass Indian population. How wide coverage media may give to this sport but negligible number of people in rural India know about it.

If the organizers compare FI to the game of cricket, they are wrong. The two games can not be compared. Though the game of cricket has its origin in western country, it has also been so popular in India that if any body passes through a village lane, he will must see a group of youngsters with bats and bowls in their hands. Bat and bowl are found in every family of the country.

How many families own a car ? The sports event concluded two days back in Noida in the backyard of national capital New Delhi with tremendous pomp and show. A huge amount of money was spent to make it successful. Famous Bollywood actors, cricket stars corporate giants, big business houses graced the occasion. It is because these big stars and luminaries have come to watch the FI that naturally created curiosity among the middle class of Delhi and other metros to watch it.