Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Team Anna should only concentrate on task in hand

Social activist Anna Hazare and his team members have been agitating for ending corruption in government. They have touched the heart of the people in favour of their fight against corruption. The credit also goes only to Anna Hazare to gear up the entire nations, especially youths, by his hunger strikes in Delhi four times. The people have started to see a ray of hope in Anna’s fight against corruption. The fight against corruption that Anna Hazare has launched is invaluable for the nation. As the germs of corruption are spreading very fast like cancer in all government departments- from top to bottom, Anna is doing the right job by awakening the people against them. The rot starts from the head. So, there is urgent need to start cleanup operation in all government departments. This can be only possible by an effective Lokpal because all existing mechanism against corruption has failed to act. The issue to end corruption is most important for the people of the nation and as far as the promulgation of the law to fight it out that is Lokpal, is concerned, it will only be made by Parliament. Parliament is the temple of democracy. It is supreme. It must be paid the highest regard in democracy. The Parliament is constituted of its members elected by the people. In the given situation, to hold the entire political class corrupt and criminal is an un-parliamentary behavior. Team Anna members are sometimes dangerously carried away by emotions before massive gathering of the people and hold the entire political class corrupt and criminal. But in democracy, they will have to get an effective anti-graft Lokpall for the people passed in Parliament by its members. Their excessive grudge against the members of Parliament across party line is wrong and detrimental to their fight against corruption movement. All the members of Parliament are not corrupt and criminal. The charges of corruption and crime leveled against them cannot be treated as final until the court of law holds guilty. Some of our MPs are honest and man of integrity. There may be charges against some MPs but that does not mean that they should be addressed as thieves and criminals. They have been elected by the people of India. They all are our lawmakers. They also command respect and honour on the basis of their service to the people. Anna Hazare and his team members should only awaken the people how the corruption will fought up. They do not open a new front with the political class and get lost in them. They should only enlighten the public against corruption and how to exercise their franchise only in favour of those who are honest and have brilliant track record of social service irrespective of political affiliation.

Friday, March 23, 2012

India loses space to China

By voting in favour of US-sponsored resolution at UN Human Rights Council censuring Sri Lanka for Human Rights Violations, India has displeased its closest neighbour under the compulsion of politics at home. It has gone even against its traditional stand of not to support any country specific resolutions at UNHRC. India has gone against its neighbour under the pressure of UPA Tamil Nadu partner DMK, and ruling AIADK of the state. In the regional solidarities among Asia countries, India has been isolated because China, Bangladesh and Maldives, and Russia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have supported Sri Lanka and voted against the resolution. Sri Lanka is not only our closest neighbour but also strategically most important for us. By favouring Sri Lanka, China has scored a strong point over India so far as neighbourly relations are concerned. Under the pressure of India, resolution’s pugnacity was blunted by making it non-obtrusive. It would also help contribute to working for the reconciliation process towards devolution of power. But this has not been appreciated by Sri Lanka. It is correct that killing of 12 years old boy in the most brutal way is a stark example of human rights violations which India can not tolerate. But it could have found a way out first before opposing the resolution to assuage Lanka’s feeling and then impressed on it to stop human rights violations. By losing geostrategic space to China, India fails to take the broader implication of its action at UNHRC. Sri Lanka is hour next-door neighbour. If it favourably bends towards China out of grudge against India, it will pose a serious security. China is the most powerful nation in the region. It always tries to mend its ways with all the neighbours of India. They keep them in good humour at all costs. Pakistan and Nepal are the clear example. As long as the regional domestic allies guide the Central government even on international issue to protect their regional political interest in the country, India is bound to be isolated in even in the Asian sub-continent. Sri Lanka is a sovereign state and no country can dictate its action from outside. If there have been human rights violations, the international organizations are in place to look into it. Why should India go against Sri Lanka? India must rethink on the resolution, taking security perspective in view and not come under the pressure of domestic politics. Finally, India has voted for a US-sponsored resolution at the UN's top human rights body censuring Sri Lanka for alleged rights violations during the war against LTTE. LTTE is a terrorist organization and it must be dealt with as such. It has already dealt a heavy blow to us with the ferocity of terror. India had initially shown reluctance to vote on a nation-specific resolution but had to change its stand under severe pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu, particularly DMK which had threatened to pull out its ministers from the UPA government at the Centre. With 24 votes for, 15 against and 8 abstentions, the 47-member UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted the resolution which noted with concern that an internal inquiry report in Sri Lanka does not adequately address "serious allegations" of violations of international law. It has also asked Colombo to present as expeditiously as possible a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and to address the alleged violations of international law.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

UPA Govt bows to Mamata

Now it has become clear that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh runs his UPA government under the dictation of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamul Congress boss Mamata Bannerjee. It is only because of her being one of its most important allies. This is coalition compulsion but it does also not mean that the government should surrender before its coalition partner. Prime Minister is running the government he can not be dictated what to do or what not to do. Partial rollback of rail fair has been announced on Thursday by the new Union Railway Minister Mukul Roy in Lok Sabha.
Despite the former Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi introduced the bold and visionary budget, his party boss Mamata ordered the PM to sack him the same evening and appoint another leader of Trinamul Congress Mukul Roy as Railway Minister. Railway is allotted to Trinamul’s share. So, it is right in coalition politics to appoint only those as ministers whom the leader of the coalition party recommends to Prime Minister. PM had to act under her dictation but the way Mamata Bannerjee behaved was most dictatorial and against all norms of democracy.
Dinesh Trivedi presented the rail budget and increased the nominal fair, which was unavoidable for the development of railway, and acted in the interest of the nation. The credit goes to him that he showed courage and did not go after popularity at the cost of national interest. The hike in fare might have burdened the common poor people but it was necessary to do so for providing amenity and safety for passengers and development of rail infrastructure in the country, though the fare of passenger, sleeper and 3 AC has rolled back by the new Union Railway Minister Mukul Roy.
If Mamata had intention to display her tantrums to gain popularity among the people by forcing PM to remove Trivedi on the issue of fare hike, she could have also made agreeable Dinesh Trivedi to roll it back partially. What was the need of democratic courtesy and decorum in open? Bannerjee’s arch rival is the left parties in West Bengal. The Left parties have always fought for the poor. They are always favourably bent towards their cause. To match Left’s pro poor image, she always tries to pressurize the UPA government on every issue by using her party’s strength in Lok Sabha.
The issue of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) formulated by the UPA government to fight terror firmly has been first opposed openly by Mamata as she saw in it an attack on the federal structure of the Constitution. Apart from her, all the opposition parties ruled state governments opposed it and the UPA Government had to assure them that before it being put into effect, opposition would be taken into confidence. PM has called CMs’ meeting on NCTC to elicit their views on it. On almost all the issues ranging from FDI to NCTC and rail budget, Mamata has punctured the UPA government in public. Its image has been shattered.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Illogical poverty estimate

The estimate of Planning Commission on the basis of the report given by Central Statistical Organization (CSO) that the people live per day on less than Rs. 28.65 in urban and 22.42 are the poor. It means that the people living per day on more than these two amounts are not poor. This shows nonsensical and ludicrous parameters adopted by the Planning Commission to measure up the poverty.
On the one hand all economic sections of the people are hit hard by sky-rocketing prices of all essential commodities, especially the food items, and the UPA Government has become blind to the problems being faced by them on the other.
The Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Planning Commission Dr. Manmohan Singh, a world class economist in his own right, and the Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia should themselves first test the amount they have fixed to determine the poverty by living for a day at least on it to know whether their estimates of poverty line are correct or totally baseless and puzzling.
This estimate really shows that the UPA government has lost all sense of judgment and it is least concerned with the problems of price rise that the poor face.
This government is nonsensical because even after disastrous performance of the Congress Party in the recently concluded assembly elections in five states, especially the politically most crucial and biggest state of Uttar Pradesh, they have not learnt anything from the anger of the people shown in the elections. Neither the Prime Minister nor the Deputy Chairman can take reaction from the commoners because they can not reach straight to them on the streets. Can they not talk to their official staff to know the reality of poverty among the people? It would be better for them to ask their staff to express their reactions to the estimates about poverty before them. Do they not read news papers and listens to TV news that attach prominence to commoners’ problems for knowing their plight of poverty?
The UPA-II has completely mismanaged the economy of the nations. On one hand the gulf between the poor and the rich is widening and the Manmohan Singh government is going all out for economic liberalization only to follow the US economy on the other.
As no major opposition parties want mid-term elections, there is TINA (There is no alternative to UPA-II) factor that keeps UPA in power. The UPA has still enough time to take remedial measures for the relief of the people to halt their falling electoral prospect. As the people have realized that the empty charisma of Nehru Gandhi family can not take the Congress-led UPA out of mess in 2014 Lok Sabha elections if its performance in recent elections is anything to go by. The poverty line criterion is completely baseless and just opposite to what ground reality exists. The ground reality is that the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Secure the freedom of Italian hostages at the earliest

The first and foremost task before the Naveen Patnayak Government of Odisha is to secure the release of two Italians kidnapped by the Maoists in Kandhamal district of the state. As foreign nationals have been kidnapped, it has become the issue of international implication. So, Patnayak government in consultation with Centre must not loose any time in starting the negotiating process with the 3 negotiators the names of whom have been given by the Maoists as their representatives.
Though this is the first time that foreign nationals have been kidnapped and a number of demands have been given by the Maoists to secure their release safely, Malkangiri district collector and two police personnel were also kidnapped earlier. Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons were burnt to death in Odisha by other religious fanatic organizations than the Maoists in the state of Odisha. The incident had hogged the international headlines for many days.
The kidnapping of two Italians under question and other incidents of the same magnitude clearly indicate the failure of law and order machinery, especially the police force. The police have failed to take adequate security measures to pre-empt Maoists to carry out their design despite knowing the fact that the state forest area is heavily infested with them.
The question also arises that either the successive Odisha or Central governments have ever thought that why there has been mushrooming growth of Maoists. It is a well accepted fact that Maoists have born out of poverty, illiteracy and exploitation. They need to be given humanitarian touch and opportunities to develop themselves.
Jungle is considered their home and hearth. They earned livelihood from big dense forest. But with the mad rush for economic liberalization by the government, jungles have been handed over to industrial and business houses to set up industries and factories by exploiting the vast natural resources. They have not only disturbed the ecological balance but also destroyed the home and hearth of tribal. Tribal population mostly has turned into Maoists because of the deep grudge set in them against the powers that be.
Have the state and the Central government representatives at the highest level ever visited the tribal infested areas of the country to take stock of their living conditions? The policies and programmes to deal with Maoist problems successfully can not be possible to be formulated in air conditioned official chambers of top bureaucrats at Central and state secretariats.
The Kidnapping of foreign nationals may have been deliberately done to focus on Maoist unrest in the country on international scale but the need of the hour for both state and central governments to get the two Italian nationals released at the earliest.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Keep national interest uppermost

The interest of the nation must be kept uppermost on international stage. The charge of war crimes against Sri Lanka is being leveled because Tamils of Indian origins are being victimized there by its army. India is really concerned over the fate of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.
On the issue of resolution moved against Sri Lanka at UN Human Rights Council by US, France and Norway, India is required to take stand that protects the interest of ethnic Tamils and its geo-strategic position.
International affairs should not be guided by the regional politics of the nation. DMK, one of the most important allies of the UPA, and ruling AIADMK are putting pressure on the Government to support the resolution against Sri Lanka. Their demand to support the resolution is closely linked to the state politics of Tamil Nadu. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh while replying to the motion of thanks to the President’s address has expressed inclination to support the resolution against Sri Lanka at UN Human Rights Council, though India’s traditional stand has not been to support any country specific resolution at UNHRC. If this has been the position of the nation, why is the Government in two minds on the issue?
Ethnic Tamils have been demanding devolution of power in Sri Lanka. They have every right to live with dignity and respect. They charge the Sri Lankan government of blatant discrimination against them. LTTE, a terrorist organization, has been espousing the cause of ethnic Tamils and fighting for the devolution of power. As LTTE represents terrorism, India is completely against it. India has also suffered the brunt of LTTE’s terror.
Though political parties in Tamil Nadu is clamoring for supporting UN resolution only for their regional political interest, India has to take a stand on it after thoroughly weighing pros and cons of its move at UNHRC.
Undoubtedly, Sri Lankan army’s excesses against the ethnic Tamils have crossed all limits. The Government of Sri Lanka must step in to rein in its army. As India is concerned with the future of ethnic Tamils, it must ask the government of Sri Lanka to expedite the reconciliation process and take steps towards devolution of power for them. India’s objectives are to secure the future of Tamil Community in Sri Lanka that is based on equality, dignity, justice and self respect.
The Indian government has rightly emphasized that there should be a genuine process of reconciliation to address the grievances of the ethnic Tamils and implement the recommendations of a report of a high-level committee placed before Parliament.
It is necessary for lasting peace that the Sri Lankan government must stand by its commitment, broaden the dialogue with political parties, including with the Tamil National Alliance to achieve forward looking and meaningful devolution of power..

Friday, March 9, 2012

Need for strict action

The message is clear that the historic win of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections is for bringing the state on the track of development and peace. If it failed to do so, it is bound to face worse than its rival political party BSP has faced.
Deteriorating law and order and growing corruption of the outgoing Mayawati government have resulted its humiliating defeat. The massive victory of SP is primarily because of its transformation into youthful face, new thinking and outlook. State SP President Akhilesh Yadav, son of party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, has given the party a youthful and development-oriented face. It must live up to it and must not give free for all to goonda elements within SP. They must be curbed.
The SP, which was opposed to computer and English education to identity itself with rural farmers, in its manifesto this assembly elections itself has promised laptop to the people of the state. Akhilesh Yadav’s youthful, sober, tolerant and assimilating character with tremendous appeal to the rural masses have attracted large number of new voters in this assembly election. Akhlish has also promised the people of Uttar Pradesh to forget the lawlessness of the previous SP regime. The way the historic victory of SP celebrated all over the stated has clearly indicated the return of goondaism with the coming of the party in power.
Not only state SP President Akhilesh Yadav, but all the party heads in different states and at national level must understand clearly that the people are watching them very closely and they wait patiently for their turn to come to give their verdict in elections.
The previous SP regime of Mulayam Singh Yadav was badly defamed for deteriorating law and order. Criminals were reigning supreme in that period. So, Akhilesh Yadav must take stringent action against the party cadres, who pose threat to life and security of the people of the state. It is good that he has rightly promised strict action against those, responsible for violence in Uttar Pradesh in the aftermath of party's historic win in the assembly elections.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Congress must introspect and re-invent itself

In view of the worst performance in the just concluded five assembly elections, including Uttar Pradesh, the Congress Party needs to introspect and re-invent itself urgently. Otherwise, it is bound to perform worse and worse. First of all, Congress leadership must build the organization afresh; encourage the cadres to take on opposition in a positive way.
It is ruling at the Centre. Congress Party is heading the UPA coalition government. The humiliating defeat for it will naturally bring the UPA government under pressure from its allies and the opposition parties as well.
To run the government at the Centre, Congress needs to treat all its allies well and must take care of their interests and sentiments. To face the challenges of opposition in view of the budget session and presidential election, it must keep the alliance together first and take the views all political spectrums into consideration.
Being the leader of coalition government, Congress has greater responsibility to solve all domestic problems. Apart from the challenges on the government front, Congress Party has been suffering from the inherent weakness in its organizations in almost all states the nation.
There is the charismatic leadership of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to the party but the organizational set up is so week that it can not transform it into votes. The recent dismal performance of the party in Uttar Pradesh and in other states despite very hard campaigning by none other than one of the tallest leaders and hope for the party Rahul Gandhi is the example before us.
Congress organization in Uttar Pradesh is dead for years and because of its death, the party is becoming weaker and weaker. It urgently needs to raise its organizations in Bihar and UP on the priority basis. Weak party organization coupled with runaway price of all essential commodities and growing corruption in every department of the government has resulted in the loss of face for the party.
Being the leader of the UPA government at the Centre, it must pressurize it to act fearlessly against corruption and contain unbridled price rise. The most worrying factor for the party should be the condition of the poor people in the time of rising food inflation. The poor are crying in pain caused by the price rise. The Congress party must not announce populist measure for the sake of vote bank politics for any section of society that aims at diving it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Shocking results for Congress

The assembly election results of the five states are very disappointing for the Congress Party. Congress General Secretary and hope for the party Rahul Gandhi, though tried hard to revive it, has miserably failed to do so. The party has been in a shambles in Uttar Pradesh for the last 22 years. Gandhi scion has also failed to put life into it. Except Manipur, Congress party has not been voted to power so far the election result trends show. In Uttar Pradesh its prestige was at stake and it has lost humiliatingly.
The assembly election results of the five states are clearly giving warning to Congress that either it strengthens its state party organizations all over the nation, especially in the Hindi heartland, and rein in corruption and price rise without any loss of time or perish in the Lok Sabha elections due to be held in 2014.
In Punjab, Akali-BJP has retained power and in Uttarakhand neck to neck fight is going on between Congress and BJP. It could go either way. BJP has won majority in Goa assembly elections but it has also got disappointment in the most crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.
Congress has been ruling at the Centre since 2007. But its performance in state elections is getting worse and worse. It is because of its dead organizational set in UP. How so much labour was put in electioneering by Rahul Gandhi, Congress failed to get up in the state. Rising corruption, price and casual approach of Congress Ministers to address the problems of the people have sent the message out among the people that party’s hands are not meant for giving relief but corruption and price rise.
Samajwadi party has got tremendous support of the people. It has won /trend 213 seats out of 403 and is speeding very fast to get the clear majority. Anti-incumbency factor has worked against the ruling BSP. It means the people of Uttar Pradesh were waiting for the election time to react to the misrule of the BSP. Outgoing Chief Minister and BSP supreme Mayawati had won comfortable majority on her own in 2007. It was after many years that the people of Uttar Pradesh had given majority of seats in the assembly to a single political party. But the golden opportunity to exploit people’s mandate for the all round development of the state was wasted. Outgoing Chief Minister Mayawati kept herself in getting statues of great Dalit leaders of the past and of herself built for the sake of self-aggrandizement to show her Dalit vote bank that she is her only messiah. State exchequer was squandered to maintain her aristocracy on one hand and corruption was ignored deliberately on the other.
The main reason behind the clear victory of Samajwadi Party is the charisma of father – son duo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav. Mulayam has got back his Muslim votes in their entirety and Ahilesh has appealed to the youths across caste and community. SP is the state based party. Its organization is well oiled and SP workers under the able guidance of their leaders have never failed to raise the failures of Mayawati Govt. in the last five years. SP leaders and workers brought have the anti-people steps of the BSP government on streets all these five years. Their hard labour has borne fruit. The people of Uttar Pradesh have given greater responsibility on the shoulder of Mulayam Singh Yadav to run the state.
One thing is clear, these days that the people mostly vote to the political party on the basis of its performance and not on caste and community basis. They want development and clean administration.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Strengthen military relation with US, but with caution

With the tilt of Pakistan towards China, the growing military ties between US and India are necessary to counter balance the security in the region.
There is communist dictatorship in China and the democratic rule in Pakistan is overruled at will by its military establishment. So, there is no value of democratic principles in these two countries. Both act with total disregard of neighborly relations.
To keep India under pressure from the mischief of the neighbor like Pakistan, China encourages by assisting it with military weapons and in building infrastructure.
India is the largest democracy and the US is the oldest. Both are the chief exponents of democracy, peace, development and liberalism. India and the US are natural allies also.
The need of the hour for the US is to rise above petty regional interest and shake off the habit of getting the countries; including India in South Asia region entangles in collision with each other. It does it to benefit itself.
The military tie up between US and India will go stronger and stronger if the former gets tough with Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in India. Despite Pakistan’s apparent tilt towards China, it can dare not ignore the wishes and desires of the US. Failing in bringing Pakistan on the track of peace and friendship with India, the US fails to win the confidence of India.
Military tie up with the US is good. Ties between the US and Indian militaries are growing. The recent bilateral security talks between the two countries reaffirm the partnership and the growing US interest in advancing it.
Self-centeredness is the chief characteristic of the US. It moves forward a single step by keeping its own interest uppermost. While the good relationship requires give and take attitude.
With the growing influence of dreaded terrorist organization such as Al-Qaeda and others in Pakistan, peace in the region is endangered. They might prove to be dangerous for world peace also any time.
So, it is the need of the hour to give a final and lasting shape of military tie up with world’s sole super power. It is encouraging that the US is showing keen interest in strengthening military relations with India. But it is equally important for India not to go too far or short in the race of forging deeper friendship with the US.
India must strengthen friendship in terms of military co-operation with the US but on its own terms. It also treats the US on equal terms. India must make clear to US that it must not mistake it for Pakistan and try to use it as regional paw.
The annual defense policy group meetings between India and Pakistan aim to advance the two countries' strategic defense relationship, enabling them to set priorities, take stock of progress and work through hurdles that stand in the way.
Both have expressed an interest in increasing personal interactions at all levels in their defense and military establishments through continued dialogue, exercises, personal exchanges and training associated with defense sales.