Monday, April 23, 2012

Rift is inherent in Team Anna

The country-wide protest and hunger strike for Jan Lokpal Bill to fight out corruption is the noblest and the greatest cause for the nation started by Anna Hazare, a famous social activist, more than a year ago. There is no doubt that the credit goes to him and his team to galvanize the nation, especially the youths, against the burgeoning corruption that has set deep in Central and state governments. But all the credits earned by Anna Hazare are going to be wasted because of the inherent rift in Team Anna since beginning. First of all, the team itself is not representing all sections,economic classes and communities of the Indian society. Socially, it is representing exclusively the middle class urban people while majority of Indians still live in villages. It must be of inclusive nature and character. All the members of team Anna have their own personal agenda that reflects their inner envy with political class in general. It is now also clearly reflected that Anna Hazare’s unquestionable credibility in public is being used by some of the Team Anna members to serve their own vested interest. Their tone and tenor is dictatorial and they reflect nowhere that they consider Parliament as supreme in democracy. All the prominent members are facing one charge or the other. In the given situation, the expulsion of a Muslim member from the team for transmitting the recording of Team Anna’s Core Committee meeting while it was on with Mobile Phone after Swami Agnivesh does not reflect any positive signal from it. Apart from this, team Anna’s differences over the issue of launching joint agitation with Baba Ramdev, who has been launching movement for bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks into the country. Only two days ago, it was announced that Anna and Ramdev will launch joint movement and both will share dais of each other and their first joint meeting will take place on June 3. Now, Team Anna has announced that they will organize movement separately and not jointly with Baba Ramedev but support each other’s cause. Baba Ramdev is fighting against black money and Anna Hazare is demanding Jan Lokpal Bill to eradicate corruption. Though Anna Hazare claims that there is no rift in the team and says he will share dais with the yoga guru in the fight against corruption but ruled out any joint countrywide tour, his claims themselves reflect that he is parroting only those words and sentences which are tutored by his team members. Team Anna also suffers from inherent weakness of personal greed and ambition. The corruption in our government is not a creation of a particular political party but it is of all the successive governments of different political parties at the Centre and in the states. There is also no doubt that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh-led UPA Government at the Centre was shaken by Anna’s protests and hunger strike and forced it to introduce the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, though hanging in balance. But the Govt. is under pressure politically in view of the adverse election results in five state assemblies to move forward to re-introduce the strong Lokpal Bill. It is also correct that no political party at heart is in favour of Lokpal a super boss to keep an eye over malpractices of its elected members of Parliament as they themselves consider as Monarch of all they survey.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Politics over NCTC harmful

Though the fierce opposition to National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) by non-Congress CMs as also CM of UPA partner Trinamul Congress CM which was evident at the meeting of Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi, Centre must try first to clear the misplaced fear of encroachment on states' power and impress on them that Centre is prepared to make co-ordinated, concerted and joint effort to wipe the terrorism from the soil of our nation. NCTC, a mechanism to fight terrorism comprehensively, is the need of the hour. To fulfill the objective of NCTC is the joint responsibility of the state and the Centre. Either of the two can not evade responsibility. But the greater responsibility to fight terrorism is of the Central Government. Politics over NCTC is detrimental to national security. IB plays an important role in making the NCTC a complete success. It has been under the Centre since Independence. State feels that if the IB reports to NCTC straight and start operating on the investigation report, its power will be encroached up on. It also feels that the Centre may use it against its political opponents. Finally, state considers NCTC as against the federal structure of our Constitution. It is also the responsibility of every state to co-operate the Centre to thwart any incursion of enemy’s army personnel or terrorists inside our border. This done by our brave BSF, CRPF and army personnel deployed along the border. Here, all responsibilities are carried out by the Centre with its own agencies. Undoubtedly, the role of state police is indispensable in fighting terrorism. The example of Punjab Police is before us that how they played an exemplary role with BSF, CRPF and army personnel to fight terrorism there to finish. IB reported the Centre its investigation and the state police acted on it. By giving the IB investigation and operational power, the Centre takes responsibility on itself. Under that situation if any bomb blast takes place anywhere, it is Centre’s responsibility to know in advance and operate to thwart it. Otherwise, IB will report investigation to state authorities and absolve itself of all responsibilities. The state has misplaced fear that NCTC will disturb the federal structure and NCTC will be misused to keep its opponent in check. Politically, weak Centre is the result of politically aggressive state. UPA is standing on the support of undependable, opportunistic and narrow-minded coalition partners. Centre has favoured joint and coordinated efforts to deal with challenges of terrorism whatever its origin, whether internal or external. Undoubtedly, the burden of fighting against terrorism falls largely on the states’ machinery. Centre must show its preparedness to work with the states to put in place strong and effective institutional mechanisms to tackle the problem of terrorism exported from outside and indigenous terrorism.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Congress loses the Semi Final

As Congress party is set to loose the Municipal Corporation elections, it has lost the Semi Final to BJP. Delhiites have reflected their mood of disenchantment with the Sheila Dikshit Government in particular over the unbridled price rise and corruption and the UPA government at the Centre in general. Has Sheila Dikshit government ever tried to minimize the painful feeling of the poor due to price rise of all essential commodities especially the food items? It reflects the insensitivity of the Congress Party. People’s anger is amply seen in election results. Delhi Govt. has only applied its hands in beautification of the city because the huge public exchequer is involved in beautification affairs that could be easily managed by the corrupt officials. Sheila’s govt. has acted in the interest of upper middle class and left the poor unattended in the last 13 years. Congress party has itself cast off its pro-poor image by tilting towards capitalist economy; which proves to be detrimental to the poor. Party’s negligence of the poor is manifesting in the one election result after another. Beautification of Delhi to the minimum extent is the only achievement of Delhi government. Apart from the Centre, Delhi govt. too has done little to arrest corruption and price rise. Delhiites are finding it difficult to fill their stomach even with the bread. Beauty looks to the eye sensuous only when the people’s stomachs are full. So, the beauty of Delhi has no meaning for them. First of all, the basic necessities of the people must be provided by the government in a democracy. Delhi govt. has completely failed on this count. Congress’ rival BJP in Delhi and opposition at national level has retained the power in Municipal Corporation for the second consecutive time only because the party has satisfied the Delhiites a little with its governance in Municipal Corporation. The Anna effect in the defeat of Congress is also perceptible because the epicenter of his movement against corruption has been Delhi. Social activist Anna Hazare had drawn the largest crowd in Delhi when he had sat on hunger protest for anti-graft Lokpal in August last. Congress party now will have to think seriously that the people can not be taken for granted. If the party continued to neglect people’s problem, it must be prepared to face more humiliations in the comings elections. It is correct for the Congress to say that it is a Municipal Corporation election but if the party continued to be sloth, inactive and inefficient, the result of assembly and parliamentary elections is not going to be much different. The MCD result shows that the people are feeling disgusted with the Congress govt. for its failure to rein in price rise and corruptions. It has badly failed in managing the economic affairs of the nations. And an impression is developing among the people that the Congress Govt. allows to go price up

Monday, April 16, 2012

Clear indications of Taliban surge

The attack on diplomatic quarters, NATO bases and the Parliament by Taliban in Kabul of Afghanistan is a clear indication to the West that if they continued to fight out the terror elements so casually and complacently, they are bound to fail in the last. The Taliban would resurge in Afghanistan in full strength very quickly. The West, especially the US, are required not to leave the serpents half-dead when they hit them. Otherwise, the ship of the West is about to turn turtle in Afghanistan. According to the top official, Afghan security forces have killed all the Taliban attackers who unleashed a wave of coordinated suicide attacks targeting diplomatic area, NATO bases and the Parliament in Kabul. Afghan security forces, which are responsible for the capital's security, took the lead in countering the assault. The Afghan National Security forces are still short and well-equipped of dealing with the developing situation arising from terrorism effectively. The NATO of the West were deployed there after 9/11 must not test Afghanistan National Security Forces’s ability to fight terror elements. It is Nato’s complacency. Nato must continue to assist them with all might at their disposal till the last vestiges of Taliban are not wiped out from the soil of Afghanistan. The task is still very tough there. Though the number of casualties in the attack on diplomatic quarter is of about 14 police policeman, the Taliban have shown the West that they may have been defeated but they have not been thrown out of the country. The Nato operations are being conducted by the US forces and under the leadership of the US-led international coalition forces. It was formed to fight out terror in Afghanistan. The Sunday attackers reportedly are a part of Haqqani Network based in Pakistan. As militants attacked the city's diplomatic enclave, the US, British, German and Japanese embassy compounds also came under fire, though all were reportedly safe. The militants attacked Kabul Star Hotel in Wazir Akhbar Khan area of the capital and some tried to storm the Afghan Parliament firing rockets but were engaged by security forces and driven back. The Parliament was in session and some MPs joined security forces in fighting them. The credit goes to Afghan forces that they successfully drove back the Taliban attackers’ misadventure despite being not well-equipped. In view of the attack, Nato needs to train and well equip Afghan Forces before they leave Afghanistan. Nato’s task is incomplete there and objective unfulfilled.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

No democratic ruler is sacrosanct in democracy

No democratic ruler is sacrosanct in democracy, so is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee.Now-a-days, power even gained through the due election process in democracy makes the political leader like West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamul Congress boss Mamata Bannerjee intolerant to joke and ridiculing, which is a way of expression. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right in democracy. Her rule arrested the expression in the state. Her government arrested Yadavpur University Professor Dr. Ambikesh Mahapatra and a retired engineer for circulating an e-mail ridiculing the CM and Union Railway Minister and her trusted lieutenant Mukul Roy and alluding them to a dialogue of Satyajit Roy’s film. Trinamul government’s dictatorial action has been severely criticized by the entire intellectual class of West Bengal and the students of Yadavpur University. Undoubtedly, the intellectual class of the state had openly supported Mamata’s Trinamul Congress in the last assembly elections and her party won with overwhelming majority. She threw the more than three decade’s old Left rule out of power. Has the thought ever gone across the CM’s mind how she became able to get this type of massive support of the people? Her party got massive support of all sections of the people to get rid of the Left dictatorship of the state. But in return if her government’s less than a year’s performance is anything to go, the people of West Bengal in particular and the UPA Govt. at the Centre are facing Trinamul Congress dictatorial behaviour in general. Trinamul Congress Government is proving to be worse than the previous Left regime. During the Left regime human values and freedom of expression, which is the essence of democracy, were never attacked. Professor Mahapatra and a retired engineer are not uneducated personalities and they are expected to know which joke is sexually explicit or not. The joke that they circulated through the e-mail expresses the individual imagination to poke someone and cause laughter and is not in any way objectionable. With the coming of power, Trinamul Congress has lost all sense of tolerance. To choose the way how to mock the government is the prerogative of the person who mocks. Trinamul Congress leaders and workers feel that the people of West Bengal have given their support to them for not being sacrosanct and no body can raise finger at their government’s programme and policies in the state. No regime in democracy is untouchable and the Trinamul boss must know that if her government did not mend ways, she and her party must be prepared to hear the judgement at the time of coming elections. CM Mamata Bannerjee must understand that unless and until her government provides better administration and freedom of expression to the people of the state, she can not retain the power. People are feeling her rash, undemocratic and dictatorial behaviour.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Historic judgement

After the legislation of RTE by Parliament, the constitutional validity given to it by the Supreme Court is a historic judgement. It will prove to be the cornerstone in the universalization of education in our country. Knowledge is power. So, the empowerment of society can not be complete without educating it properly. The poor can be talented and intelligent. But the poor children fail due to the resource crunch to attend schools and their lives are spoilt and the country remain deprived of the talented service. With constitutional validity to RTE, now talented and meritous will be compelled to leave school only because they belong to economically and socially backward.There must not be any connection between talent and wealth. If the children are talented and intelligent and of exceptional brilliance, they must be given all sorts of facilities for higher studies irrespective of their social and economic status. Education is the mirror of society. As far as our society is concerned, educationally at least we are the most backward. And it does not behoove of us to be called the largest democracy with largest number of illiterate and uneducated population. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act, 2009, which mandates 25 pc free seats to the poor in Govt and private unaided schools uniformly across the country. It is a landmark judgement because the education urgently needed to be given constitutional right in true sense of the term. Education in our country had become the prerogative of the wealthy class of society. Economically weak parents are not in position to send their children to even government schools, what to talk of unaided private schools. Even after nominal waiving of school fees in Government schools and after bringing Right to Education into effect, the meritorious and talented students of weak socio-economic group fail to get access to education, though in recent years the government has initiated programmes for helping poor students. The apex court clarified that its judgement will come into force from Thursday and, hence, it will not apply to admissions granted after the enactment of the legislation.In other words, the apex court said the judgement will only have a prospective affect and not retrospective affect.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Resolve Maoist issue in right earnest

Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco was released by the Maoists on Thursday, 29 days after he was abducted along with his countryman Claudio Colangelo by the Naxals in Odisha's Kandhamal district.His compatriot Colangelo had been released by the Maoists on 25th March as a "goodwill gesture", while Bosusco was not freed by the ultras who wanted their demands to be fulfilled by the Odisha government. More than 13 states of the country have been facing Maoist violence for years. But the successive governments at the Centre and in states have never shown serious concern to solve the burning problem. The abduction of two Italians, who have been freed, and an MLA of Odisha has brought in focus the Maoist problem once again on the national centrestage. One of the two Italians was freed early and the other one was freed after spending 29 days in Maoist captivity. Odisha Government of Naveen Patnayak had to accept the demands of Maoist in exchange for the freedom of Italian. The Odisha boss of Maoist Sabyasachi Panda’s wife was released from jail under the agreement with state government for freeing the Italian. Abducted MLA’s fate is still hanging in balance. Odisha government’s action in the entire episode of abduction was more of surrendering mode than of standing up to the challenge thrown at them by the Maoists. It also appears that the Centre did not provide enough help to solve the Italian hostage issue for political reasons. Odisha Government was under pressure on the one hand because of the abduction of foreign nationals and vote bank politics of our political class was also acting on the other. The Maoists are our indigenous people. Tribal belt is the breeding ground of Maoism. Their inhabitation has been jungle, which now is cut for industrial purposes by big industrial houses in agreement with the Central and State government. This has set fears among tribal that their age-old inhabitations and sources of livelihood are destroyed without providing them any tangible development in their day to day life. They are still the poorest population of the country. Poverty, illiteracy, inequitable distribution of wealth of the nation breeds Maoism. Maoists believe in violence and they also believe in the Mao Tse Tung’s theory that power flows from the barrel of the gun. Maoists are extreme left who do not tolerate disagreement. But ours is a largest democracy and we have the finest Constitution. If the nation had been run according to the Constitution in letter and spirit and legislative and executive behaved honestly to execute rules and regulation as laid down by it without any favouritism, the issue of Maoism in the country would not have raised its head so openly. The nation has lost more 10,000 innocent lives in Maoist violence. But as every action of the government is guided by ruling party’s interest at the cost of the nation, the situation has reached to a dangerous level.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pak must address to the issue of terrorism first

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to the 13th century Dargah of sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer is expected to kick start a process of dialogue and peace between India and Pakistan that could address the issue of terrorism by the latter. Zardari has also invited Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan. Mr. Singh has reciprocated his invitation by expressing satisfaction with the talks that took place between the two. PM has also promised him of visiting Pakistan at a convenient date. The bone of contention between the two neighbours is the issue of terrorism that is sponsored by Pakistan against India. Once Pakistan stopped sponsoring terrorism against India, no hurdles would come in the peace process. By signalling a positive outcome, PM Manmohan Singh and Pakistan Prez Asif Ali Zardari have said that the two countries are willing to find practical, pragmatic solutions to a number of issues affecting the bilateral relationship. There are a number bilateral issues between the two neighbours that would be solved through due process of talks. But the most important issue of terrorism requires urgent attention and action against it by Pakistan. Both Singh and Zardari have given press statements where they have expressed satisfaction over their deliberations. But it is nothing new. Whenever the high level talks between India and Pakistan take place, the same satisfaction is expressed at the press meet. But no concrete result about peace and friendship has come out yet. Pakistan has never acted against terrorism and always goes back on its promise. It is good that political leadership should show interest in carrying forward the dialogue. But the irony is that political leadership of Pakistan is so weak and fragile that it can’t come out of its military dragnet, which nurtures and harbours terror Monster like Hafiz Saeed and controls notorious and mischievous ISI. Pakistani political leadership will have to show guts to establish its supremacy on all issues regarding India. The most wanted terrorist that India is demanding of Pakistan to handover is Mumbai mastermind and Pak-based JuD boss Hafiz Saeed, who is spitting venom against India and propagating to disintegrate it is moving freely. No political leadership can muster courage to rein in Hafiz Saeed. He is the mastermind of Mumbai terror that killed more than 169 and injured thousands in 2008. Linking the progress in bilateral ties to Pakistan taking action against Hafiz Saeed and others responsible for Mumbai terror attacks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rightly told President Asif Ali Zardari that this was important for normalisation of relations between the two neighbours. He has rightly brought up the issue of terrorism affront and activities of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai, on whom the US announced a USD 10 million bounty. Talks between the two neighbours must go on but Pakistan has to act to address the issue of terrorism..