Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Conserve water for life

Water is life. Without water, life is impossible and future is doomed. With this, it can be easily imagined how happy Latur residents would be to hear about a train reaching them with six lakh litres of water. Latur is facing worst ever drought. It is not only human beings but also the domestic animals are facing the acute scarcity of water. Their grazing ground has also parched. A terrible crisis for all living beings exists there. It is joy and happiness for the people and also commendable on the part of state and Central governments that train with six lakh litres of water has reached the parching and drying Latur district of Maharashtra. The scarcity of water in the district has been its perennial problem. The people living in urban and rural areas has been facing acute problem of water scarcity. It becomes more aggravating in summer. The ground water level is going deeper and deeper because water is drawn from under the ground water on large scale for irrigation purposes. The water mafia also draws underground water illegally. That is why the scarcity of ground water is acute in Latur. Men, women and children have to walk four to five kilometers to bring water. It is not a day's development, but illegal water trade has been going on without any check. Water gives life. No life is possible. So, govt. and social organization must launch vigorous campaign of awareness about conserving water. At the same time the govt. of India must learn from Israel how to conserve water for drinking. Every human being has right to access to drinking water. Govt. of the day must ensure the availability of drinking water to one and all. Merely blaming the previous govt. for the acute scarcity of water can not serve the purpose. Water is invaluable. With train reaching Latur district, every resident beamed with happiness and joy. It is also necessary to launch awareness against misuse of water. Today's water is tomorrow's life. So if humanity is to exist, water must be there. There is a prime necessity of drinking water drought hit areas in other parts of the country also. Water must be made available by the govt. at all cost. Whether the govt. manages to supply drinking water through taps or by trains with abundance of water to the people, it is accountable to them to do. The entire Latur district is full of joy and happiness to see the train with eight wagons of drinking water. It is better if the state and the Central governments tried to evolve permanent solutions to the drinking water problems. Two to three years of deficient rains have made the situation of crisis grimmer and grimmer. It is because of climate change that what people are witnessing is erratic monsoon for the last few consecutive years. Many states have experienced draught condition and very scanty rains. It is good that Maharashtra government has lifted section 144 of CrPC in Latur, now people have started co-operating and the fights over water have stopped. Latur has been facing a severe water shortage this year. ‘water train’ with 10 wagons carrying water for parched Latur in Marathwada region, which is battling the worst drought ever, on Monday left from Miraj in western Maharashtra. With the city needing 20 mullion litres of water each day, the railways and the state government have big task at hand.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Clear reflection of hostility

The arrest warrant issued by a special NIA court against JeM Chief Massod Azhar and three others in connection with terror attack on Pathankot airbase is meaningless in view of the statement issued by Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi Abdul Basit that Pak JIT visit to India to probe it was not based on reciprocity. A special NIA court in Mohali has issued an arrest warrant against Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and three others in connection with Pathankot terror attack. The three others are Masood’s brother Abdul Rauf and handlers of the terrorists who attacked the air base in Pathankot, Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif. In a statement issued after comments by Abdul Basit, External Affairs ministry has made it clear that on 26th March, 2016, before the visit of the JIT, the Indian High Commission formally conveyed to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry that the Terms of Reference are broadly agreed to with the proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity and followed in accordance with extant legal provisions. The govt has also rightly said that the statement of Pak High commissioner was ill timed and out of sync with the accepted terms between the two countries. In the given situation it will be naive on the part of India to believe that Pak would execute arrest warrant against its most wanted terrorist Masood Azhar. Though Pak foreign ministry downplayed Basit’s statement, it clearly reflects that Pak is no longer interested in starting any peace process with India. India’s main concern is terrorism while Pak keeps the issue of Kashmir on top of its agenda for any talk between the two countries. It is not the sudden development because of which Pakistan raises the issue of Kashmir very strongly. Since the inception of Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir has been the bone of contention between the two countries. Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorism in J&K to disintegrate India. Jammu and Kashmir is the integral part of India and it will remain so. The result of any talk can only be possible when Pak accepts India’s position on Jammu and Kashmir. India has also legitimate claim on Pak-occupied Kashmir. It is for Pakistan to vacate it. Pak uses terror as the instrument of state policy. Its military has strong say in any decision that Pak takes in regard to India. It also gives support to notorious ISI, which manages all types of support to Pak-based terror outfits with sole intention of inflicting India as much as possible. Democratically elected govt. of Nawaz Sharif is a puppet in the hands of military and ISI. If that was not so, PM Modi’s stopover in Lahore to wish Sharif on his birthday would not have been reciprocated by terror attack on Pathankot airbase just after eight days. This is not the first time that Pak has reciprocated India’s good will gesture by inflicting wound to it. Lahore bus ride of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was reciprocated by attack on Kargil. At that time, it was none else but Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister of Pakistan. So, to expect anything positive from Sharif in starting talk process with India is nothing but foolishness. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take firm stand on issues with Pakistan. As history repeats itself, Pak can never be dependable and positive on the issue of establishing good neighbourly relations with India.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Growth amidst adverse global economic slowdown

Statistically, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely may be correct that the country has been able to grow despite global economic headwinds not being supportive, but the impact of economic growth is altogether different on the ground. Inflation rate may have fallen on paper; the price of essential commodities is rising without any check. The price of all food items is also rising. The pulse is the only food item from which the poor are getting protein but it is being sold at more than Rs. 150 a kilo. How can the poor people afford to purchase pulse? There has been no creation of jobs. There prevails an atmosphere of disillusionment among the youth because of growing unemployment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured the youth as BJP PM candidate during the last Lok Sabha elections' campaign that with his coming to power, he would create two crore jobs. But the situation is just opposite to what he claimed at that time. Rather job rate is falling since Narendra Modi-led NDA govt came to power. Farmer suicide is rising day by day. All its claim of economic growth is only on the paper. Export has also fallen down. Merely by opening Bank accounts people can not fill their stomach. The ground reality is that the rising prices are breaking the back of the poor. Modi govt. should have created opportunities of earning for the poor. When there would be flow of money, the poor could have opened bank accounts under Dhan Jan Yojna to deposit it. Empty bank account has no meaning. Undoubtedly, govt. is beating drums about their achievement of economic high growth rate despite global economic slump. This economic growth has no meaning for the poor. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. The gulf between the poor and the rich is getting deeper and deeper, which is also perceptible. The common people have got no relief in the last two years of Modi govt. It has not yet come to people’s high expectation. People had voted overwhelmingly for Modi govt. only in the hope that it would provide relief and remove an atmosphere of disillusionment that had set everywhere in the last phase of the regime of the previous UPA govt. This is for the first time in the last 25 years that a single political party (BJP) got a two-third majority in the Lok Sabha. Unless and until Modi-led NDA govt. translates its claim of economic growth into reality on the ground, the people can not believe its claim. The burning problem among the youth is unemployment. Almost two years of Modi govt. have elapsed. And if it continued to make tall claims on paper and speech in public only, it is bound to face the same fate in the elections as the previous UPA govt. faced. We all know that ours is a resilient economy at a time when the global economy is not doing so well. Foreign investors find India a good investment destination. But they would invest in India only when the govt. would do away with bureaucratic hurdles and the license raj in letter and spirit. It is true that India is able to grow at 7 to 7.5 % at a time of global economic turbulence. But where is the result. The sharp fall in crude oil price has also contributed to the govt. claim of economic growth but benefits have not filtered down to the people of the lowest strata of society.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Anti-national activities intolerable

The secessionist activity by local Kashmiri students on the Campus of NIT, Srinagar, is an anti-national act and it must be dealt with a heavy hand. There have been disturbances in the academic environment of NIT Srinagar due to the raising of voices against the nation on the campus by local Kashmiri students. It becomes more so deplorable when they get support from some of the faculty members. The way local students rejoiced at the victory of West Indies team in the semi final match of T20 World Cup on March 31 over India clearly shows anti-India feeling among the local Kashmiri students. Local Kashmiri students not only celebrated the victory of West Indies but also humiliated, demoralized and beat the students from other states studying in the Engineering College. The tension on the campus had been brewing since March 31, the day of semifinal match. To protest the highhandedness of local students with backing from some of the faculty members, outstation students decided to meet the media to tell the nation and the govt. how they are treated and behaved at Srinagar NIT. To stop the students from coming out of the Campus, Srinagar police entered and lathi charged mercilessly. Hands and legs of several students were broken and some of them also suffered grievous injuries. First of all, police must not be allowed to enter academic institution, especially of Srinagar NIT standard. The head of the institutions and faculty members should have mollified the bruised feeling of outstation students. It is also their responsibility not to allow any Kashmiri students to vent their anti-India feeling on the college campus. The action of Srinagar police is unjustified and uncalled for. It is also the responsibility of the state govt. to keep law and order under control. Jammu and Kashmir is already a trouble-torn state of the nation. Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorism in the state for several decades. So, any lapses on the part of state and central govts to curb the anti-national feeling, which has started growing on campus of NIT, cost dearly for the nation. It is good that Union HRD ministry has taken prompt step by sending two-member team, which is in NIT Campus in Srinagar, talks to the students after tension erupted at the NIT campus in Srinagar on the 31st March when local students clashed with outstation students. Those students who are willing to appear for exams later, will be given a chance later.HRD Minister Smriti Irani is to visit Srinagar on April 13. There are 31 NITs all over the nation and the NIT of Srinagar is one of the oldest ones. Students from all over the nation come to pursue their study in NIT, Srinagar. It is the responsibility of Central and state govt. to maintain its academic standard and reputation. Because reports have appeared in the media that outstation students are threatened by none other than some of the faculties with destroying their academic career. So, HRD ministry team must also probe this aspect of the allegation made by outstation students against the faculty members. The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has also assured the central govt. of giving serious consideration to the matter followed by swift action. The Centre is keeping close tabs on the situation in Srinagar following the police lathi charge on the National Institute of Technology students in Jammu and Kashmir capital.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Take stringent steps against fraud and money laundering

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly ordered for a probe into allegation of fraud and money laundering against Indian named in the infamous paper leaks as revealed by revelations made by Panama Papers. The Panama Papers have brought to light the shadowy world of offshore companies and how the rich and the famous hide their wealth from public view, with its first list of names including heads of state, celebrities, prominent businessmen and football stars. Spearheaded by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and worked on by over 100 media organizations through the world, the leaks place a Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, at the centre of the tangled web of shell companies and paper trails. The promptness in ordering probe by the PM shows that he is serious about unearthing corrupt practices being carried out allegedly by Indians anywhere. But at the same time, he has to ensure that the probe into fraud and money laundering allegation against the Indians whose names have figured in the Panama papers leaks should not meet the same fate as his promise of bringing black money stashed in foreign banks allegedly by some Indians. PM had made this promise during the electioneering of the last Lok Sabha. Though he took the decision of constituting Special Investigation Team in his first Cabinet meeting to pave the way for bringing back black money after taking oath as PM, but what result it has yielded is all before us. Whichever names of Indians have figured in Panama paper leaks for alleged forgery and money laundering must be exposed and brought to book after thorough investigation. Though Panama papers have also faced severe criticism because there is no US name on the list of persons who have stashed money to hide it from public view, the figuring of Russian President Vladimir Putin is also seen as a conspiracy of the western powers. It is good for the nation that PM has taken tough stand in view of the leaks by Panama papers. The need of the hour for Narendra Modi govt. is to pursue expeditious investigation so that the Indians whose names have figured in Panama paper leaks should come out before the people. Mere ordering for probe can not serve the purpose. But at the same time the govt. should also not do anything only with a view to defaming its political opponents. A huge leak of confidential documents has revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. Its first fallout was seen here in India. Government has declared that action will be taken against "unlawful" accounts held abroad by Indians and constituted a multi­agency group to continuously monitor information. In the context of the commitment of the Central Government to bring out undisclosed it says that money both from abroad and from within the country, that information brought out by any investigative journalism is welcome.