Monday, July 31, 2017

Pakistan SC’s landmark verdict

The verdict of Pakistan Supreme Court that disqualified Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not showing the salary he was allegedly getting as Chairman of United Arab Emirates at the time of filing his nomination in the Panama Paper Case is path breaking. There is also allegation against him and his two sons and daughter Maryam of laundering money and concealing offshore properties. They were also debarred from the electoral politics of Pakistan. Maryam was considered to be the heir apparent of former PM Sharif. But as she was declared unfit for the post of PM by the SC, Sharif chose his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif as his successor. He will take the oath of office as PM of Pakistan after being elected to the National Assembly in the next two months. Pakistan has gone ahead of India in its fight against corruption. It is regrettable that no action has been taken against the names of some of the Indian celebrities, politician, businessmen and others whose names figured in Panama papers as yet. Pak has set a record against corruption. It is for other countries to follow in Panama paper revelations. Pak judiciary has taken the strong view of the corrupt practices by the politician who is at the helm of affairs. The investigation must be started into the allegation against the celebrities, politicians, and businessmen whose names appeared in Panama papers for having bank deposits in foreign countries and other offshore properties. A probe team needs to be immediately constituted to go into the foreign deposits and offshore properties of all Indians from different fields of activities whose names figured in Panama papers. Keeping the Panama papers’ names of Indians under the carpet will give a message that Narendra-Modi-led NDA govt. too has also compromised with corruption as the previous UPA govt. India being the largest democracy of the world, it needs to set its record straight with regards to corruption. The apex court of Pakistan has shown the world how strict it is against corruption. Corruption corrupts society. And it is as dangerous as cancer. It also spreads as fast as cancer and if it is left unchecked and unaddressed, it would devour everything. So, the govt. of India is also urgently required to investigate into the offshore property against of all those Indians whose names have appeared in Panama papers. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified by SC after it found that the former failed to disclose his ‘unwithdrawn’ salary as chairman of a UAE based firm at the time of filing his nomination. The top court five-judge larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa unanimously announced the verdict, disqualifying Sharif as it delivered the Panamagate verdict.The apex court has ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against the accused in an accountability court in six weeks, directing for the trial to be concluded within six months. It is the second time in Pakistan’s 70-year history that the Supreme Court has disqualified a sitting prime minister. In 2012 then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was disqualified over contempt of court charges for refusing to reopen a corruption case against the sitting president Asif Ali Zardari.Also no Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year elected term. Most tenures have been cut short by military coups. While serving as the country’s Prime Minister in 1993, Sharif was sacked by the then-president over graft allegations, while in 1999 he was ousted in a military coup. The verdict of Pak Supreme Court is path breaking. It is to be followed by the neighbouring countries also. They must also proceed against corruption cases without any loss of time.

Stop political killings in Kerala

First of all, the violence has no place in a democracy. Political rivalry must not be the cause of violence. In recent months, there have been violent attacks on BJP cadres in Kerala. Several RSS, the doting parent of BJP, cadres have allegedly been attacked by the ruling CPI(M) cadres. Law and order is a state subject. So, the CPI(M) govt. of Kerala must take stringent steps to stop political violence and killings in the state immediately. BJP is in an upward position in the state for the first time. It is trying to establish itself in the state of Kerala. As far as expansion of BJP is concerned, it has put everything into it. With the victory in one state after another, its morale is high. The CPI(M) is ruling in Kerala and if BJP raised its head in the state, the first casualty will be the left parties. Both Left and BJP are ideologically opposites to each other. Though every political party has right to expand its base in any corner of the country, it must be done through good means. There is also allegation against the RSS in Kerala that it is instrumental in promoting religious conversion in the state. No political party should adopt an unethical way to expand its base. The killing of anyone whether he or she is attached to a political party or not must be condemned. The killing of an RSS cadre allegedly by the CPI(M)cadres is condemnable. The CPI(M) govt. of Kerala must take action against all those who are involved in the killing of RSS worker in the state. There must not be state protection to the political killer only because he is attached to the ruling political party in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA govt. has rightly asked the Kerala govt. to send a report on the killing of an RSS cadre. We are a multi-party democracy. Every political party can establish its base in any state of the country. BJP is in power at the Centre. BJP President Amit Shah has always been on the move from one state to another to expand party’s base. BJP has rightly called for a statewide strike over the murder of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker in Thiruvananthapuram’s Sreekaryam yesterday.The BJP has alleged Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI (M) workers behind it. However, the Police have started an investigation. This comes after the CPM and the BJP in Kerala declared war on each other on the night of July 27th, as both sides went on an attacking spree on each other’s party offices, resulting in major property damage. The clashes between the workers belonging to the two political outfits have erupted regularly in the past years, claiming an almost equal number of people from both sides.A number of violent incidents were reported between BJP and CPM workers on Thursday night in Thiruvananthapuram, including attacks on residences of cadres.On July 11, an RSS office at Payyannur in Kannur was attacked allegedly by CPI (M) workers. No one was inside the office at the time of the incident. However, the Trivandrum Police declared Section 79 of the Kerala Police Act in Thiruvananthapuram to prevent demonstrations, protest marches and meetings till July 30. The political party has every right to call a strike against the alleged vindictive approach of the ruling party. Centre must intervene and constitute investigation team to go into the incidents of violence and report to it in an unbiased way so that nation would know which political party was involved in espousing violence.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Congress needs introspection very soon

Congress leadership must take serious note of the precarious condition of the party. The condition is getting worse and worse in one state after another. Its leadership must think why party leader in the Gujarat assembly Shankar Sigh Vaghela left when the election is going to be held in the state in a few months. He left Congress because of the indifference showed by the party high command to his grievances. Six party MLAs resigned in the state just after him. It is not only in Gujarat but also the position of almost all state units of the Congress party is getting worse and worse. Why has the mess set in the grand old party? It has to be looked into by the party leadership, especially party president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi without any loss of time. Once the Congress party ruled the nation from Kerala to Kanyakumari, it has shrunk to a few small states. Whether it was north, south, west or east, Congress rule was all pervasive. But since 2014 the party has been losing from one state to another to the ruling BJP. Party leaders from one state to another are leaving the Congress day by day, blaming Vice President Rahul Gandhi of mishandling party affairs or indifference to the political activities in the nation. The election for three Rajya Sabha seats in the state of Gujarat is going to be held in next 10 days. Congress had 57 MLAs. Six of them resigned. Now, it has left with only 51 MLAs. The number is sufficient for the party to get one Rajya Sabha seat. BJP will get two seats, and it is alleged by the Congress that it is trying to win over MLAs from the Congress Party to get the third seat also. Congress party has fielded Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and a veteran party strategist. It is a matter of prestige for the Congress leadership to ensure the victory of Ahmed Patel on one hand and prevent the desertion of any more party MLAs on the other. Gujarat is also going to poll by the end of the year. The morale of the Congress party is already down with the breaking up of Mahagatbandhan in Bihar by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. It is a great setback of opposition unity. Nitish Kumar was one of the most credible opposition leaders in the country until he went back into the lap of BJP to form govt. in the state. The Congress party is in its worst phase. The immediate need of the party is to introspect and take remedial measures to present a formidable opposition before the people in the country. The party has an ability and capability to revamp itself if it decided to do this. As Gujarat assembly election is going to be held in a few months and BJP has been ruling there for more than 25 years, the anti-incumbency factor would be there. It is for the Congress party to exploit the situation to its favour. It will only be possible when the Congress party itself presented a united posture before the people in Gujarat. It is the immediate need for the Congress leadership to pay all attention to the Gujarat party problems. There is internal bickering, infighting, and disunity in every state party unit. After the Gujarat assembly elections, MP, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh will also go to polls next year. The Congress party is required to iron out differences among the party leaders in these three states. The Congress is the oldest party of the country. Still, there would be hardly any village where there would be no Congress party worker, supporter or sympathizer. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is a well -intentioned leader. He is young, energetic and honest, but he has failed so far to connect with the people of the nation. So, Congress leadership will have to find out a way to prop a leader of the caliber, who could connect with the people.

Nitish Kumar returns to his home

Nitish Kumar resigns as Chief Minister of Bihar and was sworn in again within 15 hours in the fast political development in the state. After the CBI filed FIR against his Deputy CM and RJD supremo Lalu’s son Tejswi Yadav in the hotel-land scandal, it clearly appeared that the days were near to end Mahagathbandhan with CM breaking his company with it. He did it by resigning. Nitish’s JD(U) had parted ways with BJP on the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2013 after being with the party as its coalition partner for 17 years. He had considered PM Modi as an anti-secular face in the BJP, and because the party announced his name as its Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he parted ways with it. Nitish Kumar had broken alliance with BJP in 2013 on the issue of communalism. Being the tallest leader of JD(U), it is Nitish Kumar who initiated talks with the secular parties like Congress and RJD to form an alliance to take on BJP in 2015 assembly elections. A Mahagathbandhan of Congress, RJD and JD(U) was formed under his leadership to take on BJP in 2015 Bihar assembly elections. They fought assembly elections together and won with a massive mandate from the people of the state. An overwhelming majority of the people in the state reposed faith in Mahagathbanbandhan. They defeated BJP very badly and it was expected that this alliance would give a stiff challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Lalu’s RJD emerged as the single largest party in assembly and alliance as well. Congress with 27 MLAs in the assembly emerged as the smallest partner in Mahagathbandhan. As it was decided earlier, Nitish Kumar was elected leader of the Mahagathbandhan legislative party and sworn in as Chief Minister of the state for 5th time after the assembly election results in 2015. Lalu’s two sons along with some other MLAs from his party were inducted into Nitish’s Council of Ministers. Lalu’s younger son Tejswi Yadav was appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. These four ministers from Congress quota in the Nitish govt. Hardly had the alliance governed the state for two years, when the unease appeared from the statement of none other than CM Nitish Kumar that he was not comfortable with Lalu’s RJD in government and since then he started making way to go closer to BJP. The first indication of Nitish Kumar’s bonhomie with BJP reflected from his appreciation of the demonetization move of PM Modi. Second was the appreciation of surgical strike and third which is clear and final was his announcement of support to President Ram Nath Kovind in presidential election after the CBI raided Lalu’s residence and filed FIR against Deputy Chief Minister Tejswi Yadav in Hotel land scandal which had happened in 2008 when Lalu Yadav was Railway Minister in UPA govt. at the Centre. Various cases related to Benami property against Lalu’s daughter MP Misa Yadav were also leveled. Nitish wanted Tejswi to leave the govt. on his own as he is known for removing his ministers against whom charges of corruption were leveled in the past. He is known for his spotless image. But Tejswi Yadav is Lalu’s son that he knew very well that until he is arrested like his father in fodder scam, he will not resign. Corruption charges against Lalu and his clan are not new. Lalu is a convicted politician. Nitish Kumar should have thought about his taint free image in the long political career before entering into any sort of alliance with Lalu. But at that time, his aim was to defeat BJP at any cost. So, he compromised with corruption. But when he felt that Congress led opposition was not forthcoming in announcing his name as prime ministerial face in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and BJP was going stronger and stronger, he decided to save his position in the state by returning to his old fold and formed govt. again with it. Again, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi has been made Deputy Chief Minister. Both had ruled the state together for 8 years from 2005 to 2013. Has the BJP now become secular under Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Nitish has gone back to it? Nitish Kumar has broken up Mahagathabandhan on the issue of corruption. Corruption and communalism both are cancerous. If Nitish Kumar wants to remain an unquestioned political leader in the country, he should have shunned BJP too as it is also not free of of the two vices – corruption and communalism.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daughters made India proud

Indian Women Cricket team may have been defeated by the England Women Cricket team by nine runs in a thrilling ICC Women’s World Cup final, but all the team members have made India proud. India is proud of their tenacity and perseverance. India were 191 for three at one point, and needed 11 to win from the final 12 balls, but got all out for 219, clearly giving away the game to the host. Indian women team has shown tenacity and perseverance. It is no little achievement that the Indian Women Cricket team got by reaching the final. During the entire world cup matches, they have played superbly, which impressed the cricket fans in India very much. The scintillating 171 scored by Harmanpreet Kaur in one of the world cup matches showed the cricket world that it is not only Indian Men’s Cricket Team players, but also Women have capability, ability and strength to win the World Cup to make India proud. Women Cricket Team in India has not been provided all the facilities like Men’s team. Neither media nor the board or govt. provides attention towards women’s cricket team. However, the women cricketers are neither lacking in talent and potential to win World cup for the country. Women Cricket team has shown by reaching the final that if due attention and facility were given to them, they would have performed better and won the World Cup. Women Cricket Team must also be provided world class trainer, coach and guide to hone up their skills in batting, bowling, and fielding. Women Cricketers’ doggedness, steadfastness, and determination have impressed the nation. It is also natural why daughters will lag behind sons of the country in any field. The time is changing very fast. Girls are no longer behind the boys in any field of activities. Whether it is sports, govt. jobs, education or competition for military and police services, they fare well. Even it has been seen that whether it is CBSE or UPSC examinations, the girls have been ahead of boys. So, if all the facilities, media attentions, and financial helps were provided to the Women Cricket team like Men’s one, they would definitely perform better. The focus in the country has always been on Men’s Cricket Team and Women Cricket Team is put on back burner. Despite that, the performance of the Women Cricket team in the final world cup match is commendable and praise worthy. The entire nation is proud its daughters’ performance in the World Cup final at Lords in London. Though the India Women’s Cricket team could not mark victory in the ICC Women’s World Cup final, their families back at their home were seen celebrating their daughters’ brilliant performances. Victory and defeat are the ways of the sports. The team which performs better on the final day wins. But the brave daughters of India played up to their potential at Lords. They may have missed somewhere, but they have kept the hope alive of winning the world cup next time. They have shown the world that they have capacity, ability, strength and potential to win the cup in the final. The cricket board and the govt. of India must provide enough attention towards the Women Cricket Team. The media houses must also highlight the problems being faced by women cricketers in the country.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jiophone will give big boost to PM’s Digital India campaign

The internet has become the lifeline in this fast paced world. The digitalization is a must for achieving development in all spheres of lives. When former Prime Minister and one of the makers of modern India late Rajiv Gandhi had introduced computers in offices, banks, educational institutions, Post Offices and in all day to day activities of lives of the people, he had faced opposition. But he did not retrace his steps from the path of development. When he introduced ATM for the first time in Delhi, almost all opposition parties called for Bharat Bandh as a sign of protest to the introduction of computers. They said that Computers would cut down jobs in the country. But in contrary to their perception, the Computer brought revolution in Information Technology in India. IT industries generated and provided lakhs of jobs to young IT professionals of the country. IT industry is still the largest job generating sector in India. It was the vision of Rajiv Gandhi that the use of computers became a boon for all Indians. Now, anyone can imagine how easy it is to withdraw money from the nearby ATM Kiosk of the bank. The Internet makes life comfortable. It keeps the people well-informed and alert at the click of a mouse. These days, the internet has become indispensable for the people in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also launched ambitious Digital India programme to connect all village Panchayats with the internet. It will enable even the rural people sitting thousands of Kms away in their villages to know everything with only a touch on the smart phone. Smart phone makes people smarter, knowledgeable and resourceful. If a person has smart phone with internet connection in his pocket, he can connect with anyone or thing of his and her requirements. This is the chief characteristic of Smart phone. So, it is of utmost importance for the govt. of India to make Digital India a grand success. Reliance Industries is the biggest corporate of the nation. They have always thought ahead of time. More than 15 years back, they had launched CDMA phone at a very low price to enable even the poor to afford to buy it under the slogan of ‘ Karlo Dunia Muthhi Me’. It made the phone very popular among the people. As far as Smart Phone is concerned, it is only 20 per cent of the population of the country about 22 crore people possess Smart Phone. In order to support Digital India project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Mukesh Ambani has launched its VoLTE feature phone, JioPhone, in India at an ‘effective price’ of Rs 0. JioPhone will be available to all Indians for an effective price of Rs 0. JioPhone is effectively free for Jio customers. A JioPhone user can use the Jiophone for 36 months and can get a full refund of the security deposit of Rs. 1500 by returning the used Jiophone. He claims that JioPhone is the most affordable intelligent phone in the world. Ambani dedicated the newly launched cellular phone to the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, with a motive to provide data to over 50 crore data-deprived people in India, so that it no longer remains the "privilege of few." The JioPhone will be available for user testing on August 15 and the pre-booking starts on August 24. It will be physically available to those who have pre-booked the phone on the first-come-first-serve basis from September this year.Jio will provide access to unlimited data on JioPhone at Rs. 153 a month, which if used on other networks, with similar phone feature would cost Rs. 3,000-Rs. 4,000. Reliance Industries of Ambani has played important role in popularizing the digitalization in our country fast by enabling the people, who cannot afford a Smart phone, to have it very easily with the launching Jiophone at an effective price of Rs. Zero. It is a great move. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani appears to be maintaining his role and responsibility a corporate in the development of the nation. With the launching Jiophone phone, the Smart phone will no longer be the privilege of few. It will also be available to common Indian to avail the benefits of digitalization.

Friday, July 21, 2017

People’s President

Ram Nath Kovind, former Governor of Bihar, has been elected as the 14th president of India. There is joy and happiness all over the country at his election. He comes from a very poor family. He will be people’s president. Though he is not going to be the first Dalit President, his pro-poor image may help uplift the lives of crores of Dalits and weaker section of the society in the country by influencing the govt. to work for them. President’s prime duty is also to protect Constitution, and he is there for the aid and advice to the Prime Minister. Before Kovind, K R Narayanan was the 10th President of India. He was also a Dalit, but there could not be any improvement in the lives of poor Dalits. So, it is political parties’ views that the Dalit President would be helpful in improving the lives of crores of the poor Dalits. They only play politics over Dalits for the sake of vote bank politics. It is not necessary to be in the high constitutional posts like President and Prime Minister, Minister to uplift Dalits and other poor sections of the society. Since Independence this theory is being forwarded by political parties, Dalits and the poor are in the same place as they were before Independence. To uplift Dalits and the people belonging to other poor sections of society, the person in power should only have poor bent of mind. His or her image must be poor. BJP had played a master stroke by announcing the name of Ram Nath Kovind as presidential nominee to give the message among Dalits that the government is thinking of their uplift as he comes from a Dalit family. Ram Nath Kovind’s election as the 14 President of India was a foregone conclusion as the number in Electoral College for was in favour of NDA. Kovind got 66% majority of votes and won convincingly. This is the beauty of democracy that the person with poor background has been elected 14 President of India. He is expected to protect and keep the Constitution and its values intact. He is also to uphold democratic values and the prestige of the highest constitutional post of the nation. All Dalits and the poor have high expectation of him that he would facilitate the poor friendly measures through the government. Though President has been described by many constitutionalists as Rubber stamp, the prestige of the post cannot be undermined. He is expected to be people’s president as his predecessor former President Abdul Kalam. As Ram Nath Kovind will be 14th President, most of his predecessors were illustrious personalities. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of the country. He was a veteran freedom fighter and a brilliant student. He was succeeded by Sarvpalli Radha Krishnan. He was a world renowned philosopher. Former President Abdul Kalam was a world renowned scientist. Former President K R Narayayan apart from being a Dalit, he was also career diplomat. Kovind’s immediate predecessor incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee has been a veteran politician, who brought the presidency nearer to the people. He is well aware of the prevailing condition of the poor in the country. President designate Ram Nath Kovind has also great responsibility to come up to the expectation of the people and keep the prestige of the presidency intact. As he comes from the poor family, he will pursue the govt. to take measures to eliminate poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy from the nation. The community to which Kovind belongs has been the poorest of the poor in society. So, Dalits have great hope of him. With his election as 14 the President, Ram Nath Kovind became apolitical. Now, no political influence on him would work. As a governor of Bihar, Kovind had been non-controversial and always supported the good moves made by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Kovind knows the constitutional values very well. He has also been a layer in Supreme Court. So, President designate Ram Nath Kovind will protect the constitution and uphold the democratic values.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mayawati's political gimmick

BSP supremo Mayawati resigned from Rajya Sabha because she was not allowed to speak on Dalits’ atrocities in Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh. Though she had few months left to complete her RS term, it was necessary for her to stage this sort of drama to retrieve Dalits’ support. UP has been her bastion. On the support of Dalits in toto, Muslims, OBCs and upper castes to some extent, she became the main political force in UP and adorned the post of Chief Ministership of the state for four times. But in the last Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati’s BSP score zero; and in the recently held UP assembly elections, her party got only 10 seats. This is one of the worst performances of BSP. It clearly reflected that her Dalit vote bank shifted to Bhatiya Janta Party that they won overwhelmingly both in Lok Sabha and assembly elections. BJP also makes one move after another to attract Dalits towards it. It has definitely made inroads into Dalit vote bank of BSP. Before the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, BJP President Amit Shah visited Dalit homes and took meal with them sitting on the ground at their homes. So, Dalits to a large extent shifted their support to BJP. In the month of April there were clashes between Dalits and upper caste people in a village in Sharahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Several Dalit hoimes were allegedly torched by the upper caste people. The clashes took place over taking out procession by Dalits to celebrate Dalit icon Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. A Dalit outfit founded by a youngman Chandrashekhar Azad led the upsurge of Dalits in the area. The entire Dalits of the area rallied around him. He also organized a big protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. He was also named in Saharanpur violence, and only a few months back he was reportedly arrested. Experiencing the shifting of her vote bank to a large extent to the BJP, Mayawati has now chosen the path of resignation in protest against not allowing to speak on Dalit atrocities in Saharanpur. In the prevailing political atmosphere, a move is strongly made for opposition unity in the country against the ruling BJP at the Centre. On the issue of presidential and vice presidential elections, Mayawati has openly supported Opposition candidates for these two high constitutional posts. CBI, ED and IT raids at Lalu’s residence in Patna and other places in connection with Hotel for land scandal and at his daughter MP Misa in New Delhi, Gurgaon and other places have also brought all opposition leaders led by Congress under one Umbrella. Almost all opposition parties term raids at Lalu and his family members as political vendetta. Lalu Yadav has immediately offered a Rajya Sabha birth to Mayawati after her resignation from Bihar. As Mayawati has only 10 MLAs in UP and SP and Congress both cannot make together the required number for a Rajya Sabha seat, RJD boss Lalu Yadav offered her RS seat from Bihar. The condition of Dalits all over the country has always been bad. All the established Dalit leaders like Mayawati, Ram Vilash Paswan , Meira Kumar and several others have only been benefited themselves and their family members. But the majority of Dalits are still poor and weak. They have not been benefited even by job reservation in the last 70 years. Only those well off Dalits whose number is tiny have been benefited by the job reservation policy of the government of India. The life style of Dalit leaders like Mayawati, Ram Vilash Paswan, Meira Kumar and others is aristocratic. They lead kingly life styles in this modern age also. It also clearly appears now that the present young generation of Dalits has understood that the established political leaders in the country are cunning. They are blind to the problems of the majority of Dalits. Dalits account for 20 percent of Uttar Pradesh population. Their role becomes very significant for the political party at the time of elections. So, the young leader like Chandrashekhar has emerged. On the one hand BJP’s dent in Dalit vote bank and emergence of young Dalit leader like Chadrashekhar appear to have compelled Mayawati to take the drastic step of resigning from Rajya Sabha to retrieve her pre-imminent position among Dalit community.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Venkaih versus Gopal

Union Housing and Urban Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu is the NDA’s candidate for the post of Vice President. Now, the stage is set for the contest in the vice presidential election to be held on August 5 between NDA's Venkaih Naidu and Opposition's Gopal Krishna Gandhi. Both the candidates have come from two different fields of activities. Venkaih Naidu has been a veteran and seasoned politician while Gopal Krishna Gandhi has been an administrator, diplomat and former governor of West Bengal. The Congress-led 18 opposition parties have endorsed the name of Gopal Krishna Gandhi as their nominee in vice presidential elections. BJP-led NDA has fielded Naidu as their vice presidential candidate to expand their political influence in South India. They had already announced the name of Ram Nath Kovind, who is a north Indian, for their presidential candidate. Venkaih Naidu has been the pillar of BJP in South India as he hails from Andhra Pradesh. In order to balance the North-South equation in politics, the BJP has yet again played a master stroke. As far as the number in the Electoral College for Vice President is concerned, it is in favour of NDA. The elected members of both Houses of Parliament cast votes in the vice presidential election. So, Venkaiha Naidu becoming vice president is a foregone conclusion. These presidential and vice presidential elections will draw the map clearly about the nature of contest between the ruling BJP-led NDA and opposition Congress-led UPA in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. One thing also to be taken into consideration is that unlike presidential election, the Congress has already taken assurance from the JD(U) for supporting its candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi in the vice presidential election. JD(U) supported NDA’s nominee in the presidential election. The post of Vice President is also a high constitutional post and it is also apolitical. Opposition candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi is not attached to any political party, though he is against the ideology of BJP. BJP's vice presidential candidate has been a hardcore follower of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, the doting parent of BJP. He began his political innings through the RSS. First he joined RSS through the game of Kabbadi and then the BJP. He has also been the student leader of the BJP. He has 40 years of political experience as BJP leader, minister, party president, MLA and MP. He has been very active in political activities all his life. Initially, he showed reluctance but when party put pressure and declared his name as its candidate for Vice presidential election, he accepted the party order as its true lieutenant. Undoubtedly, Venkaiah Naidu has been very popular in political field for a long time. The BJP's motive behind declaring his name as its candidate for vice presidential elections is to run the Upper House smoothly as he has been its member for four terms. But with becoming the Vice President, he would no longer be a BJP man. As Vice President is the ex-officio chairman of the Upper House. BJP is also not in majority in Upper House and because of this, it failed to get many bills passed in the previous days. Naidu was elected first to the Rajya Sabha in April 1998. He was re-elected to the house in 2004, 2010 and 2016. He has been a member of several parliamentary committees and even chaired some of them. Naidu filed his nomination papers. The last date for making nominations for the August 5 vice presidential elections is ending on Tuesday, July 18, according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission. Incumbent Vice President Hamid Ansari's term ends on August 10. Counting for vice presidential elections would take place on August 5.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Positive gesture

The opening day of Parliament shows some signs of hope of its smooth functioning. Though the opposition parties are ready to attack the govt. on its China and Kashmir policies, they are also required to support to it in dealing with the problems successfully. The greeting of all the opposition leaders, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party vice President Rahul Gandhi by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi clearly reflects that Govt. is going to take conciliatory approach on all issues in national interest. PM Modi has rightly sought opposition support on the issue of Govt. move against corruption. There must be constructive and reasoned debated in Parliament. It is the biggest platform to discuss and debate all issues of national and international importance. Govt. has also sought opposition support in conducting the smooth functioning of Parliament. If the past experience is anything to go by, it is clear that whether it is govt. or opposition, both only try to score brownie points in Parliament for the sake of political benefits. In this way, the sufferer is the country as crores of rupees are spent on running it. The crores of rupees are drained away because of the bedlam created in the Parliament by the political parties only to upgrade themselves. Neither the ruling nor the opposition political parties must not be in any illusion that their drama inside the Parliament is not watched by the people. They judge them sitting silent till the next elections. So, to run Parliament smoothly is the responsibility of all political parties. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is going from bad to worse. The border dispute with China is also getting worse and worse as standoff over Doklam has been continuing for more than a month. Both these problems are of paramount importance for the nation. Both the opposition and the ruling parties must speak in one voice on these two issues so that the message could go out loud and clear that India stands firm and it cannot buckle under any pressure of the world power. Jammu and Kashmir is the integral part of India and it will remain so. On the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Parliament has already passed a resolution that India will talk for vacating Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). So, the opposition and the ruling once again reiterate that resolution that now any talk, if ever possible, will be on PoK with Pakistan. The united voice of the nation must come from the Parliament that whenever there would be talk with Pakistan, it would be bilateral. Third party intervention is out of question. India need not any support from others to decide how to resolve Kashmir issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also required to tell the nation about the situation arising from the standoff over Doklam with China. All these debates and discussions on a number issue require a congenial atmosphere in Parliament. The disruptionist approach by any political party must be shunned by all. Jammu and Kashmir and China issues need immediate attention. So, there requires to be a threadbare debate and discussion on them to find out solutions in the interest of the nation. Apart from Jammu and Kashmir and China issues, the issue of attack on some people by the so-called Gau Rakshaks in the name of protecting cow must also be discussed as to how it could be stopped immediately. Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned them against taking law into their own hands, their criminal activities continue to go on. This is one of the most important domestic issues. It also requires to be discussed thoroughly why their acts of criminality in the name of protecting cow are not checked . PM Modi has rightly sought the support of the opposition in curbing the violences in the name of protecting cow.

Friday, July 14, 2017

JD (U)’s principled stand

Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) supremo Nitish Kumar has taken a principled stand on the issue of corruption all the time. Nitish Kumar has never compromised with corruption. There is no taint of corruption on his long political career. He has been a strong exponent of upholding probity in public life. Therefore, JD (U) one of the most important constituents of ruling Mahagathbandhan has rightly asked the Deputy CM Tejswi Yadav of the biggest partner RJD to put all facts in regard to the allegations against them in Hotel-land scandal by CBI in public domain so that the people of the state could know that they were leveled out of political vendetta. Besides Tejswi Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Yadav and his wife former Bihar CM Rabri Devi have also been named in the case by CBI after its raid in connection with irregularities in leasing out Railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri to a private company. As far as the credential of RJD supremo Lalu Yadav is concerned, it is well known to all that he is a convict in 1000 crore fodder scam. So, probity in public life is meaningless for him. What matters most for him is corruption and casteism. It was well known to Nitish Kumar. Even then, he had made Mahagathbandhan with Lalu, who is already tainted. JD(U) gave the RJD a four day time to put all facts regarding CBI allegations against the three top most RJD leaders in the public domain. Otherwise, CM Nitish Kumar would have to dismiss his deputy CM Tejswi Yadav from the government. Nitish Kumar has given a four day time to RJD because he wants to continue the Mahagathbandhan. If that was not so, he would have dismissed Tejswi the moment CBI lodged corruption case against him. But for the sake of challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP in 2019 elections, keeping Magathbandhan intact is of prime necessity. If the RJD put all facts in public domain that the allegations against Tejswi made out of political vendetta appeared convincing, Nitish Kumar would continue with him as his deputy in the government of Bihar. But all the rebuttals given by RJD must be based on facts that Lalu and the members of his family have been specially targeted because he is one of the strongest opposition leaders and he is going to organize a mega rally in Patna on August by the name Bharat Bachao, BJP Bhagao rally. It is also seen that CBI, ED, IT and other investigating agencies are singling out only opposition leaders like Lalu in Bihar, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati in UP Mamta Bannerjee in West Bengal and DMK leaders in Tamil Nadu. So, this selective approach of the investigating agencies cast doubt on the motive of the NDA govt. at the Centre also. To save Mahagathbandhan in Bihar, there may be possible that RJD would rethink on its earlier stand against the resignation of Tejswi and he might step down on his own pending the investigation against him. Tejswi may be replaced by his elder brother Tej Pratrap Yadav. Only this arrangement can save the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. Before this, Nitish Kumar had dropped his ministers against whom cases were lodged. He is committed to upholding probity in public life. One thing that also goes in favour of Mahagathbandhan is that the position of Lalu Yadav has been weakening day by day because of CBI and ED raids and interrogations of his daughter and MP Misa Yadav and her husband so Lalu to be in reckoning would not like to topple Nitish Kumar govt. BJP awaits Nitish Kumar govt. to fall and it is also prepared to extend outside support to Nitish Kumar to form the govt. again. Weighing all these probabilities, Lalu would not like to topple govt. He would rather ask Tejswi to resign and make way for his elder brother to take his position in the govt. It is also clear that RJD would not be able to give convincing facts that the allegations against its leaders are false. As Tejswi Yadav put forward the reason that because he had no moustache at the time when allotment of railway hotels to a private company took place, how he could be involved in the scandal. His argument lacks sense and reason.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Opposition's master stroke

In contradiction to the division in the Opposition camp over the choice of candidate for presidential election, they have shown this time united posture on the selection of the nominee for vice presidential election. On the issue of the presidential nominee, the prominent constituent of the opposition parties JD(U) supported the NDA nominee former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind for presidential election against the opposition nominee of 17 parties Meira Kumar. She is the former Lok Sabha Speaker and the daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram. She belongs to Bihar and the opposition called her the daughter of the state to put pressure on JD(U) supremo and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to review his decision. But as Nitish Kumar is a leader of principle, he did not budge from his stand. His decision to support NDA presidential nominee Kovind also caused consternation among the ruling Mahagathbandhan in the state. Congress and RJD differed with Nitish Kumar’s decision openly. It once appeared that Mahagathbandhan would break on the issue of presidential nominee itself. But at last, all the three constituents of Mahagathbandhan patched up among themselves. JD(U) made it clear that by supporting BJP-led NDA presidential nominee, it is not going to shake hands with them. But on the issue of Vice Presidential nominee all the 18 opposition parties including JD(U) have picked former Governor of West Bengal Gopal Krishna Gandhi as their candidate for the post of vice president. He has served as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from 1968-1992. He is also the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. He is the best possible candidate for the post of Vice President. By announcing the name of Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the Congress-led opposition has this time scored point over the BJP-led NDA. There is every possibility that NDA would be agreeable to the name of Gopal Krishna Gandhi as vice presidential candidate. On the issue of the presidential nominee, the ruling NDA played master stroke by announcing the name of Ram Kovind as its candidate. The opposition was cornered on the issue. The same stroke this time was played by the opposition on the issue of vice presidential candidate. Gopal Krishna Gandhi has been one of the best administrators of the country. He knows the constitution and constitutional provisions very well. His name was also considered for the presidential nominee by a few opposition parties, but the unanimity reached on Meira Kumar. But this time all the 18 opposition parties, including JD (U) unanimously endorsed his name. Gopal Krishna Gandhi is also a well-read and well-educated personality. He has deep knowledge of Indian political history and culture. He will be the most suitable person to keep the idea of India protected as Vice President of the country. The choice of the opposition parties is immaculate. And it will be better for the nation if unanimity was evolved on his name with the ruling NDA also. Gopal Krishna Gandhi is also a dignified, distinguished, learned and well-experienced person. He has a vast experience of dealing with the foreign dignitaries. Gandhi was also the Secretary to the then Vice President Ramaswamy Venkataraman from 1985 to 1987, Joint Secretary to President Venkataraman from 1987 to 1992 and Secretary to President in 1997.He served as the High Commissioner to South Africa in 1996, High Commissioner for India in Sri Lanka in 2000 and as Ambassador of India in Norway in 2002. He was the Governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009. The vice presidential election will take place on August 5 and counting will be held on the same day. Gopal Krishna Gandhi is the best choice for the post of Vice President of the country. He has all the qualities of a celebrated statesman to deserve the second top most constitutional post.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cowardly attack

The Amarnath terror attack is cowardly and the most reprehensible act. There have been all round condemnations of this cowardly act. 7 among the pilgrims were killed and 17 others were injured in the terror attack on the bus carrying them to Amarnath. It is not an attack on Amarnath Yatris but on the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir. The bus had Gujarat number and mostly the pilgrims belonged to that state. It was neither registered with Amarnath Yatra Board nor did it follow the rule of not going after sunset. This is the clear case of negligence and total security lapses. So, the Mehbooba Mufti govt. must be held responsible for security lapses. The terror attack on Anmarnath Yatris has angered the entire nation and it deserves strongest possible condemnation. There have also been serious lapses on the part of security agencies that despite intelligence output given in advance, they have failed to thwart the heinous act of terror. The unarmed Yatris were killed. Hijbul and LeT have reportedly been responsible for carrying out this heinous act of terror. The state of govt. of PDP-BJP has miserably failed to maintain law and order and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre appears to be only indulging in tall talking. Now, the nation wants not only strident criticism of terror attack by the govt. but also stringent and decisive action against all those responsible for the killing of the 7 innocent Amarnath Yatris. It is after more than 15 years that Amarnath Yatris were targeted by the terrorists. Amarnath Yatris were also attacked for the first time in 2000. The entire nation wants action, and no talk and assurances. There must not be any politics over terror attack on Amarnath Yatris. The state govt. of Jammu and Kashmir appears to have failed on all fronts. So, it will be in the interest of the state to impose President’s rule. As far as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is concerned, he must also know that now enough is enough and nation wants only action immediately. What is the Kashmir policy of the government? Since Narendra Modi govt. came to power, there has been sudden rise in terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The people of the nation had hope that Narendra Modi govt. would crush terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. But in contrary to all hopes and expectations, BJP shook hands with PDP, which has been known for having soft approach towards terrorism. BJP did this only to be in power in the state with PDP. Narendra Modi govt. appears to have no Kashmir policy. The Central govt. is directionless. This govt. only holds hectic meeting of NSA Ajit Doval, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, IB Chief and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after every terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. But the result is zero and the same cowardly act of terror is repeated. The time has come for taking decisive action against the perpetrators of terror and their masters sitting across the border. LeT and Hijbul get strong backing from Pakistan. It should also be amply clear for the international community that when Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa glorify the Hijbul terrorist Burhan Wani’s death anniversary, it needs no proof that Pakistan encourages, abets and aids terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Hijbul Commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with the Army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir on July 8, 2016. So, India must also launch a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan on the international stage on one hand and give free hand to Army in Jammu and Kashmir to take action against terror as and when required on the other. Apart from this, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval should also be asked to make clear what advice he gives to PM in regard to combat terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Now, it is more than three years since the Narendra Modi govt. came to power, but no improvement on any count is perceptible on the ground. Govt. must understand the outrage of the nation at the cowardly terror attack on Amarnath Yatris. The time has come for decisive action against terrorists and Pakistan, which provide them safe havens.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pakistan invites all round condemnation

Pakistan always extols the terror activities, incidents, acts of violence and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The international community must take serious note of its action. India has rightly rebuked Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and General Qamar Javed Bajwa for glorifying Hijbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed last year on July 8, 2016 in an encounter with the Indian army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. They have deliberately organized first death anniversary function of the top most Hijb terrorist Burhan Wani to encourage terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. They do this only to encourage terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and antagonize India. It will be better for India to take the issue of Pak’s glorification of the death of top J & K terrorist Burhan Wani at international stage. Pak deserves to be condemned by one and all. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had rightly said at G20 Summit in Hamburg in Germany that there required to be collective crackdown on safe havens of terrorists. Pakistan is deliberately eulogizing terrorists active in Jammu and Kashmir. The international community must take serious note of Pak action in regard to glorifying, nurturing and protecting terrorism. It is also no secret that Pakistan has been the epicentre of terrorist incidents, taking place anywhere in the world. Terror emanates from there. The sole super power US must take note of Pak action seriously and act against it in real terms. Only by giving hard statements against terrorism cannot serve any purpose. The killing of Burhan Wani by the Army personnel in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir was a great setback for Pakistan. Pak’s notoriety has crossed all limits. Even after designating Hijbul supremo Syed Salahuddin as global terrorist by the US, it makes no difference with Pakistan. It has taken no action against him. Although India is capable to crush the terrorists sent by Pakistan into Kashmir from across the border, the international community is also required to take appropriate action against it. India must also launch a vigorous diplomatic campaign to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. When the head of the Pak government and its Army Chief pay tribute to the terrorist, who had taken several lives of innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir, what it deserves to be called. Pakistan deserves to be called a terrorist state. India has given very appropriate response by rebuking Pakistan for glorifying the death of terrorist Burhan Wani. The External Affairs ministry has taken a very firm stand on it. It is very sad and unfortunate that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif glorified Wani and dubbing him martyr. It should be condemned not only by India but by all International community. In a move that could potentially escalate tensions in its already strained bilateral ties with India, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid tribute to Wani saying his death “infused a new spirit in the struggle for freedom” in the Valley. Pak Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had also praised Burhan Wani, saying, “Sacrifices of Burhan Wani and generations against Indian atrocities are a testimony of their resolve. It is nothing but Pak's notoriety. India must take the issue of Pak paying tribute to a dreaded terrorist like Burhan Wani on his first death anniversary on international stage strongly so that the world could know how degraded and devil Pakistan is.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hotel after fodder scandal

Rashtriya Janta Dal Supremo and former Chief Minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav and his kin again have come into the net of CBI for leasing of Railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri to a company in lieu of land worth crores to his wife former CM Rabri Devi and son Bihar Deputy CM Tejswi Yadav for making the biggest Mall of the state in Patna. The CBI has alleged that when Lalu was Railways Minister in 2008, he got a two-acre plot in Patna as a favour from an entrepreneur Harsh Kocchar, whom Lalu helped in getting 15-year-lease to run two Railways’ hotels in Puri and Ranchi. Currently, the Yadavs are building a mall on that two-acre land. Kocchar allegedly sold land to a company owned by the wife of an RJD MP and then the land was transferred in the name of Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejasvi.The CBI case has brought a bunch of new concerns for the Yadavs who have been facing Income Tax probe for allegedly becoming the owner of property worth Rs. 1000 crore via shell companies. CBI raided the residence of former Chief Minister and Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi on 12 Circular Road in Patna in connection with her and son Tejswi Yadav’s interrogation about the transfer of a 2 acre land in Patna in their names to construct a mall. It is a case of Quid Pro Quo as Lalu Yadav allegedly favoured the company in the leasing of the hotels and in lieu of that they were asked to give land to the LARA project of which Yadav' family members are reported to be owners. The biggest mall of Bihar in Patna is being constructed by the LARA project. Though Lalu Yadav has said that CBI's raid at his wife’s residence in his absence is purely politically motivated under the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, Union I&B Minister Venkaih Naidu has said that neither the BJP nor the Government has nothing to do with the CBI raid at Rabri Devi residence in Patna. He said that investigating agency was free to act on its own. He has rightly said that if Lalu’s allegation of political vendetta is to be taken seriously, the investigating agencies would not act against any politician involved in corruption. Central Bureau is the premier investigating agency of the nation. Though the Supreme Court once said that CBI was like caged parrot, it must be left free to act on the complaint sincerely, without any bias and under no pressure. Lalu Yadav is, undoubtedly, one of the strongest opposition leaders in the country and he has been very vocal against the Narendra Modi-led NDA govt. at the Centre. He has also announced that his party is going to hold a mega rally named ‘Bharat Bachao, BJP Bhagao on August 27 in Patna and he is going to invite all opposition leaders to participate in it. Therefore, the timing of CBI raids against Lalu and his kin is seen to weaken and demoralize the vocal leaders through using the premier investigating agency against him. As far as the ruling Mahagathbandhan is concerned, it appears that its longevity may not be affected immediately, but this CBI raid at Rabri’s residence has made its functioning more troublesome. The leader of the Bihar Mahagatbandhan JU(U) supremo and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is silent and has not given his reaction to the CBI raid at Rabri's Patna residence. The relation among the Mahagathbandhan partners is already strained as CM Nitish Kumar went to support NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind for presidential election against the opposition presidential nominee Meira Kumar. Undoubtedly, Nitish Kumar is known for honesty, integrity, and good governance. There has been no allegation of corruption against him in his long political career. But by shaking hands with Lalu Yadav to form Mahagathabandhan of JD(U), RJD and Congress to take on BJP in Bihar assembly elections in 2015, he has already compromised with the tainted image of his biggest partner. Lalu Yadav had already been convicted in fodder scam and because of that, he was banned from contesting elections for 10 years. So, Nitish Kumar will not open his mouth despite several instigations by the opposition BJP in the state but one is certain that he is not comfortable in the company of Lalu and Congress in Mahagathbandhan. Congress is also one of the partners in the ruling alliance and it has openly come out in support of Lalu and called CBI raid at his residence a political vendetta. In the immediate future, there will be no break-up in Mahagathbandhan and Nitish Kumar is not a novice in politics that he would take any decision in haste. He may go back to the NDA fold a year before the assembly elections in Bihar in 2020. Observing the strained relations among Bihar ruling partners, it is also alleged that CBI action may have been expedited against Lalu to force Nitish to come out of Mahagathbandhan. Whatever may be the political position in the state, but one thing must be clear that the corrupt will not be allowed to go free. Whoever has committed corruption, the CBI must act against him.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

PM’s Israel visit reflects pragmatism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Israel visit reflects his pragmatic approach and dynamism. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. The warm welcome extended to PM Modi by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had come to the airport to receive him personally, shows how much Israel is interested and eager to co-operate with India in every field, ranging from agriculture, Science and Technology, Space, Counter terrorism, Security and several others. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also made it clear before his Israel visit that India’s stand in regard to Palestine remains unchanged. India recognized Israel in 1950 and established full diplomatic relations with it in 1992. Israel has always been on India’s side against Pakistan. It had supported India in 1971 and Kargil war against Pakistan. So, Israel is a very good friend of India. It is also tried and trusted friend. Israel has the population of only 90 lakh. It is very small in comparison to India. But with use of advanced technology and skills, Israel has recorded tremendous development in the field of agriculture, defence, space, security, science and technology and others. Israel has second largest number of Start-Ups. As far as counter-terror mechanism is concerned, it has mastery in it. Israel like India has also been the victim of terrorism. So, coming closer to Israel may antagonize Pakistan, but it will be very beneficial for India. As far as defence equipment and the issue of security are concerned, Israel has no match. One more benefit for India by coming closer to Israel is that there is a strong Jewish lobby in the US. It will also speak in favour of India before the US administration and policy makers. As far as the issue of human rights violations is concerned, India has always been in forefront against it. But when it has a full-blown relationship with Saudi Arabia and China against whom there are charges of human rights violations, what is the wrong with having a full-blown relationship with Israel? The chief characteristics of India’s foreign policy are that it weighs everything on merit and takes its independent decision in regard to establishing relation with any country. Though the trade and commercial relations between India and Israel have been going on for years and they have been going from strength to strength but PM Modi’s visit to Israel will give a boost to them. Becoming more and more friendly with Israel may be irksome for India’s hostile neighbour, but one thing is certain that both the countries are moving upwards with a positive and dynamic approach. The meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Israeli PM and President clearly reflects the bonhomie among the leaders. PM Modi’s personal touch and chemistry reflect in the meeting. Though President Pranab Mukherjee had visited Israel last year, PM Modi is the first to do so. Our Defence and other officials have also visited Israel frequently to carry forward trade and commercial relations between the two countries. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit has instilled confidence in Israel that the leader of world’s largest democracy also has good will and respect for it. Israel will be very helpful to India in increasing its agricultural production. As Israel has mastered the art of turning desert to green, India can take lesson from it how to cultivate in the scarcity of water and lack of irrigation. As Agriculture has always been prey to either drought or flood in India, Israel will provide assistance to overcome irrigational problems. From the point of view of co-operation in various fields, deeper relations with Israel will be very fruitful. Israel is the most suitable country to provide assistance to India to overcome the problem of cross border terrorism.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Stand solidly behind Bhutan

The increasing tension between the two Asian giants China and India over later’s road construction work in Doklam area in Bhutan endangers regional peace and security. China is constructing a motorable road in Doklam, which is the tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan. It is China’s highhandedness which has been rightly opposed by the Indian army picket deputed there that followed scuffle with PLA. The scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops must not go for a long period. Bhutan sees China’s road construction work as an attack on the territorial sovereignty. Bhutan is a close neighbour and good friend of India. It is dependent on India for its security and allows Indian troops to use its territory in connection with its protection. If India does not oppose China’s road construction activities with full force at its disposal, the message would go loud and clear in the region that India bowed down to China. It would cause misgivings among the India’s small neighbours like Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka that it would be their foolishness to depend on India for security against China. It is also necessary for India not to back down from the stand taken by opposing China’s road construction work in Doklam to establish primacy in South Asia. India is undoubtedly the largest country in South Asia and all its small neighbours barring Pakistan are more or less dependent for one reason or the other on it. To strike fear of the repeat of 1962, China has started prowling in the Indian Ocean. India’s Navy is alive and cautious of any move made by China. Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has rightly reminded China that it is 2017, and not 1962 when it attacked India and caught it unprepared. Now India of 2017 is well prepared to meet any eventuality. India has never been in favour of any tussle or war with any country, let alone its neighbours. But if the war was thrust upon it, it was capable of retaliating with all might at its disposal. China has said that India is betraying by not abiding by the treaty between Britain and China in 1890 in regard to the Sikkim border. It says that former PM late Jawaharlal Nehru and successive Indian govt. have endorsed it. So, India should call back its forces from there. In the prevailing regional security scenario, it is impossible for India to call back its army jawans from the tri-junction. Bhutan is India’s all weather friend. It has never drifted towards China. As far as India's another close neighbour Nepal is concerned, it also tries to keep China in good humour to keep India always suspicious that if it did not address its concern, it might go closer to China. That is not the case with Bhutan. It is only and only dependent on India for territorial security. So, India has rightly opposed with force the China’s road construction work in Doklam. It is China’s highhandedness that it claims its propriety on Doklam. But the fact is that when Bhutan has let India to deploy its army in Doklam area, it is their duty and responsibility to protect the territory at all costs. From India’s security point of view, Doklam is very strategic. India cannot allow any outside force to intervene in the matter. China must know that India is not Pakistan that it looks at it for any help. It is India’s moral responsibility to protect the territorial integrity of Bhutan. China’s action in Doklam is unjustified. China must also be not any delusion that by prowling in the Indian Ocean it can cause havoc in India. India is well prepared to give befitting reply if its security is imperiled by constructing road in Doklam.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mahagathbandhan tottering?

All actions of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Mahagathbandhan are the same as he did prior to the parting of ways with the BJP led-NDA in 2013 on the eve of Lok Sabha elections. His party JD(U) had also supported Congress –led UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee at that time against NDA nominee P A Sangma. This time, Kumar has gone against the opposition presidential nominee Meira Kumar by supporting NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential election to be held on July 17. So, his current moves clearly indicate that he is waiting for the opportune time to part ways with Mahagathbandhan. Two years back, Mahagathbandhan of Lalu’s Rashtriya Janta Dal, CM Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Congress party was formed mainly to defeat BJP in the Bihar assembly elections. It defeated the BJP-led NDA in assembly elections by a massive margin. The Mahagathbandhan was led by CM Nitish Kumar. It was on his initiative that the Grand Alliance of the three parties was formed. The Bihar assembly elections outcome halted the winning spree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was going stronger and stronger since the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. CM Nitish Kumar is a shrewd politician. To throw Lalu’s RJD out of power, Kumar had joined hands with BJP in the NDA and his party JD (U) remained in the alliance for 17 years. He led the NDA in Bihar assembly elections in 2005 and defeated RJD and overthrew the 15 years rule of Lalu-Rabri duo. He formed govt. in alliance with BJP and kept it in place for eight years. But when BJP announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its PM candidate in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he immediately parted ways with it. Though in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, JD(U) and other opposition parties performed very poorly and the Modi wave almost swept them. As CM Nitish is a veteran politician, he knew that if he did not form alliance of secular parties in the state, BJP would win the assembly elections comfortably. That is why he formed the Mahagathbandhan and succeeded in his scheme of things. CM Nitish Kumar is also image conscious and known for providing good governance to the people of the state. His image is spotless. There is no corruption charge against him in his long political career. However, there are charges of corruption against the RJD boss Lalu Prasad Yadav.RJD is the largest party of Mahagathbandhan. There are also charges of corruption against Lalu’s sons and daughters. Since the CBI raid at places of Lalu’s daughter Misa Yadav MP in Delhi and Gurgaon, the conscience of Nitish Kumar has been biting for being with the people of tainted image in Mahagathbandhan. Lalu’s two sons besides other party leaders were been taken into the Nitish Kumar’s Council of Ministers as per the party quota in a coalition govt. Lalu’s youngest son Tejswi Yadav has been made Deputy CM of Bihar. The names of Lalu's sons also reportedly figure in the list of Benami property holders as unearthed by the ED. If the BJP puts pressure on ED and CBI to file Charge sheet against Lalu’s tainted sons, who are ministers in state Cabinet, CM Nitish Kumar will be left with no choice but to dismiss them. It will certainly jeopardize the future of the Grand Alliance. As Nitish is a master politician, he sees clearly which way the wind is blowing in advance. He is convinced that PM Modi wave is still intact. He has supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of his Demonetization move, presidential choice of RaM Nath Kovind and surgical strike by the army against the stands of his Magathbandhan’s partners Congress and RJD. Congress and RJD boycotted the gala event of the launching of GST at midnight in the Central Hall of Parliament, but Nitish Kumar sent his representative to participate in it. His all these moves clearly reflect that sooner or later Magathbandhan is bound to break. When CM Nitish Kumar’s move will be opposite to the moves of his partners, it means he is in Mahagathbandhan only to at the helms of power in Bihar. This type of attitude can not go long. All three partners must move together on any issue. One must support the other. Otherwise, coalition cannot survive for long.