H C Singh

Charges against Spectrum Raja and his dismissal under 2 G Scam

Finally spectrum Raja, Communication Minister, who has been charged with massive unprecedented loss to the nation, has been forced to resign. But his resignation alone has not silenced the opposition because he is still adamant that he has done no wrong and has resigned because Karunanidhi had advised him to do so. But in fact grave charges of corruption and resulting loss of more than one and a half lakh crore of rupees to the exchequer, almost confirmed by Comptroller and Auditor General of India. After long silence PM’s advice to DMK chief brought Raja down to earth. However AIADMK has been waiting for an opportunity to challenge the aging DMK chief who had got half a dozen ministers in Central Government of Congress led UPA and was well enthroned in Tamilnadu itself. She has openly said on TV interview a number of times that AIDMK which has 9 MP’s in Lok Sabha plus CPI-CPM would not let the UPA government fall, as Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh feared. She has also organized mass agitation against her rival DMK in Chennai and elsewhere in Tamilnadu and AIDMK followers finally convinced both Sonia Gandhi UPA Chief and Karunanidhi that Raja’s continuation as central minister will lead to irreparable loss to the political status and power in Union Government as well as in Tamilnadu. This realization or writing on the wall was enough to oust Raja.

But still, naturally enough, the opposition was not pacified so there was again hungama in Parliament and both houses had to be adjourned, during last week. Opposition parties are fortified. Dropping Raja from ministership was not enough. It is no punishment for such an unprecedented fraud and loss to the nation. Not accepting the CAG report and not placing the case of Raja before joint parliamentary committee were other important factors. Opposition has been emboldened by Karunanidhi ultimately ‘advising’ Raja to step down as in the eyes of opposition both DMK Chief and UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi did not accept the findings of CAG and also did not accept reported charges in Media and by the opposition for such a long time.

For the first time Supreme Court of India had reported that Prime Minister of the country remained silent for such a long time about unprecedented corruption charges amounting to more than One lakh fifty thousand crore in spite of findings by CAG and submission of report with all the relevant proofs and papers.

Supreme Court on 22-11-10 also raised objection to the appointment of PJ Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) as there was a criminal case against him since year 2000, when he was in Kerala as secretary Food Dept, for import of Edible oil and the case was still not closed. The Supreme Court bench headed by CJ asked the Attorney General representing the UPA government. “Without looking into the file, we are convinced that ‘if a person is an accused in criminal case, how can he function as CVC’. In view of Sushma Swaraj’s dissent the SC may consider that there was lack of consensus in the appointment of Thomas as CVC, and come to the conclusion that Thomas was defending A Raja, his communication minister in 2 G Scam. Before Thomas was appointed CVC in September 2010 he was Secretary in the Telecom ministry under which 2 G spectrum scam occurred. A Raja who was minister was under attack for a long time for the biggest scam which had cost the exchequer or India Rs 1,75,000 crores. It is also noteworthy that leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha had raised objection to the appointment of of Thomas as CVC but her objection was ruled out. The petition before the SC alleges “The PM and Home Minister recommended Thomas’s name despite the fact that Leader of opposition objected to it. So the leader of opposition was forced to record her dissent. Hence her presence was rendered meaningless in the appointment”.

Another aspect which is the most Important relates to opposition demanding meeting of JPC on 2 G Scam and Congress has been opposing Joint Parliamentary Committee. This has resulted into Parliament not functioning for 10 consecutive days so far Even Mamta Banerjee has joined the opposition in demanding JPC meeting. From Oct 25 Mulayam Singh Yadav has been on Dharna outside Parliament demanding JPC meeting on 2 G Scam. A solution must be found and PM and UPA should ponder over it. What is wrong in holding a JPC to let the Parliament function? Investigation in 2 G Scam, particularly the role of A Raja, who is no longer a minister must ne expedited.

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian Economy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Supreme Court verses the Constitution by Pran Chopra – Brief review and Comments

There was hundred percent honesty in Judiciary of India during Nehru era for more than two decades. It is well known as to why judiciary was made an instrument of government, particularly by Indira Gandhi who set aside the constitution and imposed Emergency in whole of India for the first time, and it is hoped for the last time ever. During Emergency virtually all the state governments were dissolved and all prominent political leaders of opposition including Jai Prakash Narain who never hankered for political office or ministership and who was a freedom fighter along with Gandhi and Patel.

In contrast to give a few examples of how even after Emergency politics got corrupted and some judges and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) a tool of the government. Lalu Parsad Yadav who was Chief Minister of Bihar had to resign from Chief Ministership because of Fodder Scam of thousands of crores of rupees. Despite proven charges in courts, he has not been convicted but, for political reasons, was included in Central Cabinet for a number of years. It is well known that Paswan accepted bribe of Rs 60 lakh from the then Congress PM P.V Narsimha Rao. It was proved as he had deposited huge amount in the bank and so was convicted. He too, thereafter became a minister in the Central Cabinet.

Another case is of UP Chief Minister Mayawati who is often required to save the central government of Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi. It is only on Sept 27, 2010 that Supreme Court has rapped CBI and Mayawati for getting her petition of 2008 against her prosecution for disproportionate assets case adjourned several times. The Court lashed at both Mayawati and CBI “if both of you are together then we shall not hear this case at all” Supreme Court bench added “Sometimes the petitioner (Mayawati) wants time to fill an application, sometimes you (CBI) take time file your reply to it”.

Though India under British rule had a written constitution 1935 Act, upto 1947, when India became free. But Independent India had its own constitution after prolonged deliberation in Constituent Assembly in 1951. In India constitution is supreme like USA which has the oldest written constitution in the world. Though after World War II European countries, even like defeated Germany have a written constitution which they also consider supreme. Pran Chopra rightly points out that Indias constitution is “preserver of federal system of India. No document institution or authority is Supreme to it. Our constitution has given authority to Supreme Court to interpret the constitution. Though India’s Parliament, as representative of all the people of India is supreme but it is to act within the limits of the written constitution. Parliament can make amendments but within the limit set by written constitution and are not ultra vires to the constitution.

It is in this context that I K Gujral who became later the Prime Minister of India was shocked to observe the saddening conduct of some honourable chief justices during the Emergency: “I recall the visit of two honourable chief justices to Moscow during my tenure there (as India’s ambassador to USSR) and how they defended the misdoings under emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi) of the era”.

Former chief justice of India A M Ahmadi has posed the fundamental question can the Parliament pass any constitution amendment without proper and extensive discussion in the Parliament? He cites the example of for former speaker P A Sangma and some of his successors when “guillotine is applied and a lot of legislation is passed without any discussion. The power to enact a law does not merely mean that you place a law on the table of Parliament and take it as passed”. It is a significant contribution of Chief justice Ahmadi for future Parliaments before they pass any law or constitutional amendment.

Sovereignty is with “we the people” as first line of preamble of the constitution makes it clear and not with any of the three organs mentioned above former PM of India and former Chief Justice of India as well as there are many other personalities who have expressed their similar view’s in ‘Supreme Court verses Constitution of India’, to name the few, Pran Chopra who provided a detailed article for discussion as well as for contribution of articles by eminent persons like former PM and Chief Justice of India and others. Govt of India and the Parliament have now realized that there should be transparency in Judiaciary, no corruption because of Judges having close relations with lawyers. Accordingly a comprehensive bill is being introduced in Parliament shortly for this purpose.

To sum up, Indian constitution is mainly meant, because it is a written constitution, to guard the fundamental rights of Indian citizens, right to life, freedom of speech, sanctity of democracy and for perpetuation of federal system, to keep India united, so that all federal states have freedom of having their own language and culture. Thus it is foremost duty to every member of Parliament, every member of judiciary and CBI which has come to be known as instrument of government and all the members of executive to honour and preserve the written constitution, despite the amendments which are essential because of development of society, not being static. Constitution and its spirit is thus sacrosanct.

October 5, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Doctors Strike And other Strikes And Bands

It is unprecended, not only in India but in the whole of world that doctors (in Jodhpur hospital) remained on strike for little more than there days, resulting in the death of 57 patients because of immoral and irrational negligence of doctors. Now it is confirmed that 37 patients lost their lives because they remained unattended by doctors. Even death due to negligence (non-attendance) by doctors is unpardonable. Obviously they did not realize the pain, suffering and cries of the kith and kin of those who passed away in hospitals unattended. Some must have lost the only bread winner of the family. How will the family manage and survive now? Some might have lost the only child and they will cry for years and may be throughout their lives. Who can console them and how? Some might have lost their mothers, from where they will get mothers to love them as much as a mother who has given the birth can only do.

In Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital there was complete strike though even for one day. However it was claimed that its Out Patient Department (DPD) continued to function. In a hospital where daily 6000 patients visit OPD how all the patients be attended properly when most of the doctors were on strike and all the departments of 1800 beded hospital were closed? How can patients with serious ailments like that of heart, kidney or pregnancy be attended properly and carefully? However it is satisfying that the strike in Safdarjug Hospital was called off after one day and not like Jodhpur hospital where it went on for 3 days causing lot of deaths.

Reason for going on strike by hundreds of doctors in Jodhpur and Delhi is the same. In Jodhpur one doctor is said to have been assaulted by the relatives of a patient who died. While in Delhi it is said that such assault on doctors occurred three times. Doctors say that there is not enough and proper security for them to be able to perform their duties. True, but the way out is not total strike. It could be, to be rational and keeping in view the oath of doctors to serve the patients and medical rules, the concerned doctors who were assaulted could protest, go on strike and even on hunger strike to attract the attention of state and hospital authorities. But under no circumstances total and uncalled for strike could be justified. This action of Jodhpur hospital and Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital doctors for going on total strike can not be forgiven and forgotten. Though to an extent state governments, Central Health Ministry and the apex medical organization, too, have not done enough and in time to avert or even bring an end to the strike in few hours. They should also take steps so in future there are no assaults on doctors. At least government of India, if need be through constitutional amendment declare medical services of doctors and other hospital staff as an essential service and permanently ban the strikes in hospitals.

There have been strikes and bunds in many states, particularly in West Bengal where there is every now then a state or Kolkata bund. In Kerala,too, there have been quite a number of strikes and bunds. Recently there has been strike in banks, by Airline staff and by MCD staff in Delhi. Industrial workers in many countries of the world have earned right to go on strike to get higher pay because of inflation etc and get more benefits. In India, too, industries, private industries, in particular, may continue to exercise right to strike. All strikes and bunds result into suffering by the affected people and loss in government or industries income. For example as Airline Services did not operate on the day of strike, thousands of crores of rupees were lost. Strike by bank employees caused suffering and loss to thousands who were committed to draw money and make payment as promised.

To sum it up, strike in all essential services should be banned. Government and industry should be, first of all, consider to the demand of workers, through their trade unions and discuss much in advance with the representatives of trade unions and concede to their just demands so that there is no strike. Leaders of uncalled for and unjustified strike, as recently in Jodhpur hospital, in particular. Should be punished, in accordance with law and with the advice of concerned heads of industry or organization as the ease may be.

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Political Commentary | Leave a comment

Implications of 300 percent increase in MP’s Salaries

With pay and allowances hike of 300 percent for Indian MP’s , an Indian member of parliament would be getting 68 times in relation to per capita GDP: while on the same basis a Japanese MP gets 6 times and an Italian MP 7 times. Even an American senator or member of House of Representatives gets 35 times. How strange and unreasonable when India is still having 35 percent citizens who live below poverty line of which atleast 15 percent i.e. half do not have guarantee of two course meal of simple rice and Daal(pulse) or Daal and Roti and quite a number of them commit suicide because of inability to feed themselves and their families because of drought, debt that they cannot repay or just poverty.

It is also well known that more than half the number of MP’s in India are crorepatis. Why should they need 300 percent increase in their salaries and perks? Even MP’s like Lalu and Yadav demanded forcefully further 10 percent increase besides 300 percent increase already approved by cabinet. To continue to get their support the government of India has acquiesced to their demand though on August 25 when the Bill to hike the salaries and perks of MP’s was tabled this 10 percent hike was not included but, it is said that it is likely to be accepted in due course at the time of implementation of this cabinet decision approved by parliament.

Besides the salaries, perks are quite comprehensive, which, too, have been revised and enhanced. Constituency allowance has been doubled from Rs 20,000 per month to Rs 40,000 plus Rs 10,000 pm increase in pension and office allowance of Rs 40,000 pm. This is not all. He gets rent free bunglow with furniture, telephone, internet etc in Lutyens New Delhi on prestigious roads like Aurangzeb road, Ferozshah road or spacious accommodation in roads east and west of Rashtrapati Bhawan with Rs 2 lakh and one lakh per month rental value. All these increases will result in overall expenditure of Rs 142 crores per annum while lumpsum one time expenditure will be Rs 118 crores for paying salary arrears since 15 Lok Sabha was constituted. Hike in pay, allowances etc approved will add to on MP’s cost to Rs 37 lakh a year or Rs 3 lakh more each month. In addition an MP will get 34 single air journey tickets a year costing Rs 5 lakh and unlimited rail and steamer travel.

Impact of all these hikes in MP’s salaries and allowances will have on MLA’s. Already Delhi administration has approved increase of 200 percent in pay and allowance of each MLA. There is likely to be demand for similar hike in pay and allowances for MLA’s in all the other states and union territories of India. This demand may create difficulties for some states who may demand help from centre to implement as this demand by state MLA’s is due to hike in pay and allowances of MP’s to more than 300 percent. On 27 August Lok Sabha voted for revised MP’s salary and pension bill, not taking into consideration requests and demands for enhancement. Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal admitted the need for a mechanism for enhancement of salary and perks of MPs though it was a verbal assurance. It is hoped that this mechanism, which may take into account the rise in cost of living and impact on MLA’s of all state government, will be worked out in consultation with states etc and be announced.

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Gujarat An Enemy State?

For months, CBI and indirectly central government have been targeting Amit Shah Minister of State for home in BJP’s Gujarat government and known to be close to the Chief Minister Narendra Modi. T.V and press have been highlighting Sohrabuddin case, so closely and consistently as there was nothing else in India and world to be reported. CBI had decided to put behind bars Amit Shah but CBI Court on August 4, 2010 rejected the plea of CBI for remand of 5 days saying that note submitted by CBI against Amit Shah “was not sufficient even to prime facie establish that he is an accused” on the basis of arguments by senior advocate and BJP MP Ram Jethmalani. This judgment of CBI court by additional Chief judicial magistrate A. Yadav is a set back to CBI and helpful to both Amit Shah and Gujarat CM Modi also indirectly it gives boost to BJP.

New revelations about Sohrabuddin’s past in terrorist activities have come to light. It is almost confirmed that this Sohrabuddin is not an ordinary criminal or a murderer but he has been having links with and had been associated with notorious terrorists, Chhota Dawood alias Sharif Khan who was a henchman of Dawood Ibrahim. Later Sohrabuddin joined the other notorious henchman of Dawood, Abdul Latif Sheikh, who was entrusted with spreading terror in Gujarat. Latif had entrusted with safeguarding weapons, sent by Dawood to spread violence in Gujarat in 1994 which included 24 AK-47 rifles, 100 grenades, many pistols and vast amount of ammunition, which was recovered by Gujarat police from a well, following his arrest under TADA. Sohrabuddin was arrested and remained in jail for five years. After release from Jail by Supreme Court order Sohrabuddin once again took to murders, extortion and all types of crimes.

What Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat meant by saying that centre treats Gujarat as an “enemy state”? As Gujarat is integral part of India like any other state it was not appropriate for Modi to use the word of “enemy state” because enemy state is an independent country which is waging war against India and spreading terrorism and is inimical to India, like Pakistan. Modi infact, it seems, meant that congress and central government are hostile to Gujarat because it is a BJP run state. Similarly Modi and BJP have no faith in CBI which they consider Central Bureau of Indira Congress. As BJP is the only major political party which had once formed central government and ruled India under prime ministership of Vajpayee, so congress has been fearing since 2000 that BJP may not overthrow Congress government of UPA II and once again come to power.

In contrast Congress government and CBI have done nothing during last 26 years to convict the criminals, including congress leaders congress workers and police offices and personnel who instigated and joined in anti Sikh riots and massacre of thousands of Sikhs in 1984- not a single congress politician or Congress worker or policeman has been convicted or jailed despite so many commissions. Even in Gujarat, Muslim criminals who burnt the train killing 76 Hindus, not a single criminal has been sentenced but Amit Shah home minister of Gujarat along with many Police officers including DG police have been arrested because of the so called fake encounter to kill hardened criminal and murderer, Soharabuddin.

To sum it up Gujarat is not an enemy state. It is one of the States of India which have non-congress governments like UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa. It does not seem proper to arrest and grill for a number of days Amit Shah, minister of State for home in Gujarat as per CBI Courts judgment. DG Vanzara was, it has been reported in the press, one of the best police officers, famous for taking strong action against terrorists. It has been reported that DG Vanzara and his team of dedicated police officers and personnel were successful in getting 250 terrorists convicted, thus making Gujarat free from terrorists and terrorism. Congress and central government as well CBI should ponder over these aspects in view of their services to Gujarat and India for eliminating terrorism from Gujarat and making terrorists fear and therefore curb terrorism from whole of India.

August 10, 2010 Posted by | Anti Sikh Riots 1984, Corruption, India, Political Commentary, Politics, Terrorism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brief Review of India from Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond – By Shashi Tharoor

This is the most famous and perhaps the best book written by former Asst Secretary General of UN and former cabinet minister of India. As Shashi writes frankly without inhibitions a number of politicians and even writers and intellectuals get agitated. As a result Shashi Tharoor became controversial as a writer as a politician and as an intellectual. Accordingly he had to tender his resignation from the coveted ministership of UPA. Basic facts about India, its past and future, despair and hope are as under:

Most important development from midnight of August 15, 1947 to present day (millennium) is economic development. Under Nehru era because of socialistic pattern of society and state central of industries the economic growth was virtually static. It is only after Narsima Rao included in his cabinet brilliant economist Dr Manmohan Singh who had been in World Bank before coming to India as governor of Reserve Bank and ushered a complete change in economic systems. Economic growth jumped to 5% of GDP to 8.7% and was about to touch 10% of GDP. In Shashi Tharoor’s words country’s dynamic growth, averaging 5.9 percent annually at the cusp of the millennium and rising to 8 percent by 2007 with talk of even 10 percent in the next 5 years and “India’s gross domestic produce is rising so rapidly that it increases each year by amount that exceed the total GDP of Portugal or Norway.” The other significant fact is that “ India’s foreign reserves in 2007 exceed 140 billion dollars enough to cover fifteen months” worth of imports sixteen years ago, the country had to mortgage its gold in London because the foreign exchange were dry”.

Shashi Tharoor is against fundamentalism or communalism, whether it is of Hindus or Muslims. Though Shashi says he is a Hindu and is proud of Hinduism, its thousands of years old culture. In his own words: “I, too, am proud of my Hinduism. I do not want to cede its varieties to fanatics. To discriminate against another, to attack another, to kill another, to destroy another’s place of worship on the basis of his faith is not part of my dharma, as it was not Vivekananda’s. It is time to go back to these fundamentals of Hinduism. It is time to take Hinduism back from fumdamentalists.” Tharoor blames Muslim communalism, under Muslim League before and after independence and the partition of India and partition riots engineered by Muslims first in Bengal and then in Punjab, for the “ Hindu resurgence is the mirror image of Muslim communalism of 1947” Shashi Tharoor elucidates in few words. “Hinduism is a civilization not a dogma”. About bombing by Muslims in Bombay, in particular and elsewhere in India, Tharoor rightly and optimistically says “Bombs alone cannot destroy India, because Indians will pick their way through the rubble and carry on as they have done throughout history.”

Inspite of wide spread corruption all over the country in administration from villages, Tehsils, Districts, Provinces and the central government, inspite of separatist tendencies here and there, inspite of threats by neighbours like China and Pakistan, India will march ahead. In Shashi Tharoor’s words: “Corruption, violence, sectarianism, the criminalization of politics and widespread social tension all mounted during a period when a degree of economic liberalization opened up a new entrepreneurial ferment.” Shashi Tharoor is very optimistic about India’s future and rise in the comity of nations amongst the top 3 or 4 nations despite, at present, about 60 percent people living below poverty line because there is continuous rise in the jobs for all technocrats, doctors, business managers, farmers and even all types of labourers, organized or unorganized. India is definitely going to shine come what may.

 It is apt to conclude with Shashi Tharoor’s own words, “New ideas emerging from new experiences refresh and alter traditional ideas based on old experiences but do not replace them. One does not have to believe in the cynical view of history to accept the upanishdic idea of constant rebirth of the timeless. India is arguably the oldest continuing civilization in the world, one that in essence has throughout remained connected to, and conscious of its own antiquity (whereas Greeks, Egyptians and Persians had to rediscover or reinvent a past from which history had ruptured them). Secularism can only be effective when reconciled with and assimilated into, this continuing civilization” but “ Indian secularism should mean letting every religion flourish rather than privileging one above the rest, while ensuring that tradition of dharma infuses both in public policy and private conduct.”

 

August 5, 2010 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, Corruption, Hinduism, India, Indian Economy, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Train Disasters and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee

Throughout her tenure as Railway Minister in UPA government, Mamata Banerjee, leader of Trinamool Congress of West Bengal has done nothing to streamline Railways functioning and prevent the possibility of accidents. All these years she has been busy with West Bengal policies to become ultimately the Chief Minister. She has many times skipped attending crucial cabinet meetings even when in Delhi.

In the latest train disaster in Sainthia that occurred at 1:50 AM on July 19, 2010 in which 66 unfortunate passengers lost their lives and more than 100 got injured, many seriously. But Railway Minister reached after 7 hours at 9 AM. Had Mamata given instructions to send rescue teams and relief trains promptly many lives could have been saved as many seriously injured could be sent to nearby hospitals for emergency treatment. But Mamata Banerjee simply and spontaneously blamed CPI and CPM for conspiracy. It is apparent that both time and money, as a cabinet minister of government of India she used for her personal benefit. Instead of serving efficiently as a railway minister, Mamata from day one indulged in West Bengal politics, first to win corporation elections, which she won. Thereafter she has been busy in wooing public for forthcoming state assembly elections so as to realize her ambition of becoming CM of West Bengal. Central Government kept quiet because support of Trinamool MP’s was essential for UPA Government to survive. So Mamata had her way.

Now about a number of train disasters, and mishaps during Mamata’s Mamata’s tenure as Railway Minister. There have been two horrible accidents in two months of June and July 2010 besides seven other comparatively minor accidents, a total of nine accidents during the span of one year between 2009 and 2010. Yet there have been two more instances on July 20 when prestigious Rajdhani Express was about to meet twice serious accidents when like Sanitha train tragedy as the coupling connecting the engine to the train broke. Why? Where were the technicians and engineers to check whether coupling was strong enough or well connected? Though the coupling was attached to the train in 3 hours by the engineers, the Rajdhani train had hardly covered 25 Km that the coupling again gave way and the engine decoupled again. Ultimately another engine was brought from Mughalsarai, Rajdhani to resume journey. Passengers were lucky that there was no train coming from one side or the other to hit their Rajdhani. But what can be said about Railways efficiency or carelessness?

To recollect, long back when Lal Bahadur shastri was Railway Minister in Pandit Nehru’s Cabinet there occurred a Railway accident. Promptly, Shastri accepted moral responsibility for the mishap and resigned as Railway minister. Mamata should have realized that gravity of first major railway disaster on May 29,2010, when Maoists tempered with railway line killing 148 passengers. But our Railway Minister instead of taking prompt remedial action blamed the West Bengal DGP and Police. Similarly in the Saithia accident she promptly blamed CPI and CPM instead of initiating action to fill important crucial vacancies. It is reported that “there are around 98000 sanctioned posts for railway drivers who operate about 17000 trains daily on the Indian Railway network. There are 26000 vacancies out of then 14000 for assistant loco pilots alone”, said shiva Gopal Mishra general secretary of Northern Railway men’s Union.

In addition there are 85,100 safety related posts lying vacant as per CAG’s report. CAG castigated “railways had failed to show any improvement in signaling and telecommunication systems.” Had steps been taken to improve the vital safety measures, these disasters could be averted. Why lakhs of posts in railways are lying vacant when there is so much unemployment and so urgent a need for filling these parts?

It is reported that many files are piling up on Railway ministers table, some important files lying on her table for months because Mamata Banerjee is not available or attending office. Tenders beyond the value of Rs 100 crore even for the purchase of safety equipment cannot be issued without her approval and signatures. So there has been inordinate and unforgiveable delay in the purchase of safety equipment during Mamata Banerjee’s ministership.

Mamata did nothing to get at least crucial vacancies filled and essential equipment purchased since she became Railway Minister by her own choice. It is still high time that instead of being known as absentee railway minister Mamata gracefully quits or relinquishes railway portfolio, so that there are no further train disasters and loss of hundreds of lives.

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bharat Bandh And Implications of Bandh Politics

Because of increase in petroleum prices, there has been, perhaps for the first time a Bharat Bandh of such a magnitude, supported by all the 20 opposition parties led by BJP and left parties. Political parties like BJP and the leftist parties like CPI & CPM which have nothing in common and ideologically opposed to each other from inception joined together for the first time in Bharat Bandh. Even S.P of Mayawati has been hostile to both BJP and leftist parties joined the Bandh. UPA II of Sonia Gandhi, its Chairperson and Manmohan Singh its PM provided them the opportunity, as never before, to join a common national agitation ie, Bharat Bandh.

This Bharat Bandh resulted in complete shut down of India that is Bharat. There were no flight, incoming and outgoing, Trains did not start or were stopped by protestors on the way. Buses did not move out though in Mumbai 80 buses were badly damaged. More than 40,000 trucks did not move from anywhere. No taxis, no auto rikshaws, no hand pulled or cycle rikshaws were seen anywhere. Despite heavy rains in parts of India roads were full of protestors with flags of various opposition parties raising slogans against price rise of essential commodities like rice, wheat and Dal besides declared increase in petroleum prices. There were loud slogans against Congress and UPA. There was some violence here and there but mostly it was a peaceful agitation or Bharat Bandh.

Many opposition leaders were arrested or courted arrest like BJP President Nitin Godhkari, Arun Jaitly and Rajnath Singh, to name a few. However many Shiv Sena workers in Mumbai were arrested, though all were released after the Bandh ended.

But loss to the country of thousands of crores of rupees cannot be ignored. Worse than that is the loss of daily wages to lakhs of poor workers and farm laboures who work and earn a few rupees for their family’s daily food. Due to inflation of food articles, prices are high- price of 1kg of rice is now 35 to 50 rupees while a few years back it was only Rs 15 per Kg. Similarly price of Dal has skyrocketed from Rs 20 Kg to Rs 100 KG or even more: Rise in petroleum prices will further add to inflation of food articles, vegetables and even fruits because transportation cost will increase.

Inflation and Bandh politics hits the 30 to 40 percent poor the most and also further 20 to 30 percent of lower middle class. It is only upper middle class and rich and very rich classes whose food budget is 10 percent or less of their monthly income who are not affected by inflation and Bandhs.

There are no total strikes or shut downs in any other country, not to speak of Europe or USA Australia but any other country of Asia, Africa, or Latin America. Why Bandhs are in India alone? Why can’t India, which is rising in information technology and other spheres, do without Bandh politics? Government of India and all the opposition leaders should ponder over it and find the solution so that there is no Bharat Bandh again and no Bundhs or shut-downs in other states and India continues to rise in all spheres of economy.

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Caste-ridden India – That is Bharat

After 60 years of 1950 constitution which abolished untouchability and ordained that reservations for SC and STs’ would be for only 15 years; it was felt that India would make progress in all fields – social, economic and political and India that is our Bharat will become a casteless society. Sardar Patel who was India’s first and best Home Minister had, besides supporting wholeheartedly India becoming a casteless society was opposed to reservations for so-called minorities. When some Muslim leaders had raised the question of reservation for Muslims in parliament Sardar rebuked them that India is a secular country and “those Muslims who want reservations can go to Pakistan”. It was then felt that in 15 years time there will be marked improvement in the living standards, education and employment of SC and STs’. But unfortunately our politicians and political parties did not pay any attention to these fundamental issues and were concerned with being in power or retaining power in politics. In 1964 India’s first PM Nehru died and thereafter there was struggle for Prime Ministership.

Thus in 1965 no politician bothered to think of or do anything for SC and STs’ so that there is marked improvement in their condition in society. It is unfortunate that politicians and political parties who have ruled India for the last 60 years, for political reasons and for political power more and more castes were being included for reservation, in particular the OBC’s. Thus instead of India becoming casteless society, today India is a caste-ridden society, a democracy in name only because democracy’s main features are equality of all citizens, no discrimination of any sort of Caste or Status.

How and why there has been deterioration in social, political and economic spheres during last 60 years? Why India, our Bharat, instead of going forward is going backward? Who are responsible for this reversal?

There are about 2000 castes of OBC’s in central list, though each State has a list of its OBC’s. There are some professions like that of Dhobi (washer man) which are SC’s in States of West Bengal, Bihar, UP and Rajasthan but are included in the list of OBC’s in Maharashtra. How can SC’s and OBC’s be considered one. There can be some other castes, particularly in Tamilnadu which may be SC’s there but OBC’s in other southern States or vice versa. How can OBC’s of all 2000 castes be considered backward when some are big landlords and prosperous businessmen or professionals. For example Badal of Punjab who is Chief Minister and his son Dy.Chief Minister can be OBC’s entitled to concessions. Similarly Hooda and Chautala of Haryana present and former Chief Ministers can come under reserved categories. The case of both Yadavas is similar. They have been ruling one State or other. There are many so-called other backward class (OBC’s) cabinet Ministers and Ministers in many States. There are Jats who are holding high position in Civil services, information technology, professors and principals as well as vice chancellors.

There have been occasionally murders, killing because of ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s objection to marriages in same gotra though same gotra marriages were declared legal in 1945 by Bombay High Court. This judgement is of great significance which has since been ignored though it was much before the codification of Hindu Code Bill. It is unfortunate that to gain political support former Chief Minister of Hariyana, Om Prakash Chautala and Congress MP Jindal are supporting the ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s ideology and actions and even want legal support. If somehow ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s get legal support this will mean, that our judicial system of justice will have no jurisdiction in ‘Khap’ Panchayet’s and thereafter in all Panchayets all over India though gotra politics is medieval : that will take India much more backward.

Latest unfortunate and ill-considered action of UPA-II government is inclusion of caste in 2011 census without bothering about its implications. Central leadership seems to have succumbed to pressure, particularly from two Yadavas, and allies. There are thousands of castes and tens of thousands sub castes. How these will be coordinated into four major castes? Moreover there are millions of citizens who don’t believe in caste system and do not and would not like to mention their caste for the census. There are 18,000 categories of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes listed in 2001 census.

 If India is to be a progressive and modern democracy it take steps, though 45 years late, to end caste system by 2025 so that India is determined to move forward and not backward. If a constitutional amendment is required, just as provision in 1950 Constitution that must be enacted. For this all parties must sink their differences and rise so that India advances like Christian dominated countries where there is no caste system at all. Even Muslim countries who have their problem of Burqa, have no caste system, thus no discrimination, all citizens being equal.

July 2, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, Hinduism, India, Indian History, Muslims, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unprincipled Politics And Corruption

 Present day Congress and its allies making up the UPA are perhaps the most unprincipled politicians. UPA strives to remain in power with the help and association of its erstwhile enemies like Mayawati, UP Chief Minister; Shibu Soren, Jharkhand Chief Minister; Mulayam Singh Yadav, former CM of Uttar Pradesh; Lalu Prasad Yadav, former CM of Bihar; and Mamata Banerjee of Trinamul Congress to name the few who have been changing sides, joining or supporting one political party or the other as it suited them.

Latest instance is the coming of Cut Motion in Parliament and voting over it. Had the Cut Motion voting gone against UPA, the government would have been overthrown. Feeling this possibility Pranab Mukherjee approached Mayawati for support to UPA government as and when Cut Motion came for voting. It is the same Mayawati who had been criticised in and out of Parliament for wasting public money in hundreds of crore rupees on erection of statues including her own. As there was likely to be a probe by Income Tax and CBI authorities on Mayawati’s unaccounted wealth running into hundreds of crores, she readily agreed and came to Delhi to get the support of all her party’s MPs for UPA government. Before the voting, Mayawati went on record telling the public and press that she had been rendering ‘outside support to Congress for the last ten years’. It was clear to even the blind that quid pro quo for the support in Parliament was closure of CBI cases against her. This amply demonstrates the depths to which public morality has fallen all around and how a politician can escape CBI and Income Tax probe for amassing hundreds of crores and also misuse of public money for personal or party’s gains.

Both Yadavs have succeeded in getting caste being included in the current census which is negation of 1950 Constitution which sought to abolish caste system. Mulayam Singh Yadav, too, was vociferous but did not vote against UPA government. There are many cases of unbecoming compromise by Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh government for their survival. How long such undemocratic ways of getting such support will continue to tarnish the image of Indian democracy ?

Unless political corruption, if not completely eliminated, becomes much less, there can not be real progress in India and for it’s about 30 to 40 percent below poverty line citizens How can corruption end ? Politicians and political parties must determine not to favour corrupt and give them tickets for election as MPs or MLAs even for Councillors of Corporations. Unless politicians and bureaucrats are absolutely honest and clean in their dealings and do not accept lakhs and crores in bribes – corruption shall remain. In other democracies like that of USA and Europe there is negligent corruption and if it comes to light, the corrupt are instantly punished. Indian politicians and political parties should emulate their democracies and be honest and clean in their deeds.

The other factor that vitiates Indian politics and virtually all political parties is vote-bank politics. None of the major political parties of India are free from the stigma of vote-bank politics. Both Congress and Left parties have encouraged Muslim communalism to get their votes. Both the Yadavs have now demanded reservation for Muslims so that they get Muslim votes. They forget that after independence some Muslim Leaders of India, after partition, demanded reservation for Muslims. But Sardar Patel almost lost temper and told that those Muslims want reservation can go to Pakistan. For the sake of votes, they encourage communalism and partisanship and even those who have separatist tendencies. It is well known that Congress has been pampering Muslim votes and so is the case with leftist parties. While BJP has been pampering Hindu and Sikh communities to get their votes in areas where they are dominant.

It is suggested that an all party organisation be formed to save India, it’s democracy and its poor from the devastating effects of these two evils in Indian society and politics as outlined above. If they are honest some common solution can be found and honesty and transparency in political and bureaucratic circles can be ensured. Then alone India will be really great during next 20 years or so even ahead of USA and China and pride of all Indians as the biggest democracy and soon the biggest economy. Already in Information Technology India is virtually at the top. Wipro, Info Systems and HCL are the three world famous Indian Tech Firms with which foreign Tech Firms are keen to have greater collaboration. There are already thousands of Indian IIM & IIT educated teachers in USA other countries of the west who are pride of India.

July 2, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, India, Muslims, Political Commentary | , , , , , | Leave a comment