H C Singh

Extent of poverty in India – Causes and Cures

It is known worldwide that, leaving some African countries aside, about 30 percent Indians are below poverty line. Though in the latest census there is marginal improvement but Indian poor, uneducated, living in slums or begging are found everywhere in villages in towns and in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata . On the other hand rich have become richer and even living standard of middle class has improved much more than the decline in poverty or uplifting of poor in villages and cities. That is, in brief, the status of the rich and well to do and conditions of Indians poor, even after almost 65 years of Independence. How can poverty in India be eradicated or reduced significantly? India is one of three or four highly developed Industrial power and one of the most highly developed country in information technology and software development. It is the reason that countries like USA have more technologies from India than they have their own.

About the decline in number, percentage of poor or below poverty line during last 60 years upto 2004-2005, the authentic figure and percentage is as outlined by the Elevant Five year plan 2007-2012 (Documented) has almost double the total number of poor in India remains the same.

‘India is nation of over 300 million poor people, a number that has barely declined over the last three decades ‘ Plan document has very significantly pointed out. All growth benefit the poor, but the appropriate definition of pro poor growth should be that it benefit them disproportionately. It is clear that rapid growth will be essential but for growth to benefit the poor disproportionately, it will have to be accompanied by more rapid employment expansion that hitherto, greater investment in health , education, water sanitation and child nutrition than so far and directly targeted poverty reduction programme.

It will equally interesting and enlightening that in some states poverty reduction is noteworthy, as best as any other country of the world but, at the same time some states of India have lagged far behind in poverty reduction as quoted below.
“Some states have been particularly successful to reducing the head count ratio in 2004-2005. The states with lowest head count ratio of poverty are J & K (5.4%), Punjab (8.4%), Arunachal Pradesh (10%),Haryana(14%), Kerala(15%), Gujarat(16.7%). At the other end of spectrum are Orissa(46.3%), Bihar(41.3%), Madhya Pradesh(38.2%) and Uttar Pradesh(32.8%).

Entire 11th Plan document, is worth going through to acquaint oneself of what is happening to alleniate the poor marginally while rich are becoming much more richer and middle class people of India are doing very well.

It is reported by the Children Health Organization that every year 2 million children are still born world over mostly in poor countries of Africa and developing countries of South East Asia. In developed countries like USA, Britain, France and Russia there is regular health care for women in distress while in poor and underdeveloped countries there is not much health care particularly for poor mothers living in villages and slums in the towns. If the government cares for poor women the number of still born children can be substantially reduced. “Women accounted for 34 % of principal and 89% subsidiary workers in agriculture”.

Government at the centre and the concerned states must pay attention to Tea and Coffee plantations as it is an important sector which gives tea and coffee to Indian citizen but earns lot of foreign exchange. It is known that good quality of tea fetches 5 to 10 times as that, too, in foreign exchange, particular demand for good and splendid quality tea is known to be in good demand in countries like Japan. Government should provide interest relief to tea and coffee growers. Another important sphere which demand government attention is fisheries and fishing policy particularly the marine fishing that provides employment and livelihood to more than a million in coastal states like Kerala. By export of good quality fish government earn substantial foreign exchange .Thus government should take measures and provide stringent measure to develop marine fishing. It should have a special marine fishing policy to so that there is security for fisherman. There have been many incident where fisherman have perished. Government should support their families, compensate for lost fishing boats.

There has been often crises in agriculture and many farmers, particularly in part of Maharashtra commit suicide because of poor crop production. Eleventh Five year plan documents which refer to Agricultural sector as this sector employs nearly 60 percent of our labour force. The growth rate of agricultural sector is perhaps the lowest. It has been around 2% for decades. Government should adopt through another Green Revolution so that growth of GDP in agricultural sector rises to at least 4 % as Industrial GDP in India is between 8% to 10%.

Elevant Five years plan document has touched all aspects of growth in India. But only few aspects have been mentioned above which are crucial for the improvement of life and working condition of poor sectors. If government pays more attention to eradicate or substantial reduce poverty in India it is important not only it should pay attention to industrial sector, which to is important, but to agriculture and fishery sector as well as tea and coffee plantation sectors.

April 22, 2011 Posted by | India, Indian Economy | , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

India and China Shine

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) GDP growth of China and India is the highest in the entire world. India comes as number one because India is a democracy while, though China’s GDP, set to grow during 2010, is a little higher, China is a dictatorship with controlled economy, though with doses of liberalism. However it is heartening to note that whole of Europe America and even Japan are far behind in GDP growth. According to latest IMF figures of GDP growth during 2010 of selected important countries of the world is as under:

High growth countries of GDP

China – 10.5%

India – 9.5%

Brazil – 7.1%

Modest growth of GDP

Mexico – 4.5%

Russia – 4.1%

USA – 3.3%

Slow growth of GDP

Japan – 2.4%

France – 1.4%

Germany – 1.4%

UK – 1.3%

Negative growth of GDP

Spain (-) 0.4%

There are more than one hundred countries whose growth of GDP% has not been mentioned in the Newspapers. There are countries of Europe like Holland, Denmark, Italy and Portugal as well as Czechoslovakia and other countries of Eastern Europe. No country of Middle East and Africa has been mentioned. P-rosperous countries like Turkey, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have been forgotten.

Just as Chinas high GDP is because of China’s dictatorship under Maoist communism but India’s highest GDP amongst Democracies of the world is despite India’s 30 per cent people living below poverty line and most of them not in regular organized or unorganized employment because they are either landless farmers or from so called SC and other backward classes. In addition India’s polities and political parties are not stable. Besides there are many corrupt leaders of political parties, other politician and even civil servants and some army officers.

In spite of all these shortcomings India is shining because of industrial growth which is highest, mainly due to cheap labour. A worker in American and European industry costs 50 times more than an Indian worker. Thus India’s achievement is remarkable in export of textiles, handicrafts etc. In addition India’s Technocrats of information technology, Business managers and doctors as well as world famous entrepreneur like Mittals amongst the Richest ten people of the world. They have done India proud and has contributed the most in India’s growth to make India shine, almost the most, in the comity of nations.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | India, Indian Economy, USA, World | , , , , , | 1 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

Justice and Injustice

 All are familiar with old saying: Justice delayed is justice denied. In India millions of cases are pending for unaccountable years. But in no country of the world such a huge number of cases remain pending, some even for decades from lower to higher courts. It is unjust, undemocratic and startling. For example, starting from lower courts where 27.2 million cases are pending, while before High Courts pending cases are 4.49 million and before the Supreme Court cases pending by 31 December 2009 were 55,791. It is noteworthy that despite clearance of 64,259 cases every year in various courts more than 5000 cases are added in the backlog.

Thus the problem in India is how to clear all the yearly cases and also the backlog of pending millions of cases. It is a very serious problem for judiciary as well as the government of India.

One important step, though yet to be fully implemented, is the Gram Nayalya Act. Under this Act which has been passed by the government all the states have been instructed to implement this expeditiously. Every Panchayat will have a Gram Nayalya or rural court, which will be headed by one qualified judge and two/three members will be provided by the Panchayat. There are more than 5000 village Panchayats which are functioning. If in addition there are 5000 Gran Nyalyas or rural courts millions of cases in lower courts will not get accumulated but there will be prompt judgment and justice. Thus there won’t be Justice delayed amounting to injustice in lower or rural courts. As there would be fear or hope of instant justice, many people will hesitate to go to court on flimsy grounds.

This system of expeditious justice in one’s locality is prevalent in UK where so called lower courts, without qualified judge or judges, are manned by respectable citizens, who are well educated and non-controversial. They decide expeditiously in one hearing the case brought before them. There is rarely an appeal against their decision or judgment. Their decision are accepted and honoured. In India, too, this procedure of Gram Nyalyas or rural courts if fully accepted and implemented in all 5000 villages will reduce more than 50% cases before the lower courts.

Example of England’s local ‘courts’ is very relevant and useful for village courts or Gram Nyalyas. As in England, in due course, India can experiment with local urban courts. If this experiment succeeds, we can drastically reduce pending cases and avoid further accumulation at all.

For regular courts, in districts, like Session Courts and High Courts, there should be double, the number of Judges and benches in a number of diversely populated Districts. This system, if adopted, will reduce from millions to thousands of pending cases in a few years.

Similarly, Supreme Court may have double the number judges it has at present to expedite the judgment on pending cases and new cases that come before it.

Judges in India, as elsewhere, are already paid high salaries and provided with security, residence and personal transport so that they can administer law expeditiously and according to the principles of justice and legal procedure. If it is considered further rise in their salaries and other amenities these should be provided.

If these suggestions, with modifications, are accepted and implemented, the number of pending cases in all courts in India will come down drastically and people will not have to wait for justice for year after year.

Few instances of Justice- Injustice are as under:

After 26 year of anti-Sikh riots in which according to official estimates more than 3000 innocent Sikhs were killed, not a single criminal has been convicted and sentenced. Another case is of Gujarat riots following death by sabotage of train in which more than 70 pilgrims, coming back to Ahmadabad. A number of commissions have been appointed and finally Chief Minister of Gujarat has been interrogated for 8 hours. Obviously there has been absolute injustice in 1984 case while in Gujarat case there may be further delay leading to justice delayed or injustice.

There are other individual cases of inordinate delay in judgment. Sibu Soren, who is now Chief Minister of Jharkhand was convicted and sent to jail in a double murder case of 36 years old. After release from jail he became Cabinet Minister at centre. He has been questioned/ interrogated by a Jharkhand Court recently on April 3, 2010. Is this Justice or Injustice? Other individual case is 14 years old of Ex DGP Rathore who had molested a 14 year old school girl Ruchika. The case is now taking turn against Rathore as he has been finally convicted.

It is clear from few cases mentioned above that influential officers like DGP and politicians, like Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has now been given relief by Supreme Court, was originally convicted in Fodder Scam case and had to resign from Chief Ministership of Bihar, can delay justice.

To expedite justice and avoid injustice steps outlined above like implementation of Gram Nayalya, Local locality courts on UK model and induction of more judges in District courts and Supreme Court, may be taken by the Government India on top priority basis.

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Anti Sikh Riots 1984, Indian Economy, Political Commentary, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bill for 33 Percent Reservation for Women- Its Implications

Though the Bill has been passed in Rajya Sabha after heated debate it will not suffice because in India women are not regarded equal to men or even are considered inferior to men, socially and intellectually. Besides most of women are confined to homes for being fit to do domestic work and raise children. Though 33 percent seats in Parliament are reserved for women in Russia, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, and in East, in Korea and Philippines, women in these countries and where there is no reservation like USA, Australia and England, women are in a position to take full advantage because they are socially equal and in nowhere and in no sphere considered inferior in Society in intellect and efficiency etc. Reservation for women in these countries has done well and is considered as women’s achievement.

In India even in the Parliament of 1999-04 the percentage of women members was only 7.8 percent i.e., there were only 42 women in the House of 543. As these women members of Parliament came mostly from upper middle class and upper class and most of them were highly educated, they were vociferous, significant and even dominating like Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Brinda Karat (CPM) to name a few.

More important for uplift of women are education particularly in rural areas, their social equality which means they should have equal right of inderitence of property and assets, end of discrimination on caste basis. It must be stated that though the Bill was passed by a majority of 186 against only 1 and 39 obtained, something unbecoming happened. Seven members of the parliament went up to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and snatched the copy of the Bill from hands of the Chairman and tore into pieces. This was a shameful act by these seven opposition members who were overpowered by Marshals and evicted later suspended from Parliament. Such an unbecoming behavior of MP’s had never happened before. Worst of all these seven have not apologized, or even are not ready to apologize. Such male members of Parliament do not deserve to be members of any elected House .

Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned a number of times and could take up the Bill next day for voting and the Bill was passed. Sonia Gandhi was very happy considering the passage of Bill in Rajya Sabha as her personal victory. However because of controversy and many members of BJP and even Congress, besides other small parties though are not openly apposed to the reservation of 33 percent for women, are at heart not willing to support the Bill. This is one of the reasons that discussion in Lok Sabha has been postponed to May 2010. It may be further postponed, as it has already been done. Thus at this stage there is no reason for Sonia Gandhi or Congress to be happy and Jubilant.

Another issue that has cropped is quota within quota for Muslim women. Infact Muslims have been demanding reservation for Muslims in all spheres and elected bodies from Panchayat onward to Parliament. But because of the present Bill of 33 percent reservation for women, this demand for reservation for Muslims has risen once again. To recollect, this demand by some Muslim leaders was raised even after independence. But Sardar Patel who was Home Minister retorted that those Muslims who want reservations should go to Pakistan. Can this demand be accepted, because of vote bank politics, or brushed aside? Hypothetically, if Muslims demand for quota is accepted, there may be demand for quota by Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

The Bill for 33 percent Reservation for Women is not even half way through. It is the Lok Sabha which has to pass by two third majority, as it would be a constitutional amendment. As there are already many MP’s of all the Parties including BJP and Congress who are opposed to the Bill, it is becoming doubtful whether in May it will be taken up and passed after discussion in Lok Sabha or it will be postponed further.

Democracy presupposes equality of men and women and also equality of opportunity for all women and men. It is regretted that this equality is lacking even after 62 years of independence though Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on ground of sex. Even the Directive Principles of State Policy which urge that the state shall direct its policy towards securing adequate livelihood for women as well as equal pay for equal work, seem to have been ignored or half heartedly attempted.

It is noteworthy that empowerment of women by giving them 33 percent seats in Panchayats all over India has resulted in induction of “at least one million” women to public life in rural India at the grassroot level. It is heartening. Though 33 percent reservation of seats in Parliament for women requires some vital amendments and considerations with all political parties as to how 33 percent seats will be distributed or effected keeping in view SC and ST quota. It is definitely not as simple as 33 percent quota for women in Panchayats. However when this amended Bill is passed in Lok Sabha by two third majority, which at this stage seems difficult, even in May 2010, this will bring a corresponding revolution, much more significant than that of Panchayats. It will herald a new era in advancement of women in India in all spheres. As and when this Bill is finally passed by Lok Sabha and becomes a Constitutional Amendment, India will, in the comity of nations all over the world, be recognized as an advanced and progressive country.

Though the Bill has been passed in Rajya Sabha after heated debate it will not suffice because in India women are not regarded equal to men or even are considered inferior to men, socially and intellectually. Besides most of women are confined to homes for being fit to do domestic work and raise children. Though 33 percent seats in Parliament are reserved for women in Russia, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, and in East, in Korea and Philippines, women in these countries and where there is no reservation like USA, Australia and England, women are in a position to take full advantage because they are socially equal and in nowhere and in no sphere considered inferior in Society in intellect and efficiency etc. Reservation for women in these countries has done well and is considered as women’s achievement.

In India even in the Parliament of 1999-04 the percentage of women members was only 7.8 percent i.e., there were only 42 women in the House of 543. As these women members of Parliament came mostly from upper middle class and upper class and most of them were highly educated, they were vociferous, significant and even dominating like Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Brinda Karat (CPM) to name a few.

More important for uplift of women are education particularly in rural areas, their social equality which means they should have equal right of inderitence of property and assets, end of discrimination on caste basis. It must be stated that though the Bill was passed by a majority of 186 against only 1 and 39 obtained, something unbecoming happened. Seven members of the parliament went up to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and snatched the copy of the Bill from hands of the Chairman and tore into pieces. This was a shameful act by these seven opposition members who were overpowered by Marshals and evicted later suspended from Parliament. Such an unbecoming behavior of MP’s had never happened before. Worst of all these seven have not apologized, or even are not ready to apologize. Such male members of Parliament do not deserve to be members of any elected House .

Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned a number of times and could take up the Bill next day for voting and the Bill was passed. Sonia Gandhi was very happy considering the passage of Bill in Rajya Sabha as her personal victory. However because of controversy and many members of BJP and even Congress, besides other small parties though are not openly apposed to the reservation of 33 percent for women, are at heart not willing to support the Bill. This is one of the reasons that discussion in Lok Sabha has been postponed to May 2010. It may be further postponed, as it has already been done. Thus at this stage there is no reason for Sonia Gandhi or Congress to be happy and Jubilant.

Another issue that has cropped is quota within quota for Muslim women. Infact Muslims have been demanding reservation for Muslims in all spheres and elected bodies from Panchayat onward to Parliament. But because of the present Bill of 33 percent reservation for women, this demand for reservation for Muslims has risen once again. To recollect, this demand by some Muslim leaders was raised even after independence. But Sardar Patel who was Home Minister retorted that those Muslims who want reservations should go to Pakistan. Can this demand be accepted, because of vote bank politics, or brushed aside? Hypothetically, if Muslims demand for quota is accepted, there may be demand for quota by Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

The Bill for 33 percent Reservation for Women is not even half way through. It is the Lok Sabha which has to pass by two third majority, as it would be a constitutional amendment. As there are already many MP’s of all the Parties including BJP and Congress who are opposed to the Bill, it is becoming doubtful whether in May it will be taken up and passed after discussion in Lok Sabha or it will be postponed further.

Democracy presupposes equality of men and women and also equality of opportunity for all women and men. It is regretted that this equality is lacking even after 62 years of independence though Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on ground of sex. Even the Directive Principles of State Policy which urge that the state shall direct its policy towards securing adequate livelihood for women as well as equal pay for equal work, seem to have been ignored or half heartedly attempted.

It is noteworthy that empowerment of women by giving them 33 percent seats in Panchayats all over India has resulted in induction of “at least one million” women to public life in rural India at the grassroot level. It is heartening. Though 33 percent reservation of seats in Parliament for women requires some vital amendments and considerations with all political parties as to how 33 percent seats will be distributed or effected keeping in view SC and ST quota. It is definitely not as simple as 33 percent quota for women in Panchayats. However when this amended Bill is passed in Lok Sabha by two third majority, which at this stage seems difficult, even in May 2010, this will bring a corresponding revolution, much more significant than that of Panchayats. It will herald a new era in advancement of women in India in all spheres. As and when this Bill is finally passed by Lok Sabha and becomes a Constitutional Amendment, India will, in the comity of nations all over the world, be recognized as an advanced and progressive country.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Achievers, Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Muslims, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion, Women reservation in India | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Decline in Indian Economy During Nehru’s Socialism From 1951-52 to 1965-66

The study is based on the book “India The Emerging Giant” by Arvind Panagariya, particularly the statistics provided therein Indian economy seems to have been led by Demand-Supply principle from 1951-52 to 1987-88 so it suffered particularly upto 1965-66. Connection Patris analysis has been followed to an extent half heartedly.

In this connection it will be pertinent to quote from Arvind Panagoriya book ‘India the Emerging Giant’ as under:

‘Demand verses Supply- If the economy is demand led the development and progress is slow. “Therefore the success of demand driven approach often depends on the governments taking necessary action to relieve the bottleneck stiffing the supply response” Accordingly Patrick in 1966 refuted this concept. Thus the supply-driven or supply-leading approach assigns the government a more active in building institutions and creating inter mediation instruments ahead of the demand… India actively employed this approach in second half of 1970’s and the 1980’s with respect to both the expansion of rural bank branches and what came to be known as priority sector lending” of course there are limitation to this approach of lending money by government to private entrepreneurs and firms who may siphon the amount for personal use and in due course declare the company bankrupt, Govt has to be vigilant, more vigilant than in other fields.”

Because of Nehru’s Socialist pattern of economy on to an extent in USSR model, economic progress right upto 1980 was very slow, if not negligible, for a newly independent country with very high hopes. Between 1951-52 to 1987-88 the economy grew at 3.8%. In contrast economy of Korea and South East Asia grew at rates of 8 to 10% per annum. I pursuit of socialism, 5 year plans were prepared in detail in all the spheres of economy by the Panning Commission which laid out detailed map of policies and ways to implement them. First Plan was for the years 1951-52 to 1956-57. With hopes of making Indian Socialism very successful and productive in all the economic fields so that other newly independent countries in South East Asia and Africa follow Indian model for their progress and economic development. Unfortunately for India in the Indian Variety of Socialism there was virtually no increase in per capita income. Instead of increase in employment opportunities there was decline. At the end of all three 5 Year Plans from 1951-52 to 1965-66 there has been, instead of rise, there was decline as per statistics. The lowest ever GDP recorded pulled down the growth rate for entire 3rd Plan period ending 1965-66 to miserable 2.8 percent while population was growing at the rate of 4 percent per annum.

To demonstrate the contrast between Socialist Economy and its the abandonment for free economy following figures of Poverty ratios as per Planning Commission from 1951-52 to 1995-96 are given. Rural, urban and National Ratios are given below:-

 Year                 Rural              Urban              National

1951-52            47.37            35.46                 45.61

1966-67           64.30            52.34                  62.90

 Poverty fell down remarkably in the decade after Socialism was completely abandoned and there is improvement in the condition of rural and urban Indian in all fields, agriculture, industry , service and electronic and management

         Year                                             Rural                        Urban                  National

July 1995 – June 96                      37.46                      28.04                          35.00

There is marked decline in poverty ratio in rural areas from 64.30 to 37.46 but in urban areas poverty has also declined significantly from 52-34 to 28-24 virtually down by 50%.

 In contrast when Socialism was abandoned for Free trade under Narsimha Rao with Dr Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister the economy grew quite fast as GDP in 88-89 was the highest at 10.5. While average GDP in 88-89 to 2008 has been 7% that means almost double the average population growth, thus improving the living standards of all below poverty line the middle class and of course much more of Upper Classes, Entrepreneurs, Technocrats and Business Managers.

 It will be seen what havoc to Indian economy was brought by Socialist Economy during 15 years of 3 Five Year Plans from 1951 to 1966 and in contrast what and how much Indian Economy improved when GDP rose from 3.5% to average 7 to 8 percent India, thus became Emerging Giant only after abandoning Nehru’s Socialist Pattern of Economy. The reason as to why Indian Socialism failed to usher in economic and social improvement of vast number of Indians below poverty line and unemployed was that controlled economy led to Inspector Raj in India—meaning increase in corruption all round which remained uncontrolled particularly in Rationing Department, Income Tax Deptt and Industries Deptt. There was all round neglect so there was all round decline in GDP, increase in poverty and unemployment.

 

December 30, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, World History | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment