H C Singh

How India won Independence and How India became closer to USA

Without help in any form from USA or other countries India won Independence in 1947 after a struggle of 100 years from 1847 when British East India Company Conquered Ranjit Singh’s Sikh Empire mainly through British conspiracy with the clandestine assistance of Dogras Dhyan Singh who was Prime Minister and his brother Gulab Singh. From 1847 to 57 British rule was in turmoil and there was uprising of 1857 what British called revolt and India considered First war of Independence. British succeeded by employing the entire then Indian allied troop headed by British Army with latest weapons, canons and trained artillery. After prolonged struggle Muslim rule of almost a thousand years ended and the last Mughal King Bahadur Shah though nominal, confined to Red Fort, was taken prisoner and extradited from India.

Next most historic event was Jallianwala Bagh massacre by the British General O’Dyer killing more than a thousand unarmed citizens, men, women and children who had gathered to listen to Indian leaders. This cruelty of British was turning point in India’s fight for independence. Even Gandhi who was till then pro British joined and ultimately led the independence movement though through non-violent and peaceful means. Leaders like Subhash Chader Bose wanted Independence by all means. Bose was elected Congress President but as Gandhi opposed it he resigned. He went to Germany and then during 2nd world war beginning to fight for India’s Independence through Indian National Army.

Had Allies not been supported by USA, Britain would have been conquered by Germany as France and all the European countries. Thus, British after 1945 war losses in men and material realized that it would not be possible to rule such a vast country like India. So Indian independence movement both of Gandhi and Subhash Bose succeeded and in 1947 India won Independence. This is in brief how India won Independence despite Churchill’s opposition which resulted in partition of India and creation of Pakistan. Nehru became Prime Minister of India and Sardar Patel Home Minister. Gandhi who had become Mahatma opposed partition of India and in view of partition riots initiated by Pakistan under Jinnah right from August 47. Thus Mahatma Gandhi started fast on 15th August 1947 instead of celebrating independence of India, by prolonged struggle spread over 100 years. He was ready to go to Pakistan for which he paid with his life.

During Nehru era from 1947 to 1964 and for some years thereafter India had close relations with USSR and Nehru followed Socialist pattern of Society and controlled economy almost banning private enterprise. This policy became injurious to India’s growth and economy as it became more of inspector rule and hub of corruption all over. India’s GDP during this period of State control of economy remained static. It is India’s defeat in 1962 against Chinese aggression in North East of India that Nehru woke up to the horrors of following a communist USSR and approached USA for assistance, which reluctantly USA gave though with conditions. Here after era a mixed economy started. After Nehru’s demise in 1964 because of the shock of defeat of 1962. Hereafter relations with capitalist countries particularly USA started developing fast. This is how communist influence declined and American cooperation and influence increased since 1964 onward.

Earlier US President Clinton had visited India. It too, was a remarkable visit as he was very popular at home and abroad especially in India. But President Obama’s visit in November 2010 after commonwealth games was very significant as well as memorable. He promised, among other economic, social and agricultural cooperation that India deserves to be permanent member of UN Security Council, like USA. UK, France, Germany and China. For this announcement he got tremendous applause both from the government and people of India. Here are some extracts and valiant points from his speeches and agreements.

President Obama’s India’s visit along with his wife to India was historic in many respects. In one of his speeches he welcomed India’s rise in comity of nations as a great and fast growing democratic country. He said ‘ I believe that in one interconnected world increased commerce between the connected states and India can be and will be a win-win proposition for both nations ‘There was business and entrepreneurship conference between more than 100 US businessmen that accompanied Obama and India’s top businessmen in equal number to discuss and finalize trade agreements between two countries.

There was agreement between Reliance Power and US Exim Bank to provide about 5 billion US dollars in financial support for development of up to 8000 mw of gas powered electricity generating units and in addition up to 900 mw solar and wind renewable energy facilities. Spice jet of India and Boeing of USA concluded an agreement for the sale of 30 B 737-800 aircrafts for the commercial use by Spice jet. In the sphere of Railway improvement in India, there was agreement to manufacture and supply 1000 diesel locomotive in 10 years, about 100 such locomotives every year. This will make Indian Railways more efficient and modern. To help India provide houses for the poor, an agreement for production of equipment and manufacture of pre fabricated house has been reached. There are many other MOU’S and agreements, details of which cannot be given in this brief survey. Support of USA to India is vital as India is no more dependent on Russia or any other country for its development and rise as a big power in all spheres in another 10 to 20 years.

December 18, 2010 Posted by | India, Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa, Political Commentary, USA | , , , , | 1 Comment

French President Sarkozy’s visit to India a landmark in Indo-French Relations

It is the first time that a President of France has paid a visit to India which is significant, if not more, than visits by American President Obama or any other foreign Head of State to India in recent times. Despite unprecedented crises in Parliament of India, during his visit French President got warm welcome by both the PM of India as well as Chairperson of ruling UPA and opposition leader in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, who was amongst the few ministers invited to dinner hosted by PM Manmohan Singh. Media gave befitting coverage for all the days when French President with his wife was in India. It was really a new era in Indo-French friendship as well as economic and even for stronger defense ties. In many other fields too like use of solar energy for which French firms have promised big investments. Indo- French relations in trade and cooperation in food processing will henceforth be noteworthy. Indian people will anxiously wait to see remarkable cooperation in trade and increase in visit of students between India and France, as never before. So far India had economic and social relations with USA and UK; and USSR before its breakup.

Latest survey indicates that fiscal position of USA is worse than that of Europe despite recession all over the Europe and USA for the last two years. It is also known that in Europe Spain and Italy are in bad shape so far as their economies are concerned. France, Germany, UK and Baltic state are reasonably better off and are now in a position to improve. That is the reason that President Sarkozy of France is so confident that he has agreed to help India in overcoming certain economic and social problems. Here are some details of the agreements between French President and Indian PM.

India has been purchasing from France, since 1985, Mirage aero planes. During Kargil war in 1999, Indian Air Force used these French planes to quell Pakistani aggression. India was then able to drop laser guided bombs as well as conventional bombs. Thus two mirage squadrons flew more than 500 sorties in about 200 strikes mission during this limited war. After crushing defeat of Pakistan by India in 1975 war Pakistan appeared to be preparing for some sort of revenge. So India was in hurry to equip its air squadrons. India wanted to purchase fighter aircrafts from France, which were small and also known to be capable of repeated sorties. India therefore purchased 76 single seater and 4 double seater aircraft from France. By 1998 India France strategic defense partnership came into existence. As India has a vast coast, it’s thinking of purchasing submarines from France to guard its coast effectively.

There is equally significant cooperation between India and France in the sphere of agriculture. France is prepared to double the exchange of agriculture and food products after Sarkozi’s recent visit. This will give boost to Indian agriculture as well as food processing techniques France evidently has better techniques and experience. In this connection it will not be out of place to assert that India had pledged good relations with USA, since 1962 war with China, but neither USA nor UK or any other European Country offered defense equipments and fighter planes to India. Prior to dismemberment of USSR it was USSR that supplied India MIG aero planes and aircrafts which India was not able to use in Kargil war against Pakistan, because it was not an all out war. USSR assistance and cooperation in many fields continued up to 1964 as our first PM had thought of developing India on USSR model with some limitations as USSR was a communist dictatorship while India was a democratic state. So Pandit Nehru found the middle path of Socialist pattern of society which miserably failed. It was only thereafter that India started improving economic and defense cooperation with other countries including France.

As outlined in brief above France helped India in defense the most when India needed the most in Kargil limited war. Naturally India welcomed the most President Sarkozy’s visit in December 2010. Many agreements and MOU’s have been signed between President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It is hoped that these will be implemented by India and France without any reservations. Thus we wish and hope there will be, in particular, much increase in trade in the field of agriculture and food as never before besides more cooperation in defense and even in nuclear energy by forging stronger ties. France is celebrating ‘Year of India’ in its resort town Saint Tropez, during 2012. So far no Asian, European or American country has thought of celebrating ‘Year of India’.

December 14, 2010 Posted by | India, Political Commentary | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kashmir – Support by Deoband For Unity with India

It is a lesson for Geelani, his supporter colleagues and followers as well as even for Omar Abdulah that a massive conclave of Deoband clerics have snubbed the separatists in Kashmir. It is first time that on 10th October Darul Uloom Deoband spiritual leaders of Sunni Muslims of India have openly come in favour Kashmirs accession to India saying openly in a congregation that Kashmir is integral part of India, have openly condemned the Kashmiri separatists, who led the recent agitation for so called Azadi for 5 months that resulted in loss of about hundred lives of mostly innocent youth of Kashmir and even women for no fault of theirs. They were instigated and led by separatist time and again, even during curfew, to pelt stones on Security personnel. Latest and the worst was attack on school buses carrying school children to their schools or returning from schools after 5 months idleness at home. Thirteen children were hurt but parents insisted that buses should continue to run. Unfortunately Omar Abdullah the PM of Kashmir too lost temper recently and blamed Central Government as well as accession of Kashmir to India not realizing that it was his own failure during last six months in particular to build confidence in favour of Kashmir as part of India.

Views and comments of important Muslim leaders of India, for the first time since partition of India on religious ground and creation of Pakistan which after 63 years is in turmoil because of Taliban on one hand, their frequent suicide bombing right upto Islamabad and Lahore and Karachi. On the other hand frequent bombing by USA, on Pakistan in absolute violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and a threat to Pakistan’s government. Pakistan’s failure as a Muslim state has opened the eyes of Indian Muslim leaders who have come openly in support of India’s unity and Kashmir’s unity with India which is a secular state, caring for all religions equally.

Senior religious leader, Darul Theolegiun, Abul Rahim Bastawi description of India has far reaching significance, which has not been said so far by any Muslim leader of India. Bastawi, Darul theolegiun said “India is bouquet of all types of flowers. We cannot allow any of the flowers to be taken away.” The resolution passed by Darul conclave made it further clear though not in poetic words of Bastawi but equally significant. The resolution passed in the enclave on Sunday said: “the long pending demands of Kashmiri people must be addressed within the framework of the Constitution of India.”

Both Geelani and Omar Abdullah must go through the views expressed by Bastawi a noted theologian as well as the resolution passed by the most important conclave of Muslims and instantly change their views for the sake of Kashmir and Kashmiri people who have suffered a lot because of separatists like Geelani’s instigation and incapacity of Omar Abdulha, in handling the situation being head of Jammu and Kashmir. All Kashmiri leaders and people should not forget the criminal folly of Pakistan in 1947-48 of sending non – Kashmiri militants from NWFP trained and financed by Pakistan to enter Kashmir, kill and loot Kashmiris indiscriminately at a time when there was standstill agreement. Pakistan had sent its army in support of Jehadis to capture Kashmir’s capital Srinagar. It prompted Hari Singh to sign instrument of accession of J&K to India and on the plea of Sheikh Abdulah and Sardar Patel to send Indian Army to stop the aggression and save the lives and honour of many and save Kashmir. Rest is history well known, defeat of Pakistan’s Army and Jehadis and Cease Fire.

October 12, 2010 Posted by | India, Indian History, Muslims, Pakistan, Political Commentary, Terrorism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dalits in India – Search for Common Destiny by Sukhdeo Thorat: Brief Review and Comments

 First of all, it does not seem proper to call schedule castes as Dalits, particularly to title the book – ‘Dalits in India’. No doubt that in accordance with Hindu caste system there are about 30 percent Shudras or Dalits but Gandhiji called them Harijans i.e children of god and even the British under 1935 Act referred to them as Scheduled Castes ie, castes in a schedule. Since then they have not been called officially and academically Shudras or Dalits. Subtitle – Search for a common Destiny is really commendable.

No doubt the author of the Book Shri Sukhdeo Thorat has done lot of research on the subject collecting information on the conditions of SC’s since independence. There are dozens of tables about their progress and improvement in their conditions. It shows clearly that none of the governments at centre during last 63 years has done enough to improve their lot significantly as was required in the 1950 constitution of Free India which granted reservations for 15 years in the hope that by 1965 their will be no need for reservations for them as they would be equal to higher castes, having overall better living conditions by way of providing proper facilities for their education, employment, wages, housing. Various government did not bother to examine the important provision in the constitution and implement these as pointed out below. Part III of the constitution of 1950, specified Fundamental Rights of all citizens, after abolishing untouchability once for all as per Article 17 of the constitution and its violation punishable in accordance with law. Part III of the constitution further spelled out right to equality, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, sex or place of birth and ordained that there will be equality of opportunity in matter of public employment for all citizens to any office under the state. In addition it provided freedom of speech, expression, peaceful assembly and movement of citizens of India in any territory and to settle any where in India in any state and to settle anywhere in India.

Article 46 of part IV of the Directive Principles of State specifies that the state shall promote educational and economic interests of the weaker section of the society, particularly of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and protect then form exploitation. Article 330 of the constitution provides for reservation of seats for SC’s and ST’s in the House of People (Lok Sabha). Similar provision was made in Article 332 for reservation of SC’s and ST’s in the legislatures of the states, in proportion, as far as possible, to the population of SC’s and ST’s in the state.

Finally in the interest of scheduled castes and Tribes. Article 338 of the constitution provides for setting up National commission for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, specially to investigate and monitor all matters relating to safeguards provided for them in the constitution, to evaluate working of safeguards provided in the Constitution.

Besides the provision in the Constitution outlined above for SC’s and ST’s there have been civil rights Act of 1955, The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) ordinance of 1975. Under these rules the state government may appoint an officer not below the rank of Sub-Divisional Magistrate for the purpose of making an inquiry and submit the report of inquiry to the central government for placing before parliament.

In 1989, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act was passed providing for courts for such offences relating to atrocities. Offences of atrocities under 1989 Act include causing injury or even insult to any SC or ST by forcibly removing his clothes or to parade him naked. It is also an offence to dump excreta waste matter, carcass or any other obnoxious substance in his premises or neighborhood. There are many other offences causing insult or injury deliberately and details of punishment for such offences, and enhanced punishment for subsequent conviction. Special Courts can impose punishment which will be not less than one year.

So many provisions have been made and so many Acts have been passed even after the coming in force of 1950 Constitution yet it is well known that in many states untouchability still exists and scheduled castes are not even allowed to enter certain temples and thorough fares. They are not allowed to own or build houses in areas where higher caste people live and practice business. There is hardly any punishment or enforcement of these penal provisions in these areas. Even the employment of manual scavengers and construction of day latrines have been prohibited by 1993 Act but these continue to exist all over India, particularly in rural areas and J.J colonies in the cities and poor day labourers settlements in urban areas.

To sum it up, historically SC’s have not been allowed to own agricultural land. Inspite of many provisions in the constitution and other Acts, there is high incidence of landlessness among SC’s. The best course, as suggested by Sukhdeo Thorat is for the government to create a ‘pool of state level acquired land under ceiling laws and from other public land such as waste land which is free from legal problems’. Land so acquired may be given to landless SC’s. Government may also adopt measures to enforce strictly provisions about quota for jobs both in public and private sectors, education for SC’s in rural areas in particular, and to end atrocities so that they become educated, employed and are fearless and have ‘common destiny’ with other citizens in next 20 years, so that there are no Dalits or SC’s at all, for all times to come.

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Hinduism, India, Political Commentary | , , , , , | 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

Reforms in India to Meet increase in Urban Population in Governance in India

It is well known that urban population is increasing very fast, not so in European countries and America where there is lot of urbanization but in Asia and Africa, particularly in India. For example during last 50 years Delhi’s population before independence was hardly 5 lakhs. In 1947 due to partition of India about 4,70,000 refugees came from Pakistan and settled in Delhi. Since then Delhi’s population had been increasing in percentage more than any other city of India and perhaps anywhere in the world. It is estimated to be now more than 1 crore. In 50 years Delhi’s population has grown ten fold. Similarly India’s population after independence was only 35 crores but in 2010 it is estimated to be more than 105 crores, 300 percent increase.

Inevitably problems of housing, infrastructure, health, education and transport have increased manifold though India’s GDP has been rising, particularly since India abandoned Nehru’s socialist pattern of society with rationing and controls and virtually ban in private enterprise in industry, GDP since Narsimha Rao became PM and appointed Dr. Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister, private enterprises boomed exceptionally and slowly and steadily. GDP also increased from 1% to 8 to 10 percent per annum. Thus, as was inevitable urban population increased tremendously because laborers from villages moved to cities for well paid jobs. Education, too, spread all around and more and more workers got trained for better jobs in industry and even agriculture because of Green Revolution. Thus increase in urbanization gives more opportunities and also demands more facilities by the government and municipal administrators.

Government of India in 1992 passed 74th Constitutional Bill amendments restructuring Indian federal system thus empowering rural and urban local bodies. This led to decentralization of authority and power to be used according to requirement of urban highly populated cities like Delhi Bombay, Calcutta to frame their own local and regional laws to meet the needs of time and specific requirement of each city and village or Panchayat requirements. These amendments are historic and ever lasting. Because of these constitutional amendments Delhi state could do its best, without further constitutional amendment, to use resources to the requirement of Common Wealth Games because unprecedented rains, water logging and corruption to complete the required infrastructure, stadium and housing requirements of the visitors to important event in Delhi and India, success of which would be India’s honour. Success of CWG despite many bottlenecks, natural and man-made, will make India shine.

Decentralization under 74th constitutional amendment of 1992 meant that central Government of India and state governments were to devolve powers and functions to about 3000 urban local bodies in the country. It became mandatory for state governments to pass legislations to empower local bodies in the state. In compliance with 1992 constitutional amendment Municipal Corporation of Delhi(MCD) is one of the largest in the world as it provides civic amenities to about one crore forty lakh, i.e. 14 million people living in union territory of Delhi or Delhi State. In 1992, an elected government for National Territory of Delhi was constituted with 70 legislative council Members with a Chief Minister of Delhi. It came into operation to deal with complex problems of national capital, cantonment, old Delhi and rural areas of the union territory.

Maharashtra government passed Nagarpalka Act in April 1994, entrusting, Municipal powers, functions and responsibilities to urban Local Bodies and wards committee.

Similar provisions, suiting each state have been made in all states. There are also provisions, for urban Environmental management. Management and disposal of waste products. Provisions for squaterers settlements, particularly in Delhi’s Jhuggi Jhampri clusters.

West Bengal Government in compliance with 47th CCA of 1992 set up a Metrolian Planning Committee which covers three Municipal Corporations, 38 municipalities and 133 panchayats.

Tamilnadu government in pursuance of 74th constitutional amendment of 1992, focused it intention on Chennai Metropolitan area inhabited by about 5 million people consisting of Chennai corporation area, eight municipalities and many town panchayats surrounding it. In the municipalities sate appointed commissioners and elected local governments have the responsibility to see the development from all aspects.

To sum it up, 74th constitutional Amendment of 1992 was a landmark in the development of all the major cities of the country. Every state, as some examples have been given above, set up requisite committees, urban councils, panchayats and other institutions required and recommended by the 74th amendment. There is no doubt that there is allround improvement in the urban development all over the country particularly the overpopulated cities of Delhi the national capital, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

September 9, 2010 Posted by | India, 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