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Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

10 Reasons Why Shashikala Natarajan Should Not be Made CM


The ruling party All India Anna Dravida Munnreta Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu has pushed itself into an unenviable situation after choosing V.K. Shashikala Natarajan as the successor of J. Jayalalithaa in the corridors of power in that state. After her elevation to the position of General Secretary of the party, there was a lot of discontent among its rank and file. But the response was muted and was slowly growing. The second-rung leaders of the party were hand-picked by V.K. Shashikala. Many of them became the Members of Parliament and Legislative Assembly due to her. Hence, these leaders quickly threw their weights behind her and supported her to choose her as the Legislative leader of the party. They never thought that there would be so much of opposition against her elevation in the state politics. Now, there are reports that many leaders and members of the general public have come forward with allegations of her misconduct during the hospitalization of Amma or J. Jayalalithaa. In this blog post, let us see why people are rising in revolt against this poorly-conceived move by the party leaders who owe allegiance to her.


Reasons Against Her Coronation

shashikala issues

  1.            Senior leader P.H. Pandian has claimed that Jayalalithaa was pushed in a quarrel at her Poes Garden residence. He further added that the former Chief Minister was brought to the hospital, not in a good state. This needs to be investigated before her coronation.

  2.           He further alleged that the former Chief Minister once suspected that she would be poisoned by those who were close to her. He alleged that this information he got directly from Amma.

  3.           Many senior leaders who are Amma loyalists believe that there was a gross misconduct during the hospitalization of the former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. This thought got stronger after the British Doctor Richard Beale, who treated her in her final days, asserted that there was “no question of poisoning, nothing mysterious about her death… It was due to the cardiac arrest.”

  4.           After choosing her as the next Chief Ministerial candidate on Sunday, February 5, 2017, there is an open revolt against her in the AIADMK party. After the explosive disclosure, the party has chosen to call its founding member P.H. Pandian as a betrayer who caused confusion among the rank and file.

  5.           Since the Chief Minister-designate is entangled in legal issues due to many cases pending against her in different courts, the acting-Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao sought the legal opinion from legal luminaries about the ramifications involved in the event of the court convicting her.

  6.           After the AIADMK party chose her as the legislative leader, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the apex court requesting it to stop her from holding the high office of the state till the cases pending against her were resolved at the earliest. The 61-year-old Shashikala Natarajan and the former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa got entangled in a case relating to disproportionate assets in the early 1990s. The trial court held them guilty. However, the Karnataka High Court gave them benefit of doubt and set them free in 2014. In 2015, the Karnataka government filed a review petition in the very same case against both of them in the honorable Supreme Court.

  7.          Since 2015, the case is pending before the apex court. One of the judges on the legal panel that heard the parties involved in the case has told the petitioning party that he would be ready with a verdict in the second week of February 2017. Hence, the honorable apex court is expected to come with its verdict in next week.

  8.           After the death of the former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, the mantle of running the AIADMK was handed over to O. Panneerselvam who is the senior-most leader of the party. For last two months, he did a commendable job as the state’s Chief Minister and handled many explosive issues, including that of Jallikettu, with care and intellectual acumen. Since this is the case, what is the need for changing the Chief Minister in two months?

  9.           The central government is observing the development in this southern state politics with some concern. It is believed that the acting-Governor for Tamil Nadu has had a one-on-one with the union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the brewing crisis in the state.

  10.           The public unrest on the elevation of Shashikala is very much reflected on social media. There have been many hashtags and memes about the rise of a person who held the health information about the former Chief Minister away from the public that voted her to the corridors of power.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Is AAP Political Tsunami in Making in Punjab?


As one drives through the urban setup in the state of Punjab where the election has just got completed, one would see well-tarred roads, sufficient water supply, and well-built and electrified houses on either side, with some of them even putting the posh houses in Delhi’s Defence Colony into shame. Looking at these, one may wonder why one would question the incumbent Akali Dal government for its governance. Looking at all these urban parameters, a visitor would safely surmise that the current government would easily get its third term. Moment one steps into the countryside in that state, the situation seems to present itself differently with unmaintained roads, thatched-roof houses, water shortages etc. glaring before our eyes. This is the cause of the deceptive calm that one would encounter in the rural setup. Underneath this calm is the seething churn that would easily push the ruling political party Akali Dal into political oblivion in no time. This political undercurrent is expected to propel the hitherto unknown political party Aam Admi Party (AAP) into ascendance. In this blog post, we would be looking at the new political undercurrent that is sweeping the state for the benefit of readers who follow political dynamics.

Political Change

If the changes perceivable in the villages of Malwa - the southern part of Punjab - are anything to go by, one can expect the current two-party political order to get replaced by a three-party order with the coming of AAP in the state. This region is a politically very important region as it sends 63 legislators to the state assembly in every state election. In this region, the AAP’s clarion call “Kejriwal, Kejriwal, saara Punjab tere naal” is getting louder. In 2014 general election, AAP could win as many as 4 Lok Sabha seats, including that from Congress leader Amarinder Singh’s pocket borough Patiala. Truly, the AAP “lehar” or wave seems to have swept this region, leaving behind Indian National Congress (INC) that somehow seems to have lost the opportunity in this region in the distant second position.


People of this region (Malwa) have begun to see AAP as the party of change. They seem to think that they should go with the newer party rather than choosing one of the two parties that have held the sway in the two-party political order to look for change. For them, the “Badal Bedalo” or change Badal is the cry. After the reign of 10 years, the ruling Akali Dal seems to have got weighed down by the anti-incumbency factor. The youths of the region have become disillusioned with the Prakash Singh Badal government due to lack of jobs, security issues, and insufficient law and order. Even the blame for the drug menace lies at the Chief Minister’s feet as the idle and well-educated youth succumb to this habit in the villages. Basically, the well-educated youths expect the government jobs and move away from the tilling of land for agriculture work. Against this backdrop, AAP seems to have made efforts to connect with the youth to reach their parents, especially their mothers. This innovative approach has helped the women to break the tradition of following their men folks. AAP has also successfully highlighted the failure of Badal government to catch the culprits who tore the pages of Guru Granth Sahib in October 2015. This incident had culminated in the shooting in Bargari last year. Due to this reason, Akali Dal is faring far behind in the third position in the current political scenario, behind AAP and INC.

Friday, 3 July 2015

What is the Cause of VVIP Racism in India?


Since the dawn of independence in India, people have been voting different political parties to form the governments at the centre and the states.  This has been happening for last 69 years. Initially, political parties and leaders knew very well that the common man was their bread and butter. Hence, they were always with people at the time of the requirement. As the years passed, the leaders enjoying the perks and power have begun more brazen in their anti-people activities. They try to tweak the laws to benefit their requirements and keep the ordinary mass in a state of foolery.  The modern-day leaders have heavily fortified their surroundings with people who are close to them.  That is how they have become totally alienated from the electorate. They want every perks and benefits available in the country for them at the cost of people.

VVIP racism

Change in Mindset of Modern-day Politicians

Due to the continuous exposure to the corridors of power, the so called leaders have become emboldened so much they have started to think about themselves as the uncrowned Maharajahs. Moreover, the so called babus or bureaucrats have started to become responsive only to these leaders.  The unholy nexus between the leaders and bureaucrats have grown to such an extent that they orchestrated many manipulations to increase their wealth and hold in to the corridors of power. These efforts have resulted in a number of scams. During the earlier days, the number of scams was less due to the straightforward nature of politicians. The leaders who have entered into the politics later have become insensitive to the needs of the very people who have voted for them. These leaders have devised methods to make electorates as vote banks and get their votes for them. 

modern politicians

Psychology of Electorates

Though there is a change in the mindset of leaders, the outlook of electorates has not changed. Moreover, the minds of people have been polarized along the religious and caste lines. Hence, they are forced to work on the lines of what their leaders think in the hope that they would get some benefits ultimately. Using the carrot stick, the leaders have been flocking the electorates to their desired direction. Hence, thus common men have become the pawns at the hands of leaders in their political chessboard. The electorates have lost the ability to think and become easily brainwashed by their leaders.


Emboldened Leaders

The leaders have been trying to convince the ordinary citizens that they are entitled to all the privileges that can come to them at all cost. They are ready to go to any extent possible to avail those facilities.  They think that people should sacrifice their freedom to give free access to the facilities for their leaders. Many of the leaders think that they are uncrowned Maharajahs who are entitled to have perks and power to stay in power. They openly violate laws and the law enforcing agencies and bureaucrats just support in their pursuit of power in the name of the people.

emboldened leaders

Changing Mindset of Youth

However, the outlook of the educated modern youth has changed. They don’t want to take these brazen violations of law by the leaders to avail these facilities lying down. They have started responding in kind and have been capturing such incidents country wide in their phones and upload them in social media sites for public consumption. This has forced the government to rethink about the strategy of approaching people. Therefore, the leaders and officials were instructed to not to take up issues that would alienate them from the people.

youth reaction

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Why Political Parties Increasingly Choose People with Criminal Records?


With each general election, the number of politicians with criminal records entering into the corridors of power has been increasing steadily. This alarming situation is mainly due to the open patronage by all political parties. These parties somehow want the number in the Parliament and State Legislative Council or Assembly.  These people know how to get the people vote for them and the parties they owe their affiliation to. The ordinary electorate does not want to interfere in the choice of the candidates. They are ready to vote for whichever candidate the parties choose in the run up to the general elections to the Parliament and the State Assembly.

vote bank politics

Political Parties Run After People with Power

In the race for getting the maximum number of seats, the political parties only look for the ability of the prospective candidates to woo the audience. The common man either endorses the work of the candidate or gets coerced to vote for a particular party or candidate. Either way, he ends up voting for a particular party or individual. If we look at the election scenario currently prevalent in the country, we can be sure that people with less development record are getting selected due to the money and muscle power. Using these two add-ons, the electorates are made to vote for a particular party. Most often people with criminal records have both of these add-ons. Hence, the political parties don’t have to worry about the expenses that need to be met while doing the campaigning in a general election.
leaders with criminal records

Traditional Vote Bank

The traditional voter base of the political parties has been voting for whichever candidate their political parties field for the elections.  That is why political parties have become emboldened in their moves. The parties rely on these people while selecting the candidates. Without thinking over the real profile of the candidates chosen, people constituting the vote bank of parties cast their votes. Mostly, people constituting the traditional vote bank blindly believe in whatever the leaders of the political parties say. It looks as if people have lost their ability to think rationally.  They love to become the pawns at the hands of the political gamblers and opportunists. The leaders of political parties play with their vote bank to extract some mileage post election.

>vote bank

Way Forward

The electorates need to assert themselves and try to read about the work history of the candidates chosen by the political parties. They should make the political parties think about people while selecting the candidates. If they start exerting themselves, the political parties start towing their lines in tune with that. This way also would help stop the family-oriented politicking. Whoever is chosen by the political parties, his or her work has to be looked at before casting the vote. This realization has started percolating in the minds of people slowly. Only this way, the political parties start listening to people. All these years, people have been listening to what the political party leaders used to say and vote for whoever they had endorsed.

avoid criminals

Monday, 15 June 2015

Public Outcry and Pressure Forced UP Authorities to Act Against Police in Shahjahanpur Case

Recently, there was news about the death of a social media scribe in Uttar Pradesh. The journalist Jagendra Singh was allegedly burned alive by policemen. The family members of deceased scribe allege that he was burned alive at the behest of an Uttar Pradesh minister. They further claimed that the journalist earned ire from the Uttar Pradesh Government Minister Ram Murti Verma for reporting on the illegal mining business run by him. A day before the death, the scribe posted that he was being targeted for writing on the business by the Uttar Pradesh Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Murti Verma.

Follow Up of Shahjahanpur Case

The journalist Jagendra Singh was burnt alive on June 1, 2015 at his house. Since then, the UP government has not taken any step to arrest the culprits. In the dying declaration, the journalist mentioned about the threat perception he had and the hands of Police officers at the behest of the UP minister. However, the Akhilesh Yadav government sat over this matter and did nothing. There was a huge public outcry against this incident. This agitation against government was spearheaded by the private journalists who work on field reports to generate news. After the public resentment and movement against the alleged UP Minister Ram Murti Verma, the Governor of UP had to intervene and ask the Chief Minister to take action against those responsible for this heinous crime. Despite this, the government had only initiated against the erring Police officers. No action has been taken on the UP Minister. Now, the family members of the deceased journalist want the state government to order a CBI enquiry into the incident.

Social Media Journalist Burnt Alive - Shahjahanpur Case

The social media journalist Jagendra Singh has been writing on his Facebook account about various issues faced by his place of residence. He has been residing in Shahjahanpur for a long time. Some time ago, he started writing various problems faced by the people in his Facebook account. Due to the reliability of reports posted, other news channels depended on his Facebook account information to further develop the news. He wrote about many thing related to his place of residence, including the local civic problems, heritage sites, etc. Of late, Jogendra Singh came across the illegal mining business and land grabbing activities orchestrated by the minister. This incidence angered the UP Minister and the scribe was getting threat calls from unknown people. On June 1, 2015, a group of policemen came in search of him at his house and burnt him alive before the family members. Though he was taken to the hospital, he could not be saved as there was more 80% burn injury on his body.

Caste Politics in UP

For many years, there have been incidences of violence along communal lines. The most powerful community in many parts of UP is that of the Yadavs. They try to dominate the society and crush the rebellion of Dalits. This has been happening more when the Yadav community-dominated Samajvadi Party (SP) government comes to power. When the party is in power, the Yadav community members grow bolder and do whatever they wanted to do without fear of law. The incidents like rape, illegal mining, land grabbing has been happening ever since SP came to power about 4 years back. They try to annihilate each and everybody that comes in their way. Shahjahanpur incident is just one such incident. We have to wait and see how the government is going to proceed in this matter.

Has Swatch Bharath Turned into Simple Public Relation Exercise?


Almost a year back, the incumbent Indian Prime Minister launched the cleanliness drive to make the country clean. It was done with a lot of fanfare with many celebrities joining the noble cause. Looking at the frenzy, many believed that it clicked in the minds of the general public and there would be some positive change towards cleanliness. The government has spent a lot of money on marketing this scheme so that it could reach the ground. Despite all these efforts, have we been able to see the change that we tried hard to see in our lifetime? It is a hundred dollar question. If we are able to find answers to this question, we have won half of the war against the accumulation of filth that we see in all cities across the country.

swatch bharath

Movement Becomes Public Relation Exercise

In our country, people do everything to gain publicity. This is mainly due to the extensive coverage of various events by the media. In order to get cheap publicity, our political leaders indulge in noise making.  The moment the media’s eyes blink the headcount at the event venue drops drastically. This is the crowd mentality. That is the reason why our leaders have also become like that. The same has happened with the Swatch Bharath movement as well. After the initial euphoria, the movement lost steam and started its slow and inevitable death. When again the issue got raked up by the media due to the adverse comment by the honourable high court, again so called patrons of people appeared in the scene and made appear that they are doing something before the general public.

media publicity

Change in Mindset Required

Despite the much media glare, the movement lost steam as people become less sensitive towards the environment hazards this filth accumulation brings. People wanted others to do for them. The fact of the matter is that the cleanliness should begin at home. We should be able to keep clean our house premises and our surroundings. Houses make villages and many villages make town, city, society and the country. If the cleaning habit is reared at home, it would take us a long way ahead in the direction of clean environment. The fact of the matter is that we clean our house at the cost of our surroundings. The garbage picked up after cleaning is dumped in the surrounding where others also throw. The civic authorities should make sure that the accumulated wastes are removed in time. If this waste movement is lost, the days are not far off when the filth in our neighbourhood starts stinking, leading to the onset of various contagious diseases.

individual efforts

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Army Operations in Kashmir Pit Taxi Drivers Against Militants


There has been an unwritten rule in Jammu and Kashmir for the taxi drivers to follow. Even the authorities don’t poke their nose into this routine. It has been in existence for almost 13 years. The drivers give away their cars – mostly Innova or Chevrolet – for a night’s use by the military personnel attached to 29 Rashtriya Rifles unit in north Kashmir. This has left the taxi drivers from Baramulla district of Kashmir region in peril. Due to their association with the military personnel, they have become the target of militant attacks.

army personnel

Army-Taxi Drivers Tie Up

For more than a decade, the taxi drivers operating from stands of Kreeri Wagoora in Baramulla district of north Kashmir have been giving their vehicles for the Army use. The taxi drivers have pooled together with their vehicles for this purpose and give their vehicles in turn according to a roaster prepared by them. The local drivers say that they give their vehicles to the visiting Army men near their taxi stand. These vehicles would only be returned by next day evening. The civilian drivers are not allowed to go with the vehicle. It has been going for almost 13 years. The Army personnel are not giving rent for the vehicle they are taking. In return for this service, the vehicle owners – mostly drivers – get just a litre of diesel when the vehicles are given back. The taxi drivers swear that the kind of compensation given by the Army authorities is not at all enough to sustain their taxi business.   

taxi drivers

Woos Faced by Taxi Drivers

When the vehicles are given to the Army authorities, the vehicle owners don’t know for what purpose it is used. This is because they are not allowed to go with the vehicle. They speculate that their vehicles are being used in the night for patrolling and combing operations. They strongly believe that their vehicle registration number is visible. Hence, they are in all probability in the hit list of militants against whom the Army is waging a pitch battle using their vehicles. In some of the recent shooting incidents, the civilians have been killed by the unknown gunmen. Hence, the taxi drivers are living with the fear that they might get killed on the road one day when they are rendering the daily services to the commuters.

gunmen shooting

Taxi Drivers’ Dilemma

Taxi Drivers also swear that they don’t get adequately paid for the service they are rendering to the Army personnel. Most of the time, the vehicles are returned with some repair work pending. The owners of the vehicle have to spend the money from their pockets to resolve the repair issues. Though local taxi drivers don’t like to give their vehicle for combing operations by Army units operating in Kashmir, they are bound by some obligation as part of a tacit understanding with the Army. Hence, they have to sustain this working relationship somehow. They have approached the local leaders and MLAs to find a solution. So far, their plights have fallen to the deaf year. They are ready to continue the service keeping in mind the needs of army. However, they want adequate compensation for the service they render and protection from the authorities for their families.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Significance of India’s Surgical Strike Across the Indo-Myanmar Border


Our neighbours have been bleeding us with strikes on our vital installations and hapless people at will. We have never done the hot pursuit across the border to annihilate them from the source. This was due to the long-perceived views of central governments not to violate the border with our neighbours. The observed restraint to attack the militants across the border with neighbours was there even when our parliament was attacked by them. At different points in time, there has been renewed demand for the surgical strikes across the border to totally destroy the militant training and facilitation camps set up near the international border. The fear of the use of nuclear bomb in a conflict that may come after the cross-border pursuit forced the Indian leadership to remain a mute spectator to the militant strikes across India all these years.

surgical strikes

Change in Mindset of Indian Leadership

The Indian Army think tank has been asking the political leadership to grant permission to annihilate the militant facilitation camps operating across the border for a long time now.  There have been incursions across the border facilitated by the state actors to vitiate the atmosphere in the border areas. The present ruling dispensation has gone a step ahead in providing the blanket permission to the Army leadership to plan and execute a surgical operation to eliminate the militant training camps in Myanmar. It seems the central government had informed the authorities in the neighbouring country ahead of operations. Whatever be the reason, the military establishment in Myanmar did not interfere with the operation that just lasted just under 1 hour.

hot pursuit

Significance of this Operation

The successful completion of this covert operation demonstrates the skills Indian soldiers have in this type of covert operations. They are well trained to take the fight across the border if the need arises. Indian Army also has the required equipment and expertise to plan and successfully execute the cross-border hot pursuit at the time of its liking. The high-point in the operation is that our army did not suffer any loss. It was well executed, keeping under wraps the whole detail. This is the reason why the hostile gang of militants stationed across the border could not sustain their fight against the operation. Another thing that should have gone into the minds of the perpetrators of violence across the border is that our military would execute surprise hot pursuit across the border would as and when require. It should act as a deterrent to those people who organize the militant activities directed against India from across the border.

operation significance

Monday, 8 June 2015

Can Yoga be Held as Religious Exercise?


A series of exercises that tend to promote the well being of the body and mind is actually called as Yoga. Since the mind and body are involved, the application of some hymns might promote better concentration when people do yoga exercises. After all, it is not the religious affiliations that we should look for. Instead, we should observe the benefits these yoga exercises fetch when we do them with devotion and application. Due to the immense benefits it gives, the yoga has been adopted by foreigners.  They did not look at the religious connotations these exercises or asanas have. These exercises might have originated from Hinduism and Buddhism, but they can be practiced without adding the religious flavour to them. This is what people in the west do to reap the benefits of yoga.

yoga types

Different Types of Yoga

The body-mind exercises can be adapted in different forms. The westerners have come with a form of yoga called Ashtanga Yoga. They have adopted this form of 5000-year-old Indian physical, mental and spiritual exercise to transform the body and mind together for betterment of health.  There is another type of yoga. It is based on religious devotions. The followers of Hare Krishna movement call this form of yoga as Bakthi Yoga. There is another type of yoga called Hatha Yoga. This kind of yoga uses a series of exercises that focuses on building physical and mental strength. This kind of yoga is based on the scientific analysis of the responses of the body and mind towards various postures.

yoga exercises

Analysis of Yoga Exercises

Irrespective of types of yoga followed, the ultimate aim is to achieve a state of bliss that gives a true picture of the world around us and show where we belong in it. This is what we call the enlightenment. This can be achieved by means of exercises and the spirituality. The religious people sometimes use a combination of spiritual and physical exercises to get speedy results.  The followers of Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga approaches essentially dissociate the spiritual aspect from this and train people based on a series of concerted body movements and breathing exercises to soothe the mind. You cannot find the religious connotations in it. When we consider the case of Surya Namaskara, the bowing exercise is not meant to worship the Sun God as such. When we face the Sun, we get the positive energy from it. This helps us to stay fit for the day and focused on our works. It is purely a mind exercise. It is up to you to decide in front of whom you should bow while doing the Surya Namaskaram. One cannot find the tinge of religion in these exercises if we remove the hymns associated with them.


Landmark Judgement on Yoga

Few days back, a case was filed in a US court alleging that a series of mind and body exercises were taught to the students of an elementary school in California that talked about religion. They further alleged that the form of Yoga taught in the school subscribes to Hindu religion, which is against the state constitution. After observing the video recording of the classes and excerpts from the Yoga trainers, a 3-member jury of the San Diego court ruled that the form of Yoga taught in the school truly complements the physical education curriculum followed in the school. It further added that the yoga taught in the class never spoke or made any oblique reference to any religion. Hence, it is fit for the use as a means to improve the general health of wards in schools.  This proves that Yoga as such has no religion.

yoga judgement

Another Case of Cash-for-vote Scam Unveiled


We heard about the cash-for-vote scam during the first tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government when the left parties supporting the then government from outside protesting against its decision to ‘Ok’ the Nuclear pact the United States of America. After that, there have been scams and allegations of scams putting various UPA ministers in a spot of bother. This time around, the new cash-for-vote scam came from southern India. The Anti-corruption Bureau of Telangana has booked the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Member of State Legislative Assembly in connection with this scam. The person who has been portrayed in the bad light is TDP MLA A. Revanth Reddy. On June 7, 2015, the MLA was arrested by the sleuths of ACB from the state of Telangana along with two others.

tdp mla

Arrest of TDP MLA

The TDP MLA was formally called for the interrogation by the sleuths of the Anti-corruption Bureau from the state of Telangana after they got him arrested and remanded to the judicial custody for 14 days. The ACB officers nabbed the TDP MLA A. Revanth Reddy when he was handing over Rs. 50 lakh to nominated member Elvis Stephenson on May 31, 2015. The money was being given to the nominated member to make him vote for TDP-BJP combine candidate in legislative council or state upper house elections. The sleuths from the ACB laid a trap for the TDP leader and two accomplices after a complaint was filed by the nominated member Elvis Stephenson. At that time, the opposition party members were quick to respond with an allegation that the money was about to change hands at the behest of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu.

cash for vote

Questioning of TDP MLA

Through the questioning of the TDP MLA A. Revanth Reddy, the ACB officials are trying to get information from him about the source of the money that was to change hands. It is learned from the reliable circles within the ACB that the money was to be paid in two parts. The MLA was caught handing over the first installment. They have come to know that further Rs. 4.5 crore rupees were to be paid as part of the Rs. 5-crore deal. The officials are also trying to find the roles of other political leaders whose names TDP MLA disclosed during the initial questioning. The cops are expected to stitch together the details of this murky deal.

mla arrested

Opposition Party Allegations

The leaders of the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) are of the view that the TDP MLA A. Revanth Reddy met the nominated member Elvis Stephenson at the behest of TDP Chairman and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. In order to counter the view that they are trying to take advantage of the situation, the TRS leaders that they are in possession of an audio tape that connects this TDP MLA to Chandrababu Naidu. In keeping with their words, these TRS leaders have come out with the audio tape of the telephonic discussion between TDP MLA and Chandrababu Naidu and played it before the media in a hurriedly convened meeting on June 7, 2015.  However, it is up to the authorities to adjudge the veracity of this audio tape before submitting the same before the court when the case comes for hearing after 14 days.

political allegations

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Fight for One Rank One Pension Justified?


There has been a renewed demand for One Rank One Pension Scheme floated by the Indian government. Ever since it was floated, there have been demands for the same from the family members of security personnel on duty and those of who have retired from active service to the nation. Last year, the previous government lead by the Indian National Congress (INC) tried to bring in this scheme in a hurry before demitting the office in the hope of reaping rich electoral dividend. However, the previous government did not allocate enough money for the unblemished implementation of the scheme. The current ruling dispensation NDA led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to move in the same direction. However, it could not mobilize enough money to implement the same. Hence, it asked for some more time before it could be implemented.

one rank one pension

One Rank One Pension Scheme

This scheme envisages the getting of same pension by the armed forces personnel irrespective of the last drawn pay and the date of joining if they are in the same rank. This scheme is going to benefit those people who have joined in the service little late, but have same ranks as other peers. At present, the pension is decided based on the number of years of service put and the last full salary drawn. Some people who have joined earlier in the same rank stood to gain monetarily. The discrepancy would be more if the higher ranks are considered in the armed forces. Hence, they wanted to get this scheme implemented quickly so that they get the same pension and the arrears due to them.

one rank one pension scheme

Issues with Implementation of One Rank One Pension Scheme

Due to the continued pressure from the armed force personnel, the government finally accepted their demand to implement the One Rank One Pension Scheme in 2014. After accepting the demand, the government of India allocated Rs. 100 crore to implement the scheme. When the preparation for the implementation of the scheme was being undertaken, there arose a fear that other civilian employees could also ask for the same, leading to the severe drain of the country’s exchequer. Hence, the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar decided to change the name of the defence pensions as military pensions. Otherwise, all the retired civilian employees might ask for the same in the future. This needs some more time to bring in the legislation to bring the change. Hence, he sought for more time to implement the scheme. In a function, the country’s Army Chief had told the agitating pensioners from the armed forces that the scheme would be implemented in letter and spirit by April 30, 2015.

scheme implementation issues

Current Scenario

The central government is in no mood to implement the same even after the expiry of the deadline given by the Army Chief. Due to some pending issues that are at hand, the Defence Ministry officials have not been able to prepare the draft for the implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme. The government was planning to introduce the bill in both the houses of Parliament to get the required constitutional approval. As the draft is not ready, it is doubtful whether the government would be able to get the bill passed in the parliament. Many other bills that require immediate attention is still pending before the parliament. Those bills are in the queue for tabling and discussion in the apex legislation making body of the land. This has forced the government to eat its own words. On the other hand, the defence pensioners are feeling betrayed. They had a discussion with the Defence Minister on this issue and asked him to expedite the implementation of the scheme. However, the Minister in charge of Defence portfolio thought to have told his inability in the current situation to expedite the process. The leaders of defence pensioners’ federation have now decided to increase their pressure on the government by sitting on a hunger strike from June 14, 2015.

current scenario

Friday, 5 June 2015

How Relevant is Indian National Congress Today?


The Indian National Congress (INC) has remained a relevant party in the history of India till 2014 when it was decimated by the anti-incumbency and Modi wave. Though INC-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was doing reasonably well in the first half of the 10-year rule, the second avatar of the dispensation was full of indecisive people who lost touch with the ground-level people. The moment a party loses it’s connect with people, it is destined to face the decimation. People who were in the corridors of power became emboldened with the fortunes and started taking decisions that were not appreciated by the people. Moreover, there were more power centres due to the existence of regional satraps in the ruling dispensation. Each one wanted to exert its pressure, leading to the paralysis of sorts.

indian national congress

Issues Afflicting Indian National Congress

The grand old party of India has been held by a total submission to its first family. Whatever the members of the first family decide would hold well in the party. It does not matter what other people in the party wanted to say. The first family of the party consisting of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi took decisions for it. Just like former rulers, the members of the first family are assisted by a panel of people whose allegiance to them are quite known. Over the years, this panel of people has become so intoxicated with the power they enjoyed within the party. Hence, they became impervious to the needs of people, leading to the growing alienation of the party. Many decisions made by the high command in consultation of these people were not syncing with the reality. Some of the upright leaders in the party establishment tried to address this issue. However, their voices were never heard in the party as they were sidelined. Another glitch in the party was the slow polarization of the party hierarchy into two poles – one consisting of party elders under Sonia Gandhi and the other consisting of youngsters under Rahul Gandhi – that did not believe in each other. These two power centres had the tussle, leading to the lag in decision making. This was reflected in the second tenure of UPA government under Congress leadership.

two power centres

Can We Discern a Change in Party After Debacle?

There is an untold rule in the party. Whenever there is a victory in the election, the victory is attributed to the leadership qualities of Gandhi duo. If there is an electoral drubbing, it would not be attributed to the leadership. Instead, it would be attributed to the other party members, especially those working with the primary members on the ground. This approach has to change in the party. Victory or defeat, whole party has to stand together and do the introspection. Though there is a talk of change in the party, hardly any decision is taken on the views expressed by the primary members. Every time there would be a meeting on this topic. The meeting stops short of finding who is responsible for the electoral reverses. This is expected as there are a number of power centres with each reporting directly to the Gandhi family. The net effect would be a total inaction.  Ever since it’s drubbing, the party has not taken any concrete step in this direction due to many reasons. The leaders keep on doing the blame game and endless discussions would go on. The party is thinking of convening a plenary session to elect the new leader for the party. The party is going to make the heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi its new chief fully knowing that he was instrumental in its drubbing in 2014. Unless and until the concrete steps are taken to introduce accountability, the party would remain afloat as a bunch of logs on the water not knowing where it is heading to.

regional satraps

Should Syed Gilani be Given Passport?


The Kashmiri Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Gilani has been enjoying the dual citizenship of India and Pakistan for decades together. Due to the separate status accorded to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the leaders of both hard-line and moderate fashions of All Party Hurriyat Conference have been getting the benefits from the Indian government. Even the state governments that come and go in that state give special concessions and benefits to the leaders of this separatist party. Only when these leaders cross a certain line, such as hoisting of Pakistani flag and raising of anti-India slogans in rallies, they are taken into custody and put under preventive house arrest. They have never been held responsible for the deaths that happen due to mob unrest after their instigation in rallies.  Recently, he has openly admitted that he is not an Indian. He further confided that he thought of Indian citizenship only when the need for passport came to his mind.

syed gilani

Pro-Pakistan Party

All Party Hurriyat Conference has always stood for the Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. At the height of militancy, the members of this pro-Pakistan party clandestinely helped the militants with hideouts in Kashmir. The members of this party have been very blatant in airing their views against the government of India. In other countries, they would have been snuffed out in no time. They believe that people of Jammu and Kashmir would be well off under Pakistani occupation. They have never left any stone unturned whenever they got a chance to alienate Indian people in foreign countries. Though the party moderated to some extent, it still stands as a pro-Pakistani party. The hard-line faction of this party is led by the veteran pro-Pakistani leader Syed Ali Shah Gilani.

pro pakistan

Gilani Becomes Indian for Convenience

Syed Gilani is the most vociferous and venomous leader in All Party Hurriyat Conference. He has been talking about Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and atrocities done by Indian Army and other security agencies. He conveniently forgets the atrocities done by militants in Kashmir valley and mentions not a word about them. He openly speaks his allegiance to Pakistan and goes to meet the Pakistani diplomats in Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. Despite this, he was regularly given the Indian passport by the central government thinking that all parties to the problem need to be taken on board. The leaders of this party speak against India and they are given country’s passport whenever they visit abroad. They have never said they are Indians. Yet, they are given Indian passport. Syed Gilani used to record himself as an Indian only at the time of getting a passport. At all other times, he would call himself a Kashmiri who has allegiance to Pakistan. Syed Gilani and other leaders of this pro-Pakistani party are getting all the benefits for speaking against India in Jammu and Kashmir to clinch international attention.  The parties such as National Conference and People’s Democratic Party have been vying each other to provide all the assistance to this party whenever they formed the government in that state.

hard line politician

Open Acknowledgement

On June 4, 2015, Syed Gilani openly acknowledged that he is not an Indian. He told the presspersons that he was born in a disputed territory. The veteran leader was interacting with the scribes when he went to the Passport Office in Srinagar in Jammu Kashmir to renew his passport so that he could get a visa for visiting his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia. He said that he has been filling the column for the citizenship as Indian to get the passport. This means that he would call himself Indian when it comes to the material needs. Otherwise, he would raise a revolt against the very nation from which he has obtained the passport to visit abroad, especially Pakistan. Hence, he should not be given a passport from our country unless and until he acknowledges his Indian citizenship.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Narendra Modi Government’s First Year in Office


The former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi rode his way to power at the centre banking on the strong anti-incumbency trend of the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and his personal charisma. During the days of hectic campaign for his parent party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he often spoke about the "bad days or bure din" of UPA misrule and "ache din or good days" of stable governance to the electorate. A year has gone past since then.  It is worthwhile to make a reality check on this claim. Has the ache din come?

narendra modi

Analysis of Narendra Modi Government

Let us give a bail out at the onset to the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) by stating that it is very difficult to judge the performance of the government in a year’s time as many of the measures taken by it will take time to show the discernible result in the society. Yet, we will look into some of the perceivable changes in the approach that we have seen over a year’s time.  In this blog, we will just briefly list out those changes.

  • Foreign Visits: In his one year’s stay in power, the Prime Minister has taken a large number of visits to foreign countries. It all started with an official visit to Bhutan. Since then, he has traveled to as many as 18 countries. During those visits, he invited the investors in those countries to invest in our country and take part in his pet scheme ‘Make in India’. He also told about the steps he would take to bring more investments in the country such as reducing red-tapeism, nepotism, single-window clearance of new start-ups, etc.

    foreign visits

  • Rural Performance Index:  This is the factor that determines the overall situation in the country as ours is predominantly agrarian country.  This index is calculated by measuring the farm output growth, rural wages and tractor sales. This index stooped down in the first year of Modi’s rule. Moreover, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MGNRES) allocation for the current year got reduce, resulting in low wages or non-payment of wages. This also has deteriorated under Modi’s rule.

    rural performance index

  • Social Sector Allocation:  Over the period of 10 years, the social sector spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has fallen to the rock bottom. The BJP has spoken out about allocation of fund in this sector in its manifesto.  In tune with this, NDA government has rolled out three landmark schemes. They are Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bhima Yojana. These schemes aim to provide accidental death and disability risk cover. These schemes pooled up a sizeable total for spending in social sector.

    social sector allocation

  • Rejuvenated Private Sector: There has been sudden spurt of activities in the private sector due to the business-friendly policies rolled out by the government in the current year’s budget.  Recently, the budget airline IndiGo placed an order worth Rs. 1.5 trillion to acquire new aircrafts.  However, how long the present positive climate will sustain is a pertinent question. This especially so when we look at the current corporate earnings and capital goods order flow. These factors are not providing an encouraging view. We have to wait and watch to see which way things move.

    private sector growth

  • Parliamentary Activity:  This government has made sure that the attendance levels of members of parliament surpassed the benchmark set up by the previous UPA government.  In the first half of the Manmohan Singh dispensation’s rule, there was some productivity due to the tabling of various bills. However, it was a different game altogether as that government could not cobble up numbers in Lok Sabha to get them passed.  In this front, Modi government scored over Manmohan government as it could many bills passed.  Another indicator of the performance of the Members of Parliament (MPs) in both the houses of Parliament.  Many MPs took part in active and productive discussions relating to the legislations affecting people.

    parliament activity

  • More Power to States:  In accordance with the suggestion of 14th finance commission, the Modi government has increased the fiscal autonomy for the states. He gave as much as 74.1% of Union tax money to the state to organize its own local projects. However, it is not the highest share ever given to the state. In 2006, the stages enjoyed the maximum share of 77% of Union tax returns. Yet, it is a welcome signal.

    state power allocation

  • Financial Inclusion:  In order to facilitate director transfer of funds to people availing the subsidized cylinders, the Narendra Modi government has started Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.  This scheme enabled common people to open up a bank account for just Rs. 15. This enabled them to get the money from Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to come into their accounts. Previously there used to lot of glitches in fund transfers. The government of the day plans to link these account with other welfare schemes to effect speedy transfer of amounts to people, surpassing intermediaries.

    financial inclusion

  • Drying of Foreign Investment: The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had rod on high expectations to come to the corridors of power at the centre.  It was discernible even in the stock market. When his office was inaugurated, the SENSEX zoomed in numbers showing a positive recovery. The amelioration of environment was further helped by falling global crude prices, easing inflation and smaller fiscal account deficit. However, due to the poor weather and weak demand has become dominant over other good fiscal indicators. Hence, the Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) and Foreign Director Investors (FDIs) have started fleeing from the Indian market as find it difficult to do business in our country with the stranglehold of government agencies still in existence.

    foreign investment