Sunday, January 30, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Jan.23-29

1. "The papers and file were not so circulated. It was not before the committee. The material pertaining to the sanction for prosecution under Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code was not before the committee. " So said the Attorney General of India to the Supreme Court of India. The papers he is talking about pertains to a charge sheet filed against (amongst others) P.C.Thomas, Kerala cadre IAS officer, in a corruption case in the 90's. Before what Committee were these papers not circulated? The committee that will choose the next Vigilance Commissioner of India. Whom does the committee comprise of? The Prime Minister of India, the Home Minister of India and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. So now are you getting the picture? The government submits to the court that the Prime Minister of this country was not apprised if the full facts of a corruption case pertaining to the appointment of a man as the watchdog of corruption in this country. This despite the fact that the Leader of Opposition has publicly disagreed to this appointment, citing this same case. Details of this case were all over the news, but somehow the honourable Prime Minister did not know about this. After seeing a lot of public outrage against this appointment, this is how the government choose to defend itself - it did not have all facts placed before itself ! Institution after institution has been damaged by this government. The latest CVC episode is just another story in the long list of goof-ups this government is making (and sadly getting away with too). Why is the Prime Minister silent on this issue? A couple of weeks back, it was Kapil Sibal screaming that there was no loss in 2G. And now this comical excuse, after all hell broke loose. The Congress party, in keeping with its tradition, has distanced itself from this whole controversy. And a complacent media still does not question this blatant mishandling of issues by the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi. Or is this arrogance because of the apathy of the urban voter? You know, all these goof-ups would have been comical had it not been this tragic.

2. Speaking of comedy - "Give me 10 years of your life, I will make you proud - Rahul Gandhi" screams this headline (and all headlines!). 10 freaking years of your life! Wouldn't blame you if you are reminded of "tum mujhe khoon do, mein tumhe aazadi doonga"!. He then goes on to say, what he is trying to do will take 5-10 years to make a difference. Now, this man has been in politics for 7 years. He wants 10 more years. That's effectively 17 years - one full generation! And then, keeping in trend with his status as the "eternal opposition leader", Shri Rahul Gandhi goes on to tell us that "We have to look into this issue (corruption) in a collective way. Stringent action against corruption is needed. Punishment should be within six months, instead of 20 years". He goes on to lecture again on how "you" need to come into politics to clean all this filth. And ofcourse, now we cannot ask him what "he" has done so far - for we have to now wait 10 more years. This also means that the media will sing praises for the next 10 years then. Sniff.

3. Word is that our Civics text book will have a minor change from next year. Fellow tweeter, "UsualSatire" has proposed that the Indian Flag code be amended thus "...shall be no restriction on the display of the National Flag by members of general public*..." (*conditions apply)"! This brilliant satire has encapsulated all that has happened in Jammu and Kashmir in the days leading to the Republic Day function. Separatist leader, Yasin Malik threw a challenge to Indian leaders to hoist a flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. Just to refresh your memories, separitists and their cadre hoisted the flag of Pakistan at this chowk in Srinagar just last year. And the youth wing of BJP took up this challenge, and conducted a yatra beginning from Kolkata. And the "sincerest" Chief Minister in this country, Omar Abdullah says this - Don't hoist flag at Lal Chowk because it will cause law and order problems! They arrest local leaders first. Then they threaten to arrest all those leaders who will try to enter Jammu. The leaders of opposition in LS and RS, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, are taken into custody and taken away to the Punjab border. Remember - all this just for trying to raise our flag in our country. Then the yatra, led by the BJYM president, Anurag Thakur tries to come into Jammu - and ofcourse they are all arrested too. Omar Abdullah goes on English TV channels and puts up some weak defense and we have the national media supporting him! (Case in point - we know we are right when we are opposed to what the national TV media thinks is right :D). 6 BJYM activists did make it to Lal Chowk despite so many restrictions, and they were arrested there when they tried to hoist the national flag. And being the generous hearted man that Omar is, he offers both the leaders of Opposition to visit the official parade in Jammu - the parade happened at 10am and the leaders were released at 12:30pm. Speaks volumes about the sincerety in the offer. In case you again missed the point - all this was done just to avoid the hoisting of flag of India. On Republic Day.

4. When asked if providing for Haj subsidy violates Fundamental right 27 ( freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion ) , Supreme Court says this - "If only a relatively small part of any tax collected is utilised for providing some conveniences or facilities or concessions to any religious denomination, that would not be violative of Article 27. It is only when a substantial part of the tax is utilised for any particular religion would Article 27 be violated" . Next is what? "Only a small part of tax collected has been stolen by politicians", your honour?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are not crores of taxpayers' money wasted for security & other civic arrangements for hindu pilgrimages like kumbmela, Sabarimala, etc?

Teja said...

I don't think so. They are paying taxes as well and they expect their taxes to cover for their civic arrangements & security.

Ajay said...

@Anonymous

Article 27 says the govt. shouldn't subsidize travelers to Kumbh or Sabarimala. But clearly security to protect citizens' lives is constitutional.

OTOH with Haj the government actually *subsidizes* travel via cheap airline tickets: this is *not* constitutional.

kppradeep said...

This post of yours makes me think whether you are a telepathic mind reader. Whatever i have in mind and whatever my thoughts about the issues you have raised are, you have written brilliantly.
Excellent writeup. Keep it up
Pradeep

Anonymous said...

This is purely a COMMUNAL agenda. I am a hindu and I don't mind a small portion of my tax being spent for this. If the nationalists are really interested in proper spending of taxes then discuss about education, healthcare, public distribution system, drinking water, etc

Indian Girl said...

greetings sir!
comical excuse in point 1 just about sums up everything you have written here.
excellent post.

scadza said...

Kapil Sibal proved that ZERO could only be invented by Indians. Brilliance of Sibal.

Vishal said...

Interesting points about Rahul gandhi. However, I felt that there was no need for BJP to go to Lal Chawk for hoisting the flag. Jammu and Kashmir was a troubled area just a few months back and this particular place- Lal Chawk has a bloodied past. There are certain or say many places within this country where quite frankly, government does not rule. For example, the huge red corridor. We shouldn't be targeting such areas only on republic day or independence day but every day to bring in peace in there. These are just my two cents.

Anurup said...

Great post. It seems like corruption has become a part of everything in India. It disgusts me.

Sudhir said...

Thanks for your compliments folks :)

@Anon - like others mentioned here, providing for security for any kind of gathering in our country is part of government's job. Providing for subsidy based on religious trip should not become it's job.

@Anon - please define "small portion" of tax?? And we discuss all those topics mentioned by you too.

@Vishal - thanks for the comment. Lal Chowk has become an emotional issue too, and also Yasin Malik challenging Indians to try and raise a flag there shouldn't be taken lightly in the first place. Giving in to demands of violent perpetrators should not become a state policy and hence hoisting the flag at Lal Chowk is more than just a political show. But you also make a very interesting point about raising flag in red corridor areas... it will be very interesting to watch :)

-Sudhir

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