Kasab: A National Hero????????

FOR SOMETIME now, I am really wondering that when wills this case of Ajmal Kasab will end. I don’t see it ending in near future. I was always of a view that we should try him at court and not to hang him without a trial. But the snail pace of judiciary is making mockery of the trial. Seven months have passed and we haven’t been able to bring a terrorist caught on camera killing innocent men/women/children to justice.

What a shame?

The media has gone a long way in making a hero out of Kasab. The number of reports on him in last seven months has made him a well known figure of world. His photograph has been flashed on television and print media umpteen number of times. By now most Indians know where Kasab was born and what his parents did. What made him run away from home and how did he come contact with the LeT. We also know Kasab’s love for mutton and chicken dishes and his sole wish to meet Amitabh Bachchan.

We have up to date information on how Kasab is reacting in court or whether he is repenting his crime or not. Why the hell we need this information? This reporting can be termed as callous behaviour of media towards the one who suffered in the 26/11 attacks.

Imagine what pinch they must be feeling when the news channels show over extended coverage of the culprit. I was just reading the story of Captain Amitendra Kumar Singh, who was part of NSG team carrying operations in Oberoi hotel. Hearing about captured terrorist Ajmal Kasab, the 28-year-old braveheart admits, makes his blood boil. “He has become a bigger hero than us.

They should have stoned him to death at some crossroads in Mumbai that time itself.” How true he is when he says that Kasab has become a hero. He is so popular that the producers of reality shows might consider him as a contestant. When Monica Bedi and Rahul Mahajan can become celebrity then so can Kasab!

The money that is being spent on his security and trial could have been efficiently utilised in updating the security infrastructure and helping the kin of the deceased. He must be executed at the earliest. The case should get over now.

This is the apathy and irony that the so called ‘concerned citizens’, who came out in lakhs on December 3, 2008 at Gateway of India forgot the date of election. They preferred spending vacation than doing their duties. The same set of people were crying and shouting on politicians after the attacks. The numerous groups that were formed after the attacks have lost the steam and MA Naqvi’s comments of ‘lipstick wearing socialites’ stands true. The soldiers who risked and laid down their life for us have faded from our memory and media has found a bigger hero in Kasab…

What does the readers of targetgenx think??????

26/11 Mumbai Attack: Scam in procuring Bullet Proof Jackets for Police?

The bullet proof jackets procured for Mumbai Police were of low quality.
This allegation has been levied by the opposition and media on Government of Maharshtra post 26/11 attack on the financial capital of India, Mumbai.

A reply given by Mumbai police to an RTI application seeking the information on bullet proof jackets used by Mumbai Police has raised some sort of suspicion. The reply shockingly stated, “Since the file relating to bulletproof jackets cannot be found, the queries cannot be answered.”

CNN IBN claims that sources in Mumbai Police that the file was not lost, but was being protected from public scrutiny to possibly avoid controversial details from coming out in the open. If this is the truth then it is certainly a matter of great concern. The news channel also says that these jackets were sent for testing and they failed. Every single bullet went through the jackets even though the rounds were fired from a distance. The trial was followed by an enquiry into the spurious jackets but the results of which were shrouded in mystery and now as the police has been claiming, lost along with the file. Sources have claimed that the quality of cloth and special wire mesh used in the jackets was inferior and the vital steel plates were usually corroded.

This is yet another case of rampant corruption in political circles. After Bofors and coffin scam this is yet another instance where the politicians have insulted the saviors of the city and nation. This is perhaps the saddest part of the whole issue. It is directly related to the organization which has to ensure that law and order situation is maintained in the city which is always under the threat. If we cannot provide best equipments to our soldiers and police then that is really very pity. The brave officers laid down their life for the people but it saddens me that have they given better jackets many of the officers might have been saved. It seems that the life of a patriotic soldier has no value for the politicos.

CM of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan has his own sets of arguments. But whatever be the case both government and opposition must ensure that truth does comes out. If the opposition is so concerned then they must provide the proofs of their allegation and government who is “so determined” to tackle terror must also not try to cover up the whole issue.

We as a citizen have shown in the recently concluded Parliamentary elections have shown our concern for the city by “coming out in large numbers to vote”. Hopefully we will show greater concern this time and ensure that we get the satisfying reply. The families of slain police officers have already demanded an enquiry on the entire issue. We must also pressurize our politicians to tell the truth. And if allegations found true; stern actions should be taken against the culprits.

But will it actually happen?

It all depends on us. If we are genuinely concerned about our safety and regard soldiers with the highest respect then we must act and act tough!!

Reference: CNNIBN

Bihar Transformed

On the morning of counting day, driving through rain and the blossoms of Laburnum and Gulmohar in Patna, I was surprised to find that the road outside Nitish’s residence deserted. For a moment I assumed the other news channels had decided to skip the early morning slightly pointless pre results dispatches, till I walked a few steps away to the next lane. Sure enough, the entire media cavalcade of cameras and broadcast vans was parked right there – outside the home of Rabri devi, Lalu’s wife and the proxy Leader of Opposition.
Why would the media ignore the bigger story – Nitish Kumar, the man being wooed by all political formations, praised by Rahul Gandhi, hand-grabbed by Narendra Modi, and generally seen as Bihar’s great hope – to chase the by now predictable story –  the decline of Lalu Prasad, the Railway minister who looked all set to go off track this election?
This could a matter of habit – after all, Lalu has been the centre of gravity in Bihar for two decades. Or it could a more calculated journalistic gambit, linked to the well known contrast between the two men – Impetuous Lalu might supply some drama even as a loser, while Punctilious Nitish would not allow the media in except at the
designated hour dutifully phoned and faxed to media offices. Nitish, as the consensus goes, does not believe in springing surprises.
And the initial leads came as no surprise. Both reporters and exit polls had picked up the astonishingly high level of Nitish’s personal popularity on which the NDA hoped to sweep Bihar. The only subject of speculation then – what would be the final tally?
Lalu’s elder son, a Krishna Bhakt and mildly notorious in Patna, drove in from a morning visit to the temple, flashing the victory sign, holding up both his hands. He is giving four seats to his party – quipped one journalist. Uncannily, that’s what the RJD ended the day with.
Ram Vilas Paswan, the LJP leader who completes the Bihar triumvirate, had all morning been enconsced in a five star hotel suite – the one that he occupies when he is in Patna, which is not too often, usually around election time. He has a reason, or excuse, to stay away – as part of every single government since 1996, his duties as Union Minister have kept him busy in Delhi. Except this election took that excuse away. Paswan lost from Hajipur – a seat he won seven times since 1977, losing just once in the Congress wave of 1984. This time, an 88 year old man, Ram Sunder Das defeated him. Das could be this Lok Sabha’s oldest candidate.
As far as age goes, many have claimed this election has upturned an old truth about the way Bihar polls. That it is no longer about Jaat or caste, the vote is for Vikaas or development. Hardly one to dispute the remarkable transformation underway in Bihar, led by Nitish, I would slightly modify that claim. The reality is more nuanced.
Nitish has revived Bihar’s comatose administration, kickstarted schools and hospitals, used the centre’s money well to build roads and infrastructure – public goods meant for all, they have indeed created a groundswell of support for him across the state and across communities. But what Nitish has also done is target benefits to specific communities, based on caste: the EBC’s or extremely backward castes, numerically larger among the backward castes but edged out by the more powerful Yadavs and Kurmis, have finally been given political space through reservations in panchayats; Mahadalits, dalits minus chamars and Paswans, for whom state largesse now ranges from subsidised homes to monthly supply of bathing soap; even among Muslims, Nitish has singled out the Pasmanda or backward and dalit muslims for special schemes like Talimi Markaj, a scheme aimed to bring Muslim children to school.
This is social engineering, Nitish style. And it pays. It has created new votebanks. Numerically, the most significant is the EBC bloc, 100 odd castes that add up to around 30 % of Bihar’s vote. In 2004, not a single EBC candidate was voted to Parliament. In 2009, three will be sworn in as MPs, all three are from Nitish’s party.
Further proof of how caste realigned this election – Lalu’s outburst post defeat. Two months ago, on poll eve, he dismissed my questions on the impact of the potential consolidation of the EBC and Mahadalit vote. But as his own electoral defeat from Pataliputra flashed on TV screens, he turned to the group of journalists and ranted : ‘Everyone has united against Yadavs, there is hatred against Yadavs’. His other villains: the administration for rigging the polls, an upper caste media for biased reporting. Familiar targets from the nineties. Not suprising. But what was mildly stunning was Lalu’s dismissal of development as a factor. He said if Vikaas could win votes, he would have won hands down for the turnaround of the Railways. He was emphatic : development does not win votes. It was scary to see a man stuck in the nineties.
Nitish, as expected, called for a press conference and walking into 1, Anne Marg had a surprise in store : a mandatory security check, at sharp contrast from the mad chaotic unchecked stampede into Lalu’s home. The security guards, including women constables, were trained to frisk, but did not have the detectors. Another insight into how Bihar is changing – step by step.
The press conference took place under the mango tree, the sole unchanging landmark in a vastly different Chief Ministerial Residence. The briefing lasted twenty minutes and a beaming Nitish Kumar repeated several times, the word ‘Nakaraatmak’, translated best as ‘Negative’, but far more potent in its original meaning. Nitish said voters had rejected the ‘Nakaraatmak’ approach of his opponents. Nitish reiterated that this was a vote against ‘Nakaraatmak’ politics. At final count, Nitish had used the word 10 times.
Nitish may have choosen the negative adjective, but his work has been an affirmative one, both as the chief minister trying to bring governance back to Bihar, and as a politician schooled in the politics of social justice. The stream combines the socialist ideals of Jayaprakash Narayan, and the modified socialism of Karpoori Thakur – Bihar’s second backward caste chief minister and the first to introduce reservations for OBCs in North India, way back in 1978. Both Lalu and Nitish were claimants to this legacy. But while Lalu squandered it, Nitish is building on it – by deepening the reach of reservations and social targeting. It is Mandal Part Two. And like Mandal Part One, you could have a problem with it, if you oppose affirmative action based on caste. Except, by further refining reservations, Nitish has actually taken on what has been one of the prinicipal criticisms of Mandal – that it helped dominant caste groups like Yadavs and Kurmis become even more powerful, at the cost of the more backward and less powerful groups.
Lalu may have privately wished that Nitish’s agenda would lead to a backlash from the upper castes, Yadavs and Kurmis – but it didn’t. Possibly one explanation : even if the others are slightly resentful of reservations, the resentment is offset by the larger benefits of a functioning state that has finally begun to deliver.
No wonder, at his press conference, Nitish didnt look particularly crushed at the national picture of a UPA win, and an NDA defeat. Instead, he asked the new government at the centre to live up to the promise of special status for Bihar – just a day ago, every political party had shown a willingness to consider the demand when a hung verdict seemed likely and the support of Nitish seemed crucial.
Still beaming, Nitish wrapped up : Good that the elections are over, now lets all get back to work.
Post Script: Observations overheard that day: RJD has become Rajput Janta Dal. Apart from Laloo, the other three RJD candidates who won are Rajputs.
The election has ended the Raj of Gundas – Gundis. Gundas are dons turned politicians. Gundis are their wives, propped up as proxy candidates. All 10 of them lost. Including Munna Shukla on a JD U ticket.
A jubiliant Nitish had one reason to be upset. Digvijay Singh, his former party colleague turned rebel, won from Banka defeating Nitish’s candidate. This setback could be crucial – in keeping Nitish grounded. Bihar cannot afford another arrogant leader.

Source: NDTV Written by Supriya Sharma

70,00,000 Crores Indian Rupees In Swiss Bank….wat a great achievement….!!!!

Our Indians’ Money – 70,00,000 Crores Rupees In Swiss Bank*

1) Yes, 70 lakhs crores rupees of India are lying in Switzerland banks. This is the highest amount lying outside any country, from amongst 180 countries of the world, as if India is the champion of Black Money.

2) German Government has officially written to Indian Government that they (German Government) are willing to inform the details of holders of 70 lakh crore rupees in their Banks, if Indian Government officially asks them.

3) On 22-5-08, this news has already been published in The Times of India and other Newspapers based on German Government’s official letter to Indian Government.

4) But the Indian Government has not sent any official enquiry to Germany for details of money which has been sent outside India
between 1947 to 2008. The opposition party is also equally not interested in doing so because most of the amount is owned by politicians and it is every Indian’s money.

5) This money belongs to our country. From these funds we can repay 13 times of our country’s foreign debt. The interest alone can take care of the Centre’s yearly budget. People need not pay any taxes and we can pay Rs. 1 lakh to each of 45 crore poor families.

6) Let us imagine, if Swiss Bank is holding Rs. 70 lakh crores, then how much money is lying in other 69 Banks? How much they have deprived the Indian people? *Just think, if the Account holder dies, the bank becomes the owner of the funds in his account.*

7) Are these people totally ignorant about the philosophy of *Karma*? What will this ill-gotten wealth do to them and their families when they own/use such money, generated out of corruption and exploitation?

8) Indian people have read and have known about these facts. But the helpless people have neither time nor inclination to do anything in the matter. This is like “a new freedom struggle” and we will have to fight this.

9) This money is the result of our sweat and blood. The wealth generated and earned after putting in lots of mental and physical efforts by Indian people must be brought back to our country.

10) As a service to our motherland and you contribution to this struggle, please circulate at least 10 copies of this note amongst your friends and relatives and convert it into a mass movement.

Note: I got this article as an email forwarded from my friend. I validated few of the points hwihc are correct as well but cannot claim to be fully authentic. But it is well known fact that their is huge amount of black money lying in the foreign banks.

Let not ‘BJP ka Gandhi’ get away easily

In the backlanes of Uttar Pradesh, Varun Feroze Gandhi is referred to as the “BJP ka Gandhi”. It’s a reference indicative of what’s been perhaps the 29-year-old poet-politician’s central dilemma in life so far: the struggle to carve an independent identity for himself outside of the Nehru-Gandhi legacy.

His cousin, Rahul, has been bequeathed the keys to the family business. His aunt Sonia is the Supreme Leader of the Indian National Congress. Varun, and his mother, Maneka, have always been the ‘outsiders’, blessed with the surname of India’s most powerful political family without any of the privileges. Which is why the so-called ‘other Gandhis’ have been forced to look for career options. Maneka has found her niche in the world of animal rights activism. Varun too, judging from the content of his speeches in Pilibhit, also now appears to have found his feet as the BJP’s new Hindutva posterboy.

When Varun joined the BJP five years ago, it was an important moment for the party. For decades, the BJP has had to live in the political shadow of the Nehru-Gandhi family. While the dynasty was seen as the sophisticated Brahminical elite of Indian politics, the BJP, and its earlier avatar of the Jan Sangh, was dismissed as a ‘bania’ party of petty traders and ‘sanghis’. The entry of professionals – journalists, bureaucrats, armymen – in the 1990s went a long way in ending the isolation and enhancing the acceptability quotient of the saffron outfit.

Varun’s entry ended the ‘untouchability’ of the BJP once and for all: if an LSE educated member of the Nehru-Gandhi clan could join the BJP, then how could the party be treated as a pariah any longer? The fact that he was the son of Sanjay Gandhi, the face of the abhorrent Emergency, hardly mattered. He was, above all, the great grandson of Jawaharlal.

In fact, within weeks of Varun joining the party, there was a section of the party that was already projecting him as the generation next leader of the BJP. He was even almost pushed into contesting elections in 2004 itself, till someone in the party remembered that the young man wasn’t even 25 and therefore was ineligible to contest the elections.

The desire to have Varun as a BJP face wasn’t just about ending the monopoly of the Congress over the Gandhi-Nehru family name; it was also designed to defeat the Nehruvian political project. Central to the Nehruvian ideal has always been the belief in a secular state that would protect all religions without any distinction. For the BJP, this model of secularism was based on ‘appeasement’ of minorities and needed to be rejected.

The secular-pseudo secular debate has been at the core of the Hindutva ideology and has played a major role in the rise of the BJP in the last two decades. For the sangh parivar , Nehru was, to use the words of a sangh ideologue, “the leader of a perfidious operation that led the country to surrender to Islamic separatism.” What better way to hit back at the much-reviled Jawaharlal than to have his great grandson question the very essence of his legacy?

Which is why Varun’s rhetoric in Pilibhit – the kind which might make even a Bal Thackeray blush – should come as no surprise. Varun was not given special treatment in the BJP so that he would be just another politically ambitious young man waiting his turn. He was catapulted into the arclights to fulfill a particular role: a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family who had wholeheartedly embraced the Hindutva ideology.

That he chose his mother’s constituency of Pilibhit to make his inflammatory remarks is also not unexpected. With a substantial Muslim population, Pilibhit has a history of communal trouble. In the 1930s, resolutions moved in the central legislative assembly to ban cow slaughter had sparked off violence in the region. If today, Varun seeks to revive the cow slaughter issue it should be seen in a specific historic context: as a well-read young man Varun probably knows that this is just the kind of issue that will have an emotional appeal in the region, and could polarize the electorate in his favour.

And yet, there will still be those who will ask just why Varun chose this moment to take up a potentially divisive campaign when his party leadership itself has shown the capacity to look beyond its traditional revivalist agenda, and focus on issues of governance. The simple answer: he probably thought he could get away with it. Had it not been for an alert and enterprising media, he probably would have got away. After all, hate speeches have been made routinely in this country in recent times, yet no one has been really punished.

The only senior political figure who has been held guilty by the judiciary of hate speech has been Bal Thackeray in 1999, that too 12 years after the original offence was committed. The Shiv Sena big boss was initially deprived of his basic right to vote and contest in elections for a period of six years, but even here the punishment was later commuted to just two years. This, despite the fact that Thackeray has been unapologetic and explicit in his venomous speeches and writings against the minorities for over forty years now.

Narendra Modi’s Gujarat Gaurav yatra in 2002 was laced with invective against the minorities, the election commission issued warnings and notices, yet could do little else as Modi stormed to victory in the ensuing elections. In 1984, the Congress publicity campaign spread fear and hatred towards the Sikhs, yet it wasn’t banned. Nor did it stop Rajiv Gandhi from becoming the prime minister. Whether it be political imams who appeal for votes in the name of Islam, or Hindu leaders who target the minorities, little has been done to actively enforce existing legislation against hate speech.

Perhaps, Varun too will eventually get away, and in all probability, even win his election from Pilibhit. Once the media frenzy settles, it is even possible that Varun will be lionized as a gutsy individual by those who believe that such rhetoric is necessary to put minorities ‘in their place’. Maybe, this is the inevitable price we must pay as a nation for having allowed our politics to degenerate into a snake-pit of divide and rule.

And yet, if we have any faith in the idea of India as a multi-religious society with a republican constitution, we must not allow Varun to get away so easily. That’s the least Jawaharlal and our founding fathers would expect of us.

By Rajdeep Sardesai
Source: IBN

This happens only in India

Welcome to India, that is Bharat, the land of eternal contradictions. Blessed are the souls of this country who have the good fortune of living with contradictions, with a majority of them even making a virtue out of it.

Life in India could very well be compared to the movies of Manmoham Desai of yore, who made so many successful movies, a lot many of them with the star of the millennium – Amitabh Bachchan. Although critics – God bless them – rubbished these movies as escapist, trash and without any head or tail, the audience lapped them all as they made them see pleasant dreams at least for three hours that they were in the theatres.

Day in and day out, we are told that we are the largest democracy – whatever that may mean for ordinary folks — that we are on the way to becoming an economic superpower even while people die of hunger and farmers commit suicide. That we have the best Constitution in the world, irrespective of the fact that the number of constitutional amendments carried out therein may soon overtake the original provisions of the Constitution and it may ultimately not only lose its letter but the spirit as well.

Prudence, however, demands that we don’t get carried away by all this rhetoric. We must learn to take all these as snippets from Manmohan Desai’s movies and enjoy them as we read about them or listen to such things. Taking these things seriously could be highly injurious to health and even life.

Our Parliament and State Assemblies are show cases where our elected representatives are provided a stage to display their histrionics and they do so to their full potential. They shout, create ruckus, throw chairs and microphones at each other, even politicise issues requiring humane considerations, deflect issues to avoid serious discussions, overawe others of their ilk with their lung power and to top it all, generally remain absent from the house itself. And then, in their spare time they pass some legislation. However, spare time and knowledge of some of these worthies needs augmentation, the same are generally not wasted in going into details of most of the bills passed by them.

Our much maligned MPs are law makers of this country. A look at their awe inspiring record in the field of law would convince even the diehards about their credentials in this field. Don’t believe it? Well then how about these statistics? Out of approximately 545 odd members of present Lok Sabha, allegedly, 29 have been accused of spouse abuse, seven have been arrested for fraud, 19 have more than three criminal cases pending against them, 117 have been charged and are being investigated for crimes like murder, rape, assault, extortion and robbery, 71 cannot get credit or loans due to bad credit histories, 21 are current defendants on various law suits and 84 have been involved in various other offenses and have paid fines.

Impressive, isn’t it? Well, our law-makers are blessed with many more virtues. It would, however, be rather impracticable to count all of them in this limited space. Quite appropriately, these law makers are fully qualified to make laws because none of these laws are applicable either to themselves, or to law-breakers or even to the agencies charged with enforcing the law. The laws are usually applied to harass ordinary law abiding citizens only.

To keep themselves updated with the laws framed by them as well as to maintain their reputation, our law-makers routinely get involved in various scams or keep rubbing the law on the wrong side. There have been scams like ‘Questions for money’, where these worthies were found to have been demanding money for asking questions in Parliament. Then there was an expose by the Star News during 2005, code named ‘Operation Chakarvyuh’, showcasing MPs demanding and taking a cut out of their own quota of MP Area Development Fund. In a country where generally one scam is unearthed per month, the public has become quite sensitised to such happenings.

Whenever a scam occurs – which is rather frequent – we invariably get to hear with great alacrity, the by now famous six words from the government, “The law shall take its course” and then the same government very promptly concentrates all its energies to ensure that the law does not take any course at all. The way an inquiry is ordered, terms of reference of the inquiry are framed and all sorts of hurdles are placed in front of the inquiry commissions, are all indicative of government’s mind set towards a particular scam. Past record of the scams is a definite proof that the law has hardly been allowed to take its course in democratic India especially if the alleged offenders were from political community.

The latest example in this regard is the alleged bribery attempt during the vote of confidence by Manmohan Singh’s government, where the Parliament was brought into ridicule by the members who displayed currency worth lakhs of rupees, alleged to have been offered as bribe. True to its form, the Parliamentary panel appointed to probe the scandal, could not pinpoint the offenders. Apparently ‘Scamocracy’ – pardon the slip – it should be democracy, albeit Indian ishtyle, has spread its roots or rather tentacles far and wide in our country.

The government is supposed to govern but politicians being at the helm, governance is given the back seat. Recourse is taken to populist measures which supposedly have the potential of translating into instant votes, governance be damned. We thus, have a situation where most of the laws are not enforced. At times the executive is forced by the judiciary to implement the existing laws. The government then tries tight rope walking or circumvention of the laws to somehow put a spanner in court’s directive and perpetuate the wrong by making the illegal, legal. The biggest example that comes to mind is the sealing/demolition drive in Delhi.

Favouritism, nepotism and corruption have ensured that the building bye laws are violated by those who have the money, muscle power or the right connections. The result — mushrooming of illegal structures/buildings and running of factories/commercial establishments in residential areas. With Executive abdicating its responsibilities, the courts had to move in. Directed by the court, the executive had no option but to get on with the demolitions.

Majority of population in Delhi were happy about these demolitions but people with money and muscle – two resources needed the most during elections – were thoroughly indignant with the ruling dispensation and they worked out an impressive opposition to daunt the government. The government, who in the first instance only, should have ensured that no laws were violated, became rather hesitant to enforce the directions of the court. Instead of ensuring enforcement of court’s directions , the government and politicians of all hues then got engaged in the exercise of circumventing the laws, either by amending the Master Plan of Delhi or if required, by bringing about amendments in the building bye laws.

Elsewhere, the government keeps creating feel good atmosphere by regularly presenting vote catching gimmicks, like trailers of Manmohan Desai’s movies. An occasional raid on the premises employing child labour and so called ‘release’ of a number of child workers is given out as an achievement of the state. All this is done without providing any alternate job to the needy children. Our great democracy never bothers to find out the compulsions which force the children to work and earn for their families as it would then be obligated to remove those compulsions. This certainly is not a vote catching exercise and hence, not worthy of government’s attention.

Most of the children are forced to earn at very young age because of family compulsions – there may not be any other male member, the father or both the parents may be dead, there may be acute poverty in the family etc etc. Right to education and banning child labour are good slogans but what is their importance for the families whose very sustenance is at stake? Without any social security system in place, the children ‘freed’ or ‘released’ from child labour either turn to begging or stealing.

Ideally, the social security system in the country should ensure that no child is forced to earn his living. Since in a country like India, it is nothing but a dream, the government, instead of banning child labour altogether, should regulate it by framing laws in this regard that would ensure proper remuneration and reasonable working hours.

Right to information bill has been passed with great fanfare. While it is a welcome step, it would, for a majority of the people, remain a feel good factor only. With a headstrong bureaucracy fiercely determined to maintain its stranglehold, it is indeed a job to get the desired information. How many people would take recourse to law, against denial of information to them, considering that the law itself follows a pretty labyrinthine trail which is tortuous and unending, is a question that alone would determine its efficacy. 

Our democracy is full of endless anecdotes, snippets and mutually contradictory situations. A lot many feel good laws exit on the statute book. Nobody, however, has the will or the inclination to ensure that these laws are implemented. Politics and politicians have all become self serving. The general public has no option but to live on the dreams woven by the politicians, much like the celluloid dream merchants, and feel good that ‘Mera Bharat’ is indeed ‘Mahan’.

Source: http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=15710720

Should there be Death Penalty for Rapists??

ANOTHER RAPE incident has come in light in Delhi/NCR. The rape of MBA student in Noida just shows the helplessness of our legal system. I have always felt that the basic reason why the rapists are not afraid of committing the crime is the loopholes in our legal process. As it is our judiciary walks with snail pace and on top of it the weak laws make it even more comic.

With this latest incident there needs to be discussion on whether or not there should be death penalty for the crime of rape?

Many penologists and jurists believe that it deserves to be punished as seriously as murder is. I feel that if serious crimes were meted out with stricter and harsher punishments, their numbers would reduce considerably. The rape has over the years has become one of the most heinous crime in a civilised society. Of all the cases reported, there are figures which say that every 26 minutes, a women becomes target in our country. And if you include the unreported cases then I feel that the number will run in seconds not minutes.

Over the last few years there have been so many incidents of rape where children and elderly have also been targeted. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCTB) data also clearly points to the profile of the average rapist – over 75 per cent were known to the victims. In fact, nearly 10 per cent were relatives. Another disturbing aspect was that about a quarter of the rape victims were minors. Cases of incest are also increasing. Fathers rape their own children, brothers rape their own sisters. The victim of rape is ravished like an animal for the fulfillment of desire and lust of another man and which undermines the integrity of the victim, physically as well as mentally.

Justice Arjit Pasayat observed: “While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female.

” Article 21 of Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and liberty to men and women both alike, but whether it is really imperative to take a decisive step towards extirpating this evil and make the contemporary and future society a safe haven for women. I think yes.

It is time for the law makers to formulate more stringent laws. Right now are laws have so many loopholes that it is very easy for the rapist to walk free. The sentence of punishment ranges from one to ten years. If the accused is influential, he may even expiate by paying huge amounts of money and get exculpated.

The time has come to give death penalty for the crime of rape to the conscienceless criminals. If death sentence is given to such convicts, so as to deter the rest, then no doubt that the graph of rape cases will come down considerably. Though there can be some other alteration but it is very essential that we need to overhaul our judiciary. We need to study the laws, the process and then apply a job which can cater to the larger interest of the society. If such step is not taken then the victim of every rape will not be a woman but humanity.

A dissection of section 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules

Lately, there has been a buzz over the section 49-O of The Conduct of Election Rules, 1961[PDF] on blogs, newspapers, email forwards and microblogs.

SunniestGnome did a post on Jai Hind in October last year about the section 49-O. The post carries a discrepancy, viz. the provisions for cancellation of results or disqualification of candidates.

A discussion on twitter with @Sengupta, @nikhilnarayanan & @sh00nya ended up into a collection of some useful and determining material about this.

I follow this up with excerpts of the complete discussion below. Going through it and the enclosed links can really clear a lot of myths about this highly discussed but not very prevalent provision:

nikhilnarayanan: There is no section 49-0 on voting right! http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-chatteranti/394809/2

imba: RT @nikhilnarayanan: There is no section 49-0 on voting right! http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-chatteranti/394809/2

Sengupta: @nikhilnarayanan @imba There’s no 49-O in the constitution. 49-O is a Rule in the The Conduct of Elections Rules.

Sengupta: 49-O is meant to prevent electoral fraud and has no provisions for cancellation of results or disqualification of candidates.

nikhilnarayanan: @Sengupta so, Shekhar Gupta is wrong? :O

Sengupta: @nikhilnarayanan No. He’s absolutely right. He said it’s not there in the constitution- just hasn’t mentioned where the confusion stems from

nikhilnarayanan: @Sengupta ok. http://www.hinduonnet.com/2004/04/28/stories/2004042805150500.htm

Sengupta: @nikhilnarayanan The article is fine, but unfortunately the The Conduct of Elections Rules don’t specifically say what will happen (contd)

Sengupta: @nikhilnarayanan if the number of 49-Os is greater than the number of votes for any one candidate. This is one of it’s biggest problems.

Sengupta: @nikhilnarayanan I do believe there’s some work to be done yet to bring some clarity into the whole issue.

sh00nya: @Sengupta @nikhilnarayan has any one read this in its entirety http://lawmin.nic.in/legislative/election/volume%202/conduct%20of%20election%20rules,%201961.pdf

nikhilnarayanan: @Sengupta Agreed. Someone has to clarify.

Sengupta: @sh00nya I’ve read this bit: http://txtb.in/nY That’s all. I’m no expert on the rule. Just putting in my $0.02.

Sengupta: @sh00nya @nikhilnarayanan This seems to explain the status quo fairly well: http://www.49-o.info/ [MUST SEE]

sh00nya: @Sengupta true that’s there in the Conduct of Elections Rule 1961 going thru the 139 pg doc lemme see if i can get any details

Sengupta: @sh00nya Here: http://lawmin.nic.in/ld/subord/cer1.htm About halfway through the page.

sh00nya: @Sengupta precisely :) was going through the info there

h00nya: Point 11 of ECI guidelines says same http://www.eci.gov.in/ECI_voters_guideline_2006.pdf [MUST SEE] abt 49-O. only a note is made in Form17A, the secrecy of voter is nt protected though

nikhilnarayanan: @Sengupta Mutiny says somethin on 49-0 http://mutiny.in/2008/12/07/the-real-deal-behind-49-0/ [MUST SEE]

I hope this clears a lot of your misconceptions about the provision and keeps you better informed about the same.

Jai Hind

Sati still prevalent in India

The Indian society might have progresses and move forward but the social evil of Sati continues to haunt us. The shocking incident of a seventy one year old woman performing Sati in Chattisgarh a few days back is an eye opener for all of us.
The practice of Sati has been a part of our society for ages with its inception being traced to the time of the Gupta period. Though Sati is illegal an is highly condemned in our society, the act of Sati bring performed in the 21st century has shocked people. Lalmati Verma aged seventy one and a resident of Chechar village in the Raipur district in Chattisgarh. Her husband Shivnandan Verma, a local had died of natural causes. Lalmati had come to the funeral dressed in a new sari. When the husbands body had been almost burnt and the villagers were about to leave, Lalmati jumped into the pyre and was reduced to ashes in moments. Lalmati had three sons who were totally unaware of their mothers plans. Lalmati verma was a member of the Kurmi caste, which is registered in the list of the OBC’s(Other backward classes).
It is yet not known whether Lalmati Verma chose to do this voluntarily or was pushed by someone. A police case has been registered and investigation is on. But the incident is a glaring example of how such incidents continue to occur in rural India inspite of all the modernization and the development that urban india is facing today.
Since partition there have been more than forty cases of Sati which have been documented. A majority of the cases have occurred in rural areas, with main reasons being attributed to lack of education and awareness of the law. Sati has always been condemned even at the time of the Mughal rulers, Humayun, Akbar and Aurangzeb had made all attempts to abolish the practice of Sati. Several religious groups have condemned the practice with Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs speaking out against it. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, at the time of independence had fought to abolish the practice of Sati during the time of the freedom struggle.
The government has made its effort to ban the evil practice. After a few incidents that were reported in the 1980’s. The government passed the Sati prevention act of 1987 and also the Rajasthan Sati prevention ordinance of 1987, for most of the sati acts were performed in regions of Rajasthan. Jaipur was also the last princely state to ban Sati during the British Raj in the year 1846.
The Sati prevention act of 1987, makes it illegal to “abet, glorify or attempt to commit Sati”. Abetment of Sati, includes forcing someone to commit Sati. Abetment can be punished by Death Sentence or Life imprisonment, while glorifying Sati is punishable with one to seven years in Prison.
Our society has moved forward by leaps and bounds in the past few decades, but some old practices like Sati are still prevalent in rural India despite several attempts made by the government to ban them. The key is to spread awareness amongst rural areas and make the people realize the evils associated with this practice. Till such cases of Sati continue to be performed we cannot call ourselves a developed nation. It is a shame for our society till this heinous practice continues to go on.

No more Exit Polls?

The Union Cabinet’s recent decision could sound the death knell for Exit Polls in India as the government has decided that the results of the exit polls will have to be withheld till the last phase of the polling of elections is completely over.
The decision was taken for many political parties had been against the Exit polls as they thought that the polls could be manipulated. Even a couple of years back the Election commission had banned the telecast and the broad cast of the exit polls but the media houses had approached the Supreme court and hence the order had to be revoked by the court to allow the telecast of the exit polls.
The states of Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh are due to have assemble election in a few months time whereas the Lok Sabha elections will be taking place at the beginning of 2009.
The Ministry of Law had wanted to modify the Representation of People Act of 1951 by inserting section 126 (b), “to restrict publication and dissemination of opinion and exit polls conducted during elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies”.
Meanwhile exit polls have had a mixed response over the world. Some countries have completely banned exit polls all together whereas in others the broadcast of the polls cannot take place before the final vote has been cast. But on the other hand critics have said that this is against freedom of speech and the freedom given to the media in our country especially. At the time of elections, several media houses come up and conduct their own exit polls. The exit polls are generally a precursor to the actual polls but their results and findings may not always match that to the actual polls held.
In the countries of New Zealand as well as Singapore, exit polls have been completely banned whereas in most of the European countries like the United Kingdom and Germany do not allow the results of the polls to be displayed before the polling stations close and the last vote has been cast. It often happens that many exit poll groups combine with each other to provide an as accurate figure as possible. This collaboration was done during the general elections in 2005 in UK where the exit polls showed that the labor party would get a majority of sixty six seats and the figure was bang on.
In most of the American states, displaying the results of the exit polls is banned before the closure of the voting period. But it has been noted that these results have been leaked at times. In a country like India the situation is different when compared to America as most of the people in our country are still illiterate and hence they can be easily manipulated by the exit polls. The exit poll results are also known to deter voters from sometimes actually waiting, for they feel that their preferred candidate is going to win any way. Hence the cabinet has decided to ban exit polls for the upcoming elections. But the media houses will be up in protest against the ruling.