Tuesday, March 31

Decriminalise Politics

Supreme Court (SC) refuses Sanjay Dutt to fight election.
Will this decriminalise politics?
Sanjay Dutt was convicted under the Arms Act and sentenced to six-year imprisonment by a TADA court. the actor is on bail over a weapons conviction,.he had been campaigning to represent the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh state on behalf of the socialist Samajwadi Party.
The court rejected Dutt's plea, saying it would set the wrong precedent to allow him to run in the April 16 - May 13 elections.He was found guilty in 2007 of possessing illegal weapons that he bought from men accused of plotting the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts in which more than 250 people died.
Uttar Pradesh is regarded as crucial in the elections as it is India's most populous state and sends 80 MPs to the 545-member national parliament.
The desision has once again sent a great message during the time of election where criminalisation has become a worrisome characteristic of India's politics and electoral system.

To combat criminalisation, we need the strengthening of existing laws by removing certain lacunae.
Section 8 of the RPA, for instance, disqualifies a person from contesting elections if he or she has been convicted in the manner specified in sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of the Act.
  • Under Sections 8(2) and (3), a convicted person is disqualified for the period of imprisonment and six years thereafter.
  • Under Section 8(1), the disqualification is only for a period of six years from the date of conviction, whatever the term of imprisonment.
  • Section 8(4) exempts sitting members of Parliament and the State legislatures from disqualification following conviction under any of the preceding three sub-sections if they have filed an appeal against their conviction within three months of the judgment.
The exemption will be in force until the court disposes of the appeal.
And most often criminals do win, which is why they are increasingly present in the country’s representative institutions. The consequences of the trend, if allowed to continue unchecked, hardly deserve an elaboration and are seen in the increasing criminalisation of the process of governance with ministers, legislators, bureaucrats and unscrupulous businessmen combining to plunder public funds and prey on the public.

In fact a new dimension has been added to the process by the Criminalisation of bureaucracy and the police. What makes the situation particularly dangerous is that a criminalized administration poses a serious threat to the country’s security. What we say in the past was a result of all this nonsense.

De-Criminalisation of politics should be the main issue in all elections in the country. While political parties have a serious responsibility not to put up criminals as candidates, voters have an equally strong responsibility of defeating candidates with a criminal record.
The election is at our doorway and the time is now to choose what kind of governance we want for us. One-way is to let things happen the way it is and mourn. There is a second way and that is by ensuring that we do our best to make sure that criminals are voted out.
We have also to see that we do not vote on the basis of caste religion but on the personal merit of the candidate. We have been voting on the basis of cate creed etc. for quite a long time and it has bred only misrule. It is hightime that we set right our blunders if not for us then at least for the sake of our children. Narrow gains are not going to get us anywhere. Even the leaders of various parties will have to realise that criminals will one day snatch power from them.
Ruling with the help of ciminals and goondas can not last and examples are not needed to prove it. The sooner it is understood the better it will be but for the general citizens of India we must do our part. We want strong government NOT KHICHRI GOVERNMENT.

Sunday, March 29

Who are the democrats and secular lighthouses of freedom of expression and liberty?

The disease “Criminalisation” is all over ..its just not about few parties and states Criminalisation of politics in India has attained a stage, where it needs serious attention from the citizen, political parties as there was a steady decline in values of all sections of our society

It is the sensibilities and commonsense of the voter that can change this.we all know that we have to make choice between aThug and a thief in situations . This increasing Criminalisation of the political and social fabric is the main danger, not the mixing of religion with politics I feel.

It is astonishing that persons having criminal background and a number of cases registered against them have made easy access to politics and are occupying high position in the state administration upon getting elected by using muscle and money power

Friends you will be surprised to know that of the 543 men and women that were elected to the Lok Sabha in May 2004 125 had criminal charges against them. The 125 MPs were from 17 different states and two Union territories. A large chunk faced serious charges including murder, rape, dacoity, kidnapping and corruption.

There is a great tendency with the elected leaders at some point or the other to brush with the law .It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that corruption is the reason for the malice.

Of the 125.. 96 faced charges with potential sentences of two years or more. Under the Representation of the People Act, a person sentenced for two years or more is disqualified from contesting elections. We should not forget that the number have been large as were either vague or illegible.

27 of those elected in May 2004 faced charges under IPC for life sentence/imprisonment.

14 faced charges of 10-year sentences.

16 were with maximum 7-year.. Potential sentences if convicted.

In other words, at least 57 had really serious charges against them

Of the 96 BJP headed the list with 23 followed by the Congress with 17. It is true that the RJD’s 7, the SP’s 9 and the BSP’s 5 constitute a much larger proportion of those parties’ MPs

No proze for guessing that UP and Bihar toped the charts. The only states which had none of their MPs figuring in the list were the eight north-eastern states and the three northern states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. Barring Assam, which has 14 Lok Sabha seats, what is noticeable is that these are among the smallest states.Out that many of 125 winners who faced criminal charges were not becoming MPs for the first time. Several among them had already served more than one term in Parliament.

I have mentioned these figures to clear the doubts and state that Criminalisation of politics is spread across the length and breadth of our country. The movement is getting more and more established.

Please do not forget in India, it is not politics which needs saving from religion but religion which needs to be protected from political hoodlums. Temples, gurudwaras and waqf boards provide criminals with vast amounts of economic resources and a ready made political base. They have converted these religious institutions into battlegrounds for gang warfare.

Even this politicisation of religion would be a relatively harmless affair, if the parties concerned vowed not to use criminal means to secure their political ends. If we read history we will realize that the foundation of Pakistan was laid through bloodshed and criminal acts of politicians rather than by religion dominating politics.

State funding is the perfect pill to cleanse the electoral syastem

There should be legislation according to which election funding should be legalized and State funding is the perfect pill to cleanse the country's electoral system

Elections and money go hand in hand. It is a well-established fact that during elections, candidates and parties are largely supported by money that is not accounted for. Instances of arm twisting by parties or candidates are not uncommon. Till date there is no institutional mechanism for funding as opinion on the issue of state funding of elections continues to be divided. The reason being off course is little acceptance or consensus in the political parties over this issue.

Till the time there is no political will to limit money power and to ensure a level playing field – (the ballot box) nothing will change. Who can muster the political will and put these proposals into practice is a moot question

IN 1998 under the chairmanship of Indrajit Gupta of the Communist Party of India (CPI) state funding was proposed but nothing came out of it. Again in 2006 with a view to give a dimension to the issue of state funding an agreement among recognized political parties was proposed to the Election Commission to consider certain recommendations and decision is still awaited. Some felt at the same time that 'not enough' while some others 'totally opposed' the modality.

The scope and mode of state funding of elections is indeed a factor to keep a check on model code of conduct and it should have a legal sanctity.

No doubts transparency seems to be the buzz word for most of the corporate houses as far as political donations or funding is concerned lets understand the views of corporate conglomerates like the Tatas and the Birlas. They have set up electoral trusts to fund political parties and independent candidates. Most of the corporates and industrialists are in favour of state funding. CII has a policy on political funding. Mahindra and Bajaj in principle advocate state.

Political parties have performed a vital public function to sustain democracy at the same time there is a great and urgent need to strengthen the democratic forces with a clean electoral process. We need to create an environment where donations can be made to political parties in a transparent, non-discriminatory and non-discretionary manner to help achieve a political framework for overall economic and social development of the country.

Mixture of individual contributions, supporters in the diaspora and members of the business community, some of whom do not want to be disclosed are sure against it along with parties who claim and express doubt that the government would agree to provide funds to its electoral rivals.

The pro state funding advocates will have to justify why it would not be a big mistake for any opposition party to have financial expectations on the government. How do you expect an enemy to give you ammunition to fight it?

An initiative is needed…INVENT INDIA. Since last 25 years this issue has not been converted into a law Inspite of the fact that state funding of elections would bring in an element of equality to electoral contests, particularly because it would help remove the disadvantage faced by parties which represent the socially and economically weaker sections and which often have limited access to big donors.

The state should provide funds to political parties. State funding are ideal and it will streamline the political process. It will 100 % clean the electoral system will bring transparency and accountability. But then those issues don’t figure on the electoral agenda of any political party.

Saturday, March 21

Detecting tainted candidates by red dot

The current law as it stands, requires the Electoral Candidates to file affidavits clearly giving details on pending litigation and court orders/jail sentences. Such information is required to be in public domain as per the Supreme Court order. It is the unfortunate reality in India that such public domain information is not reaching out to all the voting citizens equally; either they cannot read and understand or cannot access the information. In any case, the voter cannot easily make an 'informed choice'.

Similar situation existed with packaged food products. The Labelling rules now require among other things, that contents and constituents be clearly stated so that, for example, the citizen can determine if the product is of vegetarian or non-vegetarian origin. To simplify this for the citizen, it is required to put a green dot for vegetarian and brown dot for non-vegetarian constituents of content. Now it is very easy for the buyer and citizen to distinguish between products.

I suggest that similar 'dot system' be used for Electoral Candidates. The tainted candidates, who have pending litigation or jail terms, etc, should be identified by a 'red dot' against their names on the Electronic Voting Machine. This will simplify the difficult issue of reaching important information to the citizens in an equitable manner.

It can be no ones' case that this mandated information should not be easily understood by the voting citizens. Then why do we need so many NGOs, Citizen Groups and the Media, to try to reach it to the voters? The State Chief Electoral Officers should require the EVMs to have the 'red dot' against the names of the tainted candidates.

The Election Commission of India should mandate this simple process.

The publicity of explanation of the 'red dot' alone, will act as a serious deterrent to the political parties from nominating tainted candidates from any constituency in India. This process is in consonance with the Supreme Court ruling, in that it is a different method to put such information in public domain. The ECI can act on this method and satisfy the spirit of the SC order.
Praful VoraVolunteer & Convener, JNM

Tuesday, March 17

Need an apology from Varun Gandhi.

Varun Gandhi!! Not an ordinary breed.. But who has been ruling our country … produces a youngster.. Today it raises eyebrows.

The 29-year-old son of Maneka and late Sanjay Gandhi is contesting his maiden Lok Sabha election from Pilibhit constituency

On Sunday he was served a notice by the district authorities in Pilibhit to reply to the Election Commission about violating the model code of conduct in two days.

The offensive remark captured by a TV channels drew the attention of the local authorities. This is what the scion of the separated Gandhi family is stating and asking people to cheer.

Few slogans for you read….
"Gau hatya rukwana hai, Varun Gandhi ko jitana hai"
(Cow slaughter must stop, Varun Gandhi must win)
"Varun nahin yeh aandhi hai, doosra Sanjay Gandhi hai
(Varun Gandhi is like a storm, he is another Sanjay Gandhi)".

He had been campaigning earlier but they have gone unnoticed. It’s alarming…

The widow and son of Sanjay Gandhi… Maneka Gandhi and son Varun Gandhi – were once upon a time the virtual leader of the Congress party in 1970s –

They both joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in Feb 2004

After joining the BJP..Varun Gandhi, grandson of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and great-grandson of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said,

"Historically, my family has been part of the Congress and has led it through its most glorious era. I do believe, however, that what my family was true to was not a party but a value system, a tradition of self-sacrifice, national pride and independence of spirit. I consider joining and strengthening the BJP to be in the nation's best interest and, therefore, decided to do so."
And on Sonia Gandhi as the leader he said

“The foreign origin is an issue but there are many other issues besides it that could be taken up during the poll campaign,"

Today a “change” “makeover” can be seen in the 29 year old boy.
Five years…

Today what we hear is..
"All the Hindus stay on this side and send the others to Pakistan"
Not only this- he also made some derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi in the campaign

I am not coming to terms with the reality.. Friend is this the ideology of the party that he belongs to?

Or is it something else?

It is very shocking..

A criminal case is also lodged (BJP) Lok Sabha candidate Varun Gandhi for his alleged communal campaign speeches in Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit constituency. The non-bailable case.

"Varun Gandhi has been booked under Section 153 (a) and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code as well as Section 125 of the People's Representative Act.

While Section 153 (a) deals with "promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony", Section 188 is on "disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant". Section 125 of the People's Representative Act deals with "offence of promoting enmity between classes in connection with the elections".

Varun Gandhi has ruffled feathers ..friends.. by his pro-Hindu speeches.
He has reportedly threatened to cut off the hands of those who raise a "hand against Hindus".
He is the descendant of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, a founding father of India’s secular democracy.
The streak of rabid communalism runs right across.

How dare he..!! I'm a Muslim and proud to be one. Also I thank my ancestors and god that they did not choose Pakistan and chose to stay back in India.

India is my country more than that of Varun Gandhi.
if u think he was wrong ..sign the petition to oppose his contesting

Sunday, March 8

whats so special about womens day?

This day will always be very close to my heart. The reasons being good and sad experiences 1 went through along with my batch mates. But All's Well That Ends Well.

As decided the band played the music and the His Excellency, the Governor of Madhya Pradesh Dr Balram Jakhar stepped out of his car.. Walked the red carpet to reach the dice. ACES 91 team mates Faiqa, Vineeta and Rachita walked gracefully along with him.

His Excellency, the Governor of Madhya Pradesh Dr Balram Jakhar was the Chief Guest. President of ACES Association of convent ex students Mrs Kiran Avasthi welcomed the chief guest and administered an Oath for 'Protection of the Rights of the girl child' to the gathering as planned the batch 91.

The vote of thanks.. The speech written by Faiqa and read by Rachita our batch head will never be forgotten. Love u Faiqa. You are a super lady

The Flag swirled continuously for 3 hours while the dozens of cars rolled out on streets in Bhopal on Sunday march 8Th. Association of Convent Ex Students (ACES) 91 batch organized a Women’s Car Rally on the occasion of International Women’s Day and proved nothing is impossible.United we stand divided we fall.

The first car of no 100, which belonged to our batch mate Ruchi Vijayavargiya, was flagged off. Pilot from profession..She never showed nervousness in spite she missed her briefing a day before. Honourable guests who were invited to grace the occasion flagged of the other 99 cars which were driven by women

I was noting the time out of the cars as was well versed with the rally structures and concours. Maliha , Bilquis and Jyoti were noting the other details at the starting point.

Rachita and Faiqa took control of the other venue arrangements, which went on beautifully without any problem.

Realizing that 30 cars were flagged off I hit the road.. the track in red Mitsubishi which was sponsored by SR cars to check out the route to avoid any last minute confusion’s .every thing was perfect..

The first Time control point was managed by Mukta Sharma and Sudarshna at All Saints School. This responsibility was first of its kind for them. The spirit and enthusiasm Inspite of all odds didn’t stop them from working meticulously. I saw them surrounded by dozens of navigators harrowing them but they were not unnerved.

The most interesting and the fun loving point I noticed was the second Time Control managed by Neetica Gupta and Dolly Motwani. The moment I reached there I was offered a glass of juice and snack. I was surprised by their preparation, made on their own. They managed to mark lines by flour as they thought was the best alternative they could use instead of a white dust /powder as a finishing line although it was not needed.
Wow what a splendid managerial abilities women have.

Moved ahead and it seemed the whole town was participating and cheering the rallist..
I crossed 30 km and reached the third Time control. I saw Vinita running with the time check card as one of the participant didn’t sign it and Bilquis noting the time of another participant. They were impervious by the amateur drivers but supportive. Oh my God what a scene.. every body was enjoying , helping ..the Ex Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Mr. AV Singh who has always been an inspiration and guiding force to all of us was there on every check point with water , juice and biscuits helping the Marshall and the drivers. That’s how he celebrated and encouraged women. What a man he is! Cannot be described in words.

All through the routes I read the banners which were made by us on women’s day. After confirming that every thing was going trouble-free on the track, at Faiqa’s end -at the venue reached back at the target- the finishing point .

Every thing was just what the doctor ordered ha ha ha the end time was being noted by Maliha ,Bilquis, Faiqa, Rachita and by me as well. Realizing thing are in place we reached the spot adjacent to the rally ground where the arrangement for the prize distribution were made. It was perfect.
The music was going on, food being served, children having fun, cribbing for ice-cream and soda. Mothers enjoying their afternoon, meeting up with old friends, batch mates and enjoying every bit of the rally atmosphere..

This buffer zone was created as calculating results takes time. Rushed to the emergency office created at the venue. Rajan with his buddy had meanwhile entered the scores of all the 100 cars. We pressed the button at the excel sheet and the results were there.

Indeed it was a women’s day. There was an overwhelming response from women of all age groups from 18 to 72 year old women participated. Exactly 100 entries were received, which was a record in itself. The total distance covered by the rally was 47 kms. .It was a time speed distance rally. There were passage control and time checks on the route of the rally where the participants had to endorse their entry. All were managed by ACES batch 91 women. The rally was flagged off at 9.15 am from Four Season’s Lawns at Ahmedabad Palace and concluded at the same point.

The Guest of Honor, Ex Chief Secretary and Chief Election Commissioner M.P Shri A.V Singh gave away the prizes on the occasion. The supporters of the show were SR Car, MY Car. The Prizes were sponsored by Alankar Jwellers, Agarwal Jwellers, Zevrat and Nikki Bawa. This Rally was unique in its own way as it was completely managed by women marshals.

Owing to the big no of participant’s the total prizes were 7 in no. 1-Sunita Karki. 2- Sana shoeb.3-Shivika Sharad/4-Mrs Tope/5-tie- between Mrs avasthi and Himani Lalachandani/
6th position also there was a tie between Mrs Kavita Tyagi and Nirmala Tyagi- 7th S K Yeng.

3 consolation prizes were given-they reached on correct time but had minus points. It went to Mrs. Preeti Keer, Mrs. Aprajita Agarwal and Mrs.Ruchi Vijaywargiya

The trophy for senior most participants was sponsored by Ms Sushila Ghosal, retd senior teacher of St Joseph Convent. It was bagged by Mrs Kusum Kapoor 62 years of age and her navigator Mrs. Keshav s 70 years old .

The money collected through this event will go for the education of girls WHO will study in t St Josephs Conevent School Bhopal.

Friday, March 6

Polls and Stumps

Cricket is not the national sports of India but without doubt the most popular sport of the country. I love cricket.. but ….elections are more important.. we are forming a government which will run the country.. was the first reaction from me when the debate was going on in my office.

No doubts its a very very sensitive time and a ripe time for the terrorists to take advantage of the situation.. prevailing in the subcontinent..with the kind of security we have in out country.. only God can help..i don't think this will be a right time.. for the safety and security needed for 45 days in IPL.

The situation we are living in is the right time for the terrorism to spread and create chaos.. Its commonsense.. the security will be off from the politicians..that's quite a sensitive time.. any mishappening can lead to a big turmoil.
we are standing on a live mine which is just seconds away from being ignited....SECURITY MUST FOCUS ON PROTECTING THE ELECTIONS NOT THE BUSINESS OF FEW.The security woes from the home ministers office are not ignorable . Police/para-military staff will not be enough if both happens simultaneously.

At the same time a very important question i want to ask..? do u think that the government is not confident to provide security to the citizens of the country? Are we not a capable country..or is it always politics which will have a say in every decision …I'm sure the Congress will be wiped out from the face of India if anything goes wrong..lets admit it.
The biggest democracy is going to polls... but if we scrap the IPL nothing will change. Business at the cost of the country's security and peace is out of question.

So better have Elections 1st, then use IPL to help forget about the election results. We need a strong Government... watch out your vote ...its going to bring a change ...If democracy lives on.. IPL will happen again & again & again...Let all the young voters come out to vote instead of staying back in front of their TV sets...

As rightly said by one of my friend “security is not only the concern of Government.... should be ours too..we’re a part of the fabric... which we extra intelligent,deep thinking Indians do not wish to consider”
vote for a good candidate.

Tuesday, March 3

Cricket and terrorism.

Ignore the hyperbole or emotion…correct me if i am wrong..
It is a shocking incident.... a cowardly act....what I saw and heard today… cricket was one of the few things that still bound Pakistan to the rest of the world and now its become clear that this will also not last.. crickets has its own unique history, no doubt colonialist..playing sport for the sake of playing it.
Now that cricket itself has been attacked, one realizes the scope of anarchy that terrorists endorse.
Cricket has always taught fairness and equality.. but today without cricket Pakistan has lost another weapon against its increasing lawlessness.. cant underststand the cruel logic of the terrorists..at all … ( cricket .. White-Man’s-Burden rhetoric).. what could any jihadis have against any Sri Lankan? Or even a Sri Lankan cricketer? Sri Lankans aren’t Westerners.
This is the saddest day for all sportsmen.. It’s not an ordinary attack. Pakistan is engaged in a bloody struggle against Islamist insurgents …they have been attacking civilian before. Most of the violence in Pakistan occurs in its northwest regions bordering Afghanistan, where Taliban and al-Qaida militants have established strongholds. Lahore has not been untouchable from militant violence.. One attack in recent months was witnessed.. Which happened in the northwest next to a sports stadium.
There are so many questions on my mind… but very few answers .The sport's world governing body, the International Cricket Council, last month decided not to hold the 2009 Champions Trophy in Pakistan due to safety worries. No doubt, the Australian team made the right decision, but the Sri Lankans chose to go to Pakistan despite the obvious security concerns. What were the rasons? “money”, and also because, as Sri Lankans, they’ve had to live with terror alarms for decades… im unable to get answers..The police had received a threat on Monday that the Sri Lankan team would be attacked so a different route was used.They went to play the sport, which they did, and they paid a price they shouldn’t have.
We all know that Sri Lanka is also waging its own military campaign at home, against Tamil Tiger separatist rebels… it’s a war which is coming in open…our country is taking no stand at all…The rebels, who are fighting for an independent state for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, are listed as a terror group by the U.S. and EU and are routinely blamed for suicide bombings and other attacks targeting civilians.can we eever forget the assasination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a female suicide bomber — took place at an election rally in India in 1991.
Yesterday what we saw on our television was not shocking at all.. The links what our leaders have with the banned organizations... no party had the guts to oppose it...every party has its own interest...all they are doing is calculations for the loksabha..
All I can say is that South Asia has been the site of several, eye-popping attacks in recent years.This latest attack on a cricket team .. the attack on cricket celarly shows the scope of anarcy the terrorists endoreses… Pakistan has slipped into anarchy, Nepal is a powder keg as mebtioned by Tushar Gandhi.. Bangaldesh has started errupting.. recent revolt of the Bangla Desh Rifles was not a joke we witnessed..our ongoing South Sri Lanka conflict is to be watched out.I see a split map of South Asia ...and for us the biggest concern is not Kasmir but Pakistan. India must now act… .my random thoughts.....