Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pot Kettle Black

Rajya Sabha passes motion to remove Justice Sen (link)
The Rajya Sabha on Thursday created history when the House passed a motion to remove a judge. The House passed the motion to remove Justice Soumitra Sen, a judge of the Calcutta High Court, who is accused of fund misappropriation when he was a lawyer.
Sen had got 90 minutes to defend himself against charges of misappropriating funds by claiming he had been victimised. Sen repeatedly blamed former Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan for his predicament.

But what about the corruption charges against the accuser, former Chief Justice of India K G BalaKrishnan (link)

Post retirement, Balakrishnan became head of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in June last year. Ever since, a rising crescendo of allegations of corruption have been heard, fuelled by the fact that his younger brother KG Bhaskaran and his two daughters and sons-in-law all acquired vast properties during his tenure as Chief Justice.

TEHELKA has accessed documents that show that between 2007 and 2010, son-in-law Puliyanaveettil Vasu Sreenijan purchased property worth Rs. 1.85 crore. The current real estate value of these properties is in excess of Rs. 25 crore.

This is a truly amazing story of wealth creation by a man who, while contesting elections from Kerala’s reserved Njarackkal Assembly constituency as a Congress candidate in 2006, had declared a bank balance of Rs. 25,000 apart from 24 g of gold.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Anna Hazare Anti Corruption Movement and Sonia Gandhi

Super article by S Gurumurthy.
Anna Hazare, suspects cannot be trusted

S Gurumurthy

Anna Hazare started like Mahatma Gandhi would have done — fast unto death for a law against corruption. Anna bestirred the middle class after long, at least to talk against corruption on TV. Anna’s fast had a very limited objective — that civil society should be involved in drafting the Lokpal Bill — like Gandhiji’s salt march just wanted the salt law repealed. And like Gandhi’s march shook the British, Anna’s fast began shaking the regime in Delhi. Had the British talked to Gandhiji before his march ended, the salt tax would have gone, but the empire would not have been shaken. Drawing a lesson from the British, the rulers in Delhi talked with Anna and gave in to his symbolic demand. The result? Anna’s fast succeeded; but his cause?

Anna started off saying that “Remote control-se gadbadi hote hain” — that is, ‘remote control causes problems’. No seer is needed to say that Anna had hinted at only Sonia Gandhi as the problematic remote control. This was on April 6, 2011 ( Said CNN-IBN (April 8, 2011), he ‘ignited emotive cries of “Bharat Mata ki Jai!”, “Vande Mataram” — something anathema to the secular audience and the media. Added to that danger was the portrait of Bharat Mata – that which adorns saffron platforms — as the backdrop. Anna on fast in this setting, hinting at Sonia Gandhi as the problematic remote control and the fire he set across the country frightened the rulers.

The scared government forthwith went on the backfoot; it desperately looked for empathetic interlocutors to undo the damage occurring hour-to-hour on 24x7 TV channels. Sonia Gandhi forthwith appealed to Anna to give up the fast in the interest of his health assuring that his views would receive the full attention of the government. Her National Advisory Committee’s subcommittee said it would back the Lokpal Bill. Sensing victory Anna wrote to Sonia, “I am grateful for your concern about my health. The sub-committee of National Advisory Council had agreed with a broad content of the General Lokpal bill barring two issues. We request to get the drafts discussed at a full meeting in the NAC at the earliest and recommend the outcome. I am relieved to know that you fully support the cause.”

In the next couple of days it was all over — not only the fast but, more. A simple man uninitiated to the vicious secular politics, Anna had a word of compliment for Narendra Modi. Hell broke lose. This was sufficient to undo the effect of Anna’s fast; to question his secular credentials; to throw him off balance. His own team began deriding him. The subcommittee of Sonia’s NAC was the first to turn its back on Anna. Kapil Sibals, Digvijay Singhs, Manish Tiwaris and the rest were let lose on Anna. Sibal even gloated that Anna and Co wilted under pressure to dilute the law. Anna had thus the first taste of what a corrupt system could do to besmirch the reputation of those who dare it. To divert from the sequence and recall my own personal experience in fighting corruption, the government even used a forged letter to arrest me for ‘espionage’. This was way back in 1987 when some morals were still in evidence in public life. Now back to the sequence.

Then came the news of the CD against Bhushans. Few can question the honesty of Bhushans. Yet, Anna, confused, first said that he could not guarantee anyone’s honesty other than his own; then when the news broke out that the CD could be forged, he came out in their defence. He wrote to Sonia Gandhi asking her to stop her minions — namely the likes of Sibals and Digvijays, according to the media — from smearing the civil society nominees or face counter smear against the government nominees! Going further, Anna asked her “to fight together” to defeat the designs of the corrupt forces. The Congress Party responded asking, “how can there be a caveat on expression of views in a vibrant and democratic society?” and saying that “discourse cannot be one-sided affair”. No further evidence is needed for the paralysis in the Lokpal Bill committee.

Two things are clear now. One, Anna Hazare understands that only the remote controller Sonia Gandhi — not the PM — matters in the UPA regime. Here he is undisputedly right. Second, he thinks, she can join the fight against corruption. This shows his ignorance. Anna’s suspicion of corruption seems limited to only Sharad Pawar’s. He is obviously unaware of the serious charges of corruption and of monies illegally held abroad against Sonia Gandhi. Anna does not seem to know that the popular Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte (dated November 11, 1991) had disclosed that deposits of 2.2 billion Swiss Francs existed in secret Swiss banks accounts of late Rajiv Gandhi. Likewise the declassified KGB documents, analysed by Yuvegina Albats, an award-winning Russian journalist, showed that Rajiv Gandhi had thanked the USSR in 1985 for the financial benefits his family and his son, Rahul Gandhi, had received. Anna may not be aware that the former Swedish Investigation Bureau’s chief Sten Lindstorm had written repeatedly that Sonia Gandhi ought to be interrogated in the Bofors payoff to Quattrocchi. Yet Sonia Gandhi repeatedly defended Quattrocchi. Had Anna known these facts, would he have asked her to join the fight against corruption?

Anna asked for Sharad’s head because he suspected him as corrupt. But as yet there is no such open charge against Sharad Pawar like the ones against Sonia Gandhi and her family. Sonia Gandhi or her family has not even sued any one of some half-a-dozen writers who have repeated these charges. If ever the Lokpal Bill were to become the law, she may even be the subject of probe by the Lokpal. Anna must know that Sonia Gandhi is as much suspected of corruption as Sharad Pawar, and more. Can suspects in corruption be trusted to fight the corrupt?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HC notice to Rahul Gandhi on missing girl

March 01, 2011 20:45 IST
The Lucknow [ Images ] bench of Allahabad high court on Tuesday issued notice to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi [ Images ] on a petition seeking information about the whereabouts of a missing girl and her family.

The girl and her family are alleged to be "untraceable" ever since they called on Rahul during one of his visit to his parliamentary constituency, Amethi on December 13, 2006.

Moving a petition on behalf of the family, Kishore Samrite, former Samajwadi Party MLA from Madhya Pradesh [ Images ], has accused the Congress celebrity and his five foreigner friends of indulging in criminal assault on the 24-year-old Sukanya Singh.

Claiming to have learnt this from some news website, the petitioner has stated, "I was moved by the news. So I came all the way from my home in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh to Amethi where I found the girl's house locked. Local villagers were tight-lipped about the whereabouts of the family."

He has, therefore, sought the intervention of the Allahabad high court "to issue a writ of Habeas Corpus to Rahul Gandhi to produce the missing girl Sukanya, her father Balram Singh and mother Savitri Singh."

While issuing the notice, a single judge bench comprising Justice SN Shukla did not fix any date for hearing the case, the petitioner's advocate Surya Mani Raikwar told
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Self styled 'Secular' Congress plays religious politics

First Published :
11 Dec 2010 02:24:08 PM IST

WASHINGTON: Post 26/11, a section of the Congress leadership was seen playing religious politics after one of its leaders, A R Antulay, implied that Hindutva forces may have been involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, according to a confidential memo by the then US ambassador to India, David Mulford, released by WikiLeaks."The Congress Party, after first distancing itself from the comments (of Antulay, the then minority affairs minister), two days later issued a contradictory statement which implicitly endorsed the conspiracy. During this time, Antulay's completely unsubstantiated claims gained support in ... Indian-Muslim community," Mulford wrote in his secret cable to the State Department on December 23, 2008."Hoping to foster that support for upcoming national elections, the Congress Party cynically pulled back from its original dismissal and lent credence to the conspiracy," Mulford wrote.Regardless of Home Minister P Chidambaram's dismissal of Antulay's comments, the Indian-Muslim community "will continue to believe they are unfairly targeted by law enforcement and that those who investigate the truth are silenced," he said in the cable."The entire episode demonstrates that the Congress Party will readily stoop to the old caste/religious-based politics if it feels it is in its interest," Mulford alleged, according to the cable posted by WikiLeaks on its website yesterday. The United States has neither confirmed or denied the authenticity of these cables, but said that some 250,000 papers have been stolen from its system and demanded that WikiLeaks the whistle blower website return them back to the State Department.According to WikiLeaks, there are some 1,300 cables from the US embassy in New Delhi. However, only half a dozen of them have been posted by it on its website.Mulford said while the killing of three high-level law enforcement officers during the Mumbai attacks, including ATS chief Hemant Karkare, "is a remarkable coincidence, the Congress Party's initial reaction to Antulay's outrageous comments was correct.""But as support seemed to swell among Muslims for Antulay's unsubstantiated claims, crass political opportunism swayed the thinking of some Congress Party leaders," he wrote. "What's more, the (Congress) party made the cynical political calculation to lend credence to the conspiracy even after its recent emboldening state elections victories. The party chose to pander to Muslims' fears, providing impetus for those in the Muslim community who will continue to play up the conspiracy theory," Mulford wrote in his cable.While "cooler heads" eventually prevailed within the Congress leadership, the idea that the party would entertain "such outlandish claims proved once again that many party leaders are still wedded to the old identity politics," he said.The 79-year-old Antulay "was probably bewildered to find that his remarks, similar in vein to what he would have routinely made in the past to attack the BJP, created such a furor this time," Mulford said.The cable noted that Antulay "sparked a political controversy on December 17 with comments insinuating that the killing of Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) Chief Hemant Karkare by the Mumbai terrorists was somehow linked to Karkare's investigation of (Malegaon) bombings in which radical Hindus are suspected."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Muttiah Muralidaran: Best Bowler The World Has Ever Seen Retires

Emotionally confused, both sad and happy. Sad to see the Sri Lankan ace, Murali go but happy that Indian batsmen (and other countries' batsmen, for that matter ) don't have to face him. Even in his last match, Murali went on high with 8 wickets (he has 800 in all) against us. As a Chennai Super King fan (atleast, for the last 3 seasons of Indian Premier League), would love to see him retained for next IPL.

Bye Bye MURALIDARAN and may God bless you and your family forever.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jammu and Kashmir

J&Ks dependency on Centre alarming


While Jammu & Kashmir continues through an endless cycle of calm-confrontation-curfew,it is facing a disastrous financial situation.Recently released Reserve Bank of India data on state finances shows how highly dependent J&K is on the central governments support.
In 2009-10,J&K received Rs 13,252 crore as grants from the Centre,which constitutes nearly 60% of the states total expenditure.In fact,for the past two decades since the separatist movement spread in the Kashmir valley,the centre has been propping up the state through similar doles.In all,J&K has received grants amounting to Rs 94,409 crore between 1989-90 and 2009-10.
For over a decade,from 1994-95 to 2005-06,the state received 10-12 % of all grants disbursed by the central government to the states.In 2009-10,this proportion had dipped slightly to about 8%.This is way above J&Ks share of Indias population,which is a mere 1%.
Is the Centre providing similar support to the other hotspot of insurgency in India the northeast Not quite.According to the RBI report,in 2009-10,the eight northeastern states received grants and loans worth Rs 29,084 crore from the Centre,which was 44% of their combined total expenditure,which is significantly lower than in J&K.These figures raise two questions about J&K : one,how is this money being spent,and two,why is it not helping in soothing the discontent that is obviously so widespread
Spending on the social sector schools,health,rural development,etc in J&K is surprisingly low at about 30% of aggregate expenditure.That is the fourth lowest proportion among all states.The all-state average is 40% and states like Chhattisgarh (54%),Maharashtra (50%) and Rajasthan (46%) do much better.What is even more surprising in the case of J&K is that it has been stagnating at this level for nearly thirty years.
As can be expected for a mountainous region wracked by insurgency,administrative expenditure is high in J&K,working out to about 12% of all expenditure.But Himachal and Sikkim,other Himalayan states,spend only about 6% on administration.So,perhaps J&Ks high administrative costs are largely due to the disturbed situation.But Tripura with 16% and Mizoram with 14% of funds spent on administration have managed to attain stability and peace.Obviously,the high expenditure on administration in J&K is not really working.
A clue to this conundrum can be found in the per capita spending by state governments.Three mountainous border states,Sikkim,Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh,which have had militancy problems,but have been relatively stable for a long period,spent Rs 59 lakh,Rs 35 lakh and Rs 38 lakh per capita in 2009-10.
In J&K,the annual per capita spending by the state is far short of this,at about Rs 20 lakh.Meghalaya,Manipur and Nagaland all states wracked by insurgency to varying degrees have similar spending levels ranging between Rs 18 to 21 lakh per capita per annum.So,part of the answer to the question as to why pouring money into J&K is not solving the problem lies in the fact that not enough money is being spent,because the state itself is not generating enough revenue.The other part,of course,is whether money shown as spent is really reaching the people.Whats your guess.
Freeloading islamic bigots of Kashmir and christian terrorism infested North East. Even dogs do not bite the hand that feeds them.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hiring based on the religion of the applicant

Numbers sourced from the ministry of minority affairs {should be renamed ministry of muslim and christian affairs} show that 2009 registered a huge six-fold increase in the number of people from minority communities recruited to jobs in public sector banks and other public sector financial institutions compared to 2007. The story, however, does not end there. The recruitment of minorities into railway jobs doubled from 2007 to 2009 and a strong surge was also visible in their appointments in the paramilitary forces and various public sector undertakings (PSUs).

The change, however, has not come about on its own. It is the result of a concerted policy effort by Manmohan Singh's government which first brought out the 'Prime Minister's New 15-Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities' in June 2006. Among other things - like better access for minorities to education and giving technical training to improve their skills - the programme clearly said that "special consideration" would be given to members of minority communities for filling up posts in "police, railways, nationalized banks and PSUs".

There is no religion-based quota for jobs in India. However, in this case, the PM's words were followed by action and on January 8, 2007, the Department of Personnel & Training circulated revised guidelines to all central ministries and departments asking them to give special consideration to the recruitment of minorities in central government offices and central PSUs.
Re the bolded part above, one need not be Einstein to understand simple things - jobs are given based on an applicant's religion, not merit, but it is still not a religion based quota, huh. It is a religion based quota, through the backdoor, since if made into a law, it'll be opposed tooth and nail. What is next best thing to do? Pressurize and drop hints to hire people based on their religion without going through a legal process and discriminate against people belonging to other religions.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Britain bans Islamic preacher Zakir Naik

Kudos to Britain for taking a step in the right direction and banning this hate mongering joke of a man.

PTI, Jun 18, 2010, 06.12pm IST
LONDON: Britain has banned controversial Indian Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik, who once claimed that "every Muslim should be a terrorist," from entering the country, citing his "unacceptable behaviour".

Home Secretary Theresa May said 44-year-old Naik would not be allowed to enter the country under laws that can exclude anyone who writes or publishes material that can "foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence".

Indian television preacher Naik was due to give a series of lectures at arenas in Wembley and Sheffield.

May said the doctor was being excluded because repeated comments attributed to him was evidence of his "unacceptable behaviour".

She said: "Coming to the UK is a privilege not a right, and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK."

Website footage had shown the preacher making the claim that every Muslim should embrace terrorism.

Naik said Muslims should beware of people saying Osama bin Laden was right or wrong, adding: "If you ask my view, if given the truth, if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him.

If he is terrorising the terrorists, if he is terrorising America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, every Muslim should be a terrorist."

He is also reported as saying that western women make themselves "more susceptible to rape" by wearing revealing clothing.

Mumbai-born Naik is a medical doctor by profession, having attained a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Mumbai.

Naik is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) which is a non-profit organisation. It also owns and broadcasts the free-to-air global Peace TV channel.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

13 Naxal Terrorism supporters held

Jun 18, 2010
Kolkata: The West Bengal police on Wednesday arrested 13 Maoist sympathisers, including a scientist, a professor and an author. They have been charged with sedition and waging war against the state. Among others detained, members of human rights group APDR, were let off.

Nisha Biswas, scientist of Central Ceramic and Glass Research Centre, Kanishka Choudhury, professor of Behala college and author-activist Manik Mondal were produced in a Midnapore court on Wednesday.

They were picked up on Tuesday along with 70 others by the joint security forces while trying to meet Maoist leaders in Lalgarh. Now, they have been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days along with 10 others.

The arrests came just before the joint forces did their most successful operation in Lalgarh, only two days before the completion of one year of their operation. At least eight Maoists were killed. Over the past 12 months, the forces had killed only 12 Maoists. Maoists killed many more, including 24 para-military soldiers in one single attack.

It was not without reason that for the first time, the joint forces personnel were seen congratulating each other.

Ardhendu Saha, public prosecutor said, “They said that they had come for a survey but the police realised that they were instigating villagers with anti-national thoughts. That’s why they were arrested.”

The West Bengal police sources have told CNN-IBN that the arrested scientist, professor and author figured in their intelligence reports for the past 18 months. Their phone conversation have been tapped and recorded. Police claim they are incriminating enough to slap them with charges of sedition and trying to wage war against the state. Human rights groups have called the arrests a farce.

Sujato Bhadra, Association For Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR){A chargesheeted naxal terrorist overground supporting group like PUCL, PUDR} said, “If there is any evidence that they were supporting Maoist organisations, they (police) could have arrested them much earlier.”

West Bengal police's record to produce evidence against the Maoists and their sympathisers isn't exactly glorious. At the same time, it's clear that the crackdown has started on the sympathisers who provide money and hideouts to the Maoists

(With inputs from Sougata Mukhopadhyay)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

History of Nagaland

Was searching for history of Nagaland and came across this article by Sh. Tarun Vijay,

Manipuris also feel threatened by the growing clout of the separatist Naga organizations like National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isaac-Muivah group (NSCN-IM) which demands a chunk from Manipur to create a "Greater Nagalim for Christ". In fact, Nagaland was created on December 1, 1963 slicing off parts of Assam, namely Naga Hills, Tuensang district and Dimapur after a fierce insurgency launched by A Z Phizo, who took refuge in London under British patronage and the Church's support. They still nourish a dream to create a Christian-dominated colony serving British and US interests in the region and their "war cry" is "Republic of Nagalim for Christ."