|AFSPA and other patterns of impunity|
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act gives unlimited powers to the army to search, apprehend, destroy property and shoot to kill on suspicion. This means that the soldiers enjoy a form of immunity from legal action for acts done, till some sanction of authorities is obtained. Why should there be a need for the complainant to seek any sanction to start proceedings against someone he sees as a criminal? So, this provision must go. But the need to first obtain a sanction is not only in cases of 'soldiers in a AFSPA zone'. It is for many ‘heroes’ in India. I believe you can't directly start proceedings against senior bureaucrats, governors, CMs, PM and the President. People who have complaints against them, too, are handicapped. So, these “great guys” too must lose that temporar...|
|Killer bore wells|
It is a horrifying truth in this civilised world that over the years India witnessed many children’s death due to the abysmal bore wells. These bore well holes are the killing fields across the nation. It is estimated that thousands of bore wells are daily dug in all over India by the agencies as well as private personal just to strike the water in the respective areas. Agencies and people dug deep bore wells hoping to get water in many cases where water did not strike they abandon the spot of bore well and move to other place. They do not bother to cover up the well or to properly cap the bore well and result is horrendous. Children fall into open bore wells often while playing due to utter negligence of agencies and people who dug these without taking necessary safety measu...|
|Uncertainty in Maharashtra|
People in Maharashtra even though having given a fractured verdict in a four-cornered contest, but have definitely desired BJP to form government in the state. BJP as opposition was highly vocal, and rightly too, against alleged corruption of NCP leaders. It will be against all morals to accept NCP’s ‘unconditional’ outside-support which if happened will practically tighten BJP’s hands against filing cases against so-alleged corrupt NCP leaders. It also remains a bitter fact that Shiv Sena may resort to political blackmail by demanding more than its deserved one-third share in the cabinet.
Best way is to formulate a system whereby Chief Minister may be elected by secret and compulsory votes of all MLAs through EVMs on nominations signed by at least 34-percent MLAs. Member...|
|Save precious lives on borders!|
Apropos news report “Pak Rangers pound civilian population” which appeared in online edition of your esteemed daily (KT: October 7, 2014). It’s for everyone to see that heinous crimes are being committed on the people living near border and LoC areas where a number of innocent and unsuspecting civilians have died, scores gravely injured and thousands evacuated from affected areas due to heavy shelling by Pak Rangers from across the border.
Whatever might be the reasons for the development of the current situation, the fact of the matter is, these citizens of our country are living a miserable life on the borders where they have been simply left to die. Their only fault – they live on the borderland. This being the state of the affairs and with no end likely in immediate f...|
|Caste-based politics turned down in Haryana|
Election-results to state-assemblies in Haryana have failed cast-based poltics of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) where Bhartitya Janta Party (BJP) got absolute majority despite leaders of many political parties within or outside Haryana combined together provoking sentiments on issue of converting government-bungalow in New Delhi as Choudhry Charan Singh Memorial.
BJP’s strategy of not allying with Shiv Sena on later’s terms proved successful when BJP was successful in proving itself Big Brother in any future alliance with Shiv Sena. It is in national interest that national parties may emerge stronger. But present system of polls does not reflect true picture of people’s verdict in elected bodies where party winning with absolutely majority gets far less than 50-percent of...|
The ongoing violence and tensions on the borders and Line of Control cannot be neglected. A casual approach would be dangerous in view of the foreseeable vulnerabilities that may effect regional imbalance on withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. Now there is all the more reason for both neighbours to stop mudslinging on each other. The social media should pressurise governments of their countries to stop using their intelligence apparatuses for saboteurs operations on each other's land. Rather they should facilitate in sharing the burden of jointly crushing the menace of upcoming ISIS emergence in the area which may have far reaching implications which both countries can't afford. Mr Modi must realise that he has great responsibilities on his shoulders for transforming ...|
|Delay in appointing CIC|
The Right to Information Act is under threat once again! This time due to the Government not appointing a Chief Information Commissioner. How can the Central Information Commission (CIC), responsible for adjudicating RTI appeals, function effectively without a Chief Information Commissioner? For the first time since the landmark legislation was passed in 2005, there is no Chief Information Commissioner in the CIC. The post has remained vacant since August 22, 2014.
This massive delay in appointing a new Chief is severely hampering the working of the Information Commission. There is already a huge backlog in the Commission with close to 25,000 appeals and complaints pending. This ever-increasing backlog of cases challenges the citizen’s fundamental Right to Information and c...|
|J&K’s cricketing woes|
Farooq Abdullah is known to be a good human being but that does not qualify him to be a good cricket administrator. This much is evident going by the abysmal record of J&K Cricket team under his tenure. Added to this fact is that cricket is one sport where J&K can excel. This makes the abysmal record of J&K cricekt team at the natural level all the more depressing. Like education, working hard over cricket can produce results. So not having great cricket record in cricket is as much a a result of abject planning and also is the outcome of lack of cricketing which can guide and train boys to produce results.
As Ian Chappel, former Australian cricket captain, has pointed out playing cricket does not require great athletic abilities which is true of football and individual gam...|
The earth till now is the only planet in the universe that supports life. But recently scientist have predicted that the future of the very life supporting planet is at stake owing to large number of factors and one them is the global warming. Global warming means that the more temperature of earth is increasing with every passing day. The earth has warmed by about 0.60c in the last century and the warming has increased in the last few decades.
The ice shelves covering thousands of kilometers in Antartica have crumbled. In the Artic too, the story is the same. The incidents like forest fires and unprecedented cold in regions like Siberian are probably related to the change in climate at the global level. The ice sheets covering the water near North Pole are disappearing rap...|
|Multiple pensions for parliamentarians|
It refers to shocking news-reports on Rajya Sabha Secretariat responding that former Parliamentarians are entitled to receive pensions as ex-Parliamentarians even if they are getting pension as former members of state-legislators. It is not clear that retired bureaucrats/judges and others drawing pensions from public-exchequers can get pension for their later being Parliamentarians/state-legislators or not.
There are many other posts at various Commissions and Tribunals where retired bureaucrats/judges get pension only equivalent to higher of the entitled two, and not complete pensions for both the posts together. Same should be system for those in legislature. Parliamentarians and members of state-legislators can be asked to file affidavits in regard to their getting pensio...|
India is still lagging behind as far as women empowerment is concerned. To truly understand what is women empowerment, there needs to be a sea-change in the mind-set of the people in the country. Not just the women themselves, but the men have to wake a world that is moving towards equality and equity. It is better that this is embraced earlier rather than later, for our own good. Swami Vivekananda once said “arise away and stop not until the goal is reached”. Thus our country should thus be catapulted into the horizon of empowerment of women and revel in its glory. We have a long way to go, but we will get there someday. We shall overcome. The United Nations Development Programme constituted eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for ensuring equity and peace across the ...|
|Silver-alloy coins on Begum Akhtar|
Union government has issued commemorative coins of rupees 5 and 100 to celebrate birth-centenary of famous gazal and thumri singer late Begum Akhtar. But silver-alloy coins with face-value of rupees 100 having metal-value many times higher than the face-value, will be sold at a big premium as collectors’ set on booking through a cumbersome procedure that too much after release of these coins. Significantly those privileged to attend function for release of such commemorative coins get these free in attractive packing just on the day of release of coins.
Earlier silver-alloy coins were also issued for general public also on face value, like was done on 02.10.1969 for celebrating birth-centenary of Mahatma Gandhi. But lately practice was discontinued perhaps because metal-val...|