Saturday, 10 September 2011

UPA lead by Mrs. Gandhi tries to push through one more Anti-Hindu Bill

The Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011

The National Advisory Council presided by Sonia Gandhi has made ‘The Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill,2011’ public. The purpose of this bill has been outlined in that it will help check communal violence in the country. After going through the bill, one comes to the conclusions that if the bill is passed, then not only will the results be devastating; it will also lead to a further polarisation in the already communally divided society. Even an arch-secularist like Shekhar Gupta has recognized that the bill ‘will polarise people on a communal basis just when they seem to be getting over that sad past.’ (Indian Express, 4 June 2011) The ultimate goal of this bill seems not only to strengthen the minority vote-bank but also to trample the Hindu organisations and their leaders.

Background of the Bill
Gujarat riots in the aftermath of the Godhra carnage and disturbance in Orissa following the killing of Swami Lakshmananand made some so-called secularists follow up the matter with the Union Government. As a result, the Union Government is trying to pass a new Bill.
This committee has been given unlimited powers. Not only can this committee issue orders to the police and the armed forces, but the testimony given to the committee will be as good as the testimony given in a court of law.

Who is behind this Bill ?

National Advisory Council that is drafting this Bill has Ms. Sonia Gandhi as its President !
The National Advisory Council (NAC) that has recommended this bill has been functioning as a parallel government. Neither is this an elected body, nor are all its members duly elected representatives of the people. The logic that the government has been using against the ‘civil society’ falls flat on its face in the case of the NAC. The NAC is an unconstitutional super power that issues commands in the guise of advice and that too without any responsibility. The central government, steeped in servitude, is always eager to implement its orders.

A Bill that contains extremely narrow and biased definitions :
 : ‘Communal and targeted violence’ means and includes any act or series of acts, whether spontaneous or planned, resulting in injury or harm to a person and or property, knowingly  directed against  any person by virtue of his or her membership of any ‘group’, which destroys the secular fabric of the Nation.

The most dangerous definition is that of ‘group’ ! :
 ‘Group’ has a very limited meaning in this Bill. It means a religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clauses (24) and (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution of India.

This Bill is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. 

A Bill that assumes that Hindus are the culprits : Hindus are in minority in ninety Districts and hundreds of villages in Bharat, but the unit of measurement of population is at the State level. Therefore, Hindus will be considered a majority in every State. Thus, this clause coldly declares Hindus to be culprits in advance.

Not applicable to riots between Christians and Muslims

This clause can be used to settle personal disputes and personal interests. Advantage can be taken of this provision to lodge large scale complaints.

Pro-Hindu organisations will be declared guilty ! 
If any organisation conducts a programme to educate people about the attacks on Dharma or disseminates information on ‘Love Jihad’, then that will be declared as hate propaganda. Moreover, Government officials who permit such meets or programmes will be held guilty for dereliction of duty. A Bill that hangs several swords over the heads of Govt. officials.
Which political parties are opposing the bill
All the NDA poltical parties & Trinamool Congress, who is now part of the UPA govt., are strongly opposing the bill. Apart from them, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa of the AIADMK, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party – who also oppose the draft bill.

Ultimate goal of the bill
Further widen the differences between different religions & communities on the name of  psuedo-secularism and essentially create a vote-bank politics by spoiling the secular atmosphere in the country.

National Advisory Committee agrees to amend the Bill
New Delhi - The National Advisory Committee (NAC) has agreed to amend the Bill now. A total number of 49 amendments have been agreed upon including the clauses that might lead to a misunderstanding between the Centre and the State. A suggestion was made to scrap the clause containing the statement ‘destruction of the secular fabric of the Nation’. The NAC was also given extensive rights under Chapter 3, Clause 20 of the Bill.

If this bill were to see the light of the day, then the central government can very easily usurp the powers of the state government. Law and order is the preserve of the state government. The central government can only offer advice or issue ‘advisories’ on this. This protects the federal structure of the country. But now, communal violence and violence targeted at any particular community, without going into the cause, will be seen as an internal disorder of the state. This means that the central government can use article 355 and impose President’s rule in the state. Now, by making small modifications, they are trying to scuttle the vehemence of opposition of the bill by the political parties. Despite this, their intention of trying to trample the state governments has not taken a back seat.
According to sub-clause 74 of the Bill, “Any person who has been implicated in making a hate-speech will remain guilty until he is proven innocent”. This sub-clause is against the basis features of the constitution. The Indian constitution states that the accused is considered innocent until his guilt is proved. If this bill becomes a law, then to send someone behind bars, one only needs to make an allegation against him. It will become impossible for him to prove his innocence.

If an allegation of this kind has been made against a state government employee, then even the Chief Minister can be made responsible for it as it can be proved that he was unable to stop the employee from committing the wrong. This means that on the basis of wrong witness, it can now become very easy to entangle the Chief Minister of the opposition. The Chief Ministers, who had not yet fallen in the trap, will now become easy meat for them.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj @ NIC Meeting:

‘We have opposed the communal violence bill which was on the agenda because instead of controlling communal tension it will only fuel communal violence. ‘It divides the country into majority and minority. This bill pre-judges that the majority will be oppressor and the minority will be the victim,’ she said. She also said that the bill attacked the federal structure of the country as law and order was a state subject. 

Sushma Swaraj said terrorism and Maoist violence would have been more relevant issues for discussion. ‘In two months, two major incidents of terrorism have occurred in Mumbai and Delhi… Naxalism incidents are happening continuously,’ she said. She added that NIC meetings should be held every year. The NIC has met after three years… the meeting should be held every year so that it can function like an effective institution,’ she added.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I am Glad That Jan Lokpal Bill Is Not Passsed (In It's Current Form)

Please read the whole article before making any prompt comments & constructive criticism is welcome.

After Anna's three demands were considered by the Parliament, many people seem to have gone away happy and everybody is claiming a massive victory. I may be one among those few, who also kind of happy too, relieved I would say, mostly because I'm extremely happy that the Jan Lokpal Bill didn't go through Parliament in its current form. Apart from this, I am also worried about the one of the demand about adding all the lower level bureaucrats under the Jan Lokpal (reasons are explained below) and the other two demands (Lokayuktas in states and citizen charter) are already technically exist/active in few states.

If we come to the actual subject: there are many reasons with which we should be worried about the current form of Jan Lokpal draft proposed by Anna's team. Primary among them is the legislation itself, which I think is a pretty dangerous piece of work. So what we had in the  2 weeks ago was very general mobilisation about corruption, using people's anger, very real and valid anger against the system to push through this very specific legislation or to attempt to push through this very specific piece of legislation which is very, very regressive. But the problem ranges through a whole host of issues which has to do with history, politics, culture, symbolism.

Anna Hazare may be a man of character & integrity and I'm not questioning his commitment towards the 'desire' of eradication of the corruption.

But here the issue is not about honesty or dishonest..

Centralization of power has been the major catalyst for corruption or injustice or inequality, whether it's India, China etc.. May be, many of us not aware of the fact that China is more corrupted state (at higher levels) than India and indeed, in spite of the existence of stronger laws/bills than the Jan Lok Pal (they have death penalty for corruption). The more decentralization of power becomes, the lesser the chances of power being misused and "this is the law of nature". On the contrary, the current Jan Lok Pal bill wants all the independent institutions (CBI, Judiciary etc.) to come under one hat and clearly running into the risk of becoming authoritarian.

Inequality is another aspect inbuilt into our system. All these notions about who can command more resources have become part of our value system, and then our political system. Both are supported by our economic system. These constitute the basic structure of the society. It is this structure that keeps the poor poor and the rich rich. So, this/there has to be a fight(s) against the structural violence and should not end till the structure start to change to bridge the gap between two extremes.

So, first we have to question the structure. We see if there is a structural inequality happening, and we are not questioning that, and we're in fact fighting for laws that make that structural inequality more official, we have a serious problem. To give an example,  on the Chhattisgarh-Telangana border where the refugees from Operation Greenhunt have come out and underneath. So for them the issue is not whether Tata gave a bribe on his mining or Vedanta didn't give a bribe in his mining. The problem is that there is a huge problem in terms of how the mineral and water and forest wealth of India is being privatised, is being looted, even if it were non corrupt, there is a problem. So that's why we're just not coolly talking about Dantewada, there are many a other places like this, setting up 10 privatized thermal power plants in a remote district Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, by grabbing lands from farmers (with due Govt. permission) etc.. So this is not battles against corruption. There's something very, very serious going on. None of these issues were raised or even alluded to somehow.

We also have to separate the ongoing anti-corruption movement from the Jan Lokapal bill, as I don't even believe most people knew exactly what the provisions of the bill were, those who were part of the movement, very few in the media and on the ground. But if we study that bill carefully, you see the creation of a parallel oligarchy. We see that the Jan Lokpal itself, the ten people, the bench plus the chairman, they are selected by a pool of very elite people and they are elite people, I mean if we look at one of the phases which says the search committee, the committee which is going to shortlist the names of the people who will be chosen for the Jan Lokpal will shortlist from eminent individuals of such class of people whom they deem fit. So you create this panel from this pool, and then you have a bureaucracy which has policing powers, the power to tap your phones, the power to prosecute, the power to transfer, the power to judge, the power to do things which are really, and from the Prime Minister down to the bottom, it's really like a parallel power, which has lost the accountability, whatever little accountability a representative government might have.

The anger about corruption became so widespread and generalised that nobody looked at what, there was a sort of dissonance between the specific legislation and the anger that was bringing people there. So, you have a situation in which you have this powerful oligarchy with the powers of prosecution surveillance, policing. In the bill there's a small section which says budget, and the budget is 0.25 per cent of the Government of India's revenues, that works out to something like Rs 2500 crore. There's no break up, nobody is saying how many people will be employed, how are they going to be chosen so that they are not corrupt, you know, it's a sketch, it's a pretty terrifying sketch.

On the other hand, firstly, the fact that we need to define what do we mean by corruption, and then what does it mean to those who are dis-empowered and disenfranchised to get two oligarchies instead of one raiding over them.

Is it just financial irregularity or is it the currency of social transaction in a very unequal society? For example, corruption, some people, poor people in villages have to pay bribes to get their ration cards, to get their NREGA dues from very powerful vested interests. Then you a middle class, you have honest businessmen who cannot run an honest business because of all sorts of reasons, they are out there angry. You have a middle class which actually bribes to buy itself scarce favours and on the top you have the corporations, the politicians looting millions and mines and so on. But you also have a huge number of people who are outside the legal framework because they don't have pattas, they live in slums, they don't have legal housing, they are selling their wares on redis, so they are illegal and in an anti-corruption law, an anti-corruption law is naturally sort of pinned to an accepted legality. So we can talk about the rule of law when all our laws are designed to perpetuate the inequality that exists in Indian society. If we're not going to question that, we shouldn't be  really interested in the debate then.

So anti-corruption movement/bill fundamentally must address the service delivery to the poorest of the poor, it's about ensuring justice to the poorest of the poor, because they are the bulk of the India (70 - 80%) and they are the people who are facing injustice since decades. Some people are saying, this is the reason, Anna's team or others are talking about provisions for the lower bureaucracy. The lower bureaucracy is going to be brought into the Lokpal, they're going to have a state level Lokayukta, so there is an attempt within the Lokpal Bill to go right down to the level of the poorest of the poor and then we can police even those functionaries who deal with the very poor.

But I think it's very complicated because the troubles that are besetting our country today are not going to be solved by policing and by complaint booths, especially at the lower level (it may work at higher level). But, at the lower level, we have to come up with something where you can assure people that we're not going to set up another bureaucracy which is going to be equally corrupt. When somebody have one brother in BJP, one  more brother in Congress, sister in administration, one cousin in police, and another relative in Lokpal, we would like to see how that's going to be managed at lower level, this law is very sketchy about that. 

It's nice that youth, especially from cities are rendering their sympathies and support to the Jan Lak Pal bill.. but how many of them have read the 30 pages of Jan Lok Pal bill and understood the detailed implications of it on Administration, Judiciary and Parliamentary institutions ? How many of these also walked to the polling booths, when elections are conducted. In all Indian metropolitan cities, the average polling percentages never crossed 40% (majorly from Auto waala, lower working class, poor people, rigging etc.) and that's the status of social responsibility of the corporate driven young India and private working class in India.

For governance to improve, good politics must be in command. Populism can only mobilize people; but politics empowers them. Civil society has the right and responsibility to seek a responsive state, not shun politics, nor seek to replace it through prime-time populism.

Changing the status of politics/bureaucracy from bad to good, may be a complex and long process in a democratic polity like ours, but we shouldn't constantly hate politicians/bureaucrats and resort to short-cut methodological solutions. In fact, we must inspire ourselves to change from begging status to demanding status and earn the militant attitude of reacting to the socioeconomic issues at the ground level, with long term goals. We've a major tendency to blame the politics/politicians and 'always' tried to correct the 'state/raajyam' by bringing new bills/acts, which may be needed ("like Lok Pal bill"). However will not produce any desirable results, unless until we parallelly bring reforms in the institutions ('vyavastha').

If we remember in the early 90s when they began on this path of liberalisation and privatisation. The government itself kept saying, 'Oh, we're so corrupt. We need a systemic change, we can't not be corrupt,' and that systemic change was privatisation. When privatisation has shown itself to be more corrupt than, we mean the levels of corruption have jumped so high, the solution is not systemic. It's either moral or it's more privatisation, more reforms. People are calling for the second round of reforms for the removal of the discretionary powers of the government. So if we think that's a very interesting that we're not looking at it structurally, we're looking at it morally and we're trying to push whatever few controls there are or took the way once again for the penetration of international capital.

Friday, 2 September 2011

T News Exclusive Report & Debate On Andhra Kutralu By Roshayya Nadendla & CBN

ఆంధ్రోళ్ల కుట్రల బాకులు
- మొన్న రోశయ్య... నేడు మనోహర్ - తెలంగాణ ఉద్యమంలో నక్సలైట్‌లు
- విద్యార్థి జేఏసీలోని రాడికల్స్‌లో 30 ఏళ్లు పైబడిన మాదిగలే ఎక్కువ - స్పీకర్ నాదెండ్ల తెలంగాణ వ్యతిరేక వ్యాఖ్యలు
- కాన్సులేట్ అధికారులతో సంభాషణ - అలా అనలేదన్న స్పీకర్ మనోహర్
- నియామకానికి ముందే చిదంబరంతో నరసింహన్ భేటీ - తివారీ వ్యతిరేక మీడియా కథనంపైనా సందేహాలు
- తెలంగాణపై సాగదీయడమే కాంగ్రెస్ వైఖరి - అమెరికాకు హైదరాబాద్ కాన్సులేట్ కేబుల్! - వెల్లడించిన వికీలీక్స్

తెలంగాణపై Amint-telangana News talangana patrika telangana culture telangana politics telangana cinema కుట్రలకు ఎన్ని సీమాంధ్ర బాకులో! ఒక్కో సమయంలో ఒక్కోటి బయటపడుతున్నది! మొన్న రోశయ్య అవతారం.. చంద్రబాబు వ్యవహారం! పెండింగ్ జాబితాలో లగడపాటి సహా అనేక మంది ఘనాపాఠీలు! ఇప్పటి వంతు సీమాంధ్ర ప్రాంతానికి చెందిన స్పీకర్ నాదెండ్ల మనోహర్! తాను డిప్యూటీ స్పీకర్‌గా ఉన్న కాలంలోనే తెలంగాణ ఉద్యమాన్ని నక్సలైటతో ముడిపెట్టారు నాదెండ్ల! మావోయిస్టులు రిక్రూట్‌మెంట్‌లు పెంచుకుంటున్నారట.. ఉద్యమంలో మాజీ నక్సలైట్లు ఉన్నారట..
విద్యార్థి జేఏసీలో అందరూ 30ఏళ్లకు పైబడిన మాదిగలేనట.. చదువులు పోయినా సరేనంటూ వారు ఉద్యమంలో పని చేస్తున్నారట! ఎవరో కోన్‌కిస్కా అధికారుల వద్ద చేసిన వ్యాఖ్యలు కావివి... సాక్షాత్తూ హైదరాబాద్‌లో అమెరికా కాన్సులేట్ అధికారులతో అన్న మాటలు! ఇవికాస్తా దౌత్య కేబుళ్ల రూపంలో అమెరికా చేరాయి! అమెరికా విధానాలను ఎండగడుతూ, వాటి రహస్య దౌత్య పత్రాలను బహిర్గతం చేస్తున్న సాహసి.. వికీలీక్స్.. వాటిని బయటపెట్టింది! తెలంగాణకు వ్యతిరేకంగా జరుగుతున్న కుట్రలను వెల్లడించింది. అంతేకాదు.. రాష్ట్ర గవర్నర్‌గా తివారీ తొలగింపు, ఆయన స్థానంలో నరసింహన్ రాకపై తమ అభివూపాయాలను, మీడియా కథనాలను అమెరికాకు చేరవేసిన దౌత్య కేబుళ్లను సైతం వికీలీక్స్ బయటపెట్టింది! తెలంగాణకు వ్యతిరేకంగానే గవర్నర్‌ను నియమించారన్న వాదనలపై కొత్త చర్చకు తెర తీసింది!!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Go Modi Go Gujarat -- Peugeot to set up Rs.4000 crore facility in Gujarat

Global automobile major Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (PCA) Thursday signed an agreement with the Gujarat government to set up an automobile manufacturing plant near Sanand at a cost of Rs.4,000 crore.

Welcoming Peugeot’s entry in the state, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi expressed the confidence that Gujarat would become a global automobile manufacturing hub. ‘The global auto major’s entry after Ford and India’s own Tata proves our point that Gujarat has emerged as leading investment destination,’ he added.

“Gujarat offers a proactive business environment, excellent infrastructure and is geographically well positioned to cater to passenger car markets across India,” PPC Board Chairman Philippe Varin said. “We view India as one of the most important and dynamic markets in the world, with forecasts of it becoming the third largest automotive market by 2020,” Mr. Varin said. 

The French carmaker was present in India through a joint venture with Premier Automobiles Ltd (PAL) nearly a decade ago. The joint venture was later wound up and the company, PAL Peugeot Ltd (PPL), stopped operations. With the new agreement, Peugeot will be a neighbour of Ford and Tata’s Nano plants in Sanand, an upcoming auto hub some 40 km from here. The firm had been scouting for land for its India entry for the past few months in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
The fully integrated manufacturing unit, the first one in India, will be set up on a 584-acre plot. It will encompass a cutting edge vehicle manufacturing facility integrating stamping, body paint and assembly operations with an initial capacity of 165 000 vehicles per year. Additionally, an engine and gearbox plant using the latest and most advanced technologies, which the Peugeot Group is reputed for, will help constitute a full-fledged modern industrial automotive facility. GIDC has reserved another 25-acre land for ancillary industry. PCA envisages exporting 25 percent of the production, paving the way for Gujarat emerging as an automobile export hub, a spokesperson for the state government said.

This plant will provide direct employment to 5,000 people and indirect employment to 25,000 people. The construction near Sanand is scheduled to begin this year end and the project will be commissioned by end of 2013, it was pointed out.

The agreements were signed by Gujarat’s Principal Secretary for Industry Maheshwar Sahu and Vice President of Emerging Market Programs & India of Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, Frederic Fabre. It was also decided that the government and PCA will set up an international level Automotive Skill Development Institute in PPP mode.

Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), in collaboration with PPC, will also set up an international level Automotive Skill Development Institute on public private partnership model. PPC envisages exporting 25 per cent of its production from the Gujarat facility, where GIDC has also earmarked 25 acres for setting up an ancillary unit. Headquartered in Paris, Peugeot is the fourth largest brand in Europe and moved up from 10th to 9th place in the global rankings of automotive brands. It sold more than 3,60,000 vehicles globally in 2010, the company said.