A soft word … a small sentence
… feebly uttered or merely murmured
… if not direct … if not strident … atleast whispered
… if not from the depth of your hearts, atleast served from the lips
… or atleast from behind the canopy blinds of huts, from behind closed doors
… or from the tatty shades of the book shelf,
… or from the attics of vintage houses …
With fond hope and eager ears, I turned to all these places for a whimper, a whisper… I am still waiting, aching for a sound-byte, a soft word, from here or there or from anywhere, for sixty days now!
The eyes dilated, tired from scanning newspapers, poring through reports, ardently watching television news, skimming through Social Media … scouring for at least that one newsbyte … that Maoist China is wrong … that China’s armed incursion in Doklam would threaten India and Bhutan, that is what I hoped the Indian communists would say, mumble or whisper, moved by a whiff of conscience or courage!
But alas! All my hopes are quashed!
What happened in 1962 is repeating now!
When socialist Nehru opened his heart to ‘Hindi-Chīnī Bhāī Bhāī’, communist China launched a stealthy strike, an invasion across the Himalayas. The then communists in India went into denial asking “How can socialist China invade a non-aligned country like India?” They then went on to defend China vehemently while blaming the ‘hyperbole’ of Indian Defense minister, Krishna Menon for the war with China!
Although half a century has passed but their way of thinking has not changed. In spite of worldwide reverses, the infatuation of the communists with China has not ended.
Just read the lament of the editorial of CPM’s mouth piece “People’s Democracy” over Doklam:
”Doklam belongs to Bhutan. Let Bhutan resolve the problem by itself. We need not interfere in that issue. And the root cause of the problem is not Doklam but Modi Sarkar…”
“China is infuriated because of the increased proximity between Modi and America, and because of the importance to Tibetan Buddhist Guru Dalai Lama given by India” so goes the editorial.
What a dubious and callous analysis!
These red brothers and combatants, who perennially hit the roads with their hartals, bandhs, lockouts and strikes with their protest rallies, who claim to stand by the exploited poorer and down-trodden sections of the people, are now asking India not to stand by the side of Bhutan, a tiny hilly country that is being bullied by an elephantine expansionist China, and advise India not to stand against Chinese forces!
The Indian Communists give us this free advice: “If any objection is at all required, that has to come from Bhutan; and the mighty Chinese empire can talk to small weak Bhutan and will get this resolved…”
History is witness and the whole world knows, what Tibet got by holding talks with China.
The communists say, let Bhutan resolve Bhutan’s issue! They have audacity to give us free advice, but do not even whimper against China, let alone trying to persuade China to establish cordial relations with Bhutan. These same communists never ask China why it meddles in India Pak issues, instead of letting us resolve them mutually.
Never, not a finger against their ‘motherland’ – China!
They will not dare to even suggest to China to allow Tibet to resolve its internal issues, and not to interfere with Tibet. Instead, dancing to the chinese tunes, they proclaim that ‘Chinese invasion of Tibet is to liberate Tibetans from feudal landlords”! What is the difference between the Chinese invasion of Tibet and America that waged a war against merciless Gaddafi under the pretense of liberating Libya, who killed Saddam Hussein under the pretense of an alleged threat from WMDs?
Tomorrow our communists may defend the Chinese invasion of Bhutan in the name of ‘liberating’ the Bhutanese from monarchy, thus conniving with the devious chinese plan to grind communism into the innocent lives of the simple Bhutanese.
Tomorrow, if China declares that Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are to be conquered as part of their ostentatious expansionist plan, our communists might even support China, saying that any chinese expansion into India is only to liberate these states from imperialist India!
All this they have done and will do in future, only to please China – their ‘motherland’ !
Clandestine role of Communists in 1962 War with China:
During the 1962 war, the undivided CPI party leaders were imprisoned by the government of the day because they supported the enemy country – China. Among these leaders was Kerala’s Leftist leader V.S. Achuthanandan. Once in prison, he realized his mistakes and tried to correct. He directed his cadres to support the soldiers of India in order to change the perception that they were Chinese agents!
While in jail, with the help of his fellow-inmates, he conducted blood donation camps to help the injured Indian soldiers and also offered money for war expenditure, by consuming only one meal a day and then selling the remaining food for money, and contributing that money to the soldier’s welfare fund. However, the hardcore Communists did not oblige and vehemently opposed his proposal. The opposition was so emphatic that they came to physical blows with each other!
The war with China ended. Communists were released. What happened next? A complaint was lodged against V.S.Achuthanandan in the party forum questioning his commitment to the party. The Communists concluded that instead of helping China, V.S.Achuthanandan tried to help the Indian government, and that this amounted to a criminal offense! Doubting his commitment towards communism, he was reprimanded for not kow-towing to the party line and was even demoted in the Communist party!
So much for communists’ allegiance and loyalty to China – their ‘motherland’ !!
Well, we are all ordinary people. We believe that having been born on this land, raised in this land, being fed from this very soil, interlaced into the life of this nation, our loyalty is to this land.
But our Leftists claim to be intellectuals, you see! Therefore, geographical boundaries do not apply to them! Gratitude to the soil and people that have fed them, do not apply to them! Nations do not apply to them! For them, international commitment is more important than national interests, and devotion to the motherland, the land that nursed them is only a bourgeois illusion… That is why they cannot oppose China, not even in their dreams. Just mutter a word against Islamism and the Indian communists will all rise in righteous rage claiming to defend the Indian nation and ‘secularism’!
But when Muslim women in China’s Xinjiang province were forbidden to don the burkha and full veil, when muslim men were ordered to discard the full beard, when religious names were forbidden to muslim children, when fifteen of such onerous sanctions were slapped on Chinese muslims, the communists of India cowered in abject silence. After all, all these sanctions were imposed by their beloved ‘socialist motherland’!
None of the communist fellow-travelers, not even a single member of the “Award Wapsi gang” who threatened to leave India because Indian people voted against their preference, who returned national awards because somewhere there was an attack on some writer, has announced any similar move in protest against China’s aggression on Bhutan. They do not care for Indian interests and worries, they do not mind Chinese incursion in Doklam.
Fearing that communist betrayal of national interests may lead to an existential crisis, the RSS is being prevented from entering Kerala! They are killed if they enter Kerala.
On one hand, the Communists support the separatist movement in Kashmir, accusing the Indian government of suppressing dissent. On the other hand they hail the Chinese government for suppressing the dissent of “Uyghur” Muslims, claiming that China is only “protecting the state”. Clearly, the Communists have different yardsticks of integrity for India and their ‘motherland’ China!
Making tall claims about Doklam being part of their territory, China claims mendaciously that Bhutan accepts its stand. But the very next day Bhutan condemns and rejects all these claims as false and vilifying. Yet, the Communists of India vouch for Chinese version only! Because, for them, Leftism is more important than Realism and People’s Liberation Army (PLA China) is dearer to them than the interests of Indian people!
There is just an iota of Communism left in China, but still the loyalty towards China has not yet died in the hearts of these Indian communists.
China has territorial and coastal disputes with about 22 countries. Just like “British East India Company” which came in the name of the business, then invaded the countries and expanded the British empire, China today gives high interest loans in return for land pledged by indebted countries, then after invading their geographies, it plans to expand its empire beyond its boundaries.
But hush! We are not supposed to speak about all this! China is fire! It is ‘motherland’!
Hush! Hush! We are wrong… we are absolutely wrong!
Just like a person who chooses a path of devotion only to get a good wife for himself, just like political parties who proclaim principles only to get seats and power, Oh…Communists … say this time, atleast mutter or whisper that China is wrong.
Or if not for your own sake, say for the sake of the country, and say it strongly this time – that China is wrong!
Eagerly awaiting your response… please…
Post-script: The Maoists, who pledged their own lives and struggled with hunger and thirst in the woods and forests for the lives of poor and downtrodden, are much better than these pseudo-Communists haunting the corridors of power! The Indian Maoists in their 9th Congress convention, have resolved that Maoist China has become a regional expansionist force and have condemned the attitude of China.
(Translation from article that appeared in Andhra Jyoti, Telugu: Dt.: 13-Aug-2017)
स्वावलंबन के पथ पर अग्रसर … भारतीय वायु सेना
नभः स्पृशं दीप्तम् – Touch the Sky with Glory — This is the motto of our Indian Air Force, taken from Bhagvad Gita. The Samkrit saying comes at a time in the Kurukshetra battle when Bhagwan Sri Krishna‘s divine form is reaching the sky with glory, evoking fear and loss of self-control in Arjuna‘s mind. The Indian Air Force, similarly, aims to overwhelm its adversaries with its sophisticated air power. The Indian Air Force leading the path towards Self-Reliance… proud to present the #AeroShow2017 event summary…
The eleventh edition of the five-day event began on Tuesday, the 14th February 2017, with Defence minister Sri Manohar Parrikar making a strong pitch for “Make in India”. Asia’s Premier biennial Air show, was concluded at Air Force Station Yelahanka, in Bengaluru on Saturday, the 18th February 2017.
Aero India 2017 provided a significant platform in bolstering business opportunities in International aviation sector. It has favourably poised an exponential growth over previous edition. A rapidly growing economy, defence preparedness challenges and opening up of defence production to private sector, have given a major fillip to the defence industry in India. It has also become a hub centre for defence business in the Asia.
Aero India 2017 has become a huge attraction for aviation aficionados and technocrats, who thronged the event in Bengaluru to witness the static and air display. The event turned out to be a carnival during its last two days as lakhs of people thronged the Air Force Station at Yelahanka in Bengaluru to witness the aerial feast. Braving the hot weather, people crawled through heavy traffic on the highway headed to the air base, which presented the picture of a sea of humanity, with crowds jostling for vantage places and craning their necks to witness the daredevilry of aerobatic teams from across the globe.
Besides, 65 ministerial and other high-level delegates from several countries that attended the event, the exhibition at the show saw participation from 549 companies, out of which 270 were Indian and 279 foreign. A five-member Chinese delegation from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force attended the show for the first time!
More than 750 Global and Indian companies have participated in this mega event, including scores of SMEs and MSMEs.
- Ministerial/Defence Heads/Secretary Level Delegations From 109 Countries
- More Than 150000 Business Visitors & 300000 General Visitors
- The Youth Innovative Pavilion
- India Export Pavilion
- Airport Infrastructure
- Defence Engineering
- Aerospace Industry
- Civil Aviation
- Defence Aviation
- SME and MSME
The companies participated in the Aero India 2017 is listed at the AeroIndia website.
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, भारत ‘s premier Aeronautical industry leader (HAL) took the lead along with other companies in sponsoring this mega event in showcasing the majesty and the might of Indian Defence forces. Among others were defence technology manufacturing companies such as Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Eight TATA Industries, Wipro’s services for Aerospace and Defense Industry, Reliance Aerostructure Limited and many proud SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises). Many foreign firms including the global majors like Dassault Rafale, Airbus and Boeing chased the #MakeinIndia goals at air show!
The main themes of this event are #MakeInIndia and #DefenceManufacturing. The Make in India plan seeks to cut the country’s dependence on imported weapons and position the country as a hub of defence manufacturing.
Tejas, the Indian single-seat, multi-role light fighter jet was the main highlight and a great source of pride. This fighter jet was designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Navy. The aircraft has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration, which gives it high maneuverability. The LCA was officially named “Tejas” in 2003, meaning “Radiant” in Samskrit by the then Prime Minister Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, who took over as the head of the Indian Air Force two months ago, did a 20-minute sortie in the Light Combat Aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd., Tejas.
India signed 51 contracts valued at Rs 1.16 lakh crore with foreign vendors for buying weapons and equipment, compared to 90 deals worth Rs 83,344 crore inked with Indian suppliers, in the last three years. The defence ministry has also accorded its acceptance of necessity – the first step towards making an acquisition – for 85 projects worth Rs 1.6 lakh crore in the last two years. Many of these projects come under the Make in India plan.
Airbus has partnered with the Tata Advanced Systems Limited to set up a final assembly line for C295W military transport planes in the country. The C295Ws will replace the Indian Air Force’s ageing Avro fleet as part of a $2-billion programme for 56 new planes. While 16 of these will come in a flyaway condition, the remaining will be built in India.
Airbus has also tied up with Mahindra Defence for manufacturing military helicopters. The group aims to make India the global hub for manufacturing AS565 Panther helicopters for catering to domestic as well as international markets.
British engine maker Rolls-Royce will also pursue opportunities to “co-create, co-develop and co-manufacture” high-end products in India in collaboration with local partners. “Aero India highlights the complete spectrum of the country’s aerospace and defence interests. For us, this is a significant platform to showcase our continued commitment to support India’s future indigenisation and self-reliance ambitions” said Rolls-Royce India and South Asia chief Kishore Jayaraman. The company exhibited the Adour Mk951 engine, which powers the latest variant of the Hawk aircraft. The IAF’s Jaguar fighter planes have been flying with Rolls-Royce Adour Mk811 engines since 1981.
European missile maker MBDA also believes that the #MakeInIndia initiative holds potential. It has offered to share its latest guided missile system technology with India, and will pitch for it again at the air show.
The IAF’s latest Rafale fighters will be equipped with the MBDA-built Meteor Beyond Visual Range missiles, whose no-escape zone is touted to be three times greater than that of current medium-range air-to-air missiles. It has a range of 150 km. The French aircraft will also be equipped with the MBDA’s Storm Shadow/SCALP missile, which can hit targets at a range of 560 km.
The air show was also witness to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) delivering the country’s first indigenous airborne early warning and control system (AEW&C) to the IAF in initial operational clearance configuration, bringing it a step closer to induction. An Embraer-145 plane mounted with AEW&C systems took part in the Republic Day parade for the first time last month. India inked a $208-million deal for three Brazil-built Embraer-145 planes in 2008 as part of a DRDO programme to scale up the IAF’s AEW&C capabilities.
The five-day event saw firms from Russia, Europe, Israel and the United States – among others – hard selling their latest armament technologies to India in the hope of partnering with indigenous companies for setting up manufacturing bases that would cater to the military’s future requirements.
(Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah could not make it to the inaugural of Aero India as he had to reply to the Governor’s address to the joint session of the State legislature. The State government was instead represented by Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries R.V. Deshpande).
Aero India has already carved a niche for itself globally as a premier aerospace exhibition, with tenth successful editions organised since 1996.
Besides, 65 ministerial and other high-level delegates from several countries that attended the event, the exhibition at the show saw participation from 549 companies, out of which 270 were Indian and 279 foreign. A five-member Chinese delegation from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force attended the show for the first time! More than 750 Global and Indian companies have participated in this mega event in 2017, including scores of SMEs and MSMEs. The various overseas delegations were accommodated over a gross exhibition area of 108,250 sqm.
Memorable moments of the event captured by the author are placed in this Video:
Bhāratīya Vāyu Senā – स्वावलंबन के पथ पर अग्रसर …
Aero India https://www.aeroindia.in
HAL: HAL Make In India
HT Report: Foreign-firms-to-chase-make-in-india
The list comprises of 7 Padma Vibhushan, 7 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri Awardees. 19 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 5 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and 6 Posthumous awardees.
|Awardee||Field of Prominence|
|Sharad Pawar||Public Affairs|
|Murli Manohar Joshi||Public Affairs|
|P.A. Sangma (posthumous)||Public Affairs|
|Sunder Lal Patwah (posthumous)||Public Affairs|
|K.J.Yesudas||Art – Music|
|Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev||Others – Spiritualism|
|Udipi Ramachandra Rao||Science & Engineering|
|Awardee||Field of Prominence|
|Vishwa Mohan Bhatt||Art – Music|
|Devi Prasad Dwivedi||Literature & Education|
|Ratna Sundar Maharaj||Others-Spiritualism|
|Swami Niranjana Nanda Saraswati||Others-Yoga|
|H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Foreigner)||Literature & Education|
|Cho Ramaswamy (Posthumous)||Literature & Education –Journalism|
|Awardee||Field of Prominence|
|Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair||Art-Dance|
|T K Murthy||Art-Music|
|Laishram Birendrakumar Singh||Art-Music|
|Krishna Ram Chaudhary||Art-Music|
|Aekka Yadagiri Rao||Art-Sculpture|
|Parassala B Ponnammal||Art-Music|
|Wareppa Naba Nil||Art-Theatre|
|Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary||Civil Service|
|T.K. Viswanathan||Civil Service|
|Kanwal Sibal||Civil Service|
|Birkha Bahadur Limboo Muringla||Literature & Education|
|Eli Ahmed||Literature & Education|
|Narendra Kohli||Literature & Education|
|G. Venkatasubbiah||Literature & Education|
|Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri||Literature & Education|
|Kashi Nath Pandita||Literature & Education|
|Chamu Krishna Shastry||Literature & Education|
|Harihar Kripalu Tripathi||Literature & Education|
|Michel Danino||Literature & Education|
|Punam Suri||Literature & Education|
|VG Patel||Literature & Education|
|V Koteswaramma||Literature & Education|
|Balbir Dutt||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Bhawana Somaaya||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Vishnu Pandya||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Mohammed Abdul Waheed||Medicine|
|Madan Madhav Godbole||Medicine|
|Devendra Dayabhai Patel||Medicine|
|Arun Kumar Sharma||Others-Archaeology|
|Meenakshi Amma||Others-Martial Art|
|Genabhai Dargabhai Patel||Others-Agriculture|
|Chandrakant Pithawa||Science & Engineering|
|Ajoy Kumar Ray||Science & Engineering|
|Chintakindi Mallesham||Science & Engineering|
|Jitendra Nath Goswami||Science & Engineering|
|Daripalli Ramaiah||Social Work|
|Girish Bhardwaj||Social Work|
|Karimul Hak||Social Work|
|Bipin Ganatra||Social Work|
|Nivedita Raghunath Bhide||Social work|
|Appasaheb Dharmadhikari||Social Work|
|Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal||Social Work|
|Vikasa Gowda||Sports-Discus Throw|
|P. R. Shreejesh||Sports-Hockey|
|Mohan Reddy Venkatrama Bodanapu||Trade & Industry|
|Imrat Khan (NRI/PIO)||Art-Music|
|Anant Agarwal (NRI/PIO)||Literature & Education|
|H.R. Shah (NRI/PIO)||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Suniti Solomon (Posthumous)||Medicine|
|Asoke Kumar Bhattacharyya (Posthumous)||Others-Archaeology|
|Dr. Mapuskar (Posthumous)||Social Work|
|Anuradha Koirala (Foreigner)||Social Work|
Source: PIB India
To download pdf – Padma Awards 2017
Telangana’s Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) announced in the state assembly day before yesterday (18 January) that his government will table the long-pending bill to triple reservation for Muslims in education and employment, from the current 4 per cent to 12 per cent, in the upcoming budget session. Additionally, he told the house that he was planning to arm the Wakf Board in the state with judicial powers.
Let’s look at these two issues, how they have panned out so far and why this pandering to Muslims is dangerous, and not just in the constitutional sense.
Tripling Muslim quota
The chief minister has been very keen on increasing quotas for Muslims — it was a key poll promise during the 2014 assembly elections after all, so much so that he wanted to pass the quota bill in a special session of the assembly last year, which was convened in August to ratify the GST constitutional bill. However, his decision met with procedural roadblocks. Telangana didn’t have a Backward Classes (BC) commission back then. Only the commission of inquiry had endorsed the idea. Which wasn’t enough. Only a BC commission can “increase or decrease quotas or make additions or deletions on eligible castes”, as KCR’s BC welfare minister put it at the time.
In October, the commission was set up. Then KCR wanted to introduce the bill in the ongoing winter session, but deferred his decision after Telangana’s Advocate General advised him to do so. The latter didn’t want the bill to be passed in haste only to be struck down by the courts later. He had suggested that “it would be better if BC Commission tours districts to conduct hearings on the Muslim quota and submit a report to the government. Otherwise, it would be viewed as if the panel had drafted the report sitting in Hyderabad, which may face legal issues later.”
On 15 December, the commission initiated public hearings on the matter and received about 52,000 representations, most of which supported the enhancement in Muslim quotas, as indicated by the commission’s Chairman B S Ramulu. By the time the budget session begins next month, the commission in all likelihood would’ve submitted its report. It is ready and endorses the Sudhir Commission recommendations. The commission members are waiting for an appointment with KCR. Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) have also given official representation to the commission supporting the increase in the quota.
KCR says he is enhancing reservation for Muslims not on religious grounds but on their socio-economic conditions and educational backwardness. This line of argument is obvious. Quotas based on religious grounds are unconstitutional, and will not stand scrutiny in court.
So will KCR succeed in his enterprise? One can’t be sure given the myriad ways in which jurisprudence in the country works. The legal system is confused. In 2004, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s Congress government had enshrined 5 per cent quota for Muslims, taking the total reservation in the state to 51 per cent. This was struck down by the Andhra Pradesh high court citing the 49 per cent constitutional limit for quotas. Cleverly, the Reddy government changed the quantum of quota to 4 per cent. This was also deemed unconstitutional by a seven-member bench of the high court. When the matter reached the Supreme Court, it passed an interim order staying the Muslim quota until a separate constitutional bench decided on the matter. The case is still in progress.
KCR wants to avoid the whole legal tangle. He plans to go to the centre directly and ask the Modi government to put the state’s law into the ninth schedule. Laws in the ninth schedule are protected from judicial review. But the centre is unlikely to play ball. The chief minister has his plan sorted out. He will cite Tamil Nadu’s example. If it can give 69 per cent quota, why can’t we, goes the argument.
“We will tell the Supreme Court that the Centre had allowed the Tamil Nadu government to implement reservation over and above 50 percent quota limit prescribed by SC since 1991 by incorporating the state reservations in the IX Schedule of the Constitution. We will inform the Supreme Court that people in Telangana State are also demanding similar exemption. Since TS is also a state in India like TN, I am 100 percent confident that the hike in the Muslim quota will overcome all constitutional and legal issues as there cannot be different rules for different states. If we succeed, we will get quotas like TN. Otherwise, both the states will lose.” – (Source: Deccan Chronicle )
KCR’s confidence (100 per cent, no less) in the ‘rule of law’ is really charming. If he wants to pin his hopes on the apex court’s wisdom, he needs to get in line. Haryana government also wants to put the Jat quota in the ninth schedule. And more important, the 69 per cent quota in Tamil Nadu is not the final word. The matter is still sub-judice.
Judicial powers to Wakf Board
KCR’s insatiable thirst to appease Muslims doesn’t end with a substantial increase in their quota in jobs and education. He also wants to give judicial powers to the Wakf Board. He is wooing the youth of the community with the former, and Mullahs with the latter. His government will introduce a bill in the next session empowering the board. ‘Wakf land is being illegally grabbed’ is the justification behind the move. While he is right on the encroachment of land (out of 1.3 lakh acres in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Wakf Board claims that 81,000 acres of land is encroached upon), by giving judicial powers to the board, he is barking up the wrong tree.
He has also promised to give back all vacant Wakf lands that were given to multinational corporations by the previous governments. He said:
“A huge extent of Wakf lands have been encroached upon in the city and districts during the undivided AP government. Several land cases have been lying pending for years. Due to the lack of judicial powers, the Wakf Board is not in a position to initiate action against land grabbers or resume lands. We will soon give judicial powers to Wakf Board.” (Source: Deccan Chronicle ).
Very touching indeed. How can the state give power of adjudication to one participating party in a legal battle? This is akin to giving judicial power to an alleged victim over the alleged accused. This is nothing but a step towards injecting Sharia-like laws in mainstream Indian jurisprudence. KCR’s plans threaten to turn the whole idea of the legal system on its head.
But let’s excuse KCR for his outrageous proposal for a second and talk about the rule of law, equality before the law and equal protection of law. Applying his own logic (If Tamil Nadu can give 69 per cent quota, why can’t we?), shouldn’t he give the same judicial powers to temples? There are 20,000 temples in the state (5,000 of which have prominent properties). These temples have about 86,000 acres of land, but more than half of it — 56,000 acres — has been encroached upon. Certainly, they also qualify to be given judicial powers?
But surely, the courts would stop KCR from pursuing his openly communal and common-sense-free politics? One shouldn’t hold one’s breath. Remember, these same courts have allowed communal laws like the Right to Education (RTE), which only applies to non-minorities (mostly Hindus), and given constitutional backing to bodies like the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), which by law cannot have Hindu members. These same courts let the Sonia Gandhi-led United Progressive Alliance government overturn their own judgment in the Inamdar case (2005) by passing the 93rd constitutional amendment which sowed the seeds of sectarianism in the education sector.
But all is not lost. Yesterday (19 January), the Supreme Court ruled that churches do not have power to grant divorce decrees, only civil courts do. This means the Indian Divorce Act, 1989 will override the Christian personal law.
One hopes that the courts will not let KCR run roughshod over the rule of law.
PS: On top of it all, KCR has also increased honorarium for imams and mauzams from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per month. He has also announced that the state government will bear the cost of all self-financing courses in minority degree colleges.
Nehruvian secularists were outraged when KCR allowed his guru to sit on the chief minister’s chair for a few seconds (which was mere symbolism), but are nowhere to be found when he is openly flouting the basic tenets of secularism. That’s why they have lost credibility. But rest of us must speak up and make it count.
Courtesy : Swarajya