Tag Archives: Telangana

After Opposing the Farm Laws, KCR Govt Now Says Can’t Procure All Crops At MSP

By Ch. Narendra

Four months after launching a broadside on the three new farm laws, TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao have remained one of the strongest opponents of these laws claiming that they are not in the farmers’ interests.

However, KCR has said something recently which appears to completely contradict his earlier stand on the farm laws. On December 27, he said,

“There is no need for the state government to purchase the agriculture produce as the new farm laws were being implemented across the country, allowing the farmers to sell their crop anywhere.”

Moreover, after condemning the central farm laws – allegedly removing Minimum Support Price (MSP), the Telangana government has now declined to procure all crops at MSP.

KCR vs. Farm Bills

In September, when the legislation for farm reforms was introduced in Parliament, the KCR instructed his party MPs to vote against the bills. He had called the bills a “sugar-coated pill,” claiming that the bills, instead of serving the farmers by allowing them to sell anywhere in India, will encourage corporate lobbying by facilitating the traders to buy freely.

KCR’s dissent even extended to the Dubbaka assembly by-election, where the laws became a major issue. However, this seemed to backfire when TRS suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of BJP candidate M Raghunandana Rao in a town regarded as the KCR family’s fortress.

On December 8, the Telangana government also supported the Bharat Bandh against the Central farm laws by keeping the offices closed and ministers, including KCR’s son KT Rama Rao, staging protests on roads.

Source: Telangana Today

A Sudden Change of Heart or A Bullet Dodged?

Issue of Procurement: One of the decisions taken by the KCR government that has sparked controversy is to stop the purchase of paddy and other crops at the village level. On Sunday, the Telangana CM announced that the state would not set purchase centres in villages from the next year.

He claimed that it was a one-time deal due to COVID-19 to help the agrarians as the new central law permits farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

What’s interesting here is that KCR attributed this move to central agricultural laws.

He said:

“As the new agriculture laws of the Central government permit farmers to sell their crop anywhere in the country, the State government need not set up purchasing centres in villages.”

As per the officials, ever since its formation in 2014, Telangana has suffered losses up to ₹7,500 crores due to the purchase of paddy, sorghum, maize, red gram, Bengal gram, and sunflower. The reason is, after procuring these crops at MSP, the government had to sell them at lower prices in the market, as there was no demand for these crops.

However, he added that the state would continue to provide financial assistance to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.

Regulated farming debacle: Another major decision taken on Sunday was to nix regulate cropping, which till now was one of KCR’s major policy initiatives aimed at making the farm sector more profitable by scientific cultivation. Telangana government has now decided to let farmers choose whatever they want to cultivate.

The reason cited for this was – government’s inability to provide a bonus to superfine rice farmers on account of Food Corporation of India (FCI) norms.

“The government cannot do it any more. It is not a business organization or trader. It is not a rice miller or a dal miller. Sale and purchase are not the responsibility of the government. It is not possible to set up a purchasing centre in the village from next year onwards,” said the official statement.

Telangana unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed this move while reprimanding KCR for not paying heed to their advice earlier.

State BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar demanded a public apology from the CM to farmers for bringing such a regulated cropping policy in the first place.

He said:

“Farmers must have a free hand to choose what they want to grow. But the dictatorial CM did not pay attention to our requests.”

Bandi further claimed, “After Narendra Modi came into power, the centre gave funds to conduct soil tests in each acre to choose suitable crops for the agricultural lands. But the funds were diverted. We demand that the State government conduct soil tests and bring reforms to make agriculture profitable.”

The State BJP chief also asked the state government to connect market yards with the E-NAM system to ensure better prices for farmers.

These facts indicate that KCR has potentially made the above-mentioned changes in the interest of his government. Continuing purchase centres would have drained the state budget, and regulated farming has also not worked as planned. However, by shifting the blame on the central government, the TRS leader here appears to be dodging the bullet.

Looking at his trajectory through farm law opposition, KCR could seem to be having a bigger picture in mind.

KCR’s Big Aspirations

KCR’s opposition has not resulted in the repealing of farm laws, but in retrospect, it has fetched him the golden opportunity to evolve as a national leader. This was probably an attempt to provide a 3rd alternative to the public apart from BJP and Congress – a ‘Federal Front’ as has termed it.

The TRS chief also declared earlier that he would hold a national conclave in the 3rd week of December in Hyderabad itself and invite all anti-BJP forces to protest the anti-farmer and anti-labour policies of the government. KCR conveyed that he would build a nationwide consensus against new agriculture laws.

In a 360° turn, however, KCR’s attitude towards the central farm laws and Modi-government, in particular, appears to have changed.

For instance, a former TRS MP holding a key position now quoted, “We cannot afford to get into a confrontation with the Centre at present because it will affect the state’s interests,”

Notably, this change has been visible after the Telangana CM’s visit to Delhi on December 13, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Source: NDTV

The visit came immediately after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, where the BJP did remarkably well. Apparently, Dubbaka by-poll and GHMC polls established to KCR that BJP is swiftly emerging as an alternate political force in Telangana and gearing up for a power grab in 2023 assembly polls.

Ch. Narendra

Ch. Narendra is Hyderabad based freelance journalist.formerly worked with New Indian Express group and a human rights activist

Courtesy: https://the-pulse.in

Rising Bharat National News Feed: October 9th 2020

  • POJKChina, Pakistan join hands to target India; PLA helps Islamabad to install missiles in PoK

Key points:

  1. Military-to-military cooperation between China and Pakistan at a tactical level
  2. China’s PLA helping Pakistan to install a surface-to-air missile near PoK
  3. CDS Bipin Rawat had recently said that India was capable of handling two-front threat

(Times Now News,9 October 2020) News Link

  • POK की जेल में 9 साल से बंद हैं राजनीतिक कार्यकर्ता, गिलगितबाल्टिस्तान में जोरदार प्रदर्शन

Key points:

  1. गिलगित-बाल्टिस्‍तान इलाके में गुरुवार को एक बार फिर से जोरदार प्रदर्शन हुआ
  2. हुंजा इलाके में स्‍थानीय लोगों ने जेल में बंद कार्यकर्ताओं को रिहा करने की मांग की
  3. इन कार्यकर्ताओं को दंगे करने और नुकसान पहुंचाने के आरोप में अरेस्‍ट किया गया था

(Navbharat Times,9 October 2020) News Link

  1. Webinar on “Spirit of NEP” at MANUU

Key points:

  1. Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) is organising a national webinar ‘Sprit of National Education Policy-2020’ on Saturday.
  2. The objective of the webinar is to understand the vision, identify challenges in the implementation and to prepare a roadmap for MANUU in the light of the NEP 2020. (Telangana Today, 9 October 2020) News Link
  • NEP-2020 will transform Indian Education system : Guv

Key points:

  1. Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on Friday underlined that the National Education Policy-2020 will transform the Indian education system and make it the global hub of quality education.
  2. Addressing the webinar on NEP-2020, organised by the Centre for South Indian Studies (CSIS,) from Raj Bhavan here on Friday, Dr Soundararajan said that the NEP-2020 is going to mould the students as job-creators and not as job-seekers.
  3. She stated that NEP-2020 was aimed at creating Global Citizens with strong Indian roots and added that if implemented in true spirit by all the stakeholders, the NEP-2020 will regain India’s position as the Vishwa Guru.
  4. Ms Tamilisai exhorted the people to understand the NEP-2020 in its holistic perspective and realize its potential to transform Indian education system as the international destination for quality education.

(UNI India, 9 October 2020) News Link

  • Assam:  ‘Shaping young leaders and NEP 2020’

Key points:

  1. Dr. Rai, an erudite speaker, started on a very positive note of students being sacrosanct to dreams; identifying potentials in self and owe it to oneself; the universe conspires to give that one thing you deeply desire; money is what money does and never fear to dream.
  2. He stated that failure is never fatal as it is a combination for success; people die only once not on every failure; failure is when you stop trying; fear of success is also prevalent but success is not final. He urged the students to listen to the advice of others but never live other’s version of life thereby losing one’s identity.
  3. Dr. Mittal highlighted the benefits this new batch of students and onwards can reap from the NEP stressing on transformations made to establish a transparent system that is student centric and designed to be primarily beneficial to the students.
  4. Advising the students to always have fire and passion to learn, be consistent, recognise their competencies, compete in themselves while investing in team-work, she assured the students, with the future being of blended learning and technological advancement being the crux of our lives off late, NEP 2020 will generate multi-faculty universities that will grant students freedom to choose a basket of courses of their liking.

(Arunanchal 24, 9 October 2020) News Link

  • NEP 2020 will be benchmark of development: VC BGSBU

Key points:

  1. “National Education Policy 2020 is going to a turning point for India. With ever increasing significance of skill-based education, the NEP 2020 if executed in letter and spirit will be a benchmark of development,” Vice Chancellor Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) Prof Javed Musarrat said while delivering a presentation during brainstorming session on the implementation on NEP 2020 at BGSBU.
  2. While discussing the transformational reforms in education sector, Prof Musarrat emphasized on the structural changes under NEP 2020 that will ensure that the knowledge and opportunities students receive within the country are at par with global standards.
  3. Prof Musarrat urged the members of teaching and non -teaching fraternity of BGSBU to start with, in a time-bound manner for the implementation of NEP 2020 guidelines vis-à-vis academics, research, infrastructure, and other areas, to be able to meet its objectives.

(dailyexcelsior, 9 October 2020) News Link

  1. Kerala tunnel project: Environmentalists ask where is feasibility study and EIA

Key points:

  1. Environmentalists have raised questions over Pinarayi Vijayan’s announcement to construct a massive tunnel in between the ‘Camel Hump’ mountains of the Western Ghats- connecting Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. 
  2. The project will create a 7-km tunnel – mooted to be the third largest such tunnel in the country – and will connect Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. It will also offer a wider and alternate route to the Thamarassery Ghat road which is usually congested, reducing travel time to neighbouring Karnataka significantly, CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced.
  3. However, environmental groups have questioned why the tunnel project was launched by the government, without a Financial Feasibility study, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a Sociological Impact Assessment. All these studies should have been conducted in the first place, they point out.
  4. “The project construction is announced with no economic and environmental feasibility studies done. The government said that a technical feasibility study for the tunnel was done. However, such a report is not available in the public domain,’ says Kochi-based lawyer and environmental activist Harish Vasudevan.
  5. The Wayanad Prakruthi Samrakshana Samiti, a well known environmentalist group in Kerala, issued a statement pointing out that the Pinarayi government had not even taken permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEFF), before announcing the project.
  6. “If the tunnel is going to be built underneath forest cover, then that would also come under forest land and hence permission has to be taken from the forest department. Mining underneath the forest also required underground mining rules and there are several challenges with regard to the water table which need to be factored in,” Harish added.

(The News Minute, 9 October 2020) News Link

A strategy to digest Hindu Smashana Bhoomi?

The Covid-19 pandemic is being used by land grabbers occasionally to occupy Muslim grave yards. But also to force Hindu grave yards to concede space for the Muslim dead. This is a land grab through the back door.

Image is an example of Hindu smashana vatika and the final rites performed

On May 27, 2020, the Muslim man who was denied the burial space by mutawallis was laid to rest in the Hindu graveyard in Hyderabad. Two Hindu men — Sandeep and Sekhar extended help to the deceased family and arranged a place to bury the man in Hindu graveyard.

  1. June 1 2020 – Muslim community is divided about allowing burial of dead bodies of Muslims in Muslim grave yards. In the meanwhile, land belonging to grave yards are being rapidly occupied by land grabbers in the constituencies of the champions of Muslim rights and identity.
  2. June 2 2020 – Muslim graveyards deny burial space for a Muslim. Hindu grave yard offers space.

While most of the major cities across the globe viz., New York, London, Los Angeles and other various cities are cremating the COVID-19 dead bodies, why the Muslims in India are burying the dead.

Even the Hindus and most of the Christians across India are also doing cremation, Muslims are only burying them.

Due to shortage of Muslim burial grounds, the Muslim authorities and Muslims are secularising the concept in burial grounds.

  • Why some Mohammedian dead bodies were buried in Hindu Smashana Vatika’s in the name of humanity?
  • How many Hindu Smashana Vatika’s have been encroached in cities by religious minorities. (In Delhi it seems there is no space)
  • These two aspects imply the fact that there is real estate cost involved in burying in local Christian / Muslim burial grounds & the target is Hindu Smashana vatika’s.
  • Statistics say that Hindu Smashana vatika lands are converted to Real estate layouts.

Will this lead to takeover of Hindu Smashana Vatikas??

CM of Telangana treading a divisive path

The Telangana government has been going overboard to placate the Muslims in the state, much at the cost of other communities, which would, clearly, not only distort the political discourse but also sow seeds of discord. 

The driver of a vehicle must be cautious and careful. Even a small error is a potential danger to life.  By announcing Urdu as the second language of Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has committed a blunder that is bound to influence generations to come. Not just this, some of the other major decisions taken by Telangana government in recent times can be termed bluntly as minority appeasement for purely political gains with scant regard to the overall well-being of the state.

On  November 9 KCR designated Urdu as second official language of Telangana. He announced that 900 Urdu teachers would be recruited soon by forming a special District Selection Committee (DSC). The eligibility criteria for these posts will be framed by the Urdu Academy and the Minority welfare department. The deadline for the recruitment is 70 days and to be executed on top priority basis.

KCR has also provided for induction of 66 Urdu-speaking officers into various key departments in the government.  The State Assembly, Council Chairman, Chief Secretary and the 17 other ministers will have one Urdu -speaking officer assisting them. Likewise, the assembly administration, State Council, Information and Public Relations Department, Office of the Director General of Police (DGP), the Hyderabad City Police commissionerate and all the newly set up 31 district Collector offices will have exclusive Urdu speaking officers to receive petitions from the public.

Islamic Centre
Imposition of Urdu as the second language in Telangana is KCR’s latest spectacle among the slew of audacious largesse he has granted to appease the Muslims in the state.
He had recently proposed to construct Hyderabad International Islamic Cultural Convention Centre of international standard in an area of 10 acres in Kokapet on the outskirts of Hyderabad. He has also decided to set up a separate industrial corridor for Muslims which is in direct contrast to the democratic principles of the country.

Telangana government has also increased the quota for Muslims in jobs and education from 4% to 12%. The Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society (TMREIS) is planning to set up 120 schools at the cost of Rs.6723 Crores. 71 such residential schools (39 Boys and 32 Girls) are already functioning and remaining are likely to come up in later phases. 75% of the seats are reserved for the minorities in these schools. Urdu is a compulsory subject for Muslims while non-Muslim students can opt for Telugu.

The Chief Minister’s Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Minorities introduced in 2015-16 grants Rs.10 Lakhs per Student and one-way Airfare to those minorities travelling abroad for higher education in foreign universities. A Telangana Minorities Study Circle was also formed for 2015-16, which will focus on training minorities Candidates for competitive exams conducted by TSPSC.  It is also sponsoring 100 minority candidates who are preparing for All India Services Exams from the country’s top Institutes every year.

Officially, all the above initiatives come under Minority welfare schemes but are aimed at strengthening the Muslim vote bank for the ruling party. Official records say that there are already 1,561 Urdu-medium schools in the State with about 1.31 lakh students.

The current Urdu academy in Telangana is occupied in organising Haj programmes and religious seminars. The Urdu academy is not equipped to do any academic work .We already have a number of examples across the country where fanatics from Islamic seminaries are seen and heard sowing the seeds of separatism and refuse to abide by the law of the land. If a school going kid is fed such venom by fanatics, the result is bound to damage the social fabric of the state and country.

Till date there has been no proof of any contribution of any madrasa to science and technology. On the contrary, Madrasas have contributed immensely to the establishment of theological states across the Arab lands and in Asia too. If these are the antecedents of Islamic schools across the world, what kind of research would an Islamic centre in Hyderabad conduct? The historical evidence is simple and clear. It will be another institution supplying Islamic doctrine to schools and colleges. In the coming decade, voices of separatism would have grown with the sanction of the government and funded by the Telangana public! Chances of this scenario transpiring is high because there is none to verify the content and monitor the developments of such schools.

The language barrier will pose a big challenge to the government officers thus forcing them to agree to requests that are in Urdu. Leaders like Owaisi can easily hijack these schools to suit their own narrative and paint a favourable picture of the Nizam and Mughuls in the history books of such schools. Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao himself has always been reluctant to accept the atrocities of Nizam and the Razakars during the accession of Hyderabad in 1948. These kinds of appeasing actions by Telangana government will only sow the seeds of Muslim separatism.

A separate Industrial corridor for Muslims may be on paper today but will soon be pushed as an agenda for the 2019 general elections. In October, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Soud Mohammed Alsati expressed willingness to invest in Telangana. With such religion-based investment coming in, the ramifications for Telangana and the country as a whole are huge. KCR’s promise of an exclusive industrial corridor for Muslims will give rise to other demands. Since such a corridor would mostly accommodate students literate in Urdu,  Muslim investors could demand a “separate” welfare fund for Muslims and later insist on Islamic Banking too.

The Khilafat movement, supported by M.K. Gandhi, resulted in furthering the Muslims separatist agenda and resulted in the partition of India. Such slew of measures by a state government to appease the Muslims would result in rekindling separatist tendencies again. We can recall that MIM party head Assauddin Owaisi initially opposed the idea of a separate Telangana but agreed to support the cause only when his demand to include Kurnool and Ananthapur districts, both with a high percentage of Muslims, were included as part of the new state.

Corridor for Muslim
Measures aimed at pampering a community are bound to sow the seeds of discord in the society, creating deep chasms and spoil the social fabric. Instead of attempting to bring the madrasas into the mainstream with emphasis on science and modern computer-based education, the Telangana government is running in the opposite direction. Arabic style of dressing in Hyderabad, increase in burkha clad schools kids are manifestations of cultural assertiveness which further alienate Muslims from the mainstream. Similar appeasing measures, in the garb of secularism and Muslim identity, attempted by the erstwhile SP government in UP had almost alienated the Muslims of the state and hence this year the UP Government, led by Yogi Adityanath had to force the madrasas to celebrate Independence Day. Telangana could follow suit if remedial measures are not taken soon.

Recently, AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi proactively proposed that his party will form an alliance with TRS in the 2019 general elections. By the time nationalistic forces are strengthened in the state, the separatist elements could gain a strong foothold.

Any attempt by the central government to thwart their efforts will be showcased as being anti-Muslim. Decisions of Telangana government aimed at appeasing the Muslims could lead to serious damage to the society in the coming days if they are not effectively countered by every concerned citizen, party or organisation.

  • Surender Kunti
    (The writer is co-convenor of Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Telangana )

– Source: Organiser

Muslim Appeasement Politics by KCR

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.

kcrmim

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