Oct 04, 2023
Oct 04, 2023
Politicians of India, Unite
“Politicians of India, unite. Or else, you’ll lose your seats of power if the Supreme Court of Indian has its way.”
Yes, the above stirring call is from the opening sentences of the Political Manifesto that the much-convicted-yet-free Lalu Prasad Yadav is writing. Understandably, all political parties have enthusiastically banded together to vehemently oppose the recent order of the apex Court that, on conviction, legislators be immediately disqualified. And that’s not all. The worst is the Court’s order to the Government to take action as per the ruling.
All parties got together to raise their voice against this blatant “erosion” of Parliament’s supremacy in law-making. How dare the judiciary encroach on their rights?
Of course, the concerns of the politicians do not strike a chord with public opinion that sees the ruling as a long-due, desperately needed measure against blatant criminalization of our politics. After all, how can our legislators take calmly the prospects of being suddenly unseated from privileged positions occupying which they amassed wealth by plundering the treasury?
The second part of the SC order stating that a candidate arrested ahead of an election won’t be able to contest aroused far greater concern among politicians. Their fear is that a government of entrenched crooks may cook up a case and arrest their rivals ahead of an election. Till things are sorted out, you and I can entertain ourselves watching the hugely interesting game of set a thief to catch a thief
The Chanakya in Sonia Gandhi’s inner circle who conceived of the idea of conceding to long-simmering demand for Statehood for Telangana at this stage, needs to have his head examined. If the ostensible purpose was to ensure that at least some parts of Andhra continue to be with the Congress in 2014 election, it looks a very unsound decision.
The day the UPA Government decided to divide Andhra Pradesh, the state stood split down the middle as coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema erupted in anger and Telangana in jubilation. Along with that emerged the irresistible demand for another half a dozen stated across the country.
You remember the legend of Pandora’s Box — actually a jar — from the colorful Greek mythology. Pandora, supposed to be the first woman on earth was given a beautiful container along with strict instructions not to open it under any circumstance. Impelled, however, by the irresistible female curiosity, Pandora dared to open it. And all evil contained in the jar escaped and spread over the earth.
So, the moment the Government opened the jar for Telangana to escape, also came out the demand of more new states from Darjeeling to Assam and UP to Vidarbha. So the UPA government has bought quite a few fresh headaches which aren’t going to go away in a hurry.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling Hills has already called for a shutdown to support their demand for Gorkhaland that Mamata-di has rejected outright.
In Assam too, at least three regional groups have decided on fresh agitation programs for separate states. No longer are UP and Maharashtra likely to remain undivided.
Did the so-called High Command give a think to the implications of the decision they took to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh?
Prof. Amartya Sen, who was honored with the Bharat Ratna by Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government in 1999, said India’s prime minister could not be someone who generates fear in a large minority population. Indeed. Hence, “Narendra Modi is not fit to be the PM.” Of course, Rahul Baba is.
The real issue is, does Prof. Sen’s profound knowledge of the dismal science (which, all said, economics is) entitle him to pass a sweeping judgment on everything happening in India? The Professor should care to look at facts. If there is a party that has “generated fear” in the mind of the large minority, it is the Congress Party which has spared no effort to convince the Muslims that but for its protecting invisible hand, Muslims cannot survive and, therefore, they must in every election – even to select a local imam — look up to the unfailing guidance of the Congress hand which Indiraji bequeathed as a symbol of Indian secularism.
Perhaps the main reason Indian economy is in such a chaotic mess, is that we, as a country, are over-blessed with brilliant economists. But after making a mess of our economy, should they now meddle in those walks of life where, fortunately, there is still some semblance of order? Amartya Sen should remember the great advice of the patron saint of his profession, Adam Smith: “The learned ignore the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of the ideas of their imagination.”
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has come out with an executive fiat - a dress code for female students of Abdullah College. No T-shirts and jeans, only salwar-kameez and dupatta. And that’s not all. The provost of Abdullah Hall - the girls’ hostel — has, as an academic imam, also issued a notice warning that “if any girl is caught violating the dress code, she will be fined Rs. 500”.
There’re still some grey areas. The length of kameez hasn’t been specified, for example, up to the knee or below the knee? Nor has it been clarified if the dopatta should always cover the head and the precise area of the human anatomy that can remain uncovered.
Anyhow, Allah, the Merciful be thanked that T-shirt, that God-damned American abomination, displaying the curves and contours of female chest, is out, and also the jeans that that show the shape and size of ….. (You know what I’m referring to.)
And that’s not all. The female students are not allowed in the Central Library of AMU, also called Maulana Azad Library, which can be accessed only by male students in search of divine knowledge. The girls are not allowed to use internet in their hostel lest they should — tempted by Satan — look at pictures that are haram and read things, blasphemous.
I don’t know if that other pestilence of time called the smart phone, has been allowed or banned.
I hear the above rules have been promulgated because the earlier order of the Vice Chancellor, Gen Zameeruddin Shah to wear “decent clothes” was interpreted variously. He is reported to be a strict disciplinarian. Incidentally, it was Gen. Shah who, when in service, commanded the troops from the Indian Army that were deployed in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India in response to the inter-ethnic violence that had gripped the region, aka as 2002 Gujarat riots. Will you be surprised to hear that he is brother of noted Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah? How could he join the actor brother in films where the girls wear the see-through dresses?
Several girls, I hear, consider the diktat as an attack on their freedom but no one is prepared to speak up openly against it. AMU must maintain standards bequeathed by Sir Syed in the nineteenth century when Her Majesty Queen Victoria presided over the British Empire.
Everyone knows that the 91-year-old Bangladeshi Islamist, Ghulam Azam was one of the key collaborators with Pakistan in the 1971 genocide. That was over four decades ago. At long last, in 2013, he has been sentenced to 90 years in jail.
This has caused shock and awe on both sides of the political and religious divide. And Bangladesh is, today, a sharply polarized society. While the Islamist fringe deems the sentence, handed down by the War Crimes Tribunal, as too harsh, as it falls short of the death sentence, the perceived secularists, most importantly the post - ’71 progressives, deem it is “too weak.”
Neither side has got what it wanted. All that’s certain is that Azam will die in jail and both the pro and anti-Pakistan segments of Bangladeshi society will remain at logger heads. And unfortunately it seems, as of now, forever.
You know the United States of America as one of the world’s richest countries. Indeed. But do you know the U.S. has also has the highest incarceration rate of any wealthy nation, with about 2.3 million people behind bars at any given time? (That means 730 out of 100,000. The UK is just 154.) There are, in fact, more people in U.S. prisons than are in the country’s active-duty military.
This much is well known. What’s less known is that people who are incarcerated are excluded from most surveys by U.S. statistical agencies! Since young, black men are disproportionately likely to be in jail or prison, the exclusion of penal institutions from the statistics makes the jobs situation of young, black men look far better than it really is.
“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt,” said Bertrand Russell. And to add insult to injury we have to live with the decisions of the stupid who manage to capture political power.
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More by : Sakshi