Thursday, October 31, 2013

SC reduces political pressure on bureaucrats

New Delhi, Oct 31 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the central and state governments to pass orders within three months on giving fixed tenures to civil servants.

In its order, the apex court said that fixed tenures for bureaucrats will promote professionalism, efficiency and good governance.

The Supreme Court also directed the Parliament to enact a law to regulate transfer, posting and disciplinary action of IAS officers and to immunise them from political interference. (ANI)

I don't know how to thank the Supreme Court on the above order.

I hope the SC follows through and see that it is implemented and not thrown in the dustbin like the recommendations of the SC on Police reforms.

Transfers and postings are one of the principal fountainhead of corruption.

If the Supreme Court can implement this it will have driven in another nail, after the nail of disqualification of MPs and MLAs, into the coffin of corruption.

Everywhere we have seen good honest bureaucrats being transferred repeatedly because they do not carry out the dishonest instructions of corrupt politicians.

A recent example is the case of Ashok Khemka who brought to the notice of the public how Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi ws being given undue favours by the Haryana Government, so that he could mint money.

Jharkhand High Court rejects Lalu's bail plea

Ranchi, Oct 31 (ANI): The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday rejected the bail plea of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is serving a five-year prison sentence in connection with the multi-crore fodder scam case.

The 66-year-old Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief had moved the court on Wednesday, but the latter chose to reserve its order for Thursday after hearing the CBI counsel's objections to granting Lalu bail.

After the court's decision, some Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) workers shouted slogans and expressed unhappiness over the denial of bail to their party chief. They were then escorted out of the high court premises.

On Sep 30, Lalu Prasad, another former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, Janata Dal (United) Lok Sabha member Jagdish Sharma and others were convicted in the fodder scam case RC 20 A/96, which is related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37.70 crore from Chaibasa treasury during 1994-1995 when he was the chief minister.

The special CBI court of Pravas Kumar Singh awarded five years imprisonment to Lalu Prasad and slapped Rs.25 lakh fine on him Oct 3. Jagannath Mishra was granted two months' provisional bail on medical grounds Oct 25.

Following his conviction, Yadav has been disqualified from the Lok Sabha. He has been banned from contesting elections for six years.

However, his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi had earlier said that this is a conspiracy against her husband who has been framed in this case without any substantial evidence.

"This is a conspiracy against Laluji. The entire world is watching. There is no evidence against him, and this is clearly bad politics. I have full faith in the judiciary, and Laluji will get bail soon," she said.

The fodder scam also known as 'Chara Ghotala' involved the siphoning of funds from the Bihar Government treasury. The alleged theft spanned over several years, and many Bihar state government administrative and elected officials across multiple administrations were allegedly engaged in it.

The fodder scam was unearthed in Bihar in 1996 when Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of the state. (ANI)

Why should criminals be given bail as a matter of right?

If prisons have become inadequate to hold the burgeoning number of criminals, they should be made large or the numbers increased.

WE have seen criminals caught in extortion, kidnapping, rape and murder cases being given bail and then going out and committing even more heinous crimes.

I would suggest that people taken in some scheduled crimes like the above should not be granted bail at all, no matter how powerful of rich.

If their behaviour improves after staying in jail, bail could be given after completion of three- fourth of their jail term.

Lalu Yadav has been given a 5-year sentence and many more sentences are yet to come which may total more than 15 years.

He has spent hardly one month in jail and has started demanding bail as if it is his right.

He has been given a penalty of only 25 lakhs when his the loss caused to the government is Rs 37.70 crores.

Where did all the balance money go?

To buy property in the name of his family members.

Why is the government not making a list of the properties owned by Lalu Yadav and his family which he has acquired after becoming the Chief Minister of Bihar and the Railway Minister of India.?

Why hasn't the IT department not been put on his tail?

See the irony of it all.

These criminal loot the nation in thousands of crores but they are made to pay back only a few lakhs.

The Aam Aadmi Party will change all that.

If the Aam Aadmi party comes to power they will be made to pay many times more than they loot.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coldest village on earth temperatures drop to -71.2C-Russian village of Oymyakon‏

Russian village of Oymyakon has lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited location. Nothing grows so locals live off diet of reindeer meat and horsemeat but never suffer malnourishment.Locals keep their cars running all day for fear of them not starting again if turned off. Digging graves for a funeral can take up to three days as ground has to be thawed with hot coals

If you thought it was cold where you are at the moment then a visit to the Russian village of Oymyakon might just change your mind.

With the average temperature for January standing at -50C, it is no wonder the village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.

Known as the ‘Pole of Cold’, the coldest ever temperature recorded in Oymyakon was -71.2C.

A woman walks over an ice-encrusted bridge in Yakutsk Village of Oymyakon, which is considered to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world, Russia. Known as the ‘Pole of Cold’, the coldest ever temperature recorded in Oymyakon was a mind numbing -71.2C

The central square of Yakutsk on a -51c day. Oymyakon lies a two day drive from the city of Yakutsk, the regional capital, which has the coldest winter temperatures for any city in the world

There are few modern conveniences in the village – with many buildings still having outdoor toilets – and most people still burn coal and wood for heat. When coal deliveries are irregular the power station starts burning wood. If the power ceases, the town shuts down in about five hours, and the pipes freeze and crack.

Sent by Arun Shroff

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baljit Singh Mann & Sanjeev Jha

We have just 36 days left for the Delhi elections and there are 70 seats and therefore 70 candidates of AAP.

Everyday, I shall give you the profiles of just two candidates so that all of you realize the difference between the AAP and the other political parties.

BALJIT SINGH MANN

Address Village Hiranki, Delhi - 36
Phone 9818322538
Email baljeetmannaap@gmail.com
Constituency Name Narela
Education Intermediate
Age 60 years
Gender Male
Occupation Agriculture
Assets Ancestral property, one plot each in name of wife and son
Criminal Record None
Baljeets Singh Mann's father was a soldier of Azad Hind Fauz (Indian National Army in 1942) who went missing in 1942 for 6 years while fighting in 2nd world war.

Indian government also recognized him as a freedom fighter.

Baljeet Singh was earlier associated with Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and also held post there at division levels.

In 2004 he left BJP after not finding his interests aligned with those of BJP's and parted his ways from active politics.

After Sri Anna Hazare called for nation wide movement against corruption Baljeet actively became a part of the movement and has been an active member since then by participating in various protests for the people.

SANJIV JHA

Address 10A, Khasra No 70/11, Swami Dayanand Enclave, Swaroop Nagar Road, Burari - 110084
Phone 9953456787
Email sanjeevjha1979@gmail.com
Constituency Name Burari
Education Graduate
Age 34years
Gender Male
Occupation Dependent on friends and relatives
Assets None
Criminal Record None
For the last twelve years with friends have been striving to provide free education to under-privileged children.

With the help of some youths, have set the foundation of a social organisation"Navpallab" which helps people coming to Delhi for jobs in making them employable.

Have been associated with the Anna movement right from inception.Started with India against corruption. Have played an important part in uniting the youth to be more active.After the formation of the party have taken many responsible duties.

Steve Job's Indian connection

You have heard about Mr. Steve Jobs who revolutionized the world of computers and e based communications through his Apple computers. Do you know the following facts about Steve Jobs.

He used to "walk 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna Hindu Temple ".

He said in his Stanford University lecture " You have to trust in your gut, destiny, life and Karma." He was a staunch believer of karma yoga.

He visited many Ashrams in Rishikesh particularly Neem Karoli Baba ashram , a devotee of Hanuman. After visiting first time he returned from India to US with a shaved head and in traditional Indian robes.

He used to walk in his company bare footed like a Hindu sanyaasee.

He used to do Yoga daily and he was a perfect vegetarian till his last breath.

He visited many ashrams in north India and used to do yoga in the holy places.

He started touring India from 1970 onwards and he was a great lover of animals.

He did not request money from his parents even when he was jobless and generally took food from Hindu temples wherever he went.

He, religiously followed and spread the 'amazing Hindu dharma' and Vedic messages.

He did not complete his studies in the university but remained in university for discussions with his friends.

He was removed from his own company by the management and later those management people were removed from their chair and Steve jobs was brought back.

It is said that one of the Hindu swamijis in the Himalayas gave him a green apple and told him to eat it. He did and looked into the apple after biting a piece from it. That apple later became the emblem of his Apple computers.

Sent by Jimmy Keir.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Modi's usage of 'Shehzada' for Rahul uncivil for PM aspirant: Khurshid

Farrukhabad (Uttar Pradesh), Oct. 27 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate for the language he used against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, and said the Gujarat Chief Minister should not turn uncivil while targetting the ruling party.

"Is this a decent and civil way to speak? To call someone a 'chirkut', to call someone a 'shehzada', to call someone something else-is it proper. Rahul Gandhi is a leader of the ruling party.... If we do not express respect for each other, where will the democracy go?" Khurshid asked.

Khurshid also asked Modi not to belittle the Gandhi scion's experiences constantly at his rallies, while consistently emphasizing on his own success story of becoming BJP's prime ministerial candidate from his days as a tea seller.

"God has graced him that he has gone from a tea vendor to where he is today, but he shouldn't say that Rahul Gandhi's has been born with a golden spoon and his experiences have been limited to that, while he himself is a man who has seen the ground realities. We have seen how much he (Narendra Modi) is for the poor. We are only saying that is it appropriate for a Prime Ministerial aspirant to speak like this?" Khurshid asked.

Meanwhile, earlier today, Narendra Modi said the moment the Congress Party puts an end to their practice of dynastic politics, he would stop addressing their Vice President Rahul Gandhi as 'shehzada' (prince), and alleged that the Centre's ruling party was immersed in politics of opportunism.

The External Affairs Minister also backed the Congress vice president on his controversial statement that Muzaffarnagar communal riot victims were being contacted by Pakistani agents, and said that Rahul Gandhi was rightly cautioning the people at a sensitive and vulnerable time.

"What Rahul Gandhi said is correct and you must report that. Rahul Gandhi has cautioned people, who are in pain, who are vulnerable in wake of the riots to not be swayed at a time in which people would want to take undue advantage of their situation," he said here today.

Maintaining his claim that the BJP has been igniting communal fires across the country, Gandhi earlier on Thursday revealed at a rally in Indore that 10 to 15 Muslim boys, who had lost their families in the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, are being contacted by Pakistani intelligence.

"Day before yesterday, a police officer came to my office. He told me that in Muzaffarnagar there are 10 to 15 Muslim boys, who have lost their brothers and sisters in the riots. He told me that people from the Pakistan intelligence agencies are starting to talk to surviving victims of Muzaffarnagar. The police officer told me that he is trying to dissuade the youth," Gandhi said in Indore.

Targetting the BJP, the Congress number two alleged that the opposition party is solely interested in gathering votes, while it is left to the ruling party to cool down tempers that arise in the aftermath of communal violence.

Violence broke out in the Kawal area of Muzaffarnagar on August 27, when members of a community returning from a panchayat meeting in Naglabadhod, three kilometres from Kawal, clashed with members of another community. (ANI)

I don't understand why the Congress party should take offence at Rahul Gandhi being called a "Shehzada"

A "shehzada" is a young prince who will later inherit the throne.

Isn't Rahul by that definition a "Shehzada"

In Indian history there have been many cases where the prince was too young to inherit the throne and some minister would look after the daily affairs of the kingdom until the prince came of age to rule by himself.

On the same lines, Manmohan Singh was chosen to rule India until Rahul came of age to rule.

Of course, even after, 40, if Rahul has not come of age, I wonder when he will.

In the meantime, poor old Manmohan, continues to rule in spite of all the insults.

From the American Heart Institute

Can you think of any reason not to know the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke?After all, diabetes and heart disease can be related. And even if you're not at heightened risk,you never know when someone you love or someone you know or even just someone you're sitting next to at a restaurant may run into trouble.

So, as a public service, below are the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke, compliments of the American Heart Association.

Heart attack symptoms

Symptoms vary widely between people, so don't second-guess yourself.

If you see any of these symptoms, contact your doctor urgently.

• Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back; people describe it as pressure, squeezing,fullness or pain that may come on slowly-not necessarily the way it's portrayed in the movies

• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as one or both arms,the back, neck, jaw, or stomach

• Shortness of breath, which may occur before the chest discomfort

• Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Especially for women

While chest discomfort is the most common symptom for women and men, women are more likely to experience other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath,nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Stroke symptoms

A stroke can cause the sudden onset of any of the following:

• Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

• Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

• Trouble seeing in both eyes

• Dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination

• Severe headache with no known cause

New treatments can even stop heart attacks and strokes as they occur, but you have to act fast!

The has come to my mail box courtesy "Accucheck" whose blood sugar testing kit I am using.

Most of the above symptoms are know to us but it is worth reading them over, for our own sake.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Indian Media in Bed with Politicians!! A VERY INTERESTING COMPILATION

Have you wondered when watching political debates on TV why the opposition speakers point of views are cut off and the Congress view prevails. You can always make out whom the anchor is favouring.

The reason is given below.

1. Hindustan Times – Shobhna Bhartia, owner and editor-in-chief of Hindustan Times is a Congress MP from Rajya Sabha.

2. Vinod Sharma, HT Political Affairs editor, is essentially a Congress spokesman on all TV panel discussions, because once his boss’ term gets over, he will be looking out for her RS seat next year!

3. Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi, famous Congress stooges (and intermediaries for UPA allies) who were exposed in the Radiagate scandal, and are Congress spokespersons in their capacities as electronic media personalities, are the ones who write opinion and columns most frequently (once every week) on the editorial pages of HT. In return, Barkha and Sanghvi are rewarded with PadmaShrees and other compensation by the Nehru dynasty or Congress party.

4. NDTV’s promoters are Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy. Radhika’s sister Brinda Karat is a famous CPM leader (well known for anti-Baba Ramdevviews) and Brinda’s husband Prakash Karat is the CPM, General Secretary (well known for preferring Congress over BJP). And Prannoy Roy’s first cousin is the famous far-leftist pro-Maoist-Naxalite pro-Kashmiri-terrorists "intellectual” Arundhati Suzanna Roy.

5. NDTV’s Sonia Singh is the wife of Uttar Pradesh Congress MP, Union minister and ex-princely state ruler, Mr. R. P. N. Singh, who is one of the fastest rising stars in the Congress party. If you remember, Sonia Singh is a very high-profile anchor on NDTV whose anti-BJP views are followed by the great Sir Digvijay Singh!

6. NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan (high-profile anchor of Left Right Centre) is the current girlfriend of J&K CM Omar Abdullah (after Omar recently divorced his wife of several years and mother of his two children, Payal). Nidhi Razdan is also famous for her Congress bias

7. CNN-IBN : Rajdeep Sardesai’s wife and co-promoter of CNN-IBN,Sagarika Ghose, who anchors Face the Nation and is famous journalist of CNN-IBN (well, her hubby is the owner-editor-in-chief after all) are famous Congress stooges. Sagarika’s father Bhaskar Ghose was a famous sarkari babuand was made the chief of Prasar Bharati (Doordarshan) during Indira and Rajiv regimes. Bhaskar Ghose was well-known for personal loyalty to the Nehru dynasty, and now his daughter and son-in-law are rewarded with their own channel to do Congress propaganda.

8. Or even what about little known News24 Hindi media channel? Owned by ex-journalist and editor Rajiv Shukla, famous Congress MP in Rajya Sabha, Union minister, industrialist, BCCI vice president and IPL chairman.

9. Or even what about little known Lokmat (and IBN Lokmat) that is Marathi newspaper (and channel) in Maharashtra? Owner and editors-in-chief are the brothers Vijay Darda (Congress MP) and Rajendra Darda (Congress MLA in Maharashtra, and minister in state govt).

10. Vinod Mehta - Outlook editor has been well known to take anti BJP stand. The Congress (in fact just the one single family — the Nehru dynasty) has been in power for 56 of the last 65 years of independence. This matters a LOT.

Personal relationships have been built, blackmail-worthy secrets have been recorded, monumental wealth has been accumulated all by the one single Nehru dynasty (and its family-business-cum-political-party Congress) that helps it maintain its tight iron grip over not just the entire Indian mainstream media, but also deep into our bureaucracy, our governmental institutions, and even our journalism and mass media, colleges and graduation schools.

I have not even scratched the surface of the network of family and personal relationships through which the Nehru dynasty has completely dominated and controlled the entire intellectual, historian and journalist landscape of India. And we haven’t even talked about the monumental wealth or the blackmailing secrets. All because the one single dynasty got to rule over India for 60 years uninterrupted.

It matters a LOT.

The typical JNU Nehruvian communist left-libbers ideologues have really perpetrated some kind of stranglehold on India’s journalism, media and intellectual space. Almost all BJP or even neutral journalists have been slowly thrown out of their jobs due to pressure from the Congress and the Nehru family.

Even the great venerable Ramnath Goenka, frustrated and broken by repeated I-T raids and ED investigations ultimately had to fire Arun Shourie twice from the Indian Express, which was once the best Indian newspaper in the 1970s and 80s. That was the team — Goenka the owner, Shourie the editor, and S.Gurumurthy the fearless journalist, that brought political heavyweights like Indira Gandhi down on her knees and even took on corporate bulls likeDhirubhai Ambani.(Ramnath Goenka inspired the Mithun Chakraborty character and S. Gurumurthy inspired the R. Madhavan character in the Ambanibiopic “Guru”.) But very few journalists with neutral ideology are left in India’s media space today, that too in minor publications like The Pioneer. The Congress party essentially owns and controls every single mainstream media house in India, including Hindustan Times, The Times of India, NDTV, CNN-IBN, The Hindu, Tehelka, Outlook, Aajtak, News24,

An Update of AAP prospects in Delhi on 27.10.2013

Exactly a week ago I had written about the probable number of seats which AAP would get in the coming elections.

Since the 13th of this month, I have been making regular call to the Delhi voters, asking them to vote for AAP.

Up till yesterday, I have made 176 calls and I am giving below the results of the calls.

For Against Invalid Can't be reached TOTAL CALLED
Yes 77 No 3 Outside Delhi -11 45 175
- Disconnected 9 Not Valid No.13 - -
- Will No Tell 13 No Voter Card 5 - -
From the above figures, if we assume 50 % of the can't be reached would go to AAP, AAP would get 100 votes out of 148 valid votes, i.e 67.5%

Hence in the 70 member assembly, AAP should get 47 seats.

The figures in our emc3 site as on date are as follows:

Date YES NO UNDECIDED NOT REACHED TOTAL CALLED
20.10.2013 10267 1586 3157 10723 25733
27.10.2013 16806 2562 4881 16601 40850
If we take 50% of the not reached/wrong votes and add them to the Yes votes, we would 60% last week and 61% this week.

I would thus say that AAP is well on the way to forming a government in Delhi.

We have now 37 days for the Delhi elections.

Last week I had requested each one of you in AAP who receive my mails to start calling up Delhi voters asking them to vote for AAP.

Being far from Delhi, we cannot do Door to Door canvassing but at least we can give this help to AAP.

This is a once in a life time chance to change the system of government in India to bring honesty.

We all read about Singapore and the Western countries and wishfully desire that we could have that type of government.

Here is a chance to fulfill that wish.

Drive out the existing corrupt political parties and win this third war of Economic Independence of India, an Independence free of Corruption.

For those who have internet connection connection they can go directly to our site http://emc3.aamaadmiparty.org/, register themselves and start making call immediately after you are verified by AAP.

Those who do not have net connection could call help line numbers given ; Alka 9969400287 Rashmi 9015246391

Ankur 9886393790 Shobha 9891716837

Ashish 9891167013 Shivam 9871058856

Gopal 9730089956 Vijay 8105084628

Dipak 8511684681 Vikas 7204508839.

Come on all AAP members, we must get 75% of the votes in Delhi, i.e 52 seats.

Jai Hind,

Radheshyam Sharma

9331259878

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why retail Investors have left the share market?

We recently showed how retail participation in Indian stock markets has been on a wane.

Here is another proof that retail investors have been pulling out of the markets.

An article in Business Standard has reported the findings of a study carried out by India's premier B-School Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. What is a prominent feature of the shareholding pattern in India?

As per the study findings, the answer is concentrated ownership and control. From 2001 to 2011 December, the controlling shareholders have further increased their stake in the Nifty domestic companies. On the other hand, non-institution retail investors have witnessed their share going down.

It is worth noting that this trend is in line with the trend in the developed markets.

In our vie w, the global financial crisis of 2008 and the following economic instability have severely eroded the confidence of retail investors. And as such, their participation and shareholding has substantially declined over the decade. Moreover, poor corporate governance and weak regulatory oversight has also dented investor sentiments.

The above is from the mails I receive from Equitymaster.

Many theories have been propounded as to why retail investors are shying away form the share market.

I have been trading in shares since 1983 and can be considered as a very small investor.

I believe, the reason why retail share holders have left is because the government has allowed new issues to be made at a premium which has no bearing on the quality of the issue.

The promoters with the active connivance of merchant bankers hype up the issue and sell it to the retailers.

8 out 10 issues are bombed and the retail investor is left with a sick baby.

Earlier, most issues were made AT PAR or at a premium of 10 or 20 rupees.

In those days, even if you got one or two good shares you could become a lakhpati for they appreciated with time to the benefit of both the promoter and the shareholder.

Nowadays, the promoters do not care for the shareholder.

They want to make a killing in the IPO itself like killing the hen that lays the golden egg instead of waiting for the eggs.

An example is the case of DLF.

They came out with a public issue in July 2007.

The price of a Rs 2/- share was fixed at Rs 525/-

175 million shares were off loaded and the owner K P Singh raked in Rs 9187.5 crores.

The share reached a value of Rs 1210 in January 2008 and then collapsed and is now trading in the range 128 to 162.

Overnight he had made it to the Forbes's list of top 100 richest men in the world.

DLF is the same company which allowed Robert Vadra pocket a huge sum of money through a sham deal.

A second example is that of Reliance Power.

It came out with its issue in January 2008 at a issue price of Rs 450/- i.e at a premium of Rs 440/-

By 30th June 2008, it had tanked to Rs 120/-.

In contrast, Dr Reddy's issue came with a premium of Rs 40/- only.

If any shareholder purchased 100 shares during the Company’s IPO in August 1986, plus the 60% rights issue in August 1989, and held on to these till date, the person would be owning a total of 5,760 shares of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories at a face value of Rs. 5 per share. Against a total outlay of Rs. 2,500 (Rs. 1,000 during the IPO and Rs. 1,500 to purchase 60 shares of the rights issue at Rs. 25 per share) that investor will have earned a total of Rs. 1.95 lakh as dividends, including the proposed total dividend of Rs. 6.25 per share for 2008-09. On 21st Oct, 2013, the Company’s share on BSE was being quoted at Rs. 2400. Thus, the value of this investor’s portfolio would have been Rs. 1.39 crores.

I should know because I had got 400 shares of Dr. Reddys in the initial IPO.

I used those shares whenever I had some large expenses to meet in my home.

I never had to ask anyone for money.

I do not have any shares of the company now.

Village official takes public oath against bribe

While on a visit to Madurai in Tamil Nadu, I had a chance to meet with Prithviraj. He is a village administrative officer, the rung of officialdom, which is in constant touch with the citizen. Prithviraj is a very different kind of person. He can talk extempore before a rural audience for an hour on how to fight corruption yet be modest enough to say that he is not much of a public speaker.

Prithviraj, is amongst the few village administrative officers who go around taking a public oath against bribes and corruption. This might sound funny, that a government official needs to do this, but it is seen as a 'brave' and 'honest' act in rural Tamil Nadu. He was featured in the popular Tamil newspaper Dinamalar, along with a few other lower rung officials and it is then he became popular and anti-corruption organisations have begun calling him to give a talk on corruption in public services.

The audience is spell bound. A hearty round of applause follows him as he recounts the ways he helps citizens and how he goes around taking an oath against corruption. He is certainly a hero to an audience frustrated with bribes and corruption.

Prithviraj is a fiery speaker. He speaks with passion as he recounts his journey. " I was a normal student interested in films, and my father's death changed me. I was visiting him regularly in office and after he passed away I saw the difference in the way people related to me'. I was shocked. 'I did not want to be like them. I wanted to be different"

"I was given an opportunity to join government service, and my mother asked me for a promise that i would not take a bribe. I had promised to her and now I strive to keep up the promise". One might wonder, how a personal promise could be the basis for interaction with citizens. But that is the way it is.

He works at Tiruchili, a small village in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu and is popular as the birth place of the saint, Ramana Maharishi. He mentions it often in his speeches, and reveres the saint and his teachings.

Prithviraj adds "Every time I watch the news on television, I am terrified". Most of the corruption cases in the news relate to village administrative officers and some of them are caught red handed. "I only wish that a VAO is not caught for the day, and when nothing is reported, I am relieved."

Prithviraj says that people come from long distances to meet him, and in some cases only to see him, as a 'honest' official has become such a rarity. It gives him the strength to campaign against bribery and corruption.

VAO's are the cutting edge of the administration in the rural areas and manage the issue of birth certificates, death certificates, caste certificates and village property records. they also are the first listening post for the administration and without their knowledge and endorsement, nothing much moves in the village.

Records show that the maximum amount of retail corruption happens at the level of the VAO's, but not much action is taken against them. Unless something is reported repeatedly, and there is a lot of pressure on senior officials to act, VAO's are generally left to their own devices.

Prithviraj is fighting a lone battle, but takes solace from the fact that people in general seem to be rooting for him.

The above is from the articles published on the site "www.ipaidabribe.com" .

It give articles of persons who have had to pay bribes to get their things done or of persons who have resisted giving or taking bribes.In a way it is working towards the same goal as AAP.

Germany, Brazil to propose anti-spying resolution at U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Germany and Brazil are drafting a U.N. General Assembly resolution that would demand an end to excessive spying and invasion of privacy after a former U.S. intelligence contractor revealed massive international surveillance programs, U.N. diplomats said on Friday.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both condemned the widespread snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Charges that the NSA accessed tens of thousands of French phone records and monitored Merkel's mobile phone have caused outrage in Europe. Germany said on Friday it would send its top intelligence chiefs to Washington next week to seek answers from the White House.

In response to the disclosures about U.S. spying, many of which came from fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the German and Brazilian U.N. delegations have begun work on a draft resolution to submit to the 193-nation General Assembly, several U.N. diplomats told Reuters.

"This resolution will probably have enormous support in the GA (General Assembly), since no one likes the NSA spying on them," a Western U.N. diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, unlike resolutions of the 15-nation Security Council. But assembly resolutions that enjoy broad international support can carry significant moral and political weight.

Merkel demanded on Thursday that Washington strike a "no-spying" agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year, adding she wanted action from President Barack Obama, not just apologetic words.

Last month, Rousseff used her position as the opening speaker at the General Assembly's annual gathering of world leaders to accuse the United States of violating human rights and international law through espionage that included spying on her email.

Rousseff also expressed her displeasure by calling off a high-profile state visit to the United States scheduled for this month over reports that the NSA had been spying on Brazil.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Peter Cooney)

See the difference in response between our countries and those of Germany/Brazil.

It is just because our country has been so weakened by corruption that we cannot even stand up to Pakistan, leave alone USA and China.

Pakistan decapitates our soldiers and continue unprovoked firing across our borders, killing the villagers but we just sit silently like the Sphinx.

At least the Sphinx sits without the ground beneath it being dug up.

Our Sphinx allows the country to be looted and its very foundation is being eaten up by the Congress termites. The BJP is only slightly better but they too allowed the looting in Karnataka and are now considering to allow the Karnataka CM who was behind the loot, back into the party.

As I have been saying, the Aam Aadmi Party is the only party which can save India.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A SHIP ABOUT TO SINK

I like Manmohan Singh. He has immaculate credentials. It’s these credentials that have seen the UPA through its most stormy years. If Singh wasn’t Prime Minister, the Government would have collapsed a long time back. No, not because of its inherent coalition contradictions but because it’s simply not possible for so many crooks with conflicting agendas to loot the country together, almost as if in perfect unison.

The Indian Political Philharmonic Orchestra must be the world’s most amazing cacophony of rogues, rascals and robbers. Luckily for the UPA, there was always Singh to fall back on. Most middle class Indians refuse to be cynical. We know exactly what’s happening around us, we criticise it constantly, but when it comes to the crunch we all rally around the nation and the flag. We are not bat-brained paranoids. Neither are we wide-eyed innocents ready to buy into every ridiculous explanation thrown our way to explain the loot that’s taking place in broad daylight. But the latest season of scams has flummoxed all.

This is not just Alibaba and his chaalis chors. Everyone among the chaalis chors is another Alibaba with his own forty thieves. That’s the way the pyramid of crime operates today. But because Singh, soft spoken and self effacing, is the face of this Government, India has kept faith.

But now, enough is enough.

Neither Singh nor Pranab Mukherjee, nor anyone else is capable any more of saving this Government. It’s neck deep in its own sticky sleaze. What’s worse, you haven’t seen anything yet. All these scams are but the tip of the iceberg.

Talk to anyone and you will get an instant dhobi list of scams in queue to break. No, I am not saying this. Congress leaders are saying this, in private. Look at Singh, wan and way lost. Or Mukherjee going apopleptic in faux anger because he has to defend what he knows is indefensible. They look less convincing than Rakhi Sawant playing Joan of Arc.

The problem is: We have voted into power the stupidest bunch of thieves. They are such losers that they can’t steal a hamburger without leaving ketchup stains all over. Yet they are constantly trying to pull off the biggest scams in history. From Rs 64 crore in Bofors, they have upped the ante to Rs 170,0000 crore in 2G and no, I am not including hundreds of aircraft Air India bought while sinking into bankruptcy and preposterous sums spent on arms deals that have made India the world’s second largest arms buyer when we can’t provide food and healthcare to 60% Indians.

Our leaders are making deals on the sly with greedy builders, land sharks, illegal mining companies, corporate fixers, shady arms dealers and, O yes, US diplomats who want to manipulate our political choices. And, what’s more amazing, they do it like bungling idiots. Even Inspector Clouseau can outwit them. But that doesn’t mean they are not malevolent. These are people who are destroying India from within. They are not just robbing you, me, and the exchequer. They are destroying institutions, subverting laws, vandalising our heritage and history, and trying to build a dazzling, amoral edifice of crime and corruption unprecedented in the nation’s history. It’s a scary scenario that could turn the land of the Mahatma into one gigantic Gotham City with a flyover to hell. But my question is more basic: Can we trust these idiots to run this great nation?

If you travel and meet people across India, you will realise that for every scam that breaks—and currently there’s one breaking every week—there are ten more waiting in line. The media has never had it so good! And it’s the same gang whose names keep coming up. Kalmadi, Satish Sharma, Sant Chatwal, Ashok Chavan. The NCP lot. The DMK. And everyone, in private, is protesting his own innocence, pointing fingers at someone else. It’s a sure sign of a collapsing regime. It’s what happened when Rajiv with a staggering majority in parliament lost his mandate to govern. Rats alone don’t leap off a sinking ship. So do everyone else.

So even though Singh, like Pontius Pilate, may wash his hands off every scam that hits the headlines, the fact is:

The longer this Government stays, the more compromised the Congress will be, and the less capable of coming back to power. You can’t allow the sovereignty of a nation to be compromised just to win a confidence vote. You can’t bribe MPs to get your way in parliament. You can’t allow a shady hotelier, with CBI cases against him, to play roving diplomat and, worse, give him a Padma Bhushan for it. You can’t appoint a tainted bureaucrat as the nation’s CVC. You can’t file a FIR against a corrupt CM and then allow him to melt away. You can’t let the prime witness to the nation’s biggest scam, who offered to turn approver, be murdered in broad daylight and pretend it’s a suicide. If this is the best this Government can do, it’s time to step down.

Pritish Nandy

This was sent by Partha Sengupta.

Written by Pritish Nandi, no further comments are required from me.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Does giving Alms to beggars take you to Heaven?

Begging has reached epidemic proportions in the city. Even the Virtual Tourist - one of the best online guides for any city tour - gives a word of caution on the Kolkata beggars.

"Kolkata is mostly full of beggars. You'll find every designs and patterns of beggars in Kolkata. You'll see them when you are in traffic, hanging out with friends, eating, walking on the roads. Mostly they are attracted to the foreigners. Please avoid them as much as you can or else they can spoil your peaceful visit to Kolkata. If you give money to one of them, the whole flock will come and chase you," it warns.

According to the south division police, a woman - a resident of the Ram Mandir area near Girish Park - had gone to the Maidan area along with her friend on Monday around 3.15pm. "The victim was coming out of the eastern gate of the Victoria Memorial Hall when a beggar, Soma Saha, stopped her and asked her for some money. When the victim refused, Saha allegedly verbally abused her. This led to an heated exchange of words. Saha suddenly lunged forward, caught hold of both hands of the victim and then bit her twice on both her hands. As the victim screamed, others present at the spot raised an alarm," said an investigating officer.

DC (south) Murlidhar Sharma said they have arrested the beggar. "We have registered a case against her at the Hastings police station. IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) have been slapped on her. Further probe is on," he added.

It is our Hindu custom of giving alms to the beggar for a smooth passage to Heaven which is the main cause of begging.

In Bangur Avenue, where I live, there were hardly any beggars on the streets when I came in 1987 and even up to a few years back.

Nowadays, every Saturday and on Amawasyays, at the junction of VIP Road and Bangur Avenue, at least 50 beggars collect with their spouse and children.

They sit the whole day on the pavement waiting for the Marwaris to come and give them food, biscuit, money whatsoever.

This has happened because of the Marwaris who have infested Bangur Avenue in the last few years in swarms.

They make ill-gotten wealth and then to appease their conscience and the gods they give alms to beggars.

By the way, I am myself a Marwari and hence can point out the defects without appearing to criticize any particular community.

You ask any beggar if he/she will do any house-work.

They will refuse.

Why should they work when there is an easier way.

It is the government's fault.

Begging should be banned.

Anyone found begging should be arrested and taught some trade and the government should market the product made by these people.

If necessary NGOs may be roped in to do the work.

Having beggars on the street is a shame to the country but what do our leaders care, they are thick-skinned and shameless.

If after that, beggars are still found on the street, they should be castrated so that they do not produce any more beggars.

Children found begging should be taken away by the government from the parents and their schooling arranged by the government.

This would remove one of the crimes committed by unscrupulous people of kidnapping and maiming children and putting them on the streets to beg for them like in the story of Oliver Twist.

Parties bring themselves AAP-to-date

NEW DELHI: In the upcoming assembly elections, the criteria for selecting candidates seems to have changed for all political parties. It’s not just BJP and Congress, but also small players like BSP, SP and NCP, besides others, who are looking for candidates with a ‘clean image’.

Thanks to Aam Admi Party (AAP), which has changed the political discourse in the country by making corruption the central issue, political parties are now making concentrated efforts to project a clean image in public. Political parties, which are known for fielding candidates with money and muscle power, admit that corruption is the core issue in the assembly elections and have decided to deny tickets to people with a tainted background.

The BJP’s decision to appoint Dr Harsh Vardhan as its chief ministerial candidate is a case in point. Sources say BJP hopes to encash his ‘clean image’ and silence opponents like activist-turned-politician and AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of corruption. On Tuesday, AAP claimed credit for BJP’s decision to appoint Dr Harsh Vardhan as its CM candidate. “The BJP’s announcement of Dr Harsh Vardhan’s name is a clear win for AAP which has been fighting for clean politics…The corrupt Congress made Manmohan Singh its face at the centre. But he failed to check corruption within his own government. Similarly, now a corrupt BJP has made Dr Harsh Vardhan its face in Delhi…Isn't Dr Harsh Vardhan Delhi BJP's Manmohan (Singh),” asked Kejriwal.

Political parties like SP, BSP and NCP, among others, which have a smaller presence in the capital, have also embraced the idea of clean politics. “We have decided that people with a criminal background will not be given a ticket. We are going to take extra precautions this time to ensure that our candidates have a good image and greater acceptability among the public,’’ said Kanwar Pratap Singh, national secretary and president of the Delhi wing of NCP.

Similarly, BSP and SP are taking their time in declaring their candidates. The BSP, which has fielded many rich and powerful candidates in the past, is now carefully screening candidates. “We are checking backgrounds. This time, we are giving tickets to party workers with a clean image. We have given tickets to advocates, small-time traders among others. As a party, we don’t believe in promoting people with a tainted background, but after the Supreme Court order, we are making a conscious effort to keep people with tainted backgrounds out of elections,’’ said M L Tomar, in-charge of Delhi BSP.

“People are fed-up of corruption and inflation. They want leaders who can work and deliver results. We are giving tickets to candidates who are well-connected at the grassroot level, have a clean image and can deliver results. Today, people want a government which can deliver,’’ said Usha Yadav, president of Delhi SP.

Few are, however, willing to give any credit to AAP. “AAP had claimed that their candidates have a clean image, but this is not true. They have also given tickets to candidates with tainted backgrounds,’’ alleged Tomar.

What AAP thinks today, the other political parties think one year later.

Anna and his India Against Corruption have been harping on corruption but the other political just made fun of them.

It was the Supreme Court with two quick dismissals of two MPs which finally made the parties see how serious the matter had become.

However, the credit should also go to AAP which has made corruption the central issue.

People ask AAP their views on other issues but AAP say that once corruption is tackled, other issues will be solved as we will have money for the other issues.

I agree with them.

I also agree with them that decisions should be taken at the village level or the street level instead of at the top wherein the supremo decides what is good for the people.

Here in Bengal we have Mamata Banerjee deciding that Kolkata should look like London. So decides to decorate the streets in kolkata with Trident lights which serve just decorative purpose but give no illumination. The Sodium Vapour lights were removed to accomodate.

Now, after one year, a good percentage of these lights on VIP Road have become inoperative/broken and KMC is now reinstalling the Sodium Lights. Similarly, Mamta decides to donate Rs 2.0 lakhs to each of around 7000 thousand clubs ostensibly to promote sports but actually to canvas for the TMC during elections and do the dirty work of booth capturing and threatening votes. However, I smell a scam here.Suddenly clubs are springing up to collect the Rs 2.0 lakhs donation. I suspect, most of these clubs may be just two men clubs, formed just to get the money.

In UP, we have seen how Mayawati suddenly decided to cover Lucknow with statues of elephants and herself.

Do you think, the people would have agreed, if she had asked the people?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

AAP’s popularity rising among the youth, slum dwellers and Dalits

A fresh round of survey commissioned by the Aam Aadmi Party shows the party to be on a winning curve, with its popularity on the rise among the youth and having stormed into what is considered the Congress bastion -- JJ clusters and Dalits.

The pre-poll survey conducted by Cicero Associates in 70 Assembly constituencies and covering a sample size of 34,425 respondents across 1,750 polling booths shows the party staking its claim to at least 32 per cent of the total vote share and likely to secure at least 32 seats in the Assembly polls.

“This poll is different from the earlier ones (conducted in February and August) because it is not based on random selection of respondents, but on a larger sample size of 500 per constituency,” said Yogendra Yadav of the AAP and a well-known psephologist.

According to the new survey, the Congress’ and the BJP’s vote estimates stand at 28 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, down from 35 per cent estimated in the February survey, while the AAP’s vote share has risen from 14 per cent to 32 per cent in just six months.

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has emerged as a preferred choice for the post of Chief Minister with 38 per cent votes. The incumbent CM, Sheila Dikshit, comes a close second with 30 per cent followed by the BJP’s Vijay Goel who garnered only 21 per cent votes.

The party’s assessment of its performance based on the survey shows it is leading in 33 seats, of which in 17 it will lead by a margin of 10 per cent; it is trailing in 21 others, but says it is confident of making up. Refusing to name the constituencies where is it leading as well as trailing, Mr. Yadav said: “Even the 21 seats are recoverable. The survey shows AAP was leading in 32 seats, the Congress in 28 and the BJP in 10 seats. The AAP and BJP were tied in one seat.”

He went on to add: “The surveys carried out by AC Nielsen and C Voter have also indicated a favourable trend towards the AAP. Delhi is no longer a bipolar election between the Congress and the BJP; it is now a triangular contest.”

Mr. Yadav said there are no indications as of now of a reversal in the AAP’s popularity, even as he admitted that the party is not very popular with the senior citizens and women.

“Even if we swing one more per cent in our favour (from the current 32 per cent) we will be able to secure 36 seats, a two per cent jump will have us win 42 seats and a three per cent jump will ensure 48 seats,” said Mr. Yadav adding that the AAP’s main challenger is the Congress.

The survey also reveals that the educated and the middle income groups are keener on the AAP. Also it has made inroads into traditional vote banks of the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party by garnering the support of Muslims (26 per cent), OBCs (33 per cent) and Dalits (32 per cent). The AAP’s vote share from the upper castes and Sikhs is also comparable to that of the Congress and the BJP.

The survey also shows drinking water, followed by cleanliness, bad roads and power cuts as the main election issues.

Summing up the trend, Arvind Kejriwal said: “The AAP is uniformly inching ahead, barring a few variations.”

I think Arvind is being conservative in his estimates.

As per latest figures, Delhi voters are being asked telephonically whether they would vote for AAP on 4th December.

The results are given below.

Out of 25733 persons dialled, 10267 confirmed that they will vote for AAP.

10586 categorically stated they would not vote for AAP.

3157 said they were undecided and 10723 could not be reached.

Hence if we consider only those who could be reached and assume that 33% of the undecided would vote of AAP in a three cornered contest, then AAP got 11308 votes out of 15010 votes.

This is 75%. of the votes and in terms of seats, it should be 52 to 53 seats.

YES NO UNDECIDED NOT REACHED TOTAL CALLED
10267 1586 3157 10723 25733

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mukherjee calls upon civil servants to be instruments of socio-economic transformation

New Delhi, Oct.19 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee has called upon civil servants to be instruments of socio-economic transformation.

President Mukherjee said there are few bureaucracies in the world who posses the qualifications, repertoire of skills and talents that Indian bureaucrats possess.

"When civil servants face political pressure, they should be patient and tactful in handling issues within the prescribed legal framework," he said while addressing officers attending Phase-V of mid-career training programme and also officer's trainees of IAS, IPS, IFS and Royal Bhutan Civil Service attending 88th foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), at Mussoorie on Friday.

"At the same time civil servants should understand the compulsion of political leaders who are answerable to their constituents, in wake of the growing development aspirations," he added.

He also advised civil servants to have a vision of their own and contribute towards nation building.

President Mukherjee recalled his first stint as a minister in the 1970s, saying that he had a seasoned and senior IAS officer as his Secretary, whom he once asked if he felt 'embarrassed' taking instructions from a young Minister like him.

He quoted his secretary's reply, "Mr Minister, when I receive instructions from you, I do not look at your face. I look beyond your face, at the vast multitude of people of this country who have chosen you to be here."

The President urged the officers to work towards strengthening of institutions, and stressed that institutions are the building blocks of the democracy and a fine balance, as envisaged in the Constitution, must be maintained.

He also emphasized on the importance of role of women in development and prosperity of society.

He said that women should be encouraged to come forward and their safety and security must be ensured, and urged the nation to reset its moral compass.

Governor of Uttarakhand Aziz Qureshi, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), V. Narayanasamy, and Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training S.K Sarkar were also present at the occasion.(ANI)

Dear President Mukherjee,Sir,

I appreciate your exhortation to Civil Servants to be instruments of Socio-economic transformation.

However, when they want to do so, they are pulled back by their political masters and harassed by either transfers to god-forsaken places or charges sheets are filed against them.

A recent case in point is Ashok Khemka.

Just because he has been doing his duty honestly, successive governments in Haryana have transferred him 45 times in 20 years, i.e one transfer every six months when the Civil Service code says that a person could remain in his posting for 3 years. And now, just because, he has raked up the land transfers of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, two charge-sheets have already been filed against him and further as per Khemka further 10 chargesheets will be filed against him on frivolous grounds along with 10 private complaints,".

We are also aware of the way Kiran Bedi was harassed with transfers by your previous boss, Indira Gandhi, just because Kiran Bedi, dared to tow Indira Gandhi's car, which had been illegally parked.

Why then show this hypocrisy?

Yours sincerely,

Radheshyam Sharma

188, Bangur Avenue,

B-Block, Kolkata - 700055

Cell: 9331259878

Kejriwal claims AAP ahead of Congress, BJP in Delhi polls

New Delhi, Oct.18 (ANI): Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday claimed that his party would be ahead of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming elections.

AAP conducted its third survey report to ascertain who amongst the ruling Congress, BJP and AAP, would win and gain in the polls scheduled on December 4.

"Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is ahead with 33 seats, while in other 21 seats, the party is tailing from one or two percents. The reason behind it could be some error margin, as it would be neck-to-neck fight," Kejriwal told media here today.

He said these figures are based on an extensive internal survey carried out by the party's cadres and volunteers.

"The Congress party has potential voters of 29 percent, while exhausting their limit, the party has already got 28 percent of vote share; so, there is less possibility for them to grow. On the other hand, BJP has 24 percent potential voters and they have already got these votes, so, BJP also does not have scope for growth. At the end, if we analyze, it seems that by December 4, our party might land up with 45 to 50 seats," he added.

He further said that the first two surveys conducted by AAP, in February and August, had a sample size of over 3,000, while the recent survey had a sample size of over 35,000 in all 70 constituencies in the region.

It is not only Kejriwal but I also claim say the same.

As at present I would say AAP would get 42 seats.

I am making ten calls daily to Delhi voters to canvas support for AAP.

Of every 10 calls made by me, at least 7 have assured their vote for AAP. Not only that, they have assured all their friends and relatives to vote for AAP.

The balance call could not mature either because of "no reply" or "out of reach" or "not a valid number" or "Switched off".

Out of 50 calls made by me so far, only person has said he will not vote for AAP. That too because he did not agree to candidate Deshraj Ragav whom AAP had chosen for the Uttam Nagar constituency.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Venkaiah Naidu evades question on Robert Vadra

Panaji, Oct 17 (IANS) Asked if the BJP would take action against Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra if voted to power, senior party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu Thursday refused to commit to any such action.

Vadra has been accused of involvement in dubious land deals in Gurgaon, an upscale Haryana district which is part of the National Capital Region.

Naidu, who is in Goa on a two-day visit, was speaking to reporters at the state BJP headquarters ahead of a stock-taking meeting related to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In response to a query from a reporter, he said: "Our priority is first controlling prices, stopping corruption. We don't have anything against any one person."

Arvind Kejriwal was right when he commented that the relationship between the Congress and the BJP was of the husband - wife type. They are sleeping partners in their efforts to loot the nation.

How can the BJP take action on Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi?

If they do, the the Congress will take action on Atal Behari Vajpayee's foster son-in-law who too was an extra-constitutional head during Vajpayee's reign.

You scratch my back and I will scratch your's.

I'm victim of political conspiracy: AAP leader's brother

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) An Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader's brother, booked for kidnapping a businessman and an accused in the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing case, Thursday moved a Delhi court seeking bail, saying he was the victim of a "political conspiracy".

Chakit Ravi, elder brother of AAP's Karol Bagh candidate Vishesh Ravi, and three others allegedly kidnapped city-based businessman Ritesh Bansal and an IPL spot-fixing accused at gun-point Aug 25 and demanded Rs.30 lakh.

Additional Sessions Judge Illa Rawat called for Bansal's file in the IPL spot-fixing case registered against him by the Mumbai police Crime Branch.

The directive came after Chakit's counsel told the court Bansal, accused in the IPL scam case, was appearing before a Mumbai court during the time Bansal claimed to have been kidnapped by his client.

Chakit, in judicial custody since Aug 26, sought bail saying the charges levelled against him were false and he was "a victim of political conspiracy" to defame his family.

Chakit said his younger brother "is a poll candidate and the complaint was lodged just when his name was announced for contesting the elections".

Chakit has been booked under various sections of the IPC for kidnapping and also under the Arms Act. The police said Bansal is the owner of a fledging construction business in central Delhi, and was allegedly kidnapped at gun point by one of his business associates and Chakit.

The FIR said Bansal was taken to a spot near Rithala Metro Station where the money had to be paid. The police said Chakit and another person was nabbed hours after Bansal was kidnapped but two accomplices are still absconding.

The police also said Chakit was helping Bansal in mediation of some business issues.

To prevent families becoming political mafias and continuing their reigns for generations just because they are in the family, the AAP has made a condition that only one member of any family can become an AAP member.

I don't understand why the media is high lighting the relationship between Chakit and Vishesh Ravi.

Doesn't our government want the press not to harp on the muslim religion of a suspected criminal/terrorists?

Coal scam: D. Raja asks UPA Ministers not to interfere in CBI's working

New Delhi, Oct 17 (ANI): Asserting that all are equal before the law, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Thursday said there should be no political interfere in the working of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) taking into note the allegation that the foremost investigating agency is used or abused by those who are in power.

Reacting to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma's concerns over the CBI filing FIR against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla in the coal scam case, Raja said the ministers may hold personal views, but they should restrain from making such public statements.

"All are equal before law and law must be applied equally to every citizen of this country. The investigations must take place according to law whether he is an ordinary citizen, whether he is a corporate representative; it doesn't make any difference for law, all are equal before law. If there is anything wrong done by a corporate representative, it has to be investigated. If anything wrong is done by an ordinary citizen, it has to be investigated," he added.

The CPI leader further said the coal scam is a case being monitored by the Supreme Court.

"The CBI has taken up investigation. On the basis of available evidence, the CBI must have filed FIR against one particular corporate house or particular individuals. It is for CBI to explain on what basis they are filing the FIRs. Why to interfere in the work of CBI? Already there is an allegation that CBI is used or abused by those who are in power. Why to interfere in the work of CBI?" he said.

Sharma, who yesterday came out in support of business leader Kumar Manglam Birla, urged the government agencies to not play to the gallery and create an environment of sensation and shock.

The Commerce and Industry Minister's support for Birla came a day after the CBI filed an FIR against him in the coal blocks allotment scandal.

The CBI earlier on Tuesday filed FIRs against Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Union Coal Secretary Prakash Chandra Parakh for alleged irregularities and criminal conspiracy in allocation of two coal blocks in Orissa in 2005.

The BJP has held the Prime Minister responsible and demanded his resignation for an estimated loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores to the national exchequer by the CAG in connection with the coal block allocation.

The CAG report does not indict the Prime Minister or his office, but the BJP is emphasizing that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the coal ministry for the years under scrutiny. (ANI)

How can D.Raja, being a communist, say that all are equal?

George Orwell, writing about the Russian Revolution, in his famous book, "Animal Farm" had said "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others."

Businessmen and politicians are more equal than others is shown by the way they are going about looting the nation's resources.As a matter of fact, most of the money they made was in the license Raj of the Congress party where they could oil a few hands had get license.

See how the Ambassador car has failed and Hindustan Motors is on the point of winding up. As long as other car makers were not allowed in India, HM minted money and Ambassador cars were sold at a premium. Even, after the coming of Maruti, they did not change their ways and so find themselves in the present condition.

In both the 2G and Colgate scams, businessmen have worked in collusion with bureaucrats and politicians to loot the nation. They would have got what they wanted without any noise but for Anna Hazare and his movement, followed by Public Interest Litigations and the Supreme Court monitoring.

If honesty is to be brought about in India some of the top businessmen , bureaucrats and politicians need be published. India will be respected more by bringing about honesty than in pampering these corrupt people.

It has already been started by the conviction of Lalu Yadav and Rashid Masood.

LET IT CONTINUE.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Delhi likely to get a hung assembly: Survey

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) Debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to spoil the party for both the Congress and the BJP in the Dec 4 Delhi assembly polls, claimed a survey Tuesday.

According to an opinion poll conducted by ABP News and Nielsen, Arvind Kejriwal's AAP is likely to bag around 18 seats out of the 70 seats with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) likely to emerge as the single largest party with 28 seats.

The Congress which has ruled the national capital for the past three terms, will end up with only 22 seats, said the survey.

Other parties and Independents are likely to manage only two seats, it said.

The BJP would have fared better but for the emergence of AAP, it said.

"If they didn't have AAP as their competitor the BJP would have gained another 15 percent share from the Congress, displacing them as the clear winner," said the survey.

According to the survey, there is a reduction in the loyalist base for both Congress and BJP in the last two months, resulting in a gain for AAP.

According to the survey, around 32 per cent of respondents preferred Arvind Kejriwal as the chief minister of Delhi, followed by equal support for BJP's Vijay Goel and Congress' Sheila Dikshit.

The survey reveals that at an overall level, corruption and price rise are the main issues for change in voting intention from Congress to BJP. The perception about parties differ.

While AAP is seen as a party that can bring down corruption, BJP is seen as a party that can control inflation. The Congress is seen as a party that can maintain law and order.

According to the survey, about 65 percent respondents did not want to give another chance to incumbent Congress while 40 percent of the respondents rated the state government's performance as below average.

The survey was carried out between Oct 9 to 12 with 4,000 respondents.

I totally disagree with the survey.

As per survey carried out by me AAP will get a two-third majority in the coming elections.

I have been phoning up ten randomly selected Delhi mobile nos daily to call up Delhi voters and get their views on the coming elections.

I keep a record of all the numbers called and their reaction/comment and can give the same to anyone interested.

1.Out of 30 calls made in the last 3 days, 19 have pledged their support to AAP.

2.Only one person has said he will not vote.

3.One person would vote for AAP but he was from UP and did not have a voter card.

4.Eight persons could not be contacted because of some reason or the other.

5.One person would have voted for AAP but he had strong objections to Deshraj Raghav being chosen as a candidate as the person says, he is a criminal and also for Arvind's statement of the Batala House episode.

If we assume that even 4 of the 8 persons who could not be reached vote for AAP, we will have 23 votes, which is more than two-third.

I know the sample size is small but when you check whether rice has cooked, you take only one grain of rice to check.

This sample is sufficient to say QED.

The sample size will continue increasing as my ten calls will continue daily and I shall keep all of you informed.

Monday, October 14, 2013

AAP removes one of its corruption charged candidates.

Mr. Surendra Sharma who was initially selected as the candidate to represent AAP in Shahadara Assembly Constituency in the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections has been removed as a candidate by the PAC of Aam Aadmi Party.

This action is in line with the commitment of AAP to ensure that no person with doubtful credentials shall represent the party in the upcoming election.

In his application for his selection as candidate of “Aam Aadmi Party” from Shahdra, he had not disclosed that there were criminal cases lodged & FIR’s pending against him. We have also come to know that he had a large number of property disputes going against him.

Recently he was appointed as the Chairperson of the election committee (Shahdra Bar Association Election). It is learnt that this election was cancelled due to the allegations of use of unfair means and violence during the said election, under his chairmanship. A number of respected members of the bar also complained to us about the unfair role played by him during the conduct of the above mentioned election.

Keeping the above in mind, the PAC of the party felt that he is not a fit candidate to represent Aam Aadmi Party in the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections & thus his candidature has been cancelled unanimously by the PAC of the party.

The party has made it clear in the past that it will only approve such persons as candidate who has impeccable integrity. Even if on the last day of the nomination we receive any credible information against any of our candidate with regard to his criminal record, we will cancel the candidature of that candidate and keep the seat vacant.

That is why I love this party.

They walk the talk.

They have been been repeatedly saying that if any of their selected candidates have been found to be corrupt,even one day before the elections, they will remove him as their candidate and even leave the seat vacant.

They have done what they promised.

Lord Krishna says: Whenever there is decay of righteousness O! Bharatha

Recently the government had to withdraw its proposed ordinance to promote corruption among MPs and MLAs in the face of widespread protests.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says:

"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha,Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya Tadatmanam Srijami Aham'.(Chapter IV-7)

Praritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya Cha Dushkritam DharamasansthapnayaSambhavami Yuge-Yuge."(Chapter IV-8)

"Whenever there is decay of righteousness O! Bharatha And a rise of unrighteousness then I manifest Myself!"

"For the protection of the good,for the destruc­tion of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness,I am born in every age."

Now there are two things necessary for the manifestation of Lord Krishna, evil and good.

So what led to the withdrawal of the ordinance.

On the wicked side we had people like Suresh Kalamadi, A.Raja, Ramalinga Raju, Rasheed Masood, Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Robert Vadra, DLF, Chauthala, the UPA government and last but not the least our MPs and MLAs

Lord Krishna does not manifest Himself. He manifests through us.

Through whom did Lord Krishna Manifest Himself.

Justice Bhagwati who allowed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for the first time, Anna Hazare and all associated with India against Corruption agitation,Ashok Khemka who took on the might of Robert Vadra and the Congress party, The Indian Judiciary, especially the Supreme Court,Arvind Khemka and the Aam Aadmi Party, The Times of India Miss Call Campaign against the Ordinance, the electronic media & Twitter, Facebook and Blogs.

Did this occur suddenly?

No!

It is said that when the vessel of sin overflows, then only Krishna manifests Himself. Krishna allowed Shisupal to abuse Him one hundred times before he used his Sudarshan to cut off Shishupal's head as Krishna had promised His aunt, Shishupal's mother that I will spare his hundred wrong deeds.If he does one wrong deed more than hundred I will kill him.”

So it was all the misdeeds of omission and commission of our MPs and MLAs which has finally brought about this reaction from the people.But some have still not learnt. Mulayam Singh continues to foist on the people, candidates who are relatives of tainted MPs and MLAs.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

AAP and them

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

A new party is beginning to open up new spaces of conversation Democracies are paradoxical creatures in one respect. For all their openness, they are often institutionally very conservative. Entrenched party structures are often difficult to dislodge. In India, there is rarely a sense of something new sweeping politics. The Emergency brought new social movements and political styles in its wake. Rajiv Gandhi tried to engineer a new generation into politics. Once in a while, a party or leader like Mayawati emerges from the waves of a newly politically conscious social formation. The other route to unsettle politics has been riding on the coat tails of regional dissatisfaction. We have been perpetually waiting for a generational shift. But as UP reminds us, a shift in age is not a shift in values. Many of these disruptions are easily domesticated: the same combination of family, patronage, institutional messiness, corruption chugs along. In a lucky state, this political economy will be made compatible with some progress; in more benighted ones, the stagnation of politics will be matched by other forms of stagnation.

It is this context that makes the Aam Aadmi Party experiment so staggering. In some ways, its performance may define the future of Indian politics far more profoundly than the gladiatorial contest of the two main parties. The party is confined to Delhi for the moment, and the optimism of opinion polls notwithstanding, its future is still hard to predict. But its mere presence has been transformative in more ways than one can list. You may not be the biggest fan of all of Arvind Kejriwal's institutional proposals. But there is no question that he played a significant part in transforming the discourse on corruption. He has empowered many others to say that business as usual cannot continue.

But the party is more profoundly trying to tap into something new. It is easy to laugh off the zeal with which AAP supporters sometimes talk of people's participation in decision-making. Many worry about its economics and supposed claims that democracy will regulate many prices. But not taking the underlying sentiment seriously would be a mistake. Here is a party running really on one central idea: our governance structures are disempowering. We need more decentralisation. As for the economics, I cannot think of a single political movement that did not have its moments of absurd excess in articulation. The ideas of parties evolve with experience and context. The question is whether the party has a set of people who can act in good faith and rise above their own dogmatism. But the party is, on the ground, providing an opportunity for a new conversation, particularly on areas the state regulates. It would also be tempting to dismiss the party's less successful attempts to find symbolic issues: the public charges on corruption or the rather less convincing drama on non-payment of electricity bills. But again, these discoveries of what symbolically motivates are part of any evolving movement. The fact that the party managed to elicit a temporary press blackout suggests they were on to something.

In terms of reform, all parties have been mixed bags. But no party has stood behind one very simple tenet of reform: administrative simplicity. Telling small business that they have been stymied by administrative complexity may turn out to be smarter reformist politics than abstract accounts of price theory. But the idea that one should build a civic political party whose base is not just a social or regional identity is powerful. That such a party can be built through new and imaginative forms of organisation, outreach and financing is itself innovative.We are also missing the degree to which both national parties have put a range of issues in deep freeze: from reservation to the way in which the minority-majority discourse has been articulated. Here is a party that, in its own quiet way, is beginning to open up new spaces of conversation.

This column has frequently disagreed with key figures of the AAP: with Prashant Bhushan on economics, with Arvind Kejriwal on faith in independent bureaucracies to produce accountability, with Yogendra Yadav on caste and politics. My sense of how institutions actually work is probably still different from theirs. But at least there is something radically fresh in what they are attempting; there is an infusion of new people, ideas and a platform that can evolve.

Narendra Modi said, that "BJP mein Vijay hi Vijay hain." He should have added that the problem is "wohi puraane Vijay hain". The candidates have such a tired, well-worn look. The Congress's hubris has been rewarded too often because of lack of alternatives. Many are describing these assembly elections as a semi-final of sorts, a test of the momentum behind Modi. I rather suspect these elections are no such thing. They are going to be fought hard on state-level issues. But there is a tantalising possibility that whichever way voters vote in these elections, they may be swayed by different considerations in the general elections.

It would be presumptuous for a column to endorse any party; voters do not need to be told what they should do. But to not acknowledge that something new is afoot would also be a mistake. The potential demonstration effect that AAP's success may have on politics in other cities is not negligible. While politics is often local, successful examples are empowering. It will force national parties to raise their game. I have no idea how AAP will actually perform. Will the threshold required be just too high for a debutant party? Will India's ruling elites, in the end, seek the comfort of the familiar system, whose collusive games they are used to?

There is also the deeper issue that always haunts politics. Lalu Prasad was once asked, in a TV interview almost two decades ago, why good people did not enter politics. In his inimitable style, Lalu said something to the effect of: "Who says good people do not enter politics? Were we, those of the JP movement, not good people when we entered? Was George Fernandes not a good person when he entered? All of us made sacrifices. Did not Rajiv Gandhi bring in good people?" The question is: what happens to them after they enter politics? Deep down, have we reconciled ourselves to the thought that in the final analysis, politics changes people more than people change politics? And if that is the case, do we then retreat to familiar configurations of power? For all their faults, at least we know how they work. Democracies may turn out to be not that experimental, because we all have a tragic view of politics, where idealism seems naive. That may be what is at stake in the AAP's prospects.

The writer is president, Centre for Policy Research,

Delhi, and a contributing editor for 'The Indian Express'

Cramps - A cure.

I remember the school sports during our days.

Many a time during the 100 or 200 metres dash, we would suddenly see one of the boys who was trailing suddenly catch his thigh or calf muscle and double over, writhing on the field.

What happened?

He had pulled his muscles!

I used to think that this was just an excuse because that person was trailing.

I never had this problem since I probably did not have any muscles worth the name either on my calf or biceps.

Time passed.

I became and adult,a young man and then middle aged person.

After the 50s, I would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night with cramped calf muscles.

The next few days I would take Becosule capsules and the problem would not recur for another month or two.

When it did, I repeated the dose of Becosules.

This continued until I crossed 64 years.

Thereafter, even after I took Becosules, the cramps would occur at night and their frequency increased.

Sometimes I would get them on both legs simultaneously.

I would have to call either my wife or son who would pull my feet back to release the cramp.

However the pain would remain for a few days.

I talked to my doctor who advised me to take Torflash 60K, a Calcium Tablet, once a week.

This helped for about 5 or 6 weeks and I got no cramps.

Then they started again, inspite of taking Torflash.

I again spoke to my doctor.

This time he advised me to take Evion 600, a Vitamin E capsule.

This did not help at all.

I looked up the net.

They advised that one of the reasons may be dehydration.

I started taking water in small doses when I woke up at night to go to the urinal.

I couldn't take more water because being a diabetes patient, as it is, I have to get up at three to four times at night to empty my bladder. However, even the water did not stop my cramps.

I was getting worried as I could not get continuous sleep because of my cramps and diabetes when my wife consulted by sister who stays in Ahmedabad and practises Homeopathy.

She advised that I take Cupr Met 200, twice a day for two days, then once before sleeping for a few days and then once every two or three days, before sleep.

Ever since I taking this, I have not had the cramps in my calf muscles at night.

It also helps cramps in the feet and palms.

I mention this, just in case any one is having this problem, he could by this medicine from any homeopathy shop and take.

Obituary - Joe Agustine

I am sorry to inform you that Joe Augustine from my 1953 batch passed away in the UK and his funeral, a cremation, was on the 10th.

He had battled an inoperable cancer for a long time and will be sadly missed.

Present at the funeral and following wake were fellow classmates Lance Cesary, Bill Zurita and Trevor D`Cruz.

May his Soul Rest in Peace.

The above sad news was sent by Henry Hulley

Saturday, October 12, 2013

In search of an alternative - DNA Editorial

The Aam Aadmi Party's experiment has revealed a different imagination of electoral politics as it talks about a new way of transacting governance.

The idea of alternative politics has never appeared more seductive. As veteran politicians of the two dominant national parties go down in public esteem and young chief ministers like Akhilesh Yadav make a mess of governance, the search for alternative politics has accelerated.

Interestingly, this election season, the quest for ‘politics with a difference’ has moved beyond the conventional Third-Front paradigm. The entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — armed with a radical philosophy — has provided a new dimension to the concept of a third alternative. The AAP is talking about a new way of transacting politics and governance, departing from the conventional electoral practices. Its language of discourse as well as the party programme are distinctly different from conventional Third-Front speak.

Seen from this perspective, the idea of a political alternative — not merely shifting loyalties from one mainstream party to another — but initiating a radical discourse on politics, assumes special significance. It can be argued that given the extent of the rot entrenched in the system, nothing but a dramatic shift and overhaul of the existing networks of power, can work. Take a look at the state of the Congress and the BJP — the two main contenders for power.

Though the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is gaining ground on the popularity index, the same can hardly be said of his party. The ruling Congress’s stock stands at an all-time low. Above all, public faith in the political system and institutions is corroded beyond measure.

The moribund state of the two national parties and the expected fractured electoral mandate, giving the regional parties a decisive say in the next government formation, has spurred disparate Third Front parties to begin backroom confabulations. Speculation is already in the air about a federal front put together by powerful state leaders, who have been persistently demanding a restructuring of Centre-state relations.

Recently, the CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat met the Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav — a former ally — and a core member of the erstwhile United Front. Significantly, Yadav said that in the absence of either the Congress or the BJP notching up the requisite numbers, “a Third Front will be formed after the polls to form the government at the Centre.”

Regional leaders like Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik, Mamata Banerjee and even Sharad Pawar — NCP leader and UPA ally — may not be averse to explore options with a non-Congress, non-BJP front.

The space for such alternative formations — a counterpoint to the dominant national parties — has always existed in Indian politics. Throughout the 1960s, 70s and the 80s, we have seen its electoral manifestations in states and at the Centre. As the main opposition party, the BJP, and the regional parties grew more and more powerful in the 1990s, the Congress lost its historic hegemony at the national level. The Third Front gained currency. But in more ways than one, these experiments, often chaotic and short-lived, have failed to provide a radical alternative.

Unfortunately, even the parties, which ostensibly swear by alternative political culture and praxis, have failed to live up to the expectations. In that process, the idea of a different political process, has come to seem more and more like an illusion. This is where Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP can make a significant contribution: reviving faith in a viable and truly democratic political alternative.

The above is from the Editorial from DNA, a leading newspaper in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

As the wind blows in Delhi, both the Congress and the BJP have become "also ran" parties and as per latest survey, the AAP is expected to win 43 seats.

We still have 50 days left for the elections and by election date I won't be surprised if they get more than 55 seats although only 47 are required for a two third majority, the number required to get bills passed without any hindrance.

They should be able to form a government by the 14th December, my son's birthday and on the 29th they have promised to pass the Jan Lokpal bill in Delhi.

If they are able to keep this promise, there is no stopping them from winning all the 7 seats from Delhi in the next parliamentary elections in 2014.

Since the Haryana elections will also become due in 2014, AAP putting up candidates in all the 90 seats.

The Robert Vadra's scam is fresh in everyone's mind.Hooda's sins of omission and commission should wipe him out.The opposition combine of Chauthala and BJP is no better. Chauthala is still in jail for the teacher's recruitment scam.

Haryana is also Arvind Kejriwal's home state. AAP should get at least 60 seats in the Haryana assembly and probably 8 out of 10 MP seats.

With two states in their bags, which are the other states AAP could put up candidates.

I would suggest, W.Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra, Karnataka and Kerala.

In all the above states, the people are fed up of two equally corrupt regimes.

CPM and TMC in W.Bengal.

Congress/NCP and BJP/Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

Congress and TDP/BJP in Andhra.

Congress and BJP in Karnataka.

Congress and CPM in Kerala.

The people of these states are just fed up of having to chose between two equally corrupt parties.

The AAP would give the people a good, honest and corruption free government.

The AAP should get another 30 to 40 MPs from these states in 2014.

Don't talk of the third front which is in the making/breaking.

It is just a ploy of Mulayam Singh to further his agenda of becoming the Prime Minister of India.

Friday, October 11, 2013

THE MAN WHO FELLED A GIANT - AMIT KHARE

For Amit Khare, an IAS officer of 1985 batch, Monday was just another day in HRD Ministry. 

The man did not seek credit for unearthing the multi-crore fodder scam, which has put a question mark over the political career of one time mighty leader Lalu Prasad. 

The RC 20A/96 case surfaced in January 1996 when Khare was West Singhbhum Deputy Commissioner in the then undivided Bihar. “I performed my duties as a Government servant just like any other officer would have or should have done. I appreciate the much-awaited judgement, which came after a protracted legal battle.
Being a collector of a district it was my responsibility to look after the treasury and any anomalies and discrepancies in funds to be investigated,” Khare told The Pioneer when asked for his comments over the judgement. Khare, a St Stephens’ and IIM alumnus, is now Joint Secretary at HRD Ministry and has held important assignments including the CVO & Administration of MHRD. He was handpicked by former HRD Minister late Arjun Singh and brought to Delhi in 2008. On 27 January 1996, Khare, acted on information to conduct a raid on the offices of the animal husbandry department in Chaibasa.The documents his team seized, and went public with, conclusively indicated large-scale embezzlement by an organised mafia of officials and businesspeople. Lalu Prasad as Chief Minister handed over the case to the State vigilance. Lalu later shunted Khare as Director (Primary Education) of Government of Bihar, and then Secretary, Board of Examination, a post which did not even exist.

When Jharkhand was created, Khare returned to important portfolios as Secretary, HRD Jharkhand, and also in-charge Vice-Chancellor of Ranchi University. Khare had deposed as prosecution witness many times till 2008 in the fodder scam case. "Why should I have grudges against anyone (Government or in person)? As a Government servant you have to discharge your duties with complete dedication and I successfully attempted. For a bureaucrat all type of postings are equally important, which has a specific role in the overall development of locality, district, State and country," Khare said while keeping his date with several appointments and also a major HRD event of the day.

 He is presently holding the charge of Joint Secretary, International Cooperation, Book Publishing & Copyrights and Education Policy & Planning in the Development of Higher Education under MHRD. He has played a major role in amendment of Copyright Act as also in promoting partnerships in higher education sector with USA, UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. A Physics graduate from prestigious St Stephens's College, Delhi University, Khare finished his school education at Ranchi (Jharkhand). Before joining the IAS he completed Management from IIM Ahmedabad. Nagpur-born Khare has over 27 years of experience in Government including HRD, Revenue, Finance and General Administration.

  The above is from the Pioneer

NOTA is just the starting point of the clean-up

SURESH NAMBATH

Civil liberties activists in India have had to fight long for, first, the right to cast a negative vote, and next, to protect the secrecy of this negative ballot. In the age of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), once the invalid vote ceased to exist, voters had only one option to show their dissatisfaction with the candidates seeking to represent them, and with the whole political system: staying away from the polling booth. The problem, of course, was that the activist-protesters got clubbed with those too lazy to stand in a queue and vote. Then came the recourse to 49-O, a rule in the Conduct of Election Rules, which allowed voters to not cast their vote after entering the polling booth and registering their electoral roll number in the register of electors in Form 17A. Under this rule, the voters had to record their decision to not vote in the remarks section of the form available with the presiding officer. This record of non-voting was necessary to ensure that the presiding officer was able to tally, after the voting came to an end, the total votes polled with the number of voters who had signed against their roll number in the register. But this effectively compromised the secrecy of the so-called negative vote. After a long legal battle, the Supreme Court last month ordered the provision of a “None of the Above” (NOTA) option in EVMs and ballot papers at the end of the list of the contesting candidates.

Potential

Hard-won it might be, but NOTA can at best nudge the electoral system towards incremental changes. While delivering the judgment on this issue, the Supreme Court expressed hope that this would accelerate effective political participation of the people in the democratic system and empower the voters. In its immediate effect, however, a NOTA vote is not much more than an “invalid” vote on a ballot paper. The NOTA option cannot result in the rejection of the entire list of contestants, and even if a majority of the people press the NOTA panel on the EVM, the contestant with the largest number of votes would still win under the first-past-the-post system.

If the NOTA option holds not just some symbolic value, and is not a mere outlet for moral outrage, it is because of what it could do rather than because of what it is. Former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami says in his article in The Hindu (editorial page, “NOTA small matter, this,” October 9, 2013), “a time will come with demands for fresh election with a fresh set of candidates if, in the first election, NOTA scores the highest votes.” NOTA will gain political legitimacy when it outscores the contestants. Then, it is hoped, the option would not be allowed to remain impotent, and there will be a popular demand for the cancellation of the election.

But if the realisation of NOTA’s potential is a desired goal, then the time to invest NOTA with more purpose is now and not later after an election in which NOTA outscores the winner. Indeed, if a NOTA vote that can reject all contestants is in place, political parties might pay more attention to who they are nominating as candidates.

In the NOTA judgment, the Supreme Court voiced this expectation of political parties: “When the political parties will realise that a large number of people are expressing their disapproval with the candidates being put up by them, gradually there will be a systemic change and the political parties will be forced to accept the will of the people and field candidates who are known for their integrity.” But electoral reform in India has been slow, and often at the initiative of the judiciary.

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution under M.N. Venkatachaliah considered and rejected both the concept of negative voting and recall of elected representatives on grounds of being either impracticable or unnecessary. However, it gave serious thought to making 50 per cent of the total votes plus one vote as the minimum for a candidate to get elected, and a run-off if no candidate met that requirement. But the Commission stopped short of including it as a recommendation, and instead, suggested that the government and the Election Commission study the issue more carefully: “In the circumstances, the Commission while recognising the beneficial potential of this system for a more representative democracy, recommends that the Government and the Election Commission of India should examine this issue of prescribing a minimum of 50 per cent plus one vote for election in all its aspects, consult various political parties, and other interests that might consider themselves affected by this change and evaluate the acceptability and benefits of this system. The Commission recommends a careful and full examination of this issue by the Government and the Election Commission of India.” Instead of waiting for NOTA to emerge as a springboard for change, this could be made the starting point for reform.

Mandatory voting

Interestingly, the introduction of the NOTA option seems to have prompted a clamour for mandatory voting, especially from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The two concepts are related, but not inseparably intertwined. But in the reasoning of former BJP president L.K. Advani, now that the NOTA option serves the purpose of those who want to stay away from voting for political reasons, voters no longer have any justification for not going to the polling station. “As things stand today, voters who without any legitimate justification have not been exercising the valuable right of franchise the Indian Constitution has conferred on them have, unwittingly thus, been casting a negative vote against all the contesting candidates without intending to do so,” he wrote on his blog. “I hold, therefore, that a negative vote would become really meaningful if it is accompanied also by the introduction of mandatory voting.”

But what about those who profess no faith in the electoral, or even the democratic, system? Is their objection to voting not politically valid? If voting were to be made compulsory, a negative vote is, of course, integral to the process. But the reverse is not true. If a negative vote were to be made mandatory, compulsory voting need not follow. Mandatory voting will be meaningful only when accompanied by a negative vote, but, contrary to what Mr. Advani says, a negative does not need any infusion of meaning from mandatory voting. A negative vote is a simultaneous assertion of faith in the political system and of absence of faith in the given set of political players.

True, there are several countries which have made voting mandatory. But in any democracy, the deterrence can be no more than a nominal fine. The principle behind the negative vote is that no voter should be “forced” to “choose” a representative he does not approve of. But merely because a voter is free to reject all candidates, she cannot be forced to go to a polling station. Making voting compulsory will more than negate the gain made with the introduction of the negative vote. The negative vote emanates from a negative right to stay away, in whatever manner, from a political process free from any governmental coercion. To make participation in the political process mandatory will be in violation of this very same negative right. Illness or some pressing work or plain laziness can be valid reasons to stay away from the polling booth. But more importantly, in a democracy, the voters have the right to not participate in voting. The right to vote, whether it is a fundamental right or a mere statutory right, if it is a right at all, implies the right to not vote. The NOTA option is a step forward; it should be used to further widen democratic choices, and not allowed to bring in coercive means to increase voter participation.

suresh.nambath@thehindu.co.in

The above is from The Hindu.

I agree with Mr. Suresh but I would like to make NOTA more effective.

I would suggest that for Parliamentary elections, a list of about 1000 eminent, educated and honest persons from all over India be prepared in consultation with the the President of India, the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Election Commissioner.

I would prefer that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition not be included in the panel for our India politicians have the habit of corrupting anything that they touch.

If the votes polled by the NOTA button exceeds the votes polled by any other candidate, one of the 1000 persons in the panel may be selected to represent that constituency.

WE should have similar panels for all state assembly elections.