Saturday, November 28, 2015

‘Golwalkar drew lessons from Hitler’s Germany’

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s reference to Hitler during the debate in the Rajya Sabha on Friday prompted CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to reflect on the BJP’s ideological proximity with the Third Reich.
Thanking Jaitley for bringing up the Third Reich, Yechury quoted, to loud protests from the BJP MPs, from We Or Our Nationhood Defined, a book by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue MS Golwalkar.
“…To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of Semitic races – the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by,” said Yechury, quoting from Golwalkar’s book.
Amid protests from the Treasury Benches, some of whom asked Yechury where he was quoting from, he said, “This is from We Or Our Nationhood Defined by MS Golwalkar, published by Bharat Prakashan in 1939. You can find a copy in the [Parliament] library. Or I can lend you one if you want to know what your ideological heads [felt],” Yechury said.
Yechury, in a speech welcomed by the Opposition benches, said the government was conveniently forgetting Articles in the Constitution that spoke of equality, justice and fraternity. He said Jaitley’s selection of articles on cow slaughter and minority rights to score a point was worrisome. He said while the Constitution talks about propagating scientific thought, the Prime Minister himself talks about plastic surgery of Ganesha, the mythological figure.
He said the country’s economy had benefitted only a few people. “100 multi-billionaires of this country have assets that value half of our GDP. At the same time, 90 per cent of the households earn less that ₹10,000 a month,” Yechury added.
I have always said that Modi is a hybrid of Hitler & Stalin.
However, do you know who his Guru was?
It was M S Golwakar.
Who was M S Golwakar?
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also known as Shri Guruji, was the second
Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Golwalkar wrote Bunch of Thoughts, and We, or Our Nationhood Defined.
However, these books are considered controversial.
Modi suggests that Golwalkar is the second most important influence—Vivekanand is
the first—on him.                   
It is surprising that after considering Vivekananda as having the most influence on his life, Modi should do what he did in Gujarat in 2002.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

Most of the time when we eat Papaya, we trash the Seeds. But little do we know how beneficial they are and how they can prevent and cure a plethora of ailments related to the liver, gut, worms and even diseases like Dengue.
The following is a list, that illustrate the benefits of eating Papaya Seeds.
Liver Health
Papaya Seeds contain vital nutrients that help heal cirrhosis of the liver. Grind or crush 5-6 Papaya Seeds and have them with food or juice, especially lime juice. This should be done for 30 days. Moreover eating small amounts of Papaya seeds regularly helps in detoxing the liver and keeps liver diseases at bay.
Kidney Health
Researchers at the University of Karachi have found that Papaya Seeds can be used to improve kidney health and preventing renal failure. The same works wonders for kidney poisoning related diseases.
Anti-inflammatory properties
Papaya Seeds are anti-inflammatory making them great for alleviating arthritis, joint disease, swelling, pain, and redness.
Anti-bacterial and Anti-Viral properties
A small amount of Papaya Seeds has been found to kill harmful bacteria like E. coli, Staph, and Salmonella. They also help fight viral infections and cures Dengue, Typhoid, and numerous other diseases. In Nigeria, Papaya Seeds with Milk is an excellent cure for Typhoid fever.
The seeds have been extensively used in Costa Rica to fight against Dengue fever. The juice from papaya leaves can help cure the same.
Making Papaya Juice:       
• Use 2 papaya leaves
• Wash and cut into smaller pieces
• Pound and squeeze the pulp through a filter cloth
• Only 2 tablespoons of juice can be squeezed out
• Two tablespoons per serving once a day
Arresting Cancer
Papaya Seeds contain agents that stop the growth of cancer cells and tumors. They contain isothiocyanate which works well for colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancer.
Destroys Parasites
The Seeds of Papaya contain an alkaloid called “Carpaine” that kills intestinal worms and amoeba parasites. Whereas the Papaya Fruit helps metabolize proteins and makes the gastrointestinal tract an extremely hostile place for parasites to live and thrive. Studies have shown that children in Nigeria have got rid of parasites in their gut 75% of the times, by consuming Papaya Seed Juice for 7 days.
Aids Digestion
Both unripe papaya and papaya seeds are high in the enzyme papain. Papain is a beneficial aid to protein digestion but best avoided for women currently or trying to get pregnant.
How to Eat Papaya Seeds
Papaya Seeds can be eaten raw (though that gives a strong, pepper-like but bitter taste), ground or crushed in Salad dressings, milk or honey.
The goodness of consuming Papaya Seeds are many and not limited to the above list. That being said, one should partake only small quantities of the seed and that also, not very frequently. Excessive consumption may lead to many side effects, notably pregnancy related issues.

As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme-rich green papaya. This warning on their use would also extend to breastfeeding. Additionally, while papaya seeds do have strong anti-parasitic properties, they may be too powerful for young children’s gastrointestinal tracts, so a doctor should be consulted before giving them to infants.

This was posted by Anjan Gupta on FB

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Govt should talk to Aamir: Mulayam

New Delhi, November 25
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday came out in support of actor Aamir Khan and said the government must talk to him and find out why he feels hurt.
“He may have been hurt somewhere,” Mulayam Singh said, responding to Aamir Khan’s wife Kiran Rao’s suggestion that the couple must look for another place to live in view of rising intolerance in India.
“The government should talk to him and ask where he faced problems. It is the responsibility of the government. He might have been hurt somewhere, he is a big artiste. We respect him,” he said.
Aamir Khan made the comments at a journalism award function here. — IANS
This is what is called fishing in troubled waters.
Mulayam knows very well what is troubling Aamir, Sharukh and the 400 or so writers, historians, scientists and artistes who have returned their awards but he would like to plead he is innocent.
It is these politicians who have made India what it is now- INTOLERANT.
Some used the Muslims as their vote banks and the BJP is now using the Hindus as their vote bank.
Others are using the different castes as their vote banks.
None of them are thinking of India

Aamir’s remarks has dented country’s image: Javadekar

Hitting out at Bollywood star Aamir Khan for his remarks on intolerance, Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar Wednesady said the “extreme reaction” given by the prominent actor has not only “dented” the image of the country but also his own. 

Joining his party colleagues who have been critical of Aamir’s comments, he said the reason why his party did not agree with the actor’s statement is because the country has a “legacy of tolerance”. 

“The statement of Aamir may have been his personal opinion but the country has been hurt by it to a large extent. If such an extreme reaction is given by a prominent artiste, then naturally some people get hurt and sad. 

“The reason why we do not agree with the statement is because our country has a legacy of tolerance which is there even today. Not only has Aamir’s statement dented the image of the country but his own image has been dented,” Javadekar said. 

An ambassador of ‘Incredible India’, a government’s campaign to promote tourism, Khan has been at the centre of a raging debate after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months. 

“Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our life in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India.. She fears for her child, she fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” the actor said on Monday in an interaction at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism ceremony organised by the Indian Express. 

BJP’s national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain had said on Tuesday, “Where will Aamir and his family go other than India? There is no other better country like India and no better neighbour than a Hindu for an Indian Muslim. What is the situation in Muslim countries and Europe. There is intolerance everywhere.”
BJP MP and Hindutva leader Yogi Adityanath also has taken a swipe at Khan, and had said nobody has stopped him from leaving India if he wants to and it will help reduce the country’s population. Many other Union Ministers including M Venkaiah Naidu and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has also hit out at Khan’s remark.
However, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has said that the government should instead of branding all those who question it and the Prime Minister as “unpatriotic, anti- national or motivated” reach out to the people to understand what’s disturbing them. 

It is not Aamir who has dented India's image but the BJP which has done so. And the reactions of people like Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal and others just prove that what Aamir has said is 110%  true.They dented India's image once when they killed Mahatma Gandhi and they are doing it agains to divide the nation.

Aamir Khan says neither he nor his wife have any intention of leaving the country

Reacting to the criticism for his statement on the rising levels of 'intolerance' in the country, actor Aamir Khan on Wednesday said neither he nor his wife have any intention of leaving India.
The actor said: "I stand by everything I have said." 

Khan also hit out at people who called him 'anti-national', saying he does not need anyone's 'permission nor endorsement for that.' 

Full text of the actor's statement: 
First let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying. 
Secondly, I stand by everything that I have said in my interview. 
To all those people who are calling me anti-national, I would like to say that I am proud to be Indian, and I do not need anyone's permission nor endorsement for that. 
To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point. 
To all the people who have stood by me, thank you. We have to protect what this beautiful and unique country of ours really stands for. We have to protect its integrity, diversity, inclusiveness, its many languages, its culture, its history, its tolerance, it's concept of ekantavada, it's love, sensitivity and its emotional strength.

Glad I left Arvind’s company, says Hazare

Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday expressed his disappointment over his former protégé Arvind Kejriwal sharing an embrace with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad at the swearing-in ceremony of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s in Patna on Friday.
“It’s good that I left Arvind’s company, or else I would also be facing a similar predicament,” Hazare said. “Shaking hands with Lalu and hugging him is not okay,” Hazare told reporters at his native village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra.
Hazare’s comments came even as Kejriwal sought to clear the air on the Lalu hug that has become a much--discussed topic in the country.
Kejriwal claimed on Monday that Lalu was the sole author of the embrace. “He shook my hand and pulled me into a hug and then he held my hand and raised it,” said the Delhi Chief Minister had said.Photographs of the two leaders went viral on social media and a Kejriwal tweet from two years ago was dug up to remind the former anti-corruption activist of his stand on Lalu when the latter was convicted in a corruption case.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Lokpal: AAP should table 2014 draft, says Maken

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Ajay Maken said that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government should pass the same draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill, which was tabled in the Delhi Assembly on February 13, 2014, in the winter session without any dilution. 
"There was no clarity about the draft Bill that was discussed in the Delhi Cabinet for tabling in the winter session, and the Congress party would not allow a watered down version of the Jan Lokpal Bill," said Maken. 
He added that if the Kejriwal government had intended to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, it would not have waited for nine months and six Assembly sessions,to take up the bill. 
"There were different versions of the Lokpal mooted by Anna Hazare, Kejriwal and others, which varies from Lokpal, Jan Lokpal to Lokayukta,but the Congress Party wants the Jan Lokpal Bill on the pattern of the draft Bill tabled in the Delhi Assembly on February 13, 2014 by the AAP Government without any change," stated Maken. 
Maken also added there were reports that the Delhi Cabinet had approved the tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the on-going winter session of the Assembly, but it is surprising that the AAP Government has not yet specified which Lokpal Bill has been approved by the Delhi Cabinet or was there any Cabinet note on the matter. 
Also, the Delhi government has not put the draft of the proposed Lokpal in the public domain.According to Section 55 1A of the Transaction of Business Rules, before the Jan Lokpal Bill sent to the President of India for assent, it has to be sent to the Lieutenant Governor and the Union home ministry for approval, as the Jan Lokpal Bill also involves financial implication, and according to Section 55 1B, it is mandatory to get the approval of the LG and the home ministry.

So much water has flowed through the Jamuna in Delhi that it is now taking a Congressman to remind the AAP regarding its promise to pass the Lokpal Bill.
How ironic.

Smriti Irani's degree row: Court asks EC, DU to bring records

New Delhi, | 20 November, 2015

The Election Commission and Delhi University (DU) were on Friday directed by a city court to bring the records of educational qualification of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani against whom a complaint was filed for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.

Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain allowed the plea of the complainant seeking a direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring records of Irani's educational qualification after he said he was unable to place them before the court.

"Keeping in view the grounds mentioned in the application, the plea to direct officials of the Election Commission and Delhi University to bring records is allowed," the court said.
It, however, declined the contention of complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking direction to the CBSE to bring Irani's class 10th and 12th records.

"The plea to direct CBSE to bring records of class X and XII is declined as it is not under challenge. Put up the matter for pre-summoning evidence on March 16, 2016," it said.
The complainant had earlier claimed in court that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before the poll panel and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.

Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before EC and, a candidate deliberately giving incorrect details, can be punished under the provisions of IPC and under section 125A of Representation of the People Act (RPA).

Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of upto six months or fine or both.

After Bihar debacle, era of Modi’s unchallenged control is over in BJP

A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit. — Arnold H Glasow

On November 12, 2015, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, while waxing eloquently in the British Parliament, stated that the fiercest debates between Indians and Britons were over whether there is appreciable unfair swing on Lord’s pitches or if the turf in Eden Garden cracks too early. Though his smart speech writer — with a fair understanding of cricketing nuance not demonstrated by Modi when he headed the Gujarat Cricket Association — used it to cause a furrow in the legendary British stiff upper lip, the simile would have reminded the resident of 7 Race Course Road of the major task he faced on return. 

Barely had ‘routed-in-Bihar’ Modi departed from India to redeem his popularity in the only constituency that is safe in 2015 — the Diaspora - and this time in the United Kingdom, that party veterans bowled a straight one which swung late. With two of the quartet being members of the never-convened Margdarshak Mandal — or Guidance Council — it became clear that the advice they were officially entrusted to offer to the party leadership — but which was never sought — was now available to those wishing to pose uncomfortable questions to the leadership.

Days prior to the Bihar verdict, I spent time with a Bharatiya Janata Party insider and went over various possibilities. Like any party loyalist, he was optimistic about securing a comfortable majority but was fair enough to discuss prospects if the unthinkable happened. “The knives will be out,” he said softly. I chose not to pose a supplementary question allowing the gravity of the utterance to sink in. After all, this was said about a man whose hallmark was the ability to run organisation in a style that brooked no resistance!
To say that prior to the Lok Sabha polls, no one had any inkling about the extent to which the party leadership would shrink under Modi would be comprehensively incorrect. After all, his track record in Gujarat where he swatted both party organisation and the parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was testimony to the fact that he allowed no potential rival to flourish. In the thirteen years that Modi governed Gujarat, he systematically stymied rise of new leaders and marginalised existing stalwarts. Survival depended on personal loyalty and the list of subservient leaders began with present chief minister — Anandiben Patel — and ended with district level apparatchiks. Modi’s supremacy in the state can also be deduced by the fact that he forced the RSS leadership to remove the state head of the organisation.

Given such personality traits, the RSS was initially disinclined to go into the 2014 elections with Modi as the BJP’s electoral mascot. But two factors titled the scale: Firstly, Modi was the most charismatic leader in the fold and secondly, his popularity within the organisation was high and had he not been anointed, a veritable revolt within the rank and file would have arisen. It was grudging acceptance of reality that resulted in Modi being named as the party’s prime ministerial candidate — first in June 2013 as the chief of the newly created Campaign Committee and eventually in September when he was officially named lead player of the party. 
The decision was motivated by the old dictum: Cross the first few hurdles to begin with and then find a way to navigate through the rest of the track. The thinking in Nagpur was that despite his ways, Modi could still be controlled like Vajpayee was in the initial part of his tenure. But the problem was that the BJP secured a clear majority on its own. Consequently, neither was the BJP dependent on allies for survival, nor did Modi require the support of the RSS to stay in office because a large number of members of Parliament were first-time members and personal loyalists of the new prime minister.

If the verdict gave an indication of the complete dominance that Modi would have over the party, the appointment of Amit Shah — who evidently shares several secrets with his boss — sealed the matter. While he was appointed to the post with the objective of securing for Modi a firm control of the party, the manner in which this was justified by showering all kudos for the 2014 victory on the “man of the match”, left many sour faces in the party. Since he became president, Shah has run the party with an iron hand and virtually put an end to the BJP’s collegiate or collective style of functioning. Within a few months of the Modi-Shah duo assuming complete control of the party, muted clamour to make the party more inclusive and decision making more consultative began to be heard but there was no one willing to pay heed. The sentiment was manifest during Delhi assembly polls but the leadership did not take corrective steps despite the rout. The staggering extent of the defeat in Bihar was however too much to ignore and it was just a matter of time before protests erupted. The only question was when and by whom?

Now that this has been answered what is the prospect ahead? At the moment, no leader in the party is aiming for Modi’s head and instead the main target is Shah. The main objective of the move is to deny him a fresh — and regular — term as party president from January 2016. A decision on this will be reached within the next few weeks and will be dependent on developments within the entire Sangh Parivar. The RSS will play a decisive role in deciding Shah’s fate and Modi will make every attempt to ensure his aide’s continuance. 

Whatever the outcome — though it is tough to imagine that Modi will allow his powers to be curtailed and a not-so-loyal party chief installed — the era of Modi’s unchallenged control is over. It may be too early to say that the Bihar defeat and subsequent demand by the party elders marks the beginning of Modi’s end. Yet, there is no escaping the thought that in a not so remote future, this period will be depicted as transition point in Modi’s complete dominance of the party. Modi may be provided with a face-saving device — and even retain Shah — but the sheen has gone. Just as it was fascinating to narrate the rise of Modi, one cannot escape the thought that it will be equally exhilarating to track the decline.

Modi biographer, the writer’s latest book is Sikhs: The Untold Agony of 1984


Was Modi Persona Non-grata in the UK in 2003?

New Delhi, Nov. 19: Links to a former Indian envoy's write-up questioning Narendra Modi's claim of being "welcomed with great respect" in Britain in 2003 went missing on Facebook for "more than 24 hours" before being restored.
At a London news conference attended by the Prime Minister last week, a question was asked about his being purportedly prevented from visiting Britain until recently because of the 2002 violence in Gujarat.
Modi replied that he wanted to "keep the record straight" - he had visited the UK in 2003 "and was welcomed with great respect" but could not visit again until this year owing to "time constraints".
Satyabrata Pal, former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, was deputy high commissioner in London in 2003. He has written an article on the news website, where he says Modi's 2003 trip had come against the wishes of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the British government.
The article was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook after it was posted on Tuesday. But on Wednesday morning, Facebook users found the link missing on their timelines. It could no longer be shared on Facebook directly from
Facebook displayed a number of messages when people tried to post the article or open the link from comments on the posts. The messages either said the link was unsafe or that it was abusive.
"I have no idea why Facebook blocked the story and I have received no communication or explanation despite sending a complaint yesterday morning. It was resolved this morning after more than 24 hours," Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of, said.
Facebook issued a cryptic apology today, saying: "The content was mistakenly captured by our spam filter and has now been restored. We are sorry for the error and inconvenience caused."
Dheeraj Sanghi, a professor of computer science and engineering at the IIIT here, said websites like Facebook use both automatic and manual filters for unsolicited, harmful or offensive posts.
"There are artificial intelligence-based techniques. For example, a researcher in our institute found that false tweets (by robots) tend to have more spelling errors than real tweets. There are similarities in the size or the timing of the posts, which AI filters will mark as spam," he said.
"However, I would not rule out a website blocking a post manually without examining its content. They can do this when they receive complaints against a particular post."
It's the second possibility that several social media users have alleged, linking it to Modi's visit to Facebook's US headquarters in September.
Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: "Amazing how much hate and abuse can be posted on @facebook but a first hand account by a former diplomat is blocked on people's walls!"
India got Facebook to censor more content -over 15,000 pieces - than any other country in the first half of this year.
Pal has written that Britain's foreign office had asked the Indian mission ahead of Modi's 2003 visit to convey to New Delhi "their request" that Modi "decline the invitation from his supporters in the UK in the larger interest of bilateral relations".
When the mission recommended to South Block that Modi "be advised against the visit", Pal writes, "it was told the external affairs minister (Yashwant Sinha) agreed that it would be best for him not to go, but that his advice had been brushed aside by Modi".
"Astonishingly, the high commission was then told that, after his rebuff, the... minister had gone to Prime Minister Vajpayee, who had concurred that the visit was undesirable and must be aborted, but that it was nevertheless going ahead," Pal writes.
"The word, sotto voce, was that other voices, which could not be ignored, had insisted that if Narendra Modi had received an invitation, he must be allowed to accept it."
Pal writes: "The Home Office issued a statement in which it said, with neither warmth nor respect: 'We are aware he's visiting the UK. He is not visiting at Her Majesty's government's invitation nor does the government plan to have any contact with him when he's here."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Govt Sponsored BJP academics hit back

New Delhi, Nov. 17: Forty-six academics and a musician today issued a public statement hitting out against earlier comments by a bigger group of academics who had condemned what they described as "legislated history" and a prevailing atmosphere of "narrowness, intolerance and bigotry".
The 47 include most of the nominated members of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), which was reconstituted under human resource development minister Smriti Irani's watch.

Their public statement accused the bigger group of 229 signatories - who made their statements over the past three weeks - of being "part of the politico-ideological apparatus" and imposing a "blinkered view of Indian historiography". Among the 47 are ICHR members Dilip Chakrabarti, Saradindu Mukherji, Nanditha Krishna, M.D. Srinivas, Meenakshi Jain, Michel Danino, Sachchidanand Sahai, Isaac CI, Nikhiles Guha and Purabi Roy.

Other signatories include the chairperson of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, Chandrakala Padia, former chief information commissioner and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) director O.P. Kejariwal, former Archaeological Survey of India director-general B.B. Lal and Madhu Kishwar.
The bigger group of 229 academics - some of whom had accused the BJP-led government of legislating history - included Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, D.N. Jha, Mridula Mukherjee, Gopinath Ravindran, Shireen Moosvi, Rajan Gurukkal, K.N. Panikkar, Nayanjot Lahiri and Upinder Singh.
The statement by the 47, titled "Hypocrisy and Indian History", accuses Left-leaning historians of "abusive and unscholarly practices". It also uses the words legislated history.

It said: "While we reject attempts to portray India's past as a glorious and perfect golden age, we condemn the far more pernicious imposition by the Leftist School of a 'legislated history', which has presented an alienating and debilitating self-image to generations of Indian students, and promoted contempt for their civilisational heritage.... We call for an unbiased and rigorous new historiography of India."
The allegations against the 229 include: viewing the evolution of Indian society only through the prism of caste, refusal to acknowledge the brutality of Muslim rulers, neglect of tribal histories, misreading of archaeological evidence and bias against scientific inputs from other disciplines, and discrimination against historians who deviate from the Left line.

I was just wondering why the rebuttal from the BJP academics, historians, scientists would come. 
The film makers led by Anupam Kher had already done their part.
Now the saffron coloured academics have given their views, for all they are worth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BJP more interested in protecting criminal doctors than protecting people's health


The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has declared victory in bringing new amendments in several long-standing and patients-protective laws including the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), Clinical Establishment Act (CEA), PCPNDT Act (for preventing female fetuses) and even the Indian Penal Code (IPC). PBT has obtained an email communication from Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, IMA General Secretary and a close ally of disgraced Dr. Ketan Desai, which categorically shows that top IMA leaders met with the Union Health Minister, Mr. J.P. Nadda, on 10th November, 2015 when health minister agreed to act on 5 specific IMA’s demands for bringing changes in the CPA, CEA, PCPNDT and IPC for better protection of doctors (see email communication below between Dr. Aggarwal and other doctors). The IMA has also claimed that Mr. Nadda has already formed a high-power “Committee” to see how legal changes as demanded by the IMA can be implemented soon. Ironically, apart from high-rank government officials from different departments, this “Committee” also has doctor-members from IMA and MCI but nobody to represent the hapless patients of India.
The IMA leaders have also threatened that unless the “Committee” gives their report within 6 weeks and government initiates the process of necessary amendments of law, all doctors will join cease work (“Satyagraha”). The 5 IMA demands include implementation of a “cap” or maximum limit (5 to 10 lakh rupees) of financial compensation that can be awarded by the consumer courts for negligent death of a patient. The IMA has also sought amendments in the PCPNDT Act in order to loosen the power of the criminal law against the unscrupulous doctors who are involved with unlawful sex diagnosis of a pregnant woman only for the purpose of aborting female fetuses. On the other hand, IMA has also demanded that changes in the IPC should also be implemented so that in case any negligent doctor/hospital is challenged or presumed to be threatened by the victim of “medical negligence” or victim’s friends/families, they should be jailed for long time and charged with non-bailable offense. While PBT has always condemned any physical violence against doctors/hospitals because two wrongs cannot never be a right, IMA and medical community must be able to appreciate the underlying reason why ordinary law-abiding citizens sometime resort to violence after losing their loved ones in front of their eyes as a result of gross medical negligence. Lack of any hope of finding justice against the errant doctors by the corrupt and biased medical council is the root cause of most attacks on doctors. PBT has raised strong objection in a letter sent to the health minister by PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha (see below). PBT has also brought this shocking anti-patients development to the attention of the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Is Pahlaj Nihalani the Dev Kanta Barooah of the BJP?

New Delhi, Nov. 15: A music video by India's chief film censor Pahlaj Nihalani that eulogises Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been dubbed "an obscene form of flattery" by some within the film industry.
Mera Desh Hai Mahan, Mera Desh Hai Jawan (My country is great and young) is showing in theatres countrywide during the intermission of the Salman Khan movie Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, which released on Friday.
The video, which highlights Modi's "achievements" as Prime Minister, is 6 minutes and 43 seconds long but the cinemas are screening abridged versions.
"I've only made a patriotic song and Modiji, to me, is the greatest ambassador of the country at present," Nihalani told The Telegraph. "So I thought of highlighting, through the audio-visual medium, all that he is doing for the nation."
Nihalani's appointment as chief of the Central Board of Film Certification in January was seen as reward for his production of the video Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi in the run-up to last year's general election.
Mera Desh released on YouTube on November 10. It opens by showing Modi praying in a temple and then performing yoga atop icy mountains - in an apparently computer-generated image - where children call him "Modi kaka (uncle)".
"I knew the Salman Khan film will draw big crowds," said Nihalani, who penned the lyrics.
"This will ensure that lakhs will watch and appreciate the video. I approached the producers of the movie and they agreed to attach it (to the film)."
Nihalani said a copy of the video had been sent to the Prime Minister's Office before it was released online and in the theatres.
In the song, directed by Ishwar Kumar, three men - Hindu, Muslim and Christian - are shown vowing to fulfil the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Modi. Waving the Tricolour, they refer to some of the Prime Minister's pet schemes - including Clean India; Make in India; Skill India; Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save and educate the girl child) and the mass banking scheme Jan Dhan Yojana - and the benefits of yoga.
Many social media users today castigated Nihalani for showing visuals from other countries while praising Modi's "achievements".
For instance, the video shows an expressway in Dubai, solar panels and wind turbines in California, the Moscow International Business Centre and a Nasa satellite launcher that carries the Make In India logo.
Nihalani defended the visuals saying they were intended to project what India could achieve in future.
Several film industry veterans regretted the "new low" plumbed by a political appointee. "How blatant, obscene and jarring can this get? There has to be at least some sanctity of the chair a person holds," said Mukesh Bhatt, filmmaker and president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India.
"Fine, it was a political appointment, but that doesn't mean one should start making propaganda videos to further strengthen that perception. At least, artists and creative people should not do that."
Director Shyam Benegal said the censor board was working as a "true department" of the information and broadcasting ministry.
"Isn't the I&B ministry supposed to take care of the publicity of the Prime Minister and the government? The censor board's chairperson is doing that," he said.
Tweeters heaped scorn on the video. "Our beloved CBFC chairperson shows how he got his job and keeps it, with a laughable/scary film on Narendra Modi," Kaveri Sharma posted.
"The new Pahlaj Nihalani video about Sri 1008 Modiji is an accurate visual representation of bhakts on social media every day. Hilarious!" wrote Vishal Dadlani, singer-composer and an Aam Admi Party supporter.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Who was responsible of BJP defeat in Bihar - Rajindar Sachar's view

Rajindar Sachar
| 13 November, 2015

The mighty have fallen and the denouement fits perfectly with the rout of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recent elections to the Bihar Assembly. To any analyst it had appeared as though it was going to be a close fight; it is no secret that progressive forces represented by academics, writers and social activists, who were initially passive, were compelled to be active with the emergence of the real face of the BJP through its leader - the RSS. This has threatened the very core values guaranteed by the Constitution, thus posing a danger to the country’s integrity.
Jayaprakash Narayan, the Socialist leader, had as far back as 1965 warned - “Some like the RSS might do it openly by identifying the Indian nation with Hindu Rashtra, others might do it more subtly. Those who attempt to equate India with Hindus are in reality enemies of Hinduism itself and Hindus, as they weaken and sunder the fabric of the nation”. He had also pointed out that the cow was never considered a sacred animal even during the early Vedic period of the Hindus.
The silence of the Prime Minister at the complicity of party members in participating and encouraging attacks on Muslims at Attali (Haryana) and Dadri (UP) created a massive revulsion against the BJP.
Noticeable was the low level of falsehood and hypocrisy at projecting the issue of beef to target Muslims when the reality was entirely different. This has been exposed by a study conducted by Research Centre - “Muslims are earning peanuts as against the general perception about the trade, and it is actually the government and non-Muslims who are benefiting the most from the $ 4.5 billion animal slaughter business. Except for direct consumption, in which case both Muslims and non-Muslims are at par in terms of consuming beef, all associated business including meat export, bone-crushing and powder industry, leather and horn-processing industries, blood-processing, animal fat and soap industry are dominated entirely by non-Muslims”.
The BJP is trying to lessen the impact of this defeat by saying that it will not affect the position and popularity of its leader, Narendra Modi. How self-serving and false. Even a day before counting, a senior Minister of the Central Cabinet had publicly downgraded exit polls, stating that they were absolutely sure that women had voted in large numbers because they had confidence in Prime Minister Modi’s leadership and promise of development.
Some BJP apologists might try to distinguish the voting pattern at the Centre and the States as being influenced by different considerations. It is true that in earlier elections, Prime Ministers may have associated themselves with State elections. However, no other Prime Minister had canvassed as did Modi in Bihar; it was almost as if he was in competition to become the State’s Chief Minister. The people may not accept the plea advanced by apologists.
The BJP’s spirited propaganda sought a vote for the Prime Minister’s touted development plans which were supposedly for the masses, but were unabashedly corporate-friendly. Modi has not enhanced his stature in terms of national governance. Even his supporters concede that the functioning of the Central government in the matter of enunciating policies on important matters is not suitably visible. Decision-making is centralized in the PMO and as often as not with unpardonable delay.
Even the corporate sector, which was the strongest supporter of Modi, is reflecting on the functioning of the Government and its divisive policies. To cap it all, Moody’s public criticism of this communally surcharged atmosphere created by the Prime Minister’s inaction in restraining his state satraps shows that the debacle in Bihar will erode the credibility of the Modi government further still.
My compliments to the people for the defeat of the BJP, which is due primarily to the inexplicable conduct of the RSS leader, Mohan Bhagwat, most particularly his assertion that the reservation policy needs to be reconsidered. It is still a mystery how such an obviously damaging statement - against the interest of the BJP - could be made by the RSS chief. Could it be the danger to Brahmanical supremacy being captured by lower castes? Let us not forget that Modi belongs to a backward caste. I cannot find any other rational explanation for such utter tactlessness.
A slavish sort of an excuse has been advanced by BJP loyalists. They claim that victory or defeat in an election should be attributed to the party... and not personally to Modi. This is the limit of hypocrisy. The landslide victory in Parliament and even in State elections was attributed to Modi both in Maharashtra and Haryana. No one can deny that in both States, the BJP as a party was a poor third. If success in those States was legitimately given to Modi’s image, how can different criteria be applied to the drubbing in Bihar. The BJP has suffered a self-inflicted wound by placing Modi on a lofty pedestal of semi-god, who alone can lead the party in any march towards victory. That delusion can be suicidal in a democracy when contextualised with Dr BR Ambedkar’s warning - “The second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not ‘to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions’.
“There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered lifelong service to the country. But there are limits to gratitude. For, in India, bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unlike in any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But, in politics, bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.”
The people have given an extraordinary opportunity to Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad. It is expected that they will govern Bihar with sagacity and a spirit of mutual accommodation. This is the least they owe to the masses, who have put their trust in them.

The above is by Rajinder Sachar in The Statesman

Coalition adharma

| 13 November, 2015

KM Mani, finance minister in the Congress-led United Democratic Front government in Kerala, resigned on Diwali Day under the most disgraceful circumstances. The previous day, the Kerala High Court refused interim stay of the Special Vigilance Court order for further probe into the bar licence bribery case against Mani. Justice B Kemal Pasha of the High Court reminded Mani, who is also the minister for law, of the fundamental principle that justice must not only be done but should be seen to having been done and that this principle is applicable not only to the judiciary but also to the other pillars of the State.

Quoting Shakeaspeare, he said, “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion,” and left it to Mani to act according to his conscience. His conscience told him to cling to office until pronounced guilty by a court of law. Since his continuation in office became untenable after the High Court strictures, Chief Minister Oomman Chandy issued Mani an ultimatum to resign or face dismissal. Being the senior-most in the Cabinet and leader of the Kerala Congress having nine members in the Assembly, Mani tried to bring down the government by holding out the threat of withdrawing support. Only when he realised that except for Thomas Unniyadan, chief government whip, other MLAs of his party were opposed to the idea, that he relented and sent his resignation letter which said: “I am resigning as a sign of my respect for rule of law,” to the Chief Minister.

If Mani had any genuine respect for the rule of law, he should have resigned in October last when Biju Ramesh, working president of Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association, disclosed that the finance minister had demanded a bribe of Rs .5 crore and accepted Rs 1 crore in advance for the renewal of bar licences. The State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, on a complaint by the CPI-M leader of the opposition and former Chief Minister, VS Achuthanandan, registered an FIR against Mani and ordered an inquiry. Investigating officer R Sukesh, SP, in his ‘quick verification report’ found that Rs 15 lakh had been paid to Mani at his official residence in Thiruvananthapuram on 22 March 2014, Rs. 35 lakh at his office in the Secretariat on 2 April 2014 and Rs. 50 lakh at his private residence in Palai on 31 March 2014. At the behest of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau director Vinson M Paul, Sukesh, in his final report, sought closure of the case. The Special Vigilance Court rejected the closure report and ordered further investigation. Challenging the order, VACB approached the High Court and came a cropper. The bar licence bribe case has badly tarnished the image of the UDF government.

The above is one of the few cases that a politician is found gulity so fast.
But what happened to the Rs 1.0 crore bribe money.
Has it been taken back from him with penalty?

Manjhi, Owaisi done in by NOTA

Introduced for the first time on EVMs in the Bihar Assembly poll, the None Of The Above (NOTA) option proved more popular for the voters than many mainstream political parties, including Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha(Secular) and AIMIM of Asauddin Owaisi. In 38 constituencies, NOTA was the “third choice,” while in one it registered about 9,000 hits

According to the State Election Commission report, out of total 3,80,97, 288 voters who exercised their franchise, altogether 7.61 lakh (2.5 per cent) of them pressed the NOTA button as their first choice. This has become the maximum number of NOTA votes polled in the Bihar poll so far.

18 injured in communal clash over bursting crackers in Muzzafarnagar - The Modi Effect?

At least 18 people, including three women, were injured in a clash between two communities over bursting crackers at Bhensi village under Khatoli police station in the district, police said.

The violent clash, involving fire arms and stones, erupted last evening when children from one community allegedly started bursting crackers in front of houses of another community.

Senior police officers rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control, police added.
Security has been tightened up in the village and extra police and PAC forces have been deployed in the area. Police said that the injured have been admitted to hospital and some of them are in serious condition. 

It is most unfortunate that an event which is occasion for joy & happiness turns into a tragedy. The above has turned into a communal problem but it occurs everywhere in India, including Bengal where a number of people of have been killed because they raised objections to bursting of crackers.
Why should this occur?
It is because as a nation we have become selfish, egoistic with no sense of understanding.
Muslims take out Tazias during Muharram right through the centre of main thoroughfares, brandishing swords and beating themselves with chains and bleading. It is a horrific sight.
Hindus similarly take out processions during Holi, Dipawali, chhat, Ganesh Chaturthi and other festivals, bringing the complete traffic to a halt.Their loudspeakers and crackers disturb everybody but they have to bear it with a smile.
There is no point is talking of the processions taken out by political parties, disrupting traffic and the lives of people wo have to earn their living.
Why can't we be more considerate.
Religion is a personal thing. 
Why can't we celebrate the festivals within the confines of our homes without disturbing others?
Is it because our politicians cannot fulfil even the most basic needs of the population so they organise these tamashas so that the people can forget the woes and the para dadas can make some money which will carry them through the year.
As Karl Marx said  "Religion is the Opium of the masses"
Although we deride the USA for being materialistic, but I feel that they are even more spiritual than us Indians.
That country cares for its people and after all that is what God wants.
Every child there has to have a basic education. No child is allowed to stay at home as they consider education very important.
During Guy Fawkes Day children wear scary dresses and masks and visit their neighbours crying "Trick or Treat". The neighbours give the children some candies or cookies. However, here again, the people put out a sign outside their homes which denote it is OK for the children to visit them. If the sign is not there, children do not knock on those doors.
They do not celebrate Diwali although this year Obama made a fool of all Indians by declaring a Diwali Holiday. Actually the holiday was for Veteran's Day which they celebrate every year. This year, that day fell on Diwali and so like Modi, he decided to fool us. The Modi effect!
They burst crackers on 4th July, their Independence Day.
The crackers are burst in an open space and arranged by the local government  If anyone wants to burst crackers, he too can do the same on that day and time.
At other times, nobody is allowed to bust crackers. 
Here we burst crackers throughout the night, not caring if sick or aged people would be disturbed,
This is our nation of the Ramayan, the Mahabharata, the Upanishads, the Vedas and the Bhagawat Gita.
On the one hand, the government wants everybody to read the Bhagawat Gita in school and do Surya Namshkar and on the other hand, they kill people on the basis of rumours. Even if it was not a rumour, but it was the truth, they have no authority to kill the person. But then these hoodlums, one of whom is the Prime Minister and the other the Party president, do not believe in the rule of the law.

UK papers target Modi

 Pheroze L. Vincent

New Delhi, Nov. 11: Leading British and American newspapers have questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stature and politics days before his three-day UK visit, their analyses of the Bihar polls reviving memories of the years when he was unwelcome in the West.
Columnist Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian has dubbed Modi "one of the most dangerous politicians on the planet".
"Well, imagine any national leader - Cameron, Merkel, Obama - spending a large chunk of his or her life working for a gang of religious fascists - one that renowned academics compare to Islamic State," Chakrabortty wrote.
"Chuck in a long personal history of inciting religious hostility, a track record of cosying up to big business, and a reputation for ruthlessness towards enemies. Now put this extremist in charge of a nuclear state. Worried yet?"
Another article in the newspaper by Pankaj Mishra, which has gone viral on social media, says: "It is true that Modi and his toadies embody without shame, ambivalence or euphemism the brutality of power; they don't give a rat's ass about pleasing illusions. Yet their assaults on the authorised idea of India are creating a fissure in the unfeeling monolith through which a humane politics and culture might flow."
Modi plans to address 60,000 people - mostly of Indian origin - in Wembley stadium on Friday in what Indian TV channels are saying would be the biggest gathering for an Indian leader on foreign soil.
Business deals of an estimated £10 billion may be signed during the visit. This includes a purchase agreement for 20 Hawk trainer aircraft. However, the British media believe the Bihar drubbing has diminished Modi's standing.
"The defeat in Bihar was the BJP's biggest electoral setback since coming to power, after losing in the capital Delhi earlier this year," The Independent reported. "The election was played out against the backdrop of a fierce debate about rising intolerance in India, a country that prides itself on unifying diverse religious and linguistic groups under a secular democratic umbrella."
The Telegraph of London said: "He (Modi) will also arrive with his domestic standing weakened after his party was comfortably defeated in Bihar state elections following a campaign that Mr Modi effectively turned into a referendum on his popularity# by making nearly 30 trips there for rally appearances and speeches."
The Financial Times said: "Mr Modi's image as a moderniser focused on national development issues such as sanitation and job skills rather than on narrow Hindu interests has been badly tarnished by BJP ministers and rightwing groups. Among liberals and intellectuals and even moderates in the ranks of the BJP, there has been a marked deterioration of Mr Modi's reputation in recent weeks."
Foreign media outlets believe that economic reforms in India have become more distant after the Bihar debacle, which impedes the BJP's attempts to achieve a majority in the Rajya Sabha.
"The stock market, a good barometer of hope, is down 4 per cent so far this year," Reuters pointed out.#Modi is expected to face protests against growing communalism in India. Thirteen British MPs have supported a motion calling upon the government to question Modi on alleged atrocities by Indian troops in Kashmir.
Reports said that activists had projected, on the walls of Britain's Parliament building on Sunday night, an image of Modi wielding a sword beside an "Om" sign fashioned as a swastika.
Further west, The New York Times has called the Bihar result a message from voters to Modi saying: "Put an end to the hatemongering."
"Poisoning politics with religious hatred is bound to squander the country's economic potential at a time when India should be playing a bigger and more constructive role in South Asia and the world," the newspaper said.
Across India's western border, BJP president Amit Shah's remark that Pakistan would burst crackers if the BJP lost in Bihar is now fodder for jokes.
Tweeters have posted images of quiet nights over Pakistan's cities with captions such as "Exclusive pictures coming from Pakistan, as Nitish Kumar is leading in Bihar poll."
Modi had faced nearly a decade of visa restrictions from some western countries, which ended in the run-up to last year's general election. The November 12-14 trip to Britain could witness his highest exposure to protest and ridicule abroad, spurred by his fall on the plains of Bihar.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

‘Packages’ no magic

On the eve of that humiliating “standing count” in Bihar, the Prime Minister’s stature had been “shaken” by the tepid response to what had been projected as a major initiative in Jammu & Kashmir. A common reality being that the financial “packages” for both states did not exactly enthuse - though the jury is still out on whether the Rs 125 lakh core promised to Bihar ahead of the polls, and the Rs 80,000 crore for the other, have actually backfired. It is apparent that people are no longer fooled by New Delhi’s consistent (not just Modi-sarkar) clubbing together allocations that would even otherwise accrue to the states, then politically gift-wrapping them as goodwill gestures.

There is also increasing realisation that it is really the taxpayers’ money that is being re-channelled, no special effort made to raise additional resources. In short: a politicised version of the children’s party game “passing the parcel”, with the central government controlling the music to dispense largesse. It is true that the demand for packages originates with the states who never seem to have the funds to deal with flood, drought, famine etc, also true that New Delhi relishes the opportunity to play fairy-godmother, but there is little monitoring of how much of the package trickles down to the people who need help. And now Bihar has shown New Delhi, pardon the profanity, where to “stick” its money.

As far as J&K is concerned, Mr Modi’s package would have been appreciated had it been provided for immediate relief after the devastating flood - not after an ally was voted to power in Srinagar/Jammu. The BJP-PDP arrangement is under the strain that is inevitable when ideological incompatibles enter into a marriage of convenience, and it is doubtful if Rs 80,000 crore will prove a lengthy sweetener. As most Kashmir-watchers have observed, the people were looking to Mr Modi for a political initiative to ease their domestic difficulties, and a diplomatic one towards addressing the larger issue. Mr Modi must accept and understand that in Kashmiri thinking Pakistan is not the cesspool New Delhi deems it to be, nor the dumping ground to which the BJP’s motor-mouths seem overly anxious to banish their opponents.

Those specifics apart, the Prime Minister must recognise that there is an insulting, demeaning edge to his contending that financial packages are a cure-all. It may be weeks too early to be “Christmassy” (and Mr Modi might have religious/cultural objections) and point out that Santa Claus’ cheery face is as alluring as the goodies in his sack. Yet since Mr Modi is now UK-bound he might learn something from those long-haired lovers from Liverpool who charmed when singing ‘Money Can’t Buy Me Love.’

Now, Taxes Exceed Actual Cost of Petrol & Diesel

New Delhi: With excise duty being hiked five times in a year, taxes and duties now exceeded the actual cost of production of petrol.

As much as Rs 31.20 in the retail price of Rs 60.70 a litre of petrol in Delhi is because of central and excise duties.

Based on average cost of gasoline and foreign exchange rates during the second half of October, it costs Rs 24.75 to produce a litre of petrol at refineries, industry officials said.

After adding company margin and other costs, the price charged to a petrol pump dealer is Rs 27.24 per litre. On this price is added Rs 19.06 of excise duty that the Centre collects and a dealer commission of Rs 2.26 per litre. VAT or sales tax makes up for Rs 12.14 in the price of Rs 60.70 per litre in Delhi.

Similarly, a litre of diesel at the petrol pump costs Rs 45.93 but its cost for a refinery is just Rs 24.86. After adding margin, oil companies transfer it to retail petrol pumps for Rs 27.05, officials said.

To this is added an excise duty of Rs 10.66 per litre and a dealer commission of Rs 1.43 a litre. The VAT (value-added tax) in Delhi adds another Rs 6.79 to take the retail selling price to Rs 45.93.

The government had from November 7 raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 1.60 per litre and 40 paise on diesel. The oil companies did not pass on this duty hike to consumers and absorbed all of it at the cost of their margins.

The increase in excise duty on the fuels is likely to yield an additional revenue of about Rs 3,200 crore to the government during the rest of the current fiscal year.

The government had collected Rs 99,184 crore in excise collections from the petroleum sector in 2014-15. This was Rs 33,042 crore in the first quarter of current fiscal year.

The basic excise duty on unbranded or normal petrol was increased from Rs 5.46 per litre to Rs 7.06 a litre, according to a CBEC (Central Board of Excise and Customs) notification.

After including additional and special excise duty, the total levy on petrol will be Rs 19.06 per litre as against Rs 17.46 at present.

Similarly, on unbranded or normal diesel, excise duty has been increased from Rs 4.26 per litre to Rs 4.66 a litre.

After including special excise duty, total incidence of excise duty on diesel will be Rs 10.66 per litre as against Rs 10.26 now.

The government had previously, in four instalments, raised excise duty on petrol and diesel between November 2014 and January 2015 to take away the reduction in retail rates that was warranted from falling international oil prices.

The four excise duty hikes during this period totalled Rs 7.75 per litre on petrol and Rs 6.50 a litre on diesel. It led to about Rs 20,000 crore in additional revenue to the government, helping it meet its fiscal deficit target.

Tax on petrol and diesel was first raised by Rs 1.50 a litre each from November 12, 2014.

Then again, from December 2, 2014, the excise duty on petrol was raised by Rs 2.25 per litre and by Rs 1 on diesel.

This was followed by the government hiking excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre each from January 2, 2015 and a similar proportion from January 16, 2015.

No lessons learnt from Delhi fiasco: BJP veterans -ADVANI’S ROCKET

New Delhi, Nov. 10: A quartet of BJP veterans today shredded the "collective" fig-leaf of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the wake of the Bihar debacle, declared that they were shrugging off responsibility after emasculating the party and called for a thorough review in which the duo have no part.
"The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi.... The principal reason for the latest defeat is the way the Party has been emasculated in the last year," a joint statement said.

The stinging joint statement, which outgunned a series of announcements by the government on foreign investment rules that were tom-tommed as "big-bang" reforms a few hours earlier, was authorised by L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha and signed by Sinha.
Advani and Joshi had mentored Prime Minister Modi but he binned them in a specially set up "margadarshak mandal", a euphemism for a retirement home, after coming to power. Although the two are Lok Sabha MPs, they have no voice in party and parliamentary affairs.

Sinha is a former finance and foreign minister and his son Jayant Sinha is now the junior finance minister. Kumar is a former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and an MP now. For all intent and purpose, Sinha and Kumar were relegated to the ranks of the BJP's has-beens after Modi and Shah set an unwritten retirement age of 75.

This evening, the four met at Joshi's residence on Raisina Road, ostensibly to exchange Diwali greetings.
But it emerged that the occasion was an excuse to draft and later put out the statement that a source said "reflected an emerging and consensual opinion" about the party's command structures and working in the Modi-Shah regime. "They fulfilled a major responsibility as towering leaders," a source said.

Arun Shourie and K.N. Govindacharya, too, called on Joshi and the others during and after the meeting. Shourie, an economist, a journalist and a former NDA minister, has given interviews before and after the Bihar polls, directly attacking Modi and his governance in no uncertain terms. Govindacharya, once placed in the BJP's top hierarchy and valued for his understanding of the Hindi heartland and his advocacy of "social engineering" went into oblivion after the party dumped him in the pre-Modi era.
Soon after the Bihar results were announced, Shourie had said in response to a question on who should be held responsible: "It is Modi, the master strategist (Shah) and Jaitley.... There is no fourth person in the party or the government."

The statement tonight echoed such perceptions. "A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as of the way the Party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed. This review must not be done by the very persons who have managed and who have been responsible for the campaign in Bihar," the joint statement said.
The statement also tore into Arun Jaitley's defence of Shah yesterday that "as far as accountability is concerned, the party collectively wins and collectively loses".

The statement retorted: "To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible. It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the Party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar."
Advani and Joshi's endeavour was reportedly sanctioned by RSS sarsanghachalak Mohanrao Bhagwat who was supposed to be cut up by Modi and Shah's alleged "unilateralism" and a tendency to "run roughshod" over those who were not slotted as their "yes men".

Sources claimed that Bhagwat suspected that reports insinuating that his thrice-repeated statements on reservations before and during the Bihar polls had cost the BJP heavily were "planted" by the party brass to paint him as the "fall guy".
"Their (the quartet's) views reflect those felt by the BJP's disrespected and disempowered whose lips were sealed since May 2014 (when Modi came to power). There are innumerable examples of how eminent veterans in Bihar were trampled upon by Shah and his flunkeys," a source said.
Late night, the affairs got curiouser and curiouser.

The BJP issued a quasi-conciliatory statement from three former presidents and current ministers, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and M. Venkaiah Naidu, the last a sworn Advani loyalist until recently.
The carefully drafted statement, which paid respects to the elders but also had elements of a rebuttal, said: "Obviously, all party members are concerned with the results of the Assembly elections in Bihar. The Party has won the Lok Sabha Election last year under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. Thereafter, the Party had success in Assembly elections of Jharkhand, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir. Recently, we have won the local elections in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andamans, Kerala and Assam."
Significantly, the statement omitted saying under the leadership of Modi and Shah.
The statement added that the party would discuss "the adverse" Bihar results in various forums, "including with senior leaders and attempt to overcome the shortcomings."