---- Editorial ----
Try out of box solution
The apex court of country today came up with an interesting take on controversial
Babri Masjid demolition case. The SC has suggested an out-of-court settlement of
the lingering Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya. Hearing an urgent
appeal from senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, a bench headed by Chief Justice
J S Khehar observed that issues of religion and sentiments can be best resolved through
talks. The Chief Justice also offered to mediate even as the bench suggested that
the parties to the dispute adopt a "give a bit and take a bit." Most political parties
have welcomed the suggestion of apex court but Muslim groups have expressed skeptical.
It is believed that during the tenure of PV Narasimha Rao and Chandra Shekhar efforts
were made to settle the issue out of court which did not materialize. However just
because it did not work at that time parties involve should not lose hope. A fresh
try should be made so that this issue is resolved at the earliest. There is no harm
in trying to settle the issue through negotiation under the watchful eye of Supreme
Court. The long pending Babri Masjid demolition case continues to haunt India. Therefore
it is necessary to put an end to dispute so that healing process starts at the earliest.
Also the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, in 2010, had ruled for a three-way
division of the disputed 2.77 acres area at the site in Uttar Pradesh. The three-judge
bench, by a majority of 2:1, had said the land be partitioned equally among three
parties, Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the 'Ram Lalla'. This formula should
also be looked into while trying to find a solution about this vexed issue.
---- Readers Forum ----
Strike uncalled for
The so called pen down strike by the Cosaap is uncalled for as the state govt has
already implemented the 7th pay commission. As an employee of the state govt I feel
the demand for increase in the retirement age is totally unjustified and all the
other demands are just eyewash. Cynics may sneer that I should take VR but 58 is
rather a good time in one's life to retire, one is left with ample time and energy
for other unfinished personal assignments in life and it would be a small step in
helping many jobless youths whose eligibility age for govt jobs are drawing their
curtains. Blackmailing the state govt and turning away the public in the name of
pen down is totally ridiculous as we all draw salaries even for the days willfully
wasted in pen downs.
In order to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the
sustainable management of freshwater resources World Water Day is celebrated on 22
March. William Ashworth who said that “Children of a culture born in a water-rich
environment, we have never really learned how important water is to us. We understand
it, but we do not respect it.”Water is central to our lives but has not been the
central point of focus in our planning while we rapidly evolve into an urban society.
The water scarcity is mostly man made due to excess population growth and mismanagement
of water resources. India is likely to face threat of a drought this year also as
monsoon rains are expected to be weaker than average. The government needs to enhance
its investment in technology and include all stakeholders at the planning level to
ensure optimization of existing resources. Unless we are aware and conscious of water
wastage we will not be able to avail the basic quantity of water that we need to
carry on with our normal lives. There was an old adage 'Don't waste money like water
'. Water scarcity is an abstract concept to many and a stark reality for others.
Water is the foundation of life. Clean, safe drinking water is scarce. Water is a
free gift of nature and renewable resource. We cannot manufacture water according
to its demand or find out a substitute. Each city and town will have to develop its
own strategy for managing wastewater. A small steady water leak can cause a loss
of 250,000 liters of water per year. Unless we are aware and conscious of water wastage
we will not be able to avail the basic quantity of water that we need to carry on
with our normal lives.
Vinod C. Dixit
Some lessons from the Uttar Pradesh elections
Results of Uttar Pradesh elections are out and to everyone’s surprise the Modi Effect
once again shattered the dreams of political dynasties with no hope of recovery soon.
The traditional class and caste coalitions and minority vote bank consolidations
met a disastrous end. Undoubtedly, the landslide victory of BJP in Uttar Pradesh
raises many eyebrows but the electorate across the country finds it a reward for
the pro-poor dynamics of the Modi government. Demonetization, a well calculated step
taken by the government by comfortably convincing the people as a step taken to crack
down on black money, helped it get such a massive mandate in the UP elections. The
BJP, well aware of the short term pain the demonetization exercise caused to the
common man, went an extra step propagating the long term gains on the way. The battle
between the (UP ka ladke) the boys of UP and (baharwala) the outsider became a call
of conch for the 2019 general elections. The Akhilesh faction in the Samajwadi tuft
seemed to be on a comfortable power ride holding hands of the ostensibly tired Congress.
Despite the tremors in the Yadav family, calling for a battle from the rumbles of
the family was not easy for the Chief Minister but the Yadav son was confident to
win both minds and votes in the state.
In fact the results of the elections in the state were a clear indication to everybody
including the self styled protectors of the minorities that never take the electorate
for granted. With the new generation of voters change the old methods of electoral
fancies. It is not laptops and smart phones that the new generation of voters are
in need of from any elected government, whereas, they want smart government with
good governance which would enable them to stand on their own feet. Gone are those
days where leaders could trifle the electorate with their gesture of petty tokenism.
The united SP in alliance with the Congress was predicted to be a great force capable
to arrest the surge of BJP in the state. But the results proved this assumption wrong.
Though the BJP was all afoot to consolidate the majority vote share in the state,
the results reveal a bitter reality to the opponents as without minority votes flowing
to the BJP buckets the landslide mandate was fairly impossible.
Every election brings a different result compared to the previous one. Perceptions
on parties and leaders change with the results and everybody on the fray accepts
the mandate the electorate declare. Since the landslide victory of Narendra Modi
in 2014, the equations and perceptions about politics and political parties seem
to be changing in an unprecedented manner. To begin with, the grand alliance that
came into existence right before the Bihar elections, wherein two arch rivals Lalu
Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar embraced each other, with an apparent understanding
of the danger of political extinction in the state if not came together. Coming to
the Uttar Pradesh elections in 2017, everybody, including the pundits in politics
felt it difficult to hide their embarrassment on the clean sweep by the BJP distorting
the exit poll calculations. The statement of Omar Abdulla from Jammu and Kashmir
to the defeated force (Read: all the non BJP parties) should be seen with unbiased
predictability. He asks them to plan for the 2024 elections and stop worrying for
the 2019. The message he meant to pass across the fading political fraternity in
the country was that, the prospects for anybody except the BJP in the 2019 general
elections will be a distant dream as long as no leader as charismatic and vibrant
as Mr.Modi emerges. Election results turn politicians into men of great wisdom.
The political scenario in India stands at a historic cross road
The latest Assembly results from 5 Indian states are an indication for a grand paradigm
shift in Indian national politics. First of all it has established Brand Modi as
the unequivocal force in Indian politics and secured the future of BJP for the 2019
Parliamentary elections. It has been made clear that there is no credible opposition
left in India to challenge Modi seriously and a trend that regional political parties
are slowly getting marginalised and becoming irrelevant in national politics. BJP
has been able to made significant inroads into every state undergoing elections in
terms of voting share. But most importantly, massive election gain at the assembly
level will help BJP to be a stronger force in the Rajya Sabha. Thus PM Modi will
be able to steam roll many of the important and urgent socio-economic reform bills
irresponsibly blocked by a dysfunctional and power hungry opposition. A strong opposition
is an indicator of a healthy democracy. But if the opposition proves detrimental
to long term interest of the people and the nation; it is democratic for the common
people to irradiate the stumbling block for a better and stronger India.
All the current governments failed due to their role in nepotism, corruption, poor
administration and governance, suggesting Indian voters are becoming increasingly
matured with zero tolerance for non-deliverers. The dismal performance of Indian
National Congress under Rahul Gandhi demonstrated once again that when a national
party turs into a private limited company with family centric politics they are in
the verge of mass rejection by the public. The Congress victory in Punjab is not
for even less than 1% due to Rahul Gandhi; but due to excellent strategy and hard
work of a regional leader and the abject failure of the coalition government ruling
the state in every fronts. This should be an eye opener for BJP to decide who they
make their coalition partner. I see the same future for the current Jammu and Kashmir
CM who has zero acceptance and credibility among the masses and is not a mass leader
at all. However, due to Jammu and Ladakh, BJP will now continue to be a big force
in the J & K. Rapid saffronisation of the entire North East is now just a matter
of time. The next state to fall to BJP is Meghalaya currently lead by an incapable
CM; if BJP plays their cards judiciously.
The monumental loss of Irom Chanu Sharmila indicated that political misadventures
without any preparation, resources, contact and credibility dies a painful death.
Even if she woud have accidentally won, I do not think she has any political experience
to handle people’s expectation in an ethnically complex state like Manipur. Political
activism and politics are not the same side of the coin. It is immaterial which party
wins as this is people’s choice and I have nothing to comment on that; except I cannot
restrain my joys to watch the demise of a joker and crybaby in Indian politics named
Arvind Kejriwal and his incredible, irresponsible political platform called Aam Admi
Party. I cannot hide my frustrations to see these useless politicians as a nuisance
who does nothing related to good governance and administration; except taking agitation
on streets and verbal war on social media and television channels making loads of
useless, garbage and irresponsible statements. It showed that you can fool the people
once but not always.
With a divided NC and PDP in J & K, dismantled Indian National Congress under a leader
who can never grow up, joker politics of AAP in Delhi, SP and BSP demonically crushed
in UP, a fractured AIADMK post Jayalalita and a DMK under ailing Karunananidhi, failing
communist regimes in WB, Kerala and Tripura; NE undergoing rapid saffronisation,
shaky BJD rule in Orissa, a flip-flopping Nitish Kumar in Bihar and Mamata Banerjee
under serious fear of CBI investigations on serious corruption charges; the political
scenario in India stands at a historic cross road. Modi has emerged as one of the
most popular and strong leader both within India irrespective of differences in local
politics and overseas abroad with no credible opposition to stop his relentless success.
Last but not the least, the Election Commission of India along with their officers
and staff and security forces taking part in the election process must be commended
for their incredible and silent services for the nation. The EC is now regarded as
a global model for successfully running parliamentary democracy. My committed and
sincere salute to the people of India for their strength, resolution, maturity and
dedication to build a stronger nation.
Saikat Kumar Basu
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