KASHMIRIS NEED TO PRIORITIZE PRAGMATICALLY

While watching Haider on television, the logical, commonsense thoughts on situations in Jammu & Kashmir (or largely Kashmir because terrorism emanates from there) came to me once again.

If we talk of the film-craft, the film, ‘Haider’, is one of the best movies made on the Valley (Kashmir). Yes, it has many debatable points and people on both sides of the spectrum, pro and anti India, debated it when the movie was released last year, but the last scene gives us all a message (including the people from the Valley) that should be a valid referral point for them to go back to the days of peace.

The message is – revenge begets more revenge and it doesn’t work for anyone.

People of the Valley need to think it – within the ambit of the realpolitik of the day. The relevant points accordingly are:

First and foremost point is – and the factual point is – India is not going to cede any ground on Kashmir issue.

India’s is among the world’s largest economies. It is also currently the world’s fastest growing economy and is slated to remain so as China slows down. The country is the world’s largest democracy and globally a powerful country now. On global stage, India has a much bigger stature than Pakistan and the gap is bound to widen in the days to come as Pakistan is trapped in the deadlocks of home-grown terrorists who were once important tools of its state policy. Many reports including the one recently by the US Congressional research say so.

Also, the whole J&K state is strategically vital to the Indian interests in the context of its historical rivalry with China and India will never compromise here.

The next point is – India of the day and future cannot be forced militarily by a proxy war or by armed militancy to let Kashmir go away from its territory. And it is to be seen in the context that every such effort, including the full-scale wars between India and Pakistan, has failed to deter India so far.

Proxy armed war can be waged against India but its strong Army and paramilitary forces, with their heavy presence in J&K, cannot be frustrated to the extent to leave the Valley, or to compromise on the issue.

Instead, people of the Valley have been facing collateral damages for decades. Their trust and they have been misused by separatists, extremists, militants and Pakistan. They need to see the elements behind the reasons that made Kashmir ‘a heaven, a paradise on Earth’ even before insurgency started engulfing it in late 1980s.

So far, if not all Kashmiris, a sizeable chunk has failed to see through the designs of separatists, militants and Pakistan, the ongoing phase of militancy in the Valley tells us. If the separatists still draw political sanction there, it is because they feel there would be people to support them.

Kashmiris need to prioritize pragmatically.

Kashmiris need to think pragmatically that security of their future lies in them remaining in India, a nation with as many Muslim as Pakistan but where ‘Al Qaeda’ finds no recruits as the BBC says or a magazine like ‘The Economist’ deliberates that ‘ why India’s Muslims are so moderate’.

India is a large country with a large market that the world is eyeing for and Pakistan can never be a match to it. It has a sizeable middle class that is projected to be the world’s largest by 2030, a Harvard study says.

People of Kashmir need to think of a life they will get in Indian Kashmir if they decide to grow with India, if they take side of the peaceful days as were in the Valley’s past.

Even now, they have everything available on a better scale if they see the people’s lives in ‘Azad Kashmir’ or practically, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Even if the Valley is ‘promoted’ as a ‘disturbed area’ on global forums, its separatists freely criticise India and favour Pakistan. Pakistani flags are waved during rallies and demonstrations. Indian security forces are openly demonized.

The state has its own constitution. People from other parts of India cannot buy property in the state. People of the Valley should think of a day when a strong government of a strong India will remove Article 370 and will push the state into the mainstream of the Indian Constitution. They should think of a day when people from other parts of the country will get rights to settle in J&K. That is a way to culturally integrate the state aimed at strengthening the pro-India voices. If China can do it in Tibet, why not India can do it J&K?

Also, people of J&K need to see and emulate other Indian states on the road to prosperity. Many of them have Muslim population much larger than the Valley. These states are very well the part of the Indian federal system.

Yes, Indian government in Delhi and Indian forces in the state have their share of controversies and high-handedness, but the solution of the problems affecting lives of the people of J&K (especially Kashmir) lies in the realpolitik of the Valley which goes with the rider that ‘Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DECISION

Still living that day
Like yesterday
When I had decided
To sit, to think
To go deeper inside
To make a life
As I had thought
To see the way ahead

It is my decision
To remain unsettled
And to live the feeling
Of the day
As it was just yesterday
The day when I felt
I was crying for an edifice
That never cared for me

I needed to look back
Into the time and its reasons
To try again to find
Why it was all so ambiguous
I would ask for answers
But why there were none
Yes, I still don’t have answers
But I accepted it on that day

What I did in my past
Was about my decisions
And I needed to go along
To find the reasons
For my decisions ahead
To set my soul free
To come out of ghettos
That had cropped up

The day when I realized
My life was still mine
Even if some decisions
Were not in time
When I felt
Even if I was wronged
I could reconcile
With what was dark

The decision
That gave me life back
The way I was
It asked to look back at
The days in past
Even if the darker ones
With reasons never given
To find the light ahead

I still live that day
Everyday
To own my decisions
Taking what all I say
To reason further
To settle
On an unsettling path
To see the way ahead

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AAP ON BACK FOOT AFTER DELHI HC’S INTERIM ORDER

Even if interim, the interim order of the Delhi High Court has come as another jolt of the day for the Aam Aadmi Party.

Even if its leaders may take respite in the fact that the matter is sub-judice in Supreme Court and High Court and may chose to react accordingly (trying to look unfazed by the developments of the day), the reality of the day clearly goes against them.

Even if they shield behind the logic of the notice given by the HC to the Centre on Ministry of Home Affairs’ notification of May 21 that backs the lieutenant-governor on bureaucratic appointments and prevents the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) of Delhi from taking cognizance of the offences committed by the Central Government employees, they will find the day’s developments hard to reconcile with.

Even if they say the orders are just the beginning and the SC has asked the AAP government to file its reply in three weeks on the Centre questioning the Delhi HC order on ACB jurisdiction and it will present its viewpoint on the court, an anti-AAP message has gone.

May 29, 2015 is a day when the AAP had to face two jolts, two negative developments, a day after the special session of Delhi assembly where the Central Government and the L-G had been lambasted, where anti-notification and anti-Union government resolutions were passed and where Arvind Kejriwal had openly challenged the Centre on interfering in Delhi through ‘such’ notifications.

First, the SC issued notice to the AAP government on the Centre’s plea about ACB jurisdiction saying the Delhi HC’s observation about the notification was not ‘binding’. Then there came the double whammy with the Delhi HC’s interim order which said the L-G was the constitutional head of Delhi and his orders were binding on the Delhi Government – till its conclusive orders.

It even didn’t pass any order on the Delhi Government’s proposal. The proposal said the government would send its decisions to the L-G for review and in case of any disagreement between the L-G and the Delhi council of ministers, the President’s words will be final. The HC passed the proposal to the L-G but refused to set any deadline.

After today’s developments, the AAP government has three weeks to explain in the SC that why the MHA notification violates the constitutional provisions and the laws governing Delhi vis-à-vis ACB’s jurisdiction.

And the Centre has six weeks to file an affidavit in the Delhi HC on its notification and how the transfers and postings were done in previous governments in Delhi.

Till the time an order comes, Najeeb Jung is the constitutional head of Delhi and will prevail in matters of bureaucratic appointments including the latest order by Arvind Kejriwal transferring nine bureaucrats where he did not consult the L-G.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CM VS LG ROW: SC ASKS DELHI HC TO RULE ON MHA NOTIFICATION FIRST

As expected to be among the expectations from the court in the ongoing row between the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung, the Supreme Court of India has asked the Delhi High Court to hear the Aam Aadmi Party’s (APP) plea against the gazette notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs first (MHA).

In doing so, the apex court has taken a neutral stand for any concerned stakeholder in this case, the Union Government led the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Delhi Government led by the AAP.

While it told that the Delhi HC order calling the MHA notification ‘suspect’ was tentative, at the same time, it refused to put any stay on the Delhi HC order on jurisdiction of Delhi’s Anti-corruption Bureau. It has also asked the AAP government to file a reply within three week on the Centre’s plea seeking to put a stay on the Delhi HC order. It said it would go ‘into’ the issue later.

It has asked the Delhi HC to rule on the MHA notification first that whether it violates the constitutional norms and various laws governing Delhi. The apex court has said that it wants the Delhi HC to listen to the matter objectively and without any influence, including the ‘suspect’ comment by a HC judge, and therefore it is not passing any comment.

So, till the time Delhi HC comes with a ruling, the status-quo on the MHA notification is maintained, means the bureaucratic appointments in Delhi would remain under the L-G. The HC ruling would also clear the ACB’s jurisdiction.

And it is also clear that the losing stakeholder in this case would move to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision of the Delhi HC – be it the AAP or the BJP.

So, let’s see how it goes in the Delhi HC – the next stage of the legal battle, the only logical way out in the ongoing CM Vs L-G or Delhi Government Vs Centre row.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

‘COURTS’ TO HEAR CENTRE AND AAP TODAY: THE ONLY LOGICAL WAY OUT

So, it is happening now and today is the day when the most logical phase of ‘politically’ motivated war begins.

Day before yesterday, the Union Home Ministry (MHA) filed a plea in the Supreme Court against May 25 Delhi High court order denying bail to a Delhi Police constable arrested by the Delhi’s Anti-corruption Bureau and calling the notification issued by the Union Home Ministry ‘suspect’ in the process.

The Supreme Court is to hear it today.

Yesterday, the Aam Aadmi Party moved Delhi High Court against the May 21 gazette notification of MHA that backed the Lieutenant-Governor. The notification was issued after interpretation of laws governing Delhi (including the Indian Constitution) and told us that bureaucratic appointments in Delhi were the exclusive domain of the L-G and also that the Delhi ACB could not take cognizance of offences committed by the Central Government employees.

The Delhi High Court is to hear it today.

Let’s see if any observation or order comes today. Or there are chances that the issue requires more hearing(s).

Let’s see if further dates are required (that is a valid possibility in this issue) and court refers the issue to the constitutional experts. Let’s see if Delhi High Court says it would wait for the Supreme Court hearing the matter first as the AAP has filed the plea against the whole MHA notification. Simultaneously, the AAP has also filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to hear its stand before passing any order.

Now, the apex court will decide jurisdiction of the ACB on the Centre’s plea. In doing so, it will certainly interpret and lay down the constitutional norms. The Centre has moved the SC with a plea demanding overturning the High Court’s order on ACB reiterating the stand taken in the MHA notification.

But also, as the High Court is to hear a plea against the whole notification including the ACB part, alternatively, the Supreme Court may ask the High Court to interpret the constitutional validity of the notification first.

Let’s wish courts are here on the same page here.

If it comes out to be what Kejriwal is trying to prove, we will see an even more aggressive Kejriwal on the whole issue. On the other hand, anything contrary would force him to reconsider his moves. And the possible responses would include playing ‘victim’ card again, like he did during the campaigning phase this time, readily apologizing for ‘deserting Delhi in just 49 days’ during his first term – the 49 days that now find a proud mention on the AAP website for achievements accrued then.

Who is the boss in Delhi in the ongoing CV Vs L-G row can be decided only by a court because the kind of politics Kejriwal has displayed after taking over the chief minister’s office on February 14 this year, he would not accept any interpretation by the Centre, even if it comes through the President.

And since it is in ‘courts’ now – in country’s apex court and in Delhi’s top court – its concluding part begins today.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

TODAY, I WAS NOT IN TWO MINDS..

COLORES INFINITUM

There are ways to fight the ways of life.

Every life has problems. No life is without its own set.

Yes, nature, degree and frequency of problems affecting lives vary from life to life.

The majority of humanity has more of them but even the privileged ones are not without issues in their lives.

Yes, the way to approach the problems, if differs for from life to life, is also dependent on the class and is affected by the concerned equations of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

One can face the problems of life by accepting their presence, reconciling with the situations of life while trying to find ways out or ways up.

Or one can refuse to reconcile the way life has become while trying to rebuild the life.

I met this rickshaw-puller again today. And while he was not in queue, with his rickshaw parked away, I preferred to go to him.

It was a similar ride to what I had on the other day – but on a positive, confident note. While walking to his rickshaw today, I was not in two minds, unlike the other day.

Collage-Rickshawpuller-May28, 2015

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

KEJRIWAL’S WORDS EPITOMIZE SPECIAL SESSION OF DELHI ASSEMBLY

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s words epitomized the two day special session of Delhi assembly that ended today.

His concluding speech (or parting shot) captured the essence with which the special session was called.

He challenged the Central government, that is led by Narendra Modi of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on interfering in affairs of the Delhi government and warned it on ‘trying to take over Delhi through the Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung’.

The two day assembly session on May 26 and 27 was a confrontationist response of Kejriwals’s attitude on the notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on May 21. The notifications makes bureaucratic appointment an exclusive domain of the L-G and also bars the Delhi Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) from taking cognizance against the Central Government employees.

Scathing, even unparliamentary words were used against the L-G. He was blamed to run to save his post by indulging in activities against the Delhi government. Centre was again and again blamed for ‘running Delhi by proxy’ after its humiliating electoral loss that reduced the largest party of December 2013 assembly polls to just three seats in February 2015. A demand was made to give the Delhi assembly powers to ‘impeach’ the L-G. Resolutions against the Centre were passed. Its ministers including Narendra Modi were targeted. An AAP MLA tore the MHA notification.

Delhi High Court’s observation that called the notification ‘suspect’ while rejecting bail to a Delhi Police constable booked by the ACB was quoted behind the logic and constitutional interpretation given by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.

To sum up, Arvind Kejriwal, with his concluding remarks, refused to obey the MHA notification. He had done so already with his many defying acts including the one of transfer of officials a day ago without the informing the L-G. He chose the assembly for his political power display. And he chose the Delhi assembly to further his political message.

He said it was not a constitutional crisis but was a political one, created by the Centre. He said the Delhi assembly could take care of the salary heads of bureaucrats under it and they should discharge their duties without any fear.

Now, we cannot say whom they are, the bureaucrats, repulsive of – Kejriwal or the Centre. And going by the conduct of Kejriwal and his government in the Delhi, he is to carry the blame for it.

The row that began with Shakuntala Gamlin’s appointment as Delhi’s acting chief secretary saw heads of other civil services officials roll in an ugly public display. IAS officers have held two meetings since then and reports say they are not happy with the situation and want a solution at the earliest. But from the developments so far, we can say, it is not the Centre, but the state government IAS officers are miffed at.

And while saying so, we did not get any indications that he was going to the court the next morning against the MHA notification. He said he would oppose it (and the Centre) come what may but he did not give us any hint about the simplest and the most logical outcome of the logjam – the court interpretation of the constructional provisions and other laws governing Delhi.

Given the kind of stuff Kejriwal is made up of, he would not accept any interpretation by the Centre, even if it comes through the President.

And given the politics involved in interpretation of constitutional provisions, he would love to drag it as far as possible. After all, it would give him a chance to divert attention from his unfulfilled promises and a shabby governance so far (in his 100 days). Yes, he has been a big letdown for Delhi and for those who went for the political experiment called the AAP.

Let’s see how long the issue lasts constitutionally?

The Home Ministry filed an SLP (Special Leave Petition) in the Supreme Court today against the Delhi High Court order of May 25 denying bail to the constable. It has come quickly even if we were expecting the move from stakeholders.

Now, the apex court will decide jurisdiction of the ACB. In doing so, it will certainly interpret and lay down the constitutional norms. If it comes out to be what Kejriwal is trying to prove, we will see an even more aggressive Kejriwal on the whole issue. On the other hand, anything contrary would force him to reconsider his moves. And the possible responses would include playing ‘victimization’ card.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

EVEN IF I WAS IN TWO MINDS..

COLORES INFINITUM

Like it happens every day with them, they were calling to pull attention as I got down the Delhi Metro station. It was the hottest day of May so far, over 45 degree Celsius.

It was routine, calling passengers like this, but the rickshaw-puller on that day pulled my attention. He was a lanky fellow, lean and thin, extremely skinny. His bones were visible on his long and thin body. And he was underage too, certainly below 18.

His rickshaw was nearest to me so it was natural I would go him but after seeing him, I was in two minds.

It was more due to his physical structure than his age. I was in two minds that how would he pull the rickshaw and how would he climb up the patch of the track with a passenger ?

I am anti to underage labour but not the way it is in rulebooks. In fact, underage workers are prevalent and it is a burning truth about India and many societies in other. And it is not wrong. The first preference always goes to the survival instinct. And the primal survival instinct is to survive each passing day by first having food and a place to sleep.

And it is true for societies across the world. We may debate the age of underage workers. In India, education of children up to the age of 14 years is state responsibility. Children up to 14 years of age cannot be employed, except in ‘family enterprise’ and ‘entertainment trade’. Children above 14 years can work based on socioeconomic profile and survival needs.

This rickshaw-puller was around 16-17. Yes, like it happens he was not sure of his exact age. And like everyone, he had all the rights to make ends meet of his life. The family support for education goes up to at least 20-22 years of age but it is empty sociological theory for many. Education is still a distant dream, an ignored entity in the list of priorities of millions.

They know only one thing – somehow to survive the day – while thinking for the next. And it is true in societies across the world.

The rickshaw-pullers, originally from the hinterland India but toiling in big and metro cities, are a prime example of this social order, an order that is complex and multi-layered.

And like everyone in the society, this rickshaw-puller, too, had every right to survive the life, to meet the basic needs of the day and to think of the day coming next. There are many including me who feel heat pangs even if the window is of 10 minutes while the people like this rickshaw-puller earn their livelihood under the open sky, be it in the scorching heat of May or June or in the rainy days of Monsoon.

I was in two minds that how would this extremely lanky fellow would pull his rickshaw along with me. I was also thinking that I had no right to deny him his livelihood because if it was not me, he would carry someone else to earn his living.

The two minutes of dilemma gave way to saying yes to the rickshaw-puller. I was thinking he would not be able to pull the rickshaw easily and I would get down wherever required, i.e., on the upslope of the track. Also, as is the case with me, I was thinking simultaneously about my write-ups while taking the rickshaw-ride to my workplace. Public transport is my favourite for the reason that it provides me with time and ideas to think further about my written work.

While lost in my thoughts and looking all around, I asked the rickshaw-puller if he could pull me and if he went to the school.

He confidently said yes but what he said on my second question I could not understand. His language was not totally comprehensible but I could grasp from his words that he was around 16-17 years old and driving rickshaw at this age was his compulsion.

Soon he proved his words – about pulling the rickshaw. His speed was even faster than many well able-bodied ones. He was pulling rickshaw efficiently and easily. And he carried me to my destination in less than usual time.

I felt relieved – on the fact that he pulled rickshaw like any other rickshaw-puller, like any other able-bodied person. He did not show the problems I was thinking about. I was thinking to offer him some extra money but why I didn’t offer him I could not say.

But after leaving his rickshaw, I was feeling good that, somehow, even if I was in two minds, I took the right decision and didn’t deny a person the chance to add to his share of daily earning.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

TALKING POINTS ON ONE YEAR OF MODI GOVERNMENT

Given the state of political affairs and style of politics in the country, it is to continue. The Modi government will says it has done everything right and is well on the day to make an India it promised and its opponents will deny every such claim – on every pointer – in every sector – on each promise. After all, we don’t talk of and expect ethics and substance in politics anymore.

Narendra Modi then and now, when he took over on May 26, 2014 and what the indices say now, when Modi is completing his maiden year in the office. The usual flavour of the season will be made of the following elements:

— Major schemes of the Modi government – well, by any count, they are around 20, and could be even more – the most important part of the pro-people and anti-people debate

— Land acquisition in the first year – an important aspect of the pro-farmer and anti-farmer debate – high on agenda after the land bill ordinance by the government

— WPI and CPI trends – the monthly trends and the yearly performance – in May 2014 and now – will include debates on inflation, price rise and the state of economy

— Riots in one year – yearly data of riots – accordingly, religious controversies during Modi’s first year in prime-ministerial office

— Avoidable statements in one year – many by the BJP and the NDA leaders in last one year – surely a point where the government needs to work – the critics are expected to exploit the mileage

— Black money measures – it was a big election promise and campaigning point for Narendra Modi and though the government has not been able to bring the stash back home so far, it does have cleared a law to regulate the menace

— Cabinet size trend – maximum governance minimum government – size of Manmohan’s cabinet – Modi’s promise – and his cabinet now

— Foreign policy – with a prime minister circling the world with 18 foreign tours in his first year – a way to look ahead based on the record so far – India’s image does have improved – and so are the attacks of Modi’s political opponents

— How he dealt with Pakistan – he first invited SAARC leaders including Nawaj Sharif for his inauguration – then he cancelled India-Pakistan talks – it’s an year of no ups and more downs in India-Pakistan ties

— GDP in 2013-14 and GDP in 2014-15 – with contribution of each sector

— Sensex and Nifty then and now – the wealth created – the confidence in Indian economy

— IIP trends – IIP of May 2014 Vs IIP now – recovery Vs status quo Vs fall

— Rupee then and now – maintaining a downward trend these days – though is not attracting the intense debate

— FDI-FII in the first year – what were the figures when Modi took over there level now

— Foreign Reserve then and now – how much has it grown in an year since May 2014

— Reforms in one year – reforms stuck in the last one year – Indian economy and therefore Indian society cannot advance unless its policymaking is reformed – an important facet is about the bills passed and stuck in the Parliament

— Disinvestment then and now – part of the reform process – but not much on the front in spite of claims

— What Varanasi got in Modi’s maiden year – it is not just people in Modi’s parliamentary constituency but even analysts and political opponents are keenly watching the concerned developments

So, in Modi’s first year in the PMO, that he is completing tomorrow, as expected, there is much to talk about. And all of it has begun. And we are expected to hear more of them in coming days.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AFTER ALL, FIRST NON-CONGRESS GOVERNMENT WITH MAJORITY IS COMPLETING ITS FIRST YEAR..

Tomorrow, the Narendra Modi government, the first non-Congress government with majority, is completing one year in office.

Given the momentous nature of the event, the Modi government, the Bhartiya Janata Party and other parties of the National Democratic Alliance are celebrating the feet with élan.

Narendra Modi is addressing rallies. Arun Jaitley is issuing statements. MPs are visiting and are to visit constituencies and cities to spread the word about achievements of the government. Rallies, exhibitions and pressers are being organized and several events are to be held. The official version of rallies are to be from May 26 to 31.

And as expected, the political opposition is going all out to oppose the government, showing it in a negative light of failures, empty promises and plain rhetoric.

Given the state of political affairs and style of politics in the country, it is to continue.

The Modi government will says it has done everything right and is well on the day to make an India it has promised and its opponents will deny every such claim.

After all, we don’t talk of and expect ethics and substance in the politics of the day anymore.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/