JUVENILE JUSTICE BILL 2015 IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE..

We may endlessly debate on ‘lowering’ or ‘not lowering’ the age of juvenile accused in heinous crimes (here we define them as murder, rape and arson) but we all would concur to this point – that unless and until our policymakers are forced by intense public pressure, they don’t believe in doing something unorthodox – that they don’t want to disturb the status-quo.

And it takes a massive public expression of anger that ‘disturbs’ their ‘this’ attitude.

As it happened in the case of passing amendments in the Juvenile Justice Act in the Parliament to promulgate a stricter law.

Though we cannot say what the proposed amendments will achieve, something that is time (and tide) dependent, we can say it has been a logical step on a tedious journey that should have begun much earlier than December 16, 2012 when the Delhi gang rape took place. Rape and other criminal incidents against women had become social evils and horrible curses much before it in our patriarchal society.

Rape and other crimes against women are a mindset problem and we cannot expect to control them by merely passing a law.

It needs mindset change.

And that requires time and consistency in efforts.

Tougher laws like the one passed in the Rajya Sabha today or in the wake of the national outrage after the December 16 gang rape, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (or Nirbhaya Act), put into effect in April 2013, are vital reflections on how we are progressing.

Such steps, whenever they arrive, irrespective of what they can or cannot do, give a sense of satisfaction that the society has advanced one step ahead in this mindset change battle.

Because this is a tough battle to win – with loads of frustrating moments.

This very case is a burning example.

Somehow, our conscious was stirred to the level that the brutal gang rape of a paramedic student on December 16 in 2012 became precursor to a national outrage and global headlines. We can say the political attitude was not well received initially with brutal crackdown by the Delhi Police on protesters. But later on, intense public pressure and media scrutiny caused some sense to prevail and we saw the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act coming into force in just four months of the incident.

And though politicians had promised a very swift, ‘within months judgement’ (some say even two or three months), the nation accepted the judgement delivered by the lower court in September 2013 – in the 10th month after the incident.

A parallel track to this was the demand for comprehensive amendments in the Juvenile Justice Act because one of the accused, who was also the most brutal one, was a minor (17+ but not yet 18) and was sentenced to just three years in a correctional home. So while four others were sentenced to death (the main accused committed suicide in jail), the minor accused, who was most brutal in committing this crime, was just sentenced to three years and was to get his records expunged after his three years were over.

After December 16 incident in 2016, we saw spurt in rapes and other crimes against women but it was basically because the heightened sense of insecurity and the increased access to information sources led more cases to be reported. We also saw a spurt in reporting of such heinous crimes by juveniles, especially in 16-18 age-group.

So, this parallel track of demand for stricter laws for juveniles in 16-18 age-group was a legitimate one – apt for the senses prevailing in the society. And the demand never died down.

The ‘unnecessarily delayed’ Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 that was passed today showed us that again. Our political class took three years after the December 2012 incident to pass the Bill and that too came after a trigger that again generated intense sentiment mobilization and could well herald a new mass movement if the Bill was delayed further. The Nirbhaya Act was promulgated in April 2013 but then politicians failed to reach on any conclusion on the Juvenile Justice Act for the next 30 months.

The trigger this time obviously was the release of the minor rapist in the case who walked free on December 20 after completing his three years in a correctional home in Delhi. Public opinion had started galvanizing much before it with themed media campaigns.

And the political class when saw this, it had no other option but to bow to the incoming public outrage. Yes, the fear of another massive public outrage forced them to pass the Bill this time with the ‘juvenile convict release’ trigger. What else can we say about their sensitivities and priorities again given the fact the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill in May 2015 but it took another six months for the Rajya Sabha to act on it.

Passage of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 is important for this reason – that will of public prevailed over the policymaking class. What qualitative changes this amendment can bring is something that only future will tell.

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

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EXISTING VS NEW BREED IN INDIAN POLITICS

Rapidly changing developments in Indian politics – coming in with a new, brazen attitude to follow your stuff and stick to your logics (even if the logics fall very well in the realm of senseless arguments or arguments that can never be proved)!

Welcome to the changed realpolitik of Indian politics with its new breed (or the latest addition) that is trying to capture the centre stage with rapid fire rounds in almost everything that comes across – the breed that sees a political opportunity in anything and everything – be it political or apolitical.

How will it affect the scene?

How will it affect the locales of the political landscape in India?

How will it affect the rules of the games politicians play in India?

Well, there are no visible answers as of yet.

It is too early, in fact, (too) premature to write who is going to prevail and who is going to concede.

It is too judgemental at this primitive stage to write that who will assimilate/incorporate changes and who will lead the way politics is exercised in this country.

It is too irrelevant at this juncture to look for any symbolism in the ongoing juggleries and manoeuvrings so far.

But if it is disturbing to watch the devaluation of values to a new low, analytically, it is interesting to see how it develops further and what elements it throws in and throws out in the process.

On one side there is this breed, with decades of experience that has fine-tuned their politics to the level that they do whatever they want to do – but at the same time, they also keep the space for fine prints in dealing with complex/crisis issues to subtly settle them. Though they talk of social parity, they believe in and follow elitism.

Then there is this new class of entrants – with windfall gains in the very beginning. Bolstered by the unexpected foothold and ‘unbelievable gains of apologies’ (intentional or fake) they have gained in a span of just three years, they are out there to ‘brazen’ it out – to claim their political territory and to win over domains that have been preserves of others so far.

And there are bound to be struggles – struggles for survival – and it has already progressed to the final stages of its initiation with the Delhi assembly election results this year.

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

CONGRESS HAD NEVER SOUNDED SO PHONEY (AND SENSELESS)

As it is reacting today – from leaders enjoying its top echelons to leaders living in the remote barracks of its cadres – even if the overall structure of the cadres of the grand old party of India is rapidly deteriorating!

And in doing so, they are failing miserably – in explaining that how ‘their over-the-top, hoarse cries about political vendetta in the National Herald case is not touching the realms of judicial sovereignty and how it is not about trying to drag judiciary into the ongoing political row’.

Well, what is wrong in Subramanian Swamy or BJP pursuing the case?

BJP and Congress are political adversaries and given the state of affairs of Indian politics of the day, anyone would grab the opportunity to score political mileage a mismanaged affair like National Herald throws.

Congress would do the same if it would come across a similar opportunity.

So, no grand opinionating, no innovative catchphrases, no sycophantic overtures can justify what the Congress is trying to do – through its leaders – through its spokespersons.

In fact, the whole spectacle has put the Congress party in bad light – lost in a space where people can easily see through such designs.

What remains clear is the fact that the Delhi High Court saw dubious designs in the whole ‘Associate Journals Limited-Young Indian-National Herald’ affair, even if on Subramanian Swamy’s plea and ordered Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders accused in the case to appear in the lower court (Patiala House Court, Delhi), rejecting their appeal.

It is clear that people are not buying the charges of political vendetta in the case and are not going to buy it even in the future – apart from political grandstanding by few political outfits. They, in fact, clearly detest such political spectacles now. People can no longer be duped in the age of information access even if it sometimes creates chaos.

That is probably the reason that some sense prevailed and we did not see all that ‘tamasha’ like marches, rallies, effigy burning and sloganeering and we did not see the ‘expected grand climax of the day with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi not applying for bail’.

And anyway, the court proceedings lasted for some 10 minutes only granting bail to everyone rejecting Subramanian Swamy’s argument (of not granting bail), fixing the next date of hearing on 20th February 2016. No questions were asked; the court imposed no conditions for bails and asked just for personal sureties and guarantees. Same is expected to follow for Sam Pitroda who could not appear in the court due to health issues.

So, it again flew in the face of the party. Congress clearly miscalculated and overreacted here.

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

GANGA GRAFFITI: GHATS IN GOD’S OWN CITY (V)

IN GOD’S OWN CITY (XIII)

Ganga Graffiti 10

Ganga Graffiti 11

GANGA GRAFFITI
GHATS IN GOD’S OWN CITY

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

WOULD ARUN JAITLEY STEP DOWN?

The verbal war intensified today – as expected – throwing up catchphrases like ‘master of half-truth and beautiful lies’ and ‘diversionary tactics’ – and as expected – it is expected to run a hot spell for some more days.

But here is a wild thought – wild because this ‘normal reaction’ has become so rare in Indian politics – that now no one talks about it – in fact, the party that entered the political scene with a ‘promised intent’ to change all such practices fights till the very last to protect its offices – with an attitude ‘we are write, we will prevail, come what may’ – certainly an ominous proposition for democratic values.

Anyway, like happens – as the universal norms of the politics of probity demand – can Arun Jaitley resign till he clears all doubts/allegations requesting a probe into all allegations that have been levelled against him in the DDCA scam?

Agreed that such charges/allegations have been around there for quite some time now, so why the demand now?

Because their verbal display has never been so intense!

We need to accept that AAP has successfully shifted if not totally diverted/deflected the glare of CBI raid against Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary to the intense debates on ‘Arun Jaitley and the DDCA scam’.

And there are controversial elements – SFIO report, DDCA report and Delhi High Court report – with highly scathing comments – and even if Arun Jaitley is not named there, the politics of probity demands that he step down in the name of ‘collective responsibility’ and help actively in tightening the noose around real culprits.

But then, thinking about the ‘politics of probity’ in these days of muddied waters is again a wild thought! Isn’t it?

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

AAP: THE PARTY OF SELF-GOALS

Ironic but it is true – as clearly written as the fact that the Aam Aadmi Party government is all ‘clear’ to remain in office in Delhi till February 2020.

Though its implications are as vague as the availability of political alternatives during any political election event in India!

After 10 months in the political office, it is now well established that AAP is a ‘hit and run’ or ‘shoot and scoot’ party with only ‘misses’ to its credit – a confirmation to something that was so far considered experimental inexperience or acceptable lapse of an honest intent.

That is gone now. The AAP government in Delhi in its second tenure has overrode and overwritten any and every positive in this regard.

We all now know, and know for good, that the party has always used this ‘hit and run’ as its strategy to score self-goals, to score political mileage, without considering values of political probity (and propriety) and without thinking about what will happen to the ‘cause of the politics of change’ – because they have failed miserably in proving their ‘grand allegations and charges on others’ so far – compounded with their rapid decline on ‘universal parameters of the politics of ethics’.

They will be hoping to hit the bull’s-eye and open their account, at least now, with verbal volleys and press conferences (with borrowed documents) in their trade-mark (and jaded) ways to level allegations of corruption against Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister. The matter pertains to ‘massive’ corruption allegations in DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association). Arun Jatley was DDCA president from 1999 to 2013 and AAP, Congress, Kirti Azad, former cricketer and BJP MP, Bishen Singh Bedi, former cricketer and many others have alleged that ‘DDCA had become a ‘den of corruption’ while Jaitley was the topmost functionary of the body’.

Well, the truth, if at all has to come out, will come with time and for now, it is indeed a grey area with loads of questions (and qualified suspicion) on AAP’s intentions that it is trying to defend Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary and is thus trying to deflect the course of intense debate around the issue. And to complicate the matter further, AAP doesn’t seem to have done its groundwork. Instead, it has taken help of documents on the DDCA scam that are already in the public domain while its response on allegations on Kejriwal’s PS has been nothing but a bunch of blatant ‘we are right, come what may’ statements.

Especially in the context of AAP’s long history of ‘hit and run’ allegations!

Like they always do with media outfits – their AAP bias and support for Narendra Modi. Based on its convenience and coverage on it, AAP has time and again alleged media outlets of targeting AAP by taking money from other political outfits – only to do blatant U-turns later.

The farmer suicide episode during AAP’s ‘Jantar Mantar’ rally is again a slap in the face of the party. AAP blamed the Delhi Police for ‘not acting in time to prevent suicide of the farmer, Gajendra Singh, but later on Arvind Kejriwal apologised for continuing with his speech even after Gajendra Singh had died.

Then there are ‘AAP allegations on Robert Vadra, Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra’s irrigation scam, his allegations against corporate houses and corporate scams, his allegations on Narendra Modi’s government in Gujarat and so on.

And mind you (anyway, most already know) that the party has earned a ‘logical notoriety’ of oversimplifying matters for political mileage, levelling allegations while on the go, never bothering to go deeper to dig facts and never bothering to go in the courts to get them proved.

But what once happened to be a strategic asset for the party with goals to achieve – to speak ferociously and consistently while pushing forward allegations of corruption in a matter – now looks like the party is ‘sounding phoney and is shouting over the top’ – and is trying to score political goals in every possible political development – with empty rhetoric, forgotten promises, forgotten values, unilateralism, authoritarianism and routine political sham – a rapid decline.

And it all has reduced the most promising political entrant in India’s recent political history into a party that is self-obsessed and is not realizing that such spectacles by it are now seen as scoring self-goals only.

Self-goals that are ultimately going to be its nemesis!

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

GOLDEN GATE BLOWN OFF AGAIN!

Obviously it is not about the strait but the bridge that covers it – and obviously it is again going to be on the ‘celluloid screen’.

I may be wrong here in judging the prop in the scene but I would like to think I am right – that another movie scene has written the iconic ‘Golden Gate Bridge’ off – blowing it again – in fact annihilating it.

And it happens time and again – be it an apocalyptic script or a theme or a simple larger than life thrilling adventure.

The thought came to my mind while watching trailer of ‘X Men: Apocalypse‘.

I think it was the Golden Gate Bridge that was shown to go down in the trailer and here we need to keep this in mind that in another ‘X Men’ film, i.e., ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, we had seen some similar treatment with the bridge, though, with a moderate spectacle.

I have seen it so many times – and so have others – the 1937 bridge coming down with a big, thunderous blast, huge clouds of dust and smoke and lots of chutzpah in movies with apocalyptic times or movies that show the Golden Gate Bridge facing critical destruction of climactic scenes as it was in Godzilla.

And after this trailer, continuing this random thought, I think I will write a larger piece on the subject (:)) with some proper research. 🙂

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

THE MOST USED/ABUSED ‘TAGS’ FOR CBI

CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation is India’s ‘premier’ investigation agency – as is said/as it says – when we see it in the context of the reputation enjoyed by police and other crime investigation agencies. It is certainly better than them. In fact, all complicated case, which get hyped up or due public attention, are transferred to CBI sooner or later.

While writing this, the agency is handling over 10000 cases with many spread in many states and many cases have accused in thousands while the overall sanctioned strength of CBI is just around 4500.

But as CBI come under the jurisdiction of the ruling party, it has always been in use for its misuse or its use to settle political scores. Here are some of the most common tags used for the agency but the list is not the exhaustive one and suggestions are welcome.

‘Misuse of CBI!’ / ‘CBI misuse!’

‘CBI the caged parrot!’

‘CBI a political tool!’

‘CBI raids!’ / ‘CBI files case!’ / ‘Overworked CBI!’

‘CBI under political pressure!’

‘CBI under political pressure!’

‘Political misuse of CBI!’

‘Nation has lost faith in CBI’.

‘CBI misuse by Congress government!’

‘CBI misuse by BJP government!’

‘Congress Bureau of Investigation!’

‘BJP Bureau of Investigation!’

‘CBI Autonomy!’

‘CBI works independently!’

‘CBI is an independent investigation agency.!’

‘Liberate CBI from political interference!’

‘CBI integrity!’

‘CBI’s political masters!’

‘CBI serves political interests!’

‘The government’s puppet!’

‘The caged parrot sings.!’

‘The caged parrot gets wings.!’

‘Would the caged parrot get wings to fly?!’

‘CBI a caged parrot with many masters!’

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

AAP: THE RAPID DECLINE

It has become quite an expected spectacle – recurring regularly – and every next time, it sounds more phoney than its previous role-play – entire gamut of AAP leaders (Aam Aadmi Party) coming in a huddle whenever there is any political or (administrative development) that goes against them or whenever anyone from AAP, including Arvind Kejriwal, is targeted – and launching a coordinated verbal tirade in full force against whosoever they feel is coming in their way.

In their way – now that may be interpreted in varied ways – and in the prevailing political circumstances – everyone, irrespective of the side of the controversy he or she is – feels that he or she is entitled to have his or her own way – and that the way he or she reacts is right and politically correct.

But what is interesting and (morally demotivating) in the case of AAP is that it is a party that had claimed skies on corruption while canvassing for votes but has done everything that is a sheer antithesis to that and that will ultimately prove its nemesis.

AAP must not forget that its rapid, miraculous political rise may well see a rapid decline if it keeps on betraying the stakeholders who voted for it – the common men.

And the party faces this clear and present danger – now in most clear and unequivocal terms.

AAP has presented before its voters a face that is largely elitist – making mockery of the values that it claimed enshrined its organizational constitution and even the name (Aam Aadmi Party – the party of the common men).

And the people Arvind Kejriwal and his party have defended vehemently, including his tainted former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, have proved him wrong, time and again.

The party that had begged for another chance in Delhi and the party that had begged another chance in the name of the ‘common man’, has openly (and shamelessly) embraced a VIP culture that includes many hostile, ‘un-common-manesque’ incidents including the recent move of hiking MLA salary by 400% and the now ‘famous flip-flop on the Jan Lokpal Bill’.

When Delhi’s voters had given AAP another chance after its act of betrayal in February 2014 when Arvind Kejriwal had deserted Delhi to milk his prime-ministerial ambitions in Varanasi, what was on their mind was a regime and its governance based on concerns for ordinary folks in the street – and not what were the routine political promises.

In a sense, the unique strength that AAP had was its ‘inexperience’ in the political office and in the ‘political culture’.

But after AAP was given another chance by the electorate in Delhi in February 2015, we came to know the AAP members were inexperienced not in just ‘political culture and political office’, but they also lacked the conviction to ‘engage in constructive politics’.

And their ‘unwillingness’ to engage in ‘constructive politics and meaningful governance’ to gain the experience that will be ‘morally, socially and politically correct’ is proving a nightmare now.

Since their second inauguration in the national capital, AAP has been in news for wrong reasons mostly. The party has preferred to engage in confrontational politics with the Union Government, and buoyed by the experience of playing the ‘victim card’ in the assembly polls, it has decided to present itself as ‘facing brunt of its political opponents’ and as the sole champion of the ’cause of the common man’ in Indian politics.

But the party has consistently failed to go beyond mere rhetoric and words. The party, so far, has shown a shameless penchant in ‘not transforming’ its words (promises) into action. And as the time is passing, people are seeing through this charade.

After all, if they can show door to BJP in just nine months (through the Union Government rule in Delhi by its representative, the Lieutenant-Governor), why can’t they do the same with AAP? Yes, it is true that AAP is safely home, in Delhi assembly, for five years, but that cannot prevent people from making opinion against it.

The sad thing is, the party is not realizing it – and is thus increasingly getting irrelevant to the ’cause of the politics of change’ India desperately needs.

Instead, they are busy in playing dirty politics – using abusive words like ‘coward and psychopath for the elected prime minister of India’ – and making such a language synonymous with their political culture – using abusive and confrontational language in their day to day politics. With all merits, we can safely say that AAP spokespersons sound most sceptical and senseless in any ongoing political debate these days – ever since the party got another chance in Delhi.

And at times, when they are caught red handed and on the other side of the law, like it happened in Jitender Tomar case or in today’s case of raid against the Principal Secretary of Arvind Kerjriwal, their ‘we are right, come what may’ attitude deteriorates into a panic response that doesn’t consider anything and just spews and spews verbal volleys of distracted and misplaced opinions (or rants to be precise).

By their acts so far, they are proving the Delhi electorate wrong.

Well, this is certainly not political anarchy, the way political anarchy is known as!

AK-Twitter-Dec152015

Featured Image Courtesy: Arvind Kejriwal’s Twitter page

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