LIFE IMPRISONMENT SHOULD BE ‘LIFE IN JAIL TILL DEATH’

Every case coming for hearing is important in the apex court of the land in its own sense but some cases become landmark because they set a precedent that affects many lives, that touches a broad spectrum of mindsets and that brings fundamental changes.

The Supreme Court of India had such an important case listed today for hearing.

It was to decide about ‘duration of life sentence’.

Presently, in India, life sentence means life in jail till death. The Supreme Court upheld this in a judgment in November 2012. The apex court said, “It appears to us there is a misconception that a prisoner serving a life sentence has an indefeasible right to be released on completion of either fourteen years or twenty years imprisonment. The prisoner has no such right.”

And it should be the outcome, in every such case, irrespective of the petitions filed. A life sentence should mean ‘life in jail till one is alive’. That is the principle of justice.

That is ‘rightful justice’ served. ‘Awarding death sentence’ is certainly debatable and many countries have abolished capital punishment from their legal system.

And certainly, a life imprisonment with ‘life till death’ in jail a tougher punishment. Taking a life can only be compensated by making someone feel some of the pain of the victims of the ghastly crime.

Though, the Supreme Court has already upheld its decision and has expressed so in cases earlier, it was an important day because an observation/an order on the similar lines would be re-assertion of the just stand taken earlier.

There was no update today on the matter. Let’s see what happens when it comes for hearing next.

©/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/

SECTION 66A IS LEGALLY DRACONIAN NOW

Section 66A is draconian and is not needed, the Supreme Court of India says.

And therefore, the logics like ‘Section 66A is draconian but needed’ have been put to an effective rest…..until the policymakers come with yet another on the similar lines.

After all, policymaking is their prerogative and they follow it religiously.

And like with this provision that came when the Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000 was amended in December 2008, the next law will take another fight then.

Because it is basically about playing around with words. The word formation of the scrapped down Section 66A says this.

“Any person who sends by any means of a computer resource any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”

Mind the terms ‘grossly offensive’, ‘menacing character’, ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’. These four elements from the ‘defining character of 66A’ are menacing enough to unwind any rational thinking.

How to define what is grossly offensive and who should define it?

Okay, if the consensus is reached that ‘something posted’ is grossly offensive then how to scale the ‘level of offensiveness’ and how even courts can deliberate objectively on something so subjective?

There are laws on treason and public harmony to take care of something that intends to do so. Similar is the case for defamation and slander. Section 66A is not needed for all that.

So what else is of ‘menacing character’ false in the same shadow of ambiguity as the ‘perilous sanctity of something grossly offensive according to Section 66A’.

Add to it – ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’ were ‘menacing’ enough elements mentioned capping the anomalies of 66A taking it to the extreme levels of ridiculousness.

How can we define if some expression is causing ‘annoyance’ or ‘inconvenience’ beyond personal perceptions to work as objectively as the ‘upkeep’ of legal sanctity requires?

Also, how can we equip our legal jurisprudence to ‘define, scale and level’ – ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’ – in countless expressions that flood the social media sites and other internet platforms – expressions that are about personal airs than being the acts of ‘treason, public unrest, defamation or slander. Like said above, if so, all such expressions can, absolutely logically, be tried in every Indian court with backing of well-laid laws.

It is well established (and self-evident time and again) that our policymakers feel equipped enough when they make such laws but certainly (and rightly), our best legal minds don’t correlate with what their legislative counterparts think on the ‘legal relevance of human intellect’ in such matters.

And they expressed it again today, loud and clear – telling them Section 66A is legally draconian now – terming it unconstitutional and striking it down.

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

IPL VERDICT: SEVEN QUESTIONS SUPREME COURT’S VERDICT IS BASED ON

The seven questions the Supreme Court deliberated on to lay down the roadmap to the further course of action to clean BCCI, to cleanse Indian Cricket to take the IPL Spot Fixing probe to its final conclusion are:

1. If BCCI comes under judicial review?

The apex court says yes. The Verdict reads – BCCI may not be State under Article 12 of the Constitution but is certainly amenable to writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

2. If Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra were team officials and if they were involved in betting?

The court says yes to both.

3. If Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra were team officials and if they were found guilty, what would be the future course of action?

The verdict copy reads – The misconduct against these two individuals is actionable as per the relevant rules to which we have referred in detail. Not only that, we have held that action under the rules can also be taken against the franchisees concerned. We have noticed that that the quantum of sanction/punishment can vary depending upon the gravity of the misconduct of the persons committing the same.

4. If N Srinivasan was involved in covering-up the IPL Spot Fixing episode?

The court says no – but not without making scathing remarks on Srinivasan’s overall conduct, putting him in the dock. The verdict says the allegation wasn’t proved but it doesn’t mean the allegation was baseless. The court does accepts the ‘element of suspicion’ on the part of Srinivasan’s conduct in the spot-fixing cover-up affair.

5. If the BCCI amendment of its Regulation 6.4.2 allowing its administrators to have commercial interests in IPL, Champions League and Twenty-20 was legally unethical and unacceptable?

The court says yes, it was ‘legally bad’ – The Amendment to Rule 6.2.4 permitting Administrators of BCCI to acquire or hold commercial interests in BCCI like IPL, champions league and T-20 held to be bad.

The court struck down the amendment saying Srinivasan’s simultaneous roles as the BCCI chief and IPL team owner were a clear-cut case of ‘conflict of interest’ and the conduct was not acceptable and Srinivasan needed to choose between BCCI and IPL.

6. If Sundar Raman, the IPL Chief Operating Officer (COO) was guilty?

The Supreme Court has ordered further probe on Sundar Raman’s role in the IPL Spot Fixing scandal, placing him firmly under scanner.

The verdict elaborates: Mr. Sundar Raman was, and continues to be the Chief Operating Officer of IPL. He has held and continues to hold a very important position in the entire system. On his own showing he was dealing with practically all aspects of organization of the game, including facilitating whenever necessary the appearance and participation of celebrities and organizing tickets, accreditation cards and such other matters. He was, therefore, the spirit behind the entire exercise and cannot be said to be unconcerned with what goes on in the course of the tournament especially if it has the potential of bringing disrepute to the game/BCCI.

We are, therefore, not inclined to let the allegations made against Mr. Sundar Raman go un-probed, even if it means a further investigation by the investigating team provided to the probe committee or by any other means. Truth about the allegations made against Mr. Sundar Raman, must be brought to light, for it is only then that all suspicions about the fraudulent activities and practices floating in the media against the BCCI and its administrators in several proceedings before different courts can be given a quietus.

7. What should be the future course of action – on cleaning BCCI and cleansing Cricket run by it and taking the IPL Spot Fixing probe to its finality?

Giving directions on N Srinivasan, Sundar Raman, Raj Kundra, Gurunath Meiyappan, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, BCCI and IPL Spot Fixing episode – the court formed a three member committed to be headed by R. M. Lodha, former Chief Justice – to probe the matter further and to come with guidelines on revamping BCCI – with a deadline of six months. Ashok Bhan and R. V. Raveendran, former Supreme Court judges are other members of the committee.

IPL Fixing

IPL VERDICT: SEVEN QUESTIONS SUPREME COURT’S VERDICT IS BASED ON

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

THE QUESTIONS AFTER SUPREME COURT’S ORDER ON RANJIT SINHA REMOVING HIM FROM 2G PROBE

THE QUESTIONS

1. It is unprecedented. It is the first time that the Supreme Court has intervened to the extent in removing the director of a central investigating agency from a probe that is working on. Can we term it judicial activism or the Supreme Court was forced to do after the apex court’s patience was tested enough by the CBI director?

2. But, shouldn’t have this decision come much before given the fact that it has come almost three months after the visitor diary of CBI chief’s residence containing details of visits of people facing probe in 2G and coal-blocks allocation cases was put in public domain and the Supreme Court attention was drawn to it?

3. Shouldn’t have the CBI chief recused himself from the 2G probe when the allegations surfaced in the first place? Should he step down now?

4. Isn’t it too late given the fact that Ranjit Sinha is finishing his term as the CBI director on December 2, just after 12 days from now, and removing him from the 2G probe cannot alter the functional grounds of the investigation process now?

5. Should the government wait and let Ranjit Sinha finish his term or it should act after the Supreme Court’s order on Ranjit Sinha on moral grounds?

6. If the decision doesn’t hold for the technical elements of the investigation now given his term is ending, what is the symbolic message that it conveys?

7. ‘CBI is a caged parrot and set it free’ – Ranjit Sinha had famously demanded once. It opened a Pandora’s box of debates given the fact that CBI thoroughly enjoyed the reputation of being a central investigating agency controlled and manipulated by the parties in power. Will the Supreme Court’s decision to remove him from the 2G probe prove an effective reminder in that direction?

8. When Ranjit Sinha had demanded so, it sounded hollow as coming from a person who had faced allegations of being biased and favouring politicians and whose appointment had a streak of controversy behind it. Hasn’t the Supreme Court decision today proved the controversy justified?

9. Supreme Court went as far as in setting the seriousness of its observations while removing Ranjit Sinha by saying that it was not passing a detailed order as it would hurt CBI’s reputation. What does it tell to the government given the fact that Ranjit Sinha is finishing his term and a new CBI director is to be appointed?

10. Don’t we need to relook at the debate on CBI’s autonomy in the context of the Supreme Court decision today?

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

BLACK MONEY: SC TAKES AWAY SHEEN FROM NARENDRA MODI & BJP GOVT

It was a big day politically for BJP with the party declaring its chief minister for Maharashtra but its prospect was marred by two hostile developments, the developments that BJP cannot take on head-on to defend itself or to attack to deflect the barrage of questions being shot on it.

Because, the developments owe their genesis to an agency criticising or attacking which will only harm the party.

Judicial activism has been a sore point for Indian politics and the politicians running the show but has come as the saving grace, the desperate ray of hope for millions of Indians cursed to be crushed under political apathy and corruption.

It is not that the judiciary is corrupt. It is. It is, in fact, highly corrupt at lower levels but when the judicial activism gets its flow from the apex judicial body, the Supreme Court of India, it sends a stern message to the erratic institutions and individuals, including the lower levels of judiciary. And this message is repeated every time, whenever the Supreme Court wields the Constitutional hammer to rein in the erring parties.

So, when the Supreme Court came down heavily, twice, on the Indian government today, criticising it for ‘repeated’ excuses on forming government in Delhi or conducting fresh elections and rapping it for ‘selective’ disclosure of the names of the black money account holders, the warning, the message was repeated again, but, with a severe symbolic blow to BJP this time.

And it was not about the issue of government formation in Delhi. It was, as expected, about the black money issue.

So, even if the Supreme Court’s direct question on ‘how BJP would form the government’ was embarrassing enough as BJP cannot form the government in Delhi with ethical and transparent means, it was humiliating and shocking when the apex court directed the BJP-led Union Government to submit the list of all overseas account holders by tomorrow, an issue on which the government had taken a U-turn on ‘complete disclosure’, going as far as to appeal to the Supreme Court to review its 2011 order that ‘had sought complete disclosure’ of information.

Now, BJP could have championed the cause, as it had been making promises and war-cry about it since the matter started getting wider attention with the PIL in Supreme Court in 2009. It was one of the major poll planks of BJP and Narendra Modi spoke at length about it.

But, they could not champion it, even if they had the intent. They failed in recognizing the pulse and packaging the communication.

Sooner or later, they had to reveal all the names because it was a Supreme Court monitored probe. But the way they made statements with selective disclosures of three names only and talked of revealing more names in stages and phases with no definite timeline made for negative headlines and indicated of political motives to score political mileage. The Supreme Court Bench would have all these aspects under consideration while dealing the blow to the ruling party today.

So, the championing edge that BJP carved and used in the days before May 26, 2014, the day Narendra Modi’s government was inaugurated, was lost today.

What BJP should have done had to be put into motion by the Supreme Court and the NDA government led by BJP acted in the way similar to that of practiced by Manmohan Singh led UPA government.

BJP messed with the wrong pole here, a pole that has remained the very few avenues left where the common Indian can pin his hopes hoping for getting the truth out of web of political U-turns.

BJP, its leaders, and its rank and file – they simply lost the Black Money advantage today.

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

377 CRIMINALISED AGAIN: STRANGELY, THE GAY-SEX IS ANTI-SOCIAL AGAIN, AFTER 4 YEARS!

Straight, twisted, simple, complex, thinking, senseless, reverent, ignorant, mindful, thankless – whatever one is – one cannot be denied the right to live his the way he/she wants if it is not affecting the other lives.

It is basically about his/her human rights, universally defined by the United Nations as: Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

..equally entitled without discrimination..these rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible..RIGHT TO EQUALITY..some estimates say there are 100 million of them in India..excluded..made outcasts again..when they are just like you and me..yes, with a different view of life..that is their individual choice that doesn’t interfere in other lives..and their right to live the life the way feel has to be respected..

It was a strange decision by the Supreme Court of India yesterday to wash its hands off on approving a norm that a High Court had paved the way for in 2009 to become social norm. The Delhi High Court, in its landmark ruling in July 2009, had decriminalised the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that made the gay-sex a criminal act.

Though the Supreme Court didn’t make any negative comment on the LGBT community rights, it pushed the ball to be rolled by the government thus delaying the whole issue and in doing so, it has again, made 377 a tool to criminalise the gay-sex and so to victimize the LGBT community.

Like faith, relations and sexual orientations are very private aspects of an individual’s life and no one should interfere in such decisions, not even courts and governments.

It is silly to talk of norms while talking of same-sex marriages and gay-sex when we organize discourses on big-ticket terms like ‘individual freedom’, ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘right to privacy’. Why should we make war cry on NSA snooping act then?

One may be straight but one should not be straightjacketed while deciding on their identity, their freedom of expression, their freedom to lead their life their own way, their freedom to formulate their norms (that do not encroach in others’ lives), their individuality and their life just because, by virtue of one’s position in society and in the system, one has been given the power to make the norms for them.

It is true members of a society have to follow some laid down norms if the society has to move ahead progressively. But it is also equally true that norms need to change with time otherwise they start weakening the weaving of that society; they start stinking.

Can we allow punishing and killing for inter-caste, inter-religion or same-Gotra marriages? We cannot. Such practices were well-entrenched unspoken norms once. They are still norms in many mindsets. They kill in the name of honour. But, legally, we punish them. For any progressive, civilized society, such practices can never be norms.

When we give consenting adults the right to choose their life partners irrespective of what the family and the society say, why can’t we give them the most basic right to them, the right over their sense, the right over their bodies?

When the Delhi High Court had delivered the landmark judgement in 2009 after giving a negative verdict some years ago, it was on the directive of the Supreme Court to reconsider the stand taken and so everyone was sure that the top court was going to take a favourable view giving the fight a legal validity in finality.

It was due to this expectation that everyone was taken aback yesterday when the Supreme Court set aside the Delhi High Court order. Now the ball in the government’s court and at least a year’s fight is ahead.

Sharing here the article that I had written in 2009 after the Delhi High Court verdict that made the future looks so certain for such members of our society who are just like us and must be given the equal rights that we enjoy.

QUEER, LGBT, 377..FUNCTIONAL VOCAB GOT ENRICHED..
July 12, 2009

We had a Mexican batch mate in Communication course at Banaras Hindu University.
That was not so long ago.

Abraham had travelled all the way from that part of the world to India to fit it in his itinerary of career advancement. We made good batch-mates initially. There was something peculiar about him which I didn’t notice or could not take seriously at that time. He would walk with me but would abstain holding my hands and would be very cautious about it. Sometimes he would ask me about people being gay or lesbian when he would see people walking holding their hands. I did what I had to say. I would go on explaining it as part of Indian culture and emotive bond that we spontaneously inculcate in our relations and we know, for sure, for most of us, we are natural with all these gestures of body-language. I can say I had been able to convince him about it that it was not so prevalent though it was not absent from the society. I had a perception like most of us that it was something very, very restricted in occurrence, certainly not millions of cases with around 4.5 million cases of HIV/AIDS in India involving men having sex with men (MSMs) as mentioned by previous Health Minister A Ramadoss last year.

But that was not long ago.

Then I was not aware of it that it would become a sort of national debate that it has become now. It is good to see a debate growing on a sensitive issue on a wide scale and that too in a span of few years. 377 is the buzz word now. Delhi HC decision to decriminalise homosexual sex between consenting adults is certainly a landmark for an individual’s identity. True, it raises many debatable questions; we need to accept it as part of the process. Foremost factor is the value of human dignity. We, human beings, are basically emotional creatures and need some outlet to depend on and we go on to develop relations within the circle. It may be anyone; even one’s own self, whosoever clicks. Choosing someone as your intimate one is your private decision. People should be left with their lives as long as it is not interfering directly with lives of others. But there are bottlenecks and bottlenecks. The religious leaders, across the sections, have closed their ranks against it. Government which had not so differing voices before and just after the Delhi HC decision, seems divided now, and is seeking more time from the apex court, the Supreme Court. But then the government was never very clear about it with differing views of Health Ministry, Home Ministry and Law Ministry on the matter since Naz Foundation started a legal battle in 2002. And so, this divide within the ranks of the government was just a matter of time on an issue which has religious tentacles and therefore electoral prospects.

That was not a long ago.

Homosexuality has been a sensitive issue. It dates back to ancient times. It has both positive and negative connotations if we go with the scholarship available on texts of ancient India. While Manu Smriti, which laid a code of conduct for human behaviour, has implicit and negative references to it, Kamasutra is vivid about it not going into debates and implications of societal norms related to homosexuality. Many other scriptures, too, have mentions of homosexuality. What is important here, to infer from all this, that homosexuality has been an issue, though this time it has got a wide fervour and we can go on finding why this time.

But in a country where talking even about straight sex is highly suppressed, considered a taboo, talking about homosexuality was no less than a sin. Homosexuality was not at all a matter of debate. What is important here to note how it was subjugated to our phony ways in handling sensitive but unorthodox issues? True change is happening, we have started discussing about sex education and advocating for talking about sex in open; still we have varying and largely opposing counter-demands, violent retributions and retracting tactics every time we seem to have arrived at a decision to implement something unorthodox according to our societal norms; still we have not been able to make sex education a matter of national debate so as to make it universal, so as to induct it into school education. We cannot do that till we leave our escapism at bay. Let’s accept it, let’s not divert now.

When talking about subjugation of homosexuality, it is clear it had to happen but how come, in just eight years, the same has become a matter of a national debate. It is important to be probed. It is inferential and it is implicative. It can throw light on the way we think, the societal norms that tend to thrive. Also it leads us to ponder over another big issue, issue of insipid culture of debate in our country on matters that might have far reaching implications. Had it not been like this, we would have a much better society, we would have well received outcomes for well conceived plans. Amartya Sen says we Indians are basically argumentative; it is something ingrained in our nature and so in our culture. He goes at length explaining this in his book, which too, traces antiquity to modernity of culture and a debating Indian.

That was not a long ago.

Why then this insipid culture of debate? Probably, we all know the answers. We have stopped caring if we are being heard. We react, we boil internally, then we go back to do the usual things as nothing has happened. We have become more compromising as a society. Had it not been like this, we would have raging debates and not just politicking over issues like reservation for affirmative action, reservation for equal opportunities, uniform civil code, caste discriminations and internal violence, sex education, educational reforms, illegal immigrants, still higher illiteracy and poverty rate and so on, even after 60 years of independence. Every such debate has been subjected to subjugation in the name of societal norms, aping alien culture, national interest and what not. The policy ballooning has been very well carved out, it seems. We need not go into the statistical details of national and international agencies to prove it. Instead of focusing on basic issues to uplift the living standards of the last man, what we have seen largely, is foul play of words.

That was since a long ago. That was not a long ago.

It makes it a queer case the way homosexuality, the Queer phenomenon, has become a sort of national debate in just few years. But do we have ways to assess what the majority of people in the streets think about it. We do not have. At one hand the debate focuses on rights of an individual identity, on the other hand it is an ironical case study given the pace it could get. By that I don’t intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments. I am trying to be objective here from a macro-viewpoint, diverting for a while from an individual viewpoint. Ironical because why we couldn’t have this sort of debate on issues of far more inevitability to the texture of our society? Child marriage has been a curse, but its prevalence in this age compels a media house to produce a chart topping show. Have we ever had a raging national debate on the issue of child marriages? Had it been there, application of the law would not be so insipid. Similar is the case with dowry incidents and widow re-marriages.

How long will it go like this? We do not have answer.

Certainly the Delhi HC decision is a landmark for individual identity and freedom of expression. Personal vanity has to be respected at any cost. LGBT community has always been part of any society. They were sidelined. The mainstreaming movement started in other cultures had to come to India. We simply can’t ignore valid human rights given to someone in a different culture in the name of societal, religious or spiritual norms in our culture. We should wish the apex court would ratify the decision. Queer, LGBT, 377, Homosexuality should remain part of the functional vocab. We should wish the debate would continue to include the LGBT community in the mainstream to achieve the objective of a more homogeneous texture of the social sphere. We should wish it will lead to a culture of comprehensive debates on other issues.

That should not take so long. We can wish only.

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

POLITICIANS VS THE REST OF ALL: WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

The Indian Constitution, when adopted, mirrored the soul of Indian Democracy on a healthy balance of ‘a process of checks and balances’ that its different wings exercise on each-other, notably the Indian Parliament, the Judiciary and the autonomous constitutional entities like the Election Commission (EC) or the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) or the Central Information Commission (CIC).

There are many other institutions and functional establishments including the law and order apparatus but most of them either can’t keep the politicians in check or have been efficiently co-opted by the political class.

And there are really very few institutions that still matter as the forces ‘still able’ to take on the political class and have the lethal edge by their Constitutional guarantee and the positive public perception about them and so are in the hit-list of the politicians.

Here, when we talk of the institutions, we need to keep in mind that it is about the people running those institutions and how they have undermined the sanctity and authority of the institutions provided by the Constitution and so of the Constitution itself.

The situation in the country, at the moment, is more or less ‘politicians Vs the rest of all’ where on one side are the institutions controlled, manipulated and co-opted by the politicians and on the opposing side are the few institutions where not all but still many people refuse to be co-opted by the political class.

The different functional wings of the Indian Democracy have no visible lines of demarcation. On one side, there is corruption and their promoters – the corrupt politicians and the bureaucrats.

On the other side are the institutions that are seen as ‘still’ viable option to get some Constitutional remedy, to the problems that owe their genesis in the systemic failure of the System called Indian Administration.

While the all-pervasive corruption has eaten into the credibility of almost every functional wing of Indian Democracy, its scale of imminence to cause a chronic and systemic problem varies.

As the majority of the politicians of the day have become synonymous with corruption, elitism and authoritarianism, the Indian Parliament has seen the maximum credibility erosion, and by the political developments in the country, the rot, at the moment, looks irreversible.

The rot in Indian Judiciary is also deep, but the activism and alertness of higher courts and Supreme Court has become a big relief point for the people oppressed from the political tyranny and from the chronic corruption in the lower courts.

On a more positive note, Constitutional bodies like the Election Commission, the Comptroller and the Auditor General or the Central Information Commission have performed exceedingly well in an atmosphere of political gloom and sociopolitical anarchy and so are being targeted increasingly by the politicians.

If the Indian Democracy is still surviving somehow it is because of the institutions like the higher courts or the EC or the CAG or the CIC.

And politicians look all set, hands-in-glove, to challenge the good work being done by the good people in these institutions.

Subverting the Democracy by negating the important decisions taken by the Supreme Court or the Constitutional bodies has been an old practice but in recent times, it has grown on an unprecedented scale.

In the last few months, the nation has seen the ugly display of corrupt politics when the politicians across the party-lines came together to make Constitutional amendments and legal changes to nullify the Supreme Court orders on reforms in ‘Representation of the People Act’ regulating the conduct of elections, to invalidate CIC’s ruling on keeping political parties under the Right to Information Act (RTI) or the demands to scuttle the EC’s efforts to regulate the electoral ecology of the country for a free and transparent way.

And the political brazenness says it’s just the beginning.

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

*“Why India is in imminent danger of disintegration?’ is a regular column on my blogging platforms to take a periodic look (say a weekly or a fortnightly or a monthly round-up of events depending on the factors in play) on political developments that are dangerous to the democratic health of the country and contribute to the process of social disintegration of the nation..”
https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-democracy-in-india-is-in-imminent-danger-of-disintegration/