Saturday, 27 May 2017

Sabzar Bhat, Burhan Wani's successor terrorist killed

photo credit: News18

In yet another act of extreme valour and dedication and determination to keep Indian territories secure and its citizens safe, the great Indian army have sent as many as three terrorists to sleep in Jammu & Kashmir today. This great news has come a few hours ago and we must admit that this day is marked with great success as our brave jawans have managed to kill one of the key aids of another killed terrorist - Sabzar Bhat, the right hand of gunned down Burhan Wani, yes, the son of a poor school headmaster. 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

High Voltage Drama after IT Raids on Lalu & Family




The way events have unfolded in the recent hours is splendid! We have seen raids on top politicians who are well-known for being skin-deep in corruption and one among the two is very popular in the world for having a long-term romantic relationship with fodders. How did Lalu manage to stay out of bars for these many years of his political career is the biggest existential question that we need to ask to ourselves as well as all the political parties. And today we have such a situation in Bihar that his sons are in the cabinet of Mr Nitish Kumar, the sushashan babu… isn’t it amazing? My Bihari friends?

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Refflesia: Fairy Tale Comes to India!

Rafflesia the banished princess by Gautam Choudhury


Rafflesia the Banished Princess is a newly launched book and is authored by Gautam Choudhury, a business analyst by profession. The early impressions that this book is generating promise to deliver the readers a read which is filled with excitement, enthusiasm and a new narrative in India fiction. The book is a fairy tale with Indian background and twists and turns of love story.

Monsoon Minds: Short Stories and Indian Fiction

Monsoon Minds by Ravi Nambiar


The trend of short story writing could not get a bloom in India because it does not pay off well in the terms of sales and popularity. You can't imagine Chetan Bhagat or Ravinder Singh writing short stories and shooting to the fame club! However, there are the authors, the Indian authors, who write short stories in spite of every odds against them.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

An Hour in the Life of Stone Pelters in Kashmir

Stone Pelter one: (Watching the jawan crossing nearby) Let’s abuse him, he will not say a word; his mouth has been sealed by the liberals of the nation who protect us. These liberals you know, they are our messiah! They will never let any bitter sun even touch our bodies, even from behind the clouds. They are liberals; they are the Indians who love Pakistan more than India, most of the times. Liberals live in Delhi, I have been told by the person who pays me for my part-time stone pelting job.  

Monday, 20 March 2017

Yogi Adityanath: Elevation as CM of UP | The Right Plan?


Even before Yogi Adityanath took the oath as the CM of Uttar Pradesh, the garbage in Indian media began to show its poisonous colours. Bhagwa clad sanyasi who has long ago taken a different course from his family and personal life was the centre of criticism which is based on his past speeches and public opinions. Which, one might argue, is justified as the democracy of India gives us the right to ask questions, criticise or have different opinions on any subject or person or organisation, including the Indian State. Nevertheless, some extreme hyperactive elements in Indian media went ten steps ahead and declared a virtual state of communal riots in UP! If we believe the hypo-hypotheses of people like Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghosh, entrepreneurs, drivers, sabji walas, business persons, women, Muslims, Christians and to say, everyone except the Hindus in UP was hiding in their rooms! Is it not simply too much to imagine? Are not these media persons (actually the agenda-drivers or God only knows whom) creating a state of panic among the people of the largest state of India? 

Monday, 27 February 2017

RIGHT TO ASK QUESTION






In school, every good teacher promotes a student to ask question. Asking a question is a good practice. But can we follow this practice in INDIAN democracy?

Unlike many other nations that gained independence from colonial rule but descended into dictatorships and military rule, India has remained a democracy, despite its size and diversity. The credit goes to diversity and institutional structures of India.


One of the institutional structures is Election Commission. Election commission has done a tremendous job to empower citizen of India and promote them to take part in festival of democracy by exercising their right to vote. The power of RIGHT TO VOTE has strengthened the Indian democracy. The ideas of constitution & democracy which we inherited from our forefathers have survived and prosper in the form of right to vote.

The process of election which we inherited, with time has seen lots of changes & challenges.  Challenges like involvement of vast unaccounted money, influencing the election process for special interests by sponsoring high-spending misleading campaigns are a threat to democracy. Democracy is a process where voices of a common are herd. But few people having lots of money & ability to fund the political campaign and mislead the crowd, are threats to democracy. There is a need for electoral reform.

Recently Indian government announced the electoral reform
1)      Receive donations more than 2,000 in check or in digital transaction
2)      Political parties file Income tax return with in time frame
3)      Claimed to follow the advice of election commission in proposing a cap of 2,000 on the amount of cash donation that a particular political party can receive from one person in a year.
4)      Scheme of electoral bonds

Criticism of electoral reform
These reforms have some criticism like receiving of donations in check/digital transaction or filing of income tax in prescribed time is not much different from what existing laws says. Before these reforms, political parties used to receive money in check/digital transaction but in fewer ratios as compare to cash. As there is no cap in receiving the amount of money by check or digital transaction, or political parties can receive donations only in check or digital transaction, so I think there was no need to make a new law which is equivalent to rewrite of previous law.

Delay of single day in Filing income tax return by individual or corporate sector result in the penalty, but the new financial bill section 13 A clause (d) of income tax act 1961 does not have a provision for penalty for late submission of income tax return by political parties.  No political parties will get penalised for non-compliance. Tax exemption may or may not drive political parties to file income tax return with in time limit.

The existing limit of anonymous cash donation (20,000) as per section 23 A of REPRESENTATION OF PUBLIC ACT (RPA) has been untouched. And a new clause has been added, that limit the anonymous cash donation from one source to 2,000 in one year. There is no maximum limit to amount of anonymous cash donation received by a political party. The proposal by election commission of receiving 20 crore or 20% of overall donations from anonymous source is not accepted by the government.

The attempt of bringing transparency in the account books of political parties has failed as the most political funds will remain in the bags (political funds are large amount, that can’t be stored in pockets, to keep this heavy amount political leaders need bags!) of political leaders and small amount will go in the coffers of political parties which will be used for expenses which cannot remain invisible.

Now the question raises that huge amount of money paid to political parties is voluntary contribution or donation. This is very difficult to digest that some business men have voluntary contributed crores of rupees to any political parties, as the businesses are done on the principle of making profits. So, are these donations an investment for a return? Or are these anonymous funds are black money generated by political leaders?  This new proposed law for accepting anonymous 2,000 will only ensure more account book entries and tiring work load to cross check there account books.
The secrecy of electoral bonds will not help income tax or election commission. They will not be able to know about donors or beneficiaries, but the donor will enjoy 100% tax benefit by purchase of election bonds.

So, this is not the end of road for election reforms, this is only an initiation for a series of reforms.


RIGHT TO ASK QUESTION
So, this is not the end of road for election reforms, this is only an initiation for a series of reforms. Now we can propose a new law in which the resident citizen of India can directly ask questions from its government in parliament or in assembly (like in Panchayati raj system). In parliament we have QUESTION HOUR, where MPs ask question from ministers similarly we can have CITIZEN’s HOUR where resident citizen of India can directly ask questions from minsters, MP and oppositions which constantly disrupt the house. These questions will be recorded like other proceedings of house.
This will promote transparency; pressurize the MPs to let the house function smoothly, accountability of MPs & ministers will rise, and the tax payer will be able to know about the application of his tax. A tax payer has a right to know, what happens to his tax or why allotted budget was not expenditure for the purpose which it was allotted. 

An ordinary voter has a complaint that after elections ends, the new government forget their citizens. Now after this law, these ordinary voters can directly ask questions from their government in every session of house.

We have RTI, which work for transparency in the system and provide valid information about government and its work, but the rise in pending cases of RTI in information commission and delay in transfer of information has not served its purposes.

Now the biggest problem with this provision is how to choose few question from 120 crore of populations of India.

Eligibility: to ask question in parliament or assembly
i)        Should be a resident citizen of India
ii)       Should have voted in previous 5 year elections(including parliamentary, assembly, panchayat or municipality elections) and exemption to first time voters
iii)     Should have filed previous year income tax return (exemption to students and homemakers/housewives). Tax payer has a right to ask what happens to his tax money.

First the individual have to fulfill these eligibility criteria, and a lottery system can be used to choose few questions from crores of questions. And there should be strictly no repetition of question or individuals i.e. if an individual has asked question then that individual will not be able to ask question again in that financial year term of that government and once a question asked the same question cannot be repeated by other individual of same nature.

This RIGHT TO ASK QUESTION can provide a mechanism to ensure that citizens’ voices counterbalance a legislature unresponsive to peoples’ interests. The time has come to recommit ourselves to a deeper and more participatory democracy; a democracy with greater alignment between public policy and people’s interests.



Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choices are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore is education- Franklin d, Roosevelt


The wise man does not give the right answers, he poses the right questions- Claude Levi-Strauss