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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Friday, 28 December 2012

CONCEPT OF WELFARE STATE DURING MAURYAN EMPIRE VIS-A-VIS NEOLIBERAL ECONOMIC POLICY IN THE PRESENT DEMOCRACY!

The rule of the 'New state"-that was  Bharat- during 321 BC  was more democratic and people-oriented than the present 'Parliamentary democrarcy' in the present-day India! That 'Bharat' of Mauryan period covered far the greater part of India, right up to Kabul in the north. In today's context, our parliamentary democratic system. has deteriorated to such extend that over 80 percent of people continue to be in the grip of poverty and in dire need of proper health and education facilities! But history of the past depicts altogether different facts where people were happy although there was 'autocracy and dictatorship' at the top echelon of the governance. But at the local level, there was much 'autonomy'  in the towns and villages units where elected representatives looked after these affairs.. On the other hand, today's parliamentary democracy, existing right from panchayat to Parliament level in  India, there are least concern over peoples' welfare. In the name of the so called majority, the successive ruling dispensations in India are initiating measures, detrimental to the people of the country. Present day political classes are more interested in amassing huge wealth as well as conniving with 'nations and groups ' to further their enlightened self-interest The .Mauryan empire reminds one of the most successful 'state' on the scores of peoples' welfare.

Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru in his book-Discovery of India-,who  has deliberated in length about successful rules of the 'Mauryan empire', has said, " There could have been then, in a purely agricultural age, nothing like the control of the individual by the state which we see today. But , in spite of limitations an effort was made to control and regulate life. The state was very far from being just a police state, interested in keeping external and internal peace and collective revenue. There was a widespread and rigid bureaucracy and there were frequent references\ to espionage. Agriculture was regulated in many ways, so were rate of interest. Regulation and periodical inspections took place of food markets, manufacturers, slaughter houses, cattle raising, water rights, sports, courtesans and drinking saloons. Weight and measures were standardised. The cornering and adulteration of foodstuffs were rigorously punished. Trade was taxed, and, so also in some respects, the practice of religion. When there was a breach of  regulations or some other misdemeanour, the temple monies were confiscated. If rich people were found guilty of embezzlement or of profiting from national calamity, their property was \also confiscated..........The state give relief to widow, orphans, the sicks and the infirm.Famine relief was\ special care of the state, half the stores in all the state warehouses were always kept in reserve for time of scarcity and relief........."

The village communities  were  autonomous during Mauryan period. When we look the present-day India, apparently every things are there but of practically no use and people are suffering! Like our 'Magnacarta -like Indian Constitution' there was Chanakya's Arthashastra, which provided a variety of subjects and covered almost every aspects of the theory and practice of the government. Like our 'Indian Constitution', the Arthashastra had defined the duties of the King, of his ministers and councillors, of council meetings of departments of government, of diplomacy of war and peace. Chnakaya had stressed the enforcement of strict discipline. More over , we have the Constitution, mentioned 'all good' but it seldom comes to surface. The Constitution, laws, rules , conventions etc are manipulated and mutilated by present-day ruling and opposition classes! Interestingly, there are huge arguments against subsidies on welfare measures to poor during the current neo-liberal economic policy but during the Mauryan regime, there were wide-scale relief to widows, orphans, the sick and the infirm.

There were references that at the time of the coronation of the King, he had o take the oath of service to the people------' May I be deprived of heavens, of life and off springs if I oppress you'. 'In the happiness of his subjects, lies his happiness, in their welfare what ever pleases himself he shall consider as not good but whatever pleases his subjects, he shall consider as good..............'.And if the King misbehaved, his people have right to remove him and put another in his place. But misdeeds of present day 'democratic' rulers in India appear rule of law do not exist  in India as the entire governance machinery including executive , legislature and judiciary are suffering from policy-paralysis.

Before I end up describing 'golden period' of India during Maurayan empire, I must mention that there were many wonderful cities in that vast empire.But the capital of the Mauryan empire-Pataliputra (the present day Patna and capital of Bihar state under Indian union)  was magnificent. The city , even today, is spread out along the banks of Ganga river, where the Sone river meets in the modern Patna. Magasthens, the Greek ambassador describes Pataliputra as thus:" At the junction of the of this river (Ganga) with another is situated Palibothra, a city of eighty stadia (9.2 miles) in length and fifteen stadia (1.7 miles) in breadth. It is of shape of a parallelogram and is grided with a wooden wall., pierced with loopholes for the discharge of arrows. It has a ditch in front for defence and for receiving the sewage of the city. This ditch, which encompassed it all round, is 600 feet in breadths and thirty cubits in depth, and the wall is crowned with 557 towers and has four and sixty gates."

Significantly, all the great walls were made of wooden structures. Many houses were of wooden structures. Even today in the old Patna city areas (now called Patna Saheb), many old wooden houses are in existences. Apparently , the wooden houses were preferred at that period , as the entire Pataliputra zone even today is  considered most vulnerable to earthquake. Not only in Patna city areas, in many parts of Bihara (now Bihar), houses were structured with woods. The worse earthquake of 1934 in Bihar reminds us the facts that less houses were damaged because houses were comparatively constructed with wooden structures!

Another revealing aspects of Pataliputra was best-administered local -self government. In the capital of Maurayan empire, Pataliputra had a 'municipality', elected by the people unlike the present -day Patna Municipal Corporation, messing up the present-day capital of Bihar-Patna!. The Maurayan empire  Capital Pataliputra has a 'Municipality'. It had thirty members, divided up into six committees of five members each, dealing with industries and handicrafts, death and births, manufacturers, arrangements for travellers and pilgrims etc.. The entire municipal council looked after finance, sanitation, water supply, public buildings and gardens. Today's Patna Muncipal Corporation has rather worsened the situation in the vast growing up city!

I feel that there were only good during  Maurayan empire and bad after bad have emerged in our present set-up of democracy. Have the systems failed or political leadership failed?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

PRACTICE OF POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM AMONG POLITICAL CLASS IN INDIA In IMPOSING NEOLIBERAL POLICIES!

Perhaps, it is not the policy paralysis in India but policy adventurism among Indian political leadership against the public interests while striving for neoliberal economic policies in the name of economic development of the country ! Many things including foreign direct investment ( FDI)  in the multi-brand retail trade are being initiated at the highest -level of governance to liberalise our economic system  right from the time of the minority-ruled  prime minister ship of Narsimha Rao and his union finance minister  Manmohan singh (now prime minister). Country's interest is being compromised not only by the ruling United  Progressive Alliance(UPA) , led by the Congress  but also by the  NDA, led by BJP as well as regional parities like DMK of Karunanidhi , RJD of Laloo Prasad Yadav , BSP of Mayawati,Trinamul Congress of Mamata Bannerjee, BJD of  Navin Patnaik , Janata Dal (U) led by Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar and Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav All these stake-holders on the Indian political scenes are manipulating the things in the practise  of opportunism to serve their enlightened interest..

Happenings of the last six to eight months, particularly in the run of governance and parliamentary proceedings, for carrying the government business in the Parliament and  throughout the country have aggravated the situation-not only deterioration on the economic front of the country but mainly widening the gap of social and economic disparities. Political classes are making "democratisation of corruption".Corruption has become a  symptom of a widening gap between the 'powerful and powerless'.Political classes as a whole are  indulging in anarchy.Pantomime like  situation is prevailing in the country! Thus the country is sitting on subdued volcano. India has been passing through worse phase in the world.Both the houses of Parliament-Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha- have virtually turned into political theatrics, unmindful of meaningful discussions for the upliftment of poor classes in the country!

In this game of manoeuvring politics by both major political players-Congress and BJP -appear conniving each other to divert the attention of people from burning issues like corruption right from high-level to rural panchayat level in the country as well as lack of food to poverty -ridden poor, education and health measures throughout the country.The political players are playing their own games. Congress and its partners are engaged in criticising the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), which has  exposed the UPA government over wrong doings in 2-G spectrum, coal block allotment and other financial irregularities. Not only that they rushed through in managing the resolution of FDI in the both the houses of Parliament and also hinting other liberalised economic measures, detrimental to the majority of poor living in India.

Likewise, the main opposition-BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)-led Sangh  Parivar have been trying hard to hush-up corruption charges against the national president of the BJP Nitin Gadakari despite the facts that many senior BJP leaders including Ram Jethamalani, demanding the resignation of Gadkari. Sign of party with a difference-BJP- has also done the same thing in covering up Nitin Gadkari. Such harakari by the BJP and RSS have adversely affected the opposition onslaughts against corrupt practices by the Congress and other UPA ministers. In this way, it appears that BJP and the Congress appear on the same wave-length despite their tall talks in at least recent parliament session on various issues of public interest. With regards to regional outfits, which virtual keep lever of power, have also grown weak. Many of its leaders like Mayawati and Mulayam of Uttar Pradesh, Laloo Prasad Yadav of Bihar and Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu are involved in neck-deep corruption and the ruling UPA led by Congress is controlling them by whipping the 'CBI stick'. Recent drama in the Parliament over passage of FDI resolution have exposed the entire political classes in the country.

Situation in the country is  heading towards the one that existed in 1989 when the Rajiv Gandhi , who was allegedly involved in Bofor scandal and HDW submarine scam, was humbled in the Lok Sabha elections by the Jan Morcha led by Vishwanath Pratap Singh. Corruption is becoming the issue second to only price rise. Lamentably, there is no leader of V P singh stature on the Indian political scene. Singh had vision and organisational statures to unite the people of the country for a change  and biggest issue of that Lok Sabha election was corruption. Apart from vacuum in almost all political parties because of lack of strong and efficient leadership, there are general perceptions that all political leaders are corrupt.. The  recently formed Aam Aadami Party by Arwind Kejariwal, has , however, evoked mixed response and the party is attracting attention, mainly from urban middle  classes. A ray of hope has also arisen some significant performances of Jan Sambad by a group of civil society activists led by Aruna Roy and P V Rajagopal The Jan Samwad is holding fruitful discussions and peoples' participation in the proposed movement. In this endeavour , the recent Ekata Parishad-led padyatra of P V Rajagopal  on land reforms has also noticed political awareness among masses , who are fighting for "jal, jungle and zameen",Apart from that gatherings and agitations, launched by left parties and its trade union movement, farmers and agriculture organisations have also shown a significant development during the critical hour in hte country because of failure of entire system.But for all these changes in the prevailing rotten system, there is need of charismatic leadership, which the country is lacking in  today's context.

A Patna -based eminent columnist Surendra Kishore has said '  "present situation could be compared with 'art of the possible' regime of Narsimha Rao. There are several similarities between  that regime and the present one. Both are minority governments in formal sense, but both have survived on the basis of a value-neutral pursuit of power using questionable means. During Narsimha Rao's regime, one saw the blatant cash votes scam, where in members of of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), a regional party of tribal state now Jharkhand, were literally bought with money  transferred to their accounts to ensure survival of the government. Now we see other carrot-and-stick ploy being used to bring regional parties in line. On the one side, you have the bait of special packages for states in which regional parties have roots. Then there is ploy that broadly term as CBI consent, which involves beating down leadership of regional parties by periodically showing them the stick of various investigate and punitive agencies."

Prakash Karat, general secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist), who also shown concern over prevailing political scenario in the country, has told the Frontline in a recent interview  , " To cope with the present situation, the challenge is how to build an alternative politics which is not influenced by big capital and money and to build an alternative platform, which can rally all sections of the working people. As far as the left parties is concerned, we cannot rely on some of the non-congress alternative policies. The vote in the Lok Sabha, disapproving FDI in retail is an example of the opportunism of some of these parties. We do not think a third alternative is possible with such parties as there cannot be a common platform of alternative policies. The only way an alternative to the present set-up will emerge is through developing movements and struggles and building a left and democratic alliance in the process."

Now before I further discuss other aspects of the present situation, I think it better to highlight about neoliberal measures.  Prabhat Patnaik, a prominent social scientist, has said, " Neoliberal measures include, above all, an opening of the economy to free cross border movements of capital, including in particular, finance capital. In a country like that is open to such free movements of finance capital, if the state pursued measures that are disliked by finance,  then finance would pull out of the country and more else where: and since such movements can be quite large, the economy would find in itself in and an acute crisis. In a neoliberal economy,  the state is forever caught in the attempt to retain the confidence of the investors in the economy (a euphemism for keeping finance capital happy).For this it has to bow to the caprices of  globalised finance capital (with domestic big capital is closely integrated) and adopt only such measures as finances likes, that is , measures that promotes its interest. This fact itself constitutes a negation of democracy. In a democracy, the state is supposed to pursue policies that benefit the people, who are sovereign and on the basis of whose electoral verdict the government is formed. But if the government elected by the people must follow policies that are not in the interests of the people but in the interests of finance capital, then we have negation of democracy."

Corruption is bane of neoliberal economic policy. One must be watching that since the implementation of neoliberal economic policy from Narsimha Rao regime, corruption started touching a new height in India. New policy compels the dictum of globalised country to put persons on the helm of  economic affairs not traditional politicians but technocrats from the world finance, former employee of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or other international financial institutions. All of them implement the policies of neoliberal to the hilt where globalisation of economy has taken place. In the case of Narsimha Rao, he had appointed Manmohan Singh, well-known World Bank employee  as finance minister and since then such technocrats weere appointed on key position by the respective union governments. Currently Montek Singh Ahluwalia, World Bank and IMF person, has been appointed deputy chairman of the Planning Commission and his views on economy in the context of India is well known and some times his statements become matter of joke. Many other top ranking posts in the economic affairs  wing are filled up with such technocrats during Manmohan Singh regime. To substantiate the facts; one example must be cited for prevalent corruption among political classes. There becomes conflict between traditional politicians as ministers and liberalised trained officials. And for solving the situation, and to win over traditional political- ministers , a price is tagged and that price is 'corruption' in that price. One must have observed that only political rulers like ministers are involved in corrupt practices not the persons of international finance bodies, who had brought political-ministers  under the trap of corrupt practices!

With such bending of rules and laws in India, the country is slowly moving towards fascism. There was a time when Hindutva forces, used to be of adopting fascist style of functioning. Now, such fascism has developed every where in the union and state governments . University professors in West Bengal are arrested for circulating a cartoon of the chief minister Mamta Bannerjee,; a man is arrested for posing a problem to Mamta Bannerjee at a public meeting; at many places leaders of political parties tortures dalits openly; two innocent girls were arrested for making comments on the Facebook, entire city is closed down on the death of a  local politician, known for arms-twisting methods; a man who had presided over and possibly winked at a communal carnage being openly touted as the next prime ministerial candidate; a prolonged communal carnage inflicted upon a minority border state; the widespread glee surrounding the hanging of a young man who had indulged in ,no doubt ,in horrendous acts of terrorism but who  was a mere minion of little consequences. Are not these incidents are symptoms  of creeping fascism in the country? The haste in pushing up "reforms" by the Manmohan Singh government is bound to bring  further miseries for poor, particularly tribal, dalits and other weaker sections of society as the capitals will be accumulated under the hand of a few detriments to the general people of the country.

It is high time for progressive Indians to unite for a long-drawn agitation to resist the policies against the  general  masses as well as erosion in democratic values in the country!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

RAMPANT CORRUPTION IN INDIA SIGNALLING CIVIL WAR!

EVERY where there are corrupt practises in India ! Common masses are worst affected because of pervading corruption every where. Unrest, anger and frustration writ large among the masses. Evil of corruption is not only confined to political classes only it has deeply entrenched in government businesses. Situation has gone down to such extend  that entire government machinery is afflicted by this evil. Even in small matter in remote rural areas, none could carry their government business without paying  underhand payment in the entire country. Poor like adivasis, dalits, minority community etc are the worst sufferers ! They cannot taste  the   fruits of welfare measures without paying bribes to government officials. On the other hand brokers, neo-rich classes, contractors, corporates, multinational companies,   industrialists , capitalists, bureaucrats, political classes except a few are amassing huge wealth through corrupt practices. Deprived lot of margins continue to suffer!

There have been strange perceptions of corruption being floated by vested interest. Some say it is international phenomena; some say bribery is  not new things; but no body come with any concrete measures to eliminate the corruption menace. In India ,  political corruption has started deeply entrenching just after the independence of the country over 65 years earlier. And now such menace has taken bigger dimension. India has been ranked 94th out of 176 counties  of the world in Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perception Index (CPI).  The Transparency International's CPI has, in a recent report, says that India earned a very low score of 36 points on a scale from 0 (most corrupt) to 1000 least corrupt. The Transparency International India  has attributed the low scores to the recent scams and incidents of corruption in the public sector involving government officials, private officials and private companies. As per Transparency report, two-thirds of the 176 countries recorded a CPI score below 50. Denmark, Finland and Switzerland topped the index with a score of 90 followed by Sweden with a score of 88. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia were perceived as the most corrupt countries scoring, just 8 out of 100. However, India has been ranked below neighbouring Sri Lanka and China, while it feared better than Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. From this year, the CPI methodology has been updated allowing for year-over-year comparisons from 2012 on onwards. India was ranked 72 among 180 countries in 2007 and since  the country's ranking fell to 87 in 2010 and 95 in 2011. (www.kksingh1.blogspot.com  LOOT OF PUBLIC MONEY BY POLITICIANS,, MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE, JUDICIARY AND POWER BROKERS IN INDIA, written on August 10, 2012)

The  Transparency International further says that the data from 10 independent sources specialising in governance and business climate analysis including the World Bank and the World Economic Forum were used to arrive at India's CPI score.India head of the Transparency International P S Bawa  has said, " Corruption is hydra-headed monster and governments have to make efforts to tackle it from all sides. This  can only happen if all stakeholders work together."

Because of rapid erosion in the self-less dedication of leaders has led to increase in corruption in India. National interest has become no body's concern. Even during Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru's prime minister ship, a number of corruption cases had come to the surface! These corruption cases were geep scandal (1948) of Rs 36.52 crore; the Mndra scandal (1958- Rs 1.20 crore and Rs 47.73 corore); Dharma Teja loans of of Rs 22 crore. Total indexed  value in 2011 would be Rs 869.57 crore.

 During Indira Gandhi prime minister ship- there were Nagarwal scandal (1971-Rs 60 lakh ,indexed value Rs 11.10 crore; the Kuo oil scandal (1976- Rs 2.2 crore- indexed value Rs 24.80 crore); the cement scam: Donations for the Indira Pratishthan Trust collected by A R Antulay-Rs 30 crore -indexed value  Rs 208.80 crore;-thus During Indira tenure scandals indexed value would be Rs 244.70 crore.

 Rajiv Gandhi's tenure as prime minister ship witnessed the much-maligned Bofor scandal of Rs 64 crore in 1987 (Rs 313.72 crore indexed value).

The prime minister ship of Narsimhaha Rao saw many scandals:- the Lakhubhai Pathak pickles scam  (1984- $ 1,30,000 equivalent at the then conversion rate to Rs 22.75 lakh(Rs 7.79 crore); the sugar import scam-(1994-Rs 650 crore-indexed value Rs 1627.99 crore; Sukhram telecom scandal (1996-Rs 3.6 crore-indexed value Rs 12.33 crore); CR Bhansali scam (1998-Rs 1100 crore-indexed value Rs 4,381.60 crore and Fertiliser scam-(1996- Rs 133 crore-indexed value Rs294.85 crore). Index value of these scam during Rao's regime comes to Rs 4381.56 crore.

Atal Behari Vajpayee's prime minister ship also did not lag behind in corrupt practices. During his regime,the Kargil coffin scandal (1995-$ 1.87 lakh equivalent to at the then conversion rate to Rs 80.64 lakh-Rs 1.87 crore indexed value and Barak missile scandal $ 80.64 lakh equivalent at the then conversion rate to Rs 36.29 crore-indexed value Rs 66.13 crore-thus total indexed value would be nearly Rs 68 crore. Vajpayee period's scams does not include telecommunication scandals in which "fist come-first serve basis" for granting licences includes, which have been deprecated by Supreme Court as well as adoption of such system by Manmohan Singh government, which entailed loss to the exchequer to the tune of over Rs 1.85 lakh crore as audited by Comptroller and Auditor General of India..

During Manmohan Singh's prime  minister ship, corruption in government deals has touched a new height:-the Scorpene submarine deal (2006-Rs 500 crore-indexed value Rs 685.80 crore; the cash for vote scandal Rs 50 crore-indexed value Rs 59.95 crore;  2G spectrum -2010-Rs 1,76,000 crore-indexed value-Rs 1,89,200 crore and the Commonwealth Games scam -Rs 8000 crore -indexed value Rs 8,599.99 crore)-thus total indexed value during Manmohan Singh's regime comes to Rs Rs 1,98, 546 crore.

Moreover all these scams and scandals involved ministers and prime ministers as well as bureaucrats! Black money stacked in foreign banks has different story. The white paper  of government of India says that black money stacked in Switzerland stood Rs 9,295 crore during 2010. FICCI version is different and says black money figure stacked in foreign banks stodd to Rs 45 lakh crore. on the other hand the then Director of the CBI A P Singh has said that such amount stood to rs $ 500 billion. Singh has given such statement to the Supreme Court.

Apart from that over Rs 1000 lakh crore, meant for welfare measures and other development schemes are being pocketed by greedy politicians, bureaucrats, middle men, contractors, neo-rich classes every year. And the helpless poor people of the country are watching such naked dramas helplessly!

Anna Hazare hammering the issue of corruption but he has become helpless. Now on the same plank, Arwind Kejariwal has launched a new party, " AAm AAdami Dal" and entered the politics in big way. In my opinion, there are anarchy in the country on the corruption front. In the last two years, as many as 10 anti-corruption bills have been introduced in the Parliament including Lok Pal Bill, the forfeiture of benami property, foreign bribery, money laundering and whistle-blowing bills plus five more-all aimed at deterring specific acts of corruption or purporting to give corruption-free public service as a right.. Apart from that Bihar Odisha, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand have enacted laws, which could result in attachment of ill-gotten property of public servants. But nothing  tangible is appearing on the surface  to eliminate the corruption menace.

 I share the views of Arundhati Roy, who in an interview to the Outlook weekly magazine has said, " What our economists like to call a level playing field is actually a machine spinning with a centrifugal force that funnels the poor out like disposable residue and concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer hands, which is why 100 people have wealth equivalent to 25 percent of the GDP and hundreds of millions live on less than 2Rs 20 a day. It is why most of our children suffer from malnutrition, why two lakh h farmers have killed themselves and why India is home to majority of the world's poor................it is  absurd situation for a  country to be in. Unless mega corporations are reined in and limited by legislation, unless the levers of such untrammelled power (which includes the power to buy politics and policy -making, justice, elections and the news) is taken away from them, unless the cross-ownership of businesses is regulated, unless the media is freed from absolute control of big business, we are headed for a shipwreck. No amount of  noise, no amount of anti-corruption campaigns, no amount of elections can stop them. Unrest anger anf frustration that is building up in the country. Some times the noisiness of it makes it hard to see clearly. But unless we look tings in the eye-instead of heading off in strange quixotic direction------ we can look forward in the civil war, which had already begun, reaching out our doorsteps very soon."

Likewise, Prof K C Mehata, former vice-chancellor and Professor of Finance, MS University of Baroda has written in an article, recently published in The Hindu, has said, " Unless people rise in revolt this demon and punish the corrupt by refusing to vote for them, a time will come (if it has already) when we get used to the debased public life."

Thursday, 6 December 2012

ARMS AND AMMUNITION MANUFACTURING AND ACQUISITION AT THE TOP AMONG GLOBE NATIONS: US AND CHINA HEADING FOR MANUFACTURING LETHAL WEAPONS IN THE WORLD!

Perhaps, the world nations have forgotten the consequences of use of lethal weapons used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki , killing lakhs of people and destruction of the unprecedented scale. Not only that, recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East countries etc , spearheaded by imperialist America, have killed thousands of people and destroyed the economic structures of the affected countries. Moreover escalation of tensions on the borders of many countries are giving ominous signals of further loss of human beings.  Manufacturing of sophisticated weapons like Drone and targeted missiles  have become very common for world countries apart from having nuclear bombs, chemical bombs like hydrogen  etc.Will the manufacturing , acquiring  and of all exporting of destructive weapons by various nations, particularly U S , China, Russia, France and others to various developing and developed countries put the entire globe under perpetual threat of destruction throughout the world?

China's military spending has been rapidly spiralling and the growing amounts are unnerving the Beijing's  Asian neighbours and policy planners in the Pentagon.And they are wary about the China's long-term 'intention'. On the other hand, the United States of America have significantly increased the manufacturing and sales of arms in the 'world arms bazzars'. In both the cases, such heinous tendencies of these two big powers have been exposed in various newspapers, periodicals of the world including Washington Post, New York Times and various periodicals of India! (My three blogs in the last one years-Scar of Sino -Indian War!, October 22, 2012; US; World's biggest arms manufacturers and India , globe's biggest arms importers- September 08, 2012 and Fight for expanding territorial boundaries in Sea, Island and Islets in Asia- August 13, 2012, have dwelt about weapons race globally)

According to a report of the annual survey of the U S Congressional Research Survey (CRS); a policy research arm of the U S Congress; quoted by eminent columnist John Cherian in tte Frotntline; American arms manufacturers sold a staggering $ 66.3 billion worth of weaponry in 2011. Most of sold arms went into the disturbed countries in the West Asia region. The CRS survey has put the "U S far ahead of other major arms exporters such as China, Russia and France."

To assess the massive manufacturing and exporting weapons by the China is difficult because much  of  it is "the opaque and off the books", such as "the People's Liberation Army 's spending on research and space exploration", say reports of the Washington Post and New York Times. Although the United States still spends four times as much on its military. But if one looks by same account, China is on course to surpass the United States in total military spending by 2035! China's military programme spending increased as allowed by the PLA and it has embarked on a sweeping modernisation programme that in cluded new long-range cruise missiles, a new fleet of J-10 and S-11 fighter jets, an experimental stealth J-20 plane, a refurbished Soviet-era aircraft  carrier and a growing space programme, which includes China's own satellite navigation network. The PLA has also launched on a long-term campaign to improve the inter-operability of its various ground, naval and air forces-long a weak point for the Chinese military power.

Significantly, Washington has signed 77 percent of arms agreements globally last year. US weapons sales have registered phenomenal growth  in 2011 compared with $ 21.4 billion  in 2010. Russia  , has globally, imported 5.6 percent arms sales last year.. Quoting Russian President Valadimir Putin, John Cherian has said that his country's arms sales in the first half of 2012 had crossed the $ 6.5 million mark.. This is 14 percent more than the sales in the corresponding period last year.

More over, India, which was until recently imported most of the defence requirements from Russia, has interestingly turned towards the U S and Western Europe. In 2011 alone, Russia used to fulfil the defence requirements of India for  more than 50 percent India's arms imports.. Such figure was around 80 percent in the previous decades. Russia has now found new 'arms bazzar' in Latin America and also other parts of the world. Iraq has issued new orders of weapons supply and military hard wares. Russia has inked  a deal of worth $ 4.2 billion with Iraq in October 2012.. In this way Russia will be counted as second biggest arms supplier to Iraq after U S. During Saddam Hussein region, Russia was the biggest arms supplier to Iraq. Not only that Russia is also supplying arms to beleaguered Syria., Algeria and Iran. They buy significant of weapons from Russia. After the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi, the lucrative Libyan arms market is being monopolised by U S .

Meantime, China's critics, specially its neighbours, are definitely alarmed over huge expenditures of China on weapons, which, the critics, describe, China's more assertive stance over long-disputed, unhindered islands in the South China and East China Sea. Specially Japan,and Vietnam are more disturbed over such weaponry tactics of China because, they, call, unauthorised interferences of China in Japan's sea territory. Some of them also say China's growing military might shift the balance with American armed Taiwan, which Chinese leaders consider a renegade province to be reunited with the mainland! Apart from that , India also seems disturbed over growing military strength of China! The scar of 1962 war of China against India is still haunting India because the China has been persistently claiming more and more territories like Arunachal and NEFA region. Of late some visa action of China to Arunachal Pradesh, a state of Indian Republic, has also been giving agonising moments to India. Chinese map shows major parts of Himalayan areas , particularly Arunchal Pradesh of India as their territory! The Chinese buildup has caused Japan and some South-East Asian countries to seek assurance from the United States that they would not be abandoned, although Chinese diplomats, have  accused the U S of meddling in what are essentially regional disputes.

Major-General Luo of the China Military Science Society has said outsiders need not be concerned. China's military spending  only "reflects the newly booming economy". He further added that the country's "is simply playing catch-up after years of neglect."Actually, our rapid spending increase in recent years  is more like compensation for the past", Luo said and added, " second the huge increase  our budget is because China faces a lot of threats, traditional and non-traditional. We have a lot of land occupied by other countries. We are also one of the countries in the world with the most neighbours." Luo also said " while other sectors are enjoying the fruits of reforms, the armed forces should not be neglected. It is important that a person not only grow his bones, but also his muscles and the military is the muscles."

Both the China and United States are criticising each others for military build-ups. India , which is the biggest weapons importers in the world, has pacted a deal with United States worth over $ 6.9 billion for weapon supply  and more such deals are under pipelines.Beijing  has criticised a deal of  U S  with Taiwan for purchasing Patriot anti-missiles batteries for over $ 2 billion, China has signalled that such deals will escalate tension in the region. China is entangled in territorial disputes over marine boundaries with many of its neighbour. Military tension is increasing in South-East Asian countries because of  abnormal increase in the sales of weapons in  Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia. China has been wishing the reunification of Taiwan with China since 1949.

Andrew Shapiro, the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military affairs, told U S media in August  2012 that 2012 "is already a record-breaking year for foreign military sales. We have already surpassed $ 50 billion in sales in fiscal year 2012."( The fiscal year of America is from October 01 to  September 30). Such bulk of weapon shipments have gone to developing countries. Shapiro, however, said that the earnings from the sale of military hardware are estimated to be only around one-eleventh of the total American expenditure, totalling around $ 766 billion  Major buyers of American weapons are Gulf monarchies of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, .

According to a latest report of Globalisation Militarisation INdex (GMI), released by the Bonn International Centre for Conversations (BICC), Israel is the top most militarised nation. Israel is attacking blatantly hapless people of Gaza. The second place in militarisation is of Singapore, a close ally of the West. Six of the nations in the GMI list of ten top militarised nations are Syria, (3); Jordan (5), Kuwait (7), Bahrain (9) and Saudi Arabia (10) in the West Asia.. Militarisation is gradually spreading to the central Asian countries also..

India, which is also militarising itself, has been at the rank of 71 while China is ranked 82. The US is ranked 29. Thus rapid militarisation by the countries of the world is giving sleepless nights to peace loving people of the earth.

Monday, 3 December 2012

RAM KA NAM BADNAM NA KARO--BABARI MASJID DEMOLITION IN AYODHAY 20 years back biggest shame for India: JUDICIARY FAILED IN ITS DUTY!!

It is not that I am not a believer and exactly remember the fanatic crowds, belonging to Hindu organisations, led by former union home minister and Bharatiya Janata Party Leader, Lal Krishna Advani , demolishing the Babari Masjid in Ayodhaya ,20 years back on the noon of December 06,1992 . Top Hindu leaders including Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Uma  Bharati, Ritambhara, Ashok Singhal, Vinay Katiyar, inciting the huge crowds to demolish the Babari Masjid, adjacent to Lord Ram temple. And they succeeded in demolishing the structures of Babari Masjd! Had these Hindu leaders taken inspiration from the Lord Ram to demolish Babari structures? or they were ought to ruin the secular fabric of India in the name of 'politic'? As far as , the epic- Ramcharitmanas ( RAMAYAN)- written By Tulsi Das on the direct 'inspiration' of Lord RAM and SHANKAR- is concerned , the MAHAKABYA , praising the character of Lord RAM had no where differentiated between religions of the world; it only teaches us 'adarsh grahsath jeevan, adarsh bhratprem, supreme bhakati, knowledge, sacrifice, vairag and sadachar'. But today in the name of Lord, they (Hindu) leaders ruined the masjid and striving hard to consolidate Hindus against the MUSLIMS-my humble submission to them,"RAM KA NAN BADNAM NA KARO".

No doubt, the demolition of Babari Masjid 'under planned conspiracy' is the greatest shame for India since its independence!In the after math of of Babari Masjid demolition, hundreds of people had also been killed in communal riots in different parts of the country! In the process, such fanatic action of the Hindu organisations is gradually destroying the democratic and secular fabrics of India. TWENTY years of the heinous crime elapsed and the perpetrators of the crime led by Advani are moving free, thanks to the incompetence and inefficiency of Judiciary and government machinery! Villain of the pieces Advani, a shamelessly shameless politician on the Indian political horizon, is still keeping prime ministerial aspiration as shrewed operator in the BJP! Are we Indian are really shameless? (MY blog-www.kksingh1.blogspot.com)

Advani had hatched conspiracy to demolish Babari Masjid as back as  in October 1990, which culminated in ultimate demolition of the masjid in 1992. Hindu organisations have srange connotation and they say that Babari Masjid was constructed on RAMJANMBHOOMI by Meer Baki about 1500 years agio. In the process of creating hatred towards MUslims in the country, Advani had toured throughout the  country , particularly from Somnath to Ayodhaya to create atmosphere of hatred and ultimately destroying Babari Masjid in Ayodhaya. While touring the country, Advani had asserted before the huge crowds led by Bal Thakare in Dadar areas of Bombay ,now  Mumbai that on Babari Masjid site, they would construct 'RAM TEMPLE'. After touring on his so called "Rathyatra" Advani finally came to Ayodhaya in Uttar Pradesh where Kalyan Singh government of BJP was in power.. On December 05, 1992, Advani held a secret meeting at the residence of his another colleague Vijay Katiyar in Ayodhaya and hatched  conspiracy to demolish the 'masjid'. Moreover Advani announced at the Masjid site that 06, December, 2012 will be the last date of' Karsewa' by Hindu fanatics. Not only that Advani incited the fanatic Hindu crowd to block Faizabad road from where the central para-military forces were moving to stop untoward incidents. Ultimately , they blocked the highway and did not allow the central forces to enter Ayodhaya. Advani , even, called them to become martyr  to construct 'Ram mandir' at Babari Masjid disputed site by demolishing masjid if the central forces advanced towards at masjid site! Such action was openly floated by Advani to make 'secular India" , a Hindu Rashtra! Kalyan Singh government , even after undertaking to the Supreme Court, to save the situation, did not act and left the field scot-free to demolish the masjid!

Ultimately, amid inflammatory speeches by Advani and other Hindu leaders, the 'karsewaks' demolished the masjid in no time on December 06, 1992. Thereafter , legal formalities started and altogether 49 cases were registered by the police. Apart from special cells of Uttar Pradesh CID, the CBI also took up the cases \.Charges sheets were filed February 1993 against Hindu leaders led by Advani under Sections 153A,153B, 105, 147, 149 of IPC and many other Sections of the Cr-.P.C. And from there , all criminal cases under various sections of IPC and Cr.PC entangled in the judicial cobweb right from lower courts in Rai-Barailey and Lucknow to Allahabad High Court and Supreme court. In between, 10 accused persons and over 50 witnesses have died. And now finally, the admission for the  starting of proceedings in all these cases against Hindu leaders led by Advani are pending in the Supreme Court for the last few years. Incidentally, the Supreme court has fixed on December 06, 2012 , the same day of demolition of Babari Masjid in 1992, to hear the appeal of the CBI. All the cases are lingering and culprits are scot -free! This is what our judicial system-Judges , right from lower courts in Uttar Pradesh to Allahabad High court and Supreme Court, are playing games with such serious nature of cases in the annals of the history of the country. From the very beginning, all these cases are shuttling between Lalitpur lower courts to Barailey and Locknow lower courts and subsequent stays after stays by the benches of Allahabad high court and the Supreme court.

Advani and other accused pesons are taking advantage of loop-holes in instituting cases and transferring it one lower court to other courts,. The allahabad High court and Uttar Pradesh successive governments, specially of Mayawati had  faltered in clubbing the cases and start proceedings against the accused persons even after taking cognisance against the culprits. In the continuation, one judge of Allahabad High court had stayed  proceedings against Advani and others on May 20, 2010. One judge , in a separate appeal, on July 06,2005 had remarked that there were prima facie evidences against Advani and others and criminal cases hearing must start at the earliest. Ultimate , the CBI hasd moved Supreme Court on February 09, 2011 for its directive to start proceedings against Advani and others without any further delay.

Are these things not posing million dollar questions on our judicial prudence and efficiency of our government in the country? I strongly feel the judiciary and government are saving the culprits from such heinous crime-but Lord is witnessing the naked drama of Indian politicians and judges in the Babari Masjid demolition cases. And a time will come when-" hohi yohi jo Ram Rachi Rakaha------------"

 

Friday, 30 November 2012

CHILD LABOUR, A BIGGEST CURSE IN INDIA!

It is common refrain that children are messengers of the God, They are the future of the country! But in India ,children among the marginal and middle classes, totalling over 87 percent particularly are most neglected lot in the  country ! Prevalent of child labour is highest in India. If we take into account the census data of 2001, in every 10 workers in India, one is a child. These children are in the age-group of the 5-14 years. Children are abducted, kidnapped and allured in a big way in the country according to a International Labour Organisation (ILO)  report and a revealing story  in the Washington Post. They are forced into  labour and sexual exploitation. In the process over 90000 children are missing for the last several years in India-(My blog Topic-headlined , 90000 Children missing in India! written on September 25, 2012). Instead of shaping the destiny of the children by providing them food, health provisions and education, they are forced into child labour. Worse is the scenario among children below the age of five years. They are malnourished and die every year in huge number because of absence of medical facilities despite the facts that both union government and state  government have been claiming large number of measures for the welfare of children in the country!

In 2004-05, the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) had put the figure of child labour 8.9 million. Since than there have been no significant change in the situation for improvement. Hosts of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have assessed that the  child labour  over 60 million in India. What ever may be case, India is the largest employer of child labour. Over 80 percent of child labour are not visible as they work in the unorganised sectors including within family or in house-hold work. As per the NSSO survey in 2004-05, six percent children work in dhabas. restaurants, hotels , motels etc; 15 percent as domestic workers;   construction-17 percent;  ceramic-two percent;  auto-work-shop and vehicle repiars-four percent;  carpet making- three percent; gem-cutting and jewellery-three percent; brick -klin and tiles-seven percent;; spinning and weaving-11 percent;; pan biddhi and cigarettes workshops-21 percent; agarbatti, dhoop and detergent making-one percent and others-11 percent.

If one sees the poor plight of children world-wide,  in the context of India as particular; poverty is the main cause of child labour. More than one billion people globally live on less than one$ a day! Number of poor are greatest in the South-East Asia.. Over 186 million child including India in the world under age 15 years are engaged in child labour.  The Asia-Pacific region is most notorious on this score. About 150 million children in 5-17 age group are engaged in the worse -type of work globally. Apart from that decreasing trend in providing education  to children is also one of factors of child labour in the world. One hundred three million children of elementary school age are out of school. Of them 60 percent are girls. In sum and total, world illiteracy population is 799 million. Lack of employment  avenues throughout the world is also  one of the major factors of engagement of child labour. Employment potentialities is decreasing even in most advanced countries of Europe and America. Over 184.7 million people are unemployed in the globe among adult, resulting into forcing children in doing work in unorganised sectors for the livelihood of the family members.

Child labour has strange connotation in economic term. Children participate in the work, that is called economic activities as their participation results in the production of goods and service that grows the economy! In India Child labour is mainly due to acute poverty among 78 percent of population mainly in the rural areas. About 90 percent of children, engaged in child labour, are from rural areas of the country. Children from lower caste and minority community are majority in child labour because of their exploitation in the country. They are mostly from illiterate section of society. Girl child are also engaged in such work in rural house-holds of big and landed class people. More over a survey of NSSO has indicated that in India 32 percent children, who are considered "no where" in government record of schools nor at identified work places or at their homes are actually working as child labour , hiding their identity. In the country like India where facilities for education is at minimum level from government side at cheap rate, education is bought on high premium. Thus, their parents allow them for child labour for earning in unorganised sectors because they cannot afford education of such high cost. To some extend , similar situation prevails in other South-east Asian countries. A UNICEF report has said , " international trade appears to be associated with lower incidence of child labour. Some studies indicate that globalisation may increase the demand for unskilled labours in the countries that specialise in labour-intensive industries. In this way, such demand of unskilled labour, may increase in the child labour throughout the globe, particularly In India where globalisation and neo-liberal policies are being implemented indiscriminately."


The  Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which is doing wonderful work for the welfare of the children in India, is of the opinion that a profit of around Rs 1,20,000 crore is made by employers of child labour annually in India. These income are not on records to evade taxes." Six crore child labour substitute a similar number of adults in the job market. As per government estimates, Rs 15 is spent on child labour a day while as per the national floor wage, an adult labourers must be paid Rs 115 per day. For 250 working days, the wage cost work out to Rs 18,000 crore for child workers and Rs 1,38,00 crore for adults. The differences of Rs 1,20,000 crore is undeclared profit." the Andolan paper says.

Not only hat there are instances of coersive measures by ownerss of work places on chilren for work more and moee even during odd hours. In many cases children have become sick and died while working. Such reports are rampant with Bihari child labours engsaged in Delhi, Punjab , Haryana, many towns of Uttar Pradesh , Madras etc. In some cases, children have been rescued from these places .Surprisigly , even at the houses of urban elites, inavriably the instances of child labour are found. One may find that small children serving the guests and house-hold owners their meals, tea etc after preparing in the kitechens, . In many cases , exploitation of these child labour are at the height. They are beaten mercilessly by the house-hold owners. In rural areas, child labour  is in abundance. Both male and female child labour are found working at the houses of rich and landowing classes people.Girl child labour are sexually abused and sold to brothel owners at many places.

Regretably the child Labour Act covers only in organised sectors. Whereas child labour are engaged in unporgansed sectors. No doubt the Union government has taken many measures like enactment  of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and the Right to Education Act to curb child labour but nothing tangible appears  on the surface to eliminate the child labour in the country!

SOURCES: International Labour Organisation, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, The Economics of Child Labour by Kaushik Basu and and Hoang Van Pham, The Economics of Child Labour by Xinye Zheng National Sample Suvey oginisation, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Childline Foundation of India, Economic and Political Weekly, Frontline, International Centre on Child Labour and Education.

Monday, 26 November 2012

NEED TO ABOLISH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND CONSTITUTIONAL IMPROPRIETRY IN HANGING AJMAL KASAB!

Lamentably, over 60 years of the independence of India, we carry the retrograde burdens like death sentences in our statute book! We Indians are moving in the beginning of 21st century when the entire nations of the world are striving hard for progressive measures to enter new culturally ,and humane society as well as advanced technology  .And in India old and ancient fashions and orthodox , mixed with  feudal thinking  contiunes to take driving seats ! We  have miserably failed to adopt a humane approach towards-men-kind.and death penalty is existing when there are needs of reforms of guilty people for heinous crimes. Why a culprit for death  is not confined in jails for whole life in the process of reforming him? And instead of that in India, there are craze for violence in the form of death penalty . No doubt the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab had committed heinous crime and killed many persons and his capital punishment is justified. But Our Constitution has many provisions to complete the paraphernalia before the hanging could take place to any person, guilty for murder or  even for worse type of crimes. Only after exauhstation  all legal formalities , extreme step of death penalty could be considered!

Recent instance of hanging of Ajamal Kasab in hush -hush and secret manner has left behind many unanswered questions! Such secret hanging of Kasab is injustice. Ajmal Kasab , a terrorist and a killer was hanged to death in Yerwada jail in Pune on the morning of November 21, 2012 in secret manner following the rejection of his mercy petition by the President of India Mr Pranab Mukherjee. The operation of hanging Kasab was code named " Operation-X" by the Maharshtra government. Kasab was young and belonged to a poor family of Pakistan and had only primary education to his credit. Society in Pakistan made him a terrorist and killer and in despair, Ajamal moved to the crime and terror world.. And his guilt in 26\11 round of murders of innocent people in Mumbai landed him to such pathetic end of his life. There are many loop-holes in hanging Kasab. At one point, the administrative lapses in hurried and secret hanging of Kasab has pointed out the "constitutional impropriety" of the entire procedures of hanging Kasab! Not only that the union government and Maharshtra government have ignored many well-established procedures, conventions as well as traditions of culturally ancient civilisation of Hindustan in last thousand years. At least , we must have remembered the non-violence peaceful solution of ills from Gautama Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.

Despite so many voices of people against death penalty  , why we are keeping the provision of capital punishment?  In the last 60 years many thoughts have been given on the subject without any fruitful result.More over over half of the world nations including Great Britain, United States of America have abolished death sentences. In Great Britain, where Lord Mountbatten  was killed brutally,  had not awarded death sentence to the culprits! Even In India, right from the very beginning of freedom movement, Mahatma Gandhi remained all -opposed to capital punishment. The first prime minister Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru also had spoken openly against death sentences in India. And lamentably in Gandhi's country Ajmal Kasab was hanged!

 In his  'angush remark'  the former Judge of the Supreme Court and a champion of liberty , Mr V R Krishna Iyer, who is striving hard for  abolishing capital punishment right from 1950s, has said, " It is or  not that Ajmal was Pakistani terrorist, but he was humane being. I have no doubt in my heart  that Gandhi's country should not have killed Ajmal Kasab-he was after all young and belonged to poor family- Pakistan or not, he was a humane being."Justice Iyer has further said, " in my humble view, all humane societies, especially a society that swears by the Indian Constitution-that is deep-rooted in compassion, should abolish judicial executions. Mahatma Gandhi was opposed to it and so was Pundit Nehru."

I must refer here the wonderful and remarkable gesture of the  president of the Congress, Ms Sonia Gandhi, who had written to then President of India K R Narayanan spelling out her views against hanging of her husband's murderers following death penalty to the persons, who killed Rajiv Gandhi brutally, She wrote, " The Supreme Court  had confirmed the death sentences on four persons, who were responsible for the assassination of my beloved husband Rajiv Gandhi--our family does not think that the four held responsible for the  heinous murder of my dear husband must be hanged. My son , Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka or myself do not wish that the four murderers be hanged. In particular we do not wish Nalini , mother of an eight-year-old child, to be hanged. I am aware that how my children miss their father and we do not want another child to loose its parents to get her orphaned..As you are well aware my children Rahul and Priyanka and myself are suffering untold mental agony day in day out due to loss of our beloved  Rajiv. But neither my children nor myself would like the persons, responsible for my husband's tragic end to be hanged-hence I humbly request you to stop their hanging and grant them pardon when they seek your clemency."

Now apart from discussing constitutional impropriety in hanging Kasab, I musr mention here the views of Justice Iyer in abolishing death sentence in India .When he was minister in Kerala in 1950s, Iyer had tried to minimise the death sentences with the consultations of then Governor of Keral. And such move had clicked in early 1950s for carrying a campaign to abolish death sentences in India.

About constitutional impropriety, it is not out of place to mention here that there are many administrative lapses in hanging Kasab in secret and hurried manner. The President has also erred in not making public his decision to reject the mercy petition of Ajamal! If the President would have made public his decision, the country could have known the reasons behind the rejection of Kasab's mercy petition. In executing Kasab, all legal formalities have not been adopted  by the administration. Questions are: Why Ajamal  was not informed about his constitutional rights to seek judicial review of his petition's  rejection by  Pranab Mukherjee?,Second- The judiciary has all power to review the ground on his petition has been rejected by the President!, Third;- Article 21 of the Constitution guarantee the right to life  equally applicable to the Indian as well as foreign nationals,; Furth:- Article 19 says that a person cannot be deprived of life or personal liberty except according to established procedures! Fifth:- The Constitution empowers the citizens the right of judicial review of even President's decision to examine reasons of rejection of mercy plea by the President.

Not only that, the Supreme Court has had ruled in Kehar Singh vs Union of India case landmark judgement (AIR 1989SC-653) that citizens cannot be deprived of any eventualities like judicial review of rejection of mercy plea by the President like  in Ajmal Case. The bench headed by then Chief Justice of India R S Pathak,, had observed and gave written directive that the Constitution of India had every check and balance while finally implementing the judgements of any case!

Taking into account such lapses, hanging of Ajmal has left behind much and much as well as more and more  things of questioning about the propriety of his hanging in secret and hush-hush manner.Mudabhushi Sridhar, professor and Coordinator, Centre for Media Law\and Public Policy, NALSAR, University of Law, Hyderabad, while questioning the hanging of Ajmal before exhaustion of all the formalities, has said, "Darkness and secrecy not only breed disease and corruption but also hide them"'

Saturday, 24 November 2012

IN OUR DECADENT SOCIETY, INDIA HAS MANY SHAMES!

Among our countrymen , particularly writer, political classes, intellectuals, intelligentsia, academic, it has become a common refrain to refer about many prevalent " shames" in India! When we live in a decadent society where all systems have failed, there are bound to be many " shames" in the country. In the present day India, successive political classes and fanatics have subverted the Constitution, laws, rules etc for their enlightened self-interest. Political classes of all hues except a few, have mainly one aim-that is to remain in power or grab power solely to earn as much money  by anyhow. In the process, they are bending the instrumentality of the Indian Constitution. And we have become a part of decadent society and bearing the burnt of ills being perpetuated by political classes and their cohorts-bureaucrats! Thus, India after over 60 years of its existence, has been manufacturing only "shames" everywhere. Apart from many "shames" including  corruption, inequality, poverty, illiteracy, lack of health facilities, power brokering, criminalisation of politic etc one of the great shames is "untouchable,and manual scavenging", still prevalent in every parts of the "Bharat Mahan or India shining".

We have failed to eradicate the "manual scavenging". This has further intensified the "practise of untouchability" , right from south to north and east to west in our country of over 120 crore population. Particularly in rural India, conservatism and feudal mindset  persists. Persons of lower caste are not allowed to sit on chair before feudal people as well as these lower caste people are not allowed to share, ponds, wells, tube wells, temples with people, belonging to upper caste. These practises and being exercised well before the eyes of government and so called messiah of poor and down-trodden, violating the Constitutional provisions  are prevalent in India, adding more and more "shames" to India . And we, as part of decadent society are tolerating injustices after injustices and inequalities after inequalities  towards lower caste 'silently and shamelessly'!

It is strange that merely because of birth in lower caste family, they clean sewers, septic tanks, open drains, flowing with excreta in the house-holds, streets and railway lines and platforms. To substantiate these lapses, one will invariably find that even in the government records-for these works persons of lower caste are appointed and in their service roll, they are described "mehtars"!

More over, after 43 years after its prohibition in the Constitution , a law was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1993, prohibiting such practices. Strangely , this law remained on the statue book without any effective control of such evil practices. Even today lakhs of men and women manually engaged themselves in this barbaric rituals of disposing human excreta, entering the manholes and nullahs for cleaning drains flowing with dirty waters mixed with excreta.These paractices ruin the health , dignity and honour of lakhs of lower caste people. Despite so many assurances and promises of successive Presidents and prime ministers, the union government  continues to move in dark to  free  the country from manual scavenging.  Thus this nation has failed in its duty as per constitutional provisions for providing a life of dignity to lakhs of citizens.

 In 2010, the Safai Karmchari Andolan (SKA) had filed a petition in the Supreme court, highlighting their miseries and had informed the court that as many as 252 districts of the country are in the grip of such 'shameless" work. The case is still pending in the Supreme Court where it has been reported that 7,94,390 dry latrines across the country where human excreta is cleaned by humans. Of these 73 percent is in the rural areas and 27 percent in urban localities. In another 13,14,652 toilets , human excreta is flushed into open drains. And here again to clean these channels fall on scavengers, employed by the union government and state governments.

A few years back on the directives of the Supreme Court, the union ministry of social justices and empowerment had constituted a task forces to indentify the prevalence of  manual scavenging. After some discussions, the union finance ministry allotted  Rs 35 crore to identify scavengers across the country. But nothing moved and the union government dropped the idea, initiated for the first time in the country for identifying the manual scavengers.Many men also clean sewers, septic tanks, open drains into which excreta flows.People trapped by their birth in this vocation are shunned and despised.It clearly infers that government failed miserably in announcing comprehensive time-bound action plan to get rid this country from its "shameful casteist legacy". We must remember the spirit of final words of Dr B R Ambedkar in the context of liberation of manual scavenging. Dr Ambedkar had said,...... ours  is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is battle of reclamation of human personality."

In the last 40 years, some thing tangible has been done by Sulabha International, pioneered by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. to eradicate manual scavenging  Dr Pathak worked hard in Bihar and other parts of the country to eradicate manual scavenging by developing a new technology of soil-based pit. Pathak's technology clicked not only in different parts of India but in under-developed and developing countries of the South-East Asia. Now his International has become a corporate in this venture.I exactly remember the feudal mind-sets of Bihar and how Dr Pathak, a Gandhian strived hard and dedicated his life to the mission. I remember at one occasion, a few Orthodox Bihar people had laughed at the idea of Dr Pathak and called him " Paikhana-Pathak" . But this discouragement did not deter Dr Pathak and he carried his mission successfully throughout the globe!

Now the Union government has\ also awoke from deep slumber following the snubbing of the Supreme Court.! The struggle of Safai Karmchari Andolan has compelled the union government to bring an effective bill to strengthen 1993 law on this score.The 1993 law had outlawed the practice. But the law was bundle of toothless  provisions. Some thing good in the preamble o f the new  proposed law," it is necessary to correct the historical injustice and indignity suffered by the manual scavengers and to rehabilitate them to a life of dignity." The provision in the 1993 law had  defined "a manual scavengers as a person engaged in or employed for manually carrying human excreta.". But the proposed 12012 law has proposed more effective parameters and had elaborated, "a person engaged or employed......for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in open drain or pit into which the human excreta from the insanitary latrines is disposed of or on a railway track.....". The expanded definition in the proposed Bill has  completely undergone by previous proviso that a person, who cleans" excreta with the help of such devices and using such protective gear, as the central government may notify in this behalf, shall not be deemed to be manual scavengers.".

Not only that  a prominent columnist Harsh Mander , has said, "the proposed bill of 2012 strictly prohibits construction of dry latrines and employment of manual scavengers as also the hazardous cleaning of a sewer or a septic tank. But the cleaning railway tracks has not been included and hazardous cleaning is defined not by employers requiring workers to manually clean sewers or septic tanks but requiring them to do so without protective gear. Our objection is manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks is not just of compromising worker safety---which is no doubt important---- but of human indignity, which would continue even if such manual cleaning is done with protective gear . And it is unconscionable to let the railways off the hook."

It must be noted that liberation from such condemned pratices must come from the invention, discovering as well as use  modern technology. The Application of modern technologies, which are globally  available, will make the occupation humane, dignified and safe and also ensure that human beings do not have direct contact with excreta. Both railways and local bodies could procure such technologies for the purpose!. But the both union and state government appear helpless for spending huge amount to  implement renovating ideas  because human beings are available in abundance to perform this work cheaply. This is manly because that lower caste people are propelled by their birth in most disadvantaged castes and lack of other livelihood options. This appears to be the real shame for the country and its rulers, who have failed to provide proper employment to weaker sections of society by providing them proper education and medicare! The proposed bill must ensure adequate provisions to punish the officials, who fail to implement the measures including for not identifying, reporting and ending manual scavenging, as well as demolishing dry latrines, rehabilitating manual scavengers and other unjust and unlawful social practices.

This is what shamelessly shameless India and we Indians!

Friday, 16 November 2012

LACK OF LAND REFORMS, BANE OF POVERTY AND HUNGER IN INDIA!


What has gone wrong in our system? None has care about prevailing poverty and  hunger as well as wide-scale disparity In the Bharatvarsh, that is called India and Hindustan! Now it has become fashion to speak about corruption in our decadent society's system. Hardly, political leaders of all hues and the  representatives of the   so called civil society and Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) speak about sorry state of affairs among rural poor and adivasis , agriculture, education, health etc. Of course corruption is one of the main reasons in derailing welfare and development measures also, but voices of deprived lots, constituting over 78 percent population, are big deal. Corruption can be tackled by streamlining the rotten system under existing laws under the Constitution but hunger and poverty, lack of education, health could be faced with determination by launching welfare measures! Vision among the political leadership is lacking to face the alarming situation in the country. Are we moving towards worse scenario in the country where there will be no takers of peoples' voices ?

Neo-liberal economic policy in the last over 20 years, I strongly feel,  is aggravating the situation. It is surprising that in India, there are no land records. Land reforms are hanging fire. Lands are accumulated in the hands of 10 to 15 percent population. Old feudal order is continuing! Many Acts and Laws for land reforms by almost all successive state governments and union governments were framed in over last 60 years but poor and landless increased by over 85 percent. Over 80 percent population are homeless and landless. What ever lands remained under their control specially in tribal belt are being acquired forcibly for setting industries by corporates and multi-nationals. In plain areas, also similar situation is prevailing! Apart from other states in India, Bihar is an example of bitter feudal and communal massacres in the country only because of wide disparity between rich and poor and ' no land and home  to poor' although the Jawahar Lal Nehru government at the centre had made drastic amendment in the Constitution to abolish 'zamindari system' in the country. The then chief Minister of Bihar Dr S K Sinha was all opposed to abolition of 'zamindari system' and land reforms along with many chief ministers of the country, the dynamics of the then Bihar's Revenue Minister Krishna Ballabha  Sahay  impressed Pundit Nehru to go whole hog for land reforms in the entire country and in the process visionary Pundit Nehru had prepared road maps for equitable distribution of lands and houses to poor in the country!  An amendment was carried out in the Right to Property under the Constitution and Zamindari system was abolished. But the time passed and nothing tangible were made for land reforms in the country!

In between, some thing tangible was made by the then Revenue Minister of Bihar K B Sahay on land reform fronts. Thousands of acres of land were taken away from land-owing classes and to little aspect lands were given to the landless and homeless. After some years, the land problem further aggravated in Bihar. The so called 'surplus lands' were given to the Bhoodan Bhumi Jagya Committee, led by Vinoda Bhave for distribution among landless and homeless. From there situation, worsened. Lands were distributed to them but sadly taken back forcibly by influential land-owing classes from poor people! Since than, massacres after massacres are being taking places between poor and feudal land-owing classes in Bihar. Naxal movements came to the fore because of atrocity of feudal land-owing classes towards poor and dalits in the successive years..( Please see my blog topic-Bihar is Known for Bitter Feudal-Communal Massacres in India, detailing deaths, killings and destruction's ). However, a ray of hope came out when the present chief minister Nitish Kumar came to power and announced distribution of lands to poor on the basis of the report of the Bandopadhaya committe, which Kumar had constituted just after assuming power about eight years back. Moreover, on the influences of his alliance partner-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and vested interests among feudal land-owing classes as well as many other political compulsions, Nitish Kumar retracted from his promises. And the situation remained where these were during successive rules in Bihar. On the other hand, huge lands are accumulated in the hands of a few thousands land-owners, neo-rich-political classes and intermediary castes people in Bihar. The same Nitish government had forcibly deported the President of Ekata Parishad P V Rajagopala from the state when during his year-long Jansamwad yara highlighting issues relating to land reforms, particularly the plight of the landless. Rajagopal was described a Maoists by Nitish government a few months back when he had visited Nawada district a few months back!

But land reforms had taken some roots earlier in Uttar Pradesh during the regime of the chief minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna and later during the left front government of the West Bengal led by Jyoti Basu. Some tangible reforms are even today are witnessed and landless have at least land for constructing home and some lands for farming under share cropping pattern in West Bengal. But the situation in other states are not encouraging. Feudal Andhra Pradesh has also failed to take any initiatives for land reforms. Worse position prevails in tribal belts including Odisha, Chhatishgarh, Jharkhand , Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat , Maharashtra and also many eastern states where tribal population are being forcibly evicted from their land, forest rights , water in the name locating industries by multinationals and corporates as well as neo-rich political classes.

Sadly, the law to acquire lands during British Raj is still under vogue. Many local restrictions in Adivasi belt about forest rights under various Laws  under the Constitution are being violated by the government to acquire lands of tribals.During the year-long yatra and jansatyagrah by Rajagopala has found that government's policies have accentuated the plunder of agriculture and forest lands for corporate interests. The Yatra had begun from Kanyakumari on October 2 in 2011 and journeyed across the country and finally culminated into a foot march of over 50000 people in Gwalior on October 2, 2012. At least after several rounds of talks between Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and the representatives of Ekata Parishad led by its president P V Rajgopala signed an agreement at Agra during the period, which envisaged that the government will fulfil the promises to complete the land reform process. But a sense of caution among the senior activists was also witnessed taking into account the past experiences of  similar negotiations. Five years ago, the Ekata Parishad had organised similar agitation with thousand of landless. At that time also , the government had taken notice of the agitation. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  had himself initiated deliberations and had announced the formation of National Land Reforms Council, led by prime minister himself and consisting of chief ministers, sociologists and actvistists.. But that body is yet to see the light of the day.

However, a ray of hope has arisen from the present agreement. The agreement stipulates that the ministry of rural development will initiate talks with all state government immediately and put out a draft of the policy for public debate and discussions in the next four to six months. Thereafter the draft will be finalised. The agreement has mainly stressed the need of statutory backing of the provisions of agricultural land to the landless poor in the backward district and home stead rights to the landless and shelter less poor in rural areas across the country. At least ten cents of land homestead lands to every poor, landless and shelter less rural households. It also focused effective and time-bound implementation of various laws enacted by the legislatures aimed at protecting the land rights of dalits, adivasis and other weaker and marginalised sections of society. Fast track courts to speed up of disposal of the cases pending in revenue and judicial courts.. Legal  aid must be provided to socially deprived persons. The rural development ministry will coordinate with ministries of tribal affairs and panchayati raj to ensure effective implementation of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), which will empower gram sabhas to function more effectively in the implementation of the Act. It must be noted that the ministry of tribal affairs put a comprehensive guidelines for the implementation of  revised rules and directives for the effective implementations of forest right and the states will be actively supporting them.. There must be advisories to the state governments to undertake thorough survey of forest and revenue boundaries in order to resolve disputes. Gram panchayats and  gram sabhas will be fully involved in the survey and settlement process as well as updating of records governing common property resources.

Land reform is a big problem. Effective implementation of the land reform is the need of hour-otherwise the country, which is still dominated by poor , landless, and homeless, who may rise in revolt along with Maoists and Naxal elements, sympathising them.!

 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

AMAZING STROY OF GROWTH RATE IN INDIA AND HUNGER AND POVERTY RISING !

It is amazing! India has lagged behind in GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX (GHI) notwithstanding its story of substantial rise in growth rate. A latest study by three organisations-the International Food Policy Research Institute, Concern World-wide, and Wealthungerhilfe---have revealed that the progress in reducing the proportion of hungry people in the world has been tragically slow. The study has highlighted that in as many as 20 countries, particularly in India, the levels of hunger are extremely  alarming. (Please refer my topic- Hunger Looming Large over Globe- on my blog-www.kksingh1.blogspot.com on June 19,2012, referring global food crisis).

In the context of India, hunger and poverty have taken alarming proportion in between 2007 to 20012 amid the much-hyped story of dramatic increase in the growth rate in India. Since than over 155 million people have been fighting back to wall because of hunger and poverty rampantly in India in the wake of neo-liberalised economic policy. Exactly, after 1996 disparity between economic development and progress in the fight against hunger have widened and India is slipping towards bottom -line gradually, the report says and adds China lowered the level of hunger and under -nutrition through a strong commitment to poverty reduction, nutrition and health intervention and improved access to safe water.. In the case of India all these measures seem to be a distant dream!.

The report-"2012 Global Hunger Index", mainly highlights on -"The Challenge of hunger, ensuring sustainable food security under land water,  and energy stresses". Simultaneously, the report also points out the identification of of the main challenges of an impending global food security-drought, scramble to invest in farm-land around the world, shifts in energy prices, and also shocks in energy supplies. Apart from that there are many worrying facts like persistent poverty, the current consumption pattern of industrialised countries, and profligate consumption by the elites in the developing countries. As per reports, there are three dimensions of hunger: undernourishment, child underweight and child mortality.

Sadly , India has taken backward trends among the countries like neighbouring Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China in the South-East Asia even-after strong economic growth.. More over, India as per the parameter on a 100-point scale (the lower the GHI values, the better ranking country), is ranked 22.9 in GHI whereas its land-locked neighbours-Nepal is better by having 20.3 and , Pakistan-19.7. However, the Bangla Desh is on 24.0 in GHI ranking despite the facts that the country has broad-based social progress, vibrant non-governmental organisations and public transfer programmes that has reduced child under-nutrition. As regards, Sri Lanka, the country in the South East Asia has tremendously achieved high rate of literacy and life expectancy through welfare-oriented policies, investment on public health care and education system and commitment for gender equality.

India has many hicuups! Bad governance are prevailing throughout the country.. Although public  transfer programmes are being explored in India,, there are apprehensions and misgivings about their efficacy and the reach to the grass-root level..The report has mentioned a study to say that poor design, low coverage and insufficient monitoring are the main challenges to reducing under-nutrition levels in India, which is as incomplete way of approaching the problem. One more factor is responsible for poverty and hunger in India-that is higher food prices. Food prices are increasing in recent past: it rose by 40 percent in 2007 and further  2008, resulting into hunger and poverty everywhere in India! Even the sub-Saharan Africa has done better progress in many points on this score in comparison to India. Over 43.5 percent children are underweight in India whereas only 23 percent children in Sub-Saharan Africa. were found in that category.. If we compare the GHI of ten countries with India, there are vast gaps of poverty and hunger in India. The report has mentioned the countries like Azerbaijan-5.0, China-5.3, Malaysia- -5.2, Paraguay-5.3, Trinidad and Tongo--5.4, Mauritius-5.7, B Salvador-5.8, Kyrgyz Republic-5.8 and South Africa-6.9 in global hunger index parameter..

The report has also underlined that food security is mainly linked with developments in water and energy and scarcity of land, particularly the scarcity of farm land because of short-sighted policies. Huge foreign  investments in developing countries are wiping out land rights of residents, specially in forest areas in India..It is fact that high-instances of hunger and poverty are found in the countries  where the rights on land and energy, and water have been curbed by the respective governments. Here also India tops the list as our union government and almost all state governments have indiscriminately allowed foreign investments in different parts of the country specially in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhatishgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,Gujarat  etc. Following such measures, lands and water are being deprived from villagers and tribal in India. And more and more hunger and poverty are pushing the people to live without adequate foods..

THe Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)  has also admitted food deprivation to the people, resulting into undernourishment. As per FAO, 1800 calories a day-the minimum that most people require to live a healthy and protective life.The case of India is considered more serious on poverty and hunger fronts notwithstanding the entire globe is expected to land in serious food crisis because of various reasons like  comparatively low and less stress on agriculture fronts.

SOURCES:International Food Policy Research Institute, Concern Worldwide, Wealthungerhilife, FOOD AND AGRICULture Organisation, The Frontline, Websites of Various affected countries and Human Index parameters of different organisations of the World and India..

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

REFLECTION OF ECONOMIC DOWN_TURN IN EUROPE AND AMERICA VIS-A-VIS ECONOMIC CRISIS IN INDIA AND CHINA!



The recent economic down-fall in the two most emerging economy in Asia-India and China- appears the result of rescuing America and European countries  as well as Japan-"the old World" from economic turmoil! The implication-Brazil, Russia-India-China (BRICs), coined by veteran economist Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs symbolises the rise of once poor countries (emerging markets) into "economic power houses". It may not be out of place to mention here that Europe, America and Japan must have thought that economic turmoil will prop up the global demand for industrial goods and commodities (oil, foodstuff, metals). During the 2007-2009 economic down-turn in the developed countries like America, European countries, the economy of some BRIC countries,particularly China adopted large stimulus programmes and others just grew rapidly. The economy  of China in 2010 expanded by 10.4 percent, India 10.1 percent and Brazil's 7.5 percent. But in the fast changing economic scenario in the world, the situation seems different and economy of these countries have started declining. In 2012, the economy of China is expected to grow by 7.8 percent, India 4.9 percent and Brazil 1.5 percent. These are the latest projection of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). While the IMF predicts a little bit improvement in 2013, noted economists forecast further decline!

The Recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) of the IMF, titled "coping with High debt and sluggish growth", has dwelt with analysing examples from the past to compare if there are lessons for today.. Results are quite interesting. During the heyday of the "Washington consensus" the World Bank, the IMF and other economic agencies of the imperialist order dispatched economic teams to every countries that was desperate for money.Hankering was the same:privatisation, welfare state squeezing, union bashing and so on.. Dark-suited guys of the respective teams seemed in  convincing that urgent need of globalisation and liberalising economy. Entire world order- from Africa to South America, from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the same policies were propounded! Globalisation celebrated its triumph: poverty, malnutrition and curable diseases were celebrated too.The IMF begins by remembering that" public debt in advanced countries has climbed to ts highest level since World War-two".Debts are growing, previously because of world wars now since 1980s debt has been growing apace without a major war and even during strong periods of growth. Debts have become permanent cancer that affects senile capitalism. The IMF has shown its helplessness and has given no explanation for this plague.The WEO has simply said, " the episode.................-during the 1980s and 1990s ave their genesis in the breakdown of the Bretton Woods System, when government policy struggled with social issues and the transition to current economic systems". This is hardly an explanation. Bretton Woods collapsed. In the last 40 years , so many countries are in transition. The solution to reduce public debt: "The largest debt reduction followed the world wars, usually as a result of hyperinflation". The IMF must understand that the problem is that restoring to hyperinflation is like using a flame-thrower to eliminate dust from a house. Such solution will destroy many other things in the process, even possibly the house itself. Moreover, the grip of finance capital on the world economy is much stronger than in the 1940s.

As part of the "sorry we have no clue approach" of the IMF' today, the document explains that debt and economic growth have no direct links:sluggish growth is bad for public finances, of course but generally speaking growth rates appear to be unrelated to debt level.. The problem, however, is to explain why since 1980s public debt is growing everywhere. That is the key issue that  bourgeois strategists do not want to address. Capitalism as a whole is less and less productive. Debts are the  result of this simple facts, very well known to classical economists like Smith and Ricardo and thoroughly explained by Marx. Capitalism is doomed to drown in debt. There are many examples like Korean war to help American economy,, Japan in 1997, Italy in 1992, etc. Strangely IMF always harps on structural reform, that is about market without unions, rules, and other obstacles to exploitation. Such situation appears crisis of regime.. Lenin has rightly said that one of the condition for a revolution is the crisis of the regime!

Taking into account all these facts, the economy of India and China notwithstanding America would celebrate China's and India's growth rate in 2012; the US economy will grow by   two percent. But this proportionate misleading comparison because China and India still benefit from "catch up economy". These two countries are poor and expand rapidly by raising workers' skill and adopting technologies and management practises pioneered else were. Describing BRIIC advances, Ruchir Sharma of Morgam Stanley has said these are economic bubbles; sooner or later, reality picks them! In his book "Brakout Nations: Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles" Shrama does this for BRIC bubble and write" The perception that the growth game had suddenly become easy----------that everyone could be winner--------is built on the unique results of the last decades when virtually all entering markets did grow together. Story of growth rate are  same for China and Brazil.With regards to India, the country faces comparable problems. Some reflects the hangover from recent booms. India has highest inflation rates in the globe.Economist  Arvind Subramaniam of the Petreson Institute has said, " The budget deficit is around 10 percent (of the economy). Investors confidence has slumped. To spur growth the government is trimming subsidies and has liberalised foreign investment in retailing , airlines, broadcasting and power generation.

In the meantime, the RBI has predicted that India's growth rate expected to drop to 5.7 percent. Current inflation rate of huge proportion is likely to increase from 7.3 percent to 7.7 percent and under present circumstances , the inflation may be inching further  in India. The IMF and ADB have also put the growth rate in the range of 5.6 percent to 6.7 percent.

 More over ,, India continues to be toughest place for doing business even as the country has improved regulator processes for starting enterprises and trading across borders, according to World Bank and IFC.In terms of doing business, India is ranked 132nd among 182 countries. Singapore is at the top position, followed by Hong Knong SAR, China at second place, and New Zealand at third spot.. Other top ten nations are US(Fourth), Denkmark (fifth), the UK (seventh) Norway 9sixth), Korea (8th), Georgia (9th) and Australia (tenth). Surprisingly , India is the lowest among BRIC nations-Barazil (130th), Russia (112nd) China (91th ) and  Taiwan-China (16th). Interestingly, India is also below the rank of neighbouring Pakistan (107th) and Nepal (108th)! The report, namely doing business 2013 smarter regulation for small and medium-sized enterprises, has said that the local entrepreneurs in developing countries are finding it easier to do business than at any time in the last ten years.The ease of doing business in the developing world reflects, the significant progress that has been made in improving business regulatory practises world-wide" the report added and said "India focused mostly on simplifying and reducing cost of regulatory processes in such areas as starting business, paying taxes and trading across borders." The ranking is based on various factors-- starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency." Thus in my opinion, the Indian economy is grappling with sluggish growth amid European debt turmoil and high inflationary pressure. Such thing has also been reflected in the report of the World Bank and its group entity International Finance Corporation (IFC) on doing business.

Every where, the global economy is weak or weakening. Against this dismal backdrop, it was tempting to think that resilient BRICs would act as a shock absorber. They will buy more European and American exports; they send more tourists to Dismay World and Eiffel Tower. This would provide the world more time to make adjustments. Just to opposite occurred. The weakness of advanced economies transmitted itself, through export markets, to the BRICs. The World economy is truly interconnected. What was hoped happen was wishful thinking! But In India's GDP story is strange in the last several years with the opening of liberalised economy. Rich have become richer and poor more and more poorer. Human index on health , education, malnutrition, hunger etc are increasing by leaps and bound and wealth is being accumulated in few hands!

SOURCES: World Bank, IMF, IFC,India's Finance ministry, China government, Economy of Marx and Lenin achieves, Washington Post websites as well as books on World economy.

Monday, 22 October 2012

SCAR OF SINO- INDIAN WAR!

Although the scars of the wounds of the humiliating blow from Sino-Indian full-fledged war fifty years ago are yet to healed up, our countrymen are still to know the exact causes of such war in Asian continent! I, personally , still remember the horrible situation throughout the country when the troops of both India and China were fighting pitched battle. At that point of time, I was a student of honours graduation degree and was living in a student lodge! The administration had issued strict directive to put off light during night hour and if lighted the windows of the rooms must be covered with black clothes so that light could not be sighted from outside. All these precautionary measures had been taken to avoid air attacks during nights. In the process, there were huge runs for donations to the government for strenghtening the defence needs by general people. My reminiscences goes that the then Maharaja of Darbhanga and his trust had alone donated nine mounds of gold to the government of India to recover and manage the battle at the front in the extreme parts of out  northern border.

Both China and India were close allies under the stewardship of Pndit Jawahar Lal Nehru from India and Chou-in-Lai and Mao-Tse-Tung of China in the Asia.. Apart from historical ties between both the countries, people of both China and India were enthusiastic to respect each other. There were popular slogans- like "  Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai". But some provocations from the both the sides resulted into beginning of full-bloom war between China and India from October 20, 1962. The war continued  for over one month, inflicting heavy damage to Indian troops and grabbing of huge Indian territory. At last China unilaterally declared ceasefire and Peking in a statement said ,"Beginning from November 21, 1962 (midnight) Chinese Frontier Guards will withdraw to position 20 km (12.5 miles) behind the line of actual control which existed between China and India on November 7, 1959." Battle cry of Chinese troops was so swift  and  sudden that Indian government were found in helplessness situation.Fear stalks countrymen!

As authentic stories go, it became imperative for China to launch attack on India. Thousands had been killed by Red Army in China. There were sharp differences of opinions between Mao and Chou. Poverty   had gripped China beyond imaginations. And last but not the least, to express their anger towards India for giving shelter to Dalsai Lama, who raised  the bogey of Tibet for its independence although Tibet had become part and parcels of China in accordance with the UN Resolution! All these factors compelled China , perhaps, to attack India. Situation became so frightened during war that nobody knew when the Chinese forces will stop as they were facing very little resistance from unprepared Indian Army. At that time N J Nanporia, who was editor of the Statesman had told Pundit Nehriu" Chinese would offer a ceasefire unilaterally, citing reasons " Chinese has attacked to punish India not to occupy it". Much drama and hype were created just on the eve of China declaring unilateral ceasefire. None of the senior government functionaries including Pundit Nehru were aware of cease fire declaration by China!

Subsequently, the then Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon resigned owing moral responsibility. Later. Menon had said openly about the sketchy story of such sudden attack by China, " My story must die with me because I would have to lay the blame on Nehru, and I do not want to do so because my loyalty to him."  Many senior army officials head rolled .Sadly Pundit Nehru had to face hostile anger for debacle during China and he continued to smart under the criticism by his key cabinet ministers on China policy and opposition leaders  till his death. Alas , visionary Pundit  Nehru could not live long and died under the shadow of back-stabbing by Chinese leaders, whom Jawahar considered true friends of India!

Notwithstanding both India and China are leaping forward economically and harping on cooperation to each other, there are many constraints between friendly ties of both the countries. Apart from legal trade between China and India getting boost, unauthorised and illegal entry of goods, specially electronics, have flooded Indian markets through Nepal, jeopardising the developing economy of India. Main hurdles have centred on the status of Tibet and sheltering of  over one lakh  Tibetians in India as refugees  under the leadership of Dalai Lama! Dalai Lama slipped to India along with huge number of Tibetans with huge movable property!They have their full-fledged Tibet government in exile in Dharmshala in Himachal Pradesh of India! A long shadow has casts over Tibet and Tibetan staying here. Such situation is proving a million dollar question over the India and China relation! They live here as sheltered people-this generosity, as India clarifies very often, was out of respect for Dalai Lama and his spiritual eminence.

According to a recent Report in the Time Magazine; many in China ,however, deem this as meddling in the internal affairs.As early as in May 1959, Mao Zedong, a top Chinese leader, in his"The Revolution in Tibet and Nehru's Policy" had accused Nehru of encouraging Tibetan rebels. And as recent as last year, Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei had said China opposes "any country that provided a platform to the Dalai Lama" whom they consider a separatist. Last year, China also cancelled border talks with India in protest over a speech by Dalai Lama in new Delhi. That may be a rote, predictable picture at this point but it speaks of an intractable problem dogging ties between the two Asian  giants. "The issue of Tibet is a core issue between India and China" Lobsang Sangay, the prime minister of Tibet government in-exile told Time. "we want India to have productive relations with all its neighbours including China."

Now the question  of significance for both the countries marking October 20, 2012, 50th anniversary on China-India border war of 1962. Sadly month-long war between India and China , which the Chinese had given crushing blow to India, because of defence unpreparedness by India. Chinese 's fight witnessed its soldiers attacking across disputed McMahon line, a boundary through Himalayan terrain, earmarked in 1914 by the British Colonial authorities and Tibetan officials. The Beijing refuses to recognise this earmarking of the border. The main motive of China appears that it desires to secure hold over Tibet played a significant role in its decision to raid into India. The Chinese had unilaterally declared ceasefire on November 21, 1962 and withdrew from much of the land it conquered save the strategic barren territory appended to Kashmir known as Akasai Chin.

Despite all these hicuups, the relation between China and India has achieved significant economic changes between these two countries. In 2005, China and India pacted to agree to a strategic and cooperative partnership between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and India's Prime minister Manmohan Singh. Again in last July both the countries led by Chinese vice-premier Li Keqiang and prime minister of India Manmohan Singh proclaimed that Indo-China relations would prove most significant and important mile-stone in bilateral relationship  in the 21st century. Dr Manmohan Singh said in 2009 , " India and China are not in competition-there is enough economic space between us both."

The Times report says ; but where does Tibet fit into picture? China's annoyance at India sheltering the Dalai Lama has surfaced regularly and India has often made concessions to the trade partner's sensitivities. In 2009, Beijing raised a stink when Dala Lama wanted to visit Tawang, a historic monastery town in Arunachal Pradesh-a state the Chinese still claim as " southern Tibet'. While New Delhi did not stop him, it restricted coverage of events by not allowing foreign journalists to accompany him to the country's remote north-east,. In 2011, the Chinese consulate in Kolkata sent a written protest when the governor of West Bengal met Dalai Lama while he was in city on a speaking tour, ruffling feathers in India. "They have no business doing that publicly", Sangay says referring to written protest. " That is interference in India's sovereignty and internal matters."

On the other hand Beijing  disagrees and said , " Dalai is terrorist with a separatist agenda. I do not think that China's protest against the Delhi's movements for Tibet independence in India is interference in India's internal matters, but just the  opposite that if India allows Dalai to engage separatists activities in India is interference in  China's internal affairs, the so called autonomy of Tibet (that) the Dalai Lama claims to be seeking is actually the independence of Tibet, which is definitely forbidden," Wang Dehua, Director of the Sanghai-based South Asia Research Centre at Tongji University said..

According to Uday Bhasskar former director of the Delhi-based Think Tank of the Institute of for Defence Studies and Analysis; India never used the Tibet card-in a fragile geo-political neighbourhood, New Delhi better knows than to use its small leverage in a contest it cannot win.

Despite recent visit of  from high profile Chinese dignitaries including President Hu Jinto and defence minister General Liang Guanglie, the issue of Tibet continues to be a point of discord. Chinese still fears that India will leverage the might of more that one lakh Tibetan exiles on its soil and fuel tension in Tibet. Uday Bhaskar said " Tibet issue is is one of the China's historical fears."

But there are certain  trends of animosity (in China) towards India. Mohan Guruswamy of the Observer Research foundation says, " " And we have to live with just the way they have to live with our growing friendship with other countries and the Tibet issue. But 1962 will never happen."

In totality,India's debacle in the Indo -China  war of 1962 still continues to be mystery! Cause and reasons of Indo-China war of 1962, enquired by the two army officers- Lt. Gen Henderson Brooks and Lt.neral Pre Bhagat, is still gathering dust with union government eevenafter 50 years of war. The government kept  the report under  wraps. The government got way under cover of "public interest". Strangely no where in the world has the army been able to deprive the public on facts on such an important in India's history for such a long period under the cover of secrecy. When the Central Information commission did not allow to make the report public, the eminent journalist Mr Kuldip Nayyar, has filed an appeal before the the Delhi High court  for directing the government to make the report public in their interest even after long gap of time. But the case is hanging fire in the court!

Worse and humiliating defeat of India in the hand of China  in 1962 will continue to haunt the Indians and coming generations in years to come!