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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..

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD: RECENT CONTROVERSY OVER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN INDIA!

No doubt democratic system of government is considered best form of government in the globe. Al least, even minority population has taste of power in the system-they rule their respective countries on the basis of majority share of votes-even less than stipulated qualified  electorate get opportunity to exercise their franchise, Nowhere in the world countries hundred percent qualified electorate exercise their franchise. Even in the United States of America, vote percentage during elections  remains  terrible low. In India it is by land large 50 to 60 percent exercise of franchise ! Therefore the democratic system of governments throughout the world are called the government of minority of people in the respective countries-that is so in India also! But there must be safeguards to implement democratic system in true spirit-it should be matter of debate discussions throughout the Planet.But the system has many loopholes and demerits because present system lacks safeguard throughout the world where the democratic system prevail. But the system gives adequate opportunity to the people to speak about the government openly because of freedom of expression and also by misusings their rights and duties towards the respective Constitutions of the countries in the globe!
In the background of the recent elections of the President of India, many controversial things have come to the surface. Supporters and political class of the two respective contestants-Pranab Kumar Mukheerjee and Puran S Sangma have utilised their lungs power to malign both the contenders to their hilt.
 Amid all these mud-slinging Congress -supported UPA candidate Pranab Kumar Mukherjee won the race by defeating Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) -supported P A Sangma by the huge margins of votes of the electoral college, formed under the basis of the Indian constitutional provisions. But the controversy is yet to die down. Under Indian Constitution, the President is supposed to be custodian of the Constitution as titular head of the country. Mukherjee's  road to magnificent Raisana hill, residential-cum-official residence called Rashtrapati Bhawan, constructed by British Raj has been cleared and now apart from best luxury and life style in the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Mukherjee will be entitled to use luxariest life-styles materials including one of the best luxury car-Mercedes Benz S600 (W221), Pullman guard crafted in Stuttgart, German, which is said to be the epitome of luxury. Thus from travelling in Ambassador Car, manufactured in Uttarapara in West Bengal during his tenure as minister in the Union government to the Mercedes Benz, epitome of luxary. Also from a mud house in a  small village of Birbhum district in West Bengal, Pranab Kumar Kumar Mukherjee alias Paltu, will enter the best and luxuariest place on the earth-Rashtrapati Bhawan as first citizen of India in the next few days after his swearing in sprawling Parliament house to take over the titular post of Rashtrapati of Bharat from the outgoing President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil.
Much firework has been created on the Indian political scenes in the last two months. This is the way in India where lakhs of people die without food, medical  assistance , proper education etc runs under so called democratic system of government.and tax-payers and general public have to bear the burnt of their lively-hood at the cost of the comfort and luxury of President of India and also other class of ruling and opposition elites of the country
In the process of the elections of the President, the credibility of political class has gone down to the drains. Both the candidates for the Presidential fights lack credibility, taking into account their past history of political life.Mukherjee's candidature has drawn much controversy because of his four-decade long political life, his role and priorities in political life.It first started with his controversial  forged signature of  Mukherjee on the resignation letter from holding the post of the Chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute before filing the nomination papers for the election to the post of the President. Non-congress opposition including BJP challenged his nomination paper on the ground of forged signature on resignation letter from the post of profit post  and pressed for its rejection. Sangma, his rival also reiterated that Pranab's nomination must be quashed and even threatened to challenge   Mukherjee's election in the Supreme Court.
Notwithstanding many controversies had been witnessed since the elections Dr Rajendra Prasad as  the first  President of India, the ongoing controversies and stalemate over the candidature of Pranab Kumar Mukherjee has added new dimension of such things in the recently concluded Presidential elections.Various question marks were raised over Pranab's political career, which have captured the attention of media and public.These finger raising questions range between his decisions and actions during the Emergency (1975-77) to his oblique support to an industrial house, which has become a big corporate.
The Shah Commission, constituted by the Janata Party government at the centre to enquire into affairs during emergency of the Prime minister ship of Indira Gandhi, has, in clear term, indicted Pranab for "Cronyism" during emergency and not for cooperating with the commission.Mukherjee's action during emergency has raised doubt over his democratic credentials.The BJP leadership, while opposing his candidature, has alleged that Mukherjee had played active role in cooperating with Indira Gandhi for declaring emergency and also throttle democracy in the country.The Shah commission report , still in the achieves of the Union Government, said, "Although Shri Pranab Mukherjee assisted the commission at the preliminary stage of the fact-finding enquiry, he did not file any statement in the case, as was required to be done under Rule 5(2)(a) of the Commission of Inquiry (Central) Rules 1972. He had responded to the summons u\s 8B of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952. But he refused to take oath and tender evidence."
It is said that Pranab refused to depose before the commission on the directive of Indira Gandhi, showing disrespect to the law of the land.The Shah Commission dwelt at length about the "misdeeds" of Mukherjee right from his role in shacking T R Varadacharya as Chairman of the State  Bank of India  (SBI) without noting any reasons and appointing K C Puri as Chairman of the SBI, who was close adviser of Sanjay Gandhi. Pranab also indulged in harassing and targeting people, who were anti-congress during emergency as minister of state revenue under Indira Gandhi prime minister ship.. Pranab was instrumental in raids on the houses of trade union leaders Prabhat Kar,D P Chadha, general secretary and president respectively of the All India Bank employees Association. Pranab's directive as union minister of state revenue in the Indira Gandhi government to arrest Gayatri Devi , former Rajmata of Gwalior, and Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scndia are still exactly remembered in political and administrative circles.Most criticised raids on Bajaj and Mukund groups in May 1976 on the instruction of Pranab are stll considered breach of power by him.Both the groups had openly supported anti-corruption campaign and movement of Sarvodaya of Jay Prakash Narayan , the Shah commission noted and added, "while these raids were being pursued by the ministry of revenue for tax evasion, no action was taken against two women, who were registered as shareholders in Maruti Limited, a Sanjay Gandhi venture, as their addresses could not be verified despite their names being in the defaulters list. Not only that enquiry against Maruti Limited were stopped abruptly during the emergency by Mukherjee,"
More over, after return to power by Indira Gandhi after the fall of Charan Singh government in 1980, Pranab was made Union Finance minister as a reward for his loyalty. Thereafter he shown undue favour to to a particular business house, Differential taxing system was introduced, practically ruining the Bombay Dyeing at the cost of some unknown business houses, which later on became the industry leader in 1980. Surprisingly , while defending UPA-two government when opposition charged it with inaction against the flow of black money recently ,Pranab also tried to justify the controversial raids during emergency for curbing flow of black money outside India.His recent white paper on economy was simply a tokenism, which did not give any estimate of black money.Eminent journalist and researcher Pranjoy Guha Thakurta criticised Pranab and said, "The Finance minister acknowledges that the report was presented to comply with an assurance given in Parliament and that he would have been happy if he could have included the conclusions of reports of three premier institutions that have been tasked to quantify the magnitude of black money reports which are likely to be received by the end the year. The institutions include the National Institute of Public Finance and the policy that prepared a study on the black economy of India in 1985, which suggested that illegal income  generation in India was not less than 18 percent of the country's gross domestic products (GDP). This findings  were criticised by by the economists Suraj B. Gupata and Arun Kumar , both of whom suggested that the proportion was much higher at around 40 percent."
Not only that Team Anna has also launched tirade against Pranab and its one front -ranking leader Arwind Kejariwal has openly called Pranav "a thief" and described that victory of Pranab "shows black chapter of corrupt politician, taking over as President of India"Team Anna has also referred different deals during the defence minister ship of Paranab from 2004 to 2006. During his period , submarine deals are still being investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). During his external affairs minister ship, rice scandal had taken place in which Ghana had accused Indian officials and ministers of corruption in export of rice. Pranab always worked to promote relations with imperialist and capitalist -United States of America during nuclear deal and forcing direct investment in the retail sector, many academics and economists have   charged Pranab with supporting big corporate at the cost of livelihood of farmers and small businessmen..
Odisha chief minister openly spoke against the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee and charged him with distributing huge finances to Bihar , Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal governments with sole purpose to garner support from Bihar,s chief minister Nitish Kumar , Mulayam Yadav's party Samajwadi Party and West Bengal's chief minister  Mamta Bannergjee.
On the other hand, Much mud were also thrown on Sangma during the electioneering. Many congress leaders described him "opportunist-remaining in Congress, deserting the party and joining Nationalist Congress Party and finally turning into anti-Congress parties like BJP, Biju Janata Dal and AIADMK" to put himself as Presidential candidate. Sangma has claimed that he is a candidate representing tribal interests but  he never championed the causes of tribal during his political career. Interestingly his daughter Agathat Sangma , who is a NCP member of Lok Sabha, is minister in Manmohan Singh government..Interestingly she campaigned for her father during elections and voted to him defying her stature of being a minister and also NCP directive! Sangma's  primary aim appear  to join NDA in the 1914 Lok Sabha elections run-up because of his being a candidate o f BJP, Biju Janata Dal and AIADMK. Sangma  is trying for a new political space by becoming unsuccessful presidential candidate.
Significantly, Presidential elections this time , although described most pitched fight and controversial, such controversies have not left previous President elections untouched on the political scenes of India.First Presidential  elections had also a lot of confrontation and controversies among ruling political leadership. Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel had sponsored Dr Rajendra Prasad's name as first President of India while Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru wished C .Rajgopalachari as first President . But Pundit Nehru had to succumb to majority views and Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected first President of India. Like wise, serious rift emerged at the time of contest between V V Giri and Neelam Sanjiv Reddy  in 1969 presidential elections during Indira Gandhi's regime-there were fight between "syndicate and indicate (syndicate led by old guards of Congress and Indicate led by traditional and progressive Congressmen led by Indira Gandhi)"Sanjeev Reddy , being the official candidate of the  ruling Congress party had to lick the dust and V V Giri , who was independent candidate, unofficially supported by Indira Gandhi had won that elections. Subsequently the ruling Congress split-Congress led by Nijlinggappa ad Congress led by Indira Gandhi. Later Congress led by Nijlinggappa vanished and Indira Congress became official Congress party led by Indira Gandhi..
Finally, Mukherjee will be 13th President of India amid much -much controversy. In view of 1914 Lok Sabha elections, which appear to be hung Lok Sabha in view of resentment of  against UPA led by Congress against corruption and price rise, role of Pranab Mukherjee will be keenly watched. Apart from that over 17 mercy petitions including of Mumbai bomb blast accused Kasab, waiting for death sentence,pending before the President and their  disposal are also eagerly awaited During Pranab Mukherjee presidency although President has not much say over the matter as only after the advice of President can act and will have to ditto the government recommendation as per  the Constitutional provisions. Of course people are afraid over neo-liberal views of Pranab Mukherjee?
Although Pratibha Devi Singh Patil's tenure did not have any political turmoil like earlier occasions, the controversy did not leave her untouched l. Her frequent foreign trips had attracted much criticism on which over Rs 700 crore were spent during her tenure. Apart from this her defence land wish  in Pune from military lands also raised much  resentment in the country and  later she dropped  the idea of taking such land from defence ministry for constructing post-retirement house in Pune.
SOURCE: Parliament proceedings, Shah Commission Report, Day-to-day newspapers and weekly magazines and fortnightly including Frontline, Achieves of South Block and North Block , Various sites on Internet. .

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