Category Archives: Opinion

Abrogation of Article 370 and future of Jammu & Kashmir

Abrogation of Article 370 and future of Jammu & Kashmir

Our government has made a historic decision on August 5.  By scrapping most of the provisions of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, it bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two different Union Territories – Jammu-Kashmir and Laddakh.

Jammu & Kashmir is worldwide famous as paradise on the earth.  Before the bifurcation of the region, it consisted of three major regions i.e. Jammu, Kashmir and Laddakh.

Jammu, known as winter capital, is a pilgrimage of the holy shrine of Amarnath. Kashmir is blessed with the beauty of landscapes, Himalayan valleys and snow greenery. Laddakh – Little Tibet of India, is renowned for its mountain beauty, Buddhist culture and monasteries.

When Jammu & Kashmir became a part of India, special status was granted to the state by the virtue of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Through this status, the state was allowed to function through separate laws. Our leaders expected that by giving extra autonomy, the state would flourish and people would lead a happy and prosperous life.

Unfortunately, it could not so happen. The long period of seven decades is enough to decide the fate of the state. In these years, the state had to face the curse of unrest, protest, violence and blood. Jammu & Kashmir could not develop so much as compared to other states of the country.

The state of Jammu & Kashmir always remained a trouble spot. It cost heavily to the country as well in the form of money. The government had to deploy extreme security to maintain normalcy in the region. About, one-fourth of defence budget was expended for the state.

Some countrymen demanded the revocation of Article 370 and 35A granted to Jammu & Kashmir. In their opinion, the extra autonomy was one of the main reasons for the dismal condition of the state.

Now, the Government of India has made Article 370 and 35A inoperative by the Presidential order. Jammu & Kashmir and Laddakh have been made two different Union Territories.

The natural beauty of Kashmir | Image courtesy: Steemit

There are several positive impacts of removal of Article 370. First of all, it gives the feeling of “One Nation, One Citizen”. Now we can say with proud that our country is governed by a single constitution.

The revocation of Article 370 is also beneficial for Jammu & Kashmir. The fundamental rights granted under Part 3 of our constitution will now be applicable in the new Union Territory. Besides, the right to education will be applicable that ensures the growth in the region. Business entrepreneurs will be attracted to invest in different fields. New industries and infrastructures will be set up. There will be a substantial increase in employment. All these factors will be helpful to eradicate poverty and Jammu & Kashmir can become the Switzerland of India.

However, it would be wrong to think that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir would change in one night. It would take some more time to emend the plights of people who have suffered for more than 70 years. It is the responsibility of the whole nation to co-operate with the government and not spread any rumour or fake news about the situation in the region.

ICC, cricket world cup

England and New Zealand teams deserve to be joint world champions

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 ended with the blend of mixed emotions.  There were thrill, delight, surprise, disappointment, anger and commiseration in the final match.  This was the first finale of Cricket World Cup which had winners, but a no loser.

Despite the fact, only one team celebrated the victory and went away with the trophy.  The other team could reap only admiration and sympathy to their part.  Isn’t it ridiculous?

The grand finale was played between the host team England and New Zealand.  The world witnessed a tie match in both 50 overs and super overs.  Such was the passion in both teams for getting the maiden cup!

 

The England team rejoicing with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 | Image source: BBC

But alas! The unfair rule destroyed the spirit of the game.  England were declared the winner only for the count of boundaries.  The ICC gave the message to the upcoming generation that cricket is the game of only batting and not of bowling and fielding!

A beautiful game was decided through an irrational logic.  Players work hard for four years in the preparation of this tournament so that they could perform with their best on the playground.  Cricket fans around the world pay hefty prices for tickets.  They leave their important schedules to watch the matches for hours and to see their teams win.

 

Kiwi team getting disappointed after the tied up match | Image source: Sport24

And what the cricket pandits sitting at the ICC did!  They played with the emotions of players and fans.  The match should not have a sole winner until it is decided fairly.  This way, both the finalists should have been the world champions.  After all, it is the biggest tournament organised by the ICC.

No doubt that the England team played well.  But the Kiwi team also chased the score brilliantly till the last moment.  Such a game is rarely to be seen.  So, the decision is impossible to digest.  The cricket fraternity has shown an utter disappointment on the decision.

 

 

Was it so important to decide only one team as the winner?  If it were a semi-final match, the ICC could have thought of declaring the sole winner so that one of the finalists may be decided.

However, rules are rules.  We have to comply with them.  And according to the rule, the England team were crowned world champions.

But the ICC needs to review its rules and ensure that in future, these rules may not spoil the game spirit.  The rules should not bring injustice to any team and they should not ignore public sentiments.

budget 2019

The good sides of the full union budget 2019

Nirmala Sitharaman has become the first full-time female finance minister to present the union budget.  Before that, Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister and having an additional portfolio of finance had presented the union budget in 1970-71.

Breaking the tradition of carrying a briefcase, Sitharaman held a red parcel like bag embossed with the national emblem.  The government also changed the name of union budget to traditional “Bahi-Khata”.

Since the interim budget is valid only for two months, the government presented the full-fledged union budget.  Here, we would not like to review the budget, but certainly, there are many good sides of the union budget 2019 presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  Let’s have a look at them.

 

 

Rs. 3000 pension: There are 30 lakh workers in the Prime Minister Shram Yogi Mannadhan Scheme.  These people will get a monthly pension of Rs. 3000 after the age of 60 years.

No need of PAN card: The person, who does not possess a PAN card, can use Aadhar card while filing Income Tax return.

Good news for tenants: Nirmala Sitharaman has announced in the budget 2019 that Rental law will be reformed.  To promote housing rent, modern tenancy law will be shared with states.  The existing rules are not satisfactory in terms of good relations between tenants and landlords.

Instant Aadhar card for NRIs: Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed the instant issuance of Aadhar card with Indian Passport for the NRIs after their arrival in the country.  Presently, they have to wait for 180 days for getting Aadhar Card.

One Nation, One Card Service: The central government launched the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) in the month of March.  In this budget, the Finance Minister has announced that people can make multiple kinds of payments such as transport charges, toll tax, parking charges etc all over the country through NCMC.  People can also purchase commodities using this card.

 

 

Electric Vehicles:  On purchase of electric vehicles, people have to pay only 5% GST instead of 12%.  There will be no custom duty on certain parts of electric vehicles.  There will be a tax deduction of 1.5 lakh on Electric Vehicles loan interest.

Rs 70,000 crore for banks:   The budget 2019 proposes to provide banks with Rs. 70,000 crore capital to boost credit.  The finance minister has informed that there has been a record recovery of Rs 4 lakh crore from loan defaulters in the last 4 years.

No Scrutiny of Start-ups:  There will be no scrutiny of start-ups and investors with respect to Share Value Premium if they provide requisite information while filing Income Tax Return.

No MDR charges on cashless payment:  Companies with an annual turnover of up to 50 crores and also their customers will not have to pay a merchant discount rate.  At present this rate is one to two per cent.  This is a one way ahead to fulfil the dream of Digital India

These announcements made by the Finance Minister will definitely bring cheers to common people throughout the year.

 

We should consider all aspects of joint elections

We should consider all aspects of joint elections before we implement

Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi has proposed “One Nation, One Election”. It means to hold the elections for the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies at the same time. The Law Commission, Parliament Standing Committee and Niti Ayog have already recommended for joint elections.

Almost every year, elections are held in some states of the country. This brings a huge burden on the national economy. A large number of army men, police personnel and civilians are deployed in every election. The model code of conduct also hampers to implement government policies. Certainly, joint elections can be a good solution to these issues.

This is true that joint elections have been held for four consecutive terms after independence. But the circumstances were different at that time. Presently, we will have to dissolve the government of all the states to hold simultaneous polls. Certainly, this would be a herculean task as no state would like the dissolution of its government.

Moreover, joint elections have the capabilities to mix up central and state-level issues. National issues may dominate over the regional ones. So no doubt, the regional parties will be reluctant to go for simultaneous elections for the fear of electoral loss.

What if the central or any state government falls on account of lack of majority? We will have to either impose President’s rule for the remaining terms or hold a fresh election in the state. While the first option is not good for the representative democracy, the second option will again bring the country into frequent elections mode.

Frequent elections give the political parties an opportunity to evaluate themselves and remove their shortcomings. Separate elections provide feedback to the parties and an opportunity to improve their performance. This is good for a healthy democracy.  Certainly, these benefits are missing in joint elections

Conclusively, joint elections have their own pros and cons that we cannot ignore. So, there should be a healthy and nationwide discussion on the issue of simultaneous elections.

post-poll awareness campaign

The need for a post-poll awareness campaign

The 17th Lok Sabha election of India is successfully over.  Electorates have chosen 543 parliamentarians as their representatives.  The Election Commission of India, political parties and NGO’s conducted several pre-poll awareness campaigns. 

These campaigns incited more and more people to use their right to franchise.  Today, India has a stable government with full majority, thanks to its conscious voters.

However, only voting to choose suitable representatives is not enough.  We can do something more to create a healthy and democratic relationship with our representative.

Common people think that parliamentarians hold a high position of the democratic system.   They are hesitant to communicate with their representative.  Such tendency needs to be changed.

 

 

So, what can we do after we have selected our representatives?  We can e-mail or write a letter of congratulation, expectation and appreciation. 

In the letter or e-mail, we can congratulate them for their victory.  Besides, we can put forward our views on the issues of our constituency.  These issues may relate to unemployment, road condition, water crisis, pollution, the development of the region and many more. 

We can also suggest solutions that may be helpful to resolve such issues.  We can appreciate them for their developmental work done in the constituency.

Through this activity, a message goes that voters are observing the work of their representatives.  Representatives, too, feel that voters are attentively listening to them and their work is being appreciated.

Most of the representatives are active on social media platforms as well.  We can also communicate through this medium. 

Time has come to maintain a fearless communication between voters and representatives.  And by adopting this method, we can do it.  In this way, we will also contribute to the development of a strong democracy in our country.

Inspired by the article written by Nikhil Bhandare published in The Better India

Conscious electorates, emerging India

Conscious electorates, emerging India

The general election 2019 of India will be remembered for many factors.   Most importantly, electorates of the country showed full enthusiasm to cast their vote.  News from different parts of the country came about voters who became an inspiration to the country.

Manisha Rani from Haryana exercised her franchise one hour after the delivery of her baby.  Ravindra Narayan Singh from Varanasi cast his vote even after getting a surgical operation.  A bridegroom in Manali delayed his marriage and reached the polling booth with his whole family to use the right to vote.

Twin sisters from Patna, Sabaa and Faraah, whose heads are adjoined, cast the vote despite their suffering. There were many voters above their nineties and still voted with their trembling body.

This loksabha election broke many trends and myths.  People used their franchise ignoring the spirit of caste and creed.  They negated the candidates supporting the ideology of dynasty and nepotism.  Development, public welfare and nationalism were proved to be the crucial issues.

 

Image source: Forbes India

 

Indian voters didn’t get influenced by the alluring promises that some political parties made.  They have now become aware that such freebies can damage the economy of the country.

The nation requires a strong and stable government. This is the reason that this time also, countrymen have given the gigantic majority to a political party. 

All this shows that electorates of India have grown mature.  This is a good indication for the democracy of the country.  Countrymen have paved the way for the construction of a new India.

chowkidar

Nation voices loud: Chowkidar pure hai

By giving a full majority to the BJP, the nation has clearly voiced that the chowkidar is honest.  This is the charismatic image of Mr Narendra Modi that Indian people have so much faith in him.

The Indian public has shown that the NDA led by Mr Modi has governed well in the first tenure and it deserves another chance.  This grand victory in the loksabha election 2019 has proved that people have wholeheartedly accepted the policies implemented by the government.

 

 

From Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Ujjwala Yojna, Demonetisation, Awas Yojna, GST, Make In India to Jan Dhan Yojna, all schemes have made a great impact on Indian people.

Countrymen have expressed their firm belief that only Mr Modi has the potential to re-build India as a shining country.   Corruption-Free governance has deepened the trust in him.

The most crucial factor was nationalism that led the party to the spectacular victory.  Our existence is due to the country we live in.  So, anyone who speaks about or supports the ideology of disintegration of the country, people will never like them.  The people of India showed the way out to such anti-nationalists.

Similarly, if someone makes regular attacks on our sovereignty, they must be repaid with what they deserve. The nation embraced Mr Modi who made us feel proud by giving due reply in the form of surgical and airstrikes.

So, India has got a strong and stable government. The stupendous majority has also come with big responsibility and expectation.  A lot of work is yet to be completed. The government will have to accentuate more in the field of agriculture, poverty and employment.

We hope that the government will get better to the expectations of the country.

Possible scenario after the end of Lok Sabha election

Possible scenario after the end of Lok Sabha election 2019

The general election of 2019 has come to the end.  This election will be remembered for a long time in the history of Indian politics.  This was the largest democratic election of the world, with 900 million eligible voters. 

For the first time, the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) system was used with the EVM machines.  The system enabled the EVM machine to record each vote by generating slips.

So after the end of the election, the whole world is impatient to know as to who will govern the country.  There are four possible results of this Lok Sabha election.

 

 

First, the BJP may get a full majority this time also.  The party contested the election on the issue of nationalism, scam-free governance, implementation of so many welfare schemes and global acceptance of India as a super-power.

However, the issue of nationalism may be a failure. The Congress party had succeeded to regain power in 2009 even after the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.

That’s the reason the Congress party gave priority to economic policy in the manifesto and raised the issue of the alleged failure of GST, demonetisation, the return of black money and unemployment.  So in the second possibility, Congress is likely to form the government with the full majority or with the help of alliance.

Third, the BJP may come up with the single largest party without a full majority.  In this circumstance, it will be interesting to see how the party gets the majority.

Fourth, the big alliance (Mahagathbandhan) may form a coalition government.  The country may witness an interesting political drama for the nomination of Prime Minister.

There may be another scenario which is likely to bring a constitutional crisis in the country.  Perhaps the Supreme Court of India may have to play a crucial role to resolve the issue.

Whatever it be.  The election is successfully over.  The Election Commission of India, personnel engaged day and night in the election duty and Indian voters are worth-praising for its completion.

Hope the election will give a stable and strong government to the country. 

Mission Shakti:

Mission Shakti: An Another Leap In The Space

Suppose an object measuring a few meters is moving from Delhi at the speed of 20,000 kilometres per hour.   We, sitting at Mumbai, have to hit this object through a missile.  Sounds impossible?

Yes, because we will say the object is so small and it will go far beyond India till our missile reaches the object to shoot it down.  We need perfect calculation of the expected position of the object and accurate time to target.  It also requires advanced scientific technology.

But surprisingly, we have done it.  India has successfully conducted an anti-satellite missile test on the space.

 

 

Hitting a fast-moving satellite with a missile is a very challenging task.  That’s why only three countries before India have been capable to do this.  Now India has joined the international club of four countries having this capability.

We have even excelled in this field as India conducted the successful test at its first attempt.  Whereas, the previous countries the USA, Russia and China had to make several tests before they succeeded.

This is really a great achievement for India.  In other words, we can say that India has become a space power.

India, surrounded by hostile neighbours, can protect itself even in the space by targeting any satellite spying on it.

So, “Mission Shakti” has given countrymen an opportunity to be proud of being Indian.   DRDO and ISRO deserve warm appreciation for this heroic achievement.

 

Main Bhi Chowkidar

Main Bhi Chowkidar – An another Pro-Modi Wave?

Scene I.

A customer purchases a car and offers cash for payment.  The showroom manager refuses to accept cash.  The customer shows anger at him – “You are weak at finance”.

The manager replies back – “I am not weak, but the nation’s truthful chowkidar who doesn’t indulge in tax evasion”.

Scene II.

A family is travelling in a car.  The man in the car tries to throw corn outside the window of the car.  His wife stops him and offers a piece of paper to put into it. The man asks, “should we dirty our car?”  Wife responds, “Then should we dirty our city?”

The child from behind questions, “Mummy! Are you a teacher?”

The woman firmly replies, “I am chowkidar of the nation.  He is not alone. I am with him”.  When the car stops, the woman drops the garbage paper into the dustbin.

Scene III.

A mother calls for her doctor son at 12.15 am as to when he will return home for dinnerHe is not the only doctor in the town to work so late.

The son replies, “I am not a doctor alone.  I am chowkidar of society’s health.  She and my wife should not wait for me but take their dinner”.

When a poor patient looks at him, surprisingly, the doctor replies, “Will the nation’s chowkidar alone work till late night? I am also with him.

These scenes are of three different short films not created through any big ad agency but are pure creation of Prime Minister Office.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prefixed the word “chowkidar” in his Twitter profile.  So many cabinet ministers have also followed this.  This is the beginning of a “Main Bhi Chowkidar” campaign.  The nation also seems to go crazy with this campaign as people are adding this slogan with their name.

 

 

The theme of the slogan gives message of constantly working for corruption-free India, clean and green India and be watchful and proactive to national security day and night.

No doubt that Mr Modi has become favourite after Balakot air-strike.  This “Main Bhi Chowkidar” campaign has the power to connect, emotionally, more and more people with him.

However, ‘Mahagathbandhan’ alliance is running another campaign “Chowkidar Chor Hai” through its Twitter handle.  The alliance alleges the loot of public money and award of monetary benefit to Prime Minister’s kith and kin in GST, demonetization policy and Rafale fighter jet deal.

This is a battle of “Main Bhi Chowkidar” V/S “Chowkidar Chor Hai”.

So it’s the Indian people who will decide in the coming months as to whether “Main Bhi Chowkidar” was another pro-Modi wave or “Chowkidar Chor Hai” was the true campaign that influenced them.