Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor


Scrap the anti-people laws
A religious man heading a religious place whose calling it is to lead religious rituals was on last Saturday absolved of all the criminal charges leveled against him but not before he languished for four years in disgrace in Mumbai's Arthur road jail. Who will restore to him his lost four years and who will wash off the "terror tag" affixed on him? How can the agony and privation suffered by him and his family be compensated? Today 2.45 lakh such citizens are languishing in our jails who may, very well, not have committed the crime for which they are "inside". They are the undertrials who may have spent more years in jails than the quantum of the sentence for the crime for which they are under trial. If they are ever proved guilty, that is. Only 30% of the prisoners are actually serving their sentence. The conditions in our jails are atrocious. Varun Gandhi in his short stay in Pilibhit jail had a rat bite! Our jails have 50% more inmates than their capacity. The State which cannot speedily dispose off the cases or cannot lodge its prisoners in reasonably human conditions has no right to rob the citizens of their personal liberty. Our country has the dubious distinction of having a law which bars a court from granting bail to an accused unless it has prima facie evidence of the man's innocence! The age old maxim of innocent till proved guilty is overturned! The judiciary, the legal fraternity, the Human Rights organizations should consider themselves as responsible as the Government. An excellent amendment to the Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Act was passed by the parliament early last year. Under this amendment no person would be arrested if his crime is punishable by less than 7 years imprisonment. The Police would arrest the person only if he fails to respond to a notice to present him at the station. In short the amendment obviated the necessity of an arrest and therefore the necessity of a bail. The Chief Justice of India while endorsing this pro-people act, made a startling statement that sixty percent of the arrests made in India are needless. Who scuttled the notification of this Act? The lawyers, the legal fraternity of Delhi came down on the street protesting against this act. They marched to the parliament, blocked roads and even resorted to hunger-strike forcing the government to defer the notification of the act. Nothing is heard of that amendment since.
Dr. Mookhi Amir Ali, Santacruz West, Mumbai
Penalty of 700 Euro on Burqa in France
Now a draft bill is under consideration of French Parliament imposing a fine of Euro 700 on any woman wearing burqa covering her whole body in any public place and her husband twice as much if he forces hear to wear burqa. This is for the first time that women would be penalized for wearing burqa. Earlier France had banned Muslim girls wearing hijab in schools. It argued that these religious symbols interfere with its commitment to secularism and its secular culture. Such legal ban will only build up resistance among traditional Muslim women and they would try to defy the law resulting in social tensions. The fact of the matter is nothing happens without political ideology being behind it. This measure is being championed by rightwing politicians who are exploiting anti-Islam feelings in France among a section of people under the cover of secularism. However, the socialists are opposed to any ban on burqa though they are also not in favour of women wearing burqa. They feel women should be discouraged rather than banning burqa. The fact is, in countries like these, when there is a freedom of flaunting your body in public, there should be a freedom for the women to cover their face, if they so desire and if they think it is requirement of their religion.
                                                         Farzana Z Khan, Nagpur
Dinakaran issue and caste politics
Karnataka Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran is the new scapegoat of India's cast biased Bureaucracy. Even though he made his assets published in the website of 'Bangalore Mirror', the higher cast lobby in the centre is not likely to stop their heinous allegations that now threatened to his impeachment. Mr.Dinakaran belongs to scheduled cast (Dalit Christian) and was likely to be next CJI as he was nominated to the vacancy of Supreme Court by KG Balakrishnan and his five member collegium. It would be agonizing for the Brahman lobby a lower cast men repeatedly hold the post of CJI and with this ongoing pretext they can promote a Brahmin women, who is from Madras High Court, to the vacant post and thus ensure an upper cast next CJI.
Abdul Raoof KK, Aligarh
Commission again on the outcome of the commission
It is believed that if the government fails to take any drastic measure in any case then several commission & committees formed in order to pacify the enraged public for sometimes under such policy, and the real issue may be forgotten after sometime. After India's freedom generally three types of commission & committees have been formed. Firstly, enquire commission for looking into the factors responsible for searching communal riots & disturbance. Secondly, development commission for the welfare of minority community, while third is analytical committees for several government events, incidents & occurrences.There are numerous enquiry commissions but those committees which were formed for the welfare of minorities in which Rangnath Misra committee & Justice Rajendra Sachar committee is one of them.The spokesman of Mumbai Congress Nizamuddin Rayeen says that the forming commissions & committees are to know the realities of any incident. When with Sri Krishna action taken report was presented in Maharastra assembly & the government decided to take action but Shiv Sena opposed it with all its might, the government became unable to take any action against it. As a result public think that the government does not want to take any action. As a matter of fact, the history of communal riots in India is so long & common. After independence of India the communal riots have been taking place uninterruptedly, at last or hence the government seriously paid attention to some sensitive cases, therefore, in 1961 when communal riot broke out in consequence of Hindu girl & Muslim boy love affairs in Jabalpur then Justice Diyal Shrivastav committee was formed. It blamed the intelligence department including Secret Information Agency for the whole episode.In the same way, in August 1967, when some students made a peaceful demonstration against state government for Urdu to be made a second official language in Hatiya Ranchi, unfortunately the peaceful demonstration was attacked by some bad elements & it suddenly turned into communal riots, as a result 19 Hindus & 164 Muslims were killed. Raghubir Dayal commission was formed to find out the realities of this event. It submitted the reports accusing the Hatiya D.M & S.P including political parties but unfortunately no action against them has been taken by the government so far. In September 1969 Jan Sangh & RSS distributed pamphlets in Ahmadabad against Muslims minority as a result communal riot broke out in which 512 people were killed Justice Jagmohan Reddy commission was formed by government to enquire into it. It clearly declared that particular community was targeted on the baseless propaganda.In Maharastra, Bhiwandi, when the riot broke out between Muslims & Hindus by causing mischief of MTM & Rashtriya Utsav Mandal, in which 59 Muslims were killed including 17 Hindus. D.P Madan commission was formed to enquire into the matters responsible for the riot.It is worth mentioning that in Maharastra Jalgaon May 1970, the communal riot occurred on the rumour making the rounds that the 42 Muslims were killed.The responsibility of looking into the incident was given again to Justice Madan. He concluded in his reports that the top brass of the police on 8 May were on leave. When the mischief mongers spread the rumor and communal riot took place, Muslims were targeted with the tacit support of the police. Their sole motive was to injure and harm the Muslim community. After independence so many commissions were formed, however, a lot of incident occurred and government did not pay any attention to form any committee and commission. Despite this truth, it cannot be ruled out that government is not active to take stern measure against guilty person because sometimes it has been seen that culprits were sent to jail after being proved guilty by the commission, sometimes government could not take any action due to some stumbling block. So the government should be serious in this regard and restore the public confidence.
Anis Reyaz, Patna University, Patna
War hysteria
Reference to the warning given by Mr. Gates about the militant threat to the Indo-Pak ties. It will be really foolish on part of India and Pakistan to be conned into a war by outfits like Al Qaeda, let or any other foreign agency/power with ulterior motives. Both the countries have been progressing satisfactorily and face similar problems. A war will push these countries at-least a decade backwards. The bureaucrats and other peace loving citizens should see to it that war hysteria is not built up. War hysteria may lead to a full scale war, which will have severe bad consequences.
Mohammed Sadullah Khan, Riyadh
Ethics and introspection in media
The problem with the Indian media, is that it doesn't introspect, while preach others to do the same, be it the politicians, their parties, militants, Naxals and so on. They are all advised to look deep inside their own trade and clean up the rot. However, the rot within this so called pillar of democracy is ignored and often brushed beneath the carpet. Just mere organizing some debates and discussions in a studio and asking whether the media is accountable or not, seems too irrelevant, the issue is over the moment the program is over. And yet who can deny that while our media has much to be proud of, there is increasing public disenchantment, not just with its slant, shrillness, sermonising and sensationalism, but with its core value, namely integrity. It is hardly a secret that the media is capable of misjudgement and laziness. However, what the aam aadmi seldom doubts is the "news" it transmits. That trust, alas, is breaking down.
Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur
Taliban's attack on Kabul
Mr. S.M Krishna is a naïve person so far he did not learn the international diplomacy of foreign affairs. In what way he can request US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mr. Holbrooke not to allow the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to withdraw from Afghanistan unceremoniously. It will pose a threat to India and the people of Afghanistan will be left on the mercy of Taliban. Mr Krishna should know that their primary option of the US forces is to safeguard their own lives and the secondary option is to eliminate the Taliban's from Afghanistan the third one to think of the safety and security of Indians working there for money. After the laps of six years the NATO forces could not suppress the Taliban. It clearly indicates that ISAF have lost the courage and the moral is depleting. They might not have endorsed fully the adventure Mr. Bush had taken. It was against the wishes of American people and its armed forces. In the presence of ISAF how Taliban can dare to attack Kabul killed three security men, two civilians and injured 71 people. Thanks God Mr. SM Krishna could infer that after the withdrawal of American forces Indians will be on the mercy of Taliban. They will take Indians to task. The presence was on the behest of Americans. There is also the danger that the US forces may use Indians as a shield. Our Indians are greedy fellows they can sacrifice their lives to fetch dollars. Our government should anticipate the impending danger in Afghanistan and asked all the Indians to vacate the country .and come back to their families. If they are alive they can earn millions of dollars. Life is costlier than dollars. Let the Afghans deal with Taliban. We should mess with Maoists in India
Dr. Abdul Hameed Maqdoomi,Gulbarga
Peace motive
With reference to the border firing problems of India and Pakistan. These two prominent neighbours of South Asia should revive the peace process. It is in the interest of both the countries to stop blame game for political benefits and come to the table for talks. Both the neighbours share common culture and history, which should help them to ease tension and move forward towards progress and prosperity. A vast majority of people are keen to have a peaceful relationship with each other. Motive for peace will help in reducing the vast budgets allocated for defense purposes and the same can be used for others like eradication of poverty, illiteracy, electricity, clean water and developmental purposes.
Mohammed Sadullah Khan, Riyadh
Obama's hibernation of one year
A lot has been written about Obama's performance in White House during last one year in which mostly economical problems faced by USA (and by rest of the world), AF-PAK policy, climate change etc have been dealt with extensively. But these analysis and reports are neither here nor there as far as the solution to the fundamental problems faced by US in this globalised world are concerned. In these evaluations the following facts / backdrop and the changed situation in which Obama and USA find themselves have been overlooked:-

(1)- The US financial crises, triggered by so called sub-prime crisis in this globalised world which caused economical problems world over, has been handled by Obama in a manner for which USA (and rest of the world) does not need an Obama. Any American President (even of most ordinary talent) would have easily done the same under the pressure and guidance of financial institutions of USA and rest of the world.(2)- Whether Americans like it or not but after the dismemberment of USSR the contemporary uni-polar world has placed USA in a trying situation where USA is required to initiate the process of achieving a (non-UN) global political order, a sine-quo-non for economical globalization.(3)- In post 9/11 world [where the mankind realizes the danger of terrorism faced by it as well the importance of the solution of chronic disputes like Israel problem, Kashmir problem etc which are mainly the result of deep-rooted animosity and dislike of Muslims by Christians and Hindus] the ascendancy of Obama to white House is not merely an event but a phenomenon underlined by non-white African complexion and Muslim connection of Obama (though everybody is busy in erasing these factors from the memory of Americans) which have been considered a reassuring factor in an American President by rest of the world in the interest of bringing the said just and humane political globalization.(4)- In a nutshell the problems of the Americans shall be solved only when Obama puts USA in a position where USA will derive its benefits regarding military (all armed forces) power, political power and economical power out of the process of initiating Non-UN political globalization based on human rights (of life, liberty, property and belief). The success or failure of Obama shall be judged by Americans and rest of the world precisely on this touch stone.(5)- Nothing has done more harm to the human rights of the mankind than the distribution in charity of sovereignty by militarily and economically developed nations through UN to the developing countries who do not have resources and competence to acquire / sustain the sovereignty. The extent of immense cruelty, this ludicrous political concept of sovereignty (with no interference in their so called internal matters, as if human right is an internal matter of any country) of developing countries has perpetrated on their citizens by the functionaries and organs of the state of developing countries can be known only by the citizens of these developing countries and not by the citizens of developed countries like USA who glibly talk about sovereignty of every country which is nothing but an euphemism for exclusionism. (6)- As a blessing in disguise USA has an opportunity to start the process for political globalization from Afghanistan. For this USA ought to do the following:-(7)- USA should immediately shed its exclusionist mindset and should stop planning to leave Afghanistan by 2012 or immediately after that [Though to be fair to USA it is not only the water-locked country USA which has exclusionist mindset. Even India has it as is evident (a)- from its 1971 policy towards Muslim majority Bangladesh which was not assimilated in India though two nations theory which brought east Pakistan, presently Bangladesh, into existence during 1947 partition proved wrong by the events of 1971 war and (b)- from India's policy toward Muslim majority Kashmir where India never tried militarily to retrieve its territory of Pakistani side of Kashmir whereas Pakistan tried militarily to get Indian side of Kashmir in 1947, 1948, 1965, 1971, Kargil war and ever going proxy war].(8)- USA should develop and install a mechanism for the implementation of human rights in Afghanistan where citizens of Afghanistan will have a legal right to approach 'Global Human Rights Commission' (supported by the armed forces of USA and its allies) in case these human rights are denied to the citizens of Afghanistan by its State (executives, legislatives, judiciary and Human Right Commission of Afghanistan).(9)- With this mechanism for the implementation of human rights well rooted in Afghanistan, other countries can easily be persuaded / brought in for the benefit of developing the said just and humane global political order.(10)- Once USA decides to stay for more time (till said just and humane global political order is well rooted) in Afghanistan then the mess created by USA in Pakistan (due to unnecessary dependence of USA on Pakistan for Afghanistan solution) and the frivolous intervention of India in Afghanistan imbroglio will automatically wither away.

(11)- As for Israel problem the west itself is to be blamed. If Hindus and Muslims are expected to live in peace in India then there is no reason why Jews and Muslims can't live in one country. The 'secular' west has unnecessarily created problem for the entire mankind by insisting on two different countries, one for Jews and other for Muslims. USA and allies should try one country for both Jews and Muslims with the said human right implementation mechanism in Israel (on the same pattern as above in Afghanistan).
                                            Hem Raj Jain, Greator NOIDA, (UP)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2010 on page no. 30

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