HIGH TIME ERRORS ARE CORRECTED

Parliament session began on 5 February. Earlier, the Government was not clear what to do with the last Parliament session. In December they took a decision not to prorogue the last session so that the President does not have to inaugurate  the new session and what happens in February is a continuation of  the winter session. Of course elections are coming so the Budget doesn’t  have to be presented but the idea was to present some economic matters in a manner that would help the Government and the Congress party in the elections. Then the Rahul Gandhi factor came in. Rahul Gandhi suddenly has taken a view that anti corruption laws should be made very strict. I feel if he would have joined Anna Hazare’s movement in July 2011, irrespective of the Prime Minister and the Congress President, he have done much better. He is a young man. He himself has never been a Minister.  He can easily take  a stand that whoever is corrupt should be proceeded according to law. But at that time unfortunately he was not interested so much in political workings and he did not take an active interest with Anna Hazare. Now he wants to do that. It is too little too late. But whatever he is doing is welcome. For instance, the ordinance which he got revoked and again the Lokpal Bill  which he got passed and he is also saying that there are 4 of 5 other laws related to  anti corruption which he wants to get through in this session of Parliament. All this is very good. The only missing link is, if the overall picture is not with him — he can’t do it. For instance if Parliament doesn’t function because of Telangana, how will he get any Bills passed in this session? Every day Telangana and Seemandhra people will hold up the working of Parliament.  Unless they find a solution to that, there will be piece meal working everywhere. There is already duality between the Congress President and the Prime Minister. Now  there are three people. Tripartite. It will not work. His intentions are good. Contrary to what people say — that his interview was not impressive —  I think young people should be more sensible, and I think his interview was sensible. For instance they asked him are you in the race for Prime Ministership. His reply was good – in India we don’t have a Presidential system and the Prime Minister will be elected by the MP’S who are elected. The BJP has projected one person and is behaving as if the whole country is going to vote for that person. The Congress should not fall in that trap. The Congress should run politics as it has been running.  Yes, corrections are required. Corruption has become too much — that should be reduced. People are becoming irresponsible in giving statements. That should be controlled. The Election Commission is already doing a good job, but there should be a conversation between the political parties and the Election Commission on how to conduct elections in a dignified way. The electorate is becoming awakened, the voting percentage is going up. But still there is rampant casteism, religion, communalism in asking for votes. That must be brought to a stop. The last session of Parliament  unfortunately, I don’t think can be used very productively  because of this simmering Andhra problem. Moreover the BJP is already saying we will not cooperate with the Congress either on Andhra or anybody else. Which is stupid. Andhra is not a one election affair. It is a re-structuring of  a State for all times to come. It is a demand which is pending since 1948. It is impossible not to concede Telangana. The NDA Government should have made Telanagana when they made Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.  But even now it should be done. Yes, there  should be a compromise now that you can take it after the elections. But all parties should agree to it that after elections we will do this irrespective of the election results and who comes to power. Another issue which is pending from the last ten years is an erroneous Supreme Court judgment actually given by late justice J. S. Verma who was awarded the Padma Bhushan posthumously, though his family declined to accept it. He has held in some context that Hindutva  is not Hinduism and asking for votes in the name of Hindutva  cannot be considered as asking for votes in the name of religion.  This is definitely an erroneous view. The matter is pending in the Supreme Court to review the judgment with a bigger bench to take a view. I believe the Supreme Court wants to take up that matter but in my opinion it should be done before the elections. Before the elections, the Supreme Court should lay down correctly what is the meaning of religion in the context of the People’s Representation Act. Asking for votes in the name of Hindutva,  whatever thin line you may draw, obviously means you are asking Hindus to vote for the RSS, the BJP, the Hindu Mahasabha — whatever those parties are. If that is allowed then Muslims should be allowed to ask to vote in the name of Muslims. The whole system will break down. The earlier the Supreme Court addresses itself to this task, the  better it is for the polity.

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