Friday, April 18, 2014

Do not give up on PSUs: Narendra Modi

Do not give up on PSUs: Narendra Modi

Sandhya Jain18 Apr 2014

 Do not give up on PSUs: Narendra Modi
The BJP’s Prime Ministerial contender came out against the blanket sale of loss-makingpublic sector undertakings (PSUs) and said these bodies can be professionalised to improve their performance, employees can be taken into confidence and trusted to turn the organisations around, and that it would be wrong to malign them all them as useless. In a wide ranging discussion with Sanjay Pugalia of CNBC Awaaz (telecast on Friday), Narendra Modi avoided a direct commitment on the issue of privatisation of organisations such as Coal India, but said that if necessary, such decisions must be taken without political pressure, in the national interest, and “that is my USP”.
He indicated, however, that his preference was for saving PSUs from closure or sale, pointing out that in Gujarat, the State electricity board had an annual deficit of Rupees 2500 Crore, but by introducing professionalism and technological upgradation, it improved its efficiency and stopped making losses. As Chief Minister, he said, the very first delegation that met him comprised employees of the State Fertiliser Corporation which was on the verge of closure. The Government drew up a plan and today it is one of the highest profit making PSUs in the State.
Taking bold questions about his image as a business friendly leader, Narendra Modi said that among Indian leaders, “only I had the guts to stand among corporate leaders and get my picture taken; others meet secretly”. Gujarat, he elaborated, hosts the Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit for two days biannually, where all investors from the country and abroad are invited, because to give employment to the youth there must be industrial development. Here, he said, half of one day is dedicated to the small and medium industries sector, where new entrepreneurs come forward to invest. If the nationwide growth of this sector is just 20 per cent, in Gujarat it is 85 per cent.
Further, he said, the “news traders” (read anti-Modi news purveyors) who talk about crony capitalism do not come to Gujarat in summer where, every year, on June 13, 14 and 15, when the temperatures touch 44degree Celsius, “I go to the villages and take my entire Government with me. We go house-to-house and exhort parents to send their children to school and the result is 100 per cent enrolment”. Gujarat hosts an annualKrishi Mahotsav from May to June and all 800 agricultural scientists from the universities, and all officials of the relevant departments go from field to field and talk to the farmers about seeds, crops, fertilisers, pesticides; a complete lab-to-land knowledge transfer that has taken agricultural growth from 2 per cent to 10 per cent.
On economic reforms, particularly the GST which is a powerful anti-corruption tool, the Gujarat veteran clarified that the BJP had always favoured the GST. Stating that he had personally discussed this with the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, he said that the success of the scheme depended upon an Information Technology base without which it was impossible to implement, and this had not been done. Further, he felt that the Government of India should deal with States as equals and ensure that they are protected from losses. In sum, the process and support system to execute the scheme must be prepared prior to implementation.
Dodging a question on portfolio allocation as improper, he said that the BJP manifesto had stressed the development of railways, not merely as a passenger service, but as a growth engine that can also link the States and the Centre. So far, the railways have been separated from both and function in an ad hoc manner, with MPs pressurising for more bogies for their area, whereas a holistic approach with technological upgradation and linking of all services via supercomputer can make the railways a huge strength. Fears regarding manpower availability are misplaced, he said, insisting that India has many unknown gems that should not be underestimated; all that is needed is commitment and the rest is not difficult to learn.
Dismissing plans to showcase some special achievements in the first 100 days of coming to power, Narendra Modi said there is no short cut in politics and running a Government is serious business. The NDA will function in a mature fashion, he said, without daily, weekly or monthly targets, and the people can evaluate the same after five years.
The criminalisation of politics has created public anxiety and must be taken seriously, he said. Tracing its origins, he said that after independence, the nation got leaders who were freedom fighters. But after 15 to 20 years, deterioration set in and factionalism rose, which gave rise to cliques; this led to the strengthening of caste and the rise of jati netaswhich affected the quality of leadership. Soon, anti-socials were roped in to help leaders win elections, and as a corollary the anti-socials decided to be leaders themselves.
It is difficult to clean up this system overnight, he said, but a beginning can be made with all MPs who are elected in 2014. The Supreme Court can take the affidavits they have submitted to the Election Commission and decide cases or allegations pending against them in a time-bound manner so that there is Damocles sword hanging over their heads. If they are convicted, the seat will be vacated. This can be extended to all elected MLAs, to all candidates who filed nominations, and taken down to the corporation and panchayat level. His vision, he said, would be an “apradh mukt rajniti” (crime free politics) by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Regarding corruption in the UPA, the Gujarat veteran said that a post-corruption debate could give negative returns; his priority was to create a system that makes corruption unfeasible. On the functioning of constitutional institutions, he said they were affected by the priorities of those in power, and once the direction is solved, they will fix themselves.
Asserting that regional aspirations must be addressed, the BJP veteran said that one centre of control had harmed nation. Initially, he said, the Congress controlled every level of power, but when things changed, it did not adjust to the reality and resorted to the misuse of Article 356 and defections, which led to reaction at the grassroots. As one who has ruled a State for 14 years and has experienced problems vis-à-vis the Centre, Narendra Modi said he preferred an approach of Team India, where the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers jointly address problems. Today, he said, there is no communication, only letters are exchanged; there is no meeting of minds, whereas the nation is a family; there cannot be a system of ‘we order, you obey’.
Ruling out centralisation of power in his office (the PMO), Narendra Modi said one office cannot run such a large country and that he believed in maximum delegation of power to his colleagues to get speedy results. On how federalism should work, he said that he favoured a system in which States decide their priorities, whether water or roads, and this kind of flexibility yields best results. On subsidies, he said the poor have the first claim on resources, but his priority would be to bring people out of poverty and not to keep them poor. On foreign policy, he merely said that the world has changed and old parameters don’t work; nations will decide their priorities on the basis of trade, commerce and technological support.
Shunning feelers for a ‘Muslim outreach’ in response to assessments that the community is being polarised to defeat the BJP, Narendra Modi was adamant that he would never make communal appeals; in Gujarat, he spoke of six crore Gujaratis and in India about 125 crore citizens. “My terminology is for one nation, for the youth, the poor, the kisan, the sheher (town, city), education, health”, he said, and clarified that the BJP had not opposed Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid but the comment that ‘Muslims must unite and vote against the BJP’. In a democracy, anyone can meet anyone, and in fact, leaders should meet as many people as possible.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Musings on the future of Hindu temples under HR&CE Department -- GP Srinivasan

Musings on the Future of Hindu Temples under HR & CE Department !


 For 50 years or more , the term HR&CE Admn. Dept. has been mis- interpreted, mis-used used and abused by diehard anti-Hindus. The words “Religious" and “Charitable" are only adjectives of the word endowments. There is no mention of temples.  

The HR&CE Admn.  Dept's domain is confined to endowments.  It has no jurisdiction over the functioning or administration of the temples. While the Govt. pokes not even in the endowments of the minorities,  it is a clear case of  interference in  and violation of the liberty  of the majority community under article 26 of Indian Constitution. It is strange that the main stream Hindu Organizations have not joined the struggle to liberate the Hindu Temples from mismanagement of a corrupt Government department.    

 The Britishers raised the bogey of anarchy to hide their unwillingness to handover India to    Indians. Yet, India has not perished in 66 years (since 1947) . History has exposed the desire of Britain to rule the countries colonized by means fair & foul. [The HR & CE is a remnant colonial vestige that has not fallen off of its own.] 

The former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Mr.M.Karunanidhi, who is keen to take over of the Chidambaram Temple that belongs to the Dikshitars, by using the bogey of mismanagement , has created a 'struggle front' by using a stooge called Arumughasami. 

It is doubtful how the likes of Arumughasami, could pay the fees of a high profile lawyer like Colin Gonslves, a Christian,   raised the bogey of  the minority denominational status of the Deekshitars in the Court? 

       Likewise, the HR & CE Dept. in TN is raising a Spectre of mismanagement of temples to delay  the handing over  of the management of temples to an autonomous body. 

           During the appointment of IAS officers to head the Dept. there was at least one saving grace.

           With the Democle's sword of sudden transfers hanging over them, the IAS Officers thought   Twice before taking any crucial decision.

          Now, the appointment of HR &CE staffer as head has turned the status of temples further bad.

         Like Indians ruling India in pre -British India village-level teamsof Hindus can & will better the future of temples.

      Cases are cooked up against Deekshitars to divert public attention 
 (Indian Express Dec. 7th) . While apex bodies of most Depts. have built- in Internal probing Internal Audit system why special judicial powers to HR&CE Dept.? 

       A litigant giving judgment is a mockery of Indian Judiciary.

      Claims by the HR&CE Dept. about the numbers of temples under its Controls are inconsistent. 

       Records of how each temple came under its control is not available.   While census of India 1961books on TN could provide around 20 facts About each temple it is ridiculous, that in computer Digital age the HR&CE Dept does not publish all available facts of temples claimed as under its control. 

      Similar and  more factors not only disqualify HR&CE Dept from controlling Temples but also attract action against it by the SC.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

128 Naxal fronts of CPI(M) exposed. Likely that some mainstream media are also naxal fronts?


Friday, 11 October 2013 | Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi
The banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) has put in place as many as 128 front organisations across 16 States for carrying out Naxal propaganda and bringing newer areas under its influence.
Apart from the Naxal-affected States, there are as many as nine such outfits in Delhi, three in Gujarat, 8 in Haryana, 10 in Punjab, 12 in Karnataka, four each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and two in Uttarakhand.
Among the Naxal-affected States, Jharkhand tops the list with 17 front organisations followed by 13 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 each in Bihar and Odisha, nine each in West Bengal and Maharashtra, six in Chhattisgarh and two in Uttar Pradesh.
The propaganda stage is the first step by the Maoist before carrying out violence. The front outfits also mobilise people against the State when the Maoists suffer setbacks at the hands of security agencies.
These organisations intend to create disenchantment among the masses against the State apparatus with the twin objective of enlisting their support for dharnas and demonstrations and to prepare them for violent revolution later.
The growth of these outfits in States like Delhi, Haryana, Punjab in the north, Gujarat in the west and Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south is an indication that Maoists aim to enlarge their area of operation and the arc of violence. The expansion in these States also suggests the ultras have plans to bring urban areas in the ambit of Naxal violence, a senior security official said.
The active outfits in Delhi include Delhi General Mazdoor Front, Democratic Students’ Union, Nari Mukti Sangh, Revolutionary Democratic Front, Vikalp (cultural front), Forum Against War on People, Committee for Release of Political Prisoners, People’s Democratic Front of India and Mehnatkash Mazdoor Morcha.
The three outfits operating in Gujarat include Gujarat Working Class Wing, Krantikari Kamdar Sangathan and Naujawan Bharat Sabha. 
The outfits under the scanner of security agencies in Haryana include Disha Sanskritik Manch, Jan Chetna Manch, Krantikari Mazdoor Sangathan, Mahila Mukti Morcha, Naujawan Dasta, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Kisan Manch and Shivalik Jan Sangharsh Manch. The outfits in Punjab include Jamhoori Adhikar Manch, Kirti Mazdoor Union, Lok Morcha, Punjab Radical Students Union, Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Jamhoori Manch.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Indian Ocean History: Link

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Indian Ocean Community: Video links Animated Time Map of the Khmer Empire & Southeast Asia (100-1550 A.D.) Ancient Kambodja (Cambodia) The History of Religions in Indonesia

Friday, May 27, 2011

Temple Preah Khan at Angkor: a pediment depicting the battle of Lanka.

Scene from Ramayana: Building Setu. Sculpture Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hon’ble Union Minister Ambika Soni makes ASI Director a scapegoat to save herself

Hon’ble Union Minister Ambika Soni makes ASI Director a scapegoat to save herself

Sethu affidavit: ASI officer files case against Soni
Amitav RanjanPosted online: Dec 15, 2008 at 0010 hrs

New Delhi : An Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officer, suspended last year for not carrying out changes in a counter reply to the Supreme Court on the Ram Sethu project, has filed a case against Culture Minister Ambika Soni and her senior officials for making him a “convenient scapegoat” to save herself from the public furore that ensued.
Seeking to quash the chargesheet against him, Chander Shekhar, Director (Administration) in the ASI, has told the Central Administrative Tribunal that the “purpose and motive of issuance of chargesheet is oblique and aimed solely at providing cover to the respondents in respect to the situation, which are their own creation, resulting in political fallout causing serious consequential repercussion to them”.
Shekhar, along with Assistant Director (Monuments) V Bakshi, was suspended in September 2007 for not incorporating corrections in the counter affidavit that set off a political storm, with the BJP accusing the UPA Government of hurting religious sentiments of Hindus in stating that there was no historical or scientific proof about the existence of Lord Ram.
Soni had then said her officers had made corrections, including deleting paragraph 20, which argued that mythological texts Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas could not be called historical records that “incontrovertibly prove(d) the existence of the characters or the occurrence of the events, depicted therein”.
According to Shekhar, the ministry’s Chief Public Information Officer Roopa Srinivasan, while replying to an RTI appeal for information on who carried out the changes, wrote: “No such information is available”.
“Thus, after one year of carrying out the claimed corrections in paragraph 20 of the draft affidavit, the ministry has now accepted that there is nothing on record to establish as to who carried out these claimed corrections in paragraph 20,” says Shekhar’s petition, which also names former culture secretary Badal K Das and ASI Director General Anshu Vaish as respondents.
Five days after the political outburst, the ministry had informed the Prime Minister’s Office saying that Joint Secretary RC Mishra, Das and Vaish, discussed and approved the changes in paragraphs 20 and 29 on September 6. Shekhar has said that only Mishra critically examined the draft affidavit, noting that “Paras 19 and 20 of the CA categorically state the stand of the ASI. This may please be seen. Source for the phrase ‘army of monkeys’ used in para 29 may also be ascertained”.
“It may not be out of place to mention that in the counter reply filed before the Supreme Court the words ‘army of monkeys’ pointed out by Joint Secretary stood deleted,” Shekhar says.
But, claims Shekhar in his petition, Mishra made no mention of the September 6 meeting on the file while he did so in an identical situation on the same issue less than two months before the controversial event. There was also no mention of the alleged changes by the Additional Solicitor General to the Court while seeking withdrawal of the affidavit, says his petition.
MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2008

ASI’s reply to my RTI application: Speaking Order & the right to non-comply with directions

V. Venkatesan

My continuing Right to Information battle with the Archaeological Survey of India on why the Government suspended two officials of the ASI following the controversy over the Sethusamudram affidavit has elicited one more reply. This time, the then Appellate Authority who had earlier agreed with me and directed the Central Public Information Officer of the ASI to provide the information I requested, has been overruled by his successor, Mr.D.S.Gehlot, who appears to have recently taken over as the Appellate Authority in the ASI. Mr.Gehlot’s order dated March 14, 2008 is interesting because it says he found the order of his predecessor not a speaking order, not mentioning either the fact, or reasons and silent about how the said information would not qualify for exemption under section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act.

The new order further says: “The Ministry of Culture has ordered an investigation in the matter and providing copy of the report submitted by DG,ASI at this stage is likely to affect the course of inquiry, which has been initiated under the CCS (CCA) Rules. Since the inquiry is still on, all the original papers related to the case are with the Ministry of Culture. The Nodal Officer of the Ministry of Culture was requested to take a decision about providing the information and take appropriate action. The CPIO Ministry of Culture concurred that the information related to the matter may be exempted under Section 8(1)(h).”

It adds: “The said exemption does not deny the information completely/forever but only till the matter is under investigation. The information sought by the applicant may be supplied as soon as the process of investigation is over.”

I agree that any order should stand the test of legality, fairness and reason. But I find the new Appellate Authority’s order difficult to comprehend. First, the RTI Act does not provide for amendment of order by one Appellate Authority by his successor Authority. Secondly, the failure of the Appellate Authority to provide a speaking order does not give freedom to the CPIO to non-comply with the AA’s order. If the CPIO is dissatisfied, then he should, one would expect, approach the CIC with a complaint or an appeal. But the Act does not contemplate that option to the CPIO. The Act is silent on this.

The Appellate Authority does not adjudicate between two disputing parties, in terms of hearing them. The AA simply goes through the RTI’s applicant’s appeal against the CPIO’s decision, and examines whether the CPIO’s decision was in conformity with the Act. In case the AA rejected my appeal without a speaking order, then how would I exercise my right of non-compliance with the AA’s Order? I have the option only appealing against the AA’s order, if I am dissatisfied. Therefore, to permit the CPIO to non-comply with the AA’s order, because it is not a speaking order, is likely to defeat the very objectives of the RTI Act, and its appeal mechanism.

Secondly, the new AA agrees with the Government that the matter is still under investigation, whereas one would assume that with the suspension order being issued against the two officials, and the Government having already submitted a revised affidavit in the Supreme Court in the Sethusamudram case, the so-called investigation must be already over. What sort of investigation is currently on? I am sorry to say the new AA’s order suffers from the same absence of “speaking order” which was cited to overrule the previous AA’s order. Once the report is submitted by the DG, ASI, it marks the completion of investigation, and the basis for the disciplinary action against the two officials. If the investigation is incomplete, then the suspension order must have clearly said, they were being suspended pending investigation. That was not the case.

Posted by V.Venkatesan at 6:46 PM