Saturday, March 23, 2013
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books Rule of Law is a regime in which the law is equally enforced against all, irrespective of status, wealth and pedigree. Unfortunately, this time honoured convention is being undermined by the senseless manner in which politicians like Dig Vijaya Singha and Markendeya Katju are loudly advocating clemency for Sanjay Dutt. This politicization of the judicial process has already led to the delay in carrying out the executions of the Rajiv Gandhi killers and the Sikhs convicted of killing Beant Singh. There is nothing new in this: right from the time of Jawaharlal Nehru, the India judiciary is being undermined by the political class. The Supreme Court of the land has found Sanjay Dutt guilty of illegal purchase and storage of arms. Worse he acquired the weapons from Dawood Ibrahim who was the mastermind behind the 1995 serial blasts in Mumbai. Sanjay Dutt was 33 years old and he cannot claim that he was not aware of his actions. If he is pardoned because of the clamour from both the glitterati and from the political goons, then a very bad precedent will be set. When Laloo Prasad Yadava is convicted for his role in the fodder scam and when Salman Khan faces the punishment for the killing of innocent animals or in the hit and run case these very man will quote the Sanjay Dutt precedent and ask for clemency/ pardon. The political class and the influential will be beyond the reach of law. Even now the political class is shielding its own and with the bad precedent of pardon then they can just walk out of court rooms the moment they are convicted. In fact Karunanidhi the bandicoot from Tamil Nadu used the executive privilege to pardon a DMK criminal who killed Maekala, a very bold dalit councillor in Madurai who used her position to supply piped drinking water to the homes od dalits and freed them from depending on the water tankers run by the associates of DMK politco-criminals. The constitution has to be amended to do away with the "clemency" power granted to the Presidents and Governors. In fact Pratibha Patil pardoned convicts guilty of heinous crimes and earned for herself opprobrium and universal contempt. Sanjay Dutt was aware of the illegality of possessing arms and he was also aware of the fact that the arms were coming from Dawood Ibrahim. It is entirely another matter that most of the Bollywood films are financed by the underworld and perhaps even some of Sanjay Dutt's own films. However, to say that he deserves to be pardoned for this crime is to insult the memory of 257 men, women and children killed in the 1993 blasts. The rights of the victim for justice too needs to be taken into consideration. The fact that Sunil Dutt was a Congress MP and his daughter Priya is a sitting MP is behind the campaign for mercy. Political considerations need not weigh matters of justice and law. In fact every politically connected criminal will now be emboldened by the ugly precedent which will be set. The law must take its course and politicians must not be allowed to deter the course of justice. The call for pardon is mispalaced and it is being drummed up keeping the interests of film financiers, who take money from the underworld and of cource clelebrity criminals like Salman Khan, Tabu, Saif Ali Khan and the like. If this man is given pardon whu not Manu Sharma, Vikas Yadava, the killers of Nirbhaya and the list is endless.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books A wave of student unrest is spreading across Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The students and youth are out on the streets protesting against the Sri Lankan Government and its alleged involvement in the civilian casualties during the tail end of the war in May 2009. I have elsewhere pointed out that India did not put pressure on Sri Lanka to minimize civilian casualties, probably keeping the LTTE and its horrendous record of ,mass killing in mind. The fact that is now forgotten is that the LTTE took 250,000 men, women and children hostage during the last days of the war and used this civilian population as a human shield. The DMK was in power in Tamil Nadu at that time and Karunanidhi did nothing except go on a farcical hunger strike that lasted just 15 minutes. His fast was called off within less than fifteen minutes and this itself shows that the old bandicoot is not serious about the Tamil cause. The issue now is the US sponsored resolution about alleged human rights violations by the Sri Lankan army. The DMK wants India to support this US backed resolution before the UNHRC. USA is a country that has destroyed Iraq, supported insurgents in Libya, arranged for the killing of Qadaffi, now arming the Syrian rebels to create lawlessness in Syria and with this track record no one can take US protestations on human rights seriously. However, human rights is a very good instrument by which great powers can intervene in the internal affairs of other copuntries. The US backed resolution is likely to be defeated as there is a great deal of opposition to the inclusion of internal security problems in an internationally binding resolution. India cannot afford to back a UN resolution calling for international inveerstigation in alleges war crimes comitted by Sri Lanka as Indian track recors in Kashmir and Nagaland is perhaps worse than that of the Sri Lankan Army. Therefore the criminal Congress dominated UPA under Man Mohan Sigh did what it does best: it spoke in contradictory voices. Chidambaram was dispatched to placate the old bandicoot and he said that Karunanidhis's concerns will be addressed. All the time the External Affairs Ministry knew that India cannot be party to a UN resolution which will set a precedent for India. Knowing full well that the mind of the UPA was made up,. Karunanidhi walked out of the UPA. His calculation is that by walking out, the sentiments of the people will be turned toward the DMK. This is unlikely as the DMK is perceived to be a corrupt and criminal party and the daughter of the old bandicoot himself is facing criminal charges stemming from her involvement in the 2G spectrum scandal. However, the UN resolution and the declining credibility of the DMK has led to a very serious problem. Sri Lankan citizens are being attacked everwhere. A few days back a Buddhist monk who had gone to the Big Temple, Tanjavur, was beaten up. Tamil pilgrims from the Planatations who were visiting the pilgrimage town of Vellankani were roughed up. Sri Lankan cricket players are being attacked and the office of the Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai is under threat. The UPA under Man Mohan Singh knowing full well that it cannot support the US resolution should have argued its case in a transparent manner which it did not do. The DMK is going to be wiped out in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls along with the Congress. The people of India have decided to give Hon'ble Narendar Modi a chance and so the BJP will win by default. The fact is that the Sri Lankan Army under General Fonseka did kill a large number of civilians incl;uding Balachader, the son of Prbhakaran. The video images are now being selectively being released and Channel IV seems to have an unlimited access to war footage. Of course dark deeds were done. But is the Government of Sri Lanka responsible for them under international Law. In conditions of war collateral damge do take place.
Monday, March 4, 2013
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books USA is in the game of criminalizing political leaders it feels will not toe her line. As far as USA is concerned less said the better. American actions have led to the death of at least a million men women and children as a direct fallout of the Iraq invasion and its policy of arming rebels all over the world. Yet USA behaves as if its political leadership can sit in judgement over other leaders with implacable democratic credentials. Hon'ble Narendra Modi has been elected three times as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and with the end of the dynastic fascist party, the Congress very near the Nation looks upon the Hon'ble Narendra Modi to provide leadership to a nation wracked with violence, scams, corruption and an economy in decline. The Indian courts have not found even an iota of evidence to implicate or even link the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat with any act of omission or comission. This itself is in contrast to the situation with regard to the Congress Party which was responsible for systematic butchering of at least 15,000 Sikhs in North India alone and went on to reward men like Jagdish Tytler and H K L Bhagat with ministerial posts. And USA has no problem dealing with the Congress because it supports the gobal strategic vision of USA AND iNDIA IS BEING DRAGOONED into an anti China alliance. Hon'ble Narendra Mosi was invited to participate in an India Economy Discussion at Wharton School of Business. The Gujarat success story is as real as the economic transformation of China and was achieved through systematic encouragement of entrepreneurship and a governance where there in not a whiff of corruption. Again a contrast with the Congress which is now embroiled in the latest Westlamd Hel;icopter scam. Double digit frowth rate is not easy to achieve in a stare which is not rich in natural resources. Wharton invited him and like a Facebook account it not "unlike' Hon'ble Narednra Modi. The liberals in the USA have made it their agenda to target Modi and recently Martha Nussbaum even issued a fatwa against Modi. Do American Universities not have the freedom to invite guests who are perceived to be politically on the wrong side. I have always believed that academic freedom was within the margins of acceptable debate, and the Narendra Modi episode shows to the whole world the politisied nature of American university culture.