MyVoice: Views of our readers - 28 Dec
MyVoice: Views of our readers - 28 Dec
BJP's machinations come a cropper
Diversion and division of work are so much in politics. Beyond a point, only good governance can deliver the desired results in an election.
So, the BJP has been booted out of Jharkhand and it is the fifth State to have slipped out of its grip. The significant loss of the BJP in Jharkhand comes as a bang in the middle of countrywide protests against the amended citizenship law, in spite of the Prime Minister's attempt to encash the controversial law and his crass remarks on the identity of protesters.
With aggression and combativeness, Modi and Amit Shah are on a rampage, on a brazen agenda to do what they think is right. All his bellicosity in the previous term was directed at Pakistan and now it is mostly within.
This is visible in the BJP's shrinking footprint — from the high of ruling two-third of the States, it is now down to just about a third of India. A cocktail of reason is being cited, but decisive factor seems to be the electorate's disenchantment with `national' issues.
The victory is likely to energise the parties in the Opposition and they would be hoping that Bihar and Delhi, which would go to polls later, will also vote Jharkhand's way.
It also signals that the absolute rule of the BJP is diminishing and the so-called idea of Congress-mukth Bharat (Congress-free India) or the idea of decimation or non-existence of regional parties is an eutopia.
With the results of Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Haryana, what is clearly illustrated is that the parliamentary elections of 2019 were possibly just an 'abnormal' election due to the 'Balakot effect,' like the 1984 election, which happened just after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
The dangers of pursuing an ideological agenda are apparent, especially in a milieu where a large number of Indians are ready to push the government back.
No sooner it returned to power, than the Modi government criminalised triple talaq, revoked Article 370 and dismembered Jammu and Kashmir to gain Hindu and Buddhist support, clamped down on the Valley, changed Islamic names of cities to Sanskrit ones, indulged lynching in the name of the cow, ghar wapsi, pressured the judiciary, played out temple politics, and created an ideology-based citizenship legislation to target Muslims by exclusion.
India is on the path to de facto become a Hindu nation reinforced by de jure policies. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, or CAA, is the biggest ghar wapsi of all times, beckoning the Hindus of neighbouring Muslim countries to shelter in India.
For the first time, CAA profiles a refugee policy and its central concern is to protect the persecuted. But then, can it limit itself to certain countries and religions? Can an anti-persecution refugee policy be proliferated on grounds of religious discrimination? The resounding answer to this has to be 'no'.
The NRC becomes the biggest witch hunt in India's history. The Modi government's claim that NPR and NRC are different is an outright lie. The NRC process begins with the compilation of the National Population Register (NPR). The NPR is, indeed, the first stage of the NRC.
The pluralism of Hinduism is an organic fact and Hindutva is an artificial heuristic device. When you try and convert fantasy into fact, it upsets the fine balance that is India. To recast a country like India in the saffron light requires upsetting the equilibrium.
This cannot be done without force. We have seen this in Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Jamia Millia Islamia, in Kashmir and in Assam. Forcing an idea down people's throats can only lead to contagious rebellion, an irrational use of force by the State and, ultimately, chaos.
Several parts of the country have witnessed massive, spontaneous demonstrations demanding that this divisive, blatantly discriminatory, legislation be repealed. Today, India has answered the BJP on CAA.
It is a revolutionary exercise in civil disobedience throughout the country. This is a movement to save India's soul. It is the Indian spring in winter. It is like the protests in Europe in l968 and Poland saying, "We will overcome".
Javvadi Lakshmana Rao, NGGOs Colony, Visakhapatnam, AP
Khashoggi murder masterminds go scot-free
One of the haunting images etched in our memory is that of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, never to be seen again.
Poignantly, he visited the consulate for some paperwork needed to be done for him to marry his Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz who was waiting outside.
The dismemberment of his body and the exit of a body-double wearing his clothes from the consulate moments after his killing in a cover-up bid lent a cold touch to the tragedy.
While the hit men were convicted and sentenced to death or jail terms, those who masterminded the killing either did not have to face charges or let off on the ground of insufficient evidence.
It was widely known that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his right hand man and media czar Saud al-Qahtani nicknamed 'lord of the flies' for swarming the social media with his followers in defence of Saudi royal family and the former deputy head of Intelligence Ahmed al-Assiri masterminded the killing.
Still the Saudi Arabian court did not pronounce them guilty and made the hit men the scapegoats for their guilt, thus making a mockery of justice.
The CIA's disclosure that the Crown Prince ordered the killing did not matter to the court.
It was a blatant lie by the Riyadh regime that the killing had not been pre-mediated. The dispatch of a death squad to Istanbul on a private jet pointed to the hand of the Riyadh regime in the killing.
Khashoggi was brutally assaulted and murdered for criticising the repressive ways of the Crown Prince, mainly in his Washington Post columns from his self-imposed exile in the US.
US President Donald Trump has held that the US-Saudi relationship is 'too important to be derailed by a journalist's death' in a clear admission that economic interest overrides commitment to human rights.
The situation that powerful rulers who mastermind murders or commit crimes against humanity can get off scot-free must change.
Jamal Khashoggi's assassination seems a fit case for the International Court of Justice to take up to meet the end of justice and ease the world's conscience.
G David Milton, Maruthancode, Kanyakumari, TN
NPR doesn't require any document proof
After NRC and CAA, comes the National Population Register (NPR). The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave its approval for updating of the NPR with no requirement for people to submit any document or biometrics to prove their identity and conducting of census of India 2021.
The government made it clear that NPR has no relation with the contentious NRC amidst stiff opposition against the NRC.
The government also made it clear that at present there is no proposal to create the NRC in the country based on the NPR data.
The Cabinet approved the proposal for conducting Census of India 2021 at a cost of Rs 8,754.23 crore and updating of NPR at a cost of Rs 3,941.35 crore.
The NPR is a register of the 'usual residents' of the country. It contains information collected at the local, sub district, district, State and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003.
NPR was first done in 2010 and was later updated in 2015 when it was linked with the Aadhaar.
During the NPR, a respondent will not require to produce any document. Whatever information is provided by the respondent will be deemed correct and no documents or biometric would be required.
It may be noted that the process of collecting information for NPR will start in April 2020 and will be completed by September.
NPR will be conducted across India, except Assam as the State has already gone through the NRC. While the process of NPR and census will begin simultaneously, the two databases are not going to be the same.
While NPR only contains demographic information, more details are required for census like information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, and housing and household amenities besides others.
NPR is a list of 'usual residents' of the country. A 'usual resident' is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
The government has introduced as 'app' for NPR under which the entire process would be conducted without any documentation or paperwork. However, the usage is not mandatory as per the government order.
After all, the census is the basis for reviewing the country's progress in the past decade monitoring the ongoing schemes of the government and plan for the future.
T K Nandanan, Thevara, Kochi
Political economy of climate change
The failure of recently concluded climate talks in Madrid reflects the lack of political will among the global nations in chalking out a clear cut action plan to mitigate the climate change and its consequences.
The political economy of the carbon emissions and its trade between the global south and northern countries is one of the major factors for the lack of consensus.
It also highlighted the inadequacy of the market structure to facilitate the climatic action plan among the developed and developing nations.
The emergence and commitment of the European Union (EU) nations in the form of Green Deal to an extent is the silver lining in achieving the target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) by 2030 especially the Goal 13.
The objectives of the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without making a paradigm shift in the current global production and consumption patterns.
The sustainable consumption and production (SCP) play a crucial role in addressing the climate change concerns by effectively preventing the frequency of the natural disasters.
Nayakara Veeresha, Nagarabhavi, Bengaluru
Onion shortage should make rulers thinking
There have always been wide-ranging talks about improving the agriculture sector. True, a lot of technological advances have been infused into the farming sector so far from crop variety to harvest machine for example.
Where there is a will, there is a way – as the saying goes. As a matter of fact, the bigger the population, the greater will be the benefits in all spheres and on all fronts.
However, the latest news of the onion price crisis has given us all a completely different picture of the agriculture sector on the contrary.
The recent spiralling of onion price rise has indeed dented the dietary system of almost all who often munch food filled with the taste of onions.
But the strategy now should be to avoid future problems relating to the possible onion crisis. Having a background in agriculture through my family, I have strong plans to increase (even engage myself in) agricultural activities in my native areas like Korkai, Tiruchendur, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
There have been reports of onion import from countries like Egypt to counteract the problem facing consumers.
But overall, the concentration should be on avoiding the problem once and for all not through makeshift arrangements like importing produce from other countries but through a permanent solution.
For this to happen or come true, radical changes through technology should be made in the agricultural sector.
P Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai
BJP's overconfidence costs it dear
Your editorial (When BJP's political calculations went wrong, Dec 26) nicely analysed the defeat of the BJP in Jharkhand that regional issues are not recognised by the BJP resulting in voters rejecting it.
As Modi and Shah have been concentrating on national issues in all election campaigns, voters were in no mood to listen to them as other political parties are stressing on local issues and regional aspirations.
In this process, the BJP lost some of the States giving boost to the Congress and its allies. By highlighting the poor implementation of welfare measures and neglect of tribals in jobs etc, the Congress and its allies won the hearts of voters in Jharkhand.
National and communal issues in the campaign in the State elections by the BJP were totally rejected by voters as national issues are confined to Lok Sabha only.
It is a great blunder on the part of the BJP leadership to neglect local and regional issues in spite of losing one State after another and it is nothing but overconfidence and egoism of the BJP leadership.
Voters cannot be taken for granted as they are supreme and more mature than our politicians as they know perfectly whom to send to Delhi and whom to send to State legislatures.
With the outcome of Jharkhand elections, Amit Shah is no more a Chanakya as called in media and he is clean bowled.
As rightly said, the Congress is on a comeback trail but its strategy to play second fiddle even to regional parties paid rich dividends which was neglected by the BJP due to overestimation of its strength.
The Congress which is desperate for power directly or indirectly has kept aside its mind and heart and joined with regional parties.
Of course there is no need for euphoria to Congress, its allies and the opposition parties as one should not underestimate the Modi-Shah duo as they are capable to face any adverse situation and may come back with new strategies with the bitter experience in the elections in five States.
Jayaprakash Reddy, Nalgonda
New Year resolution of a different sort
As the year 2019 is coming to an end and new calendar year 2010 is about to begin, we always think about the yearend revelry, where to spend the New Year Eve or whom to shake leg with is the high point in every reveller's mind.
The star hotels across India are already arranging attractive programmes to ring in the New Year. Some loudly say it is a new chapter and some a new fresh beginning, Silly thought, is it really so?
In stricter sense, the year never begins nor ends, life just goes on. Will 2020 be different from 2019? If we think so, we are living in fool's paradise.
Frenzied celebration of New Year would not change the fates of people to come. The lives of people never change with the New Year dawn which already dawned and faded two thousand and nineteen times.
Be the change you wish to see in the world, nothing changes unless one brings positive changes in oneself. Sadly, the things most of us do while welcoming New Year are directionless and not just disturbs the person involved in celebrations but also society around him.
We are preoccupied with the foolish ideas of taking part in elaborate parties arranged in lavish hotels and menus and drinks selected.
Many plan meticulous new year resolutions, it is a repeat practice for all to take new resolutions only to be broken in a couple of days' time.
At the stroke of midnight, a big thunderous cheer goes up, bottles are uncorked and the wine gushes out and they drink like crabs and return homes in drowsy state.
Next morning, instead of starting the new year first day happily and with bubbling enthusiasm, one gets up with hang over only to find that nothing changed outside except his physical and mental state due to over indulging in stupid revelry .
There is nothing wrong in celebrating any event but this can be done in a meaningful way. Why big resolutions, why not resolve to be kind with everyone? Charity should begin at home, let the first beneficiary of your resolutions your family - parents, wife, children - and later your friends.
For a change, go for an image makeover and give big surprise to your friends and family members by being accommodative and kind and help the needy wherever possible.
Why not resolve to begin exercise, practice meditation or encourage greenery with plantation? These acts look small, but they have lasting impact and liven up people around you.
New year is not an occasion to celebrate but time to take stock and do midcourse correction. Every time a year passes off, we tear off calendar leaves, it is symbolic that a year was devoured from our lives and none knows how many years are left in our uncertain journey.
Of course there is no way we can change the past, but we can certainly make a fresh start and mould our character. Last but not the least, let us wish our country go strong and people live in harmony.
Rama Krishna M, Kakinada