Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Justice for Jyoti

4/3/2015 – around 1.30 p.m. – CNN-IBN flashed a number. Kajori Sen said you can call on that number to express your views on a documentary on a rapist. I rang up thrice. The number was ringing but nobody picked it up. I feel calls are pre-recorded and call-in live is a farce. I wanted to say “Rape is a crime and rapist should be punished. Talk of change of mindset is an excuse not to punish rapist. There should be no glorification of crime and criminals. Publication or broadcast or exhibition of an interview of a criminal is glorification of criminal. Showing photograph of a criminal is glorification of criminal. TV channels should not show photographs of criminals. Producer of documentary claimed to be a rape victim. In that case she suffers from something similar to Stockholm Syndrome. There should be a law against glorification of crime and criminals. There are many evil persons who don’t want rapists to be punished. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Instead of directly saying that, they change the discussion to patriarchy, mindset, society, education, and so on. All these are excuses to justify rape and not punish rapists. You don’t hear them say a rapist must be punished. A rapist and murderer should face full punishment even if he is less than 18 years old.”
Times Now said the documentary is voyeurism, not journalism.
Many rapes take place in UK. If the producer wanted to know the mindset of a rapist she should have interviewed a rapist in UK.
Anu Aga is a nominated member of Rajya Sabha. She is not an elected member. Her nomination is unconstitutional as it is not according to Article 80. She did not say rapists should be punished.
If parents of Jyoti Singh Pandey want justice for their daughter they should start chain hunger strike at Jantar Mantar. They should not stop it till all the criminals are hanged. Even after the President rejects mercy petition lawyers like Indira Jaising challenge the rejection and get a stay order from a High Court or Supreme Court. Shame on such lawyers. Going to TV studios is no use. Many journalists on those channels are opposed to death penalty. There is no shame in being a victim. Jyoti Singh Pandey should be called as such and not Nirbhaya or Damini or Amanat. If at all TV channels want to show that photograph they should show the photograph of Jyoti Singh Pandey. When rapists are brought to court their hands and feet should be chained. Their faces should not be covered. Proper punishment for those who raped Jyoti is castration, taking out their intestines and burning them, and hanging. We can bring a law with retrospective effect for that. We should have a law that bans any appeal against President’s rejection of mercy petition and punishment for any lawyer who appeals should be death and President should have power to dismiss judges who admit such petitions.
On NDTV 24×7 Dushyant Dave said discussion on mindset should stop. Rapists come with justifications for their actions.
Government has the right to ban a documentary. Character assassination of a rape and murder victim should not be permitted. It is hypocrisy on the part of TV channels to question the ban when they wanted ban on Honey Singh’s lyrics. Some wanted ban on Grand Masti. Khushboo wanted a ban on Dam 999.

Budget 2015

On 28/2/2015 Arun Jaitley presented India’s budget for 2015-16. Sensex and Nifty went up and down during the day and finally ended up. Looks like some people managed to pull them up.
Narendra Modi should replace Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister with someone suitable.
Firstly, Finance Minister should be physically fit to read the full budget speech standing. Arun Jaitely is unable to do that. This happened last time also.
Secondly, Arun Jaitley is a misfit as Finance Minister. In an interview to Lok Sabha TV after budget presentation Arun Jaitley said “Only 3-4% of the country’s population pays taxes.” This is false. This is unpardonable coming from the Finance Minister of India. All Indians pay taxes directly or indirectly. Those who pay Income Tax may not be more than 4% but that is just one tax of the many which India has. Service Tax, VAT, excise duty, customs duty, entertainment tax, turnover tax, Cenvat, Modvat, MAT, LBT, octroi and other taxes are paid by Indians. The products we buy in shops are inclusive of all taxes.
My comments about the budget are as below:
Any budget that is a deficit budget is a bad budget. Total expenditure for 2015-16 is 17,77,477 crore rupees, i.e., around 18 trillion rupees. Borrowings are around 4.56 trillion rupees. This deficit needs to be zero.
Good to abolish Wealth Tax. Loss of income is more than compensated by additional surcharge of 2% on income of 1 crore rupees or above.
Bad to increase Service Tax from 12.36% to 14%. This affects most Indians. Mobile and DTH charges will go up. Besides there is provision for 2% Swacch Bharat cess on all or certain services. This means Service Tax can be 16%.
Should have done away with NREGA. Instead there is additional grant for NREGA. Just a day before Narendra Modi had said NREGA is a living example of Congress/UPA folly.
The decision to cut Corporate Tax by 5% from 30% to 25% over 4 years and do away with exemptions made many people say this is a pro-Corporate budget.
There should be no discrimination between states. Special assistance to Bihar and West Bengal should have been avoided. Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is unhappy.
There is a proposal for a new law to curb holding of black money abroad. What about black money within India? We have to see what the intention is when the government introduces Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill.
Corporate Debt Restructuring should have been abolished. There is nothing about punishing people who default on payment of bank loans.
UPA brought GAAR but deferred its implementation. Now BJP had deferred it by two years. Either GAAR should be implemented or abolished. Deferring is not good.
Increase of excise duty on cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and other tobacco products in justified as they are injurious to health. What is the justification for levy or increase of excise duty on milk packs, peanut butter, mineral water, aerated water, and such items?
Setting up of news AIIMS, IITs , IIMs and other institutions should be avoided. Cost of higher education of institutions including universities already present should be recovered from students. If announcements of setting up of institutions have been made in previous budgets but work has not started they should be scrapped.
Reactions by politicians to budget have been predictable. Those of BJP said it is a good budget. Those of Congress and Left Front said the budget has nothing for the poor. TV channels should stop inviting politicians to discuss the budget.

AAP and agitations

People of Delhi voted overwhelmingly for AAP in Legislative Assembly elections and gave them 67 out of 70 seats to rule Delhi. They did not vote for AAP to sit at Jantar Mantar or fill jails, more so on an issue like Land Acquisition Bill.
Before elections Arvind Kejriwal had asked people’s forgiveness for quitting after 49 days. People forgave him and gave him a huge mandate. He should not let them down. His place of work is Delhi Secretariat. AAP ministers should be there. MLAs should meet their constituents and try to solve their problems. It is unbecoming of Arvind Kejriwal to sit at Jantar Mantar with Anna Hazare. It is worse that he asked all his MLAs including ministers and Speaker to sit at Jantar Mantar. Anna Hazare is a free man. He does not hold any public office. Arvind Kejriwal is chief minister. He, his ministers, MLAs hold public offices. They have a duty towards people. Work at Delhi Secretariat is not done or gets delayed. Time spent at Jantar Mantar is time lost for the people of Delhi.
Corruption is an issue that affects most people and they will support any agitation that is against corruption. Land acquisition is not an issue that affects city people and many others. It affects farmers. Farmers are free to protest. AAP leaders who represent farmers outside Delhi are free to protest.
AAP government came to power on 14/2/2015. Arvind Kejriwal said BJP and Congress lost due to arrogance. AAP lost Lok Sabha elections due to arrogance. Things are not simple as that. BJP lost Delhi Assembly election due to Kiran Bedi’s candidature as CM and some other reasons. AAP lost many seats or rather did not win many seats due to wrong candidates. Members who were with AAP from the beginning did not get tickets. Outsiders were called and given tickets. That dismayed AAP members who did not canvass for such candidates. Some outsiders, at least six, who got tickets, returned them as there was no support.
Arvind Kejriwal said for five years he will be in Delhi. He will not go out. That raises AAP’s future outside Delhi. AAP missed contesting elections in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir. A party that does not contest elections becomes irrelevant. Members leave such parties. Arvind Kejriwal is free to remain in Delhi for five years. AAP members outside Delhi should contest elections. If Arvind Kejriwal opposes they should form another party and contest elections.
Manish Sisodia on 23/2/2015 said a decision on filling jails will be taken after four months when the movement starts. If ministers go to jail it is constitutional breakdown. Lieutenant Governor will have to dissolve Delhi Legislative Assembly. Elections will follow. Kejriwal promised five years rule. It will be less than five months. People will not forgive him. People reduced BJP to three seats and Congress to zero. They can reduce AAP to zero.

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