Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Banana Republic

Resolution on death penalty

Tamil Nadu is a fit case for imposition of President’s Rule as it is not run as per constitution and its Legislative Assembly passed a resolution asking for mercy to criminals whose petitions had been rejected by the President. Omar Abdullah was right in questioning whether the reaction would have been as muted if Jammu & Kashmir had passed a similar resolution in favour of Afzal Guru. In that case BJP and many other parties would have gone ballistic. There is hypocrisy in Tamil Nadu. Some years back Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution favouring death penalty for the criminals. Parties headed by Karunanidhi and Vaiko were part of NDA which rejected mercy petitions. Ram Jethmalani was member of BJP and did not oppose death penalty then. Madras High Court should not have entertained the petitions and stayed the executions for eight weeks and when that happened Supreme Court should have intervened and vacated the stay. If waiting for death penalty is cruel why extend it by eight weeks? That shows the falsehood of the claim that waiting for death penalty is cruel and an excuse to get death penalty commuted to life imprisonment. What happens in India puts banana republics to shame and there should be a new phrase to describe India.

TV channels are unfair in covering the events. Discussions are not balanced. Those who oppose death penalty are more in number and given more time. On NDTV 24×7 three were against death penalty and two were for death penalty. Pinky Anand who was in favour of death penalty was given very less time to speak. On CNN-IBN all five panellists were against death penalty. There is discussion-fixing. If TV channels are opposed to death penalty they should put a disclaimer before the discussion saying they are against death penalty and the discussion is one-sided. It seems there are efforts to influence public opinion. If TV channels or journalists are influenced by lobbyists they should disclose it. Someone on Times Now said death penalty is barbaric and India is in the company of Saudi Arabia. Death penalty is not barbaric, crime is low in Saudi Arabia and India is in the company of USA and China.

Who paid Ram Jethmalani, Colin Gonsalves and R. Vaigai and how much for appearing for criminals? Who finances PUCL? Why did judges C. Nagappan and M. Sathyanarayan stay the execution? The three lawyers and the two judges should be hanged along with the criminals.

Nira Radia Tapes

On 23/11/2010 I read “Beware the single brush” by Pratap Bhanu Mehta in The Indian Express. The article had a sentence “Tapes of conversations between journalists and various lobbyists have been put online and some publications have carried stories on these conversations.”

I did not know who were the journalists or lobbyists.

On 26/11/2010 at 9.00 p.m. on NDTV 24×7 there was a clip of Walk the Talk. Shekhar Gupta interviews Ratan Tata who repeatedly uses the phrase banana republic. I did not understand what he meant.

At 10.00 p.m. I switched to Star World to watch Lie to me. It was an old episode. So I switched to NDTV 24×7 hoping to see Left, Right and Centre. There was the clip again.

I switched channels and came across CNN-IBN. I heard the names of Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi. It was Last Word of Karan Thapar. Panellists were Sanjay Baru, N. Ram, Dilip Cherian, and Joseph.

The discussion was about Nira Radia tapes. Telephonic conversations of Nira Radia, a lobbyist, with various journalists, industrialists and others had become public. Outlook and Open had published them.

During discussion the role of Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi was questioned. N. Ram said BBC and Financial Times would have fired journalists for such misconduct.

The TV news channels I watch had not reported about the content of tapes. Journalists usually do not report misdeeds of their own. Outlook and Open took on their own.

When industrialists lobby for someone to be minister and succeed that leaves a question mark on the behaviour of prime minister.

Some weeks back Ratan Tata made a statement that he had refused to pay 15 crore rupees as bribe to get his airline cleared. If he lobbied for a corrupt minister to be in the cabinet and that becomes public knowledge that does not make India a banana republic.

When any channel or newspaper is selective in exposing corruption it becomes partisan. NDTV is said to be pro-UPA. On 24/11/2010 Nidhi Razdan said we will continue to focus on Yeddyurappa. That is good but what about continued focus on corruption in Commonwealth Games?

Barkha Dutt’s reputation is in tatters. Vir Sanghvi had a question mark over him when a taped conversation published in Hindustan Times was said to be fake.

In one conversation someone tells Nira Radia he has arranged Arun Shourie to be replaced by Venkaiah Naidu to speak on budget proposals. Arun Shourie would have spoken against a proposal that favoured Mukesh Ambani. Arun Shourie confirmed a conversation about him. Arun Shourie confirmed a conversation about him. In a party meeting he had spoken against that proposal. He said he was to talk on budget proposals as BJP’s lead speaker and had prepared for a week. The day he was to speak he was told Venkaiah Naidu will speak. He said the voice of the person who spoke to Nira Radia was of N. K. Singh.

Nira Radia tapes can become significant like Watergate tapes which forced Richard Nixon out.

Some questions about Nira Radia tapes.

Income Tax Department tapped Nira Radia conversations. What was the purpose? Who authorised tapping?

If there was no evidence of tax evasion why tapping did not stop?

Why were the tapes handed over to CBI and Enforcement Directorate?

Why is Nira Radia questioned by Enforcement Directorate? What is her crime?

Who leaked the tapes? It is possible that many sections of media knew about the tapes and kept quiet.

It is said 5,831 conversations were recorded, most of them private. They have nothing to do with appointment of ministers, budget proposals and so on. Do people in Income Tax Department have nothing better to do than record private conversations, listen to them and distribute them?

Right to privacy is part of Right to life and liberty. What is the punishment for breach of privacy?

On 29/11/2010 Ratan Tata moved Supreme Court to stop the publication of tapes of his conversations with Nira Radia. Government ordered an investigation by Intelligence Bureau and Central Board of Direct Taxes into the leakage of tapes. Why investigation by two agencies?

Indian democracy is a joke

There is more to democracy than elections. In democracy all are equal. What happens in India is what George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm.

In India some are more equal than others. They have reservations in government educational institutions, government jobs, rural and urban bodies, Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies. Students in general category who have 92% marks do not get seats but in reserved category get seats with 45% marks. The reservations were meant for 10 years but continue after 60 years and more categories are added. People who are pampered claim they need empowerment.

When something needs to be done for equality no effort is made. Law allows Muslim men to have four wives. Champions of women’s equality have done nothing against it. Married men who are no Muslims have become Muslims to enter into second marriage without divorce.

Law does not allow Hindu men to have two or more wives at the same time. Some Hindu men have entered into second marriage without divorcing first wife. Sometimes women who marry married men and men who commit bigamy join political parties and become MPs.

Reservations are supposed to be within 50% but there are exceptions but all seats can not be reserved and in Nagaland 59 of 60 Legislative Assembly seats are reserved.

Those who lose Lok Sabha elections become ministers and get elected to Rajya Sabha.
SC panel has said Public Distribution System is corrupt.

In Rajasthan on a particular day child marriages take place. TV channels report the events. No action is taken against people responsible for child marriages and people who in authority do not prevent such marriages.

Female infanticides take place in a district in Rajasthan. To prevent it government declared Rs.1,800/- for every female born. Parents have taken the money for females born and then murdered those babies. The murderers are not punished.

In some places panchayats tell married couples that they can not live as husband and wife. Sometimes panchayats have murdered couples. No action is taken against guilty persons.
Freedom of speech and expression is curtailed not because what is said is wrong but because some people get offended and resort to violence.

Constitution is violated. Sessions are extended to next year. The Presidents have failed to defend the constitution. Article 87 lays down that the Parliament’s first session of a year had to begin with President’s address. Once Lok Sabha’s winter session was adjourned in December and not prorogued. Parliament meets for budget session in February. In this case it was extension of winter session for Lok Sabha. The President who has the duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution did nothing. Similar things happen regarding Legislative Assemblies.

As per Article 356 President’s Rule in a state has to end after one year. Once it ends a new government has to be formed. In one case President’s Rule was revoked, Legislative Assembly was constituted and again President’s Rule was imposed in a single day.

Victims do not get justice. Rarely someone who commits crimes during riots is punished. Rule of law does not prevail. When a big tree falls the earth shakes was a statement made by a prime minister.
FTV not available from 7 p.m. March 12, 2010 to 7 p.m. March 21, 2010 due to I & B Ministry prohibition order. No channel is banned for glorifying child marriage or bigamy. Adult films are banned.
No action is taken against people who call for murder or mutilation of someone.

Hijackers and abductors have their way. Criminals in prisons are released as per their demand.
Many times India is a mobocracy and quotocracy.

Link to e-book King – a novel: http://go4quiz.com/vincent/king

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