Month: October 2007

Elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh

On 10/10/2007 Election Commission announced the schedules for elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. In both states elections are in two phases.
In Gujarat, first phase is for 87 constituencies with notification on 15/11/2007, nominations on 23/11/2007, withdrawals on 26/11/2007 and voting on 11/12/2007 and second phase is for 95 constituencies with notification on 21/11/2007, nominations on 28/11/2007, withdrawals on 1/12/2007 and voting on 16/12/2007. Counting of votes is on 23/12/2007.
In Himachal Pradesh, first phase is for 3 constituencies with notification on 20/10/2007, nominations on 27/10/2007, withdrawals on 31/10/2007 and voting on 14/11/2007 and second phase is for 65 constituencies with notification on 23/11/2007, nominations on 30/11/2007, withdrawals on 3/12/2007 and voting on 19/12/2007. Counting of votes is on 28/12/2007.
Model code of conduct comes into effect once elections are announced. In both states elections should have been held on a single day. Voting in all constituencies in Himachal Pradesh should have been on 14/11/2007 if the reason for having separate voting for three constituencies on that day is weather condition. Elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh should have been announced separately if polling could not be simultaneous. In Gujarat polling for all constituencies should have been on 11/12/2007.
Besides, there is a long gap between the last day of voting and the day of counting of votes. In Gujarat there are six days in between and in Himachal Pradesh eight days. The last day of voting in both states is 19/12/2007 which is in Himachal Pradesh. Counting of votes in Gujarat should have been on 20/12/2007. In Himachal Pradesh one day is enough to transport EVMs and counting of votes there should have been on 21/12/2007.
Election Commission is unnecessarily prolonging election schedules. For any state elections, including counting of votes and announcement of results, should be over within 36 days of the announcement. Elections should be announced only when the term of the Legislative Assembly is coming to an end so the new Legislative Assembly is constituted only when the old Legislative Assembly’s term expires. President’s Rule is an exception. It is not right that in a state, members of two Legislative Assemblies are paid salaries and perquisites at the same time.

Vincent Van Gogh and I

Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings are sold for millions of dollars today. During his lifetime his paintings did not get him much money. One painting was sold for a small amount. He died at the age of 37.
There are some similarities between me and Vincent Van Gogh. He was not successful during his lifetime. So far I am not successful in many things I did.
I do not know many successful people who had Vincent as their first name. There was Vicente Fox, President of Mexico. Vicente is the Spanish form of Vincent. There was Vincent Price, a British actor. There are some saints: St. Vincent, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Vincent Ferrer, St. Vincent Palotti and so on. People are declared saints after their death.
Some names and events have coincidences. There were seven kings of Scotland who had the name James. Their fathers died during their childhood. There were three kings of England who had the name Richard. They had violent end. Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III lost their empires. Napoleon II was an emperor only in name. In British royalty women who had the name Jane died young. Some were beheaded.
Sometimes I feel I am the right person at the wrong place at the wrong time. At one time the High School I attended had the classification by age for sports. Those who were below 16 years were juniors and above 16 years were seniors. That would have suited me. When I was in High School it was by height and I was at a disadvantage.
I wish to be famous and successful during my lifetime. I hope I will succeed.

Bandhs are bad

Kerala High Court in 1997 rightly declared that bandhs are unconstitutional and the Supreme Court upheld the decision of  Kerala High Court.  Whether the decision was one paragraph or ten pages is immaterial. 

Bombay High Court fined BJP and Shiv Sena Rs.20 lakhs each for calling a bandh.  After that they did not call for a bandh though there was one unofficial bandh by Shiv Sena in July 2006. 

No democracy has any duty to encourage protest in all its forms.  Protest is allowed subject to reasonable restrictions.  Bandhs violate fundamental, constitutional and natural rights.  Anything that goes against the rights of people can be forbidden by the Supreme Court. There is no need for a law.  Right cases give rise to right laws leading to rule of law.   

Bandhs are different from strikes.  In a strike people stop working.  In a bandh other people are prevented from working, travelling, keeping schools, colleges, shops, theatres etc open.  Bandhs are successful only if there is violence or fear of violence.  Bandhs cannot be tolerated in a democracy.  Where bands disrupt normal life it is mobocracy.    

People have lost their lives due to bandhs.  One person had appendicitis.  He could not go to a doctor as he could not get a taxi due to bandh and died.  Jackie Shroff lost his mother due to a bandh.  Shiv Sena had called the bandh.  Due to that Jackie Shroff could not take his mother to doctor immediately.  He knew Raj Thackeray who at that time was in Shiv Sena.  This helped Jackie Shroff to take his mother to doctor but she died.  There are many cases like that which go unreported. 

People who have to travel long distance book their tickets in advance.  They have to travel on a particular day. When there is bandh their inconvenience is great.  They are unable to reach bus stations, railway stations and airports.  It is difficult to get tickets for the next day.  Some miss important events in the family. 

DMK’s calling for bandh was wrong for two reasons.  First, bandhs are wrong.  Second, DMK rules Tamil Nadu and part of UPA which rules Centre.  Its duty was to maintain law and order.  Bandhs are against law and order.  Against whom was DMK’s protest?  If it is not happy with UPA it should quit UPA.  The chief minister should be in his office and should not abdicate his responsibility by sitting on hunger strike. 

If there is constitutional breakdown the Supreme Court has a duty to say so.  It cannot be a mute spectator. 

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