After the government of Orissa surrendered to the demands of Maoists for release of a collector and an engineer BJD MP Jay Panda said the government acted with maturity. Maturity is a word overused and misused by journalists and politicians. Surrender is not maturity.
The state government abdicated its responsibility when it agreed to negotiate with criminals and accepted their demands. This makes mockery of the rule of law.
Cricket World Cup 2011 is proving to be a boring tournament. It has 14 teams and spread over 43 days. Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are of 14-16 days. Football World Cup with 32 teams is about 32 days.
When Cricket Word Cup began in 1975 there were eight teams and four matches per day. The gap between matches was not long. In 1987 there were three matches per day. In 2011 it is one match or two matches per day with long gaps for teams in between. India played Bangladesh on 19/2/2011 and its next match against England is on 27/2/2011. In an ODI tournament a team having to wait for 5-8 days to play its next match is strange.
India should have a policy of no negotiations with criminals whether they are terrorists, abductors, kidnappers, hijackers, pirates or Maoists. The policy should be followed by central and state governments. The policy should be irrespective of who the hostage is. The hostage may be a ministerâ€™s daughter, engineer, doctor, collector, truck driver or someone else. It does not matter whether there is one hostage or there are many hostages. When the policy of no negotiations is declared and followed there will be no pressure on any government.
Since December 1989 when Rubiya Sayeed was abducted and five terrorists were released there have been many cases when India has surrendered to criminals and released prisoners or paid ransom. In recent years Maoists have abducted many people and state governments have released prisoners. The abductions continue.
In December 1999 a hijacked plane was allowed to take off from Amritsar and go to Kandahar. Three terrorists were released who caused many deaths later on.
On 21/2/2011 Bombay High Court confirmed death sentence of Ajmal Kasab for his crimes during 26/11. Many people expressed happiness. Someone said he is a foot soldier and pawn and we have to concentrate or mastermind.
A murderer is neither a foot soldier nor a pawn. He is a criminal. A pawn does not have life. A man has life and he makes choices and should face the consequences.
Over the years pirates of Somalia have expanded their sphere. From the coast of Africa to the coast of India there is no safe zone from the pirates.
UN, NATO, EU and AU have been ineffective in putting an end to piracy. When piracy began the demands of pirates for ransom were met. They became bold and piracy increased. More ships became targets. More Somalis became pirates. In few instances pirates were met with resistance and hostages rescued. EU countries let off pirates caught instead of putting them on trial. India, China, South Korea and USA have on occasions fought pirates.
It is wrong for finance ministry to direct Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to invest in stock market and stop withdrawals for education, house building or buying, marriage and sickness. The money belongs to employees and finance ministry or anyone else has no business to play with it.
The argument that equities give higher return is humbug. There is no guarantee of any return in equities. The timing of the directive, when Sensex is falling, raises questions. Finance ministry is not ready to make up if there is loss. Sometimes share prices increase, sometimes decrease. At one time Sensex was more than 21000 points. Then it came down to less than 8000 points. After that it has been going up and down.
Sometime back California bishops had opposed death penalty. Now Ohio bishops oppose death penalty.
Do Ohio bishops want Ohio to end up like Mexico? Why bishops ignore the dangers of not having death penalty? The bishops have eyes but they do not see. They have ears but do not hear. Death penalty is according to the tradition of the church. Christianity is not opposed to death penalty.
Pope Benedict XVI may be opposed to death penalty but sometimes popes have been wrong. One pope was declared a heretic in 681.
There are people who say PDS does not work and cash transfers is the way. Some give example of Bihar where it is said to be 92% effective.
If PDS does not work it should be scrapped. That does not mean people should be given cash. When it is said 92% effective it means 8% ineffective which can become 80% or more. Fictitious accounts can be opened. There is swindling in NREGA and complaints are not investigated. One person in Uttar Pradesh who got an award for his work in NREGA returned it as his complaints were not investigated and swindling continued. Whether the swindling in NREGA is 5% and in road transport 50% as Chidambaram said in Davos or more is a matter of debate.
Christianity is a monotheistic religion and forbids prayers to mountains. It is inappropriate to say â€œWe pray to you Mount Infantâ€ or â€œWe thank you Mount Infantâ€.
During mass the prayers are to God the Father through Christ and Holy Spirit. During novenas of saints or while reciting their litanies, the saints are asked to pray for us. During novenas of Infant Jesus it may be said â€œWe pray to you Infant Jesusâ€ or â€œWe thank you Infant Jesusâ€.