Month: February 2012

India and British aid

There is anger in UK over aid to India after India chose Rafale over Typhoon. The contract for 126 Rafale fighter jets is said to be worth $10-15 billion. British PM David Cameron said he would do everything to encourage India to reconsider its decision. UK has an economic crisis but gives £280 million per year to India. There was opposition before but International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell had justified the aid saying it was necessary to get contract for Typhoon. British newspapers have reported that the money does not reach the poor and is lost in corruption. Now that UK did not get the contract the British government finds it difficult to justify continuation of aid. Indian government says it does not need aid. British aid is “peanuts”. UK cannot dictate terms to India and say do business only with us as India is a liberated country.

First of all, a country that is a nuclear power and wants to be a permanent member of UN Security Council should not import war planes, war ships, arms and armaments. Whatever is needed for defence should be made in India. Foreign companies may have partnership with Indian companies and may manufacture in India. They may export to other countries provided those countries are not hostile to India. Some say Dassault, manufacturer of Rafale, is a white elephant and would have collapsed without Indian contract. Some months back USA was a bidder for fighter jets and there was disappointment in USA when it could not proceed with bid. For years Russians sold fighter jets to India. They were not in the competition. Russia delayed supply of Admiral Gorshkov for many years and the cost went up by billions of dollars.

Secondly, India’s central and state governments and local bodies should not accept any aid from India. NGOs and trusts may accept foreign aid and contributions. Indian government should use its money to help its people and not give aid to other countries. It should scrap projects that do not help people. Spending thousands of crores of rupees to send man to Moon should stop. Properties of defaulters to public sector banks should be confiscated. Air India and other loss making enterprises should be shut down.

India should insist on punctuality in honouring contracts. Boeing has delayed supply of aeroplanes by more than three years and still there is no supply. India should cancel the contract.

British government should take care of its people and not give aid to other countries. Many people have lost their jobs. The riots that took place some months back show how bad the situation is. There is London Olympics this year.

Some Indians are in favour of continued aid from British government. Indian government had accepted aid and should not have been ungrateful. The aid amounts to 2240 crore rupees per year and not a small amount. The poor do not care from where the money comes. There is malnutrition. The government is not doing its job about education and health. Countries give aid with some purpose. India’s aid to Afghanistan, Burma and African countries is not disinterested.

Some want India to reject British aid and cut fertilizer, water, petrol and other subsidies that benefit the rich people and use that money to help the poor. All subsidies and freebies must go.

What happened to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd? Where did Gnats disappear? They were said to be good war planes. They were spoken of highly and were praised after 1971 war. What happened to manufacture of civilian aircraft?

France and UK are members of EU and NATO. They were on the same side when they voted on Libya and Syria resolutions in Security Council. Not getting fighter jet contract has made UK bitter against India and France. In the 18th century the British and the French fought over India and the British won. India should avoid being fought over. India has nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are a deterrent as Pakistan showed when it threatened to use them if American ground forces invaded it.

Election Commission and IIDEM

Article 324 of the constitution of India vests superintendence, direction and control of elections in Election Commission. The constitution does not give to Election Commission power to set up institutes.

Election Commission wants to set up India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) as an advance resource centre of research and training in election management. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) would be the ex-officio chairperson of IIDEM. Election Commission wants to tell the whole world about its success.

What success is Election Commission talking about? In most countries elections are held on a single day all over the country. In India they used to be held on two days at national level with a gap of two days in between. Thus, if in some constituencies election was on 24 March in other constituencies it was on 27 March. State elections used to be on a single day. Now national and many state elections have up to seven phases. When polling in some constituencies is over, filing of nomination begins is some constituencies. Election Commission knows it has not been successful in curbing black money in elections.

IIDEM is unnecessary and money should not be wasted on it. Once an institute is set up it is difficult to shut it down. India has many institutes which do not serve any useful purpose. We should not add one more to it. The world knows about India, as India knows about the world. India is more of a mobocracy and quotocracy than democracy. When India protests to foreign countries about some comments in some TV shows it sends a negative signal about India’s democracy. Those who want to go to foreign countries should spend their money and people’s money. The country has conducted elections without IIDEM. There is no need of any research and training in election management.

Definition of rape

Rape is forced sex with a female by a male. Sex means vaginal intercourse which means penetration of vagina by the penis. Any other definition that includes other sex crimes under rape dilutes the gravity of rape.

Some countries have broadened the definition of rape to include various sex crimes. In India there is a demand to change the definition of rape to include all sex crimes. That should be avoided. Vaginal intercourse is different from anal or oral intercourse. In vaginal intercourse a female can become pregnant. That does not happen in anal or oral intercourse. Penetration of vagina by any object other than penis is an unnatural sex crime.

Some want to make rape gender-neutral. This is ridiculous. There are biological and physiological differences between men and women. No female can rape a male. Equality of sexes does not mean identity.

Punishment for other sex crimes can be same as punishment for rape.

Sex with a person with consent below the age of consent should be termed sex with minor and not statutory rape. In India age of consent for unmarried women is 16 and for married women to sex with their husbands is 16. That is because till about 1978 legal marriage age for men was 18 and for women 15. It was changed to 21 for men and 18 for women. However there was no change in the age of consent for married and unmarried women in Indian Penal Code. It is illegal to marry a woman who is below 18 but not illegal to have sex with her if she is 15.

Sex by deceit should be a separate crime. If a man promises marriage to a woman she does not have to sleep with him till they marry. She can tell him to wait till they marry. If the woman sleeps with him and the man does not keep his promise to marry it should be criminal breach of promise to marry. If the woman becomes pregnant and keeps the child the man must pay for the child’s upkeep. That is separate from imprisonment for criminal breach of promise to marry.

If a man hides his marital status and marries a woman and has sex with her it is sex by deceit.

If a woman sleeps with a man for a role in a film or TV serial and does not get it is barter gone wrong. Punishment for not keeping the barter, role for sex, can be same as punishment for rape.

If a woman has oral sex with an unconscious man it should crime of oral sex without consent, not rape.

Some say rape is not about sex but about power. But to show power a man need not rape a woman. He can slap her, kick her or beat her. Rape is about sex and may be about power. It is not an either or situation.