Month: September 2013

Rahul Gandhi on Ordinance on convicted MPs

Rahul Gandhi’s statement in a press conference that the Ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs is complete nonsense and it should be torn up and thrown out is welcome. It has also put UPA Government and Sonia Gandhi in an embarrassing position. The ordinance was to nullify the verdict of Supreme Court on 10 July which disqualified MPs and MLAs convicted of criminal offences. Supreme Court had dismissed the review petition on 4 September. Cabinet had approved the ordinance. Sonia Gandhi had cleared the ordinance. PM Manmohan Singh was in USA to attend UN General Assembly and meet Barack Obama. At Press Club of India Ajay Maken was defending the ordinance till there was an interruption due to phone call. Then Rahul Gandhi came and made the statement. After that he said Rahul Gandhi’s view is Congress view.
Rahul Gandhi said he did not agree with reasons given for the ordinance. We need to do this because of political considerations. Everybody does this. Congress does this. BJP does this. SP does this. I am not interested in what opposition is doing. I am interested in what Congress is doing. I am interested in what our government is doing. I feel it is time political parties, mine and others, stopped making compromises.
Sanjaya Baru said Manmohan Singh should take the first flight home and resign. How long does he carry the can? If something is right Gandhi family gets credit, if something is wrong blame is on Manmohan Singh. Yashwant Sinha said if Prime Minister has any shame left he should return by the plane he has gone and after getting down at Palam should resign. Arun Jaitley said Congress sensing the revulsion the ordinance has caused what cutting its losses. He denied BJP was on board with ordinance.
Manmohan Singh continued in USA. He met Barack Obama. He will address issues raised by Rahul Gandhi after he returns to India.
The ordinance was in news for many days. Rahul Gandhi did not say anything before. During monsoon session it was introduced as a bill in Rajya Sabha and went to standing committee. There was criticism of the ordinance. AAP, BJP, and BJD were against the ordinance. It had gone to President for signature.
I have no sympathy for Manmohan Singh. Corruption had reached new heights under him. He showed lack of self-respect when he said he was ready to serve under Rahul Gandhi.
The ordinance was supposed to save Laloo Prasad Yadav from disqualification. The verdict in one case is expected to go against him. Many in Congress were not happy with it. There was anger against the ordinance all over the country. Some asked Pranab Mukherjee not to sign the ordinance. Lal Krishna Advani, Sushma Swaraj, and Arun Jaitley had met him.
On 26th September Pranab Mukherjee called Kapil Sibal and Sushil Kumar Shinde and questioned them about the ordinance. Milind Deora and Anil Shastri came out against the ordinance. It was the signal that they had the backing of someone in Congress who could protect them. After Rahul Gandhi spoke Shashi Tharoor tweeted against the ordinance. Ministers who had spoken in favour of the ordinance either kept quiet or avoided a direct reply.
Ministers who approved the ordinance are responsible for their acts. Blame cannot be on PM alone. If PM goes other ministers should also go. Kapil Sibal as law minister is responsible. Milind Deora and Shashi Tharoor being ministers of state may not have been party to the decision. When PM resigns the whole cabinet resigns.

Narendra Modi BJP PM candidate

Narendra Modi is officially BJP’s PM candidate. Unofficially he had been PM candidate for some time, especially after he won third term as Gujarat’s chief minister. Many in BJP wanted to prevent his rise but did not succeed. Most fell in line, except Advani.
Most members of BJP and RSS wanted Narendra Modi to be named PM candidate. Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, and Anant Kumar were opposed to Narendra Modi. Modi had support of large number of ordinary members and there was pressure on BJP and RSS leaders to declare Modi PM candidate. RSS leaders wanted BJP to declare Modi PM candidate. Yashwant Sinha agreed to Modi’s leadership. Jaswant Singh and Shatrughan Sinha stopped their opposition. Anant Kumar, supposed to be a supporter of Advani, did not continue his support to Advani. Murli Manohar Joshi made his opposition subtle by saying chief ministers should be consulted. Sushma Swaraj was on the side of Advani. RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat had made it clear that Modi should be declared PM candidate with or without Advani’s consent.
On 12th September night Rajnath Singh rang up to Uddhav Thackeray and Parkash Singh Badal and informed them that he will announce Modi as PM candidate. After this Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj fell in line. Advani skipped Parliamentary Board meeting. Members present were in agreement to Modi’s elevation. When Rajnath Singh made the announcement Sushma Swaraj was seated at Modi’s right side. Murli Manohar Joshi was there to congratulate Modi. BJP members celebrated with firecrackers, music and dance.
Advani tried many tricks. He tried to promote Shivraj Singh Chouhan as rival to Modi. That did not succeed. He wanted the announcement to be delayed till after the Legislative Assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Delhi. He wanted Modi to quit as Gujarat chief minister. Nothing succeeded. He lost respect of BJP leaders. Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted Advani had failed to gauge the public mood and there was overwhelming popular sentiment in favour of Narendra Modi.
There was a sting operation trying to embarrass Modi. There was Vanzara’s resignation letter blaming Modi for not taking care of Gujarat’s police officers and blaming Amit Shah for manipulating moving of trials out of Gujarat. Such things did not stop onward march of Modi.
BJP leaders who egged on Nitish Kumar to quit NDA and take JD(U) out of NDA in opposition to Narendra Modi as PM found to their chagrin an obstacle to Modi’s elevation had disappeared.
Advani cuts a sorry figure. He is lonely and sulks. BJP will not miss him if he quits. His letter to Rajnath Singh makes no difference to BJP. BJP is RSS property and RSS will dictate what should be done. Advani’s associate Sudheendra Kulkarni came out to defend Advani and oppose Modi to no avail. If Advani creates problems BJP can expel him.
Anointment and coronation are not the right words to describe announcement of PM candidate. We are not talking of any king, priest or prophet.
Some compare Narendra Modi to Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi wanted her way. When she did not get it she split the party in 1969 and 1978. The three Supreme Court judges who did not give their verdicts as she wanted were not promoted to be Chief Justices. When Allahabad High Court set aside her election she imposed emergency and amended the constitution. She toppled non-Congress governments.
It is for BJP to decide who should be its PM candidate. It is not proper for TV channels to ask members of other parties to comment on BJP’s choice. Most parties are personal or family properties.
Many want a Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi contest. Congress has not declared Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate though many in Congress want to see him as PM. Some say the contest is irrelevant as regional parties will get more than half of the seats.
It is useless to speculate which party will get how many seats in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Predictions mostly go wrong.

Jesus Christ on punishment for rape

Jesus was at the temple. A crowd gathered. Jesus spoke to them. As he was speaking the Jewish leaders and Pharisees brought a man to him. They said to Jesus “Teacher, this man has committed rape. The Law of Moses says to kill him. What do you say?”
Jesus replied “Let the rape victim cast the first stone.”
People were surprised. Peter asked “Master, you allowed a woman caught in adultery to live by saying let him who has not sinned cast the first stone. Now you want the rape victim to cast the first stone and the rapist to die.”
Jesus replied “Adultery is a sin. Rape is a crime.”
The Jewish leaders and Pharisees took away the rapist to be stoned. The rape victim came and said to Jesus “Teacher, I am very happy at what you said. Many said you will allow the rapist to go. They were wrong. Moses said an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. For rape proper punishment is cutting off the penis of the rapist.”
Thomas asked the woman “What is your name?”
She replied “Dinah.”
After the woman left James, Son of Zebedee, asked Jesus “Master, you once said you have heard an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. But I say to you if anyone slaps you on right cheek show him left cheek. You did not say anything to Dinah. Why?”
Jesus replied “You forgot something else I said.”
“What was that?”
“If your right eye causes you to lust gouge it out and throw it away. Better for part of you to be destroyed than for all of you to be cast into hell. If your right hand causes it to sin cut it off and throw it away. Better for part of you to be destroyed than for all of you to be cast into hell.”
The above imaginary incident shows what would have been Jesus Christ’s response to a question on punishment for rape. I have chosen the name Dinah because that is the name of Jacob’s daughter who was raped. That is the first instance of rape in the Bible. Second instance is of Tamar, daughter of David, by her half-brother Amnon.
As per Leviticus 20/10 both man and woman should have been put to death for committing adultery. The Jewish leaders and Pharisees did not bring the man who committed adultery. The reason is not given. May be he escaped. Jesus saved the woman.
When Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights he was hungry. We have the instance of devil quoting scripture. The devil took Jesus to roof of the Temple of Jerusalem and said “If you are the Son of Man jump off. For the Scriptures declare, God will send his angels to keep you from harm. They will prevent you from smashing on the rocks below.” Jesus replied “It is also written in the Scriptures, Thou shall not test the Lord your God.”
Today there are many who quote Scripture to oppose suitable punishment for rape. They say we are civilized people; we cannot have an eye for an eye. They oppose death penalty, castration, life imprisonment for rape. Some even say 20 years imprisonment is too harsh punishment for rape. These people should know what Jesus said about gouging the right eye and cutting off the right hand. They should stop selective quoting of Scripture.
Death penalty or castration for rape is in accordance with the teaching of Christ. He had said if anyone causes little ones to sin a millstone should be hung around his neck and he should be thrown into the sea.
Jesus condemned scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Journalists are known as scribes. There are journalists and activists who are on the side of rapists and find excuses and justifications for rape. There are lawyers who have defended rapists and judges who have been lenient to rapists. What would have Jesus said to them? He would have said something as below:
“Woe to you scribes and activists, hypocrites. You pretend to be on the side of rape victims but you are on the side of rapists. Your discussions are a sham meant to hoodwink people and exonerate rapists.
Woe to you scribes and activists, hypocrites. You blame patriarchy for rape. Patriarchy is a system in which man is the head of the family. What has patriarchy to do with rape?
Woe to you scribes and activists, hypocrites. You talk of changing mindsets in cases of rape. You do not talk of changing mindsets when other crimes are committed.
Woe to you scribes and activists, hypocrites. You say people who demand death penalty for rape and murder are bloodthirsty. Hypocrites, it is you who are bloodthirsty. You are not satisfied with the number of murders that have taken place. You want more murders. You lie that death penalty is not a deterrent. Every death penalty deters three to eighteen murders depending on how soon or late the murderer is put to death.
Woe to you self-styled human rights activists and women’s rights activists, hypocrites. You are on the side of murderers, rapists, abductors, hijackers, kidnappers and all sorts of criminals. You are not on the side of victims. You plead for mercy for criminals. You do not help victims.
Woe to you lawyers, hypocrites. You defend rapists. You say one is presumed innocent till proved guilty. It is for courts to decide on guilt or innocence. Hypocrites, would you have said the same if the rape victim had been your mother, wife, sister, daughter, or a family member? The curses and tears of rape victims will destroy you.
Woe to you judges, hypocrites. You acquit rapists on flimsy grounds or are lenient to them and give light punishment. Hypocrites, would you have done the same if the rape victim had been your mother, wife, sister, daughter, or a family member? The curses and tears of rape victims will destroy you.
Woe to you judges, hypocrites. You reduce death sentences to life sentences. You admit petitions of murderers whose mercy petitions President has rejected. You have reduced death penalty to rarest of rare cases and even in those cases you stop carrying out death penalty. The curses and tears of family members of victims will destroy you.
Woe to you who call yourselves liberal and tolerant, hypocrites. You are most illiberal and intolerant. You defend books, films and paintings that hurt religious sentiments in the name of freedom of speech and expression but want a ban on item numbers. You express surprise that mothers dance with their children to item numbers. Hypocrites, have your heads examined.”
Those who think Jesus would not have used such words should read Chapter 23 of the Gospel according to Matthew. They should also remember that he drove out merchants and overturned the tables of money changers at the Temple.