Month: October 2017

Target Taj Mahal

There are some BJP members who want to erase all signs of Muslim Rule including Taj Mahal. For them it is not a symbol of love. One member referred to Taj Mahal as a blot on Indian culture. The talk caused outrage. UP CM defused the situation by saying Taj Mahal was built by the sweat and blood of Indian labourers.
UP tourism booklet mentions 20 sites and Taj Mahal is not one of them. The justification for that is Taj Mahal is famous and other sites need publicity. That is a good argument. People from all over the world come to see Taj Mahal. It does not need publicity.
The destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas caused worldwide outrage against the Taliban. For many outside India, Taj Mahal is the symbol of India. Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many tourists come to India to see only Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan was not an invader. He was born in India. He did not imprison his father. His son imprisoned him. He was a ruler, not a traitor. He is not known to persecute Hindus or demolish mosques.
Babri Mosque demolition caused riots all over India and protests outside India. There were plans to demolish Kashi and Mathura mosques. Taj Mahal as a target is a new development.
There is an agenda. It goes beyond Taj Mahal. If they succeed Ahmedabad, Akbarabad, Allahabad, Aurangabad, Faridabad, Feroz Shah Kotla, Ferozepur, Ghaziabad, Khuldabad, Hoshangabad, Hyderabad, Murshidabad, Muzaffarnagar, Muzaffarpur, Nizamuddin, Osmanabad, Sahibabad, Secundarabad, Tughlaqabad, Akbar Road, Babur Road, Humayun Road, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, will have change of names. Urdu will be banned. Biriyani will be banned. Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Char Minar will disappear.
Muslims are around 15% of population. There will be resistance by Muslims and others to change of names and destruction of monuments. There was not much opposition to change of name from Aurangzeb Road to A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Road. There was resistance to change of name from Akbar Road to Maharana Pratap Singh Road and Akbar Road remained. People can continue to use old names. Names like Baroda, Bombay, Calcutta, Calicut, Connaught Place, Crawford Market, Lamington Road, Princess Street, Warden Road, Salt Lake Stadium continue to be used.

One Election for India

On 4/10/2017 Election Commissioner O. P. Rawat told reporters Election Commission is ready to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly polls from September 2018 onwards. The government wanted to know about the possibility of holding simultaneous polls and the Election Commission has replied to the government.

It is good to have simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha, Legislative Assemblies and local bodies. Modi government wants to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly polls but local body polls also should be held on the same day. One polling booth is enough for casting votes for different polls.

Holding simultaneous polls has problems in a parliamentary democracy. India should go for a new Constitution and presidential democracy. Simultaneous polls were the norm in India till 1967. After that the cycle got disrupted.

Simultaneous polls has to be a process spread over five years beginning in 2019. Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana polls are due that year. Other Legislative Assemblies should be allowed to complete their five year terms and Legislative Assemblies elected after that should have their terms expire in 2024. Similar should be the process for local bodies. From 2024 India will have simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha, Legislative Assemblies and local bodies. Lok Sabha should elect President who will have executive powers and Vice President. Ministers should be appointed by President after approval by Lok Sabha. Legislative Assemblies should elect Governors who will have executive powers and Lieutenant Governor. Ministers should be appointed by Governors after approval by Legislative Assemblies. Ministers are individually responsible to President or Governor. They continue to hold power in case of death or resignation of President or Governor. There need not be Prime Minister or Chief Minister.

Elections to Lok Sabha, Legislative Assemblies, and local bodies shall be held every fifth year from 2024 onwards on 26 April, or on 27 April if 26 April is Sunday. Vote counting should be next day at 8 a.m. New Lok Sabha, Legislative Assemblies, and local bodies will begin their terms on 1 June.