Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: India

Hardik and Rahul

Hardik Pandya and Kannanur Lokesh Rahul are in trouble for what they said on Koffee with Karan. Hardik Pandya’s statements caused lot of outrage. Many said they were misogynist and sexist. BCCI is divided on what to do with them. Opinion is divided among people about action against them.
Misogyny means hatred of women. A misogynist does not sleep with women. The women have not complained. There is no accusation of sexual harassment. Women willingly slept with them. It is wrong to call them misogynists or sexists. It is right to call them fornicators or adulterers depending on whether the women were single or married.
Koffee with Karan is toxic. Usually film industry people take part in it. Cricketers taking part in it and answering questions not related to cricket was strange. Many questions and answers are not edifying. Most viewers watched it for entertainment and did not mind the depravity and immorality expressed.
This changed with the appearance of Hardik and Rahul. May be the offended people were not regular viewers and just viewed it because cricketers were present. May be the viewers were same who did not mind film industry people being obnoxious but were outraged that cricketers said such things.
After the telecast created a controversy notices were issued to both and they apologised. Vinod Rai felt Hardik’s apology was not sincere and was drafted by an agency. Both were suspended and called back to India from Australia where ODI series was to begin. Fresh notices were issued to them. Both were left with no friends. Virat Kohli said the statements were inappropriate.
There was dispute about action against Hardik and Rahul. CoA chairman Vinod Rai and member Diana Edulji were against each other. Vinod Rai wanted CEO Rahul Johri conduct an inquiry as per BCCI Constitution. Diana Edulji said that will result in cover-up and she wanted to conduct an inquiry along with acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary. Vinod Rai opposed it and said he would not be a party to it. BCCI members called for a Special General Meeting to appoint an Ombudsman to decide the issue. Hardik and Rahul have submitted unconditional apologies.
Some BCCI officials have unofficially questioned Diana Edulji’s double standards. She wants action against Hardik and Rahul but no action against Harmanpreet Kaur for possessing a fake graduation degree and losing the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in Punjab. BCCI has not acted against her.
Some feel the matter has been dragged on unnecessarily and should be ended. Players have been punished enough. Some want bans of various periods.
ODI World Cup is due in three and half months, at the end of May 2019. Some want Hardik and Rahul to be available for World Cup.
Vinod Rai does not want to end their careers. He said “It is our responsibility to reprimand them, sensitise them of their misdemeanour and then get them back on the ground once they have suffered the consequences.”
Babul Supriyo wrote Diana Edulji’s thinking has got fossil. ”There is ‘Thick’ line between reprimanding someone and destroying them!! My plea to these seniors: Please behave your ages gentlemen & ladies.. Rest my case.”
Some were angry with Karan Johar and his line of questioning. He had appeared in a selfie with PM Narendra Modi. There was a cartoon. Karan Johar and Narendra Modi are talking on phone. Karan Johar smiles and says “Mission accomplished Sir! Career of Hardik and Rahul almost finished.” Narenda Modi replies “You got the wrong Hardik and Rahul, you idiot!” The reference is to Hardik Patel and Rahul Gandhi, both opponents of Narenda Modi in politics.

Alok Verma Removed

Removal of Alok Verma as CBI Director is the latest twist in CBI versus CBI saga. We do not know whether there will be more twists.
On 8/1/2019 Supreme Court bench consisting of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph set aside the order dt. 23/10/2018 divesting Alok Verma of his powers as CBI Director. It rejected government stand that he was sent on leave and there was no transfer. However it barred Alok Verma from taking policy decisions and asked the CBI Selection Committee comprising of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CJI and Leader of Opposition to decide on his removal within a week. CJI Ranjan Gogoi recused himself and asked Justice A. K. Sikri to represent him. There is no Leader of Opposition and leader of the largest party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge took part in the meetings on 9 & 10/1/2019. On 10/1/2019 the Committee by 2-1 vote removed Alok Verma as CBI Director on grounds of corruption and dereliction of duty. Narendra Modi and A. K. Sikri voted for removal. Mallikarjuna Kharge voted against removal.
Alok Verma’s term was to end on 31/1/2019. For the remainder of his term Alok Verma is appointed Director General, Fire and Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards.
After resuming charge Alok Verma had reinstated officers close to him who were transferred after he was sent on leave. Now it can be game of musical chairs in CBI. M. Nageshwar Rao is back as Acting Director of CBI.
Corrupt officers should be sacked. They should not be given other positions.
Congress and other opposition politicians were happy at Supreme Court judgment. Now they are disappointed.
It will be interesting to watch what happens to CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana who was sent on leave.
Supreme Court could have first asked the Selection Committee to meet and decide about Alok Verma. After reinstating Alok Verma with limited powers and asking Selection Committee to decide about him Supreme Court created an embarrassing situation.

Gadkari versus Modi and Shah

On 11/12/2018 election results of five states were out. BJP lost Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh after 15 years and Rajasthan after five years. After that Nitin Gadkari has been critical of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
“Party leadership should own up to defeat and failures. Nobody is willing to take responsibility of failure, unlike successes.”
“Leadership should have the tendency to own up the defeat and failures. Loyalty of the leadership towards the organization will not be proved till the time it owns up responsibility for the defeat.”
“If I am the party president and my MPs and MLAs are not doing well then who is responsible?”
Three years back in 2015 after defeat in Bihar election, Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha wanted review of the defeat and fix responsibility. Nitin Gadkari and three other former BJP presidents had issued a statement that victory or defeat was collective responsibility as had happened in the past. Now Gadkari makes contrary statements.
Gadkari is a Nagpur resident. RSS had headquarters in Nagpur. Some think Gadkari’s words come from RSS. Mohan Bhagwat had contradicted Modi on Congress-Free India and said that is a political slogan, RSS wants to take all along.
Chief Ministers lead state governments. Credit for victory or blame for defeat should go to them. However party presidents or Prime Ministers take credit when their party wins in a state, so they should be ready to own defeat also.
After Modi became PM, BJP had its share of ups and downs. It had lost in Delhi and Bihar. It had lost Punjab where its ally SAD was senior partner. Losing Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is a major blow to BJP unlike any other.
Lok Sabha elections are due in April and May. If BJP does not get 272 seats there will be challenge to Modi’s leadership. Some regional leaders want a non-BJP, non-Congress Front. Modi can not rely on Shiv Sena. Some partners like Apna Dal are playing truant. BJP has lost recent Lok Sabha by-elections in Uttar Pradesh. Gadkari, with the backing of RSS, seems to challenge Modi.

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