Gang of Four originally meant Jiang Qing, Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan who were powerful during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in China. Anna Hazare spoke of Gang of Four in UPA government without mentioning names. One of them is P. Chidambaram. Second is likely to be Kapil Sibal. Who are the other two? Some talk of Digvijay Singh and Manish Tewari but they are not ministers.
Tamil Nadu is a fit case for imposition of Presidentâ€™s Rule as it is not run as per constitution and its Legislative Assembly passed a resolution asking for mercy to criminals whose petitions had been rejected by the President. Omar Abdullah was right in questioning whether the reaction would have been as muted if Jammu & Kashmir had passed a similar resolution in favour of Afzal Guru. In that case BJP and many other parties would have gone ballistic. There is hypocrisy in Tamil Nadu. Some years back Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution favouring death penalty for the criminals. Parties headed by Karunanidhi and Vaiko were part of NDA which rejected mercy petitions. Ram Jethmalani was member of BJP and did not oppose death penalty then. Madras High Court should not have entertained the petitions and stayed the executions for eight weeks and when that happened Supreme Court should have intervened and vacated the stay. If waiting for death penalty is cruel why extend it by eight weeks? That shows the falsehood of the claim that waiting for death penalty is cruel and an excuse to get death penalty commuted to life imprisonment. What happens in India puts banana republics to shame and there should be a new phrase to describe India.
The controversy about Aarakshan has raised the question of relevance of CBFC. Once CBFC certifies a film there should be no problem about its release anywhere in India. However many people without seeing the film want the film to be banned. Some want special screening for them. It is bad for anyone to do that but worse when people in power do that. It is unpardonable for the home minister of state to say that films should be shown to certain politicians. It is unpardonable for other ministers to demand special screening and they will decide what should be shown. States should have no power to ban a CBFC certified film and those who create law and order problem should be strictly dealt with.
In one James Bond film it is said: Once can be happenstance. Twice can be coincidence. Thrice or more enemy is at work. On NDTV 24×7â€™s Left Right and Centre on three days Nidhi Razdan asked the question: Is death penalty a deterrent? She implied it was not. My answer is â€œYesâ€.
First time Nidhi Razdan asked the question with regard to remarks by Justice Markandeya Katju about policemen who kill in fake encounters. He had said â€œSuch policemen should be hanged. It is nothing but cold-blooded brutal murder, and yes, police personnel responsible should be hanged.â€ The discussion turned around fake encounters. Y. P. Singh said policemen do a noble job in an unethical way. It is a political call to control crime. The government of the day asks police to finish criminals. When there were gang wars in Bombay encounters took place and criminals disappeared.
On 22/6/2011 on NDTV 24×7â€™s Left Right and Centre the issue of showing mercy to Khaled Chisti was discussed. PM had written to Rajasthanâ€™s Governor Shivraj Patil to release Khaled Chisti and Shivraj Patil had decided to seek legal advice. The question was whether India should show large-heartedness and release him on humanitarian grounds. The discussion led to some revelations.
Nidhi Razdan first asked audience members. One person said there are many Indians in Indian prisons in similar condition to that of Khaled Chisti. Nobody writes to PM about them. There should be common rule for all. One woman said she was fighting for justice and Pakistanis have carried out many terrorist activities in India. That meant he should not be released.
The news of the death of Osama Bin Laden on 2/5/2011 (1/5/2011 in USA) in Abbottabad brought cheers to Americans and there were celebrations outside White House and Ground Zero. Barack Obama said it was a historic day for America and justice has been done. Osama Bin Laden was not hiding in some remote mountain but in a building next to military academy, or 500-800 metres away from military academy, in a city. America wanted Osama Bin Laden dead or alive for almost a decade. The building was a mansion without telephone or internet and with 12-16 feet walls built in 2005. For long Americans bombed Waziristan and some areas in Afghanistan hoping to kill Osama Bin Laden. Perhaps they were misled.
Sport is not war. Cricket is a game and should be treated as such. In football and hockey many times players get physical. Sometimes football players play karate or kick boxing for which they deserve red card. In cricket scope for getting physical is limited. Some people talk of cricket as of war. They talk of India-Pakistan match as mother of all battles or the biggest battle. That should be avoided.
In a tournament there is one final. There is no final before the final. Some people first talked of India-Australia quarter-final match as final before the final. After that they talked of India-Pakistan semi-final match as final before the final.
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.
Journalists are expected to report facts without exaggerations. They do not have the liberty to exaggerate. Poets and writers of fiction have the liberty to exaggerate. “De Villiers was quick to get to the ball, running Dravid out at the striker’s end by a mile.” (Aditya Iyer — Gambhir, Tendulkar keep India in hunt —…
Sometimes one hears about trial by media, media going too far and media being judge, jury and executioner. One has not heard about acquittal by media. Sometimes people in media pronounce someone not guilty when the court has announced him or her guilty. Some years back a British girl in USA was found guilty by…