Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Shazia Ilmi versus Sonia Gandhi

There is talk of Kumar Vishwas contesting against Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha elections. AAP wants to put strong candidates against leaders of other parties. BJP, BSP, and SP are unlikely to risk their top leaders against Sonia Gandhi. AAP can field Shazia Ilmi versus Sonia Gandhi. That will be an interesting contest.

Shazia Ilmi is a familiar face on TV. She needs no introduction. She lost Delhi election by 324 or 326 votes. She said she lost by 324 votes. One report said she lost by 326 votes. If she is in the fray it will not be cakewalk for Sonia Gandhi. During UP elections in 2012 Congress candidates had done badly in Amethi and Rae Bareli, seven of ten candidates lost, despite propaganda by Priyanka Gandhi. Till then there was a clamour that Priyanka Gandhi should take a leading role in Congress. The defeat put paid to that.

Similarly AAP can have candidates against leaders of BJP, BSP, SP, JD(U), TMC and so on. Preeti Sharma Menon can contest against Sushma Swaraj in Vidisha. Rahul Mehra can contest against Lal Krishna Advani. If Lal Krishna Advani does not contest, Rahul Mehra can contest against Narendra Modi. Mayank Gandhi can contest against Sharad Pawar. Yogendra Yadav can contest against Mulayam Singh Yadav.

No opponent will take AAP candidates likely. AAP has scared the living daylights of other political parties. Arvind Kejriwal defeated Sheila Dikshit.

Arvind Kejriwal talked of First Front. I do not see such a possibility. It is difficult to find a party that has high ideals of AAP. Even Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta talked of compromise and forming government. It is important for AAP to contest all 543 seats.

Indira Gandhi had lost to Raj Narayan in 1977. Shazia Ilmi defeating Sonia Gandhi is a possibility.

Supreme Court on IPC 377

Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Indian Penal Code Section 377 and has set aside Delhi High Court judgment of July 2009. Law must be changed by legislatures, not by courts.
IPC 377 makes sex against order of nature with man, woman, or beast a crime. Delhi High Court had held what consenting adults do in private should not be covered by law. That had dangerous implications. That would have meant drug trafficking, polygamy, prostitution, and many other things are legal. On 11/12/2013 Supreme Court set right the wrong committed by Delhi High Court.
Many times a vociferous minority dominates a silent majority. In this case the minority against IPC 377 dominated. This minority had extensive TV coverage to express its views. Anchors were hostile to people who defended IPC 377. By minority I mean a numerical minority and not any other minority. The hostility continues. Now Supreme Court judges are target. There anchors talk of tolerance but are intolerant against people who do not agree with them. The questions and discussions are loaded against IPC 377. If there is one person to defend IPC 377 there are eight people to speak against it.
Law Minister Kapil Sibal expressed willingness to pass a law to nullify Supreme Court judgment. What about a law to help Campa Cola residents? Salman Khurshid said he had not read the judgment. He is External Affairs Minister. This concerns Home Minister. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said government has to abide by Supreme Court judgment. Manish Tewari said government has already taken a stand, need to decriminalise.
Baba Ramdev and Zafaryab Jilani welcomed Supreme Court judgment. Baba Ramdev claims he can cure homosexuality through yoga. Fr. Dominic Emmanuel said decriminalization is not legalization and making homosexuality legal will increase HIV cases. I do not see any difference between decriminalization is not legalization. What is not a crime is legal.
Will Parliament take up the matter? Congress lost badly in recent elections. They would not like to lose more votes. BJP is not likely to support amending IPC 377. Politicians want blessings of religious leaders. BJP members want blessings of Hindu leaders. Other politicians want blessings of all religious leaders, especially Muslim leaders. Lok Sabha elections are a few months away. At this point no politician would like to offend religious leaders. Even Arvind Kejriwal of AAP wanted support of a Barelvi leader.
IPC should not be tinkered with. Some want suicide to be made legal. If attempted suicide is not a crime then abetment to suicide is not a crime. A suicide bomber can fill a truck with explosives and crash it against Parliament House or any other building resulting in hundreds of deaths. Those who abetted in the crime cannot be punished. Many murders pass off as suicides or accidents. There will be no investigation of such deaths.
There are pseudo-liberal, pseudo-modern people who want to turn everything upside down. Many who oppose IPC 377 also oppose death penalty for murder and high crimes. Those who speak of Supreme Court judges having medieval mindset are pseudo-modern.
Some want to mislead others saying homosexuality is not against religion. Most religions condemn homosexuality. St. Paul in Letter to Romans wrote “That is why God let go of them and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God’s natural plan for them and indulged in sex sin with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sex relationships with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men and, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved.” (Rom 1/26-27). Christianity is against sex outside marriage and marriage is between one man and one woman.
What about police filing FIRs against who claimed they are gay? They can start with culprits who appeared on TV channels.
Indira Jaising should be sacked as Additional Solicitor General for speaking against Supreme Court judgment.
What happens in other countries is their business. What happened during Mahabharata is not applicable now. That time polygamy was rampant. Draupadi had five husbands. Bheeshma abducted Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika for Vichithraveerya and Chitrangada to marry. Ganga committed infanticide.
Justice G. S. Singhvi said those who criticise judgment should read it first. People are reacting without reading homosexuality judgment.

AAP debut

AAP made a good debut in Delhi. The party was announced on 2/10/2012, birthday of Mohandas Gandhi. It was formed on 26/11/2012 at Constitution Club, on the anniversary of adoption of India’s Constitution on 26/11/1949. In Delhi’s Legislative Assembly elections the party won 28 out of 70 seats and came second. It proved cynics wrong.
Enemies of AAP had tried tricks to defame AAP. There was a sting operation. That failed. There were accusations of receiving foreign funds. AAP mentioned the donations they received on their web site. Other parties did not do that. AAP stopped taking donations after the sum reached 20 crore rupees, saying that is all that they needed and did not want more. Some said AAP was a middle class phenomenon. It did not have appeal among poor. AAP got votes from poor. Some said AAP was a spoiler. Anti-Congress votes that would have gone to BJP would go to AAP and Congress would benefit. They were wrong.
AAP members campaigned extensively. They used social media. Broom was their symbol. They consulted people and had 70 constituency specific manifestos and one common manifesto.
AAP leaders based on their opinion polls expected their party to win 38-50 seats. They fell short of majority. BJP emerged first with 32 seats. They too used social media, perhaps more than AAP. Congress won 8 seats. They had 43 seats. Arvind Kejriwal contested against Sheila Dikshit, thrice chief minister of Delhi, and won by 25,864 votes. He had accused BJP and Congress of match-fixing and BJP fielding weak candidates against Sheila Dikshit. AAP had decided Arvind Kejriwal was their strongest candidate and he should contest against Sheila Dikshit. On voting day Sheila Dikshit had said “Who is Arvind Kejriwal? What is AAP? Can you call it a party that can be compared to the Congress or BJP? AAP is generally talked about because the gentleman and the party have a way of projecting themselves?”
Where did AAP survey go wrong? They missed the target by a minimum of 10 seats. May be psephologists should not do opinion polls of their parties when they join a political party. GVL Narasimha Rao’s predictions used to be right. After he associated with BJP his predictions started to go wrong. Yogendra Yadav used to be generally right. After he joined AAP, he missed the target.
Congress leaders had said AAP was BJP’s B team. BJP leaders had said AAP was Congress’ B team. AAP proved it was nobody’s B team. Arvind Kejriwal said it was not his victory but victory of common people who are against corruption.
Arvind Kejriwal said AAP will not form the government; they will not support to take support from BJP or Congress. BJP being the single largest party has to form the government. BJP and Congress can come together and they have common ideology of corruption. AAP will play responsible opposition. Harsh Vardhan, leader of BJP, said they do not have majority and they do not want to break other parties, they will sit in the opposition. Perhaps for the first time in India’s history we have a curious case of two leading parties refusing to form government.
BJP needed four more MLAs. They could not expect support from JD(U) MLA. Another MLA was a BJP rebel candidate who had contested as an independent and won. He put his conditions for support. He is a fan of Narendra Modi. He should ask him to support BJP. He should be made Deputy CM. No wonder, Harsh Vardhan did not want to form government.
If no party forms government there has to be another election. That has happened before. It happened once in Kerala, once in Bihar. Outside India it happened in Greece. A minority government can last a full term. Some members can abstain from voting. P. V. Narasimha Rao did that. Once, BJP voted against him. Janata Dal abstained. Second time Janata Dal voted against him. BJP abstained. Third time he survived by defections of MPs from the party headed by Ajit Singh and votes of JMM MPs who were paid cash for votes. If there are elections again in Delhi results can be different.
AAP has plans for fielding candidates of 2014 general elections. Victory in 28 seats of Delhi gives AAP hope.

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