Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Opposition PM Candidate

On 22/7/2018 Congress Working Committee and declared Rahul Gandhi as Opposition’s PM candidate. Congress was to enter into alliances with regional parties.
On 24/7/2018 Tejashwi Yadav said “All the opposition parties will sit and decide the name of the Prime Ministerial candidate. Rahul Gandhi is not the only leader in the race for it. There are other opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Pawar and Mayawati.”
There was no official reaction from Congress to Tejashwi Yadav’s statement. Unofficially Congress was open to an outsider as PM candidate if that leader’s party gets enough numbers in Lok Sabha or lack of consensus on Rahul Gandhi.
Opposition has many PM candidates. According to Mamata Banerjee’s criteria she and Naveen Patnaik are only two in Opposition who are suitable to be PM. Mayawati is bargaining for seats with Congress and said there will be no alliance if her party does not get respectable number of seats. Chandrababu Naidu said he does not want to be PM. He had opportunity in the past but did not take up the offer. Sharad Pawar’s party is unlikely to have many MPs.
Parties like TRS and TDP will not be part of coalition where Congress is a member. AIADMK will not be part of a coalition where DMK is a member. Tamil parties like DMDK, MDMK, PMK may go with Congress or BJP. JDS may support Congress if the alliance lasts till Lok Sabha elections. Sheila Dikshit and Ajay Maken do not want alliance with AAP and their view has prevailed.
Tejashwi Yadav has shown he is no pushover in politics. When talk of Nitish Kumar’s return to alliance with RJD and Congress was going on Tejashwi Yadav said Nitish Kumar is not welcome in the alliance. One Congress leader said who is Tejashwi Yadav to decide on alliance. Congress leaders were divided about accepting Nitish Kumar. Tejashwi Yadav said he did not want Nitish Kumar back even if he makes him CM. Nitish Kumar continues with BJP.
There is possibility of Shiv Sena supporting Congress. BJP is ready to contest all 48 Lok Sabha seats and 288 Legislative Assembly seats alone. Shiv Sena did not vote against No Confidence Motion in Lok Sabha. Narendra Modi should have dismissed Anant Geete as minister.
There is SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. Mayawati does not want to give any seat to Congress and other parties. SP wants to give two seats to Congress and one seat to RLD. Congress messed up in UP. It hired Prashant Kishor for strategy. It wanted to go alone in state election. Prashant Kishore suggested three choices as CM candidate. First was Rahul Gandhi. Second was Priyanka Gandhi. Third was Sheila Dikshit. The slogan was Saththaavees saal, UP behaal. Congress was to be alternative for 27 years of misrule in UP. Then something changed. It seems Priyanka Gandhi wanted alliance with SP. Congress entered into alliance with SP. It was a disaster.
BJD is against both BJP and Congress.
Victory in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh state elections in no guarantee of victory in Lok Sabha elections that follow. In 2003 BJP won in those three states and was confident of winning in Lok Sabha elections. That did not happen.

50 years of Humanae Vitae

On 25 July 1968 Pope Paul VI issued encyclical Humanae Vitae. It dealt with population growth and birth control.
The main points of Humanae Vitae were as below:
1) Married love takes it origin from God who is love. It is the wise and provident institution of God the Creator. Husband and wife co-operate with God in generating and rearing of new lives. Married love is fully human, total, faithful and exclusive of all other and fecund.
2) Responsible parenthood means awareness of and respect for the proper functions of biological processes. Man’s reason and will must exert control over man’s innate drives and emotions. With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time. Responsible parenthood concerns the objective moral order which was established by God, and of which a right conscience is the true interpreter. Husband and wife are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. They are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. Each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.
3) Direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.
4) The Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever.
5) If there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles.
6) Methods and plans for artificial birth control could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.
The encyclical ended with Pope’s appeal to Public Authorities, Scientists, Christian Couples, Doctors and Nurses, Priests, and Bishops.
At that time there was talk of population problem with doomsday scenarios. Those predictions have been proved wrong.
Now many people speak of demographic dividend. Many countries have declining populations. Some countries want to have more children. In Australia every time a child a born the mother gets 4,000 Australian dollars. China followed one-child policy for nearly 40 years. Now it has two-children policy. Japan was No. 1 economy. With decline in population its economy declined. Now it is No. 3 economy. In USA in 2017 deaths of whites were more than births. There is birth rate decline in Brazil.
With decline in population comes decline in employment. Old people will be more than young people.
Lot has changed in the last 50 years. Divorce has gone up. Many cohabit without marriage. Some countries permit same-sex marriages. Abortion has gone up. In cases of rape and saving mother’s life abortion is right.
Foreigners will take over countries with declining populations either as immigrants or as invaders.

Democracy in Delhi

Supreme Court verdict in the case of elected government versus Lieutenant Governor is a triumph of democracy in Delhi. It is a victory for AAP. It is a defeat for BJP in general, Narendra Modi in particular. Lieutenant Governors had stalled the work of Delhi government. First it was Najeeb Jung. Then it was Anil Baijal.

The judgment was given by a five-judge Constitution bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra, Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. It said aid and advice under Article 239AA means that LG is bound by the aid and advice of council of ministers of elected Delhi government. LG cannot act as an obstructionist to policy decisions taken by AAP government.

The constitution mandates the council of minister headed by Delhi chief minister to communicate all decisions to LG but they do not require LG’s concurrence. LG can only refer it to President if he has difference of opinion but he cannot sit on it, it said.

LG being the administrative head of Delhi must be informed of all executive power but he cannot stall all the decision of council of ministers who have been elected to address aims and aspirations of electorate. Both LG and the CM are constitutional functionaries who must work harmoniously with mutual respect and none of them should feel superior to the other. Delhi’s council of ministers headed by CM must communicate all decisions taken by it to the LG, but it does not mean LG’s concurrence is required on every issue.

Delhi enjoys a unique position under Constitution and neither LG nor the CM heading the council of ministers should consider themselves bigger than the other. They must work harmoniously. LG should not act in a mechanical manner to refer all decisions of the council of ministers to the President citing difference of opinion. Except for the three issues including land and law and order over which Centre had exclusive power, Delhi government must be allowed to legislate and govern other issues and LG cannot stall decisions mechanically. LG has no independent decision-making power and cannot behave as an obstructionist when the constitution gives primacy to representative of government.

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted “A big victory for the people of Delhi…a big victory for democracy…”

Soli Sorabjee welcomed the decision.

This verdict is second major victory for AAP. First was when Delhi High Court struck down Election Commission’s decision to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs because they were once parliamentary secretaries.

BJP is clutching at straws and selectively quoted from verdict regarding anarchy and Delhi not being a state.

It seems Congress is with BJP against AAP. For some time there was talk of AAP and Congress alliance against BJP in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. That did not happen. Sheila Dikshit started to make statements against AAP. TMC, TDP, JD(S) and CPI(M) are with AAP.

This verdict has implications for Kiran Bedi who is Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry and has fights with Congress government there.

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