CNN-IBN had conducted a poll on the Greatest Indian after Mohandas Gandhi. B. R. Ambedkar won the poll. The 28-member jury had voted Jawaharlal Nehru. The jury had a list of 100 persons. They reduced it to 50 persons. The people voted on the 50 persons the list was further reduced to 10 persons. After voting by people B. R. Ambedkar emerged the winner. The other eight finalists were Vallabhbhai Patel, J. R. D. Tata, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and Lata Mangeshkar.
Pranab Mukherjee is the president of India. He could not become prime minister, even caretaker prime minister, home minister and missed becoming president in 2007. There was suspense about his candidature. When during Congress Working Committee meeting he proposed authorising Congress president to nominate candidates for president and vice president he seemed out of equation. Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav said they did not want him or Hamid Ansari and proposed A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and Somnath Chatterjee. It seemed all over for Pranab Mukherjee but Mulayam Singh Yadav turned around and supported him. JD(U) and Shiv Sena supported Pranab Mukherjee. There was split in Left Front. CPI(M) supported him. CPI abstained. At the end Mamata Banerjee also supported him.
Pranab Mukherjee and Purno Albert Sangma are the two candidates for president of India. When UPA announced Pranab as its candidate some journalists said he will get 82% of votes, Purno will get 6%. NDA and Left Front had not decided on candidates, CPI had said it will oppose Congress candidate, many other parties had not declared their support to any candidate. The journalists added NDA and Left Front votes to Pranab. Instead of being objective they behaved like Pranabâ€™s cheerleaders.
On 12/6/2012 Election Commission announced the dates for presidential election. Strange are the ways of Election Commission. They announce elections for Legislative Assemblies six months before the expiry of the term and club various state elections together though announcement before 40 days is enough and clubbing elections together is not necessary and right. In case of presidential election the law provides for announcement 60 days before the expiry of the term and Election Commission announced the dates 43 days before the expiry of the term. Soon there will be vacancy of vice president but Election Commission has not clubbed together elections of president and vice president. S. Y. Qureshi was CEC when 60 days were left i.e., on 25/5/2012. He should have announced the election but did not do so and retired on 10/6/2012. Perhaps he was waiting for Congress to announce its candidate. On 11/6/2012 V. S. Sampath became CEC and next day at 5.30 p.m. he announced the election.
Markandey Katju said 90% of Indians are fools. He clarified that by 90% he means an overwhelming number; it can be 85% or 95%.
Markandey Katju gave 10 reasons why majority of Indians are fools.
First, Tamilians follow rahukalam. They consider it inauspicious. They are fools. Katju has shown courage to single out Tamilians as more foolish than other foolish Indians.
Second, many ministers and chief justices of high courts take oath during â€œauspiciousâ€ times.
Third, Supreme Court judges considered 7, Tughlak Lane as inauspicious residence due to some mishaps there.
Where there is will there is a way. If Congress wants to pass a strong Lokpal Bill it can do. If it does not want to pass a strong Lokpal Bill it finds ways avoid it. In that case the passing of Lokpal Bill depends on how strong is the will of people who want a strong Lokpal Bill. If their will is stronger than that of Congress they will succeed. Anna Hazare Group wants Lokpal Bill passed in the winter session of Parliament which gets over on 22/12/2011. Otherwise he will start his indefinite fast on 27/12/2011 and has asked people to fill jails and sit in front of houses of MPs from 1 January 2012 onwards. This time the fast is to be from Azad Maidan where his previous fasts were successful.
It is a shame that some politicians want mercy for criminals whose mercy petitions are rejected by the President. Some months back a Sikh terroristâ€™s petition was rejected and Akali and Congress politicians from Punjab wanted mercy for him. The terrorist had gone to Supreme Court and wanted his petition to be settled one way or other and after the rejection he has gone to court challenging the dismissal.
Now some politicians from Tamil Nadu want mercy for three Tamil terrorists. It is perverse for Karunanidhi to ask mercy for Rajiv Gandhiâ€™s killers claiming Rajiv Gandhi would have shown mercy under similar circumstances. Rajiv Gandhi did not die alone. Fifteen innocent people, including nine policemen on duty, died in the blast. No thought is given to them. The terrorists have appealed to Madras High Court on the ground of delay in decision. Karunanidhi, Vaiko and other politicians who oppose death penalty had lost elections.
On 25/1/2011, Yashwant Sonawane, Additional District Collector of Malegaon, was burnt to death by oil mafia criminals in Panewadi, near Manmad in Nashik District. The death could have been avoided if India had death penalty for every murder and had hanged all who were sentenced to death. Every death penalty prevents three to eighteen murders as proved in an article in Newsweek some years back.
There are evil people who call themselves human rights activists and oppose death penalty. For them murderers are human beings, victims are not.
As per one report Indiaâ€™s President Pratibha Patil has refused to reject mercy petitions of murderers sentenced to death penalty. She follows Home Ministryâ€™s advice only when it is to commute death penalty to life imprisonment.
Pratibha Patil, for almost two years after becoming the President of India, did nothing about pending mercy petitions. Now she will take up one mercy petition per month. There are about 26 mercy petitions pending. Most of them were legacy of her predecessors.