Tag: Constitution of India

Nagaland and sovereignty

NSCN-IM general secretary Thiungaleng Muivah is in Delhi for talks with the Government of India. There is demand for Nagalim or Greater Nagaland and sovereignty for Greater Nagaland. It is unlikely that both demands will be granted.
A cease fire is in place between NSCN-IM and India since 1997. There is an elected government in Nagaland.
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur will oppose their territory being given to Nagaland. There is talk of a council for Nagas in those states.
Article 371A of the constitution of India has special provision for Nagaland.
When India became independent many Nagas wanted to separate and had taken up arms. To meet many of their demands Nagaland was separated from Assam. Many Nagas continued their fight. The ceasefire agreement in 1997 brought peace but the demand for sovereignty did not go away.
India’s constitution has no provision for allowing states to secede. Nagas who want sovereignty are not powerful enough force separation from India.
Agreeing to sovereignty for Nagaland will lead to demand for sovereignty from many other states. Mizos wanted separation for many years and gave up their claim in 1987. In Kashmir there are people who want to join Pakistan or become a separate country. Even states where there had been no problem will demand sovereignty.
NSCN-IM is not the only group that represents Nagas. All groups that claim to represent Nagas should be asked to contest elections in Nagaland and show they have popular base.
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Bangalore lawyers and law

Bangalore lawyers had called for a day-long boycott of courts on 9/11/2009 in protest against Karnataka Chief Justice P. D. Dinakaran and disrupted court proceedings on that day. In Court Hall No. 1 of the High Court Justice Dinakaran and other Justices were hearing cases. Over 200 advocated barged in and ordered all lawyers to leave the hall. Dinakaran pleaded with the lawyers to allow him to do his work but was shouted down. The advocates attacked media persons who were present. Most of the judges quickly agreed to the demands of the lawyers. In Court Hall No. 2 Justice V. Gopal Gowda and Justice B. V. Nagarathna refused to leave. The lawyers shouted slogans, threw pens and paper, banged bookcases and raised chairs. They locked all four doors of the room. Gopal Gowda and Nagarathna were not allowed to leave for lunch. At 2.15 p.m. Dinakaran pleaded with the lawyers to allow the two judges to go. The judges were allowed to go. Some months back lawyers of Madras High Court had created a similar situation. The police went to restore order. The High Court delivered a judgment punishing the police. Lawyers have no right to disrupt court proceedings. Dinakaran should have been ordering them instead of pleading with them. Too bad most of the judges stopped hearings. If ordinary people had done this they would have been punished for contempt of law. Law must take its courts and lawyers who disrupted the proceedings must be punished. Those who locked Gopal Gowda and Nagarathna must be punished for illegal confinement. Corruption cases against Dinakaran have led to this stage. He would have been promoted to Supreme Court. Supreme Court should quickly decide on accusations against him. Article 124 of the constitution of India say that every judge of the Supreme Court, other than the Chief Justice, shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. Supreme Court judges through their judgment turned consultation into consent and talked of a collegium of five judges to appoint judges. This was an amendment of constitution through interpretation. Even when the President found a judge recommended by the collegium unsuitable the judges insisted on the appointment. Lawyers many times go on strike for days. That causes delays and inconvenience. Misbehaviour with judges should not be tolerated. The country should think of judicial system without lawyers. Judges can hear two sides and deliver judgments

Reservation for women in legislatures is wrong

Women’s Reservation Bill is in news again. UPA Government wants to pass it. One third of seats in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies are up for reservations for women.

Very few have opposed reservations for women in legislatures. Some want the reservation to be 20% instead of 33%. Some want reservation for women of backward classes in 33%. Some want it to be obligatory for political parties to give 33% or 40% tickets to women.

Women are free to contest 100% of seats. Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalitha head political parties. India has a woman president and a woman Lok Sabha speaker. In 1966 a woman became the prime minister of India.

Women form 50% of the population and so they should have reservations in legislatures is not a valid argument. In some fields percentage of women is more than men. Most of the primary schools teachers, telephone operators and receptionists are women. In some fields men are more than women. Drivers of trucks, taxis and autorickshaws are mostly men. In some fields percentage of men and women is same. Number of men and women TV newsreaders in almost equal.

The constitution of India guarantees equality. Reserving seats is against equality. Many people want to be seen politically correct and do not publicly oppose reservations. If women constitute around 10% of legislatures because many women have not voted for women candidates. Mostly votes are cast for political parties. Women do not vote for a woman just because she is a woman.

Political parties give tickets on the basis of winnability. The women who have chance of winning are given tickets. Some women contest as independents. Reserving seats means those who could not have made it are allowed to make it and those who could have made it are not allowed to make it.

Reservations once come into effect do not go away. They continue and expand. Reservations for SCs and STs were meant for 10 years. They got expanded to 60 years with no sign of ending. OBC reservations got added. There is a competition to be backward. Those who are backward want ST status.

Women’s Reservation Bill is presently for 15 years with rotating constituencies. If passed, it is unlikely that reservations will end after 15 years. Extensions can be expected.

Reservations for women in local bodies and city buses must come to an end. Income Tax exemption limit should be same for men and women. Reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs must come to an end. UPA Government must scrap the Women’s Reservation Bill. Otherwise those who are not part of UPA should oppose the bill.