Tag: India

Resolution on death penalty

Tamil Nadu is a fit case for imposition of President’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.

TV channels are unfair in covering the events. Discussions are not balanced. Those who oppose death penalty are more in number and given more time. On NDTV 24×7 three were against death penalty and two were for death penalty. Pinky Anand who was in favour of death penalty was given very less time to speak. On CNN-IBN all five panellists were against death penalty. There is discussion-fixing. If TV channels are opposed to death penalty they should put a disclaimer before the discussion saying they are against death penalty and the discussion is one-sided. It seems there are efforts to influence public opinion. If TV channels or journalists are influenced by lobbyists they should disclose it. Someone on Times Now said death penalty is barbaric and India is in the company of Saudi Arabia. Death penalty is not barbaric, crime is low in Saudi Arabia and India is in the company of USA and China.

Who paid Ram Jethmalani, Colin Gonsalves and R. Vaigai and how much for appearing for criminals? Who finances PUCL? Why did judges C. Nagappan and M. Sathyanarayan stay the execution? The three lawyers and the two judges should be hanged along with the criminals.

India and balance of power

For centuries England followed the policy of balance of power. When there were wars in Europe it joined a side that was weak. It benefitted from that policy and became a world power.

It is time for India to follow the policy of balance of power. After the end of Warsaw Pact and disintegration of USSR, USA-led NATO has dominated the world. Russia is unlikely to be a superpower. Alcohol and abortions have weakened Russia. Countries attacked by USA or NATO are helpless. India can provide leadership to such countries. India has nothing to gain by supporting NATO except in Afghanistan. However NATO is fighting a losing war in Afghanistan and if NATO withdraws it is best for India not to get involved. It is unlikely that UN Security Council will be expanded soon and India’s chance of getting permanent membership of it is slim.

NATO’s bombing of Libya is the latest example of use of force to impose its will. There was UN authorisation for no fly zone but NATO went for regime change. They bombed cities and killed many civilians. Serbians and Africans are hauled up before International Criminal Court but nothing happens to NATO leaders for their crimes. When there was an uprising in Burma, NATO did nothing. They wanted China and India to do something. Libya has oil and that is the reason for NATO bombing. Libya abandoned its nuclear programme to appease NATO and paid the price.

It is not necessary for India to fight NATO forces. India can oppose and defy sanctions imposed by UN, EU and NATO. India can engage in trade with Iran and other countries. India is unable to buy oil from Iran because of sanctions. India can sell arms, ammunition, warplanes and warships to countries under sanctions. NATO is not concerned with democracy and human rights. If that had been the case they would not have traded with China. There is no reason why India should agree to sanctions because other countries do not like a government or a person. USA, UK and France supported South Africa when there was apartheid. USA helped Israel develop nuclear weapons and did not act when Pakistan developed nuclear weapons. Iran having nuclear weapons is not a problem for India.

In Asia, maintaining balance of power means siding with countries threatened by China which have no defence pact with USA. American forces are in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia do not have American forces. India can support them.

Whitewash in England

India lost the Oval Test by an Innings and eight runs on 22/8/2011 and with that lost four Tests in succession after many years. It was in Oval in 1971 India had bundled out England for 101 in the second Innings and won a Test and series in England for the first time. Last time India lost all four Tests in a series was in 1967-68 in Australia. India, who were No. 1 in Tests before the series began, now rank No. 3 in Tests. How the mighty have fallen!

Rudra Pratap Singh who was not in the reserves and who had not played a Test for two years got a chance to play in the Test at the cost of Munaf Patel who was in the reserves and had played in West Indies. India’s poor bowling was made worse by poor fielding. Gautam Gambhir dropped a catch and got injured. Rahul Dravid carried the bat in the first Innings and in the process surpassed Sunil Gavaskar’s 34 centuries and became the third Indian to carry the bat after Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag. He was out to a dubious decision under UDRS in the second Innings. If Hot Spot cannot be conclusive the money spent on it is a waste.

For the first time in the series India scored 300 in the first Innings. Too bad they could not repeat it in the second Innings. England had 291 runs lead and enforced follow-on unlike India in 2007 who did not enforce follow-on in spite of having 312 runs lead.

English players were generous to Sachin Tendulkar and dropped catches so that he may score a century but he was LBW on 91. Suresh Raina scored a pair. Amit Misra scored 43 in the first Innings and 84 in the second Innings and compensated for his failure in bowling.

The series was plagued with injuries. Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Virender Sehwag and Ishant Sharma suffered.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni seems secure as captain because many players who could have replaced him are injured. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are ex-captains. If V. V. S. Laxman had hit a century he could have been a contender.

The series began with euphoria and ended in despondency. There is ODI series ahead to be followed by a T20 match. Expectations are low and there will be no surprise if India lose all matches.