Tag: India

Supreme Court and prostitution

On 9 December 2009 the Supreme Court asked the Centre about legalising the prostitution.
“When you say it is the world’s oldest profession and when you are not able to curb it by laws, why don’t you legalise it? You can then monitor the trade, rehabilitate and provide of medical aid to those involved in the trade.
They have been operating in one way or the other and nowhere in the world have they been able to curb it by legislation. In some cases, they are carried out in a sophisticated manner. So why don’t you legalise it?” Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice A. K. Patnaik asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam. Gopal Subramaniam said he would look into it.
Legalisation of a crime because it can not be curbed by law is wrong. Many crimes take place. If the principle is extended it means murder, rape, kidnapping, abduction, drug trafficking, human trafficking, stealing, cheating, forgery and every other crime has to be legalised. Better implementation of the law is the answer. Passing a law or existence of a law is inadequate to curb a crime. In case of prostitution women are punished, men are not punished. If men who go to prostitutes are punished prostitution will come down.
Punishment for prostitution has to be 10 years imprisonment minimum. When both men and women guilty of prostitution spend at least 10 years in jail prostitution will disappear. For immoral trafficking there should be death penalty.
If criminals get sophisticated law enforcers also should get sophisticated. Throwing up hands in despair is not the answer.

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Statehood for Telangana

On 9 December 2009 at 11.30 p.m. P. Chidambaram announced the initiation of process for statehood for Telangana. Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhara Rao, leader of Telangana Rashtra Samiti, called off his fast.
It is unlikely that K. Chandrashekhara Rao wanted to fast unto death for Telangana. There was no need to arrest him when he began fast. After two days he gave up his fast. There was hostile reaction to his giving up of his fast. He blamed the police saying they forced him to end fast and resumed his fast. He reminded me of Dev Anand in Guide who is trapped by circumstances to undertake a fast and dies. The demand for statehood for Telangana had support from students and many others and things went out of control. The announcement by Chidambaram saved KCR.
Next day Non-Telangana MLAs and MPs of Andhra Pradesh protested statehood for Telangana. Many threatened to resign and sent their resignations to party leaders. Some said Hyderabad should not go to Telangana.
When India became independent there were no linguistic states. The demand for Andhra Pradesh led to the formation of linguistic states. When Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1953 Telangana was not part of it and Hyderabad was not its capital. Telangana became part of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Hyderabad should go to Telangana. There is no justification for making it a Union Territory or capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Comparison with Chandigarh is not justified. Chandigarh is close to the border of Haryana. According to Rajiv-Longowal Accord Chandigarh was to become part of Punjab on 26 January 1986. That was not done.
Congress MLAs who are opposed to statehood for Telangana should have said it when they were asked about it. Instead they authorised Congress High Command to take a decision.
Chandrababu Naidu said he will support a resolution for statehood for Telangana if Congress moves it in the Assembly. Now that a decision has been taken there is no point in blaming others for what happened. In October 2008 he expressed support for statehood for Telangana reversing the policy of Telugu Desam which was opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The announcement gave a boost to many statehood demands. People from various regions have demanded statehood from time to time. Sometimes the agitations have been violent. There are demands for statehood for Coorg, Vidarbha, Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Mithilanchal, Gorkhaland and Bodoland.
Some talk demand for smaller states as opening of Pandora’s box. Some talk of Telangana virus. These reactions are unjustified. Many demands were there for a long time. There is no opposition for division of Uttar Pradesh. Coorg and Gorkhaland are small. West Bengal is opposed to Gorkhaland. Decisions have to be taken on a case by case basis.

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Services team and Srinagar

On 3 November 2009 Services team did not turn up at Srinagar to play Ranji Trophy match against Jammu & Kashmir. This led to an uproar especially from Farooq Abdullah. He questioned when Kashmir is safe for Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram to come and to Sonia Gandhi to address people without bullet proof glass why it is not safe for Services team to play in Srinagar. Ambassadors of 22 countries have come and played golf. Services team would have been provided same level of security. For Farooq Abdullah Services team not playing was a sign of conspiracy not to allow Kashmir to return to normalcy.
BCCI banned Services team for the year. Services team apologised and sought new dates.
The decision not to send Services team was taken on the basis of intelligence reports. Ranji Trophy match is for four days. In Lahore cricketers were attacked. If the people in charge of taking decision about Services team thought it right for Services team not to play in Srinagar it would have been on the basis of sufficient reason.
Everything is not all right in Jammu and Kashmir. Pre-paid mobile service that was prevalent in J&K was banned from 1 November 2009. J&K government asked the centre to reconsider the ban. That shows the situation is not normal. However the reason given for banning pre-paid is not convincing. It is said that for pre-paid connection one document is required and for post-paid three documents are required. In that case the requirement for pre-paid should have been made three documents.
On 4/11/2009 Farooq Abdullah said “I am sure the Centre has taken this extreme step only to make sure the misuse is curbed. It will be curbed soon.”
Same day Chidambaram said “It was a well considered decision of the central government, which was taken after the Union Home Ministry apprised its concern to the government. The decision was taken up keeping in view the security situations and the service providers were also apprised about the decision before the move of banning the pre-paid connections was taken.
The ban on the pre-paid connections was going to stay in Jammu and Kashmir at least for now. However, service providers were working out for alternate arrangements for the same to the people.”
Chidambaram also expressed displeasure at Services team pulling out of Srinagar and promised to see that a match takes place there.
Pre-paid is more important than cricket. If Chidambaram has promised lifting the ban on pre-paid it would have sent a better signal than arranging a cricket match in Srinagar.
Farooq Abdullah should have protested publicly when pre-paid was banned in J&K. If he has protested privately it is immaterial. His criticism of Services team was public.