The Candid Eye

November 21, 2010

Arundhati Roy & Pradip Krishen grab tribal land in MP

Filed under: Arundhati Roy,India — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
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Arundhati Roy pretends to be a campaigner for tribal rights. Yet she and her husband are in the thick of a controversy over grabbing tribal land in Pachmarhi. Vivek Trivedi reports

Arundhati Roy, the maverick novelist turned activist, who recently was under a raging controversy triggered by her ‘seditious remarks’ on Kashmir and pretends to be a campaigner for tribal rights is now along with her husband in the thick of a controversy over grabbing tribal land in Pachmarhi.

Roy, who during her teenage years had embarked on a homeless lifestyle, staying in a small hut with a tin roof within the walls of Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla and making a living selling empty bottles, shot to prominence after inking the novel God of Small Things in 1996, which got her the prestigious Booker’s Prize 1997. Ever since then, the writer has devoted herself solely to politics, publishing two more collections of essays as well as working for social causes.

Arundhati Roy

The novelist has hogged limelight in the last decade for her activities in socio-political plots like Sardar Sarovar Dam project, India’s nuclear weapons programme and corruption of power company Enron.

However, apart from these socio-political plots, the land plot purchased by Roy’s second husband in Pachmarhi, a picturesque tourist destination in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh has every now and then put the pro-environment outbursts of this writer cum activist’s into suspicion.

Roy’s personality has never been an unknown entity for the denizens of Madhya Pradesh ever since, she bagged the Booker’s Prize in the year 1997 and ensured active association with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), opposing the mega Sardar Sarovar Project in subsequent years.

The God of Small Things author, who has earned an image of a passionate activist, fighting tenaciously for bringing justice on social and environmental causes over the years, suddenly decided to fish in troubled waters by making some objectionable remarks on the Kashmir problem recently.

“Kashmir should get azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan,” said Arundhati Roy at a seminar last month, where the Maoists hosted Kashmir secessionist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, which witnessed large-scale protests by Kashmiri Pandits. However, the controversial remarks had failed to impress many across the country and generated flak from socio-political circles.

The crusader of environment conservation and tribals’ rights also has a link in Madhya Pradesh, which puts her image under a cloud. The land plot purchased by her second husband and filmmaker Pradip Krishen has mired this writer-activist into a long drawn environmental controversy.

Krishen had purchased a plot in Bariaam village situated around 7 km from Pachmarhi from a local resident Sharif Ahmed in 1992. The filmmaker had purchased two pieces of land, out of which he sold out one later on and used the second one for constructing a house. The construction work began in 1992 and concluded four years later in 1996.

The Bariaam village is located on the main highway to Pachmarhi falls within the Special Area Development Authority’s (SADA) jurisdiction. This is also a part of the Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuary and provisions of Wildlife Act 1972 prohibit holding any land title in the area.

The Union Forest and Environment Ministry also has declared it as part of an eco-sensitive zone under the Environment Protection Act. Krishen had purchased the land with few others in the year 1992. He completed construction of the house towards the end of 1993, in time for his wedding with Roy in January 1994. In between other buildings also came up in the area from 1993 to 1996. Writer Vikram Seth’s sister Anuradha, a forest officer Nishkant Jhadav and a doctor Jagdish Chandra Sharma also owned land in the notified area.

In between, the Pachmarhi Special Area Development Authority (SADA) had served a ‘stop building’ order on Krishen and Arundhati. The couple however hit back and alleged that they were being targeted for opposing a new development plan for the Pachmarhi area in which hotel-building would be allowed at the cost of despoiling the beauty and sylvan backdrop of the gorgeous tourist destination.

The SADA notice, served on March 12, mentioned that under Section 16 of the state Town and Country Planning Act, 1973, the land use of Pachmarhi and its neighbouring areas had been frozen. It accused Krishen of building his house at Bariaam without valid permission from the Town and Country Planning Organisation (TCPO) and directed him to stop all construction activity. The notice may well be the precursor to a demolition order.

The Forest Department did not lag behind on this issue and local forest officials insisted that Bariaam village had been part of the wildlife sanctuary since 1977. So the plot of land acquired by Krishen violates a provision of the Wildlife Protection Act, amended in 1991, under which no new rights of property can be created in a protected area. However the couple had maintained that Bariaam was a revenue village and it was not in the Army cantonment or within the boundaries of the sanctuary or the national park.

A new twist came in the row, as a local Naib Tehsildar from Pachmarhi cancelled the land title change, which had taken place in March 1992, in favour of Krishen. Roy’s husband and others soon approached the Jabalpur High Court against the move and challenged the decision of the Naib Tehsildar.

The High Court however directed the petitioner to instead appear before the revenue appellate authority, which was SDM in this case. Krishen however told that court that time limit of making an appeal in the case had passed and the court had granted the relaxation in the matter. The order was pronounced in February this year. In compliance with the High Court order, the petitioner has presented an application before the SDO (civil).

There is still some room for respite to Krishen and Arundhati, if the SDM’s verdict goes against them, Roy, Krishen and the others can file an appeal with Bhopal and Hoshangabad Commissioner Manoj Shrivastva.

The verdict

Roy and Krishen had got embroiled in the land controversy in 2003 when the local administration claimed their elevated bungalow overlooking twin hillocks and vast rolling greens, was in notified forestland.

Then SDM Niyaz Ahmad of Pipariya had acted upon a complaint filed by Vijay Singh, a tribal that Roy’s husband and three others, including Aradhana Seth, sister of writer Vikram Seth, had allegedly encroached on tribal land. Later, Roy’s husband and a few others had moved the Jabalpur High Court against the verdict of the local administration.

The High Court in its verdict, has rejected the appeal and has asked Arundhati’s husband to appear before a sub-divisional magistrate. The order has come four years after the Madhya Pradesh Government had served a notice on Krishen and others for encroaching on tribal land.

Pachmarhi in Biosphere Reserve Programme

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has included Pachmarhi in Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme in 2009. The Man And Biosphere (MAB) Programme develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the rational and sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment. It predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well being of both human populations and the environment.

Source : The Pioneer

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November 11, 2010

The media has misled us on the Adarsh scam!

An article by Carl H. Gomes on Vigil Online throws light on unknown truths about Adarsh Housing scam.

Now that the dust has settled and the stench (from the shit that hit the fan) has blown away, we can perhaps look at the Adarsh scam a little dispassionately. The media (both print and electronic) really went to town on this because there is nothing that the media loves better than to tear a person?s reputation to shreds and the truth be damned. If Armed Forces officers are involved, the ferocity of the attack is worse because they can in addition sully the uniform and the institution, since the politician and the bureaucrat are impervious. And as they say, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall!”

Adarsh Housing in South Mumbai

The ..housing for widows of the “martyrs” of Kargil? is a media creation because the scheme was never meant for them nor was the plot reserved in their name. No government, however magnanimous, would have allotted such a prohibitively expensive plot in a prime location to Kargil heroes or their widows. A more likely place would have been in the satellite town of Navi Mumbai, or in Nagpur or Nasik, where land is available aplenty. The project was never promoted as a housing project for the ..widows of Kargil?; but the Kargil conflict itself was used as a ploy to get the land transferred to the society with the active connivance of the Defence Estate Officers, one of who became a promoter. Because of its location on the boundary of defence land and was in the physical possession of the Army, it had no commercial potential for a civilian project. It was the brain child of Maj Gen AR Kumar, Area Cdr/GOC (1999-2000), when the Kargil war was in progress and his deputy Brig TK Kaul. Subsequently all Area Cdrs and Sub-area Cdrs from 2000 to 2010 have been allotted flats in the building as a quid pro quo apparently to buy their silence. The Navy had no role to play in giving clearances at that time but top naval brass were offered flats all the same as one of the promoters was a naval officer. They were probably offered the “right of first refusal” but refused to refuse the offer. The other lower ranked officers (including a Petty Officer) either got it courtesy of one or other of the promoters or they just got lucky. No one looks a gift horse in the mouth!

The Adarsh plot is not located in far away Yeotmal or Aurangabad but in tony South Bombay (So Bo, as it is called) where property prices are the highest in the world and there is little vacant land left. It is just a stone?s throw away from and in full view of the headquarters of the Maharashtra government, “Mantralaya”, the BMC Headquarters and the Headquarters of the GOC, M&G Area. The building did not come up surreptitiously but grew in stature under the benign gaze of the worthies who occupy these hallowed premises and had their blessings.

Ashok Chavan

The problems really started when the Revenue Minister (now Chief Minister) Ashok Chavan demanded 40% of the flats for civilians (read politicians and bureaucrats). A modest housing project of 6 floors slowly expanded to 31 floors to accommodate the swelling demand from these big wigs who high jacked the project and colluded with the builder to break every rule in the statute book with impunity. The building is a monument to deceit to all the people of Maharashtra/Mumbai/India and not just the Kargil heroes/widows, most of whom have already got houses in New Delhi in the Dwarka project. This project never had any link to ‘war veterans and/or widows of Kargil’ who were the invisible pawns in the game. We have only been compelled by the media to think that way. In fact, membership was restricted to Maharashtrians and those who could prove domicile in Maharashtra – so much so even the two former Army Chiefs did not just walk in – they had to get exemption from the highest levels of the government, even though this is not a government project.

Let us consider the following:

This is India, the country where the Armed Forces are just ‘use and throw? commodities like “curry patha”. This is Maharashtra which is one of the few states that does not have any sympathy or respect for the Armed Forces – the only state that charges the maximum taxes on goods sold through the CSD, including liquor. This is Mumbai which is the only city that does not exempt Armed Forces veterans from paying property tax on their houses even if it is ..self-occupied?.

The Govt could have selected a location where the land is cheaper and available in abundance like Navi Mumbai or also in places to which most of such heroes and widows would have belonged. It is hard to imagine a farmer from Haryana or a villager from Bihar wanting to stay in a tony area with the Ambanis as their neighbours – the Ambani residence SEAWIND is just next door.

The plot had CRZ restrictions due to which only a six-storied building could be officially built; thus, with 3 to 4 flats per floor, maximum 20 three bedroom flats – OR – not more than 30 two bed-room flats. would have come up.

This is a self financed scheme – not free houses. Their life-time savings (even if those martyrs had been alive) could not have enabled them to dream of possessing a house at the above location. The cost of land alone is in excess of Rs 60,000/- per sq. ft.

Heroes and widows of Kargil war number more than one thousand. Most of them have already been allotted flats in Dwarka in Delhi or in their own home states – and hence have no need for a second home. Besides, it is unthinkable that the Army would think of a welfare activity which could benefit just a small fraction of deserving personnel.

The Navy did not participate in the Kargil conflict yet there are several naval personnel amongst the members. The Air Force did participate but not one AF person is a member.

Security clearance from the Navy became an issue only in 2009 after the Navy was made responsible for coastal security in the wake of the 26/11 terrorist strike on Mumbai. The spot where the terrorists landed is only a few hundred metres up the road from Adarsh on Cuffe Parade. That is how the Navy raised a flag; but by that time the building was almost complete.

This was a scandal that was waiting to happen – it is neither the first, nor is it the last in an unending series of such scams that have dotted the Maharashtra landscape. Because of its location, Adarsh is very visible but it is just the tip of the iceberg; what of the innumerable Adarshes across the country which is driven by the greed of the rapacious builder-politician- bureaucrat nexus? The armed forces personnel, serving and retired are guilty by association and of impropriety and collusion. They will definitely face justice of one kind or another but will the politician and the bureaucrat be touched? We have seen what happens to them post 26/11.

Liar Rajdeep Sardesai

55% of Mumbai?s population of 15 million live in slums or on the streets while 13 % live in ownership flats. 70% of the rest live in one-room tenements, some of which are crumbling. In a scenario of such abject deprivation, Adarsh is a monument of shame. Let us not drag the names of Kargil heroes into this filth even by association, which the media (Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai) insists on doing. I cannot ask retired officers to stop appearing on TV talk shows, but I wish they would because they make asses of themselves.

– Carl H. Gomes.

October 4, 2010

Home truths for Rahul Gandhi!

In what is clearly an indictment of PV Narasimha Rao, one of India’s greatest Prime Ministers, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi declared a couple of weeks ago that the Babri Masjid would have been saved if a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family had been in active politics at that time. Though Mr Gandhi has belatedly tried to make some amends, this incident has once again brought to the fore the feudal mindset of members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, their insecurities (which prevent them from acknowledging the contribution of leaders outside their family) and their persistent efforts to distort historical truths.

Rahul Gandhi Family - Courtesy : in.com

Since Mr Gandhi has sought to give us a glimpse of what would have been if a member of his family had been at the helm in December 1992, here is a summary of this family’s track record when it did hold the political reins. Let us begin at the beginning. Acting on the advice of Lord Mountbatten, the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel the task of integrating all the 565 princely states in the Indian Union. Even as Sardar Patel set about his task, Nehru, in a display of pettiness typical of this family, moved “Kashmir Affairs” from the Department of States to the Ministry of External Affairs, which was under his charge. Patel executed his responsibility in a clinical and ruthless manner and successfully completed the gigantic task of stitching together 564 princely states into the Indian Union. Nehru took on the responsibility of integrating one princely state (Jammu & Kashmir) and we all know the consequence – this has remained India’s most problematic State for the last 60 years.

But Nehru’s Kashmir blunders did not end here. In October 1947, Pakistan sent in thousands of heavily armed tribesmen into Jammu & Kashmir in a bid to capture it by force. After Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, the Indian Army marched in and began pushing back the intruders who had captured Baramulla and cut off power supply to Srinagar. Even as our gallant soldiers were driving out the intruders, Nehru cried halt to the Army operation and, much against the advice of Sardar Patel, took the fateful decision to lodge a complaint against Pakistan before the United Nations Security Council on January 1, 1948.

With this single act, Nehru demoralised the Army (which wanted just a few more days to throw out the intruders), allowed Pakistan to retain 30,000 square miles of illegally occupied territory in Jammu & Kashmir and internationalised the Kashmir issue. So, while Nehru made a mess of the Kashmir issue, Patel coaxed, cajoled or bamboozled recalcitrant princes like the Nizam of Hyderabad and a couple of pro-Pakistan princes on the Gujarat coast to fall in line and accede their territories to India. But for Patel’s firmness, we would have lost Hyderabad and the coastal areas of Gujarat to Pakistan in1948 itself and Hyderabad, in the words of the Sardar, would have become an “undigested lump” in India’s belly.

Let us now examine the report card of another member of this family – Mrs Indira Gandhi.

In 1975, Mrs Gandhi imposed an internal Emergency and turned a vibrant democracy into a dictatorship. Her Government wrecked the Constitution through a series of horrendous amendments, jailed most of her political opponents under draconian laws, ordered forcible sterilisation of men in the reproductive age group and sent bulldozers to drive out the poor from the cities. All this would never have happened if a non-Nehru-Gandhi had been the Prime Minister.

Thereafter, between 1980 and 1984, Mrs Gandhi’s Government offered tacit support to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale just to spite the Akalis and allowed him to store deadly weapons in the Golden Temple. When things went out of control, she ordered the Army to march into the shrine, causing huge loss of human life and hurting the pride of the Sikhs. Thereafter, Mrs Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards leading to a pogrom in which more than 3,000 Sikhs were lynched in Delhi and other parts of northern India at the behest of Congress leaders. None of this would have happened if a non-Nehru Gandhi had been the Prime Minister between 1980 and 1984.

Coming to the era of Rajiv Gandhi, his approach to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) eerily resembled the Sikh militancy story. This too ended in the tragic deaths of hundreds of brave, young soldiers and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. All this would never have happened if a non-Nehru-Gandhi had been Prime Minister between 1984 and 1989.

There are several other decisions taken by members of this family, which have resulted in much social, economic and political strife. For example, Rajiv Gandhi succumbed to pressure from the Muslim clergy and amended the law to deny maintenance to divorced Muslim women after the Shah Bano case. Thereafter he felt compelled to appease Hindu sentiment and so had the Ram Temple in Ayodhya unlocked and a ‘shilanyas’ performed. Yet, Mr Rahul Gandhi showers abuse on Narasimha Rao and expects us to believe that the family that blessed the ‘shilanyas’ would have saved the masjid! The list is endless.

However, since Mr Gandhi has sought to run down Narasimha Rao, we need to ask ourselves whether members of this family have ever had the civility to acknowledge the contribution of national leaders from outside this family, be it Sardar Patel, BR Ambedkar or Narasimha Rao. When Narasimha Rao became Prime Minister we had mortgaged gold to the Bank of England because we had run out of foreign exchange. By the time he completed his five-year term, he had laid the foundation for India’s emergence as an economic superpower. I shudder to think what would have been India’s fate if instead of the cerebral Narasimha Rao, a Nehru-Gandhi had been the Prime Minister between 1991 and 1996!

Narasimha Rao, along with Mr Manmohan Singh, not only gave India hope but also unlocked the creative genius of Indians, which had been bottled up during the era of the Nehru-Gandhis. The Nehru-Gandhis will never acknowledge this, but we do not have to be so ungrateful. Now that Mr Rahul Gandhi has sought to besmirch the image of Narasimha Rao, we must demand the appointment of a Truth Commission to document the commissions and omissions of every Prime Minister so that our post-independence history, which is currently corrupted by the mythology promoted by the Nehru-Gandhis, becomes a more honest narrative.

Source : The Pioneer

September 6, 2010

How the UPA robbed us of Rs2,80,795 crore

An excellent article by R Jagannathan appeared on DNA.

The number in the headline is the amount of money looted by the UPA government from taxpayers and investors since 2004. And all this is from just one sector: petroleum.
The only difference between a Ramalinga Raju, who raided Satyam’s cash chest to bankroll his infrastructure dreams, and the government, which dipped into public sector assets to finance its re-election, is this: Raju cannot legislate away his crimes. Government can.
Let’s go back to the first number: Rs2,80,795 crore. I owe this piece of info to my colleague Mayank Aggarwal, who had put in an RTI query to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas asking them how much money was transferred from profit-making oil companies to loss-making ones to fund the subsidisation of kerosene, cooking gas and diesel (among other things).
The answer he got was frightening. Between 2004-05 and 2009-10, the three most profitable oil and gas companies (ONGC, GAIL and Oil India) were summarily asked to hand over Rs1,12,592 crore to three loss-making oil marketing companies.
That’s nearly three times the current year’s central outlay for NREGA, the flagship social security scheme of the UPA. But even Rs1,12,592 crore wasn’t enough to staunch the bleeding of Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL. Over and above the robbery of three profit-making oil companies, the government had to raid the taxpayer’s chest for another Rs1,68,203 crore over 2005-10 (paid through oil bonds) to ensure the marketing companies stayed afloat.
Now, let’s restate the full extent of the skullduggery. To ensure that oil prices did not rock its electoral boat, it transferred Rs1,12,592 crore from publicly-listed profit-makers to the loss-makers, but there’s a procedural complication here.

Politicians & Corruption

Cartoon Sourcehttp://lifesacomicstrip.blogspot.com/2009/09/politicians-and-money.html
The government itself owns majority stakes in these profit-makers, so the real extent of money transferred from private investors is equal only to the level of public shareholding in these companies.
Since the public shareholding is 25.86% in ONGC, 21.57% in Oil India and 42.18% in GAIL, private investors were cheated of Rs29,991 crore in the process. That’s their share of profits in ONGC, Oil India and GAIL that got transferred to the marketing companies. Investors in these three companies can approach Sebi and ask it to take action against the promoter (the government) for corporate misgovernance and misappropriation of shareholders funds.
To be sure, this is not a point that has not been made before. What we are now clear about is the exact extent of the government’s bad politico-economic decisions that investors and taxpayers finally ended up paying for.
Misgovernance and fraud is built into the public sector primarily because politicians use public assets for private ends, including financing their own re-election.
Let’s also remember, the Rs2,80,795 crore scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. If we add up the subsidies handed over to fertiliser companies, farmers and the Food Corporation of India (a substantial part of the grain mountain that is now being fed to rats), the losses will be truly stupendous.
The best thing the UPA did recently was thus to move towards oil price deregulation, but we are going to continue to pay for past follies. A case in point is the Direct Tax Code (DTC) that was recently cleared by the Union cabinet. Originally touted as a big deal for taxpayers, it has been reduced to a minor concession, thanks to past overspending.
The original idea behind the DTC was to move to a tax system that was transparent and easy to administer, but the UPA cannot afford it anymore. A mountain of work has, thus, yielded a mouse. After producing two draft codes for public discussion, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has more or less opted for incrementalism rather than radical change.
The initial proposal was simple enough: give taxpayers a large dose of tax relief, lump all exemptions into one package, and make the tax system less complicated. If Mukherjee had stuck to that goal, taxpayers would have surrendered small reliefs here and there and gained big on tax slabs and choice of tax-free investment avenues. But now Mukherjee’s DTC is a pale shadow of its former self.
Under the original draft proposal, taxpayers in the higher brackets would have saved more, as the idea was that the lowest rate of 10% would cover incomes upto Rs10 lakh. The middle rate of 20% would apply to incomes in the Rs10-25 lakh bracket, and the top rate of 30% to incomes above Rs25 lakh. As things stand now, the tax-free bracket merely moves up from Rs1.6 lakh to Rs2 lakh.
The 10%, 20% and 30% brackets also shrink to Rs 2-5lakh, Rs5-10-lakh and Rs10 lakh plus.
This is incrementalism at its worst, and Pranab-da has missed a golden opportunity to empower taxpayers. Having robbed them in the past, he cannot play Robin Hood now.

The number in the headline is the amount of money looted by the UPA government from taxpayers and investors since 2004. And all this is from just one sector: petroleum.
The only difference between a Ramalinga Raju, who raided Satyam’s cash chest to bankroll his infrastructure dreams, and the government, which dipped into public sector assets to finance its re-election, is this: Raju cannot legislate away his crimes. Government can.
Let’s go back to the first number: Rs2,80,795 crore. I owe this piece of info to my colleague Mayank Aggarwal, who had put in an RTI query to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas asking them how much money was transferred from profit-making oil companies to loss-making ones to fund the subsidisation of kerosene, cooking gas and diesel (among other things).
The answer he got was frightening. Between 2004-05 and 2009-10, the three most profitable oil and gas companies (ONGC, GAIL and Oil India) were summarily asked to hand over Rs1,12,592 crore to three loss-making oil marketing companies.
That’s nearly three times the current year’s central outlay for NREGA, the flagship social security scheme of the UPA. But even Rs1,12,592 crore wasn’t enough to staunch the bleeding of Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL. Over and above the robbery of three profit-making oil companies, the government had to raid the taxpayer’s chest for another Rs1,68,203 crore over 2005-10 (paid through oil bonds) to ensure the marketing companies stayed afloat.
Now, let’s restate the full extent of the skullduggery. To ensure that oil prices did not rock its electoral boat, it transferred Rs1,12,592 crore from publicly-listed profit-makers to the loss-makers, but there’s a procedural complication here.
The government itself owns majority stakes in these profit-makers, so the real extent of money transferred from private investors is equal only to the level of public shareholding in these companies.
Since the public shareholding is 25.86% in ONGC, 21.57% in Oil India and 42.18% in GAIL, private investors were cheated of Rs29,991 crore in the process. That’s their share of profits in ONGC, Oil India and GAIL that got transferred to the marketing companies. Investors in these three companies can approach Sebi and ask it to take action against the promoter (the government) for corporate misgovernance and misappropriation of shareholders funds.
To be sure, this is not a point that has not been made before. What we are now clear about is the exact extent of the government’s bad politico-economic decisions that investors and taxpayers finally ended up paying for.
Misgovernance and fraud is built into the public sector primarily because politicians use public assets for private ends, including financing their own re-election.
Let’s also remember, the Rs2,80,795 crore scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. If we add up the subsidies handed over to fertiliser companies, farmers and the Food Corporation of India (a substantial part of the grain mountain that is now being fed to rats), the losses will be truly stupendous.
The best thing the UPA did recently was thus to move towards oil price deregulation, but we are going to continue to pay for past follies. A case in point is the Direct Tax Code (DTC) that was recently cleared by the Union cabinet. Originally touted as a big deal for taxpayers, it has been reduced to a minor concession, thanks to past overspending.
The original idea behind the DTC was to move to a tax system that was transparent and easy to administer, but the UPA cannot afford it anymore. A mountain of work has, thus, yielded a mouse. After producing two draft codes for public discussion, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has more or less opted for incrementalism rather than radical change.
The initial proposal was simple enough: give taxpayers a large dose of tax relief, lump all exemptions into one package, and make the tax system less complicated. If Mukherjee had stuck to that goal, taxpayers would have surrendered small reliefs here and there and gained big on tax slabs and choice of tax-free investment avenues. But now Mukherjee’s DTC is a pale shadow of its former self.
Under the original draft proposal, taxpayers in the higher brackets would have saved more, as the idea was that the lowest rate of 10% would cover incomes upto Rs10 lakh. The middle rate of 20% would apply to incomes in the Rs10-25 lakh bracket, and the top rate of 30% to incomes above Rs25 lakh. As things stand now, the tax-free bracket merely moves up from Rs1.6 lakh to Rs2 lakh.
The 10%, 20% and 30% brackets also shrink to Rs 2-5lakh, Rs5-10-lakh and Rs10 lakh plus. This is incrementalism at its worst, and Pranab-da has missed a golden opportunity to empower taxpayers. Having robbed them in the past, he cannot play Robin Hood now.

July 22, 2010

Talibans in Kerala!!

The God’s Own Country has been taken over by Talibans at last.These Talibans are not Afghans but our own Muslim fanatics who attacked and chopped off the hand of the Professor T.J. Joseph.A professor of Malayalam, in Newman college, Thodupuzha.This barbaric act was done by members of Popular Front India(PFI), a Jihadi political party in India, with which Sonia led Congress has tie-up.

PFI Flag;Image Courtesy - Wikipedia

Professor T.J.Joseph did nothing wrong to incite a violence of this kind.All he did was setting up a question paper for university exam to punctuate a passage from a story with Mohammed as one the character.Soon after seeing the name,Mohammed, in question paper, the Student Front,the student jihadi wing of PFI, cirulated the copies of the question paper to sensitive Muslim areas.

As a result of this, the professor was suspended from the college and the university.He and his son were arrested and beaten-up by the police.The leaders of this terrorist political party,were the masterminds in Coimbatore bomb blast, that rocked Tamil Nadu in 1997.Professor T.J.Joesph did nothing wrong for him to be suspended in the first place.When this is the case,he has been brutally attacked in Taliban style and his hands were chopped off.

Police have recovered guns and ammunition from the offices of PFI.Intelligence Bureau report suggests that this organisation has links with Al-Qaeda, LeT, Taliban etc…The same PFI is also responsible for Love Jihad in India.

The Congress as usual remained silent.Not only they remained silent, they, in fact, are supporting  PFI.There was no nationwide debate on this Talibanization of Kerala on any news channel.Kerala has already become a sleeper cell for these Jihadi elements which do destructive work and kills innocent Indians with the help of Congress government.

While BJP setup a four member panel to look into this matter and also demanded for NIA’s (National Investigation Agency) probe into this matter,other political parties have condemned this brutal act of terror on this innocent professor.But Congress has not uttered a single word against PFI.Even though PFI is well known for its terrorist activities,Congress does not hesitate to join hands with them for the sake of votes.

Congress will stoop to any level to get into power.If Hafiz Sayeed were to be an Indian,they would also form coalition with him.They would simply forget 26/11 of Mumbai.Power & Money hungry congress babas will work hand in glove with Jihadis  to further weaken the Indian democracy and it’s 6 billion Hindu people.

Sources:

1. Congress goes soft on Kerala muslim terrorist organization.

2. 2010 – Hand chopping  incident in Kerala

3.Fanatics hack Lecturer’s  hand

You may also like to read the  following,

1. The Terror Masters of Kerala

2.Kerala’s biggest challenge – The fastest breeding Talibanization

3.Jihadis target Kerala women

4.Love Jihad – A Jihadi organisation to trap Hindu girls

5.Jihadis luring Kerala college girls for love

March 22, 2010

Congress & Austerity

An RTI query filed by activist Ramesh Verma has revealed the Delhi government alone spent Rs 2 crore in print advertisement featuring Congress party President Sonia Gandhi.

Half-page advertisement in an English newspaper cost the Delhi government about Rs 30 lakh. On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti another advertisement whopping Rs 31 lakh.

Sonia Gandhi, the leader of All India Corrupt Congress

In fact the Haryana government showed their gratitude to Soniaji by printing thank you advertisement in not one but five different newspapers on the same date.The opposition is crying foul at all these party propaganda at the tax payers expense.

“She (Sonia Gandhi) is the Party President, but if she becomes an integral part of official advertisements at taxpayers money, it’s a really sad thing for our democracy,” said BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar.

Meanwhile, that doesn’t seem to bother Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dixit.“She is the UPA Chairperson and we have been doing it since so long. There is nothing wrong on it,” said Sheila Dixit.

However, the party’s central leadership also support the action.”She is the UPA Chairperson and the political guiding hand. So nothing wrong in it,” said Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan.

The congress government’s austerity measures which were beautifully orchestrated some time ago, by travelling in cattle class flights,trains etc.. with full media attention and coverage have grabbed the attention of many people, glorifying Sonia & Rahul Baba as people friendly leaders.

The congress, the most corrupt party in India, since Independence, have not only looted and built their network on people’s money but also failed to protect people from external threats.

Source : IBN

March 14, 2010

Islamic clerics oppose women`s reservation

Not only certain political parties, but even some influential Islamic scholars and clerics are strongly opposed to the women`s reservation bill.

Their opposition seems to stem from the fact that such a provision will not only entitle but also encourage more and more Muslim women to take a plunge into politics, where it would not be possible for them to strictly adhere to the tenets of the Shariat.

Purdah & Muslim Women

Maulana Saeed-ur Rehman, principal of the Lucknow-based internationally renowned Nadwat-ul-Ulema seminary, told IANS: “It was un-Islamic for any Muslim woman to contest an election in a secular nation.”

“Muslim women could contest elections in theocratic Islamic states because they would have to necessarily remain in `purdah` while there was no such restriction in secular societies.”

Purdah & Muslim Women

The principal of the institution that remains a host to students from leading Islamic nations across the globe, contended Islam did not permit participation of women in people`s parliament simply because that would mean close interaction with men. “They could, however, join the proceedings of a parliament where there was ample provision for `purdah` and proper segregation of women,” he said.

Asked whether that would not lead to creating more illiteracy among Muslim women, he shot back: “Islam is not against education of women, but the idea is to let them acquire education but remain within the confines of their homes, as Islam clearly prescribes `purdah` for them and holds that they must look after their homes.”

City`s Naib Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed, who also heads Lucknow`s oldest Islami seminary Firangi Mahal, feels otherwise. “There is nothing wrong about a Muslim women participating in active politics and contesting elections. After all, so many Muslim women have done well in politics”, he said.

“However, I am opposed to the women`s reservation bill as it was contradictory to the fundamental provisions of any democratic society,” he argued. “In fact, reservation within reservation was against the spirit of the Indian constitution,” he stressed.

Leading Shia cleric and scholar Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, however, believed in the line adopted by the Nadwa principal. Asked how an Islamic state like Iran allowed women to participate in various political activities, he replied: “Well, Iran does have women members of parliament, who go through the process of elections, but they strictly follow the `purdah` system.”

“Even when they sit in their parliament, they observe complete seclusion,” he said, adding this could not be possible in Indian parliament.”Any woman entering the electoral fray would have to go into lanes and bylanes, stand on dais and brush shoulders with men. How can Islam permit all that?” he asked.

Source: Asian Lite

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