‘Adarsh’ start to Lokpal
Though the J A Patil Commission of inquiry has given a painstaking, voluminous report running into more than 600 pages, on the Adarsh Society scam, the Maharashtra government has rejected it. And sadly enough, on the same day that the Lokpal Bill was passed in Parliament. No reasons were given by the state government for its rejection of the report, though the CBI had particularly maintained that Ashok Chavan was not a minister when the charge sheets were filed. However, the ‘former minister’ tag appears to have been twisted to shield him. The only saving grace for the government is that the commission has said the land belonged to the government. If reports of judicial commissions are given such a ‘decent’ burial, then it is high time the Commissions of Inquiry Act,1952, is amended to give it more teeth or be scrapped – they merely spend huge amounts of public funds and are used as handy tools by political parties to buy time. Moreover, such outright rejections are also a nasty judgement on the abilities of the retired judges who head them.
How effective will Lokpal be?
The Lokpal Bill will have only a marginal effect on the elimination of corruption in high places. If the Bill was passed so smoothly, it is only because the political parties do not wish to yield more space to another Anna Hazare kind of movement. Even before the ink on the Bill had dried, the ruling Congress alliance in Maharashtra had rejected the Adarsh commsssion report, that exposed the political abuse of power. One can only hope that 2014 will teach a lesson.
V N Ramachandran
Tribal ‘sepoy’ to corporate crusader
Remember Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Lanjigarh in Odisha in September 2010 along with the then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh? On that visit, he had publicly backed the decision of the tribals against the mining at Niyamgiri and thus the minister had to block the mining, leading to the closure of the refinery. Rahul had then boasted to the tribals that he was their ‘sepoy’.
What a turnaround at last Saturday’s FICCI meeting? The’ sepoy’ Rahul had vanished and his tone was one of appeasement to the corporate sector and industrialists. Like a bolt from the blue, the incumbent environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan has resigned. Having miserably failed with the ‘janata’ at the recent assembly elections, being rejected by the voters; and with general elections round the corner, Rahul will now be seen often among the elite. I did not understand what Rahul was speaking or replying at the FICCI meeting, and surely, neither would have the corporate elites, but of course the media would have, for they would have been told what to report.
Kedarnath Rajah Aiyar
Greed or good?
A great, modern guru, on his TV talk show in Bangalore very shrewdly gave examples to illustrate his point. ‘Greed Is Good.’
But Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘There is enough to meet everybody’s need, but just not enough to meet one person’s greed.’ So, who is right? The Mahatma or the modern guru?
Sudhir K Bhave
At a loss over Big Boss
‘Bigg Boss’ is a reality TV program broadcast in India, copied from ‘ Big Brother ‘, a Netherlands show developed by Dutchman John de Mol of Endmol . It made its debut in India in 2006. A number of contestants, mainly cinema/TV actors – males and females, are ‘housemates’ – living under one roof, isolated from the rest of the world and subject to eviction one by one, every week and the last person standing gets prizes. Currently the seventh edition of ‘Bigg Boss’ is going on and has become synonymous with controversies, abuses, arguments and with police and court cases. Earlier shows too had their own problems. It is not clear what useful moral signal the show sends – all one sees is infighting, abuse, display of brute strength, arrogance, egotism, hate, snobbery and other forms of misbehaviour. So what could possibly be the purpose of such a show?
Vijay D Patil
Go-ahead for stalled projects
Like the Trinamool Congress Party supremo, Mamata Banerjee, Union Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan was also brought to the Congress by the late Rajiv Gandhi. While there is no doubt about her unblemished record and loyalty to the Congress, her forced resignation comes against the backdrop of plans to change the fortunes of the party. Throughout her tenure as environment minister, she acted independently and did some commendable work without fear or favour, with a clean hand. The manner in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promptly accepted her resignation clearly indicates that that there might be complaints against her ministry before the PMO and the party leadership about the delay in environmental clearances to big projects. Whether her return to the party will change the political fortunes of the Congress (now at their lowest ebb) time alone will tell, but who knows, her resignation may change the fortunes of the Manmohan Singh government, with large projects getting the go-ahead.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
India first, Sahara afterwards
I really fail to understand how the name ‘Sahara’ has fully replaced ‘India’ on the shirts of our Indian Test players in South Africa !
No advertiser should be allowed to foist his name over the name of our country, whatever the price he may pay, as after all, the team is playing for India and it should be made mandatory for every Indian player to display the name of our country . The sports ministry must enforce this rule without any reservations or exceptions.
K V Satyamurty
Giving ordinance route a go-by
Forty-one of the 54 Commonwealth states still criminalise homosexuality. India is among a handful of countries that had stopped considering homosexuality a crime after the 2009 Delhi HC order. Same-sex relationships are recognised in only five Commonwealth countries: UK, Australia, Canada, NewZealand and South Africa. The Queen has had talks with the Commonwealth secretary-general, Kamlesh Sharma, over the issue of equal rights and will order and soon sign the document: “Equality and respect for the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, for all without discrimination on any grounds.”
Sonia, Rahul and Congress never felt the need to hurry with an ordinance, (to appease). It could possibly be struck down. The wait for the Houses to adjourn sine die was worth it. No need either to consult all parties for a consensus in the ‘always troubled’ Houses. The powers that be are just satisfied with an appeal to Supreme Court. The decision will take decades on. Will the SC grant a stay of its recent orders?
Subrahmanian S H