Gloomy days of Indian Judiciary

Gloomy days of Indian Judiciary

The winds of change have stopped. Hopes have been dashed. And it appears that the protector has turned on his own. There is a growing perception that Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India has pushed the pedal down and accelerated the demise of the very ideals of what the Supreme Court stands for.

Chief Justice of India designate H L Dattu

In the last couple of months, under the stewardship of the Hon’ble Justice  H L Dattu and his questionable decisions, the reputation of the Highest Court of the land has plummeted to a new low. The perception is driven by the Hon’ble Justice Dattu’s seemingly endless interest in rescuing the convicted former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms.J. Jayalalithaa.

As India witnesses yet another seemingly blatant abuse of judicial powers by the designated Supreme Custodian of the Judiciary, it is not out of place to mention an incident from the past, when a Supreme Court judge, had the moral conviction and the courage to stand against the Government and the all powerful Prime Minister of the time Mrs Indira Gandhi!

Yet this man and bless his moral soul thought nothing of sacrificing the opportunity of becoming the Chief Justice of India for the sake of preserving Democracy and Free Speech in our Country. That episode and he might be the only single reason, why Democracy is still alive in our country and that there is still hope that India will someday rise to shine.

Justice Hans Raj Khanna was such a man. A man so honourable that it cost him his job, so brave that he stood up against the Prime Minister, when others didn’t dare to and a judge so fair, that all that mattered to him were his principles.

Justice Hans Raj Khanna, the legendary judge of the Supreme Court of India during 1971-77, is widely acclaimed as a crusader of civil liberties. He stood for all the qualities required of a judge and his admirable courage is something, which has made him immortal in Indian Judiciary.

Shelley in his Poem on Death tells us:

Death is here and death is there,

Death is busy everywhere,

All around, within, beneath,

Above is deathand we are death.

Death of someone as great as Justice H.R.Khanna must have impacted the Nation and in particular the Indian Judiciary.  In a glorifying editorial the New York Timeswrote about Justice H.R. Khanna thus “If India ever finds its way back to the freedom and democracy that were proud hallmarks of its first eighteen years as an independent nation, someone will surely erect a monument to Justice H R Khanna of the Supreme Court. It was Justice Khanna who spoke out fearlessly and eloquently for freedom this week in dissenting from the Court’s decision upholding the right of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Government to imprison political opponents at will and without court hearings… The submission of an independent judiciary to absolutist government is virtually the last step in the destruction of a democratic society; and the Indian Supreme Court’s decision appears close to utter surrender.


Often it is said, take the good and leave the bad.

Sadly, instead of taking the right lessons from Justice H.R.Khanna on upholding justice and justice alone at any cost which is the ultimate public service and constitutional obligation to the Country that has posed immense faith in the Hon’ble Judges, H.R.Khanna’s life appears to have taught someone like Justice H. L. Dattu and a majority of our Honourable Judges a diametrically opposite set of lessons – a lesson of extreme self-preservation.

Much has changed from the times of Justice Khanna to where we are today. In the corridors of Courts, one can witness a mad rush of “jockeying” for plum posts and positions among Honourable Judges, be it a “lucrative portfolio” for a given period or a post moving up the ladder from a High Court Judge to a Chief Justice of a High Court or elevation to Supreme Court or working towards “post retirement” benefits.

In this whole process, the ultimate sufferer is India, the country’s hopes to emerge from darkness unto light and of course ordinary members of the public who continue to believe in the rule of law!

Today the corridors of the Supreme Court are rocking with the events of the Jayalalithaa case and how the Hon’ble First Court of Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu, the Hon’ble  Chief Justice of India, has appeared to have become the most dishonorable.

After 18 years of dragging a criminal trial and eventually a conclusion of the trial court that convicted Jayalalithaa to Four Years Imprisonment and a record Rs.100 crore fine, the act of masterminding Jayalalithaa’s rescue act from the Judiciary from none other than the Honourable Chief Justice of India himself, appears to subvert the very laws of the land he has sworn to uphold!

Following the conviction, there were sporadic instances of violence all over the State. The Hindu.  The entire party and the Tamilnadu State machinery is in a “panic mode” to instantly save their Amma. The Bangalore High Court is quickly moved for a Bail for Jayalalithaa and 3 others convicted after 18 years of trial. The High Court rejects her bail petition with a detailed order as to why the bail should be rejected.  Justice A.V.Chandrasekara, while dismissing Jaya’s bail plea said that there are no grounds to give bail and corruption amounts to violation of human rights and leads to economic imbalance.” The Hon’ble Judge said corruption had become a serious malady in human history and noted that the Supreme Court has repeatedly directed that graft cases be disposed of on a priority basis. He also held that there was no reason to extend the benefit of suspension of sentence to the four convicted, including Jayalalithaa.

A bus burnt in Kanchipuram following Jaya's conviction

The Judge further observed, corruption had to be dealt with seriously as otherwise, “it will become a disease in our society.” Business Standard

After losing out all battles in the Karnataka High Court, Jayalalithaa and 3 others move the Supreme Court of India.  Even as many wonder whether Jayalalithaa might have to cool her heels in the prison for a long time to come, the Supreme Court now headed by Chief Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu, agrees to take up her bail petition matter on mere mentioning.

Distinguished Senior Advocate Fali Nariman makes a forceful plea and Chief Justice Dattu raises all pertinent questions as to how long did the trial take in the Karnataka Special Court to conclude the case against Jayalaltihaa. Nariman admits, Several years. At this, Chief Justice Dattu retorts, “Wont you take 20 more years to fight out the appeal in the High Court?” At this stage, as if it was a much expected question, Fali Nariman instantaneously offers to ensure that the Appeal is argued out in just two months and the Bench agrees, without any further ado.  Hindu link

It is not out of place to mention herein that it took Kanimozhi and A.Raja more than six months to be released on bail, even when the trial was not completed and no Court had convicted them as on that date and even till date. A year for Y S R Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, two years and eight months for Satyam’s Ramalinga Raju and three years and eight months for Janardhana Reddy of Karanataka in the mining scam. Even Lallu Prasad Yadav and Om Prakash Chautala of Haryana had to struggle hard for a couple of months before getting the relief from the Supreme Court.


When Dr Subramanian Swamy, who has also impleaded himself in the case, says an extraordinary situation was prevailing in the State and refers to widespread incidents of violence in the wake of the conviction of Jayalalithaa, At this, Justice Dattu (as if a Counsel for Jaya) asks whether there was any proof that she had instigated the violence and stresses that one should be worried only if the convicted had sought to escape abroad.

One obvious question that comes to the mind of “ordinary citizens” like us is that if Jayalalithaa had not been responsible for the violence, how did the State become so quiet and all agitations came to a grinding halt, the moment she issued a statement exhorting her followers to maintain peace?

As of September 2014, while there were as many as 63,843 cases pending in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, one obvious question that raises serious suspicion is the manner in which Jayalalithaa’s case was given priority and relief granted within 21 days of her being in jail? And how could anyone, leave alone their Lordships, afford to forget she had done everything that she could to subvert the course of justice and succeeded in protracting the course of hearing for an incredible 18 long years?

If the stand taken is health grounds for Jayalalithaa, why should the other convicts, Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran be shown similar consideration?

Recently elected Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave said the Supreme Court should have taken the views of the prosecution into account before granting bail. Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave added, as head of the Supreme Court Bar Association, he would focus on seeking changes in the manner in which the top court functions. The prosecution has to be consulted before any bail application is taken up, he said. He also objected to the manner in which the case was mentioned in the top court and listed with alacrity. “The grant of bail to certain powerful politicians and rich people is a matter of grave concern. I have nothing to say on the merits of the case but the manner in which it was done. The haste with which justice is dispensed to the powerful but is denied to the thousands of others with the same alacrity send wrong signals to the Nation,” he said.  “The Supreme Court should have remembered that it had ordered trial in the case 18 years ago and it was delayed on one pretext or the other. There was clear obstruction of justice – the special public prosecutor, a lawyer of great eminence and integrity, was attacked. Justice was further skewed when lakhs of (Jayalalithaa) supporters tried to exert pressure on the trial court and the high court,” he said.  Economic Times

Also remember there are hundreds of thousands languishing in jails, without any chance of a bail whatsoever, irrespective of their sentence terms.

How come such issues were not factored in by Chief Justice Dattu when he so readily granted bail to a politician, notorious for her vulgar display of wealth, arrogance and corruption?

Even the insistence of a judgement in just four months from the High Court could be a blessing in disguise for the appellant as it casts serious doubts on the conduct and dispensation of justice by the Highest Court of this land.

A couple of months later our irrepressible Traffic Ramasamy seeks the recusal of Chief Justice Dattu from the Jayalalithaa’s case and the matter is raised in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Dattu shrugs it off, saying, “Somebody will say I have taken Rs.1,000 crore to grant bail etc. Don’t worry. I can take care of it. I am too thick skinned for such allegations.” India Today link

As per the whispers in the Karnataka High Court, the Chief Justice of India Dattu had exerted pressure on  Karnataka Chief Justice D H Waghela to have a “pliable judge” to hear Jayalalithaa’s bail plea, but in vain.  The plea was turned down and eventually one can only witness the Chief Justice Dattu himself coming to the rescue of Jayalalithaa.

Sources say that pressure was mounted yet again on Chief Justice Waghela in regard to the judge to be assigned to hear Jayalaltihaaś Appeal.

Karnataka CJ Waghela

Subsequent to these developments, it was widely rumoured that Chief Justice Waghela was being transferred out of Karnataka and a judge from Allahabad, Vineet Saran, was being brought in.

The idea apparently was that when Waghela was transferred out, the man to assume charge as Chief Justice would be Justice Manjunath, seen as someone who would be more favourably disposed towards Jaya and a man who is most likely to follow the footsteps of Justice H.L. Dattu, as per the whispers in Karnataka High Court.

But the news was out in social media siteṣ. Savukku too reported the move as early as on December 31, 2014.

The very next day Chief Justice Waghela announced the appointment of Justice C R Kumarasamy to hear Jayalalithaa’s appeal. Not barring that January 1 was a court holiday, Justice Waghela signed this paper.

Vineet Saran himself was not keen to move to Karnataka for his own reasons. Besides two judges of the Supreme Court had opposed the transfer.   Indian Express link . However, Justice Dattu appears to have prevailed over and Vineet Saran joined the Karnataka High Court on 12 February 2015.

But there was no resisting  the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Newspapers reported on April 13, “Justice Dhirendra Hiralal Waghela, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, has been transferred to Orissa. He has been directed to assume charge as Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court within two months.”  Tamil Nadu leaders such as the former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and PMK Founder Dr Ramadoss have denounced the transfer of Waghela.

In case Bhavani Singh’s appointment as the prosecution counsel in the disproportionate wealth case is eventually quashed, the appeal will have to be heard afresh again, whereas Kumarasamy himself is set to retire in August. So with Waghela out and another person in, it would be possible to have a more ‘acceptable’ judge to hear Jayalalithaa‘s appeal. Such is the apprehension in many circles in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, for that matter even in the corridors of Supreme Court of India.

Also look at the case of Justice Bhanumathi who sat with Justice Madan Lokhur and upheld the appointment of Bhavani Singh. She was known to have been close to Jayalalithaa when she served in the Madras High Court. As per sources she had met Jayalalithaa before she went as Chief Justice to Chattisgargh High Court. In any case, she had used a popular honorific (Maanbumigu Amma meaning Honourable Amma) while referring to Jayalaltihaa at a function in Judicial Academy and it is in Dattu‘s stint she has been appointed to the Supreme Court of India.

His Lordship has lost no time in constituting a new bench to hear the Bhavani Singh case.

Justice Dattu’s term expires in December this yeaṛ. In the absence of any documentary evidence to show that the Chief Justice Dattu has been compromised, one can only go by reasonable conjectures.


Most point to his being guilty, and so the Human Rights Protection Centre has collected signatures from as many as one thousand advocates and presented a petition to the President of India demanding that Justice Dattu keep away from cases related to Ms Jayalalithaa. But the Chief Justice himself has not heeded and has gone ahead, extending bail to her and the other co-convicts yet again.

Will the legal community get together to save the Supreme Court as an Institution or will they allow the Honourable Justice Dattu to change the Supreme Court to what appears as a Sotheby auction with judgements being granted to the highest bidder?

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Lest we forget: A tale of dastardly crime of a Hajpayee dog

Keep in mind this article is dated 31 May 2000

Swamy, leftists demand action against Yashwant Sinha

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Amberish K Diwanji in New Delhi

Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha is facing flak from various quarters. His move to ‘let off’ Mauritius-based foreign institutional investors, or FIIs, over the double taxation issue has snowballed into a major controversy.

The latest to fire a salvo at the finance minister is Subramanyam Swami, president of Janata Party. In a media statement, Swamy has described Sinha’s denial of favouring Mauritius-based FIIs as “wholly unconvincing”.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, or CPI-M, called for Sinha’s resignation and withdrawal of the double taxation avoidance treaty that “was being misused by FIIs to avoid paying taxes in India”.

“If Sinha wishes to clear his name, he should ask Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to refer the entire matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI. Or he should advise the prime minister to grant sanction on my petition to prosecute Sinha for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act for causing huge losses to the nation,” Swamy said.

He said that his petition seeking sanction to prosecute Sinha on the ‘favoured treatment issue’ was pending with the prime minister for the last ten days. The prime minister has the authority to give sanction to prosecute ministers when they commit offences under the said Act, Swamy said.

Earlier, on Tuesday, CPI-M spokesperson Sitaram Yechuri said at a press conference in New Delhi that the core issue was the Central Board of Direct Taxes circular number 789 which stated that to prove residence in Mauritius, a letter to that effect would suffice.

He said that this was done to benefit the Sinha family, a reference to Sinha’s daughter-in-law Punita Kumar Sinha who is an investment manager with India Fund Inc, a foreign institutional investor headquartered in the US.

A CPI-M statement said that India Fund Inc 1999 annual report said that the company had opened a branch in Mauritius for the purpose of tax residency.

The statement charged that India Fund Inc routed all its investments through Mauritius to avoid paying taxes.

Yechuri said that the assets of India Fund rose from $300 million to $ 700 million in 1999 but that company had not paid one paisa in tax in India, from where it earned the profits. Neither had India Fund Inc paid any tax in the Mauritius since that island nation did not charge capital gains tax nor did it pay tax in the United States since the profits were earned outside of that country.

He pointed out that Mauritius did not have a capital gains tax, thus enabling FIIs to avoid paying any tax in India. “In India, a company pays a dividend tax at source or if he sells off the shares, he pays a capital gains tax on the profits earned. In the case of Mauritius, when that country does not have such a tax, how can they charge the tax?” he asked.

Yechuri claimed that out of 521 FIIs registered in India, only one was registered in Mauritius.

He said that any double tax avoidance agreement, such as the one signed between India and the United States, explicitly states that the profits must be paid in the country where they are earned. This clause was avoided in the case of Mauritius since it did not charge a capital gains tax, he said.

The CPI-M’s central committee charged the finance minister with preventing the Income Tax department from performing its legitimate action of claiming taxes from such countries that were fraudulently cheating India.

Yechuri said that every year India was losing tax revenue worth Rs 30 billion. “This is based on the fact that Rs 400 billion has been invested in the stock markets by the FIIs and that the dollar stock market index has appreciated 80 per cent,” he added.

“This revenue has been denied to our country at a time when the government is lamenting about the lack of resources and the need therefore to cut down on taxes,” said Yechuri.

Drawing a comparison, he said that food subsidies to the poor cost only Rs 11 billion. “This is about one-third of the revenue that India has been cheated out of,” he charged.

Yechuri said that it was the involvement of Sinha’s family members in some of the FIIs that made the finance minister get the CBDT to issue circular no 789 which force the IT department to recognise Mauritius-registered companies as Mauritius-based companies and, therefore, eligible for tax avoidance.

“Prior to the CBDT circular no 789, residence in a particular country was proven by proof of the residence of the company’s management. But what we have in Mauritius are post box addresses, wherein companies give certain post office box numbers as their registration address in Mauritius and are recognised as being based in Mauritius. Thus, they don’t have to pay a tax on their profits,” Yechuri said.

Blasting the Vajpayee government for committing a gigantic fraud upon the Indian people, the CPI-M demanded that the treaty with Mauritius be scrapped immediately.

“Any treaty with any country that hurts the Indian economy must be scrapped,” said Yechuri.

The CPI-M politburo member also criticised Mauritius. He said that Mauritius was luring companies by promising to be a tax haven with minimal taxes. “Mauritius even advertises that it is ready to help companies avoid paying high taxes by helping them speedily set up residence in their country,” he said.

Yashwant Sinha was not available for comment since he is currently in the United States.

Yashwant Sinha’s Families Rs.50,000 Crore Black Money – 117 Cos.

Yashwant Sinha’s mediocre Family operated over 117 Recently Formed companies 48 directly and 69 as Directors and Partners listed by LiveMint most of them related to Power and Renewable Energy. This is of ‘Money Laundering & Tax Evasion Practice’

Loot & Scoot Companies.

His family members first came in to Prominence when Yashwant Sinha offered ‘Resurgent India Bond Worth Matured Value of $5.5b in 1998’. They all four didn’t report any Major Assignment before 1998. And were silently accumulating Loot of Finance Minister – SK Dubey Reported 50%-50% Loot in NHAI Projects in 2002 which was Rs.28,000 crore Scam. Sumant Sinha was Employee of SUZLON until 2011 but as Yashwant Sinha took over as Parliamentary Committee on Finance – 117 Companies were registered in Yashwant Sinha Family Members Management and suddenly FUNDS Flowed in. Sumant Sinha was COO of SUZLON during his tenure Share Price of Suzlon collapsed from Rs.2125 Jan11, 2008 that collapsed to Rs.47 when he left SUZLON and Yashwant Sinha family started 117 Companies. Current price of Suzlon is barely Rs.27, not even 1% of the price when Sumant Sinha joined as Suzlon Chief Finance Officer. Since Sumant Sinha joined SUZLON in 2008, SUZLON had not given any dividend to shareholders.

Such is the BRILLIANCE of Yashwant Sinha family.

In ET article Sumit Sinha contradicts Yashwant Sinha on ‘Auction of Resources’. But when these companies are not disclosing their Operations it clearly Points to Money Laundering operations.

Currently, ReNew Wind Power has several wind projects under development, including a 25 megawatts wind farm in Gujarat and 60 megawatts wind farm in Maharashtra. By 2015 the company aims to reach a 1 gigawatt capacity. Just one company is worth over Rs.6,000 Cr. Since 2014 This Kind of Loot Began, Corporate Have Restructured Loans Worth Rs.14,00,000 Cr, Taken Rs.18,00,000 Cr New Loans, Rs.12,00,000 Cr Tax Dodges But Created No Jobs, Paid No Dividend, No Patents, Developed No Product For World Market. No Skill is required in this – Suzlon had installed the turbines, Mady had secured cheap land for the company which is largely owned by Yashwant Sinha family. @ Rs.500 Cr per Company – This is Rs.50,000 Cr Black Money.

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Story Unfolds: Subramanian Swamy’s latest salvo

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Swamy sabotaged Islamic banking

NAVTAN KUMAR  New Delhi | 28th Mar 2015

Pressure from Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy led to the suspension of the launch of Islamic banking in India. The launch of State Bank of India (SBI) Sharia Mutual Fund, designed to invest in Sharia (Islamic law) compliant companies, was “deferred” at the last moment in December 2014 as Swamy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his grievances against the system and got it stalled.

Though SBI Mutual Fund termed the “deferment” as a commercial decision, Swamy admitted to The Sunday Guardian that he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in December saying that introducing Islamic banking would be “politically and economically disastrous for our country”. “Yes, I wrote a letter to him (Narendra Modi) and he acknowledged it. He acted immediately and asked the concerned officials to stop it. So it was deferred at the eleventh hour,” Swamy said.

In his letter, Swamy spoke about the Kerala government’s decision to introduce a Sharia compliant bank there, which was challenged by him in court. “…The Reserve Bank under the then Governor Dr Y.V. Reddy had filed an affidavit stating that under Indian secular laws and under the Reserve Bank Act, Sharia compliant is not permitted,” reads the letter.

“Now by another door the same is being attempted regretfully because the present Governor of RBI, who is an appointee of the UPA, and for some inexplicable reason he is continuing as Governor of the RBI, namely, Dr Raghuram Rajan. He is openly encouraging the formation of Sharia compliant financially institutions, which in my opinion will be politically and economically disastrous for the country,” Swamy wrote in his letter. He added that “I trust you will ensure that the dubious funds in the Middle East do not enter our country through legally baptized channels of Sharia compliant financial institutions.”

The SBI Sharia fund had received the market regulator SEBI’s green signal. “A few days before the launch date, CEO and MD of SBI MF, Dinesh Khara, had invited me and he was very sure about the launch. He asked us to support it. But it was cancelled suddenly,” said H. Abdur Raqeeb, general secretary of the Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF).

The SBI has been saying that it needs to study Sharia Mutual Fund more so that the product can be “reoffered as a better and more attractive fund in future”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been receiving demands from various quarters to introduce a Sharia compliant, interest-free banking, which, it has been claimed, will boost his Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. In a letter to the PM, the ICIF has urged him “to include the option of an alternate interest-free finance in the banking sector as recommended by Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms (CSFR)”.

The CSFR report, submitted by former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Raghuram Rajan, who is now Reserve Bank of India Governor, has observed that “certain faiths prohibit use of financial instrument that pays interest. The non-availability of interest-free banking products results in some Indian — including those in the economically disadvantaged strata of society — not being able to access banking products and services due to reasons of faith.”

“Even after 40 years of nationalization of banks, 60% of the people do not have access to formal banking services and only 5.2% of the villages have bank branches. Marginal farmers, petty traders, landless labourers, self-employed and unorganised sector enterprises, ethnic minority and women — common man of the country. The PM must facilitate interest-free banking in the larger interest of the country,” said Raqeeb.

Former Minority Affairs Minister and Rajya Sabha member K. Rahman Khan said, “I don’t understand why the Sharia compliant mutual fund was deferred suddenly. During my tenure as minister, I facilitated the introduction of interest-free banking. Why should SBI do it when it had already made all the preparations for it?”

According to Raqeeb, interest free banking is not meant for Muslims alone, but for all. “In Malaysia, 40% of the customers of interest-free banking are from other communities. In the United Kingdom, it is 20%,” he said. Sukuk, an Islamic finance product based bond, has emerged as an alternative of investment the world over for infrastructure development and India can also opt for the same. Brazil, one of the BRIC countries, has huge investments in various sectors based on Sukuk. Brazil has a negligible Muslim population.

Sources said that the Reserve Bank of India last year started the process of reviewing regulations on Islamic banking in India by setting up an internal committee. The RBI also allowed a non-banking finance company in Kerala, Cheraman Financial Services, to operate in a Sharia compliant mode.

Globally, Islamic banking is prevalent in many countries, with banks such as Standard Chartered and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation running Islamic banking divisions, apart from conventional banking operations.

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Autocrat’ Kejriwal Shoves Out Rebels

Published: 29th March 2015 06:01 AM

Last Updated: 29th March 2015 06:01 AM

NEW DELHI:In politics, it’s what isn’t said that matters. Right now, a lot is being said about Aam Aadmi Party, the party which emerged from the India Against Corruption movement two years ago. A party holding the baton to change politics is now being torn apart with two factions crying “murder of democracy”.

The mess in AAP is out in the open after two founding members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan and their supporters Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha were ‘kicked out’ from the national executive for their ‘anti-party activities’ on Saturday.

The day started with the 392-member national executive meet of the party to discuss and vote on the fate of Yadav and Bhushan, whose expulsion was being demanded by national convener of the party Arvind Kejriwal — whom the duo dubbed ‘autocratic’ a day earlier.

The Lokpal of the party, Admiral Ram Das, wrote a letter in which he mentioned a  text message that he received from the General Secretary Pankaj Gupta asking him to stay away from the meeting to “avoid confrontation”. The meeting was attended by 311 invited members, with party MLA’s and MP’s also attending among a large crowd of supporters. Members who failed to show identification, mobile number, and SMS invite were denied entry. Yadav, who sat on dharna for around 20 minutes for not allowing him inside, said A visibly upset Yadav said, “It was a murder of democracy. Everything played out according to a script.”

 Meanwhile, activist Medha Patkar resigned from the party saying, “Yogendra, Bhushan never worked against party.” She added that the party has reduced itself to a “tamasha”.

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Sunday, 29 March 2015 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

The right to ‘propagate’ does not mean the right to ‘convert’. And it is this inability to distinguish between the two that highlights the appalling ignorance of those who see nothing wrong with offensive evangelism

Astonishing ignorance laces the arguments proffered by the Left-liberal commentariat and ‘secular’ politicians in defence of religious conversions through deceit, allurement and coercion. A lot of this has been heard in recent days both inside and outside Parliament. Amid the raucous din in Parliament and television studios, a point that is heard over and over again is how converting Hindus to another faith is integral to ‘secularism’,

sanctioned by the Constitution, and must never be objected to as that would hurt India’s pluralism. The Idea of India, it would seem, is hinged on the idea of allowing foreign-funded evangelists a free run. “The Constitution guarantees Christian missionaries the right to convert people to Christianity,” we are told. “In a secular country, the Constitution reigns supreme,” we are reminded. “Violation of rights enshrined in the Constitution will destroy democracy,” we are warned.

A Christian woman appearing on Barkha Dutt’s show, feigning great outrage over ‘persecution’ of Christians by Hindus, especially the clergy (her reference was to the alleged rape of a nun in West Bengal, a crime for which Bangladeshi Muslims have been arrested) absurdly claimed that India has turned into “Hitler’s Germany”. The Archbishop, a Cardinal and the woman who heads West Bengal Minority Commission, who spoke on the issue to the media, poured unadulterated hate on Hindus and have not had the courtesy to offer even an apology now that they have been exposed as liars.

But let’s return to the contentious issue of conversions, which are based on fraud and deceit and whose victims are invariably the vulnerable sections of Hindu society. What does the Constitution say on the Church’s claimed right to convert Hindus and ‘harvest their souls’? Ask the Constitution-thumping saviours of secularism, pluralism and democracy this simple question and they will be stumped.

The ‘Constitution of the Socialist, Secular Republic of India’ is likely the most mentioned and least read book in the world. Everybody loves to flaunt it; very few have actually bothered to read it. This is what Article 25(1) of the Constitution says: “Subject to public order, morality and health and to other provisions of this part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.”

Read it out to those who pretend great outrage every time there’s a hint of protest against conversions, and they will pounce upon you: “See, the Constitution gives Christian missionaries the right to propagate their religion.” Wrong. The right to ‘propagate’ does not mean the right to ‘convert’. And it is this inability to distinguish between the two that highlights the appalling ignorance of those who see nothing wrong with offensive evangelism. That the constitutional right to ‘propagate’ does not mean the right to ‘convert’ was clarified by the Supreme Court while upholding the validity of anti-conversion laws (the Freedom of Religion Act 1967 and the Dharma Swatantrya Adhiniyam 1968) in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

Chief Justice AN Ray, in his ruling, left little scope for confusion between propagation and conversion. The two, he said, were different. “What Article 25(1) grants is not the right to convert another person to one’s own religion by exposition of its tenets,” Chief Justice Ray ruled. The Supreme Court, in that judgment, also ruled that States, bearing in mind their responsibility to maintain public order, have the right to adopt laws “prohibiting conversion from one religion to another in a manner reprehensible to the conscience of the community”.

Some years ago, Christian organisations, including the Catholic church, raised a huge hue and cry over violence against evangelists in Rajasthan. Then, as now, the BJP was in power and Vasundhara Raje was the Chief Minister. That was enough of a reason, it would seem, for the onslaught that came from the church and the Minorities Commission.

The furore was centred over a Hindi book, Haqeeqat, which was being freely distributed in Rajasthan’s tribal-dominated areas by ‘Archbishop’ MA Thomas and his son, ‘Reverend’ Samuel Thomas, of the Emmanuel Mission International. Here are some samples of what Haqeeqat, which was being used by the Thomases and their associates to convince Hindus in Kota to abandon their faith and embrace Christianity, has to say:

  • “Hindu gods and goddesses are fictitious and were invented to persecute Dalits” (Page 9).
  • “To prevent indigenous people from acquiring knowledge, Saraswati invented difficult Vedas (which nobody can understand)”. (Page 16)
  • “With the progression of time, people all over the world (except India) were freed of their ignorance and they began to disown wicked and cruel gods and goddesses. But in India, because people are (enveloped) in the darkness of ignorance, imaginary gods and goddesses are still worshipped.” (Page 17)
  • “Naked sanyasis are worshipped by (Hindu) women. The moment (Hindu) women see naked sanyasis, they fall on the ground and prostrate themselves before the sanyasis. (Hindu) women pour water on thesanyasis’ penises and then happily drink that water. Ling Devata is gratified when he sees all these repulsive things and feels empowered… These people are ignorant and do not know the difference between what is right and wrong.” (Page 93)
  • “Sita was abandoned in the forest as per Ram’s wishes… Ram later asked Lakshman to kill Sita. In the end, Ram frustrated with life, drowned himself in Saryu. Such are the teachings of half-naked rishis who are praised by Hindutvawadis.” (Page 100)
  • “Lord Shiva, to get people to worship him, dropped his penis on Earth (Devi), shaking the ground and the sky! … . Poor Dharti Devi was shaken by the weight of his penis. Seeing this, all the Gods were scared. It seems Gods would use their penises as bombs! Whenever and wherever they wanted to, they would drop their ‘penis bombs’ to terrorise the people. Thus, they were able to enslave the people… But compared to foreign bombs, these penis bombs were a damp squib.” (Page 106-107)
  • “(Ramakrishna) Paramahansa should have known that Ganga is the world’s filthiest and dirtiest river. How many dead bodies float down this river every day? How many half-burnt dead bodies are dumped into it every day? And Hindus call it the holy river! In fact, all the rivers of India are dirty and polluted… Hindutvawadis pollute the rivers… and then depend on their false Gods to cleanse them…” (Page 122-123)
  • “(For Hindus) men can be Gods, women can be Goddesses… animals are gods, snakes are gods… they (Hindu Gods) fight among themselves, marry among themselves, throw out their wives, run away with others’ wives, they steal, get intoxicated, drink blood, are reincarnated as animals, fish and tortoise, some of them can lift mountains… Some Gods are in same-sex relationships and are yet able to produce babies. These Gods and Goddesses are always armed because they believe in killing and plunder. Some Gods think their penises are more powerful than nuclear bombs. Others like animals live naked among their followers. Some of them spend their time in yogic exercises, others are in samadhi and happy to see the number of blind followers swell… You can wash away your sins by worshipping the penises of Gods.” (Page 146)
  • “How could Arya Hindus bring Aryanisation on this earth. To be Arya, one has to be born of an Arya womb… If Arya Hindus want to bring Aryanisation then they must lend or rent out all Arya wombs to non-Aryans. Non-Aryans should be given Brahmin women so that children are born from Brahmin womb” (Page 182-183).
  • “In modern India, many Ramas of this belief are living a carefree life. They marry several times, desert their wives, marry several times, and leave them. Many Ramas kill their Sitas. They are following their God Rama.” (Page 269)
  • “(Lord) Krishna had a despicable sex life… Shri Krishna is famous because of his love life. He had 16,008 wives. And all Yadav women were his illegitimate lovers. (Hindu) women are drawn towards him because of pornographic and vulgar tales of his sex life.” (Page 391)

The Government of Rajasthan, following street protests, decided to ban it to prevent the eruption of violence. Cases were registered against the father-son duo of ‘Archbishop’ Thomas and ‘Reverend’ Thomas. Immediately thereafter, the campaign of calumny began. It’s not for nothing that Indira Gandhi, incandescent with rage after the mass conversion of Hindus to Islam at Meenakshipuram in February 1981, favoured the idea of States adopting anti-conversion laws and had the Home Ministry prepare a draft Act for circulation among State Governments. Why the draft never became law is another story best kept for another day.

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Why some right-wingers are sceptical of Arun Jaitley: A right-winger’s view

Arun Jaitley 1

By Kaushik

Arun Jaitley is no stranger to the scathing criticism of the online right-wing. He is an impressive orator and is also known to be an effective political operative, but doubts about his loyalty to BJP have always lingered. At times he seemed to be politicking for his own ends, which do not necessarily line up with what is good for the party at large.

Arun Jaitley continues to cause a storm online even now. Before the new government was formed, it was a common left-liberal refrain to say Narendra Modi is a polarizing character. But after BJP’s comfortable victory, some of us find that Arun Jaitley has become a polarizing character, someone who has divided the right wing. His very intention is being questioned, and I wonder if we should continue to give him the benefit of doubt. We have no patience left for his aristocratic ways.

Arun Jaitley has always been moderately popular. He has never been a politician of the masses, simply because he never took the effort. He is an intelligent and powerful politician who likes to operate in the dark alleys of Delhi’s power circuit. His skill of articulation backed by in-depth knowledge has given him the image of a master-strategist.

To me, he has always belonged to the Delhi clique, representing the ‘coterie culture’. All leaders enjoy surrounding themselves with yes-men who provide ego-massages and also act as messengers or gatekeepers, but not all of them stop communicating with others. Jaitley is not one of them. He might be nice to the people around him, but he is reserved and reveals little to those outside his coterie. This has become fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

A lot was expected from him in his role as the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha. Many of us who were overawed by his articulation on various subjects were naturally expecting fireworks from him in the parliament. But while Jaitley, along with Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, did take up issues against Congress from time to time, on the whole he was ineffective.

The problem rose from the fact that he locked himself up with his coterie in the Parliament. Apart from speaking inside the Parliament, they would not indulge in any other major forum. They were not seen in the courts or the streets. There was an obvious, widening gap between the leadership and karyakartas. Nitin Gadkari did bring about a few changes when he took over from Rajnath Singh. He hit the streets with road shows and Chalo Sansad campaigns to embarrass the UPA government. But he was ousted soon enough.

Right-wingers have always believed that all power in BJP, while it was in the opposition, lay in the hands of the four people close to Mr. Advani, his political disciples. Who belonged to the ‘D4’ depended on who you spoke to, but Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were constant. The D4 was often held responsible for targeting leaders like BS Yeddyurappa, causing immense harm to the party. The reality will never be known, but perceptions matter. The D4, especially Jaitley, was also perceived to be going easy over the Congress.

It is true, though, that they had no other option. They were lazy no doubt, but the numbers with BJP in the house meant there was little they could do in the Parliament to make a dent on the government. It was often believed that all BJP leaders were spied on by the NTRO in Sonia’s rule. BJP did not have adequate power to fight back so they could have adopted the strategy of playing nice only so they could live to fight another day. But for those with little at stake, this became an unacceptable behavior. Moreover, such coziness bred further conspiracy theories.

Such perceptions have eroded any good faith Jaitley enjoyed amongst many right-wingers. He was not seen doing enough. He was not seen letting himself be martyred for the right-wing cause. While he was an important part of the Modi campaign, and is also called Modi’s Chanakya, party workers never had a consensus over him.

There were further complications with the entry of Dr. Subramaniam Swamy into the BJP. Many karyakartas found hope in Swamy. He was vocal, vicious and took matters to the court. Overnight he became a hero for a sizable chunk in The BJP. He was embarrassing the Congress and seemed more powerful than the leaders of BJP.

Today, everything is assessed by these earlier comparisons between Swamy and other BJP leaders. Before the elections, Swamy’s diehard supporters expected him to get a seat from an urban constituency like Delhi or Mumbai. He was not given a seat, so it was believed that Modi had a special role cut out for him.

After the results were announced, there was only more disappointment for Swamy and his supporters. When even unknown faces of the BJP won on the back of a Modi wave, Jaitley lost. His loss was expected to reduce his chances of a ministerial berth. But he got two of the big four ministries and another smaller ministry too.

For Swamy’s supporters this is a breach of trust. Even though Swamy worked tirelessly for Modi, he has not been given what he deserves. The bitterness of the right-wing has roots here.

Jaitley has unfortunately been disappointing the right-wing, beginning with the Defence Ministry’s affidavit in the Dalbir Singh Suhag case. This was a clear U-turn by Jaitley as before the elections he opposed the government appointment of Suhag.

Not only did Jaitley clear the appointment of Dalbir Singh Suhag, but the affidavit that was submitted in the court was same one prepared by the UPA, which squarely put the blame for investigation of Suhag on “pre-meditated” intentions of Former CoAS Gen. V K Singh, who is now Jaitley’s fellow-Minister.

If Swamy had fought the corruption cases in courts and won hearts, Gen. V K Singh did so by raising national security concerns of multiple dimensions at grave personal risk, while in uniform and at an embarrassingly heavy price. He had won the hearts of millions and this showed in his high-margin electoral victory.

So, attacking and embarrassing a man like Gen. V K Singh, who is seen as an upright man by a majority, caused a sudden shock. Divisions were sharper than ever before. Jaitley is being suspected of carrying forward Congress’ agenda in BJP Govt. And it has looks convincing since he is close to the Gandhi family, Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram.

As if this was not enough, Jaitley did a U-turn on Henderson Brooks Report on 1962 War. He was a Minister in NDA’s 1st Tenure, that too in Law Ministry. One would assume he had a good chance to read it then. Even if not, he had a chance to read at least those hundred pages released by Neville Maxwell. He even blogged about it, asking for it to be released. But once in power, he changed his tune.

His response to the Swiss National Bank issue was also not appropriate. He seemed to have accepted the version given by the bank that there was no new data available on India account-holders. Does that mean all the aggression on black-money issue before elections was humbug?

Dr. Swamy has also made a very serious request the other day, about lawyer MPs of BJP disclosing the list of MNCs, from whom they receive retainer fees. It is well known that the price to not take up a fight against a client is always more than the price of taking up a fight for the client. In spite of giving up practice on paper, when law firms of the MPs are run by their family members, it is a common sense what they are up to. This is by far, the deadliest attack on Jaitley, but is bound to fade away.

On the whole, while it is clearly a Swamy vs. Jaitley fight. For us right-wingers, the impression that Jaitley is a head-worker trusted by the PM remains, but the goodwill to generate mass support is still missing. Maybe, Mr Jaitley will take this into account.

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