OPINION

Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2019


UNFORTUNATE FALLOUT OF THE PULWAMA ATTACK
Attacks on Kashmiri students is a crime against humanity
23.02.19 - VIPIN PUBBY
Attacks on Kashmiri students is a crime against humanity



The senseless attack on security forces in Pulwama, which claimed the precious lives of over 40 security personnel, has put the focus back on the Kashmir issue and the involvement of Pakistan and terrorist organisations operating from that country.

The timing of the unfortunate attack is such that all other issues which were being raised during the run up to the ensuing general elections, like the problem of unemployment, demonetisation, roll out of GST and communalism, have taken a back seat.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has declared that the Army has been given the go ahead for an appropriate response which indicates that some major action is expected to be taken across the international border. His counterpart Imran Khan has threatened that Pakistan would retaliate.

Although all the major political parties have declared that they would not indulge in politics over the issue, the fact is that’s what is being done. It may not have surfaced at the top level yet but junior leaders on all sides are attempting to target rivals for either being "weak” or "ineffective” while they are digging up past records to show others in a poor light.

A most unfortunate fallout of the Pulwama attack is the attempt by a section of people, particularly youth belonging to right wing parties, to take law and order in their hands by attacking or intimidating the Kashmiri students and others. There is no doubt that every nationalist is seething with anger over the attack and would like Pakistan and its allies to be taught a strong lesson but targeting innocent Kashmiris is certainly not the right way to do so. In fact such elements are playing right into the hands of Pakistan and adding fuel to fire.
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Just as we see no logic in terrorists killing innocent and defenseless security personnel, there is no logic in targeting the Kashmiri students who are actually attempting to move out of the troubled valley to seek education and career.
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There have been several reports about Kashmiri students being attacked in the campuses of certain universities and colleges. This is most deplorable. These elements don’t realise that they are inflicting great damage on the nation itself. The Kashmiri youth thus targeted can only be expected to harden their feelings. Even those who do not sympathise with the terrorists may feel humiliated and may keep these adverse feelings in their hearts for the rest of their lives. 

Just as we see no logic in terrorists killing innocent and defenseless security personnel, there is no logic in targeting the Kashmiri students who are actually attempting to move out of the troubled valley to seek education and career. For our neighbours there is nothing better than alienation of more youth and residents of the Kashmir Valley.

Here credit must be given to the managements of gurdwaras which have provided shelter as well as food for such students who were forced to move out of their institutes. Such gestures go a long way in creating goodwill and respect. 

It is good that the central government has issued an advisory to the states to take steps for protection of Kashmiri students but the political leadership of right wing groups must also send out a loud and clear message to their cadres. The main aim of Jaish-e-Mohammad and other such terrorist groups is to damage the social cohesion and unity of the country and such attacks only serve the cause of terrorists and harm that of India. 

While the government must take appropriate action against those trying to intimidate and attack Kashmiri students, onus must also lie on educational institutions and particularly on those heading these institutions to sensitise local students about the need to ensure safety of students from Kashmir. By all means take strict action against one of Kashmiri students who sympathise with the terrorists, but please don’t push the innocents towards that path of self destruction.
 

 

 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)


 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

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Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

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BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT




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READING GANDHI THROUGH PULWAMA
Goli Chhati Mein Maari, Ke Peeth Mein? Pistol Se, Ke Revolver Se?
21.02.19 - S Pal
Goli Chhati Mein Maari, Ke Peeth Mein? Pistol Se, Ke Revolver Se?



IF YOU ARE really a patriotic citizen, a sacha desh premi, you should know the truthful answer to this simple question: Was Mahatma Gandhi shot at from the front, or was he shot in the back?

What did you say? No, wrong. Terribly wrong, and obviously misinformed. Stop calling yourself a desh bhagat!

We have it on authority from the RSS chief, and more committed desh bhagats are hard to find in India, that Gandhi was shot in the back, and not by Nathu Ram Godse. 

K.S. Sudarshan, then the RSS sarsanghchalak, made this shocking revelation. He, of course, always had access to never-before-known factoids, including the real reason behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Kar Sewaks had not brought down the structure, he had expounded. In fact, it was a bomb planted by the Congress that caused demolition. 

Some time in early 2005, the then editor-in-chief of the Indian Express, Shekhar Gupta, went to meet the RSS boss, and was educated by Sudarshan that Godse was just visiting that day to greet Gandhi, and happened to be carrying a pistol, but since Gandhi was shot with a revolver, it was clear that someone else shot him. Also, the RSS chief had worked the forensic evidence, too. He did not pay attention to the minor detail as to why a dedicated person like Godse would carry a pistol when his plan merely included greeting Gandhi. Most people usually manage without one.

But back to the forensic evidence, a la Nagpur. 

This is how Shekhar Gupta described K.S. Sudarshan's version: "If Gandhi had been shot from the front, the entry wound would have been smaller, and the exit a gaping hole. But it was the other way around. Conclusion: he was shot from behind. Implication (his words, not my interpretation): The only person who stood to benefit from his death was Nehru."

As the veteran journalist asked Sudarshan about the source of his information, the RSS chief said he got all these never-heard-before details from a book written by a senior police officer “from Andhra” Pradesh, who incidentally had died "a long time ago," as per Sudarshan. Of couse, the book, too, went out of print a long time ago, he added. So, Shekhar Gupta's only choice was to take a call on whether to tell the nation an explosive new fact about India's post-independent political journey, or use his own judgement and call the shitty new version of history what it was — crap. 

It is a choice millions of Indians are being offered everyday — to make a judgement call. A version of patriotism is being peddled, and woe begone you if you do not agree to it lock, stock and barrel of the army's gun.

Kashmiri youth are taking to militancy. A huge majority are unhappy with India. Young Kashmiri boys throw stones at army jawans. Pakistan claims Kashmir. Ergo, all Kashmiris are anti-India. So, Muslim Kashmiris, irrespective of where they are in the country and what they have been doing till date, are to be blamed for the attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama. Also, the burden of avenging the death of these martyrs is now on the shoulders of ordinary citizens who must prove their patriotism by appreciating the army, hailing the martyrdom of the fallen, and taking some sorely-needed direct action against Kashmiris.

But lest you think for a moment that this lumpen behaviour is limited to a small group of hooligans, it should be clear that the mob in the street is whipping up the sentiment in an architecture of hate, and vast sections of the educated Indian middle class is primarily supporting this heinous crime.

It is a phrase I use with an extreme sense of responsibility. By definition, a hate crime is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership or perceived membership in a certain social group or race. Which part of this is difficult to understand?

In homes most decent, conversations have crossed into the territory of hate speech. People are exchanging WhatsApp messages that tick every box in the definition of hate speech. Many of these messages are being exchanged/shared in groups in which members include university professors, eminent writers, poets and senior journalists.

We have created a paradigm in which committing a serious hate crime has become an acceptable thing, and at best a tolerable, or ignorable thing. In the eyes of the law, even if no one is rushing to implement it, we have become criminals. When people commit crimes, even if the law looks the other way, it does make them smaller people. 

We are being fed a version of what it means to be a desh bhakt, a patriot. We are taking a judgement call on this.

* Kashmiri students in scores of colleges across the country are being asked to leave the cities and return home temporarily, because the mobs are baying for their blood.

* Top national newspapers reported how an institute suspended its Dean, Academics, because  protesting activists of certain Hindutva groups, including the ABVP, Bajrang Dal and VHP, demanded that he be fired since he was a Kashmiri. Hailing from Kaddar in Kashmir’s Kulgam district, the Dean told a newspaper, "For the safety of the college and the Kashmiri students in it, I asked college authorities to suspend me.” 

The college chairman said: "The mob was so aggressive that we had to give in to their demands...we had to issue the suspension letter because of the mob. We needed to do whatever was demanded to keep our students safe.”

* The Dev Bhoomi Institute of Technology (DBIT) Dean Arjun Singh said the college authorities are "helping" the students "leave the city by providing them vehicles till the airport and the bus station."

* Dehradun's Superintendant of Police Shweta Choubey said, "We have been doing everything in our capacity to ensure that all Kashmiri students are safe." So, clearly, "everything" does not include preventing radical Hindutva groups from threatening, beating, browbeating people. 

* When posters appeared in certain areas of Dehradun, calling for a boycott of Kashmiris, here's the toughest action of the police, as narrated by SHO of the area Narendra Gahlawat: "We went to the place where the posters were spotted and explained to the people not to engage in such activities.” 

* Hundreds of landlords in scores of Indian cities asked Kashmiri tenants to vacate their premises, a fact most groups of aggressors have now stopped contesting. Attacks on Kashmiris were reported from Dehradun, Jodhpur, Ambala, Panchkula, Delhi, Patna and many other cities.

* Tales of students being arrested, suspended or rusticated following social media messages they allegedly posted or shared or 'liked', now abound in such numbers that many newspapers have stopped publishing too many details.  

* In a number of Indian towns, big and small, senior police officers have been issuing public statements appealing to people "to maintain calm and not to take law into their hands." This is the most clear signal to marauding groups that the police will look the other way. An armed force "appeals" to one side; it arrests people on the other side. Help means telling Indian citizens that they can't be protected and must return home, a move in which the cops are out to help!

* Newspapers have reported about villages panchayats in Ambala asking villagers to evict Kashmiri students living in rented accommodation within 24 hours. Videos have surfaced on social media, yet not one newspaper has sent journalists to track the development. Not one person has been arrested.

* You have grassroot level workers of some organisations openly stating that Kashmiri tenants be evicted and anyone not following the diktat will be considered a traitor. 

* Even as the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to ensure safety and security of students, and scores of newspapers carried a large number of news items about harassment of Kashmiri students, the CRPF, the force under whose flag 40 brave sons of Mother India had attained martyrdom just days before, took a judgement call. It tweeted from its official handle that it has "enquired about complaints about harassment and found them incorrect."

Also, it asked people to shut up: "These are attempts to invoke hatred. Please DO NOT circulate such posts." That’s the confidence-inspiring CRPF.

So, by sharing details with you about incidents of harassment, I am clearly doing something anti-national, since what else can you call an "attempt to invoke hatred?" 

If someone tells the police that an unruly mob shouting anti-Pakistan and anti-Kashmir slogans has occupied a Kashmiri girl students’ hostel in Dehradun or that Kashmiri students in Dehradun have been threatened to leave the city within 24 hours, this could amount to an attempt to invoke hatred.

* The Indian Express reported that "members of Bajrang Dal, VHP, and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha visited private colleges in Dehradun and demanded suspension/rustication of Kashmiri students."

It reported a student giving details of how students "fled from the premises without any of their belongings." They requested their landlord, seeking shelter, but "a group of people reached there as well to question our landlord. We ran from there as well, scaled a wall to escape.”  Do you think any journalist in that town is following up on the case, asking questions about what is being done to track down the louts who were chasing these Kashmiri students and spreading terror?

* Hundreds of Kashmiri students have been forced to find shelter in gurdwaras. Some have narrated detailed accounts of how they locked themselves in for days to escape groups of hooligans. How many police officers do you think landed up at the gurdwaras to record students' statements and file relevant FIRs, lest their tormentors escape the long arm of the law?
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* Now, colleges in this democratic country run under the Constitution of India are making public statements that they will refuse admission to Kashmiris from the next academic session. Some colleges are actually submitting an "undertaking” to this effect to threatening crowds. Among these was Dr Aslam Siddiqui, principal of Baba Farid Institute of Technology (BFIT), who wrote on Friday, "We assure you that if any Kashmiri student is found engaged in any anti-national activity, then the student will be expelled from the institute... Nae satra mein kisi bhi Kashmiri chhatra ko daakhila nahi diya jaega.”

Do you think the police is committed to tracking down these student leaders? Has the principal been asked to immediately withdraw such a letter and announce that the college will not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity?

Read the Financial Express' report, quoting the principal: "Around 400-500 people from ABVP, VHP, and Bajrang Dal protested in front of the institute between 1 pm and 5pm. They asked us to assure them that all the Kashmiri students would be expelled from BFIT. I tried explaining that expelling students mid-term would affect their careers. Finally, keeping in mind the safety of the Kashmiri students, I had to give in writing that we won’t accept any Kashmiri student from the next session.” 

Another college, the Alpine College of Management and Technology, reproduced verbatim the contents of the BFIT letter. Then, its director, one S K Chauhan, announced the management's intention, inclination and readiness to commit even a more flagrant violation of the Constitution of India. "I have given in writing that we won’t accept any Kashmiri student from the next session...However, till now, only two institutes have said that they won’t give admission to any Kashmiri student in the next session. Only if all institutes in the state follow this will our institute follow it too.” 

* Meanwhile, hardworking students are on the job. ABVP's Jitendra Singh Bisht, president of Dehradun's DAV Students’ Union, has said his group has not been able to approach all institutes so far "but we will do so and get an undertaking that they won’t take in any new Kashmiri student.”

* Dehradun's Bajrang Dal leader Vikas Verma has said his group "does not want even one Kashmiri Muslim student in Uttarakhand." The SSP of Dehradun, Nivedita Kukreti, has said, "The police will uphold law and order.” You want to laugh, or cry?

* Instances of a journalist doing his or her duty are the only hope. Read this account from Dehradun's Sudhowala locality: "This correspondent witnessed the men stopping their vehicle in front of the two Afghan youths and asking them to chant "Hindustan zindabad” and "Pakistan murdabad”. When they didn’t, the men assaulted the two youths."

* In Kolkata, a Kashmir-origin doctor was asked to leave town though he has been in the metro city for 22 years. 

* The Roorkee-based Quantum University, upon the demand of a mob, suspended seven Kashmiri students, but it only encouraged the mob to change the demand and ask that they be rusticated. The college duly complied.

R K Khare, the university’s registrar, said, "Many students from our university along with some members from outside the university created ruckus and demanded that the Kashmiri students be removed… We needed to maintain decorum in the university, so we took action against the seven students…”

The call was taken by the owner of the university, BJP leader Anil Goyal. "For the safety of the Kashmiri students, we had to take the decision.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking a strong stand against terrorism by warmly welcoming Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan Mohammad bin Salman, who must be known for his benign approach towards politics and a strong commitment towards wiping out terrorism. Of course, no one has heard of Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, columnist for The Washington Post and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel who must have experienced first-hand the result of such commitment inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last October. 

Also, Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has now taken upon himself to single-handedly come up with practical ideas to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio. He wants all patriotic Indians to boycott Kashmir, Kashmiris and "everything Kashmiri.” If India still has a Constitution, and the NCERT school textbooks claim it does, then Tathagata Roy is the representative of the President of India.

His boycott appeal, made in the wake of attacks on Kashmiri students, professionals, traders and others following the Pulwama tragedy, must be perceived as a soothing balm, otherwise he would have attracted the ire of Maha Mahim Shri Ram Nath Kovind. 
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When criticised by the Opposition, Governor Tathagata Roy called his comment a "purely NON-VIOLENT REACTION to the killing of our soldiers by the hundreds and the driving out of 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits." That part is true; the reaction was non-violent. Roy had not asked anyone to pick up a stick and beat up a Kashmiri. Roy had done that part earlier. 

Read his words, vintage April 23, 2015: ‘Attack by Muslims on Hindus at Ghazipur, Bangladesh. Attack by Muslims on Hindus at Mallikpur, W Bengal, India. What awaits us Bengali Hindus?’ 

Tathagata Roy's job is to advise and caution the government if and when it transgresses Constitutional morality. One understands the commitment with which he is performing. He is in sync with some of the ideas that Crown Prince MBS has towards disciplining dissent.

A vast number of Indian citizens are now internalising a new normal — that shawl vendors can be attacked for the sins of Jaish-e-Mohammad and terrorism can be controlled by laying out a red carpet for a Saudi prince with a proven track record of bone-saw finesse.

All that we are now left to agree on in order to become a one nation, one idea, one motto, one leader, one thought, one people is to come to a conclusion on whether Mahatma Gandhi was shot in the front or in the back.

Choose your side very, very carefully.

Any rumours of you finding yourself under any pressure is likely to be found false.

 * * *

 Tathagata Roy's Tweets - Try not missing a heartbeat 
 
"An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don't visit Kashmir, don't go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don't buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree." 

‘Whatever gave you the notion I am secular? I am a Hindu. My state, India, however is secular since 1976.’ 

About the crowd of mourners following the hanging of Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon, Tathagata Roy tweeted these mourners could be ‘potential terrorists’: ‘The intelligence should keep a tab on them. Intelligence shd keep a tab on all (expt relatives & close friends) who assembled bfr Yakub Memon’s corpse. Many are potential terrorists.’ - July 31, 2015

‘Overwhelming Hindu majority is ESSENTIAL to maintain a multi-religious society & secular state. But West Bengal is slipping.’- Dec 17, 2014.

Commenting on the ‘fighting back’ nature of Hindus: ‘One exception was Gujarat, 2002. I’m glad you appreciate what the Hindus did then.’- March 23, 2015

‘Attack by Muslims on Hindus at Ghazipur, Bangladesh. Attack by Muslims on Hindus at Mallikpur,W Bengal, India. What awaits us Bengali Hindus?- April 23, 2015. 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL

 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT







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KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI
Prime Minister’s Free Hand. Governor’s Merciless Offer. Pl say, “No, thank you.”
17.02.19 - S Pal
Prime Minister’s Free Hand. Governor’s Merciless Offer. Pl say, “No, thank you.”



PRIME MINISTERS usually speak very carefully. That's why they have tremendous help to decide what to say. They have teams of speech writers who are great with words, and they have extremely savvy spin masters who know how to convey what needs to be conveyed to certain quarters without using language that is even a notch less than prime ministerial.

The words of a prime minister are very precious. They are taken very seriously. By those who love him, who vote for him, who disagree with him, and who hate him.

It starts with words.

That's why Prime Minister Narendra Modi's words, uttered in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu on February 10, 2019, were so very reassuring. The Prime Minister said the NDA government "is a government for each and every Indian.”  

That was before the dastardly attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama, Kashmir. Mr Modi is a very astute leader who knows the value and significance of his words, particularly after such an attack, since he knows the nation is looking up to him. Even those who oppose him are looking towards him to see what his words will be, in what tone will these be uttered, in what kind of matrix will these be received?

One has no reason to not believe that the Prime Minister chose his words very carefully, very deliberately. 

On Friday, February 15, the Cabinet Committee on Security met, chaired by the Prime Minister, and took certain steps to send unambiguous signals to Pakistan. The MFN status stood withdrawn. In real terms, it effectively means sanctions. It means restrictive, almost punishing, tariffs. The Prime Minister said those responsible for the sacrifice of India's brave sons would pay a "very heavy price”.

And then his script veered from the trodden prime ministerial path. 

"Security forces have been given complete freedom, the blood of the people is boiling.” Modi did not mention Pakistan by name.

Angry crowds heard him, loud and clear. They are exactly the people whose blood is boiling. Such words convey something to them. These were people itching to do their bit for what they thought was the path of the righteous. These were crowds that had formed a narrative — Pakistan was a bad country where bad people live. This country was formed on a bad basis. It always does bad things to India. All these bad people have the same religion. 

These crowds have heard a lot of bad things about people who belong to that religion.

Now, they heard the prime minister saying that the armed forces have been given a free hand. These crowds have heard a hell of a lot of good things about the armed forces.

The picture was complete. Good people must deal with bad people, and the leader of the country was allowing a free hand for the purpose.

This is not a crowd that will rest after entrusting the task to the army. It is a crowd in a feverish action mode. It wants to avenge the killings of our dear jawans. It is restive for some actual action.

So it spills into streets in city after city. In some cities, it tells people to shut down their businesses. In some, it tells fellow citizens to throw out their Kashmiri tenants. In certain other cities, it tells students of one particular religion to go back to the states they came from. Anyone in doubt is welcome to go to Pakistan.  

View from the hostel room of a girl student in Dehradun as a "patriotic" crowd rages outside.
 
In Dehradun, a group of citizens who soaked in a heavy dose of patriotic fervour, laid siege to a girls' hostel, demanding that the Kashmiri girl students must come out and apologise for the killing of 40 CRPF men and then leave for Kashmir at once. For hours, the girls — each single one of them an Indian citizen fully protected by a Constitution that Prime Minister Modi is sworn to follow — squirmed in their rooms, with lights switched off and calls to go to Pakistan renting the air outside. 

On Saturday, February 16, Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik directed the police to take strict action "without mercy” against any hooligans. That's a little peculiar since the governor, as protector of the Constitution, is only mandated to act as per the law. 
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Pulwama is changing us. If Jaish-e-Mohammed killed our brave jawans, it did so with a purpose. It wanted us to do something in response. We have no right to let it succeed.
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India's laws are merciful, even for the merciless. That's why we try Kasab after 26/11, and feed him properly till the day he hangs. That's why we do not throw to the dogs the bodies of those dead after capital punishment. That's why the law allows an Afzal Guru to file a mercy petition. That's why even when he was hanged in a top secret move, all procedures were followed. The President of India rejected his mercy petition; his family was informed; he was given a chance to offer namaz; he was served tea; and he was medically examined. Yes, his body was not handed over to the kin out of fear that any funeral could witness violence, but it was duly buried inside the Tihar jail.

The law cannot by definition be merciless. 

Mercy is an integral part of a civil state. It gives a chance to those, who the state sends to death, to file a mercy petition. Now we have a governor of a highly disturbed state who tells his forces armed to the teeth to be merciless in dealing with citizens completely protected by the Constitution.

It is here where the terrorist is succeeding. 

Pulwama is changing us. If Jaish-e-Mohammed killed our brave jawans, it did so with a purpose. It wanted us to do something in response. We have no right to let it succeed.

So if we are really patriotic, we cannot have a free hand in dealing with people we think are very bad. We must shun that offer, even if it comes from a prime minister. And our forces must not deal with any citizen mercilessly.

We must remain mercilessly good people. We must remain firm, our good politicians must stand united, our prime minister and his ministers must guide and lead, and we must believe that our armed forces are capable of carrying out the will of our elected political executive and keep us safe.

They do so at great risk to their lives, and we must remain a nation eternally grateful to our forces. One way of doing that is to stay lawful. Mercilessly. Mercifully. 

Those girls in that Dehradun hostel are our daughters, just as the 40 were our sons. We have no other way of relating ourselves to our sons and daughters.

That's who we are. We cannot be lesser people. We are a great people. We shall not shun our greatness for a terrorist who loads a few sacks of explosives in a car, or a country that uses terror as an instrument of state policy. We have a good and holy book. It is called the Constitution. 

If something were to happen to it, then how will Narendra Modi be sworn in as our re-elected prime minister this summer?
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

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If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

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OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

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Comment by: Raj Kumar Singh

Does this all non sense means that terrorists can kill people throw stone at armed forces and army CRPF even the non Muslims has to be merciful to them. What our mercy will do when we will be mercilessly killed like it has been done previously. Does this Constitution gives rights to Muslims and Christians only and none others. Majority is not here die get looted. Where were you all when Kashmiri pandits were thrown out of valley in the name of religion .So pl don’t spread wrong ideas by twisting words.

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NaMo vs RaGa : Chances better for a third alternative or a dark horse
14.02.19 - VIPIN PUBBY
NaMo vs RaGa : Chances better for a third alternative or a dark horse



LARGE SECTIONS of media have been talking about the ensuing elections as a Modi versus Rahul contest. This Namo versus Raga question is also often asked during social interactions and even from total strangers.

The speculations are there despite the fact that we have a parliamentary system of government and not the presidential system as in the US. There is no ambiguity in that country about the identity of the two top contestants for the highest post of the country. In India, despite our constitutional system, we appear to be moving towards personality led political parties and some curiosity is bound to be there about who would led the country.

However that may not always be the case. After all was Dr Manmohan Singh ever projected as the PM candidate in 2004? He went on to remain at the post for 10 years. Or was PV Narasimha Rao ever projected as the prime minister? Or whether Deve Gouda, IK Gujral and some others ever in the run for prime ministership?

BJP and its supporters would certainly like to project the election as a contest between Modi and Rahul. There is no doubt that Modi is an effective speaker and better communicator than Rahul and in the battle of perception between the two, Rahul is no match to Modi despite the recent aggressive strides by Rahul who has even challenged the prime minister for public debate on various issues.

But given the current political scenario and the political equations in the making, there are more chances of neither Modi nor Rahul making to the post of prime minister after these elections. This may sound radical but can be explained with some logic.

Modi remained chief minister of Gujarat thrice and enjoyed absolutely majority in the Assembly. He ruled with an iron hand and did not have to depend on other senior leaders in the party or alliance partners for survival. Similarly he led the alliance to an absolute majority during the 2014 lok sabha elections. Again he didn’t need to depend on any outside ally or a section of party leaders.

Thus his entire track record shows that he had been working in an environment where he enjoyed absolute power. Some of his allies like the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal are not quite happy with his style of functioning but have little choice as he in any case enjoys majority.
----------
Emergence of a powerful regional leader with the support of some other regional parties can not be ruled out given the current fluid political situation. 
----------
In the current scenario it is being widely believed that the absolute majority being enjoyed by the BJP may not be possible in the ensuing elections. This would mean that NDA allies are likely to have more bargaining power and may like a leader who listens to them and is more flexible with their demands. 

It is also well known that a section of senior leaders of the BJP, and possibly the RSS, were not happy with Modi’s appointment as the prime minister in the first place and may exert pressure from within for a change in leadership if the BJP does not come back with an absolute majority.

Similarly the possibility of Rahul making it to the top post appears remote at this juncture. He stands a chance only if the Congress attains an absolute majority which, at this stage, appears highly unlikely. The entry of his charismatic sister Priyanka Gandhi has added another dimension to the issue.

Congress alliance partners, and even the third front leaders of their support is required after the election, may not support Rahul Gandhi’s candidature and may instead back some other consensus candidate.

Much would depend on the bargaining power they have based on the number of MPs they can get elected to the Lok Sabha. 

Emergence of a powerful regional leader with the support of some other regional parties can not be ruled out given the current fluid political situation. What we can look forward to now is a hard fought election in the offing.
 
 

 

 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)


 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties 
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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THE THREAT OF SELF-GOVERNMENT
Congress Minister Takes Stand Against Nehru-Mahatma Gandhi-Rajiv-Sonia-Rahul Legacy
09.02.19 - S Pal
Congress Minister Takes Stand Against Nehru-Mahatma Gandhi-Rajiv-Sonia-Rahul Legacy



RAHUL GANDHI, THE RISING SUN/SON of the House of Gandhis, can justifiably claim that one of his dad Rajiv Gandhi's notable achievements was the ushering in of the panchayati raj in its current form, even though the Constitutional amendment came after the former premier's assassination.  

In fact, Rahul Gandhi can dig deeper and land up with the picture postcard of his granddad Jawaharlal Nehru lighting the lamp on Gandhi Jayanti, 2 October 1959, in Nagore, signalling the commencement of Panchayat Raj in the country, backed by laws prepared and passed by each State Assembly in India. 

During his free time, when his throat becomes hoarse from shouting Chowkidar Chor Hai at myriad rallies, Rahul Gandhi can actually read Nehru's speech on this historic occasion that elaborated the reasons and imperatives for Panchayat Raj.

(Read this speech, and some others besides Nehru's writings on Panchayati Raj in "Jawaharlal Nehru on Community Development, Panchayati Raj & Cooperation,” issued by the Ministry of Community Development & Cooperation, 1965.)

He will find how, after Nehru's death in 1964, the idea of Panchayat Raj had withered away. It was revived only with the setting up of the National Development Council in 1977 and got a real boost when the high-powered Ashok Mehta committee on decentralization came up with the innovative idea of amending the Constitution.

(See Report of the Committee on Panchayati Raj Institutions, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Department of Rural Development, August 1978 for the Draft Constitution amendment attached to Annexure 2, pp.208-12. The draft was prepared by the well-known jurist, L.M. Singhvi.)

It was Rahul Gandhi's dad Rajiv Gandhi who had picked up the suggestion a decade later to accord Constitutional status, sanction and sanctity to Panchayat Raj as the one sure way of ensuring grassroots development through democratically elected institutions of local-self government. 

In Rajiv Gandhi's mind, the express objective was to render Panchayat Raj ineluctable, irreversible and irremovable by bringing in what eventually evolved into the 64th amendment, introduced in the Lok Sabha on 15 May 1989. That amendment made it Constitutionally mandatory to have a democratically-elected three-tier Panchayat system accountable to Gram Sabhas comprising the entire adult population of all habitations in a village-level Panchayat.

(The 64th was defeated in the Rajya Sabha the same year when Rajiv Gandhi lost the general elections, too. The National Front introduced it again but the 9th Lok Sabha was dissolved. Eventually, the 73rd was passed in 1992 by the Narasimha Rao government, and came into force on April 24, 1993.)

Rahul Gandhi is justifiably proud of his dad's achievement. It is this that Congress' Punjab Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa is out to attack now.

In Punjab, Rajiv Gandhi is remembered a little too often for his 'When a big tree falls' statement. It does no credit to Rahul Gandhi's party. What his party can claim with some pride is the ownership of the concept of Gram Sabha, Panchayati Raj via the 73rd and 74th amendment to the Indian Constitution, and the exertions in this regard of Rajiv Gandhi and people like LM Singhvi, Mani Shankar Aiyar and many others.

Instead, Congress is being slammed today for its Panchayat Minister Bajwa who says it is not possible to have Gram Sabhas, who claims there is not enough bureaucracy to ensure that the Constitutionally mandatory meetings are held, and who has made a shocking statement that demands for holding a meeting of the Gram Sabha comes only from villages with extreme level of factionalism.

So, here is what the Congress' Cabinet minister is saying:
That Gram Sabhas are impractical; 
that these are instruments of divisiveness; 
that these need too many state resources. 

A quick translation can also be that Rajiv Gandhi got it wrong, Dr Manmohan Singh was foolish, and Sonia or Rahul Gandhi do not understand a thing about pragmatic politics.

In the official records, however, every village in Punjab has held the required number of Gram Sabhas, and not one has missed it. Clearly, all these Gram Sabhas are held on paper, these are sham, and the minister is okay with continuing with a fraudulent system.

There must be better ways of burying the reputation of Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi with a single statement but so far, none has been able to match the effort and efficiency with which Hon'ble Shri Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa has done the hatchet job.

Narendra Modi went hammer and tongs after the MGNREGA scheme, calling it the utterly foolish project of the Congress party, but he has now reversed his position completely. This year, the Modi-Arun Jaitley-Piyush Goyal interim budget allocated a record Rs 60,000 crore for MGNREGA. But while not a single Congress leader in Punjab pointed out this about turn of Narendra Modi, the Punjab government is all set to nullify the panchayati raj framework conceived, designed and largely executed by the UPA.

In a shocking but clearly a very considered statement, this Congress minister has now declared that it is not possible to hold Gram Sabha meetings in Punjab's 13,175 villages. In a detailed interview in the Punjabi Tribune, Bajwa made a series of statements that reflected the thinking of this government being run as per Rahul Gandhi's guidance, as every second Punjab government advertisement tells us.

With general elections' announcement less than 50 days away, one expected Mr Tript Rajender Bajwa to point out that Modi's slogan of "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” was actually a rip-off from Rajiv Gandhi's "Maximum Democracy, Maximum Devolution,” but instead, he has called the entire Constitutional arrangement and the primacy accorded to the Gram Sabha a hogwash. 

Ironically, the Mani Shankar Aiyar committee's report that reviewed the first 20 years experience of the Panchayati Raj System following the Constitutional amendment, placed the entire burden of making it a success on the institution and proper functioning of the Gram Sabhas. 

It is possible that in his hurry to fight Sukhbir Singh Badal and elements within his own party, a section of the top police hierarchy and sundry other elements, all at the same time, Mr Bajwa may not have found the time to browse through the report "Towards Holistic Panchayat Raj - Twentieth Anniversary Report of the Expert Committee on Leveraging Panchayats For Efficient Delivery of Public Goods and Services," but any such endeavour won't hurt at all. 

(In fact, the report considered the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's perorations to the Lok Sabha and his interventions on the Bills that eventually became Parts IX and IXA of the Constitution, his speeches in Parliament on 15 May 1989, 8 August 1989 and 13 October 1989 so important that these were appended to the report - See Appendix 2).

Normally, one would expect a senior politician to immediately follow up on such goof-ups with the standard "My words have been twisted out of context" statement, but days after his fulminations against the Gram Sabha ignited a heated debate, the minister has done no such thing. This is commendable, though he is known to take his own sweet time for applying correctives.

Last time he made headlines was when he wanted a dope test for everyone thinking of contesting the panchayat elections. It took him weeks before saying he did not really mean what he said.

As pointed out by alert journalists, in the minister's own constituency in block Fatehgarh Chooriyan, a hundred odd villages have already held Gram Sabhas.  In village Ghurka of Fazilka, a social activist Navneet Singh is making much noise because he has found that an Anganwari worker was present in the Gram Sabha. Navneet does not have anything particular against the Anganwari worker except for the fact that this particular individual had actually died two months before the Gram Sabha was held! In CM Amarinder Singh's constituency, the village Dhanetha saw a Gram Panchayat being held on the very first day of November 2018, attended by 40 voters, including 25 women. Records show that panchayat secretary Praveen Kumar and two other government officials were also present. That no one in the village knows about it is a separate matter.

Meanwhile, another arm of the government, the State Institute for Rural Development (SIRD) is going full steam ahead with training plans for the newly elected panchayats. The agenda includes much stress on the importance of holding Gram Sabhas. Dr Rozy Vaid, who heads the SIRD, is pulling out all stops to use the social media platforms and designing e-learning modules, to train these elected representatives.

But why is the Minister for Panchayats in Punjab adamant on not fighting for the legacy that is a huge achievement of his own party? Instead, he is militating against this legacy.

Or is he actually pointing out a hard, cold reality that since most Gram Sabhas are being held only on paper, it is better to say it out, aloud and clearly, that the ground level situation has as yet not become conducive for such self-government? In that case, Bajwa should be launching a different fight altogether.
 
Or is it that the politicians have realised that a true Panchayati Raj System is a challenge to the system of politics as we know it?

Panchayat Raj in India has a long history going back into a millennial past but most conspicuously and perspicaciously articulated during the Freedom Movement by Mahatma Gandhi, specifically in "A Gandhian Constitution for Independent India," written by Shriman Narayan Agarwal, with a foreword by Gandhi himself in which he assures the reader that the ideas set out in the book are, indeed, his own. 
(A Gandhian Constitution for Independent India, Kitabistan, Allahabad, 1946, with a Foreword by Mahatma Gandhi) 

Eventually, it led to Article 40 of the Directive Principles of State Policy laying down the injunction that:
"The State shall take steps to organize village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.” 

Schedule 7 of the Constitution placed the operationalisation of this Article at Entry 5 of the State List (List II):
"Local government, that is to say, the constitution of powers of municipal corporations, improvement trusts, district boards, mining settlement authorities and other local authorities for the purpose of self-government or village administration.”

It may be noted that the "village panchayats”, referred to in Article 40, and the "local authorities” referred to in List II, are described as "units” of "self-government,” not "self-governance”.  

These constitute the origins of Article 243G of Part IX of the Constitution which refers to the three-tier Panchayat Raj system as "institutions of self-government,” not self-governance.

Our politicians know this. They know that a better run Panchayati Raj will throw up a new variety, a new breed, a new kind of politician. This is not just about self-governance in which the politicians can help. This is self-government. This is the real threat. Therefore, no one fact-checks a minister who says Gram Sabhas are not possible. His party president Sunil Jakhar who claims affinity with Rahul Gandhi stays silent. The opposition Akali Dal, always eager to fire retaliatory statements on even trivial issues, remains silent on this one. Even the Aam Aadmi Party does not stand up for the aam pendu aadmi on this one. 

So threatening is the idea of local self-government that it unites politicians of all hue. Self-government goes way beyond clichés like democratic devolution of powers. It is true democratic decentralisation.
----------
----------
Governments want regular panchayat elections, but they do not want regular accountability of these panchayats to Gram Sabhas. They do not want democracy to become bottoms up. A top down approach puts the minister at the top, the other way around will put him at the end.

To revert to the track record, the Panchayati Raj review committee headed by Mani Shankar Aiyar, after noticing the politicians’ and officialdom’s scant regard for Gram Sabhas, suggested a "radical departure” and said the Centre must change the design of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes and ensure delivery of public goods and services by all line departments and parallel bodies through PRIs responsible only to Gram Sabhas, and must actually undertake Activity Mapping to ensure this.

In Chapter VI of its report, the committee advocated that Panchayats must not be seen as the lowest unit of government functioning "but an autonomous domain of self-government" and the focus has to be "on strengthening the Gram Sabha to function as a watchdog of representative democracy".

I am not too sure about Mr Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa's personal library at his home, or the record keeping and indexing at the Congress State Headquarters in Chandigarh's Sector 15 which Mr Bajwa does not find much time to visit because of his pressing engagements to take the agenda of the Congress party forward. Hence, for his quick reference, I am reproducing a sentence on Panchayati Raj, as given in the "National Common Minimum Programme” of the first UPA government, a document Mr Bajwa may actually have in his back pocket, considering his loyalty to Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and his admiration for Dr Manmohan Singh: "The UPA government will ensure that the Gram Sabha is empowered to emerge as the foundation of Panchayati Raj.”
 

Then Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, giving away Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Awards

 
In Oct-Nov 2004, when Dr Manmohan Singh's PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat undertook an exercise to review the implementation of the PRI, this was the sentence on which stress was laid. 
(Read the testimony of Mr B.K. Chaturvedi, former Cabinet Secretary and later Member, Planning Commission before the Mani Shankar Aiyar Committee, given on 6 February, 2013.)

Under Dr Manmohan Singh, the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj actually drafted a "Model Panchayat and Gram Swaraj Act” but later, the Mani Shankar Aiyar Committee, widely hailed by Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, actually proposed that the Centre draft an exclusive "Model Gram Sabha Act".
---------
---------
Besides, the Union Ministry's guidelines on the subject say: "It is the bounden duty of the Gram Panchayats and Government officials to ensure that the Gram Sabhas function properly through close monitoring and mentoring of their meetings."
(Paragraph 20 of Secretary, Panchayati Raj’s circular No. J-11011/12/2009-Media dated 2.10.09, available on the Ministry’s website.)

Dr Manmohan Singh's government, in an effort to highlight the critical role of effective Gram Sabhas, declared 2010 as the Year of the Gram Sabha. Mr Bajwa seems to have a serious difference with that initiative, but he needs to explain it in a well researched paper in a peer reviewed journal.

Exactly 11 days after India marks the 100 years of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, it will celebrate the National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24, 2019. Last year, on this day, Prime Minister Modi had launched a scheme ostensibly aimed at strengthening the Panchayati Raj system and addressing critical gaps that hinder its success. 

Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa should step back and think - Is he the critical gap between the vision of Nehru-Rajiv-Sonia-Rahul Gandhi and the current state of the panchayati raj system in Punjab?

CM Amarinder Singh is well aware of the legacy of the UPA. It is time he fact-checks his wayward ministers when they dither too far from the party line. In this case, it will be in national interest, too, that’s if his and Rahul Gandhi’s idea of national interest is congruent.
 
------------
 Click https://goo.gl/i78TME for this Punjab Today exclusive that will shock you.
-------------

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:
 

Three Women of 1984  

FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
BAD, BAD WOMAN! 

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL 

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT




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