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October 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.  Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       October 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.   Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       
Issue:Sep' 2017


Human rights for all

Jagdish N Singh

India's is a republican constitution that guarantees basic rights to all its citizens, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, sex, belief or status. No government can ignore or overlook any violations of these rights. However, the conduct of the successive dispensations at the Centre and in the States has, by and large, not been without blemishes.
The well-documented violations of the rights of minorities Hindus in Punjab and Kashmir, Muslims in Gujarat and Sikhs in Delhi in the past are a case in point. The real culprits in most of these cases have hardly been identified and taken to task in accordance with our rule of law.

Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.M. Panchal Fortunately, our Court has been strict about the defence of our minorities rights. The Supreme Court has recently appointed its former Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.M. Panchal on the supervisory committee tasked with vetting the investigation into 241 anti-Sikh riots cases closed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT). On August 16, a Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra decided to independently examine the investigation records of the 241 cases. The committee would report back to the Apex Court by December.
According to an estimate, a total of 3,325 people were killed in the 1984 riots. Of that, Delhi accounted for 2,733 deaths and the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other States. The SIT was set up on February 12, 2015, following a recommendation by the Justice (retd) G.P. Mathur committee.

Devastations after anti-Sikh riots I hope the supervisory committee would see to it that the SIT did its job professionally and the guilty were punished at the earliest. I also hope there is similar action in all cases of communal violence in our Republic. There are different estimates on the death and destruction in various communal incidents.
According to some estimates, in the acts of violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, over 2,000 Muslims were killed and 200,000 displaced . In violence in Kashmir from 1990 to 2011 over 399 Kashmiri Pandits were killed and half a million displaced . During militancy in Punjab some 20000 Hindus were killed .
The Court may institute a panel of non-partisan persons to find it out how many Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians have been killed and displaced as a result of the politics of communalism. The master punks behind all communal genocides must be identified for appropriate action .
This is a must to save India from going the way most of the United Nation-member states , including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates , Qatar and Iran are.
According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, animosities within and between religious communities in India have roots that are centuries old. Incidents of religiously-motivated and communal violence have increased in the recent years. Since the 2014 parliamentary elections in India religious minority communities have been subjected to derogatory comments by politicians linked to the ruling party. Christian communities, across many denominations, have reported an increase in harassment and violence against them .
The USCIRF observation is not totally devoid of substance .
Secularism constitutes the basic character of our Constitution . The government has to see to it that it is not tampered with . India must honour the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief ( 1981) and Declaration on the Rights of Minorities ( 1992).

Giving the Dalai his dues

The Tibetan Spiritual Leader The Dalai Lama I wonder why most of the governments even in democracies , including our own, have been shyish about their association with the Dalai Lama.
Former spiritual and temporal Tibetan leader , the Dalai is well known for preaching and practising paths for the peace and development of the entire humanity today. He commands the love of almost the entire world.
Most of the ruling elites, too, seem to adore him in the heart of their hearts. They, however, do not admit it publicly . They seem to calculate that an association with the Dalai would invite the wrath of the economically and militarily powerful communist China .
The succesive dispensations in New Delhi have normally distanced themselves from the Dalai. Whenever our government officials happen to meet him, they give some non political justification for it. In December 2016, when our then President Pranab Mukherjee shared a dais with the Dalai Lama at the "Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit" at the Rashtrapati Bhawan ( Indian Presidential Palace), a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said New Delhi should recognise the "anti-China, separatist essence of the Dalai Lama clique." New Delhi explained, "The Dalai Lama is a respected and revered spiritual leader. It was a non-political event organised by Nobel laureates dedicated to the welfare of children." New Delhi's approach is strange .
The Dalai's contribution to India has been unparalleled . He is the most popular spiritual leader across the whole Buddhist world today . He has been guiding the Tibetans all over the world even while in exile in India since 1959. There are four sects of Tibetan Buddhism : Gelug, Nyingma , Sakya and Kargyu . All of them consider him their highest guide.
The Dalai has been spreading Tibetan Buddhism based on India's Nalenda tradition. The Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India have been doing a great job. According to an estimate, there are about 262 Buddhist monasteries catering to educational and other needs of over 35,000 monks and 6000 nuns .
Over 67.5 per cent of them are Indian citizens from the Himalayan region. The Dalai has been highly popular in Arunachal Pradesh. The Gaden Namgyal Lhatse Gonpha, popularly known as Tawang monastery, is of special significance to the Buddhists in the world . The sixth Dalai Lama was born in Tawang only . This monastery happens to be the second most important seat of Tibetan Buddhism after the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
Buddhists from across Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan and other states arrive there . The Dalai had stayed at the Tawang monastery after he escaped Tibet to India following the Chinese annexation of the plateau in 1959. He has visited Tawang five times so far and Arunachal Pradesh seven times.
Besides, India can use the presence of the Dalai to settle its border problem with Beijing . The Indo-China border dispute is centred on the McMahon Line. This demarcation is the result of the 1914 Simla Convention, between British India, China and Tibet. China did not sign it . Our dispute in the eastern sector is over territory (AP )south of the McMahon Line . This includes Tawang. Beijing wants Tawang , bordered by Tibet in the north and Bhutan in the southwest. Tibet ceded it to India under the 1914 agreement .
Tawang today is fully integrated into our territory. The region has sent its representatives to our Parliament in every election since 1950. China wants us to compromise on this very eastern alignment . Dai Bingguo, former State Councillor and China's Special Representative for the boundary talks, recently made it clear .

Former State Councillor and China's Special Representative for the boundary talks Dai Bingguo He said China would reciprocate in the western sector, which includes the disputed Aksai Chin, if we conceded Tawang along the eastern boundary. He said what all his predecessors on the border talks had been saying , "The McMahon Line is the result of the 1914 Simla Convention. That was between British India, Tibet and China. We did not sign it .
Tawang is inalienable from China's Tibet in terms of cultural background a n d administrative jurisdiction... The Simla Accord (the M c M a h o n Line ) is unfair, illegitimate, illegal and invalid."
New Delhi could tell Beijing to heed the Dalai in the matter.