Issue :   
September 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         September 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:August' 2018


Defending India

The cover stories in the August issue of your highly prestigious think tank magazine accurately depict the current state of affairs across the country . All your articles on the recent drama of ‘hug’ and ‘wink’ staged in our Parliament and on the ongoing incidents of mob lynching and violence in different parts of the country reveal how non-serious our political leaders in different leading parties have turned at the cost of the idea of India the founding fathers of our Constitution dreamt .
It is high time the country’s citizenry got truly vigilant and prevailed on our governments to make them act in the spirit of India that guided our freedom fighters. The fear psychosis that prevails in the country must be removed at the earliest .
Law and order is a state subject in our Constitution. The governments of the states cannot look the other way when any act of violence takes place within its territory .
It is really very unfortunate that in one of the recent incidents there was a brutal attack on two men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district. As a result of this one of them died . The family of the dead man , a 45-year-old cattle trader, reportedly said his death was the outcome of a conspiracy. Investigations must be conducted fairly and the guilty brought to book . The acts of lynching across north India by ‘cow protection’ vigilantes points to the pattern of communalism .
In states such as Tamil Nadu in the south and Assam in the Northeast, men and women have of late been lynched on mere suspicion that they were out to kidnap children. The killing of any human being by a murderous crowd crime must be stopped .
The political leaderships must grant professional autonomy to our security and intelligence agencies to deal with murder and mob violence . Such crimes are taking place these days also, though rumours spread on Internet .In a free society, the use of Internet cannot be banned . But our intelligence and security agencies can always keep watch on anti-social elements’ suspicious activities in cyber café and foil their designs before it is too late .
If the concerned State governments do not perform the fundamental function of protecting our citizens’ life, the Centre must invoke the appropriate provisions in our Constitution and see to it that the needful is done and the idea of India keeps flourishing.

K . J. Vishnu

Crime against humanity

Recent incidents of lynching are a crime against humanity. They seem to be targeted violence against people belonging to particular religions and castes. It is in violation of Article 15 of the Constitution. Article 15 protects one from discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, sex, and gender. Regrettably, despite a Supreme Court order to the States to prevent lynching and violence, such crimes have continued with impunity across the country . The Court had ordered the States to appoint nodal officers to prevent such incidents. These crimes have had a pattern .
Most often, they happen on highways. As such the Court had asked the States to patrol the highways.
The Supreme Court has now taken a very serious view of it . An apex court Bench has warned that lynching and mob violence cannot allowed .
The States are obliged to prevent such crimes.
The States must comply with the Court’s commandments .
The Bench has now asked the Central government to frame a scheme under Article 256 to give directions to the States to prevent/control the instances and maintain law and order. This should help combat such crimes in future .

Krishna Chatterjee

Judges’ tenure

It is ironical that the Venkatachaliah Report (2002) of the National Commission on increasing the age of retirement for judges is still gathering dust . A well- meaning analyst has rightly suggested our Government must not delay the decision on increasing the age of retirement for judges. In the Supreme Court of the United States, and in constitutional courts in Austria and Greece, judges are appointed for life. In Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Australia, the retirement age for judges is 70 years. Judges in Canada and Germany retire at 75 and 68, respectively. India too could think in this direction. Senior serving judges will bring with them years of experience. The judgepopulation ratio in India is among the lowest in the world at 19.66 judges per million (10 lakh) people as of today. In 2016, the U.K. had 51 judges per million people, the U.S. had 107, Australia had 41, and Canada had 75. Increasing the number of judges would enable the judiciary to deal with the enormous pendency of cases.

Mujibur Rahman

Sinful secrecy !

In democracy tax payers must know how the governments expends their hard-earned money. But our government does not seem to care to reveal to the people its big ticket defence deals. We still do not know who negotiated the Rafale deal. According to a media report , Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the deal on April 10 , 2015 in Paris. Then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar came to know of it only a week before Modi’s announcement in Paris . The Ministry of External Affairs too did not know . Then foreign secretary S Jaishankar was unaware of it . Asked if Rafale deal would be discussed, he said the heads of the governments would not be involved discussing specific deals. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was having dialogue with the Dassault Aviation. But HAL was dropped in favour of the Reliance Defence. What a sinful secrecy in a democracy !

Madhulika Patil

Saga of an honest officer

This refers to the article “why the system hounds the upright !, “Power Politics, July 2018. It’s an excellent article, written by a journalist of integrity. At long last, the truth has come out with real facts and figures. Our so-called democratic system has become so corrupt ! It is simply unbelievable ! We are extremely happy that bureaucrat Shiv Prasad has been very brave to fight the system and come out unscathed.

Kewal Singh Hayre
Magistrate (Retd)
Court of West Midlands, UK

An irony

It is ironical that C..B.I. officers often forget that they, too, are Govt. Employees only. They find fault with some honest officials without appriciating their practical and field difficulties. Sometimes, they come to the concluson without going through the basic guidelines in the case. They creat sensation.This is really unfortunate.

PP Singh
former ED, FCI