Thursday, 26 April, 2007

The Old Politicians must Retire and give way to Youngsters

I have been delighted by a sudden turn of events taking place in India…Should I call it the changing face towards a cleaner phase as far as the policing department and judiciary is concerned. The arrest of BJP MP Babubhai Katara in the human trafficking case, arrest of three senior IPS officers for fake encounters and standing up of the judiciary against the government’s blatant fixing of quotas for IIMs are but to a name a few. The human trafficking case and the arrest of senior IPS officers are set to open a Pandora’s Box on corruption and police-politician nexus. Why should one be delighted when we hear that politicians and police are involved in such crimes? The fact is that we knew that there are many such corrupt politicians and police officers. Because we knew that the system was thick of dirt. There are too many tainted men out there controlling the system. The delight is because they are now being exposed and a firm baton of law is ringing on their heads. The way the UP polls are going on without any booth capturing is another matter of delight. The election commission is slowly and steadily trying its best to cleanse the source of this dirt. What we need now is acceleration. We need the people in authority to pin these hooligans who wear a mask of nation builders & regulators to be punished as quickly as possible. Let there be no delay.

That was the good part. Now the bad one. Why do we have old and mindless politicians on important chairs of our nation? I think the old must give way to the young. The youngsters are educationally better off, agile, mature, outgoing, thinking and who have a better mind. The old have to understand that they are biologically half-dead in every department. These old leaders, who can’t even walk, decide the future of our country. Unfortunately the dead and weary cells of their brain are not visible to the naked eye. These old men who decide the future of our nation get carried away and want to stick to the helm, because of the respect what the younger Indian generation gives, which is a part of our Indian culture. I beg the old to give way for the young and stop clinging to those very important chairs. These poor chairs only face the farts of these oldies and am sure must be crying and looking to seat those thousands of capable young, intelligent and agile Indians who are in the waiting. Waiting! ….waiting to get old and useless…Well that is the qualification in vogue to have a seat in those very important chairs

Look what’s happening! The NCERT has to change the syllabus every year. They can never formulate one in time. Who faces the brunt? The poor children…the foundation of the future of India. The new books will only be available when half of the academic session is completed. Now the IIMs!…What’s happening? Why is a great institution being tinkered? Take the case of farmers and farm lands. Why are these very important sources of food being neglected? Yes we had a green revolution some years ago. Why is it being colored red? The government seriously needs to understand the importance of fertile land, the farmers and the environment. Tomorrow will be too late. When food becomes scarce….there will be no nuclear reactors, no IT parks and no India poised. We must ensure that we have a rich and happy farmer. And design tools to mould farming as a lucrative occupation.

The middle class has been slowly and steadily increasing. Thanks to the growing industry. We will soon have a lower middle class, a mid-level middle class and an upper middle class. While the upper middle class is not much affected by inflation and rising rates of interest, because he is in a position to balance his earnings proportionally, but not the mid-level and the lower middle class, who is generally the salaried class. It was the case of farmers committing suicide. Soon stories of suicides from these classes will also be a common news unless the interest rates and tax burden is reduced. These are the two classes who pay their taxes correctly. And these are the classes whose necks are being noosed. Tomorrow will be too late when we are going to have defaults in payments and news of more suicides or pushing this class towards corruption.

Can we have a younger, dynamic, agile and learned intelligentsia occupying those very important chairs that decide the destiny of our country?

Can we have the older generation retiring gracefully and being remembered for their good deeds done when they were young and in their peak performance?

Wednesday, 18 April, 2007

Immediate Reforms Needed in the Departments of Police and Judiciary

We have to first understand the most important and essential ingredient necessary for any developing country. A healthy tree needs water, oxygen, sunlight and minerals to grow. If any of these ingredient is inappropriate, the health of the tree suffers. If the tree is equated to a country, I would equate water, sunlight and oxygen to Defence, Law and order and Education. The rest of the components within a country are the minerals. Like the oxygen, water and minerals to a tree, so is the importance of a strong Defence, an effective Policing and Judiciary and Good Education to a country. Take away any of them a country cannot survive…it will perish.

While we are abundant in minerals in terms of intelligence, manpower, business sense, etc, we need to strengthen the other three important environmental ingredients. And the weakest is “Law and Order”, with Education also very close to it. Why is it so? Why is the common man afraid to go to a police station to lodge a complaint? Even those who dare to go to a police station to lodge an FIR, have to come back empty handed. Why is the police helpless in controlling mobs and how do mobs dare to carry out unlawful activities? Why do the murderers and goondas get tickets to contest the elections? These are some of the questions every Indian except the law breaker has in his mind. On one side India is moving ahead getting accolades for its business acumen and performance, and the other side we are moving backwards towards the raj of the goonda. Which India is going to succeed and thwart the other India? I see the later gaining ground.

The necessity of reforms in the police and judiciary has been realized by those responsible for running this country for quite some years. However, something is pulling them down from accelerating the process. The politicos want the police to let their flock do what they want. The police want the politicos for their promotions. This is a dangerous inter-interest. The goons come in between. They are the source for the politicos for money and muscle power. And so the goons have a friendly police. It’s a dangerous tri-nexus.

We have to set our priorities right. We have to understand the tools essential for the acceleration of our progress. According to me, the defence of one’s country must be very strong and on the topmost priority of any government. If you are safe from external threats, only then you can set your house right. The second priority must be to have a strong and fatherly policing structure with a fast and good supporting judiciary. If your family is well disciplined, Lady Prosperity is bound to embrace you. And similar is the case with the country. With no external threat, an upright backboned police and a quick delivering judiciary, the rest of the tools are bound to be strong and eventually spin the country to greater heights.

I have many a times listened to Mrs. Kiran Bedi, a jewel of our Senior IPS officialdom. She has been crying hoarse for Police Reforms. She has gone a step further by asking every Indian citizen to suggest ideas for reforming the Police department. The Padmanabhaiah Committee report is quite elaborate and gives a humane touch to the reforms. But I would like to add to it by recommending a slight change to the structure. I would recommend a centralized command and control structure. Have a National Police Chief...Like the Army, Navy and Airforce. However, unlike the three chiefs, he would be answerable to a commission called the Indian National Police Commission having 8 members; two senior retired judges appointed by the CJI, two senior IPS officers, two intellectuals nominated by the President of India and two elected MPs nominated; one from the ruling party and one from the opposition. The tenures of the Commission and the Chief has to be fixed and should have immunity from any changes/ transfers/ suspension. Only the President, on the recommendations of the CJI should be empowered to remove/ disband the Commission. The Commission should periodically review/ amend policies, address welfare issues and deal with promotions of senior officers. Every state should have it’s Police chief. And all these Chiefs would be appointed by the Indian National Police Commission. A similar State Police Commission should also exist with every state/ Union Territory which would be responsible to the Indian National Police Commission. With a centralized command and control, under an independent body in place, and the implementation of reforms as recommended by the Padmanabhaiah Committee report, I am sure we would have an effective and responsible police department. The states and the country as a whole can then concentrate on development issues rather than getting bogged down by the law and order issues.

Similarly the Judiciary also needs an immediate reform. According to recent media reports, there are approximately 30,000,000 cases pending in all courts and there is a shortage of about 3,000 judges. It is understood that most of the cases pertain to the government. Since the government is run by politicians and bureaucrats, many of them tainted, they prefer delay in justice delivery. Imagine cases running for more than 20 to 30 years. Who is getting justice or going to get justice?

The number of Judges need to be immediately increased. All proceedings of the courts need to be made time bound; say not exceeding 30 to 45 days. All backlog cases be resolved in a time bound manner by re-appointing retired judges. We have to understand that we have to reach a point where there is no backlog and justice is quickly delivered to every one. I am sure that with immediate reforms in both the police and the judiciary, our country can become the best in the world. We have everything else in us to become great except a strong, fatherly and independent Police and quick and fast delivering judicial system. The fear of the law and surety of justice to every man has to be created without delay or the day is not far off when India, our country is ruined by its own flock.

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Tuesday, 10 April, 2007

Please….. Respect and Have High Regards for our Teachers & Professors

My heart goes out to the teachers and professors of today. They are the ones who make our destinies. They are the ones who are the lowest paid vis-à-vis their qualifications. They are the ones who are deeply concerned in nurturing us. The thing what makes them contented & happy is when they see their students doing well. Who ever has gone back to his college or school to meet their teachers and professors, I am sure, must have seen the sparkle in the eyes of their Gurus. The gleam in their eyes can not hide the message of love for you. I have experienced it and the picture of the first day when I went back to my school after 10 odd years of leaving my school is still fresh in my mind. I can not, ever forget that day because love was gushing out of all my ex-teachers. They were so thrilled to see me. I was their student….so what if I was not brilliant….I was their student. They had umpteen questions. What was I doing? Where is Krishna Kumar? What is he doing? Did you meet him? Oh gosh! they remembered every student’s name of my class. I unfortunately never had an opportunity to go to a college as I joined the forces immediately after my schooling. But I know from my friends who went through colleges that the same feeling existed with their professors too.

Times have changed. Politics have entered the colleges. Respect and love for the teachers & professors is on a sharp decline. While the teachers & professors want to groom us, discipline us and make our lives, the students are not interested. We have heard and seen Professor Sabharwal’s case where the students of a college in Indore beat him to death. We have seen and heard the case in one of the colleges where the teachers wanted children not to get their mobiles and how the school was ransacked. There are many such reported and unreported incidents on the rise. This is sad.

All in all, there is deterioration in the school and college discipline. We Indians are considered to be cultured and respectful; carrying the treasure of our ancestral values. And here we treat our teachers and professors in the ugliest way. Goondaism has crept in and has burrowed deep into the lives of students. Why are the students being misguided? It is this age that moulds the future of citizens of India. If the student is moulded in the right direction, then only can we have a great India tomorrow. It is unfortunate that the political class of this country is bent upon making them goondas to strengthen their muscle power and eventually the votes.

I felt ashamed being an Indian when I saw the way Professor Sabharwal was being heckled by the ABVP activists on Television. He was murdered by these so called students. And to top it, the reaction by the police and administration was even more appalling. It was only because of the media that these goons were finally arrested. But, I feel that this case is now slipping out and the families of the professor are not going to get justice as all the witnesses have gone hostile.

Why have the witnesses gone hostile? Why is the administration not doing its job? Why are we polluting the mind of our students? Why don’t we respect our teachers and professors? Why don’t we let our teachers and professors do the best at what they are…groom our budding generation to be good citizens of tomorrow?

If the perpetrators of crime are let free, it will be the beginning of an end to Indian education and culture. It will be an encouragement for the goons to rule this country and that day will not be far off when we find the seats of Chief Minister and the Prime Minister occupied by goondas.I request the administration, judiciary and the political structure of India to wake up immediately. Let not the Ravans (Devils of our society) take over the reins of our country. Tomorrow will be too late. Trample these devils and perpetrators of crime with a firm foot.

We have to get our education system in the right direction. Unless the teachers and professors are allowed to do their job fearlessly, this will not be possible. The students must be taught to respect their teachers & professors. Politics must be kept away and indiscipline should not be tolerated. It is an earnest request to give independence and support to the administration of schools & colleges, so that they nurture their students for a better tomorrow. Let our age old Guru-Shishya relationship be rekindled. Please….

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Sunday, 1 April, 2007

Reservations Based On Caste And Religion Is Dangerous

I have always believed that identification of people by caste and religion sets in a very strong divide in the society. These man made identifiers are indelible and remain labeled through out the lives of people. We all are human. We have the same type of blood, flesh and bones. Then, why are we different from each other. Why should one look down on the other. The world is a division of countries. How have these countries formed and how do they remain divided? Can these countries ever unite as one...? Never!. This is because I am an Indian, XYZ is a Pakistani, ABC is an American etc, etc. Here is a very strong example of division of the human race. From birth an individual is identified by the country he is born in. This division can not be undone. And…. neither am I advocating the undoing of this division here in this post. India is different from many countries because of its multi-lingual, multi-religion and multi-caste society. We have been made to identify ourselves based on our caste, religion and language from our birth. When we go to school or a college, an application is filled up where we enter our caste and religion. While in the metropolitan cities and in a well to do society, the caste and religion of an individual is just on paper and does not carry weight in disturbing their relationship. However, in many villages and towns, these play a very negative role in separating one section from the other. After India gained Independence, most of the leaders had a vision to create a harmonious India. An India….where every religion and caste lived in unison. However the strategy adopted from then on, only has darkened the line of divide with every passing year. Unless we stop identifying ourselves based on castes and religion, this divide is going to get thicker and thicker. Tomorrow may be too late and division of a country because of these petty indelible identifiers is a dangerous possibility. Bold steps need to be taken. The government needs to immediately remove these identifiers in all applications and forms. We must go for individualistic identification of people rather than communal. Reservations need to be there, not based on caste or religion but on the economic status of an individual. Identifying an individual based on his economic status will not cause a divide, because he is poor today and tomorrow he will be affluent. This identifier is not permanent. Let us aim to eradicate poverty. Let us aim to provide education to each and every Indian. Let us aim to see that every Indian gets his three meals, clothing, housing and Medicare. The government needs to look holistically and with a long term perspective into all these aspects. Let us not create tools to divide this country to garner cheap votes. Let us make a strong united India.

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