Friday, December 25, 2015

Editorial, LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITARIANISM, in 15 December 2015 issue, Vol 11, Pt 2, No 23, of LAW ANIMATED WORLD

LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITARIANISM

is also plaguing our country. It may seem strange, but sadly true – this is because it appears the Judiciary is not intervening in the critical affairs of the country when it must but unjustly and unnecessarily interfering when it shouldn’t. Especially when the interests or powers of superior courts are curbed or threatened, really or seemingly, they are too alert and quick to set aside any overwhelmingly popular measures even – as in the case of striking down the constitutional amendment instituting the much desired and applauded National Judicial Appointment Commission – but when it comes to the real interests of masses reflected in, or to be carried through, the actual working of democratic system, not only outside but also inside the legislatures, the Courts shy away, to say the least. All this judicial non-intervention in the name of ‘separation of powers’, which strangely didn’t come into picture in the above referred case which resulted in perpetuation of an unconstitutional judicial privilege of instituting and continuing a collegium for appointment of Judges and reducing the President of India and the Prime Minister of India to mere figureheads in this crucial matter. The reluctance of the judiciary to intervene in the case of legislative recklessness in the State of Telangana, on the infamous appointment and continuance of a turncoat Telugu Desam (opposition party) MLA as a Minister with the Speaker refusing to declare him disqualified within any reasonable time but perhaps planning to drag the matters till the next General Elections – an obvious fraud on the Constitution – is a glaring example. This is not just the case of a right or wrong concerned with an individual minister but having widespread ramifications, and has already resulted in a situation of a sort of one-party absolutism in the State. We see a queue of opposition MLAs aspiring for posts of pelf and perks before the ruling party – several already joined it – in full confidence that nothing would harm them as long as the ruling party Polit Bureau member is at the helm as Speaker and the Judiciary non-intervening in the name of ‘separation of powers’. The conditions in the other Telugu State of Andhra Pradesh are not any pleasing either, with the opposition parties there treated with absolute contempt. It is really very woeful to have to live and suffer in such a sordid situation.  §§§

Editorial, PARIS TRAGEDY AND ISIS TERRORISM, in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, October Revolution Special issue, 15-30 November 2015, Vol. 11, Part 2, No. 21-22

PARIS TRAGEDY AND ISIS TERRORISM




Reminding the world of the horrific Bombay terror attacks of 26/11, a gruesome massacre of almost the same proportion rocked the French capital on 13/11 this year. Suicide bombers cum militant armed attackers, numbering about 8-10 in all, in different areas of Paris, certainly with covert support of scores/hundreds of other fanatics therein, have killed at least 130 innocent citizens, injured many more and left it as a practical declaration of their Jihad to invade and occupy the West sooner than later. With the official organ Dabiq of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL; also called ISIS, Daesh etc.) proudly claiming, in its recent issue, this gory act as their work by illustration on the front cover page of  French troopers attending to the terror victims with the tag JUST TERROR, and immediately in the Foreword (perhaps they mean it editorial) announcing it to be their work in revenge for the war unleashed on them by Russia, France and other Western powers, it may be taken as confirmed that it was a deliberate well-designed massacre plan and no wonder if some other rogues states, apart from the Daesh, were covertly involved in it. Some lines from the above Foreword in Dabiq are worth quoting: “Like Russia, it was blinded by hubris, thinking that its geographical distance from the lands of the Khilāfah would protect it from the justice of the mujāhidīn. It also did not grasp that its mockery of the Messenger would not be left unavenged. Thus, the Islamic State dispatched its brave knights to wage war in the homelands of the wicked crusaders, leaving Paris and its residents “shocked and awed.” The eight knights brought Paris down on its knees, after years of French conceit in the face of Islam. A nationwide state of emergency was declared as a result of the actions of eight men armed only with assault rifles and explosive belts.” So it can be safely inferred that there was no question of this having been a false flag operation, by the home state at least, and the tenor of the ‘foreword’ which has no pity or remorse at the death of and injuries to hundreds of innocents, including women and children, exposes the enormous proportions of the menace of fundamentalism and a new barbarianism now being faced by the people the world over. It is to be noted that with such international terrorism running rampant in the world, it would be extremely difficult for the progressive democratic and socialist forces to conduct or consolidate their movements and strive for real, people-friendly socio-economic transformations through militant mass movements and upsurges, since they would be targeted by both the ‘right’ and the misguided ‘left’ in their attempts to do so; as such, without hesitation, they should join in, and where possible even lead, the struggles against such fundamentalist terrorism, at the same time preventing their degeneration to racist or religious bigotry. §§§

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Editorial, UNWARRANTED OVERREACH, in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 October 2015 issue, Vol. 11, Part 2, No. 20

UNWARRANTED OVERREACH
Certainly it is, to say the least, though there have been even stronger opinions expressed on the same, that in other developed democracies such is unthinkable and could be taken as nothing short of a judicial coup d'état – the decision of the Apex Court striking down the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act setting up a National Judicial Appointments Commission, passed with voice vote or big majority in both the Houses of the Parliament – there was a general consensus supporting the bill inside and outside the Houses in the entire country, and then ratified by about 16 State Legislatures in the country, on the ground of what is taken by a body of five unelected, non-representative ‘cloistered virtues’ as an onslaught on ‘independence of judiciary’, deserves and needs stringent condemnation by all progressive, democratic people of the country. Because of the general degradation and disgrace to which the other two wings of the State fell in the 1960s and their continuance in such misery, this third wing, especially due to the great contributions of eminent persons like Bhagwati, Krishna Iyer, Chinnappa Reddy, et al, appointed as Judges in the non-Collegium times, has attained an unprecedented preeminence and popularity among the people, which was used step by step to unjustly encroach upon the spheres of the other two wings of the State – striking at the doctrine and system of separation of powers which is yet another basic feature of our Constitution and this lamentable decision is a near climax to such process of degrading democracy. Creating an unheard of collegium system by a weird interpretation of the term 'consultation' in the Constitution to mean tantamount to 'concurrence' paving the way for arbitrary selections of judges by the judiciary, and even dynastic successions, and now restoring it, is acting like an ‘imperium in imperio’ against which our ‘founding fathers’ warned us during the constitution framing. Justice Chelameswar’s lone and sane dissent is to be much appreciated in this dark scenario. The people should widely protest and legislatures should strongly react to reverse this undemocratic measure by introducing a sort of election for or at least ratification of Judges’ appointments by the parliamentary bodies. If inevitable, a new Constituent Assembly may be convened to entirely overhaul or construct anew our constitutional edifice. §§§

Editorial, "The Russians 've Come!", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 October 2015 issue

THE RUSSIANS ‘VE COME!
“Oh, the Russians are coming, coming…” was a constant cry of the British imperialists in the 19th century in Afghanistan-Iran region; then it became “Oh, Bolsheviks are coming, coming!” in the early 20th century and finally to “Oh, the Soviets have come, drive them out!” scare by the US-UK axis in the 60s and 70s, which in fact created all the fiasco in the regions now. But now the Russians have come, on their own right and might, to the Middle East; yet, not seen as any oppressors but as real liberators from a most horrific religious fundamentalist terrorist regime in the world, which in fact has been created and aided by the American imperialists and their malevolent allies, though for public consumption these same Frankensteins proclaimed a phony war against their progeny. The relieving effect of Putin’s entry and vigorous attacks in the region to protect their protégé Assad of Syria, as well the persecuted and fast-being-eliminated minority communities therein, is so profound and obvious that even Netanyahu, the belligerent leader of Israel, with constant enmity toward Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, has begun to see the light of the day and cultivate friendship with Russia now. Putin, on his part, seems to have assured Israel that nothing detrimental to its existence and security was intended by him. Also, President Obama has been propagating a supportive agenda of all Muslim terrorist organizations and acting in a way quite uncomfortable to the interests of Israel in the region. And it appears that public opinion in Israel, as also in Europe in general, is heavily in favor of Putin and lauding him as a virtual hero-deliverer. Of course, one also notices the severe embarrassment displayed by Obama and the Western leaders in this context, who are time and again warning that they would take serious steps to counter the Russian invasion in case their allied Muslim terrorist outfits in the region are seriously attacked. But it is well known that the reactionary regime in Turkey is already acting as a proxy to the ISIS, and Putin has seriously warned the Turkish leaders of nemesis in case they continue so. So, one has to wait and watch whether further developments lead to any great war on a worldwide scale, but certainly this editor firmly supports the Russian intervention and desires the total destruction of the imperialist and fundamentalist forces. §§§

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Editorial, 'ALL FUNDAMENTALISM DESPICABLE', in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 30 September 2015 issue, Vol. 11: Part 2, No. 18

ALL FUNDAMENTALISM DESPICABLE
Ya, not only bad but utterly despicable and vehemently condemnable. And good or bad, the word ‘fundamentalism’ is used nowadays only in the pejorative sense but not in any positive sense of imbibing the best values in the fundamentals of a religion/system, and so here too it is used in that sense only. If I am sick at some religious fundamentalist beheading an ‘enemy’ and exhibiting that on YouTube even, how can I be enamored by and worshipful towards a ‘goddess’ who not only beheads the ‘enemies’ but even flaunts a necklace of the cut-off heads? Because human sacrifices were not only permitted but also revered in many religious systems in the past and also cannibalism was prevalent in many tribes of the past and in the lore of the past [Bheema drinking the blood of Dusshasana!], can we condone or tolerate such things in the modern times? Obviously NOT! Of course, this would extend to condemning all animal sacrifices in the public too, though to condemn all animal slaughter may be too ahead of the day, since a majority of population, for good or bad, is non-vegetarian. However, it may be pointed out that in these times of scientific, technological revolution non-non-veg substitutes for non-veg foods are also coming out and tomorrow those may be the craze of the day and vanquish all animal killings even. That would be in conformity with non-cruelty and empathy with all living species. Wait, would the censure then extend to vegetarianism too since it is said trees and rocks may revolt saying ‘we too have life’! Frankly, ‘I donno’. Well, halting here, there is nothing wrong in any laws for banning/regulating cow/cattle slaughter in our country as it would be in right consonance with Article 48 of our Constitution. But would it extend to a total beef ban? No, not at present or in foreseeable future, and certainly even if banned, it would not be an offence punishable with death. So there the fundamentalists are again on the wrong and, also, don’t they know that the biggest beef exporters in India are Hindus?! Can anyone say killing and exporting meat of cows/cattle is OK, but killing and eating that here is bad? Then, another question arises as to whether expressing ideas about ‘good’s or ‘bad’s of cow-slaughter, etc. is also blasphemy and fit to be banned. Whether asking if a ‘prophet’ was really a prophet and whether he really hailed from a high caste or whether he was in fact a Hindu or outside the pale of Hinduism should be suppressed? Then, why Prof. Kalburgi was silenced by a roaring gun?     §§§

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Editorial, "REFUGEE CRISIS OR ISLAMIC INVASION?", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 September 2015 issue, Vol. 11: Part 2, No. 17

REFUGEE CRISIS OR ISLAMIC INVASION?
is the question posed by the Dutch far-right Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders with reference to the now-agog ‘Syrian’ Muslim ‘refugee’ crisis transformed into a Long March to European countries. Netherlands is already troubled by the excesses of the asylum accorded/settled Muslim population in that country turning more and more fundamentalist and become a menace to the native population and cultural traditions there. People all over Europe have now come to think that ‘multiculturalism’ has come to play havoc and right extremism is growing everywhere. The danger and harm though are due to the Islamic extremists who are conducting themselves as per the Telugu saying isunta rammanTea illantaa naadannaTlu - ఇసుంత రమ్మంటే ఇల్లంతా నాదన్నట్లు - (when given, out of compassion, a little space to stay, now claiming that the entire house is theirs)!” The followers of the ‘religion of peace’ are everywhere, especially in the West, conducting themselves so violently and aggressively trying to impose their sharia law that revulsion not only against them but also against the eccentric and blundering social-democrats and other leftists has grown very much there and no wonder if in the near future this would give rise to a series of ‘new crusades’ within Europe. Well, the rich Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain or comfortable ones like Iran and the former Soviet central Asian republics are looking after their own ‘security’ and not permitting any refugees, their own Muslim ‘kins’, into their lands. Natasha Fatah, courageous daughter of the intrepid radical Islamic critic Tarek Fatah, has exposed this hypocrisy and selfishness on the CBC News Network. Also most of the refugees seem to be young males, ready to vandalize and use violence everywhere, only about 20% really ‘Syrian’ and perhaps about 10% are ISIS supporters trying to infiltrate into, and then commit gory atrocities. So this Editor feels and advises that not a single such refugee be permitted into Europe, if necessary normal law processes be suspended, armies called out and all these be driven out forcefully; that let all such be accommodated in the thousands of empty [air-conditioned!] tents lying vacant in Saudi Arabia and if necessary let any countries render massive aid through U.N. Agencies. Otherwise, this Editor warns, the situation will go completely out of hand, lead to terrible battles in Europe and outside – deadly blows to all democracies and to world peace.  §§§

Editorial, "CONDEMN ALL JINGOISM!", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 August 2015, Vol. 11: Part 2, No. 16

CONDEMN ALL JINGOISM!
Had Modi/Rajnath Singh/Manohar Parrikar seriously perused the sincere, honest and balanced account of the history of Indo-Pak War 1965 by Lt. General Harbaksh Singh, the man who commanded most of the war from the Western sector, perhaps they would have hesitated to declare August 28-September22 three-week long celebration of ‘Indian Victory’ in national arrogance and for whipping up jingoism among the children even, at the same time mouthing eulogies, every now and then, of Mahatma Gandhi as the messenger of peace! Or is it their exquisite expertise to talk in two tongues and act in two ways. Anyway, so many impartial observers and honest journalists on both sides of the border, as also a well researched Indian Army report, produced prior to coming to power of the Modi & Co., have all pointed out to the stalemate reached in the war, the international compulsions which led to declaration of cease fire and the short lived euphoria of victory (claimed by both parties!) with heavy losses of the junior leadership in the Indian Army coming to light and finally the loss of our own honest and selfless Premier at Tashkent in mysterious circumstances. A paragraph from Sri Harbaksh Singh’s War Despatches [quoted by Shekhar Gupta on Facebook] may be enough to expose the myth: “Measured purely in terms of material gains our achievements have been very modest. We occupied approximately 740 square miles of PAK territory when it was well within our capacity to expand our hold over a far greater stretch of enemy land. PAKISTAN’s fighting potential was considerably whittled down, but so was ours, though to a lesser degree. The enemy armour was only mauled instead of being crippled, which we could have done. On the other hand, our casualties in the officer cadre were staggering compared to those of PAKISTAN. The young officers earned a grim glorification but an enormous void was created in junior leadership.” And now Captain Amarinder Singh reveals that had it been not for Lt. General Harbaksh Singh’s courage and composure not to carry out Gen. J.N. Chaudhuri’s panicky order to withdraw all our forces to the east of Beas River, we could have lost Amritsar and faced an ignominious defeat comparable to the 1962 debacle! Certainly, there is no sense at all in celebrating such stupid and cruel enterprises of human massacres. §§§

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Editorial, "DAY TO CELEBRATE OR MOURN?" in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 August 2015 issue, Vol. 11, Part 2, No. 15.

DAY TO CELEBRATE OR MOURN?

In the columns of this journal, dismay was often expressed at selecting and celebrating 15 August as the Indian Independence Day whereas the real celebrations should be to mark 26 January which was, ever since 1930, the fighting day for freedom of India from the British clutches. Also attention of the readers was drawn to the enormous genocides and destruction of ‘stuff and soul’ perpetrated on and subsequent to that day in the Indian subcontinent due to the criminal negligence of the British imperialists coupled with the crafty and selfish greed of the Indian (including Pakistani) political leaders at the helm in those days. The villain of the piece was of course Lord Mountbatten, actively assisted by Nehru and Patel whose hankering for power was incredible. Having ‘deputed’ the ‘one-man army of Mahatma Gandhi’ to look after the law and order situation in the Eastern part, which fortunately remained relatively quite calm, the cruel imperialists and their Indian vassals did not even arrange for adequate military protection to the people of the West who were divided into conflicting communities that were already seething with rage and revenge mentality against each other. Interestingly, while the then British Premier Clement Atlee had in his historic declaration to ‘Quit India’ gave time till June 1948, it was the last Viceroy and first Governor-General of India who advanced the date very arbitrarily, instinctively at a press conference, as he later confessed to the authors of ‘Freedom at Midnight’, just because it was the D-Day of Japanese surrender in World War II that followed the biggest genocidal acts in history by the American imperialists dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki quite wantonly and inhumanly. Incidentally, it was to be the first independence day for both India and Pakistan as per the Indian Independence Act 1947 and in fact the first two independence days were celebrated on 15 August only in Pakistan too. Hindu astrologers denounced it as an inauspicious day and so it seems the time was advanced to the midnight of 14 August, but all the same their ‘prognoses came true’! Well, anyway, this editor treats 15 August tantamount to a Mourning Day, which may at the best be marked as a Day for communal harmony. §§§

Editorial, "ONE EYE FOR MANY EYES", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 July 2015 issue, Vol. 11, Part 2, No. 14.

ONE EYE FOR MANY EYES

Was it nothing but the much-reviled practice of ‘tit for tat: eye for eye’ about which Mahatma Gandhi quipped that it would make the whole world blind; or was it just the correct, though much-delayed, operation of the ‘rule of law’ bringing to book the culprits of the gory Bombay Blasts – a meticulously planned and perpetrated mayhem resulting in  257 dead and about 700 injured on 12 March 1993: most of it allegedly planned from the Al-Hussaini Building, Mahim, home of the Memons. Though the main accused Dawood Ibrahim, the mastermind, and Tiger Memon, the real man in command, are still at large, lavishly spending their lives under the protective wings of Pakistan, Memon’s brother Yakub Memon, who is convicted for distributing the funds, arranging for the travel to and training of bomb/grenade handlers at Pakistan, and also for distributing grenades to local agents, etc. but who is said to have surrendered to the CBI on 28 July 1994 “to help the investigating authorities and clear the stigma on … family (in his own words)” could not escape the rigors of law and was at last hanged in  the morning of 30 July 2015 amidst high sensational real life drama. Former Supreme Court Justice and now Press Council Chairman, Justice Katju stood in the forefront of thousands of dissenters, accusing the country’s governance system of a travesty of justice, mainly due to this death sentence being possible only because of the much reviled, protested and let lapse draconian law – TADA – which reversed the burden of proof and also made confessions to the police officers admissible, as against the deep-rooted, near universal, jurisprudence of presumption of innocence of the accused and non-admissibility of confessions to a police officer. In this detail we agree with Justice Katju but cannot find much fault with the Apex Court and the judicial system of lapses in adhering to the rule of ‘law as existing’. However, statesmanship and foresight seem to be clearly absent in the present and past rulers [Afzal Guru’s was a similar, but worse, case] who take to such unnecessary/undesirable measures fraught with dangerous consequences, forgetting the wisdom of the ages, embodied in our cultural traditions too, that often mercy and compassion win the war of minds and avert deadly clashes of arms. §§§

Editorial, 'RELIGION, SUPERSTITION AND STAMPEDES' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 July 2015 issue, Vol. 11, Part 2, No. 13.

RELIGION, SUPERSTITION AND STAMPEDES


Resisting the temptation to declare all religion as mere superstition, we are constrained to note, however, that every religion stands on the basis of a bundle of superstitions at least. To see ‘God’ in river waters too may be a broad religious concept, a mere belief. But to declare that it manifests once in 12 years and that to the maximum only once in 144 years, and then a dip in the waters at particular time on a particular day at a specific ghat is the most redeeming trait, etc. are certainly superstitions with no basis of rational thinking. That even a highly educated chief minister succumbed to such superstitions and promoted all sorts of disinformation aided by blind-thinking interpretative scholars is highly detestable in a secular setup. That this false propaganda, together with the greed and craze for fame of that person to grab all attention and media coverage in the very first hours of starting the Pushkaralu at a very crowded ghat and preventing all other public entry for hours together for his own luxury and VVIP security, and then suddenly releasing the floodgates for a human sea surge without the least thought of consequences, have resulted in an untold tragedy of loss of about 30 lives in a gruesome stampede is so shocking to, and certainly condemnable by, one and all. True, stampedes in India, and the world, are not that uncommon; nor are they confined to occasions of any particular religion or merely to religious events even. Salient crowd management techniques have also been formulated to contain the dangers and minimize the losses in this regard but here it seems the flouting of safety guidelines was due to the zeal for self-trumpeting propaganda, like proposing to release the ‘heavenly capital’ seed plan at the same city within 2-3 days of the tragedy, and also indicates criminal negligence of the concerned CM too. Actually he should have owned up moral responsibility and resigned forthwith, as did the great Shastriji, then Union Railway Minister, decades back when a railway accident occurred. Also, it is quite desirable, albeit  may be too much to expect, that a conscientious superior court should forthwith take suo motu cognizance of, and order a comprehensive inquiry into the tragedy, so that the responsible can be brought to book and strict instructions issued to prevent recurrence of such mishaps.    §§§

Editorial, "Trial By Media" in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 30 June 2015 issue, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 12.

TRIAL BY MEDIA


is generally embarrassing, especially to the law enforcing and justice delivery authorities, if not altogether counterproductive.  Of course, it has its own pros and cons in that many a time it has caused/helped unraveling of several scams and treasons against the interests of the public in various countries. However, media is always discouraged by the justice delivery systems the world over and strictly warned not to overstep its limits once any court is ‘in seisin’ of any particular case, especially if it were to be a criminal proceedings. There is a strong feeling among the administrators and judiciary that "media should not seek to become a ‘second judiciary’ by holding public trials. Putting out virtual running commentaries on pending proceedings could affect their outcome".  On the other hand, there is a counter blast on behalf of the media that "sensational reporting will take place because sensational incidents keep happening …. The Supreme Court will not be able to stop it. Yes, reporting must be accurate. But to say it amounted to trial by media is only a pejorative expression. Neither the court nor anyone … provided parameters to define what constitutes trial by media. … If a Shylock kind of case happens today, does everyone keep silent?" Also a level playing field is sought between print media and broadcast media, with the latter going virtually unfettered. Most of the controversies in this regard, including even the use of provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, concentrate on the issue of scandalizing judiciary but deal quite infrequently on the point of causing obstruction to the course of justice. The good old tradition of keeping moderation and control while reporting matters sub judice seems to have been thrown to the winds with disastrous consequences to suspects and accused in criminal proceedings with a lot of prejudice caused to them in course and the stigma sticking in such course making it a virtual hell for the suspects/accused all through their life, even if they are to be eventually acquitted. The media in general seems to place the burden of proof on the suspects/accused though the golden thread of our criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence of the accused until proved guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. This discordance, to say the least, needs to be corrected, judicially first and statutorily next, at the earliest. §§§

Editorial, "Right to Privacy and Corruption Cases", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 June 2015 issue, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 11.

RIGHT TO PRIVACY & CORRUPTION CASES


are the hot topics of the day, with the sensational trapping of Revanth Reddy, MLA and Telugu Desam Party leader, in the so-called ‘Vote for Note’ scam by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Telangana, and the statements by the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) and Home Minister of Telangana to implicate the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh too in that corruption case on the basis of a mysterious audio tape broadcast by the Telangana news channel, with some even alleging that KCR himself handed over that tape to ‘their home channel’. The matters turned hotter with the ‘accused’ Chandra Babu Naidu, and his colleagues, hitting back with the allegations of illegal wiretapping resorted to by KCR and the Telangana Home Minister against them in violation of all constitutional and governance principles. May be the illegality of tapping may not relieve CBN from the rigors of present law relating to admissibility of evidence but that would certainly incriminate KCR, and others involved, on other counts and this tit-for-tat tactic may perhaps compel these parties involved to come to some sort of a convenient, even if ignominious, compromise, or may be not. But what bothers us here is as to whether the right to privacy can be infringed for sting operations in connection with anti-corruption maneuvers. In PUCL v. Union of India (AIR 1997 SC 568), directly coming to confront the issue of telephone tapping, Justice Kuldip Singh had declared that “Telephone conversation is an important facet of a man's private life. Right to privacy would certainly include telephone-conversation in the privacy of one's home or office. Telephone-tapping would, thus, infract Article 21 of the Constitution of India unless it is permitted under the procedure established by law;” and proceeded to issue some guidelines for permissible tapping, the cardinal one being: “An order for telephone-tapping in terms of Section 5(2) of the [Telegraph] Act shall not be issued except by the Home Secretary, Government of India … and Home Secretaries of the State Governments……” And as Section 5(2) itself specifies the context of a public emergency or public safety as the essential prerequisite for any such tapping, that would certainly rule out any mere anti-corruption maneuver being a valid criterion for telephone tapping.  Further, a question as to whether the CM and Home Minister of Telangana are also liable for any contempt of court for divulging crucial evidence out of court also needs serious judicial consideration. §§§

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Editorial, "India China Relations" in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 May 2015 issue: Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 10.

INDIA CHINA RELATIONS


were never more chummy and euphoric than in the 1950s when all the stalwart idealistic leaders of the emerging post-colonial Asia were alive and zealously pursuing the peace agenda of a new anti-imperialist,  non-aligned pro-people new world order they had in mind. But we know how the supercilious conduct of our leaders, especially the Nehru-Krishna Menon-Kaul axis, had spoilt the ecstatic Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai climate. The Henderson Brooks-Bhagat duo entrusted by the Indian Army to look into the causes for the humiliating debacle suffered by us seem to have put the blame squarely on the aggressive forward policy and the disgusting favoritism followed by our top political, military authorities of the day. Unfortunately, this HB/B Report has not been made public even after all these decades, though its text seems to be readily available to all foreigners to point fingers and heckle at our incompetent and corrupt top brass. Just to quote the starting lines of an excellent introduction to the same by the world famous political analyst Nevill Maxwell, whose historic eye-opener account, “India’s China War” is still banned in India – “WHEN the Army’s report into its debacle in the border war was completed in 1963 the Indian government had good reason to keep it ‘Top Secret’ and give only the vaguest, and largely misleading, indications of its contents. At that time the government’s effort, ultimately successful, to convince the political public that the Chinese, with a sudden ‘unprovoked aggression’, had caught India unawares in a sort of Himalayan Pearl Harbour was in its early stages, and the Report’s cool and detailed analysis, if made public, would have shown that to be self-exculpatory mendacitywould suffice to highlight the real problem between the two countries. Needless to stress that without solving the border dispute with an amicable ‘give and take’ perspective and a cordial forget-the-colonial-past and look-to-the-bright-future-ahead spirit, no amount of friendly ‘selfies’ taken or vasudhaiva kutumbakam (world is one family) exhortations made by our new premier would do to meaningfully improve the relations between these two Asian giants, especially in the background of raging international state and religious fundamentalist terrorism, the dagger of which is being pointed at us through our daayaadi (kinsman) neighbor now in so close terms with the newly emerging superpower of the world – so aggressively expansionist now as at no time in recent history. §§§

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Editorial, A FIGHTING AND FESTIVE DAY, in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 May 2015, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 9 issue

A FIGHTING AND FESTIVE DAY


No words suffice to hail this historic day of working class struggles, full of sacrifices and ordeals, that gradually led to each and every human right we the masses in its posterity enjoy today in international and domestic law spheres. The heroic martyrs of Chicago Engel, Fischer, Parsons, and Spies – who were hanged or rather ‘strangled to death slowly’ on the gallows, who fearlessly swung singing the Marseillaise, the then international revolutionary anthem, and Lingg who preceded them by suicide, can never be forgotten and indeed it did eventually happen as Spies was reported to have shouted in his last moments, “The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.” Their sacrifices for the movement demanding eight-hours working day have not gone in vain and in every civilized country of the world it has become a norm, and often also a rule, and further shortening of the working day as also declaration of a longer weekend holidays have been progressing due to the concerted agitations of the toiling masses on whose labor and creative talents this entire modern economy is, and is being, built to ever majestic proportions. The resolution of the International Social Democratic Congress 1904 at Amsterdam declared: “The International Socialist Congress in Amsterdam calls upon all Social-Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace. The most effective way of demonstrating on May First is by stoppage of work. The Congress therefore makes it mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on May First, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers.” And this was to be a step in the struggle for empowerment of the masses everywhere. So, it is very apt and essential that 1 May be and is celebrated the world over as the international working day – as a day of liberation, of festivity and of struggle of the masses. Thereafter, in course of time, the May Day has been declared a public holiday in several countries and in our country too; but, unfortunately, our Courts, which still seem to be steeped in the mire of feudal culture in this matter, neglect this historic occasion deliberately though they so easily shut themselves down on many an undeserving occasion. Well, eppur si muove §§§

Editorial, AN INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY, in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 30 April 2015, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 8 issue.


Editorial, ENCOUNTERS AGAIN, in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 April 2015, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 7 issue.


Editorial, WISHING AND WAITING FOR A NEW DAWN, in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15-31 March 2015 Martyrs Memorial Special issue.

WISHING & WAITING FOR A NEW DAWN

That is what many of us have been doing ever since independence, especially since the turbulent sixties. This new dawn symbolism could be interpreted in two ways. One would be to see the entire decades since the ‘transfer of power’ as a long dark night belying the aims and aspirations of innumerable martyrs of our freedom struggle and leaving but travails and tears for the people – still waiting for a new dawn that could bring in the much needed libertarian, welfarist sunlight. Another way of looking at could be that several dawns have come and gone by ever since but that we fondly dreamt of has eluded us so far. One set of rulers has come and gone,  giving way to another, which meant not much in practical terms. Mannerisms and wordings may have changed, even radical democratic ethos oriented ideologies, laws and schemes might have come up, but yet real progress has not been made. A simple illustration would be of the so-called ‘radical and innovative’ Right to Information Act. Some good might have come about due to it in some places and times, but also many loopholes there for the authorities to avoid giving the needed information and make the process more costly and cumbersome for the people. Perhaps the good old method of petitioning to the public authorities, if buttressed by strong and quick judicial monitoring, could be more handy, inexpensive and beneficial to the people at large. Also we see the power and aura of mammon overwhelming almost all sections of society like a Macbethian tormenting spirit. The present get-rich-quick-by-any-means trend is spelling doom to all the grand dreams of a glorious egalitarian society based on the mutual aid of a basically good-natured, well meaning citizenry. We see the basic needs of common people starkly neglected and the remedial mechanisms including courts reduced to more and more sloth and inefficiency. The new surge of free market economy generating an atmosphere of extreme alienation and misery among the people is ruining all chances of humane social progress. The only remedy is for the executive and judiciary, with the motto – small is beautiful and simple is workable – to feel and act as real public servants and not like lords divine/secular. Only when they begin to use public transport, live in duly alloted quarters and conduct on-the-spot enquiries often instead of closing their eyes and ears to the pleas of the common man,  in a word return to the practice of ‘high thinking and plain living’, can they even think of rooting out the societal ills and it is the duty and task of we the people to make for such an eventuality by our concerted efforts and agitations, and usher in the fresh sunrise.  §§§

Friday, April 24, 2015

Editorial, 'If We Don't Fight', in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 28 February 2015, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 4 issueat least let us have the decency to admire those who do. When a person wrote an evasive piece of withdrawal in Frontier recently, this editor was pained and remonstrated in a letter to its editor: “…reference to "Je Suis Charlie? Sorry. No" [Frontier, February 1-7, 2015] It is not the content of the cartoons published in Charlie but the right to publish such cartoons that is at stake. The words of 'Charb' the editor of Charlie Hebdo that "I am already dead if I have no right to speak out" and that "I prefer to die standing on my legs than to live on my knees" are to be the inspiration for journalists but not cowering at the threats and finding excuses to opt out of commitment and support to freedom of speech and expression. … If Biswajit Roy is opting for a totalitarian or bullied society [like ours] which shivers even in publishing cartoons of ostensibly suspicious and fake prophets, then of course his reaction is correct. But I don't think he will shirk to criticize or mock at Hindu [gods and goddesses,] Babas, etc. and perhaps even venture now and then to mock at Christian padiris but he will have no guts to do so to the Islamic brands. The reason is simple – self-censorship due to terror. I confess many of us do engage in such self-censorship for various reasons – 'discretion is the better part of valor' sometimes, it seems. But as Jose Marti spoke out famously: "If you do not fight, at least have the decency to respect those who do"!” This editor stands by it and sadly acknowledges that the ‘virus of faith’ has been claiming innumerable victims all over the world, even in our neighboring Bangladesh, a ticking time-bomb of explosive religious fundamentalist forces. The gory murder of the freethinker and human rights activist Avijit Roy at Dhaka on 27 February is another instance of the ‘brain-death’ and cruelty of such forces and also a pointer to the need for people to zealously and actively fight for the protection and promotion of human rights – including the freedom not to believe and the right to blasphemy. It seems that only a sort of secular socialist humanism can be the real antidote for all this venom spread in the hearts of the people the world over in the name of this or that religion. The ‘virus of faith’ should not be allowed to totally infect and ‘comatize’ humanity and urgent action needed to eliminate it through intelligent education of scientific principles of bio- and human evolution and societal development, combating all myths, superstitions and dogmas spreading hate and intolerance, and courageous campaigns for the promotion of the basic human rights. 

IF WE DON’T FIGHT


at least let us have the decency to admire those who do. When a person wrote an evasive piece of withdrawal in Frontier recently, this editor was pained and remonstrated in a letter to its editor: “…reference to "Je Suis Charlie? Sorry. No" [Frontier, February 1-7, 2015] It is not the content of the cartoons published in Charlie but the right to publish such cartoons that is at stake. The words of 'Charb' the editor of Charlie Hebdo that "I am already dead if I have no right to speak out" and that "I prefer to die standing on my legs than to live on my knees" are to be the inspiration for journalists but not cowering at the threats and finding excuses to opt out of commitment and support to freedom of speech and expression. … If Biswajit Roy is opting for a totalitarian or bullied society [like ours] which shivers even in publishing cartoons of ostensibly suspicious and fake prophets, then of course his reaction is correct. But I don't think he will shirk to criticize or mock at Hindu [gods and goddesses,] Babas, etc. and perhaps even venture now and then to mock at Christian padiris but he will have no guts to do so to the Islamic brands. The reason is simple – self-censorship due to terror. I confess many of us do engage in such self-censorship for various reasons – 'discretion is the better part of valor' sometimes, it seems. But as Jose Marti spoke out famously: "If you do not fight, at least have the decency to respect those who do"!” This editor stands by it and sadly acknowledges that the ‘virus of faith’ has been claiming innumerable victims all over the world, even in our neighboring Bangladesh, a ticking time-bomb of explosive religious fundamentalist forces. The gory murder of the freethinker and human rights activist Avijit Roy at Dhaka on 27 February is another instance of the ‘brain-death’ and cruelty of such forces and also a pointer to the need for people to zealously and actively fight for the protection and promotion of human rights – including the freedom not to believe and the right to blasphemy. It seems that only a sort of secular socialist humanism can be the real antidote for all this venom spread in the hearts of the people the world over in the name of this or that religion. The ‘virus of faith’ should not be allowed to totally infect and ‘comatize’ humanity and urgent action needed to eliminate it through intelligent education of scientific principles of bio- and human evolution and societal development, combating all myths, superstitions and dogmas spreading hate and intolerance, and courageous campaigns for the promotion of the basic human rights. §§§

Editorial, Ascent of a New Left!?, in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 February 2015, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 3 issue

ASCENT OF A NEW LEFT!?


Our good friend Tarek Fatah has equated the resounding victory of the Aam Admi Party under Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi together with earlier convincing win by Alexis Tsipiras of a radical left coalition Syrzia, Greece, and of the still earlier rise of a new left party Podemos under Pablo Iglesias Turrión as the rise of a New Left on the horizon of world politics offering fresh breezes of hope and relief to the downtrodden or deprived people and an alternative to the current exploitative, degrading capitalist order. May be it is too hopeful a characterization and analysis, but certainly these are welcome winds in the present situations of acute misery, corruption, plunder of resources and demeaning of people’s lives by the pro-capitalist establishment forces the world over. This editor heartily acclaims the victory of the Aam Admi Party and its energetic and intelligent leader Arvind Kejriwal, though it would be too hasty to describe him, an avowed theist with the vagaries of a vote-catching populist, as a new left personality. Certainly, there are several pro-people measures he and his party proposed in their manifesto and we wish all success to them against all odds in working in a limited jurisdiction. However, this editor records his disappointment regarding their somewhat opportunistic adjustments if not alliances with communal and conservative forces, especially of the so-called minorities, and refusal/hesitation to openly and firmly condemn the Charlie Hebdo massacres in France that have galvanized secular and leftist forces all over the world in a new manner. Be that as it may, we wish AK would certainly take some pro-people measures to fulfill their very basic needs and rights before embarking on any grandiose schemes and without being embroiled in rote things like the Lokpal Bill once again. The young and active European leaders – Pablo Iglesias of Podemos, Spain and Alexis Tsipiras of Greece, unlike AK, are avowed atheists and professed communists/socialists who would like to restructure their countries in a new humane democratic socialist pattern without in anyway unduly bound by the trammels of any traditional state socialist policies and perspectives that spelt the doom of Soviet type socialism the world over. We sincerely wish them also all success.  §§§

Monday, March 2, 2015

Heartfelt tributes to the memory of Sri Paruchuri Hanumantha Rao, Founder, Pragati Printers, Red Hills, Hyderabad and a committed socialist.

TRIBUTES TO SRI PARUCHURI HANUMANTHA RAO

My heartfelt tributes to Sri Hanumantha Rao garu who was a dedicated communist activist, spent years in prison including in Cuddalore Jail during the 1948-50 tumultuous period, later took to film and then printing industry, shined as nobody ordinarily does - all through his hard work and self-help and built up the great Pragati Printers, perhaps the No. 1 printing press in Hyderabad which also won many world class awards. He was always considerate and helpful towards the needs and demands of the people and especially very friendly towards all of us socialist roaders. My profound condolences to his family and friends.
He and Pragati Printers also helped most of our publications wholeheartedly and especially contributed and still contribute a lot to the printing of our world law fortnightly, LAW ANIMATED WORLD.




PARUCHURI HANUMANTHA RAO
[From I. Mallikarjuna Sharma (Ed.), In Retrospect, Vol. 5, Part 2, pp. 465-476]
Text of interview dated Monday 27-01-2003 at 04-00 P.M.
at Hyderabad.
Paruchuri Hanumantha Rao,
son of Narsaiah and Ramamma,
Born 16 January 1924 at Chittarpu,
Divi Taluk, Krishna District.
This interview taken in both the ordinary narrative and answers to questions forms.
I was born in a poor peasant family of the Kamma community. My native village Chittarpu is at about 16 kilometres from Machilipatnam, in the Divi Taluk of Krishna District. When the big deluge devastated the Divi Seema in 1925 I was just one-year old and now I have completed 79 and running 80. My father had only about 2 ½ acres of dry land but all the same we were not used to go to labour in others’ fields. The men in our family used to work hard in the fields but women used to mainly look after domestic work and then do any labour at home only but not go to the fields. My mother used to spin on the Charkha too in addition to the usual domestic jobs like peeling off the groundnut shells, piling tobacco leaves, etc. Gandhiji’s influence was no doubt behind the spinning but at the same time there was an economic aspect also to it. In childhood I used to tend cattle as herdsman and do light agricultural work too.
A teacher was brought from Angalur, students were mobilized from door to door in our village and a night school was set up in which I studied up to 5th Class Telugu Medium. In Vakkalagadda, near our village, there was a school run by Bodi Narayana Rao who used to teach English also. I went to that school and joined 7th Class English Medium. Thereafter in Challapalli High School I studied 8th Class or III Form. At that time I joined the Scouts movement and also got acquainted with Chandra Rajeswara Rao, Challapalli Narayana Rao, Chandra Ramalingaiah, Kavuri Kutumba Rao, etc. Books like Gadar Veerulu (Gadar Heroes) and M.N. Roys’s articles inspired me very much.
In 1936 elections we nationalist minded children used to go around with placards requesting people to vote for Gottipati Brahmaiah, Congress candidate who contested against the Challapalli Zamindar. The Zamindar was quite powerful those days and he ultimately won. But there was also a rumour that Gottipati Brahmaiah took a bribe of Rs. 1500/- from the Zamindar and so deliberately did not carry out an active campaign; I do not know how far it was really true. By the time I came to 5th Form, I read life histories of Bhagat Singh, Alluri Sitarama Raju and some of Roy’s books. I was very much inspired by Roy’s life history. However, there was no family tradition or influence at all on me which inspired me into the national movement; none among our relatives exerted any impact towards nationalism. While I was studying 5th Form, a classmate of mine had written the slogan Swatantra Bharat ki Jai on the classroom wall. The class teacher and Head Master saw that and got enraged. I was the Class Monitor and so they asked me to divulge the name of the student who wrote that slogan. I knew him but since my revelation would ruin his career I refused to divulge and then the enraged school authorities expelled me from the school giving me a transfer certificate. I then joined the Hindu High School at Machilipatnam. I worked in the All India Students Federation (AISF) unit in Machilipatnam and joined the Praja Natya Mandali. I used to act on stage and also sing songs well. I had even got some prizes for singing some national songs on the theme of Royalaseema Famine.
Later I joined a communist party cell in the company of G. Srihari and Chalapathi Rao. In 1941 June the Germans attacked the Soviet Union which development gave rise to a radical change in the War situation. By that time I had written but failed in my S.S.L.C. Examinations. With the German attack on the Soviet Union the party policy also began to change and the People's War line was adopted by the end of 1941. In the summer of 1942 a big Anti-Fascist Camp was held under the auspices of the communist party at Kodali. I wrote my S.S.L.C. Examinations for a second time and afterwards went to participate in this Anti-Fascist Camp along with Mikkilineni Radhakrishna Murthy, Perumallu, Koganti Gopalakrishnaiah and Tatineni Prakasa Rao and others. Later the S.S.L.C. Results were published and I passed this time. Thereafter I joined Intermediate in the Hindu College. In those days I was a good sportsman and used to play Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, etc. quite well and this talent helped me in my academic career too. After my Intermediate I became University player in Basketball. In Intermediate also there was a two years gap in my studies. The reason was that in 1942 we students actively participated in the Quit India movement no matter whether we belonged to the Communist Party or Congress. So once I failed in Intermediate I year of so. I had taken Biology as one of my subjects and could not study properly. Then came the 1943 Bengal Famine and I had actively taken part in the campaign to collect funds for famine relief. We played several dramas and collected subscriptions and donations. All this we did in Bandar only. I played the role of a Shetty (Baniya - Komati) in one drama and all spectators who saw my role were very much impressed and even the Komatis of the town thought I also belonged to their caste. And came to me and asked whether I was also a Komati. Though my second year Intermediate Studies in the College were completed by 1944 since I failed in examinations there was repeated backlog. And in 1946 I had to take an active part in election campaigns. As such it was only in September 1947 that I wrote the last supplementary examination to complete the Intermediate Course and immediately afterwards went to Bombay. The real purpose was to try for B.Sc. (Agriculture) seat in some college there. But actually I joined the Indian People’s Theatre (IPT) at Bombay. Durga Khote was the President and Balraj Sahani, K.A. Abbas were prominent office-bearers in IPT and I became acquainted with all of them. Since I was a member of the communist party and IPT was a front organization of the communist party, there was a party cell also in the IPT to direct the actual functioning of the front organization. Parvati Krishnan was also a party member associated with IPT. Mohammed Safdar (who later went to Pakistan), Balraj Sahani, one Suryam belonging to Veerullapadu (a wonderful singer), one dancer (I am not able to recollect his name now) and myself were in one party cell within IPT. Sailendra was also associated with our IPT. Actually he used to work in the Western Railway and inspired by our activities he wrote a nice and inspiring song. Raj Kapoor used to occasionally visit us and watch our activities and he very much liked that song and then took Sailendra to write songs for his films. Gradually under Raj Kapoor’s patronage, Sailendra became a great poet and writer of wonderful film songs. Raj Kapoor was never a member of the communist party but he was no doubt a sympathizer. That is why we can find the social consciousness against exploitation and oppression and urge for betterment of society very much manifest in his many films.
There were about 2 lakh Telugu workers in Bombay and when the elections to Bombay Municipal Corporation were to be held, three of us – Veerullapadu Suryam, another person and myself formed a team of Telugu balladeers and campaigned for the communist candidates – Dange and others among the Telugu workers through our Burra Kathas. Dange had won as Municipal Corporator in those elections. However, I had no personal acquaintance with Dange. But I knew about him as a militant trade union and very learned communist leader. When his daughter Roza Deshpande was just a child once during a picketing before the Gates of a Factory he brought here and made her lie down across the Gate with himself and other workers also staging a sit-in as part of a militant dharna.
Prior to going to Bombay, there were celebrations of the First Independence Day in Machilipatnam on 15 August 1947. At that time I was in Machilipatnam itself but though the communist party participated in the celebrations I personally refused to participate. Though I was specifically called by comrades to come and participate I did not go and replied to them that since anyway even the party considers it as a mere transfer of power and I consider it as a fake independence I saw no reason in celebrating the occasion. But the then leaders in the party at Machilipatnam, M. Srihari, V. Rama Rao and others did participate. In Machilipatnam we communist students generally used to stay together in rented houses and set up common messes. At first we about 10 progressive students established one Pragati Mess at Frenchpet and later only two of us - another comrade and I, began to stay together at Frenchpet. Communist leaders like Chandra Rajeswara Rao, Challapalli Narayana Rao and others used to be accommodated in our messes as and when the need arose.
While I was at Bombay the entire Punjab was burning and suffering with cruel and unprecedented communal riots. In that background Sailendra had written a really moving song – Jalta hai Punjab Jalta hai, Bhagat Singh ka aankhon ka tara, Jalta hai Punjab Jalta hai!, etc. It became quite popular in those days. Kalyani, wife of Mohan Kumara Mangalam, was also a member in IPT. I also very much remember the situation in Bombay on the day of Gandhiji’s assassination, that is 30 January 1948. Immediately as the news of Gandhi’s assassination was broadcast there was great tension in the whole city and merchants and shopkeepers spontaneously downed the shutters and closed their establishments. There was a complete hartal in the city and an eerie silence. Another comrade and I were stranded in the midst of the city at that time and there was no public transport at all. The identity and religion of the assailant was not yet known clearly. Dadar had a lot of Muslim population and there was every danger of communal riots breaking down any moment if the assailant were to be a Muslim by any chance. In such a situation we walked all the way from Prince’s street to Kamatipura and later took shelter in a party office of ours. Luckily there were no communal riots since the identity of the assailant was ascertained as a Hindu fanatic. I did not pursue the B.Sc. (Agri) Course in Bombay but took my T.C. and came back to Machilipatnam in March-April 1948.
Later I joined the B.A. course in Hindu College, Machilipatnam. Dandamudi Subba Rao (in later days shot dead by the police) and Ravi Subba Rao (later became a famous Advocate) also joined there along with me. In those days other comrades and I were fully supporting the militant insurrectionary line of the party, especially the Telangana Armed Struggle. As against the Nizam Rule we had propagated a lot by way of songs, sloganeering, etc. in Machilipatnam. Chalasani Venkateswar Rao and I were staying together in a room at Frenchpet in those days and some underground leaders of the party, especially Chalasani Srinivasa Rao, used to come and take shelter in our room. This Chalasani Srinivasa Rao was later shot dead by the police. Once the police raided our room and arrested both of us and kept us in sub-jail. After 3 days we got released on bail. Then some discussion went on inside the party as to what reply we accused should give if we were asked by the judicial officers as to our political identity – should we say we were communists or not. At last it was decided that we should own up our real political identity and say we were communists. Accordingly when at the trial of our case Chalasani Venkateswar Rao and I replied in the affirmative to the question as to whether we were communists, we were immediately put under detention and sent to Rajahmundry Central Jail where we were kept for 3-4 months. Later we were transferred to Cuddalore Camp Jail where in all 350-400 communist prisoners were confined. Kodali Satyanarayana, Katragadda Venkata Narayana Rao, Tammareddy Satyanarayana and others were there along with us. In the jail all of us communist detenues followed the then party policy and adopted militant tactics. This led to great friction with the jail authorities and I think when we violently resisted being locked up in nighttime a serious disturbance occurred and the armed police attacked us severely. Police resorted to firing also after first lathi-charging and then bayoneting. One Sitarama Rao, a peasant leader, was bayoneted to death. In the ensuing firings also one or two comrades died and several injured. At that time I was just beside the bayoneted peasant leader and immediately lied down and rolling my body over for a distance safely escaped from police clutches. Though Katragadda Venkata Narayana Rao, Tammareddy Satyanarayana, Kotaiah and others were injured, I was not. It was due to that injury that K.V. Narayana Rao became lame and Tammareddy Satyanarayana received a bullet injury in his hand. At last in the evening at 6 P.M. we communist detenues surrendered like defeated soldiers in a battle. At that time I fully supported and followed the Ranadive Line.
In Cuddalore Camp Jail political classes used to be held daily and we received good education in History, Soviet Socialist Constitution, Political Economy and languages and we built up a good library. It was like a university to us. Com. Vijayakumar from Vizag, Vallabha Rao, Tatineni Chalapati Rao, Koganti Gopalakrishnaiah were in our cultural team also and we used to stage some plays and sing revolutionary songs. Once I even acted in the roles of Comrades A.K. Gopalan and M.R. Venkatraman.
There were intense discussions among us detenues as to whether it was proper to continue the armed struggle or withdrawal was necessary and inevitable. Some comrades like Koganti Gopalakrishnaiah could not withstand the severe repression by jail authorities and opted to get transferred to a separate camp. At this the extremists among us used to scold and abuse them but in such cases other comrades and I used to intervene and persuade the extremists not to be too hostile towards our erstwhile friends. There were comrades who stood fearless and unmoved at any amount of repression but there were also comrades with weak sentiments – some of them used to even weep aloud on hearing sentimental tragic stories in the Balanandam programme broadcast over All India Radio. Once 200 of us detenues went on an indefinite hunger strike on some important demands but about 50 withdrew in the middle. On the advice of Dr. Chelikani Rama Rao we all had taken one glass of jaggery solution (panakam) before starting the fast and that did a lot of good to our health condition. I continued the fast for 30 days. But later seeing no possibility of any amount of success we ourselves gradually stopped fasting. But we all got so weak and emaciated due to that prolonged fast that it took nearly one month for us to regain our former energy and strength. Ultimately, after 3 years of detention, we were released sometime in 1951.
I worked as correspondent for Vishalandhra at Madras for a long time after independence. I very much know about the fasting of Potti Sriramulu since I used to visit his camp and report the details to Vishalandhra. Bulusu Sambamurthy was seen there many times encouraging Sriramulu to continue his fast to death. He himself was eating fruits and talking when Sriramulu was fasting for days together which struck to me as somewhat odd. Sambamurthy himself refused to fast but used to say to Sriramulu who was much younger than him: “Hi, Sriramulu, you don’t have a wife or children. So continue to fight and die for the cause. You will earn a good name.” On the last day of the fast Chandra Rajeswara Rao and I went together to visit Sriramulu. However, it should be said to the credit of Sriramulu that he was always quite firm and never wavered in his determination to fast unto death.
As for the controversy that the communists did not press for inclusion of Madras in Andhra Province, which was the chief demand of Potti Sriramulu, I can only say that it was an impractical demand. Already Madras was an overwhelmingly Tamilian majority city and though there was a talk of partition of Madras too at one time the Tamilians would never have agreed to it. On this aspect Prakasam Pantulu, Tenneti Viswanadham and us communists jointly held a big public meeting at Madras in the premises of Velagapudi Ramakrishna’s factory. There was no consensus in it but in their speeches Prakasam and Viswanatham declared that a resolution calling for the formation of Andhra State including Madras in it was passed and then quickly left the place. All people thought that the meeting was over and began to disperse. But Chandra Rajeswara Rao announced from the dais that the meeting was far from over, no consensus resolution was passed and called the people back. Narla Venkateswar Rao was asked to preside the meeting and Nagi Reddy gave a wonderful speech for about one hour patiently explaining the entire situation and ultimately a resolution calling for the immediate formation of the Andhra Province with al the undisputed areas included in it was passed. I think it was a wise resolution. I am of the opinion that it was our mistake to have given up Bellary, which was mainly a Telugu city, and not Madras, which was even then mainly a Tamil city.
Later a huge public meeting was held at Law College Grounds, Madras on the issue of Andhra Province to which leaders from all parties were invited. There was a very tense and electric atmosphere and if anybody were to oppose inclusion of Madras in Andhra Province the audience would have thrown stones, etc. Velagapudi Ramakrishna from Justice Party, some Congress party leaders, Tenneti Viswanadham of Praja Party, Gowthu Latchanna and Tarimela Nagi Reddy from our communist party addressed the meeting. In that surcharged meeting Nagi Reddy spoke excellently for one hour in chaste Royalaseema Telugu without openly asking us to give up Madras but hinting that we should not insist on its inclusion, etc. and drew applause from the crowd.
After the defeat in 1955 General Elections to the Andhra Assembly our Communist Party of India got very much disheartened and the entire apparatus of fulltime party workers was almost disbanded. Every worker was asked to look after his own livelihood and then if it was possible do free service for the party too. In such a situation I happened to enter the cine field for a time. Varalakshmi, C.V.R. Prasad, Kondepudi Lakshminarayana, and some others also entered the film arena at that time. Until then though I had taken part in IPT and possessed some cultural talents I was largely in the student organizational field or journalistic field as correspondent for Vishalandhra. Yarlagadda Ramakrishna Prasad, brother of Challapalli Zamindar, was somewhat friendly and sympathetic to us and had some progressive ideas. Of course he was mainly a businessman only but had good contacts and rapport with S.V. Narsaiah (SVK Prasad’s brother) and used to help our AISF activities. He wanted to establish a film studio in Hyderabad after the formation of Vishalandhra (Andhra Pradesh). Thus was born the Sarathi Studio at Amirpet, Hyderabad and I was asked to look after its management at the ground level though Tammareddy Krishnamurthy was the designated Manager. So I resigned from Vishalandhra, came to Hyderabad to look after the construction and running of Sarathi Studio. The decision was taken in 1957 and I think by 1962 or so we had produced about 30 films in the Studio. We had a mind to encourage new faces to act as heroes and heroines in progressive type of films, which were to be made at a low budget. For this purpose we used to go to different colleges in the Twin Cities and attend their cultural functions, interact with the cultural troupes in the city, etc. to identify potential talents. We had produced a good film Maa Inti Mahalakshmi in the direction of which I also played a part. I attended the Nizam College Annual Day functions in search of new faces. We brought Prabhakar Reddy into the film industry. Dasarathi Krishnamacharya, the famous poet, was also brought into the cine field and he wrote some very good songs. Under the banner of Navayuga Pictures many good films were made.
Later I quit from the cine field and started Pragati Press on 1 September 1962 in a small way. It was a letter composing and treadle printing press with a handful of workers and in the initial days my brother-in-law Nilakantheswar Rao contributed much in its management. This enterprise proved very lucky for us and by the dint of hard work and innovative methods we developed it bit by bit over the decades and now it is one of the best printing presses in entire Asia. Our press has now the latest technology at its command and my two sons, Narendra and Mahendra, the new generation boys, have taken the press to unprecedented heights. Now we are participating in exhibitions all over the world and have got orders from various places in the world. We use Internet frequently in our dealings. Punctuality, promptitude and neat and exquisite printing are our hallmarks and the one thing, which all customers can find in us, is RELIANCE. They can give us a job and forget about it. It will be carried out according to schedule and to their satisfaction and the product would reach them in time, if necessary at their doorstep. And the cost we charge is quite reasonable too. Recently we had participated in a printing exhibition in America in which our Stall became a cynosure. But for the 9-11 terror incident, which occurred at that time resulting in quick disbanding of the Exhibition, we could have secured a number of orders even from USA. I never imagined that our Press would grow to such great heights and I am really proud of it – especially of my two sons and the faithful and hardworking staff and workers. Earning money has never been my main consideration. What I always desired was satisfaction from success of my plans and toil. What I could not achieve in the political field I did achieve in the printing field. (emphasis mine here – IMS)
I know C.K. Narayana Reddy very well and I played a prominent part in his marriage in arranging him a match - Jayaprada, a girl related to us. Tapi Dharma Rao was the elder who performed their marriage. C.K. too entered the printing field round around the same time (as we did) but was not successful. But he published some good books and contributed to the success of the Hyderabad Book Trust, which is now running fairly well. I also know Ramoji Rao well all through his days of thick and thin and have always been helpful to him, especially his Eenadu. Even now I have good rapport with him.
I still believe in the ideal and ideology of Socialism and think there is no better alternative to it for human welfare. I am not satisfied with the policies and working of the various communist parties and groups though, and desire a unity and vigour in the communist movement in our country.
[Sri Paruchuru Hanumantha Rao is still with us. One can contact him at Pragati Art Printers, Red Hills, Hyderabad {Ph: 040-23304835 & 23393204 (R)}.] – Now he is no longer with us. Expired around 4 PM today i.e. Monday, 2 March 2015 at the age of 81 years.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Editorial, "POLITICS OF ANARCHY" in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 January 2015, Vol. 11, Part 1, No. 2 issue.

POLITICS OF ANARCHY


seems to be prevalent in the State of Telangana day in and day out right from its inception and that has turned now into a kind of mental disorder with all sorts of crazy schemes being mooted by the chauvinist, eccentric Chief Minister who is acting as though the state is his personal fief. Whereas our Constitution exhorts all citizens ‘to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform’, this gentleman decides to abandon the grand Secretariat buildings in the prime location of Hyderabad perched amidst the scenic beauty of the majestic Hussain Sagar Lake for what primarily stings to him as ‘vaastu dosha[errors of (quack) architecture] to the Erragadda Chest Hospital venue depriving the denizens with much lung-space and direly needed health facilities already existing there. And still there is no dearth of ‘Doo Doo Basavannas[ready nod-heads] among a substantial section of populace fired with the passions of regional chauvinism. It is forgotten that decades ago superstitious renovations of the present Secretariat Buildings had been initiated by his political guru NTR himself and ever since going on under various Chief Ministers resulting in wasteful expenditure of crores of rupees of public moneys every time and now the Sishya [disciple] wants to do one or two up on his guru by totally discarding the site itself – perhaps with a hidden agenda of turning it over to greedy real estate dealers fetching the corrupt politicians hundreds of crores of commissions and kickbacks as is being widely rumored. And precisely those sections of society donning black coats and white bands who are expected to protect and promote the rule of law and safeguard people’s interests are seen marching in the streets defying and shutting down the courts of law in the name of agitation for a separate High Court for Telangana which, in any way, is to happen once the common capital facility is exhausted – all this ostensibly for a few judgeships supposedly denied to their lot. All this despite the existence of specific provisions for a common High Court in the A.P. Reorganization Act 2014 per Article 231 of the Constitution of India and the continuance of such common High Court being of real benefit to the masses and classes [including advocates] of Telangana. §§§