Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Editorial, "RULE BY JUDICIAL FIAT: DIWALI FIREWORKS BAN", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 October 2017, Vol. 13, Pt. 2, No. 19 issue

In November 2016 the Supreme Court, in consideration of the request made in a PIL for total ban on Diwali fireworks sales and celebrations, passed a detailed interim order too quickly and not underscoring the fact that Diwali comes but once in a year with at most 2-3 days of celebrations and already several anti-pollution measures were operative in this regard. Later, in a well-balanced judgment, carefully assessing the aftermath of the earlier order, a 2-Judge bench of the Court, in its 12 September 2017 judgment (the 3 orders reported in this issue), modified the earlier order to enable sales of fireworks and celebrations almost as usual this Diwali  clearly observing: “68. …continuing the suspension of licences might be too radical a step to take for the present – a graded and balanced approach is necessary that will reduce and gradually eliminate air pollution in Delhi and in the NCR caused by the bursting of fireworks. At the same time it is necessary to ensure that injustice is not caused to those who have already been granted a valid permanent license to possess and sell fireworks ...” “69. …from the material before us, it cannot be said with any great degree of certainty that the extremely poor quality of air in Delhi in November and December 2016 was the result only of bursting fireworks around Diwali. Consequently, a complete ban on the sale of fireworks would be an extreme step that might not be fully warranted by the facts available to us.” – and the earlier directions were to be strictly implemented from 1 November, with the results properly assessed in course for final disposal of the matters. But within a month, another 3-Judges Bench reviews and reverses this interim order for no satisfactory reasons and no additional data or material from any source – making it a test-ban for this year! And, many a scare-environmentalist also rush to defend these SC orders as if the Diwali fireworks alone are causing all pollution but in reality Diwali pollution is not even 1% of annual pollution; motor vehicles, chemicals and other industrial effluents, pesticides, all sorts of wastes, etc. are the major causes. The Court’s revising order has hurt the sentiments and interests of millions of people and some of the graphics above are but indications of the pent up popular anger and discontent. If the Court cannot stand on its own considered judgment for even one month, where is legal certainty in this country? One would not be surprised if such judicial overreach should lead to disastrous consequences. The only antidote is for people in their lakhs to come out, demonstrate and agitate in protest against such developments too as rule by judicial fiat is also no good, and what is to be achieved is real participatory democratic governance.  §§§

Editorial, "LITTLE ROCKETMAN OR LUNATIC OLD MAN", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 30 September 2017, Vol. 13, Pt. 2, No. 18


Who is the real threat to world peace? Are we heading for a nuclear Armageddon leading to extinction of our human species in consequence of such lunacies? Would Tillerson be able to negotiate with the little man even if his old man is not that enthusiastic and avert the danger? These are questions and questions – not out of any science fiction yarn but of real life dangers. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is emphatic: “At the UN Trump actually threatened to wipe North Korea off of the face of the earth. He added … threats against Venezuela and Iran. He demonized these countries as “rogue states,” but it is Washington that is playing that role. … [he says as to] how America respects the sovereignty of every country and the people’s will of every country, and how the US, despite its overwhelming military power, never tries to impose its will on any country. …… What about Yugoslavia/ Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Crimea, Ukraine, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, just to mention countries in the 21st century that have been subjected to US military attacks, government overthrows, and removals of political leaders who did not conform to US interests? Is it respect for the sovereignty of countries to force them to support US sanctions against Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela? … Trump complains that the UN Human Rights commission had as member countries [some] with the worst human rights records of our time, and I wondered if he was talking about the United States. ” Obviously PCR puts the main blame on the USA, now led by Trump, and he is of the view that unless Russia and China together act to contain the American aggressiveness the future of human species is in grave danger. We tend to agree though not absolve the belligerent and totalitarian North Korean regime either. Russia and China are also not enamored of North Korean aggressiveness and hope they will be able to contain that from their side and it is really desirable that India too chip in and make BRICS a strong and alternative alliance for world peace and progress. Despite Trump’s dismissive remarks that “… Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, … is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man… or of Kim Jong-un’s vow to take the highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” furious at the mentally deranged U.S. dotard … [who] … denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world,  this editor hopes good sense will prevail on both sides, Tillerson would be successful in negotiating, and Russia and China would heartily assist, to find out a peaceful solution to this one of the gravest crises in world history. §§§

Friday, April 14, 2017

Editorial, "UNPERISHING FLOWERS OF HUMANITY," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15-31 March 2017 combined, Martyrs Memorial special issue, Vol. 13, Part 1, Nos. 5-6


In the context of the unforgettable martyrdom of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh and other comrades, who were basically non-conformist internationalists demanding and fighting for, in the then circumstances, independence to our country, with their cherished slogans of “Long live Revolution!” and “Down with Imperialism!”, the glowing tributes paid by late Comrade P.C. Joshi while meeting the Kayyur martyrs prior to their hanging at their cells in Cannanore Jail come to mind: “… across the verandah – there was a sort of flower bed. Without a thought, what was inside me got formed into a sentence. "Those flowers are perishable. You, comrades, are the flowers of humanity that will never perish".” How exquisitely put, and how truly it applies to all the great martyrs of our freedom struggle. Time and again it has been stressed in these columns that we owe our political independence as also all the successes, and trials, in our persistent and indefatigable struggle to achieve the needed socio-economic independence and development too, to the pioneering and consistent contributions of various groups and individuals working strenuously to overthrow the colonial rule and usher in a free democratic socialist society by all possible means including waging intense armed struggles against the ferocious enemy. The heroes and martyrs to whom our reverent tributes are being paid in the title cover page of this issue are among such pioneers who, giving up their relatively comfortable lives and livelihoods in a foreign land, came rushing to their motherland during World War I to wage a Gadar i.e. rebellion, as they called. Unfortunately their plans and measures were foiled, most of them caught and jailed. Ultimately sentenced to death in the First Lahore Conspiracy Case Kartar Singh Saraba, Vishnu Ganesh Pingle and five others were hanged – to take their names into the Roll of Honour of many such martyrs who perished in body, but not in spirit as they believed, and most of them yearned to take birth again to continue the fight. It is remarkable that Kartar Singh Sarabha – just a 19 year old ‘kid’ it might be said - was like a deewana parwana (mad moth) passionate to plunge into the fire of freedom and burn to ashes, and refused to file any mercy petition. He is said to have “put the noose around his neck himself and laughed away death and immortalized himself.” He became the idol for Bhagat Singh, who faithfully followed in his footsteps to a later, similar glory. Hundreds of others suffered and many perished in various jails and in transportation at the Andamans, but remaining firm in spirits unto the last. Our glowing tributes to all these fighters and unflinching commitment to their ideals. §§§

Editorial, "RACISM ON THE HIGH IN THE U.S. NOW?", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 28 February 2017, Vol. 13, Part 1, No. 4 issue

And is it because the ‘White racist’ Trump has become the President now? Certainly if our presstitute media is to be believed, but definitely not if the real facts and circumstances are properly looked into. Also it is the worst sort of temerity to accuse a country or its rulers to where you run like rats to hail on and glory in the ‘foreign returned’ or ‘US working’ insignias. That too being in a country where at any time you can see – upper castes hate lower castes, lower castes fume with ire toward the upper ones, backward castes hate upper castes and dalits both, and these both despise the backward ones, orthodox Hindus abuse Muslims and Muslim fanatics rave rancor toward Hindus, etc. etc. And murders, rapes, etc. emanating from all these galore, with no need for guns even to commit all connected excesses and atrocities. Truly, people living in glass houses must not throw stones. All this is also hate propaganda, some may say, and justify with plaudits and platitudes on communal harmony, cordial contacts between various castes and religious communities, mutual tolerance and deference for the downtrodden, etc. and accuse people of magnifying the bad things. That may also be true and that’s what exactly attempted here to highlight. For example, Vamshi Reddy’s murder in Milpitas was not due to racial hatred but by a crazy felon and drug addict absconding from law and perhaps he (Vamshi) fitted ‘the sad clich√© of being in a wrong place at a wrong time’ as a discerning correspondent Scott Herhold in Mercury News remarked and then clarified: “That one [accusation of exacerbated racism because of Trump being the cause] is almost certainly untrue. For starters, police did not charge the suspect with a hate crime. … Whatever the president’s flaws, the shooting cannot be laid at Donald Trump’s feet.And the caught suspect bears a Hispanic surname! Well, Kuchibhotla Srinivas’ shooter appears to be a racist but seems a bit senile too, and is on record having stated he shot two Middle Eastern men! Harnish Patel was much loved by the Lancaster society and it is doubtful if racial hatred is the cause for his murder. So, can one generalize and decry racism as the real cause behind these events and further lay the blame at Trump’s door? Substantial study, good grasp, ample analysis and appropriate attitudes, especially when in, or vis-√†-vis, foreign countries, are the need of the hour but not such disinformation spread and rude wrath poured out due to unbalanced imaginations regarding racism, Trumpism, et cetera. §§§

Editorial, "High Drama in Tamil Nadu Politics," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 February 2017, Vol. 13, Pt. 1, No. 3 issue


we are witnessing now before our very eyes. The nefarious role of the Mannargudi Mafia was hinted at in an editorial in this journal once earlier and the current developments have only confirmed those suspicions. As one among the servile sheeple, the [now ‘acting’] Chief Minister O. Paneer Selvam also had meekly submitted to and supported the many moves of raising up Sasikala, the chief female don of the Mafia, to positions of power inside the ruling AIADMK party and overlooked the quite obvious undermining of transparency and honesty leading to suspicious death of Jayalalitha, his mentor and veritable goddess. However, it seems the short span of independent acting as Chief Minister coupled with some innate distrust of Sasikala seems to have sown seeds of discontent and rebellion in his heart and mind and especially his successful dealing with the Central Government on the need for legalizing Jallikattu and more so his supporters’ active participation in the novel Jallikattu movement that shook up the entire State and ultimately made the governments of both the State and Centre to bow down to the popular agitation, appears to have inculcated a lot of self-confidence in himself. Moreover, the hasty move by Sasikala to become the Chief Minister herself, thinking perhaps that thereby she would be able to avert or at least postpone any adverse verdict by the Apex Court in the pending appeal against corruption case on Jayalalitha, herself and others, and making him to resign his post, was on a second thought quite unpalatable to OPS and he rebelled – per the wisdom in the axiom: “Better late than never.” This unfolded the high drama with Sasikala virtually confining all her supporter MLAs in a resort under strict watch and, after the adverse verdict of the Supreme Court on 14 February and need to go to jail at any cost, appointing a proxy, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, as her nominee for Chief Minister’s post and with OPS firmly opposing the same with masses and other parties, including the opposition DMK, generally applauding his efforts to stall and defeat the Mannargudi Mafia. Hope OPS, profusely praised for his sincerity, devotion and honesty by Jayalalitha herself, would finally win but even if defeated in the race, it is doubtless that he has already gained immense gratitude and applause of millions of people in this course.  §§§

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Editorial, "PROMISES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN ONLY," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 January 2017, Volume 13, Part 1, No. 2 issue


We all remember Mr. Modi, then star campaigner for the current ruling party, during his election campaign repeatedly drumming into the ears of gullible public that he and his party would alone be able to bring back the lakhs of crores of black monies smuggled out and hoarded in foreign banks, and not only that, he would get deposited Rs. 15 lakhs from that vast amount in the bank accounts of every common man! And we know what happened to that – their own party President Amit Shah retracted, laughing it away as a ‘jumla’ – false election promise not to be kept! A similar breaking of promises occurs to the Telugus of Andhra Pradesh too, which has been promised special status by the outgoing Prime Minister at the insistence of the then opposition, now ruling, party leader, Venkaiah Naidu, again repeatedly promised not only by Venkaiah but also Modi, as also included in their election manifesto. At the time of bifurcation, this editor and many others opposing the attempts at bifurcation itself were not, naturally, focusing on post-bifurcation issues but it was Venkaiah who, shamelessly colluding with the then ruling party, was at the same time posing as a protector of Andhras and demanding special status for 10 years. Then came Chandrababu, another shameless traitor to Telugu interests, posing as the only guardian angel for Andhra people’s interests, demanding 15 years special status. And now all are retracting – another big jumla! That on the basis of a heap of lies – that the 14th Finance Commission commended scrapping of special category states, though such can be found nowhere in its report. Even if made, it is not binding and they cannot pose as if they are implementing all such recommendations. They talk of giving a special package, for which they are statutorily bound, but nothing to be found in the actual black and white. But, it is true that as yet there are 11 special category states, receiving large amounts of Central Aid on 70% grants: 30% loans basis and several tax concessions, sops and special packages to backward areas, etc. and that gives great fillip to their development and addition of Andhra Pradesh for say 5 or 10 years will not cause any heavens to fall down. Now under the inspiration of the Jallikattu movement in Tamil Nadu, people of Andhra are once again pooling up their guts and efforts for launching a big agitation for achieving this just demand, but it is to be seen whether they will prove themselves as victorious steadfast fighters or just remain as aarambha Suuras (heroes at the start only), as customarily deprecated.  §§§

Editorial, "INDIAN FESTIVAL SPORTS AND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 January 2017, Volume 13, Part 1, No. 1 issue

Indian Festival Sports and Cruelty to Animals

Not without profound wisdom did the saying, “Man is the most cruel animal on earth,” emerge and we see the whole history of human civilization full of gruesome bloodsheds in genocidal conflicts leading to extermination of big chunks of its own species and in egregious cruelty toward and extinction of countless bio-species. The very conduct of taming and making pets/draught animals of various animals and birds is doubtless much cruelty to them; one shudders to even think of what would be our ‘fate’ if those species were to grow more intelligent/powerful and retaliate in kind on us.  This much clearly said, it is also to be clarified that the sport of ‘Jallikattu’ which has been considered as involving cruelty to animals and its conduct provisionally banned by the Apex Court does not in fact involve any stark cruelty to animals, save that perpetrated in taming animals and, moreover, has assumed the nature of a cultural tradition cherished and now being assiduously agitated for by Tamil people. It has already been clarified in this journal earlier that “Jallikattu is a traditional sport of running with and catching bulls let loose wildly on the occasion of crops festival (Sankranthi/Pongal) days in some parts of Tamil Nadu and also in some villages of Chittoor district … … more euphorically held in Tamil Nadu with people’s emotions and sentiments attached to it. Bulls are only tamed but not killed unlike in the Spanish and French bullfights. Rather, the bull tamers often get injured and at times some even get killed. When the European Courts themselves allow the sanguine sport of bullfighting in the name of artistic expression and longstanding local tradition, there was no reason for our Apex Court to insist on banning it. The same argument holds for the cock fights held in many Telugu districts during Sankranti festivals, though those appear bloodier and one of the cocks is almost invariably killed. But then, we cannot also overlook that chicken [meat] is one of the choicest meats cherished by a big majority of the people in India, and crores of those birds are artificially reared in poultry farms and cruelly killed in huge abattoirs. So are lakhs of cattle, especially buffaloes, killed “in revolting manner in big mechanized slaughter houses and their meat exported abroad to make … India the largest exporter of beef in the world all this done legally without any scruples or any real protest/resistance from the so-called societies for prevention of cruelty to animals or any administrative/ judicial bodies. So, the best solution lies in Courts not banning those, but directing the framing of strict regulations to eliminate, to the utmost extent possible, the cruelty and other related vices in their conduct. §§§

Editorial, " 'PURATCHI TALAIVI' PASSES AWAY," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 December 2016, Vol. 12, Part 2, No. 24 issue

puratchi talaivi’ passes away

in mysterious circumstances in a corporate super-specialty hospital in Madras, with the true causes and real conditions of her ailments never revealed but the entire matters suppressed in utter secrecy in a sort of ‘deep State’ said to be controlled by a Mannargudi Mafia in connivance with or perhaps even under the commands of the near-fascist central government that is running amok now. This veil of secrecy totally blinding the eyes of the public, who in millions deeply mourn the loss of this ‘revolutionary leader’, is unthinkable in a democracy with a minimum sense of transparency, accountability and respect for the public opinion. It rather reminds us of the banana republics of modern days or the palace intrigues of the olden times. Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the intelligent, erudite and talented cine actress turned politician-become head of government, who launched several welfare schemes for common people in Tamil Nadu and that way become the darling ‘amma’ (mother) of masses in millions, but also earned notoriety in political circles with her wayward conduct and corrupt practices, at times suffering obloquy and imprisonment too on that count, is an admirable, strong-willed and free thinking lady no doubt, who certainly contributed to the ‘pennin perumai (‘greatness of woman’ – the title of her debut speech in AIADMK sessions which captivated the audience, and paved the way for her eventual successes) and was one steadfast chief minister who could always stand up to the undue meddling of the power intoxicated central governments and strongly supported the sovereignty and autonomy of the states pleading for a genuine federal democracy. Her Rajya Sabha speech of 1984 declaring, quoting Dr. Ambedkar, thata Federal Constitution means, that the provinces are as sovereign in their field, as the Centre is in the field which is assigned to it,” and closing with approval of the invaluable warning words of Dr. B.C. Roy that “An attempt to build a strong Centre on the Foundation of weak States, is like an attempt to build a strong building on the foundation of sand,” is indeed a precious piece to be cherished by all votaries of federal democracy. In all the gloom of the sheeple meekly following the powers that be, glad to note that there are some rays of light with some determined, democratic minded persons/groups speaking out for a judicial probe on her medical treatment and eventual demise, and we too demand a comprehensive judicial inquiry into the circumstances and causes relating to her tragic and, to say the least, suspicious death. §§§

Editorial, "MAD TUGLAQIAN MEASURES," in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 December 2016, Vol. 12, Part 2, No. 23 issue


The chapter of Mohammed Bin Tuglaq in Indian history, with his horrible measures of madness and cruelty, is a gory interval in our long history, sometimes it seems almost incredible, but watching the mad show going on in our country now in the name of ‘banning’ of big currency notes, trumpeted as an indispensable measure for fighting corruption and ‘black money’, nothing seems impossible/un-replicable in this country. Ever since the Mahaa Moorkh announced with a bang in all pomp and show in the night of 8 November 2016 that all 500 and 1000 Rupee Notes would not be legal tender but for a few exemptions till 30 December,  that this was essential to curb, unearth and eradicate black money, the whole country is in serpentine queues for all these five weeks or more searching for paltry amounts of cash to pull on lives and in the process several persons lost their lives even. In a country where more than 80% of all financial transactions take place in cash, at least 20% have no bank accounts at all, and where 86% of the cash-coins are but these big notes, could any madder measure be conceived and sought to be implemented to destroy the people and the economy altogether, one wonders. Leave all that talk of black money, which could not be, in cash, more than 5-10% of the total cash in the country, what about the loss of lakhs of crores to the economy – of incomes to the people at large who in millions queue up before non-working ATMs and ill-equipped banks for days together? What about the loss of precious lives day in and day out of helpless persons, unable to withstand the rigors of standing? Of shutting down of industries or forcible/invisible retrenchment of lakhs of workers in not only unorganized sectors, of the woes and weal of crores of farmers who cannot sell their produce at any affordable or even low rates due to such cash crunch? Has any country in the world been able to even lessen, let alone eradicate, black money by such an insane measure? To buttress their indefensible measures the fraudsters spread all sorts of lies, including the so-called demonetization of big currency notes in the US in 1969 – which never occurred. Now they are even talking about a cashless society – a sure way to totalitarianism. And we have been seeing new sorts of corruption and black money emerging with the ruling party-wallahs preponderant in that line too, and ministers and leaders of the ruling party – Jaitley, Gadkari and Gali Janardhan Reddy et al - lolling in luxuries and spending hundreds of crores for marriages etc. when people are dying for want of trifles of cash to buy medicines or food even. In any other country, such a despicable government would have surely vanished due to people’s wrath but here it still continues to run like a bull in the China Shop. §§§