Salary Hike for Judges A Reminder of Supremacy of the Parliament

With the Parliament aiming to give the salaries of the judges a hike, the Parliamentarians from all hues have seemed to develop an understanding with the Minister for Law and Justice, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad’s antagonism for the Judiciary altogether.

In a piece on this portal by this author, the importance of the judiciary, and the need to keep it free from the political discourse, the author left out certain issues that remain at the centre of the  discussion.

Today, the political forces in the country are not stable. The law reflects the ideas of the law-makers, while the High Courts and the Supreme Courts are the sole guardians of the Constitution. There have been occasions when the National Parties, like the Congress, BJP, CPM, and other regional parties have used their weight to meddle with the judiciary.

The most unforgettable incident remains the appointment of Justice AN Ray by Indira Gandhi during her emergency years, and the abuse committed by the judiciary that became inimical to the political democracy of the nation and individual rights.

Today’s discourse is about the power of the ruling regime to dictate the judicial conscious, more than ever. The judicial discourse, if at all goes against the ruling it gives the detractors and the opposition a saga to harp upon. The incident that marks this phenomena is the Right to Privacy decision.

The Supreme Court in its bid to relieve the Muslim women also passed a decision against the practice of talaq-e-biddat which has relegated the conflagration to the next levels. This made the Law Minister remark about the judiciary remaining in its limits.

The discourse has another angle which is the appointment of judges in the Constitutional Courts across the country. The Memorandum of Procedure has not been finalised yet, while the Parliamentarians, in unanimity have tried to stand together against the collegium system .

The Supreme Court has also been targeted to make the judiciary a select preserve of the few, ‘business judiciary’, which is a direct insult of the judiciary by a Parliamentarian. This is the view of a CPM member of Parliament, and it is based on the fact that certain senior advocates charge a good amount of fees. While the fees and the need are left to the parties concerned, the whole story must be described based on the fact that how Advocates, not only in the High Courts, but also the Supreme Court serve their clients. The clients who are unable to pay the fees, are given free legal aid, and are represented by the same senior advocates, while there are other advocates too, who represent their clients for no fee. The advocates also provide lodging facilities to their clients.

The Judiciary selects only those lawyers, who have the mantle of going into the depth of the law, and they don’t spend time like most of the lawyers trying to make a debut in politics. The lawmakers from every background have not been very effective in drafting laws of high pedigree.

The law makers must realise that the judiciary is there to aid the Parliament in keeping this State apparatus in function. The faith of the masses rests with the Judiciary, which has kept its dignity in many trying situations, which must not be abused.

The Constitution of India, is supreme, and the judiciary as well as the parliament are subordinate to it, while ensuring separation of powers.

Thus the lawmakers while giving a hike to the wallets of the judges must not try to assert their supremacy if they have the power to account for the taxpayer’s money.

Jai Hind.


The Triple Talaq Ripple

It all began when Narendra Modi, our Prime Minister in his last ‘Mann ki Baat’ address on the national television and radio, applauded his government’s initiatives for granting the Muslim women there due in the society.

Today, the opposition is up in arms against the ruling for passing a bill that aims to politicise the issue of talaq-e-biddat over providing relief to the women from the minority community.

The opposition sadly has not recognised the status of women in a community whose literacy rate is as low as 45%, and the gender ratio is 100:75. The community that was told to treat women with honour and respect by the prophet they follow, has made the women a mere accessory to have pleasure and produce children.

The sad state of affairs was brought into lime light when the brave Shah Bano, in 1982 contested her case upto the Supreme Court and won over for herslef and others like her a dignity, which was only trampled by the then Rajiv Gandhi government, under a new Act.

This got a wider attraction in debates and saw many Muslim women coming over to the courts of law to get alimony from their husbands and trying to assert their existence from behind their burqas.

The Supreme Court recently in an order declared the practice of talaq-e-biddat as unconstituional and subsequently the Lok Sabha approved a bill that remains the crux of the entire controversy.

The entire clamour is about the Rajya Sabha discussing the bill and putting their reservations on record against only one provision of the bill. The Muslim intelligentsia has branded the bill as a blatant invasion on the Quranic or the Sharia by the Right Wing rulers or even the debasement of Muslims to appease the majority community, which does  not seem to hold ground really strong.

The Opposition has seemingly not taken note of the fact that the majority of the cases of divorces of Muslim that come to the Courts, the talaqnamas issued by the Maulvis, form the basis of these cases. The decrees are unjust, the alimony is unfair, while the pronouncement of ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ by a man in a fit of rage, frustration, desperation or any other emotion or state of mind subjects the woman to be one thrown out of the marital bond in a moment’s time.

The Opposition has also forgotten to take note of the fact that the marital bonds are one of the most abused form of relations in the human civlisation, where most of the times, the women are the receiving end of the atrocious conduct, meanwhile a male in the patriarchal set up, enjoys absolute liberty to pursue his will, and when we talk about the minority, they need to evolve.

There is a problem in the implementation of Dowry and Domestic Violence related laws in the society and due to the penal provisions, the issues have started coming to light, while there is an abuse of the provisions, the Supreme Court has made a point to  check the abuse of the law by the people. Thus the argument of criminalising a civil offence stands as a nullity.

The Opposition seems to play the ‘Minority Appeasement’ card by projecting the BJP as the enemy no. 1 of Islam, which is not the concern of our discussion, but the evolution of the Islamic society from the medievalist state to modern state is important. The upliftment and the protection of a law needs to be afforded to the women from the minority who do actually live in poorer circumstances than their Hindu and Christian counterparts.

Another premise remains that any law which isn’t backed by sanction, has no obedience forthcoming, while the law that is being branded as otherwise remains the most perfect tool to check the plight of the Muslim Woman,

The bill does not need a change while the society does need to accept that the times need to take us forwards.


Using the State Machinery for Unjust Ends: UP Govt Order

The case against 13 accused, and the now Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, under section 188 of the IPC, has been ‘ordered’ to be withdrawn. The law is blind and is the same for all.

As a matter of procedure, and having due regard for the process of law, the Yogi government has taken a move that is not one that calls for the public applause.

The case was registered against Yogi and his several confidants who hold key positions in the new government. Yogi ji and his co-accused also did not appear before the court when the summons were issued. The matter is one of disobedience to the orders of the DM of Gorakhpur, for preventing the accused from conducting a rally in the Pipiganj sub-urb. The accused, despite the orders defied the law, and held a rally, against which the officers then, registered a case against Yogi ji and his co-accused, the most important being Shiv Pratap Shukla (now Minister of State for Finance at the Centre), Sheetal Pandey (BJP MLA from Sahajanwa), being booked under the prohibitory orders.

Yet, they chose to not appear before the magistrate. Back in time with their defiant attitude, they tried to pose as being above the law, and today, this assumes a different meaning which is not one expected from the people holding such important constitutional offices.

Our PM Narendra Modi, never tried to meddle in any of the cases filed against him relating to the Godhra riots. There have been several other leaders who have not abused the process of the law to serve their personal motives, like Mulayam Singh ji, and Ms J Jayalalitha, and others.

The move is not one that calls for a public applause, the offence being petty, the accused should have appeared and instead of calling the proceedings a sham, and disrespecting the law, the must have appeared before the Court, while they must have been given a token punishment, and the case must have concluded.

Yogi must understand the foreseeable consequences of using the legislative process to bypass the judiciary. This makes a mockery of the entire process of the law enforcement, while making a select few above the law.

The move is strictly not in line with the general public sentiment who wishes to see their leaders in the positive lights, and not in negative shadows.


Meghalaya Social Audit Law: A Clue For Other Leaders

With the Mukul Sangma led Congress government at Meghalaya entering the fray of elections in 2018, the state has passed a law, which is innovative indeed and is a commendable move.

The Meghalaya government has passed a law The Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Act, 2017, which is aimed to seek the feedback of the people about the performance of the government and its schemes. A similar feedback forum has been initiated by the PM using his NaMo app, and the twitter handles of various ministries.

The move has a very people-friendly aim and will usher in more inclusive approach to the people to provide them the exact knowledge needed to move along with the agenda of the policies that aim to help them.

Today, and as well in the past the governments, one after the other have rolled out policies that aim to grant benefits to people but many such policies have landed in a failure ditch due to rampant corruption, or mismanagement which has even led to rolling back of people friendly moves or even massive protests arising due to frustration in the masses.

The State is the largest service provider to the citizens yet none of the states so far have any ‘citizen-support’ system synonymous with the ‘customer-support’ operations of the consumer companies.

The governments have seen many initiatives fail due to the inability of the masses to contact their elected representatives. This has often led to a blockading of the aggrieved citizens who have approached  the courts in huge numbers and there is an added pendency of cases where due to flawed applications of laws by the administrative machinery many people have been at the opposite end of the legislation. One of such beneficial legislation marred by maladministration has been the Land Acquisition disputes arising out of the Right to Fair Compensation Act, of 2013.

There are currently various cases pending not only in the Supreme Court, but also in various High Courts. Apart from these, there are cases where people have felt helpless and have resorted to running from pillar to post to get their grievances resolved.

The Social Audit, has been an exclusive preserves of civil society organisations, and none of the state sponsored agencies have ever taken pains to conduct an audit. The only inference that may be drawn from such instances is not manifold but, one, that the government must promote more social audits.

It is not just for the Meghalaya government, but for all the state and the Central government(s) to move forward in this direction, which will create an atmosphere of participation in the government.

There has been a need for referendum and initiative as in the Switzerland to be put in place in India as well, but due to various glitches involved, there is no pace in the direction. The Social Audit idea is one which deserves applauds as it is a move in this direction to promote the idea of inclusiveness in the people.

The governments must put in a system in place to record the feedback of the people related to the policies of the government and must use a system that is easy and accessible, with minimal costs involved to promote partnership with the people. This will help the governments stay in regular touch with the opinion of the masses regarding the policies put in place and the effectiveness of the governance.


The Delayed Love Letter by Manmohan Singh

The letter that our not so loved ex-Prime Minister Prime Minister Manmohan Singh published a letter on his twitter handle, where he extolled the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not to yield to the cheap tricks by trying to demean the office of the Prime Minister and other Constitutional offices.

This letter has come after the Congress expelled Mr Mani Shankar Aiyyar for addressing the PM as ‘neech’. During the recent election campaign in Gujarat, the Congress’ newly elected President, Rahul Gandhi, was heard as addressing the PM by using catchy but cheap pseudonyms.

There is a clear speculation that Russians may have worked hand-in-glove with the American campaigners to work the elections in the favour of  Donald Trump. Amidst such fears and cross border ‘tech-terrorism’ there may be a possibility that the desperate Congress may work something with the Pakistani establishment to produce futile results of elections.

In the letter Manmohan Singh accused the PM of raking up issue that have no bearing on the common psyche of the masses, while it is not true that the issue of Congress leaders other than the Leader of the Opposition is holding closed-door meetings with the Pakistani Ambassador and Leaders. This needs to be explained to the people who would love to know, whether the Congress sees a future of India dealing with the Pakistani terror regime in a befitting manner when they themselves failed to tackle many issues.

The Narendra Modi regime may be trying to challenge the resentment in the Indian majority, while it is also focusing on the ‘minority-majoritarianism’ which has been the cause that has fomented hatred post-independence. The overall picture is not suitable for as the ex-PM who never won an election as his face being projected as the candidate. The recent remarks that the Congress has been making against the PM, the Election Commission, the Indian Army (on counter-terrorist ops) and others is the actual tarnishing of the Constitutional offices.

The letter that Manmohan Singh sahab has published today will bear no meaning when he has been on the ‘silent-mode’ for all the years he served as the PM. The masses could never feel a connect and the coalition politics led to a downfall of the stable growth trajectory that India had started to pursue.

Manmohan Singh ji must take the responsibility on his shoulders to reign in the Grand Old Party, and teach some Political etiquette, while the party must find what the masses do actually need over petty issues such as reservations and polarisation.

No Indian would ever tolerate that any man of foreign soil tries to meddle with the image of the popularly elected head of the state, while this has been the style of the Congress to work towards making more striking roots with Pakistani leaders who criticise the BJP.

The PM has raised the correct fears as the RaGa’s twitter handle is being known to use bots to make the profile gain traction.

The love letter by the Congress’ ex-PM is a delayed note while he should have communicated more to the masses in the past and wrote a letter to explain, why was there so much of resentment in the majority, why were there so many scams, and why wasn’t the economy so great, despite an economist who has served India for the past five decades at the helm of affairs.

The author condemns all sorts of negative criticism and publicity being pursued by the Ruling and the Opposition which is not in the interest of the masses.

Seeking Quality Education

The Nationalist argues that the Indian education system in the Vedic ages paralleled the Roman and Greek education systems, and with the advent of Muslims in India, eduction lost its sheen.

There has been the visits of scholars from various parts of the world to these Indian vishwavidyalayas of the past. The Nalanda Vidyapeeth, Taxashila Vidyapeeth, Kashi Vidyapeeth, remain the famous seats of learning among others that are still found to be prominent in the Indian scriptures.

In the modern world, the education sector saw a rapid boom, where we saw many colleges and universities funded by private individuals cropping up across the nation. The overall penetration of education increased from 19% in 1947 to 57.8% in 2017. This increase also notes the net increase in the availability of schools, ITIs, colleges, and Universities, combined.

India also saw with the increase in penetration of education a rapid rise in the number of individuals gaining access to loans to get their higher education sponsored, at very affordable rates. The Indian seats of higher learning followed the trends of global universities that charge a heavy amount of money to fund the education after intermediate.

India also a steep rise in the colleges springing up in the remotest of areas providing higher education degrees from various universities scattered across the nation. The private universities that gained traction due to lack of seats in government universities made the education industry a business.

The quality of education has suffered with the large-scale commercialisation of education in India. There have been occasions when one of the deemed universities have been found to have been providing farce degrees. There are also occasions where capitation allows one to bypass the norms set to identify aptitude to pursue a particular trade.

The overall outlook has been people acquiring degrees as specialists and taking up different trades, that have no relation with the degrees they hold. With the advent of materialism and rise of more educated gentry, unable to find suitable employment. The lack of employment opportunities makes these people go for teaching as a profession.

The most spectacular aspect of the profession remains the provision of industrious atmosphere and wages by the capitalist, who commercialises education. The education institutes make profits, while they get variety of benefits from the government.

The overall atmosphere produces a slow system of learning where the educationist doesn’t know how to progress, while the ones receiving education are not aware of where they want to go.

The Indian parent is also not a proponent of career counselling as a choice before making the child take up a course at the university. The lack of incentives for the teachers makes them not greatly passionate about their work and then the social outlook towards the profession remains one of the loser!

The quest for quality education is also marred by the malpractices pursued by these commercial education centres where they create courses that lack content, hire teachers that lack the zeal, and make education just any other business. The malpractices result in jeopardising the future of many students while the institutes sit back and watch their books getting green.

The correct application of the law along with a social recognition of the need of quality education will yield in better results on India’s quest for seeking quality education. Indian universities both private and government aided have to devise new means to outdo other universities and make Indian education the ultimate choice for learners by touching on research and development, and incentivising the industry.

The Hate Concoction: Rajasamand and Beyond

The Rajasmand killing, which has been branded as the rarest of cases, is another slap on the face of humanity. The incident as has been affirmed was an outcome of blind rage that took its form at the hands of a marijuana smoker.

This is not to imply that the murder was an outcome of marijuana, yet it brings to the fore the ripples brought about by the ‘Hinduism in crisis’ paraphernalia. The religion in danger call is one that benefits none but only those who seek to reap the benefits that the polarisation has to offer.

The incident that went viral on social media, was followed by a surrender of the perpetrator. The perpetrator has no history of committing any crime before this, and he has no history of any psychological disorder. The incident was a gruesome act.

The move may not be blamed on the government or the people in the locality. The man justified his acts on the basis of his passion for the cause of love jihad. The alleged that the victim had forced one Hindu lady to adopt Islam, against her wishes.

The act has been condemned by the administrative and the politicians of all hues. The act has brought to the fore the sensitivity of the issue where people may tend to exaggerate on the passion instilled by certain leaders who do not intend to incite any violence. The psychological factors that led to this gruesome act have no correlation with any political narrative of the modern times.

This is peculiarly characterised by the pervasive mindset that a man nurtures under the influence of popular notion, and hatred. The leaders must act more responsibly as the masses may not be able to read the exact meaning of the calls.

Further, the parties must also resort to a little more responsible moral preaching when the masses don’t seem to be behaving responsibly in the wake of the ‘gau-raksha’ and ‘ghar wapsi’ crusaders.

The issue needs to be tackled very responsibly by the people of the two communities whereby they may forsake the opportunity to express hate towards one another due to an act, which is criminal in nature and attributable to not the people.

There has to be a responsible analysis of the ‘love jihad’ concept. As humans are emotional beings, there remains a stark possibility that people from two different communities may fall in for each other. The Hadiya incident, has an aspect which needs attention, if during the process of love, someone takes an undue advantage to impose upon the other their religious ideology through fear and brainwashing tactics, with an aim to appease their community needs to be condemned.

Our parens-patriae MK Gandhi laid the foundations of rule of law and unity for the diverse Indian people, the law provides a law for special marriages and allows people to practice, profess and propagate their religion.

The Supreme Court also wisely declared that there is no mandate or law which automatically changes the religion of the lady after she marries a man from a distinct community. The court has also opened its doors to accommodate the clamours of disguised conversions happening, this tends to facilitate the evolution of the psyche of the masses, while the people like Shambhulal Raigar needs to be condemned in the interests of the community.