I  stay in a middle class colony of Delhi .My neighbours are a mix  of  different faiths.  I am not a pseudo –secularist like the Congresswala. But, I follow the hindu way of life with respects for other faiths.


My co-operative housing  society’s management  is usually  inactive. It is never co-operative.Come Holi, it turns pro-active. It is usually so,when it comes to spending from  Society’s funds. I urged them not to celebrate the occasion from out of society’s funds  which  was a public fund and its utilisation on religious celebrations was inappropriate . Earlier, the demand for constructing a temple in the complex was given up  only after  the matter was reported to Delhi Police. There were secret murmurs of protest from the majority community. I was targeted as I did not join their ‘Mutual Admiration Club!


If you do not  learn from history, the same is  repeated. The same happened  on the HOLI day. My protests turned more vehement  as  similar gestures were not shown during the  celebration of  Christmas and the  Eid.  The Management remained unconvinced, unconcerned and insensitive. The majority’s view prevailed in the ‘Number Game’. Celebrations started with fervour. The famous ‘Silsila’s  “Rang Barse”  song  was on the air  like the ‘National Song’ for HOLI ;  males dancing with their neighbours’ wives, leaving others flirting furtively.


The tagline  is : “Bura Na Maano, Holi Hai “. Does this  give  a licence to enjoy as you wish.



My emotional quotient is high.My heart bleeds for Sanjay Dutt. I can empathise with him and feel the pain.But, my empathy would be misplaced as emotions have no place in the verdict of the highest court of Justice.But, I am amazed at the sharp reactions of the bleeding hearts in the world of politics and filmdom.Not to lag behind,even Mr Markanday Katju ,former judge of Supreme court who besides being a citizen of India, also wears the hat of  Chairman, Press Council of India. He is a public servant holding a statutary office.One wonders whether  he  is discharging his duties diligently? Is he being fair and just  by appealing to  the Constitutional head of Maharashtra to use his discretionary powers and grant gubernatorial  pardon to Sanjay Dutt ?Has he visualized the sweeping repercussions, such an action would have on other cases,that are similarly circumstanced ? 

Do you agree with me?


The sting operation by a online portal exposed the executives of three private banks indulging in money-laundering activities.The story does not end here. Not to lag behind, even some public sector banks are allegedly indulging in the luxury of obliging mainstream political parties by receiving huge sums of of cash from them and 


channelizing the same into investment schemes by creating   benami accounts-holders.The RBI’s anti-money-laundering laws are being violated with impunity,both by private and public sector banks. While in govt service, I came across a case of a prominent political party flooding a government bank( two or three times a week) 


with sacks of unaccounted cash running into hundreds of crores of rupees ( black money in common parlance) for money-laundering.The MOF was apprised of  the details with documentary evidences. But, the matter was conveniently suppressed.The evil continues with vengeance, across the board, right under the nose of the 


RBI. Names of political party and the psu bank, are being withheld for obvious reasons.


Let  us not politicisize Pakistan PM’s  private pilgrimage  to Ajmer dargah. India’s foreign minister welcome to  the dignitary was in keeping with India’s age old traditions  and its conduct as a responsible Nation. This does not, however,take away India’s  right  to defend  its border and protect its sovereignty, if necessary, by 


carrying  hot pursuits into POK and demolish terrorists’ infrastructure. Why blame Pak’s PM who heads a sham democracy that merely complies with the orders of Pakistan army,particularly the ISI? Instead of serving  the interests of Pak’s army, let India issue orders to  its Army Chief to teach  a lesson to the former in the 


manner and language it deserves. Gen Bikram Singh’s statement  to lift the morale of our soldiers, alone ,does not suffice. Let  indian army  take action to defend country’s honour in the wake of beheading of two  Indian soldiers and  for merciless killing  of the Kargil martyr, Capt.Saurabh  Kalia.



Whether to restore Afzal’s body,already buried, to his family, is purely an Executive function,not legislative.No purpose will be served in Parliamentary discussion.The PM could have convened an All-parties meeting to arrive at a consensus.Why politicize the matter? The suggestion by the Congress-led UPA-II for discussion is a mere subterfuge to confuse the public and deflect public attention from the corruption issue of Choppergate scam. It is shying away from decision making.The Cabinet committee on security headed by the PM is mandated to decide upon such matter after taking into consideration the security scenario in J&K. The furore in Kashmir has subsided,more or less. Why prolong the matter ? Just say a polite NO to Afzal’s family.Informing them about execution belatedly, through the ‘Speed Post’, shows GOI’s total lack of humanitarian feelings.This was totally inhuman, immoral and unethical. This has jolted the conscience of Aam Aadmi in India. How much out of sync the Congress is from ground realities?

 A K SAXENA (A retired civil servant)


The Supreme court confirmed the death sentence on Afzal in 2004.Execution was carried out in 2013. The GOI has much to explain on delay.Can a chronological report be prepared and the responsibility fixed for delay in processing Afzal's mercy petition ?

Delhi's CM  (Sheila Dikshit)and the former President of India ( Pratibha Patil) must be held accountable for misusing their discretionary powers.

Let the Supreme court prescribe a specific time schedule for finalising the mercy petition so that the same is not misused  in future for cheap political ends by the ruling dispensation.

Do you agree ?


Passed in April 1923 by the Legislative Council of Great Britain , the OSA was never notified in thGazette of India. The Act becomes a law only after it is notified in the Gazette of India.  Gazette notification of  OSA ( India) is not available in India or UK.   The OSA was amended twice, in 1951 and 1967. The amendments were notified in the ' Gazette Extraordinaire of India'. The OSA conflicts with the RTI Act. The second Administrative Reforms Commission  while recommending scrapping of  OSA suggested that safeguards for ‘State Security’  be included  in the National Security Act (NSA) instead of the OSA. The UK replaced OSA 1923(UK) by its 1989 Act

Will the GOI ( MHA and Law ) re-write the draconian OS Act 1923 after taking into consideration the sovereignty of modern India  (not the British India) and the Constitutional and statutary safeguards  available to citizens of  India like  ‘ Freedom of Speech and Expression’, ‘Right to Information’ etc?


Jaipur Literature Festival (JFL) has a penchant for courting controversy. Ashis Nandy was ostensibly playing to the gallery when he remarked at a panel discussion that “Most corrupt people come from OBC, SC and ST communities”.. The eminent sociologist-turned-author was unprofessional when he failed to substantiate his thesis through empirical data..According to experts, no caste-based sociological study has ever been made. to support his sweeping generalization.. 

Corruption is endemic , un- related to castes or creeds.One knows of either small crooks or big crooks. Scams involving bureaucrats , big businessmen , the political class et al get suppressed irrespective of caste affiliations. Nandy’s naivete at JLF’s international forum has encouraged powerful sections to get political mileage out of the JLF’s imbroglio by ignoring their own credentials and track records.Ironically, the benefits of reservation instead of percolating to the deprived sections, are cornered by the high and mighty, 

Nandy has much to explain for his offensive remarks under cover of Freedom of Speech and Expression.He must be challenged intellectually and condemned unequivocally. Let the Jaipur Police not get trapped in political sloganeering.


The  effort  put in  by the three members  anti- rape committee headed by former CJI in submitting its  631 pages report to GOI merits appreciation.The job was completed  in a record 29 days after orally consulting   474, witnesses..Let the law makers in Parliament and State assemblies now legislate  on the matter.The lukewarm response  by  serving DGs  across the country, is reprehensible. Their  inability  to assist the committee  by giving suggestions/opinions  for  amendments to criminal law,  displays  their lack of concern for women’ safety. They must all be show-caused and reprimanded.



Justice Katju's views on countries problems merit  respect and  consideration.His scholarship should not and cannot be taken for granted. 

 However, he will rise more in my esteem ,if, he targets the evil of "Paid Journalism" in India.This hard reality has shaken the "Fourth Pillar" of democracy also called the Fourth Estate. It is common knowledge that the indian Media, print as well as  electronic, is sold out to the political class. Journalists owing allegiance to the Nehru-Gandhi-Vadra dynasty are being feted and paid regularly by the ruling dispensation.Their details are are a common knowledge in the journalistic circles. Radia tapes were a small sample.

The Media ,in return for the kickbacks, create media hypes to improve the sagging image of  the Congress.Even a non-event connected with  Sonia and Rahul Gandhi is portrayed as a 'Breaking News". Their facetious and irrelevant remarks grab the headlines. The Media’s single point agenda is to project Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister. Even seasoned  journalists are shy of questioning Rahul’s potential as  a leader.Not to lag behind, the  senior Congressmen  take pride in praising the dynasty to secure themselves in the eternal game of One-up-manship. Shameless and disgusting creatures, they are. Ethics in Journalism has undergone a paradigm shift.

Let the Chairperson Press Council of India,Justice  Katju focus his attention to it.


A K SAXENA (A retired civil servant)






A K SAXENA (A retired civil servant)



GOI’s candy floss approach towards Pakistan despite several sponsored terrorist attacks during the last five years, has portrayed India as a soft State in the comity of nations. Lack of appropriate response by India emboldened Pakistan army (regular/irregular) to cross the LOC , brutally killing and  beheading  two Indian soldiers. 

Will GOI wake up and show its political will by instructing the Indian army launch a surgical strike on POK and dismantle all terrorist infrastructure on the other side of LOC ? 

Should India do a Kashmir in Baluchistan by way of retaliation ? This will take the pressure from J&K.What do you  think ?


Delhi court’s strictures against  CP,Delhi and his juniors in Delhi’s gang rape case, is a serious indictment of MHA.The blame game between MHA and Delhi govt over control of Delhi Police (DP) has exposed Delhi’s skewed governance structure with multiplicity of authorities. DP is inefficient, corrupt and insensitive due to its last jurisdiction and total absence of accountability.  Violations of local byelaws under the nose of DP has led to rampant unauthorised encroachments on public land .The DP is reluctant to remove encroachments as it is their regular source of illicit income.The scam is a thriving industry involving hundreds of crores worth of illegal  transactions. Traffic snarls are constant irritants due to Police apathy.

A Municipal Police force should be constituted in Delhi/ New Delhi for handling offences like violations of local byelaws leading to unauthorized encroachments. Functions of traffic management (along with traffic police) should  be transferred to NCT Delhi .The performance of officers  must be  monitored by Delhi’s Chief Secretary and the minutes must be kept in public domain as a shield against political interferences and cosmetic changes.

Off-loading DP of civic functions will enable Delhi’s Police Commissioner to focus his/her attention to critical areas like public and VIP security, women’ safety,anti-terrorism measures, law& order etc.

If the experiment succeeds in Delhi based on impact assessment study, then, it could be replicated elsewhere in the country.Will the MHA take a call ?


The Constitutional provision for reservation was meant to enable the lower echelons of society join the main stream . It was initially envisaged for 20 years from the date of adoption of the Constitution. But, unfortunately,due to vote bank politics , the law makers in Parliament gave  successive  extensions for 65 years. The benefits of reservation are presently being cornered by affluent sections of reserved categories whereas the poor are getting further marginalized. It is suggested that reservation in present form is gradually phased out through Constitutional amendment.The benefit of ‘affirmative action’ must be allowed ,across the board, based on the criteria of economic backwardness  irrespective of  Class or Castes.

 Merit is undoubtedly compromised due to lowering of  general qualifying standards for SC/ST/OBC while filling vacancies in these categories. This applies to all exams conducted by the UPSC , SSC and other recruitment bodies across the country.


Provision of the pernicious "single-point-directive", that exempts senior bureaucrats of the rank of Joint Secretary and above from direct probe by CBI in corruption cases, without prior prosecution sanctions of GOI, must be revisited. The Apex court in 1997 had quashed the exemption clause incorporated in the executive resolution of 1964 that created the CVC. The GoI, however, decided to restore it with statutory force through incorporation in the CVC Act.

According to reply by DOP&T to a Parliament question, the GoI during the last four years, denied sanctions in respect of 15 officers of the level of JS and above, against whom the CBI had solid evidences of graft charges. Worse, 14 cases, filed by CBI had to be closed for want of prosecution sanctions.

 The law cannot inhibit probe against senior bureaucrats and public sector executives and cover merely junior officers and PSU executives. Restoration, based on discrimination, is bad in law.ItsConstitutional validity must be examined by the Law commission, legal luminaries in the light of principle of "Equality before law”. Need it be mentioned that the level of JS and above is the cutting edge level for policy decision making and the scope of corruption is high.

A K Saxena (A retired civil servant)


The Delhi bus rape victim remained nameless throughout medical treatment. She was given names like :  Damini,  Amaanat, Jyoti, Nirbhay etc by the Media. Fair enough. 


But,could she be allowed to die in anonymity?Is it ethical? Was there a demand from the kins to keep her name secret? Supreme court’s directions apply to   living specie, not those who were murdered. Then, why is her name being kept a State secret?  Was the GOI (Read as 10-Janpath) scared of backlash by protestors ( 


One senior TV  journalist called them ‘lumpens’) had the girl’s identity been  revealed? Even cremation was carried out hurriedly at the government selected site at unearthly hours and under cover of darkness.


I agree with Shashi Tharoor. Naming the proposed anti-rape law after Delhi' bus gangrape victim is appropriate and would act as a deterrent. This would keep alive memories of  huge public angst against the rape and the stiff penalties, if any, in the minds of potential criminals.


The death of Delhi’s gangrape victim has jolted the conscience of every Indian. The spurt in the number of rape could be attributed to bad governance, lack of fear of law and growing insensitivity of police personnel . The penalty for rape as provided in IPC, does not match the culpability of outraging a woman’s modesty.The public outcry for capital punishment in rape cases merits consideration of law makers as this alone could instill fear in criminal minds.The offence of rape must be made  cognizable  and non-bailable.  The suggestion for ‘chemical castration’ cannot provide deterrence due to its reversibility.This could apply on  offenders who are on parole.

 The Presidential power for commuting death sentences into life imprisonment,   merits to  be reviewed through legislative intervention.  The exercise of  such power, being arbitrary and discretionary, merely encourages political interferences. Views of sociologists and psychologists must be considered along with police experience. While enhancing  penalty,  it  must be ensured  that there is no scope  for misuse  by women on the analogy of  Sec 498 (A) IPC in dowry cases.


January 1301

“Hum Dekhenge”


“Hum Dekhenge”

- Faiz Ahmed Faiz


Hum dekhenge

Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge

Woh din ke jis ka waada hai

Jo loh-e-azl pe likha hai

Hum dekhenge


Jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-garaan

Rui ki tarah ud jayenge

Hum mehkumoon ke paun tale

Yeh dharti dhad dhad dhadkagi

Aur ehl-e-hukum ke sar upar

Jab bijli kad kad kadkegi

Hum dekhenge


Jab arz-e-khuda ke Kabe se

Sab but uthwaye jayenge

Hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-haram

Masnad pe bithaye jayenge

Sab taaj uchale jayenge

Sab takht giraye jayenge


Bas naam rahega Allah ka

Jo ghayab bhi hai hazir bhi

Jo nazir bhi hai manzar bhi

Uthega analhaq ka naara

Jo main bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho

Aur raaj karegi khalq-e-khuda

Jo main bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho


Hum dekhenge

Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge

Hum dekhenge 


The PMO has no locus standi in clarifying  GOI's stand on the allegations made against Vadra, a private person as per PMO’s perception.

But, he is also  the Congress's ‘damaad’. Hence ,he is a public servant as he is related to a prominent public servant called Sonia Gandhi. There is a  verdict from the Hon'ble Supreme court or some High court on the subject .The dividing line between the Congress and the GOI, is not blirred but has totally vanished. 

The Allahabad High court may order investigation by the CBI under its direct supervision to get at the bottom of the truth.

Incidentally, Vadra is related to country’s most powerful family.He is  politically exposed and cannot,therefore, be treated as a private person.Besides, he is getting all facilities like rent-free bungalow,free  electricity, water, transport, Z+ security etc.


I remain addicted to the Times Now 9 PM debate anchored by Arnab Goswami.But,the selection of panelists for debates continues to be a riddle wrapped in enigma inside a mystery. I am apolitical.But,certain participants specially those who represent the Congress,seem to be unqualified.They digress from the Motion simply add to bitterness.The language used is highly intemperate,uncivil and even uncouth.Are they thrust by the Congress high command on Arnab Goswami,one wonders?Arnab must filter these unworthy "intellectuals" from such high profile debates as it impacts the credibility.The slanging between Subramaniam Swamy and someone called Sanjay Jha,was disgusting.The latter brought disgrace to the Congress party by his brutal sycophancy and much more.And, why has the Congress supremo again brought in Abhishek Manu Singhvi as General Secretary after his featuring in a video clipping containing porn stuff? Is the Congress devoid of sober spokespersons who carry modicum of respect in public eye? Whatever may be the compulsions,The Times Now TV will noy gain in its TRP without filtering the panellists.The Tom,Dick and Harry approach just to fill the slot will be disastrous.


A majority of constituents of Retail sector  in the un-organized sector regularly defaults in payment of sales tax, income tax. It  pilfers power and encroaches  on public land .It is, however, smart enough to pay bribes to corrupt politicians, the Police, Sales tax, income tax, municipal officials and those working in  Bijli and Jal boards. The leakage of public money contributes to growth of black money, not GDP.Once the FDI becomes operational, in multi-brand retail sector, the circulation of black money could reduce marginally. The moot point is : Could the kirana store owners work out an effective response  mechanism to retain their  market share in the consumers’ shopping basket under the revised dispensation? Yes; but  not without consumers’ support. The Kirana shops in villages, towns and cities are located in the neighbourhoods. Their replacement by multi-brand retail outlets would be out of question. These will continue to receive patronage by consumers  due to their residential proximity combined with  high transport cost, traffic congestions, parking problems  around   Big bazaars, Malls  etc. These act as a damper  on consumer enthusiasm for visiting the Malls.

The Congress  is aware of ground realities.However,beleagured by public angst against serial scams, rising inflation , the party was in desperate hurry in notifying  FDI rules  by skipping  promised consultation with  political parties and without taking Parliamentary approval. The motive was loud and clear : To deflect public  attention from the latest Coalgate  scam allegedly involving  the PM , his aides and central Ministers. The fear that “foreign players will capitalise on India's high-cost manufacturing base” may not hold water in the face of experience gathered by  India’s majors like the Reliance. Big Bazaar etc.The backlash by Kirana owners and their salesmen against indian majors, is not forgotten.

The assumption that FDI  will boost india’s economic  independence ,is thus  fallacious ,simplistic and misleading. It will be a no-profit-no-loss conundrum in Indian scenario.



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September 1201

Municipal Decay ?

Where have our footpaths vanished?  The Indian citizens are demanding these back. The police is reluctant and insensitive to removing encroachers from public land. Reason? It is their assured source of regular income. Consider India’s capital city. Multiplicity of municipal authorities in Delhi is confusing. Details of controlling municipalities like DDA,NDMC,MCD(East,west,north,south ) the Delhi Police Stations , their officers concerned , Vigilance cells, are never displayed. The Aam Aadmi does not know where to complain. This helps the hawkers, encroachers belonging to unorganized sectors. Complaints made to zonal  Municipal Commissioners and Delhi Police Commissioner, are not even acknowledged.

Will the MHA (In- charge of Delhi Police)and Urban Development ministries apply their mind to the menace ,at least, in Delhi,to begin with ?


The states have no power over allocation of coal blocks . 

All policy matters are decided by the GOI alone. 

It is not on the concurrent list. 

The states can only make recommendations. 

In the present case ,the recommendations made by the Opposition-ruled states were straightaway rejected by the UPA-I&II despite clear opposition from successive Coal Secretaries at the Centre.

Any defence by the Congressmen is meaningless.Their denigration of Constitutional or Statutary institutions merits derision and condemnation!


The Kaalchakra churns out fresh scams  as older ones keep fading from memory. Recall some scams and events that  rocked the country . The list is illustrative,not exhaustive : Telgi’s fake stamp paper scam; Satyam  fiasco; Quattrocchi’s  grand escape; 2G spectrum allocation; CWG scam; wasting  Plan funds   by   Mayavati for erecting  statues ; Vote-for-cash scam;  high inflation rate; declining  GDP; Unusual  hikes in  rates of power, water and petrol; Soft-pedalling investigations against  Mayavati and Mulayam Singh Yadav in lieu of  their support to  the Congress; wasteful expenditure on  VIPs Security including that on  "democratic monarchy";  quid pro quo defence deals; Tetra scam; corruption in judiciary;  Municipal decay; Wire-tapping of former FM’s chamber and conference rooms; corruption in NRHM/ MNREGA schemes; false sense of food security; the contemplated “Mobile distribution” scheme for the “undefined” BPL category; mis-use of anti-corruption agencies by politicians; collapse of bureaucracy; fizzling out of Anna Hazare movement; Coalgate mega scam; Congress slamming the institution of  C&AG for  bold expose; India emerging as a “SMS” republic in the wake of  Assam infiltration; Kanda’s defiance of law and the hero’s welcome to his  surrender in Delhi at the “police station of his choice” etc…! Rapes and murders continue with impunity. The “nautanki” will go on. The common man wonders: Kya Phir Subhaa Hogi” ?


One wonders how did Pranab Mukherjee start speaking in chaste hindi so soon after winning the presidential election ? His flawless command over hindi during TV interviews was amazing.

He stayed in Delhi as minister for four decades; but hardly ever spoke in hindi,the official language of the union.

He proudly announced during the last budget session debate that "his hindi was not good".

The sudden transformation is being hotly debated in the media circle and corridors of power.

Do you want to know how did this transformation occur?


The coming Presidential election is marked by political brinkmanship. With the electronic media covering intra-party and intra-coalition splits on minute-by-minute basis , locating the ‘consensus’ candidate by all political parties, was impossible. Pranab Mukherjee, the “Sankat Mochak” of the Congress emerged as its nominee. Sonia Gandhi is ecstatic as Rahul Baba’s elevation as PM after 2014 general elections, would be hurdle-free. Intensity of politicking reportedly marked by alleged secret deals like gifting Cabinet berths, slowing down investigations in DA cases against corrupt politicians has exposed the quid pro quo culture of Indian polity. Appearance of SP and its bête noire BSP on the same page alongside the Congress re-inforces the belief that “Ends are more important than the Means”. This paradigm shift in ethos spells disaster for the country. Let the eggheads unite.

The moot point is : Could the Opinion Makers including intellectuals, social activists , teachers, Editors, Journalists, retired judges and civil servants ,et el remain as mute witnesses ? In the face of present turbulence in Indian polity, could they not spread awareness among members of Electoral College about the ideal of “ voting as per dictates of conscience”. I am baffled by the reticence of Indian Media.


After conducting 399 hearings, examining 100 witnesses ,seeking 50 extensions and 17 years of labour pain ,the baby is born ,at last , albeit at such a stupendous cost of Rs 9 crores! The timing of release of Liberhan Commission's report reinforces the public suspicion that this was a Congress's ploy to distract peoples' attention and disturb communal harmony. Both the Congress and the BJP were co-sinners in mosque demolition ! They have a single point agenda: How to disturb the communal harmony? In my humble view, both the Congress and the BJP were jointly responsible for the catastrophy on Dec,6,1992. Could Justice Liberhan explain as to how did he take 17 long years to submit his report? He has attributed the delay to the "non-cooperative attitude" of the witnesses. This argument is absolutely fallacious . Freebies like HRA (or rent-free residential accommodation),TA, DA, emoluments , chauffeur-driven car, and several other facilities as admissible to a Supreme Court Judge, must have been available to him. These are magnets, that could attract any one! Why did he not submit his findings within three months ie by March,16,1993. Why did he accept the assignment of the Inquiry Commission,if he was not sure of completing the job within the prescribed period? Further, in the interest of transparency, it would be appropriate to ascertain whether the staggering expenditure of Rs 9 crores on the Commission during the past 17 years, was incurred as per rules, particularly the payments ,if any, made to the lawyers or any other agencies engaged by the Commission. The C&AG may take up the study.It is never too late.


The CBI as a highly professional and premier investigating agency of the country is held in high esteem by the Supreme Court, the High Courts, the Parliament and above all the public. It investigates major crimes in the country having inter...-state and international ramifications. It enjoys high credibility even among the CMs of Opposition –ruled States. Against this background, Sheila Dikshit's recent utterances have been most reprehensible, not expected of the CM of NCT Delhi. Dikshit’s open appeal and formal leters to PM and HM for insulating former Chairperson NDMC from CBI investigation in CWG -related works is unjust and unfair. This amounts to directly influencing the course of investigations by the CBI. This criminal misconduct is punishable under the Law of the land. Equality before the law is the key principle of the indian legal system. The rich and the powerful are as subject to the law as are the weak and the vulnerable. Dr Manmohan Singh, the Mauni Baba did not even reprimand Sheila Dikshit. Let us remind Delhi’s CM:‘Be ye ever so high, the law is always above you’


Based on thirty five years of my experience in GOI, I have always felt cheated by the MOF's austerity drive carried out year after year. Action of Ministers and bureaucrats never fits into the government's sham focus on austerity. Take the case of our peripatetic Ministers, MPs and bureaucrats visiting abroad at the cost of taxpayers money. The expenses run into thousands of crores of INR. The Planning Commission has no remorse about spending Rs 35 lakhs for renovating two toilets in Yojana Bhavan.The foreign tours undertaken by the President of India and her kins and the Deputy Chairperson Planning Commission have already attracted adverse media publicity. Tours within and outside, are manipulated . With modern IT facilities including video conferencing, more than 70 percent government tours could be straightaway cancelled. Another area of government insensitivity and hypocrisy is the discretionary power given to ministries for making unfettered appointment of "Consultants". This is a scam where officers are rewarded , post retirement, for their loyalties. The consultants are taking over the regular functions with access to sensitive info and without any accountability. What happens to Pranab Da's commitment made in 2009 for restoring black money to the country. According to Director CBI ,the black money stashed abroad ,is estimated to be of the order of Rs 25 lakh crores. India will be able to feed its millions of hungry, malnourished people. At present, the obese Indian Government is doling out low calorie diet to the undefined BPL category. This is a fraud committed on Aam aadmi.


The PMO has hijacked the mandated functions of the MEA leaving its career diplomats marginalized and de-motivated. It does not auger well for the IFS fraternity. One wonders how was an IFS officer promoted as Foreign Secretary after superseding several officers and then reappointed as National Security Advisor (on retirement) despite the drafting fiasco at Sharm-el-Sheikh. The appointment of Brajesh Mishra (1952 vintage of IFS)as the NSA in 1998 did not raise the eye brow in the fraternity. There were, however, muted reactions to the appointment of an IPS officer and then an IFS officer of a junior batch as the NSA. Their strength was their perceived proximity to the PM. The level of frustration is writ large on the faces of MEA’s mandarins The “Personality factor” counts a lot in relation between the PMO and MEA. Why was Pranab Mukherjee not made India’s foreign minister, one wonders ? That would have diluted PMO’s importance. The suave S M Krishna, however, does not mind playing a second fiddle to the PMO. Unfortunately, he cannot open his mouth without putting his foot into it. The grapevine has it that the PMO does not keep the MEA in the loop on important foreign policy matters.


The Indian bureaucracy is unstable due to its skewed structure: top heavy, bulging middle and effete knees. The top echelon is the mastermind. Ensconced in ivory tower, It has empowered itself by its marriage of convenience (Call it “arranged marriage”. if you will) to political bosses. Serial scams could not have taken place without the covert support of the Steel frame of bureaucracy. Consider the latest GOI orders that exclude top bureaucrats (Secretaries, Addl Secretaries et al ) from CVC’s purview in corruption matters. About 1300 top GOI officers, CMDs, Functional Directors of PSUs , public sector Financial and Banking institutions, are now out of bounds of the CVC by a single masterstroke. Complaints against this “privileged monarchy” would now be handled by a Committee of four top Officers. With preliminary investigations in the hands of Secretary (Coordination) in Cab Sectt, genuine complaints getting trashed on grounds of being “frivolous, baseless and motivated”. About 90 % of CVOs in PSUs and Banks are IAS officers whose annual performances are assessed by respective CEOs on quid pro quo basis. Implications would be disastrous. The decision to transfer CVC’s powers to a panel of babus would benefit extra-Constitutional authorities, Political parties, Ministers , Secretaries, CMDs, Functional Directors of central PSUs , financial and banking institutions . Freebies to ministerial mandarins would grow exponentially. It is now clear why are the IAS generalists (lacking domain knowledge) lining up for appointment as CEOs of PSUs, banking & financial institutions, as willing replacements to professionals? Strangely, the draconian move passed off innocuously without catching Media’s attention. One wonders what was the crying need to dilute the importance of a statutory body like the CVC, when the scope and coverage of the Lokpal Bill is under active consideration of the Parliamentary Committee. Is it a subtle move to save top officers involved in CWG, 2G and the Coal scams? One could file the RTI application with DOP&T to access relevant notings and analyse the ulterior motives of the temporary Executive . Perhaps, K M Chandrasekhar, former Cabinet Secretary would know better !


China betrays a typical house wife mentality. It will be naive to take it at face value in the context of serious differences confronting the two countries. While China needs to be upfront, which it cannot , India must remain alert 24x7, if the experiences in the past are any guide. The competition between India and China is not merely on economic and military issues.It is for establishing hegemony in the South-Asian region. The latest verbal onslaught confirms China’s intellectual and diplomatic bankruptcy. Its advisory to India against massing troops along the Sino-India border, looks to be downright childish for a sovereign country. Let China show mirror to itself and see its deployment of PLA at the border. It is making inroads into Nepal and Pakistan, trying to encircle India by a "String of Pearls"? What is China’s rationale in staking claim over Arunachal Pradesh,Laddhak and parts of North-eastern India ? Making frequent incursions into Laddhak and painting the red chinese dragons on indian rocks are provocative actions. And, now, it is asserting its sovereignty over the South-China sea as part of its expansionist policy. India abandoned the oil drilling project ostensibly due to technical grounds. Internal story is otherwise. Let China see the ground reality before embarking on any mis-adventure against India.Let it improve its human rights record first before addressing its concerns against the largest democracy of the World. Let it not gloat over India’s reverses in 1962.No more territorial aggrandizement. Things are much different now.For its own security, let China learn to shut up and put up.


Absence of intra-party democracy in the Congress has resulted in political arrogance. Its uni-centric approach has led to concentration of power . The steel frame of bureaucracy has failed to maintain its political neutrality. A coterie of pliable officers is infamous for manipulating their return to Central government on deputation without completing the mandatory cooling off period. They manage to get empanelled against rules with plum postings. Post retirement, some bureaucrats get rewards for their political loyalty. They get placements as Governors, Members of CECs, CICs UPSC, Regulatory authorities, Commissions, independent directors of PSUs and several sinecures. The politicians extract their pound of flesh. There is the case of an officer appointed as Member CAT, despite being reprimanded by the same tribunal while in service for some wrongdoing. Square pegs in round holes ! So much for misuse of discretionary power by political masters despite NAC’s recommendation to the contrary. Why this double standard? The vicious circle of “give and take”, “pick and choose” and the “specific suitability” clause are arbitrary, discretionary and subjective? Why does the Cabinet Sectt not prescribe specific guidelines for curbing misuse of discretionary power and bring about transparency in empanelment and postings? For how long, will the bureaucrats promote their self interests by playing into the hands of politicians?


Controversy is chasing Retired Justice Katju.His sermons to the Fourth estate do not seem to end. Deprecating the prevailing self-regulatory mechanism , he wants the electronic media, to be accountable to the PCI . Former CJI J S Varma says: "irresponsible talk is best ignored.". Ambika Soni and Katju ji are on the same page. She sermonizes the Media to sensitise itself. A perfect Quid pro quo deal,it is to implement the Congress's mandate. Katju ji tries to justify his viewpoint by stating that since the lawyers are accountable to Bar Council and Judges could be impeached by the Parliament, the electronic Media must be accountable to the PCI or the Lokpal. This is specious and misleading. The menace of 'Paid Journalism'is certainly a stigma on the Fourth estate.But, why paint the entire Media as corrupt? Why not file defammation suits in courts against the Media. Making the Press subservient to the Executive is liable to be misused and manipulated by the Executive. This will be worse than 'Paid Journalism'. Let us not forget the contribution made by the print and electronic media in exposing successive scams. Demand for Media accountability is anathema to Freedom of Speech flowing from the Right to Life, enshrined in the Constitution of India.


The comparison between two former Directors of CBI D P Kohli ( 1963-68) and D Sen (1971-77) is not apt. One must appreciate the opposite scenarios in which the two functioned. Consider the scenarios. While Kohli as the founder Director of CBI in 1963 functioned in a comparatively non controversial environment under two successive premiers: J L Nehru and L B Shastri, there was no political interference during those halcyon days of Indian bureaucracy. The paradigm shift in work ethos took place when Indira Gandhi took over the reins in 1969. The corruption was re-defined. The CBI's erosion of its credibility reached its zenith during the national emergency declared by Madam Gandhi (1975-77). The CBI became politicised. The Shah Commission of Inquiry indicted the CBI for allowing itself to be misused as an instrument of harassment of innocent people by Indira Gandhi and all- powerful Sanjay Gandhi assisted by 'chaatukaars'. All of them are now occupying high positions in the GoI and the Congress party by switching their loyalties. Both acted like bulldozers while seeking compliance of their orders . How could D Sen , the then Director(CBI) , an officer of great professional competence who inspired fear and awe ,be expected to oppose the dictators during the national emergency when the entire clan of high profile IAS officers, as also observed by the Shah Commission, "worked as agents of GOI and zealously collaborated with the authoritarian regime" ? This is how the politicization of CBI started. The IAS officers chose to prostrate when asked to bow before Indira-Sanjay duo. How did the CBI become a convenient tool in the hands of present day politicians to armtwist the bureaucrats and politicians , is anybody’s guess


I am convinced that inclusion of Caste in Census 2011 is an Electoral Fraud! The views supporting caste reservations in India are subjective. Continuance of reservations based on anomalies of the past is fallacious.. A Civil society does not permit inequities. Our present society is ‘unequal’. No purpose is served by repeating the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by the high castes( One wonders who coined this phrase in the face of sub-castes within castes) on the lesser mortals. Lord Krishna ( A yadhuvanshi ) is worshipped by all Hindus irrespective of their castes. The triumvirate of Mulayam, Sharad and Lalu must ponder over this before playing the OBC card. The ‘yadavas’ are among the most affluent and influential classes. Persons belonging to the so-called high castes are presently performing the most menial jobs.Ironcally, the creamy layers in SC,ST and OBC have been blocking benefits to the less fortunates in their categories. How could one forgive (Murtidevi) Mayavati? The assets owned by her are mind-blowing. Instead of building class rooms for dalit poors in UP , she erected hundreds of Statues of dalit icons- all at public cost. There are anomalies galore in the prevalent caste system. The ‘Vaishyas’ in Bihar are listed as OBC, but as high castes elsewhere. The “Muslim kayasthas” are unjustifiably listed as OBC in UP due to vote bank politics. The Gurjars are OBC in J&K. They are agitating for ST status in Rajasthan much to the annoyance of the Meenas who are allegedly eating into the shares of the STs of the North-east. An all-round confusion has been created by the caste-driven politicians. Against this background, will the inclusion of ‘Caste’ in the Census questionnaire not open a Pandora ’s Box of divisive politics in the country. The memories of post- Mandal violence across northern India is a historical reality. Please watch my words. This time,the scope and dimension of violence will be far more ferocious.It is futile to expect any support from the myopic , self-seeking politicians. The Judicial pro-activism, if at all, will be struck down by legislative arrogance . How to save the country from the possible caste war that may reach a flash point in the aftermath of the Census report? An “Intellectual Revolution” is the need of the hour.The Egg-heads of the country must unite and rise above petty politics ! The Editors, journalists, writers,reporters,poets,the electronic and print media,the social activists, the sociologists and eminent social thinkers must endeavour to create public awareness against the evil of casteism.There must also be a debate on the need for “disenfranchisement” in respect of SC,ST and OBC categories, if the reservations are to be continued. Same logic must apply to religious minorities. This will make them self reliant and not dependent on wily politicians.It is now or never!


J L Nehru, a liberal democrat, governed India by allowing the public sector to attain “commanding heights of economy” to build infra-structures. Sardar Patel , India’s Bismarck, ruled with an “iron hand”. Lal Bahadur Shastri governed with his “modesty and honesty”. Indira Gandhi ruled through “Nationalization” and later through “Emergency’, that proved her waterloo. Sanjay Gandhi, the extra-constitutional authority during the emergency , ruled through “ Coercion”. Rajiv Gandhi governed through “Missions”. Morarji Desai governed through his “ Obduracy and the infamous Urine therapy”. P V Narasimha Rao ruled by exchanging “Suite-cases of black money”. H D Deve Gowda , a Prime Minister by chance, ruled by upholding “ liberalization”. Atal Behari Vajpai governed through “delegation of power” to his close confidants both at “home” and “office”. Dr Man Mohan Singh, the de jure PM, governs through “Groups of Ministers” . Sonia Gandhi, the de facto PM, rules by “ back-seat driving” to avoid accountability. States’ Chief Ministers rule by building infrastructure (including parks and memorials) through “Corruption” and by playing the Dalit, Hindutva and minority cards”. Can the Aam aadmi still claim with pride: "Mera Desh MahaanjQuery15205886916291642998_1339834085652?”


The deadwood in the Indian governmental bureaucracy is like the non-performing assets. The nationalised Indian banks have failed to overcome this problem on their sides due to lack of pro-active approach. At least, the GOI must lead by examples by chopping off the deadwood by strengthening its performance appraisal system and applying it effectively before it is too late. Its application must be across the board and irrespective of the organised Service to which the laggards belong. This will cut down the existing strength of bureaucracy by 40% and removing corruption in the process. Unfortunately, we can't apply the same guillotine to the political executive due to compulsions of real-politik !!!


I wonder whether Bal Thackeray has made any contribution to the Indian society. It did not take me long to conclude that as a narrow-minded individual,he has always generated hatred, disharmony and friction among the peace-loving motley of indian communities co-habiting in cosmopolitan Mumbai. He is merely wasting his time and energy in building Berlin walls within Maharashtra. Where were his paper tigers hiding during the 26/11 attack at Mumbai? His excessive "patriotism" borde-ring on "Xenophobia", is misplaced. Both Shiv Sena and the MNS workers must dedicate themselves to the cause of the poor slum dwellers of Mumbai instead of sitting in the air-conditioned comforts of their ivory towers! Let them not tarnish the name of the great Shivaji Maharaj! The country already has enough problems at its hands which the incompetent Government of India, is unable to cope with. One more appeal. Let Bal, Udhav and Raj Thackeray refrain from denigrating the achievements of any artistes or cricketers by spewing venom against them through "Saamna". It is strange that even at this age and his failing health, Bal Thackeray is not showing sign of maturity by making plebeian statements against others. He has deservedly earned the epithet of "bad cholesterol" among Mumbaikars!


A seemingly innocuous statement by Sharad Pawar on Dec 20, 2009, attributing the existing price rise of consumer goods to ‘global warming’ jolted me into writing this piece. Sheer baloney, was it! The price inflation during the past two years has been phenomenal. Does it not demonstrate GOI’s failure in controlling price rise? Will the country’s economists including the PM agree with such frivolous and escapist statement of Agriculture minister on ‘Food Security’? Let us spare a word about the BPLs (37% as per GOI estimate) . They do not get two square meals a day. They merely get election promises on ‘Food Security’ in terms of UPA’s mandate. On the contrary, the mollycoddled MPs who represent them get total’ food security’ through highly subsidized canteens located inside the Parliament House, its Annexe and the Library. Is this concealed subsidy justified? One feels such food security to MPs in the temple of democracy is a blot on the Parliament. How could these parliamentarians digest food at such abysmally low price and debate the issue of 'Food Security ‘for the down-trodden. This is hypocrisy at its worst!. Worse still, enjoying virtually free lunches and dinners by the staff and officers of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sectts looks to me down- right vulgar, to say the least! I have personally seen them shamelessly enjoying the 5-Star grub during the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committees attached to various ministries. All this at the tax-payers’ cost. Will the Speaker, Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha jointly ponder over these matters seriously in a transparent manner and order immediate withdrawal of concealed subsidies to Parliamentary food jaunts. These heavenly canteens must also be declared in-accessible to the Parliamentary Secretariat babus and Security Staff. Let the Parliamentarians cutting across party lines lead by examples and boycott these canteens, run by the Railways, if they have the slightest concerns for the poor.


Buta Singh’s ugly defence of Chief Justice Dinakaran of Karnataka High Court on caste considerations against allegations made by a body of advocates is most reprehensible particularly when his own conduct has been under cloud and investigations by CBI in the bribery scam is underway. The misuse of high Constitutional Office by him in promoting the illegal activities of his son, calls for severe punishment under the law of the land. If he is subjected to Narco-analysis test, more startling truths will come out. The CBI is expected to finalise investigation and book the culprits. Buta has habitually played either his minority card or the caste card, whenever his misdeeds were exposed. Law of the land applies uniformly to all and sundry irrespective of their religions, castes, political or ideological affiliations. The self-styled representatives of Scheduled Castes have done nothing for the uplift and empowerment of the weaker sections they pretend to represent. They have exploited them as part of vote bank. The likes of Buta Singh wish that the SC group remained perpetually weak so that their monopoly continued for ever. Baba Bhim Rao Ambedkar, one of the greatest visionaries, India has produced, who drafted the Indian Constitution, never vouched for reservation for SC/ST in perpetuity. He visualised its deleterious effect on the minds of the beneficiaries, in the long run. The decidennial continuance of reservation for SC/ST and now OBC, has divided the country on caste lines besides causing avoidable heart burnings. Is it not the high time that the policy of reservation is jettisoned once for all and all citizens treated as equals, both in letter and spirit? Is this possible without a strong political will? Alternatively, another view, which is fast gaining momentum, is that persons belonging to SC/ST/OBC must be divested, by legislation, of all benefits, bestowed by the Constitution of India, once they are convicted under the law of the land! What could be the legal implications? Imagine a hypothetical scenario where there is no distinction based on class, castes and religion. And, no reservations. Would the five star icons like Sonia and Rahul Gandhi still visit, share meals and stay overnight with the poor dalits under the thatched roof of their leaky homes? Perhaps, never! This will always remain a Utopian dream! Never a reality!


Though complimentary to each other, there is poor chemistry between the Investigation and the Prosecution wing of the CBI. This is reflected in the poor success rate of this premier agency before the courts. While the investigation wing undertakes the tedious job of gathering clinching evidences, the job of the Prosecution wing cannot be under estimated. Effective presentation of cases before the CBI- designated trial courts ,Appellate courts and even the Supreme Court, is a significant exercise that is crucial to the final outcome of the courts' judgments. During my service career , I had personally followed up this case. It is understood that though the proposal for grant of 25% incentive to officers' of Prosecution wing ( on the analogy of similar incentive admissible to officers of Investigation wing of the CBI) was supported by DOP&T and its Financial Advisor to Min of Finance, the same was summarily rejected by MOF .Does this not amount to perpetuation of discrimination for no valid reason. DOP&T is headed by the PM. We have now a more experienced FM. I suppose, the UPA-II ( after electoral detoxification of UPA-I ) is considered more transparent, just and fair. May I request the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister through this website to intervene into the matter and remove all kinds of discriminations and anomalies under the existing dispensation


It is high time that the GOI cut its umbilical cord with the colonial past. Let the GOI Ministers no longer, be treated like Indian princes receiving fat privy purses (Read as salaries), a large number of freebies and a still larger complement of Personal Staff, to boot. Annual expenditure on Ministers’ personal staff runs into crores of rupees with no matching benefits. On the contrary, it facilitates corruption. Ghost man-power is ‘employed’ by ministers and salaries due to them pocketed. These are hard realities of the present political Executive of the Union of India and the federal states. Ministers heading economic and social sector ministries like Coal, Petroleum, and Heavy Industries, Banking, Finance, Commerce, Agriculture, HRD, Rural Development etc mis-use public utilities (including PSUs and PSBs) as personal fiefdoms utilizing their unlimited manpower, transport facilities etc. Their personal staff are deployed to facilitate misuse of powers. A minister who is confident enough to attend to official work, does not require any PS or PA. He /She is free to summon his ministerial officers for briefing or seeking clarification on any point. The fact that a large number of officers belonging to organized services vie for appointment as Private Secretaries to richly endowed ministers bear testimony to the lucrative business that it is! Honestly and seriously speaking, the requirement of a Minister in GOI can be met by engaging at the most three persons instead of the existing over ten. This includes a peon who should also be an Usher. The Prime Minister as the Cabinet Minister-in-charge of DOP&T must put a full stop to the existing practice of Ministers poaching ministries’ officers/ staff for deploying in personal section on informal basis, while pocketing the salaries earmarked for the regulars! This secret, I bet, may not be known to many Civil servants!


About A.K.Saxena

A K SAXENA, an Indian national, is a retired civil servant from Government of India He is also a freelance journalist with several published investigative articles and columns in various fields to his credit. His writings are a reflection of his interest in writing on divergent themes and making the topics relevant to a wider audience. A post graduate in Chemistry from University of Delhi,he could not sustain his interest in pursuing research and instead chose to enter the government service through the IAS etc exam held by the UPSC. “KALASAVYA” that brought out several publications besides organizing cultural shows.

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