Contemplating switch over from Parliamentary to  Presidential form of government ,seven decades after independence could be part of the wishlist of the present ruling dispensation. But,it is the favourite timepass for the aimless and unproductive bureaucrats in the corridors of power.

No wonder that even former Prime minister Ms Indira Gandhi had secretly toyed with the idea of exercising all executive powers as President of India. All after getting brute majority in Parliament. After tasting power ( 15 years as CM Gujarat plus 5 years as country’s PM) PM Modi is also attracted to the pampering makeover as the combined  Head of Government  and the State like the US President .

Who does not want Authority without Accountability ?.But, the ground reality is in a state of flux. No permanence should be attached to the phenomenon of brute majority.The electorate is impatient. It wants rapid results  of its expectations than are possible from the new policies of Modi sarkar 2.0 in ‘ Naya Bharat’.

Failing this, the unpredictable electorate can always switch to a different party at the next general election in 2024. Worse,  there is a great danger of  Political gridlock  whenever the Presidential head  and the legislative majority are from different parties.

Indian citizens are very sharp and intelligent. Never underestimate them.

They are becoming increasingly aware of the growing tendency in PM Modi towards authoritarianism. All decisions on governance appear to be Modi-centric. Bureaucrats see  him as a “ Control freak ”,who loves centralisation of powers in the PMO but hates decentralisation and delegations of authority. Hates Accountability,too .

Decisions like lateral entry into bureaucracy, appointments of retired civil servants etc are merely symptoms, manifestations ,omens of  a deeper malaise.

Politicians think they know everything; but, actually they know nothing.

BJP may have a comfortable position in the Rajya Sabha in due course besides brute majority in Lok Sabha.

But, re-writing or amending the Constitution of India will not be so easy that can be done with eyes shut.

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Contemplating switch over from Parliamentary to  Presidential form of government ,seven decades after independence could be part of the wishlist of the present ruling dispensation. But,it is the favourite timepass for the aimless and unproductive bureaucrats in the corridors of power.

No wonder that even former Prime minister Ms Indira Gandhi had secretly toyed with the idea of exercising all executive powers as President of India. All after getting brute majority in Parliament. After tasting power ( 15 years as CM Gujarat plus 5 years as country’s PM) PM Modi is also attracted to the pampering makeover as the combined  Head of Government  and the State like the US President .

Who does not want Authority without Accountability ?.But, the ground reality is in a state of flux. No permanence should be attached to the phenomenon of brute majority.The electorate is impatient. It wants rapid results  of its expectations than are possible from the new policies of Modi sarkar 2.0 in ‘ Naya Bharat’.

Failing this, the unpredictable electorate can always switch to a different party at the next general election in 2024. Worse,  there is a great danger of  Political gridlock  whenever the Presidential head  and the legislative majority are from different parties.

Indian citizens are very sharp and intelligent. Never underestimate them.

They are becoming increasingly aware of the growing tendency in PM Modi towards authoritarianism. All decisions on governance appear to be Modi-centric. Bureaucrats see  him as a “ Control freak ”,who loves centralisation of powers in the PMO but hates decentralisation and delegations of authority. Hates Accountability,too .

Decisions like lateral entry into bureaucracy, appointments of retired civil servants etc are merely symptoms, manifestations ,omens of  a deeper malaise.

Politicians think they know everything; but, actually they know nothing.

BJP may have a comfortable position in the Rajya Sabha in due course besides brute majority in Lok Sabha.

But, re-writing or amending the Constitution of India will not be so easy that can be done with eyes shut.

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The recent incidents of political misbehaviour with the bureaucrats at the Centre and the States, have been very disturbing.These have jolted the conscience of the common man.It is time for their punishment and withdrawal of undeserved privileges.

Politicians in India enjoy extra-ordinary privileges. All from public exchequer. Free furnished bungalows, Security, unlimited telephone calls, free power, car fuel, passes for Rail, Air trips and many more. And, above all,food at highly subsidised rates in Parliament and State legislatures (Rs 20/25 for Veg/ non-Veg thalis).

They have the authority to fix their Salaries, allowances and privileges. No debates, no walkouts.  Total unanimity among elected representatives,cutting across party lines. All adding up to lakhs of crores of rupees per annum out of  public exchequer. No austerity measures. The politicians take pride in behaving in the most uncivil, uncouth and arrogant manner.  Such  brazen display of  VVIP status and high comfort levels are abhorent to common man.

I am amazed by the hospitality guidelines issued by the then Chief Secretary ,UP for hosting MPs ,MLAs and local politicians by officers in their chambers. Micro details include asking for cold water and nimbu-paani in the first round followed by chai or coffee with two spoons of  sugar, biscuits,burfi etc in the second round. Receiving the VVIPs at the portico and escorting them to officers’ chambers and the reverse. Such heightened scale of hospitality to politicians who are ever ready to give taste of their tongue-lashing to bureaucracy,if the job is not done. All, at the behest of CM Yogi.

No VVIP status for politicians. Remove all VIP security covers barring  the usual exempted categories like the President, PM, SC Judges, HM, Raksha mantra, Finance minister, NSA.

Media had reported security cover for NSA’s son. What is the threat perception to the son who is a private person? No Z+ Security covers for Priyanka Gandhi , her family including Vadra  and Rahul Gandhi. One body guard for the rest.

Why should Tax payers hard-earned money be utilized for such senseless expenditure , one would like to know? Why separate bungalows and separate security covers for them.

Ethics committees of Parliament are urged to lay down clear guidelines for LS/RS members. Non-compliance  must attract appropriate penalties.There is a need to discipline MPs by the Parliament, not mollycoddle them.

Parliament must intervene. All MPs must be asked to stay at borders, share boardings and lodgings  with army jawans, para-military forces etc.This will  help them in inculcating  fine qualities of head and heart. A week-long stay, once every quarter in a year in difficult terrains including insurgency –infested areas , would suffice in imparting them lessons in austerity and tolerance .Let them come out of their comfort zones. Same drill  may be ordered by States’ Assemblies to cover their MLAs.

 

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Operation INX Media scam is sub judice? Former FM P Chidambaram is cooling his heels in Delhi’s Tihar jail. All tactics to delay the proceedings have failed.

Prosecution sanctions has been granted  by the Govt to  CBI to proceed against four  ex-officials of  Finance ministry who are allegedly involved in the scam. The controversy suddenly took a curious turn creating ripples in  bureaucratic circles. Reason? A cabal of 71 ex-bureaucrats recently wrote to PM Modi expressing annoyance, displeasure against the ruling dispensation for granting  prosecution sanctions.The protestorsinclude ,among others, former cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, former foreign secretary and NSA Shivshankar Menon, former Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and former DGP of Punjab Julio Riberio.

While  expressing concern over prosecution of  four former officials , the group of 71 ex-bureaucrats has sought to defend the accused by raising fallacious arguments. Briefly stated, some prominent arguments are : (a) Serving officials will be demotivated if diligent and honest officers are selectively targeted for punishment for no fault of theirs other than that they were implementing the policy decisions of the government of the day ;  (b) It will not be surprising if civil servants procrastinate before processing and examining every proposal of importance, as they have no guarantee that they would not be implicated in criminal proceedings many years later; ( c) "selective targeting" of retired and serving officers, apparently for "gaining narrow political advantages”.

One is entitled to know the rationale of raising simplistic issues.Did the ex-bureaucrats  have access to actual records? If not, how could it pre-judge the case and give  clean chits to the four accused,portraying  them with same dirty brush? How could the protestors attribute motives to the Government, accusing it of political vendetta? There is surely something  more than meets the eye. Unholy nexus in a high profile scam involving a former union Finance minister of UPA vintage seems  a certainty. The  matter cannot be allowed to rest. Why not await court’s verdict on  the charge-sheet framed by the CBI? On what basis, is the court being brazenly influenced by extraneous  considerations ? Some invisible political power is at work to protect the principle accused.

Recall the background of introducing prosecution sanction by competent authority. Taking prior sanction for prosecution of officers of the level of Joint Secretaryies and above, was included to safeguard the  honest civil servants and senior PSUs executives,who are engaged in rendering policy advice and taking commercial decisions. The  requirement is mandatory under Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and Art  197 of IPC. Further, CVC has also to recommend sanction for prosecution. The  cabal of  71 ex-bureaucrats ,has no business to interfere and vitiate the process of law. Only a special judge is competent to take cognizance of an act of corruption.

While , honest public servants do require protection,it is equally necessary to assure the public that  provision was not meant to be misused as tools by the Government to protect its  favourite public servants,who are otherwise corrupt. The sanctioning authority must have taken into account all facts and circumstances of the case before  granting prosecutions sanctions. 

The CVC has been regularly urging successive governments in its annual reports to expedite prosecution sanctions in several cases to facilitate investigation by the CBI.  The CVC is furnishing statistics of cases pending prosecution sanctions cases by the Government. On the contrary, in present case,71 ex-bureaucrats are  questioning the issue of prosecution sanctions. Worse still, they are trying to obfuscate the government and the court rather than enlighten them by bringing in extraneous factors like ‘political vendetta ’. Does this not attract the Contempt of Court?

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September 1929

Media Jingoism

Digital media has been at its jingoistic worst ! All TV channels are jubilant at the arrival of PM Modi from US. What an ostentatious, flamboyant reception organised to greet PM Modi at Delhi airport and  beyond . All at cost of taxpayers’ money.

Full marks to Modi ji for diplomatic achievements. However, was that the occasion for celebrations in the present scenario.An undeclared war with Pakistan is raging at the LOC and IB.The country is passing through grave crises due to unprecedented floods.All this calls for strict measures to arrest the slowed-down economy.

However, on the contrary, the need for taking austerity measures is being totally ignored,especially so at a time when our jawans are being martyred and injured every day due to terror attacks in Kashmir. Public is hugely outraged by such premature show of extravaganza.

It cannot be negated that leaders’ first priority lies in earning political brownie points. Their priorities are wonky, crooked ,not public-friendly.They survive on sycophancy and ego massage, their staple diet.

Against this background, was organising a mega event like the one arranged for PM Modi justified in the present circumstances. The job in Kashmir is still incomplete. Forcible occupation of  POK  by India's Armed Forces, remains.Pakistan will not offer it to us on a platter.

The public  has lots of expectations from PM Modi.Much still remains to be completed.

One trusts, such non-events are not celebrated, in future, out of sync with ground reality.

I would urge PM Modi to issue standing instructions to the cheer leaders, sycophants including partymen , council of ministers and bureaucrats, not to waste  time.

Only, a few top ministers, Cab Secy and Principal Secretary to PM could be present. Presence of party functionaries must be totally banned. PM Modi must look different from UPA era.

Another noteworthy point. How did the Intelligence Bureau in the light of  grave threat perceptions, give security clearances for such a mass gathering of 30,000 people?

As per Media reports, both PM Modi and the NSA are under target of Pakistan-sponsored terrorists? Are media reports fabricated,one wonders?

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The passage  of Triple Talaq bill by Rajya Sabha makes the pronouncement of instant oral talaq or talaq-e-biddat void and illegal, criminalizing it as a cognizable offence punishable upto three years in jail.

A historic win for nine crores indian muslim women. A landmark   achievement by PM Modi for his determination and persistence in fighting the unholy alliance between misguided muftis and politicians.A milestone in the quest for gender justice; a moment of satisfaction for the entire ountry. A historic  fallacy has been ultimately corrected through Parliamentary legislation, consigning the weird medieval practice to the dustbin of history. This will  give the Indian muslim women the dignity they deserve.

Where is “ the intolerance gang of 49 pseudo-liberals who had recently written to PM on the “Lynchistan” affair, screaming that their freedoms and the minorities were under threat. Strangely, none of the morons hailed the emancipation of Indian muslim women from the vicious medieval practice. Their silence is baffling ; confirms their hypocrisy.

Abstentions and walk-outs by the Opposition MPs helped in passage of bill in Rajya Sabha. The Opposition has charged the ruling dispensation of clandestinely manipulating the listing of triple talaq bill for voting.This shows how much divided the so-called Maha-gathbandhan is.

The mysogynistic muftis and self- styled Islamic scholars must get used to new protocol,while others open windows of their medieval mindsets. The Media must immediately report instances of violation for investigation by the Police and filing the FIR. Monitoring cells must put maulvis , muftis and the filthy-rich Sheikhs from the middle east, under surveillance against indulging in unethical practices.

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Could Trump , the most powerful man on earth, speak a lie? Can Trump Indulge in double-talks.?  Sample some questions.

Was there no prior briefing by his officials before meeting with Imran Khaan ? Trump did not even spare UK's ambassador to the US,seeking his repatriation.He is unpredictable,impulsive and diplomatically naïve.

May be, Trump is upset with India for imposing heavy import duties on american products. India was marginalised during Afghanistan talks while China,Pakistan, Russia and the US were associated. All this left Trump totally confused. At least,so it seems.

Could PM Modi suppress the truth? Is his silence diplomatic ? Parliament mei hangama hota rahega?  But, India must hit back and keep its self-esteem intact

Modi's " Mei chup rahoonga ", doctrine will not work. He must speak up and set the entire controversy at rest. Sending a strong signal to the US,is more important than taking things lying down. Hopefully, he does so, sooner than later.

All things considered, Pakistan may not get a single penny as aid from the US. He will return empty-handed.

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Instances of courts reversing or withdrawing their original decisions are becoming increasingly commonplace.The subordinate courts are the worst offendors.

I am referring to the recent case of “ judicial over-reach” by one Manish Singh, a Jharkhand magistrate. He imposed the condition of  distributing 5 copies of  Holy Quran to School libraries for granting bail to a student Richa Bharti who was arrested for allegedly making communal comments over a “ post shared by her in the Facebook regarding lynching of one Tabarez Ansari.

By the time, the magistrate concerned could replace his earlier orders, damage was already done to law and order situation besides causing mockery of judiciary.

An absolutely flawed verdict by the subordinate judge without application of mind.He cannot be permitted to go scot free for making mockery of justice. Jharkhand high court is urged to take suo motu cognizance of the case and reprimand the magistrate for non-application of mind for disturbing communal harmony. He cannot be allowed to have his way.

Furthermore, whether, replacement was motivated by public outrage or belated  realization of blunder , reflects poorly on the deteriorating  quality of subordinate judiciary in the States.

The malady affecting  the subordinate judiciary is spread across the board. Nothing moves without the help of touts hovering around the courts. Unethical reasons: Collusive or Coercive corruption. Possibility of  non- application of mind. All WIC surfers must have had the unsavoury experience of meeting such intermediaries once in their lives outside Courts, local bodies, Police,transport offices, DDA,NOIDA  and similar other bodies having large public interfaces.             

There is  urgent need to create a uniform All India Judicial Service to replace the present subordinate judiciaries in States recruited by their High Courts and /or PSCs. Scams are often reported by the Media. Absence of  different recruitments agencies leads to differential standards, difficulty levels of question papers and different standards of assessment.

Let the Union of India expedite the creation of  an All India Judicial Service to replace the States Judicial Services.The Constitutition of India provides for it, buttressed by  Supreme court pronouncements, Law commission’s recommendations.

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ICJ’s ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav in our favour,  is no doubt,a defining moment.A victory for international human rights. Kudos to Mr Harish Salve for his historic presentation in the court, a lawyers’ delight.

But, for India, it may be too premature to celebrate the verdict. It is going to be a long drawn-out process for India lasting several years.

While putting Jadhav’s  death penalty on hold, the ICJ has directed Pakistan to allow consular access to him. He can move a plea  for review of military Kangaroo court’s verdict on his execution.

The matter is not as simple as it is made out by Indian media especially TV channels. Pakistan is celebrating the verdict as the accused is still  under their custody. No wonder, the frustrated Pakistan will make all out efforts to delay the process of implementing court’s verdict on flimsy grounds.

The ICJ  is silent about transferring the case from Pak’s Kangaroo court (which had awarded  death penalty to Jadhav) to a civilian court. Pakistan is a military state  and not a democracy.

Its military can go to any extreme in obfuscating the legal issues before its captive military court. It will continue to treat Jadhav as a spy.

We cannot expect a fair trial from Pak’s military courts.

Will international pressure alone  work on a rogue state like Pakistan? Jadhav case may linger on in Pakistani courts for years. Never expect Pakistan to return Jadhav to India on a platter.

Worse, the wounded Pakistan is bound to escalate with vengeance its terror activities in India. This calls for a disproportionately heavy  (not  matching)  military response from India.

The bottom line is: India  cannot get Jadhav released by Pakistan through legal and diplomatic efforts alone. Building international  opinions in our favour, is  important in world politics. But, will power of public opinions influence Pakistan’s decision ?

What will happen  if the Pakistani military court decides after review to convert Jadhav’s death sentence into life sentence for 14 years? 

Let us take lessons from history.International military sanctions may not help.  India ,ultimately, will have to respond to Pakistan’s Armed Forces in their own lingo,if experiences in the past, is any guide.

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Extremely temperamental, arrogant , prone to mood swings, unpredictable, egoistic, choleric, autocratic, impulsive, a bully, devoid of emotions and finesse. Enjoys his speech more than the audience.

No wonder, UK ambassador to the US, recently retorted back and labelled Trump as diplomatically clumsy, incompetent and inept . He informed his government appropriately through wire.

Trump’s perversity makes him fond of dishing out insults and criticisms on others.

It seems,he is out of the world, an alien.Expects all heads of Governments and States to prostrate before him. Considers himself as Inspector of the World.

Can PM Modi exercise sobering influence on Trump through his “Jaadoo ki Jhappi ?

As a sadist, Trump enjoys practising nuclear brinkmanship.

He lacks the requisite traits of a Presidential personality as evident from his body language.

A total contrast from Barak Obama and Clinton.

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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.


You can contact me at

aksaxena1947@gmail.com

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