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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Indian Politics: The Potency Factor!

At long last the right issue has been debated or argued or rioted in Indian politics all over the country at the most righteous time. Indian politics, fortunately, seems to have overflowingly matured making its perpetrators ‘capable’ of judging others. One very important and distinguished member of the Indian Government has called the main opposition leader impotent. Well, immediately after he took immense pains to clarify the ‘reference to the context’, that is to say he meant the ‘word’ in the ‘administrative’ terms and never in the worse possible sense that the ‘word’ is ‘capable’ of implicating. We would rather not take names here, because Indian politics has worsened than just name calling leaving nothing in mere names. The affected opposition party is up in arms calling it ‘unparliamentary’ and most uncouth kind of use of words. Well, we cannot enlighten you further on this, because at the moment we do not know what is ‘parliamentary’.

They (the Indian politicians) seem to have matured so explicitly that they are prepared to go back in time to find and judge who was ‘incapable’, of course administratively or managerially. They are ready as ever to go back to 1984, to 2002, to 1992-93 and even back to the Partition of India. As the riot of words continues to break out in all possible public avenues they might be willing to go back to pre-historic India too. This fact-finding zeal is getting really inspiring.

The citizens of India now have the ‘potency’ factor to judge leaders and contestants in the forthcoming General Elections. Right, before voting you can examine if the candidates are potent or impotent—in administrative or managerial or in whatever terms of ‘context’ or ‘reference’ you may feel like taking into consideration.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

India: Supreme Court Reexamines The Vexed Issue Of Euthanasia!

Euthanasia is derived from Greek meaning 'Happy Death' referring to the practice of intentionally ending life to avoid pain and suffering. There are various definitions of euthanasia with various interpretations leading to a complex variety of laws in different countries of the world. The most relevant definition for the present purpose could be 'painless inducement of death'. Patients who are only clinically alive or patients who are terminally ill with no hope of recovery are normally kept on life support system. Now the euthanasia law proposes to give the right of deciding about being on life support system to the related patients or families. Here more complexities crop up in terms of whether the concerned decision is basically 'voluntary euthanasia' or 'involuntary euthanasia'-the former referring to 'assisted suicide' and the latter to 'murder'. Besides, 'passive euthanasia' refers basically to withdrawing life support by medical authorities for patients  in a permanent vegetative state and is legal in India and many other countries. However, the problem is in the case of 'active euthanasia' where a 'decision' is required. Active Euthanasia  is legal only in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg while Assisted Suicide is legal only in few other countries. The Supreme Court of India has taken the right step to address this vexed issue. 

The Supreme Court today referred  the issue of legalizing euthanasia in the country to a five-judge Constitution bench, saying there has been "inconsistent" opinion in its previous verdicts on withdrawing medical support to terminally ill patients. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that it is extremely important to have a clear enunciation of law on this issue and referred the matter to a larger Constitution bench.The court said that the Constitution bench will go into all aspects of the issue and take a final decision on framing guidelines.

The Bench also comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and S K Singh passed the order on a PIL to allow a terminally ill person not to continue with artificial medical support. The Government of India had vociferously opposed the plea terming it as "suicide" which could not be allowed in the country.

 With today's direction, the apex court's earlier order, which had rejected the plea for active euthanasia, will also be reexamined by the larger bench.

The PIL filed by NGO "Common Cause" had contended that when a medical expert opines that the person afflicted with terminal disease has reached a point of no return, then s/he should be given the right to refuse being put on life support system as otherwise it would only prolong his agony. The petition was filed in 2008 when the apex court had issued notices to the Union Ministry of Health and Law and sought their response on the issue. 

Now the issue is again in the public domain and further considerations or decisions are expected in the coming months. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Politics Of ABCD: The Congress-BJP War Of The Alphabet!

When the behavior of our elected representatives, irrespective of political parties, stoop to an unprecedented low; when political parties and leaders do not hesitate even to indulge in politicizing terrorists and criminals and when the run-up to the General Elections-2014 gets heated throwing up the ugly side effects at the hapless citizens there emerges something that can make our jaws part in some amount of mirth. At least something better than the BJP’s ‘cultivation of poison’ charge against Congress and the Congress’s ‘politics of blood’ against Narendra Modi, the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate for the General or Lok Sabha elections—2014 , is the provider of the unique ‘alphabet initiative’ resulting into a war immediately.

In an election rally on Sunday, the 23rd of February, Narendra Modi had made an ABCD jibe at his eternal foe Congress saying that the ABCD has become the identity of the Congress party's never-ending corruption parade. He was lucid enough to decode the alphabets used as ABCD. A for Adarsh Scam, B for Bofors Scam, C for Coal Scam and D for Damad Ka Karobar (Son-in-Law's  Business—clearly attacking the Gandhi family.)  Modi had always been maintaining very evocatively that Congress and Corruption as the two sides of the same coin.

The new ABCD initiative by Narendra Modi has started a new kind of political war—the war of the alphabets. The Congress party countered immediately with equal eloquence and elan. The party's spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi has thrown the ABCD formula back at Modi. He too has decoded the alphabets very lucidly saying that he could add more appropriate adjectives. A for Arrogance, B for Brash, C for Communal and D for Dictatorial. Singhvi had even gone further by saying that he could provide one more alphabet M which he put forward for Megalomaniac. Well, better learn the ABCD of Politics fast and thick, O' fellow citizens, or face the barrage to come at your expense! Enjoy this moment without any alignments and be prepared!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Humor: The Cost of Credit!

“Hello! Mr. Pond?”
“This is Pond. Thames Pond.”
“Good Morning, Mr. Pond. This is Moneycanny. Can I have two minutes of your time please?”
“Regarding what?”
“Well, Sir, this is regarding a new revolutionary scheme meant only for privileged customers like you.”
“I’m not really interested, but you can tell me in brief.”
“Thank you for your patience Mr. Pond. You see, today’s times are very uncertain. Nobody knows what happens when. In case of unfortunate demise or fatal accidents our bank will protect you by waiving off all dues on your credit card plus an assured amount. All these for a nominal premium…”
“Well, Ms…err… look! This is a very fine morning and I’m out to work with a very fresh mind. Please don’t spoil it with that talk of death and all!”
“Sorry about that Mr. Pond. But this is a benefit with only minimal cost.”
“What do you mean minimal? You just said I have to die to get the benefit! ”
“Don’t take it that way, Sir. You have a responsibility to your family. To your dearest wife.”
“Look, my wife will be so grieved at my death that she will not be compensated at all by your money.”
“But your children will definitely…”
“Not at all Ms. …err…, again! They will be equally grieved by my absence and they will try their best to prove their worth so that my soul rests in peace.”
“Mr. Pond, this is a privilege offer meant only for customers like you. Our bank cares for you at every step of your life. And as I told you this is at almost no cost.”
“My death is a huge cost for me, you see? You want me to die and then benefit me! I don’t want to die. Sorry!”
“No Mr. Pond. We don’t want you to die. We want you to live forever. I’m very sorry about your feelings.”
“But…well…err… I see now how you fool…”
“Thank you Mr. Pond. It’s our great pleasure to enroll you into this unique scheme. Your next statement will reflect this change. Have a great day Sir.”
“Hey…Ms…err…wait a minute. I’ve not confirmed. Hello…on the contrary I’ve refused your offer. Hello…Damn it!” (Click-Crash) 

                                                                      (Published Earlier In Ezinearticles

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Politics: Telangana Update And More!

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy today morning resigned from his post, his elected membership of the Congress (MLA or Member of Legislative Assembly) and general party membership expressing anguish at the division of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra. Bandhs or closures have also been observed in various parts of the state and there are more protests scheduled for the days coming. Meanwhile the Telangana Bill could not be introduced in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, due to repeated disruptions, high drama and ugly scenes throughout the day. The Secretary General of the House got heckled by MPs most outrageously in the process. The last effort was made around 4 pm when the house resumed and four other bills were passed amid increasing din, but then the house had to be adjourned till Thursday tomorrow. The Bill is likely to be presented tomorrow with tight security in place and intense efforts will be made to get it passed.

Most unfortunately, the ‘parliamentary’ behavior displayed in public since last Thursday seems to have a profound impact throughout the country in terms of a definite fan following. In the Uttar Pradesh Assembly even the Governor’s address in the joint session was not spared by the opposition MLAs. There were noisy scenes of standing on benches, displaying placards, shouting of slogans and two MLAs even taking off their shirts for added impact. In Jammu and Kashmir Assembly there were scenes of slapping and persistent fisticuffs.

Politics at the moment threatens to engulf India with all its ugliness and vote-bank delirium. Even assassins and criminals seem to be counted upon as most valuable voters and efforts are being made to release them defying all legal norms. In a democracy citizens normally look forward to general elections, but this time they wish the nightmare gets over as soon as possible. However, what happens after that is equally hazardous to ponder about.

Politics Of Separation: The Pain, Pepper Powder, Knives And Telangana!

The Congress led UPA-2 approved the division of the Southern State of Andhra Pradesh into the long fought-after Telangana and the consequent Seemandhra after initiating the process over the last few months. As the draft Telangana Bill took shape in practically geographic terms the state Assembly of Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh rejected the Bill. Supporters and opposition groups emerged within the same political party and the fight for-and-against shifted to the capital as the last session of the 15th Indian Parliament began on 5th of February, 2014. The Union Cabinet approved the final Telangana Draft Bill on 7th February clearing the way for its presentation in Parliament. It had been Telangana all the way then leading to early adjournments of both the houses every day—only with grudging concessions given to present the interim Railway Budget and the Vote-on-Account General Budget 2014-15. On 12th February the interim Railway Budget was presented in Lok Sabha, the lower house, with the Railway Minister only able to read out the first and last parts of the statement. But then, the all important Telangana Bill had to be presented to entertain some chance of passing it in this last session slated to end on 21st February. 

Thursday, the 13th of February, 2014. A black day for Indian Parliamentary Democracy. All norms of parliamentary behavior, decorum and rules were razed to dust in this what we call a wonderfully rule-breaking country. Following continuous disruption of Parliament over the days on the Telangana issue some Congress Members of Parliament (MP) were expelled from the party. On that fateful day all these MPs managed to enter and therefore fierce groups of supporters and opponents were created within. The supporting group escorted the Home Minister forming a protective ring around him for introducing the Bill. The Honorable minister did not carry any papers fearing that these would be snatched away by the opponents. As he verbally started introducing the Telangana Bill in Lok Sabha all hell broke loose.

The opposing MPs, apart from marching into the well of the house that they did every day, started snatching microphones or wires, tearing up papers and indulging in some fisticuffs with the protective members. Suddenly one prominent MP opposed to Telangana broke glasses on the tables and whipped out a canister from his pocket. Before anybody realized what was happening he began spraying pepper powder all around. All present including the ministers and the Speaker were soon seen in fits of uncontrollable coughing trying to run out of the house.
In the melee one MP was believed to have brandished a knife too. Security force personnel entered and took away the violent MPs. Many of the members got ill holding their throats and chests, and at least four of them were taken away to the nearest hospital in the ambulance which was kept ready outside in anticipation of trouble. However, no security arrangements or frisking of MPs were in place in advance. In fact, a fierce debate on the necessity of frisking VIP MPs broke out. Most unpleasantly enough, this black day hardly fails to remind one of the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001. This attack is even murkier, because it has been perpetrated by ‘privileged’ members from within. More than 16 MPs were suspended from the rest of the session.

Soon after the Lok Sabha resumed one opposing MP got a heart attack while shouting his heart out and had to be admitted in ICU. Now the main opposition parties refused to acknowledge that the Bill was introduced as they opined it was not proper. Amidst the continuing din both houses got adjourned till Monday that is 17th February when the Vote-on-Account was somewhat peacefully passed through. But then the all-important Telangana Bill had to introduced and passed.

The Telangana Bill was finally introduced in somewhat a proper manner on Tuesday, the 18th of February, 2014. This time security arrangement was immaculate. Marshals were present in the doorways frisking all members and all the suspended members were not allowed to enter. The Home Minister introduced the Bill and a debate on that was attempted with frequent disruptions till 3 in the afternoon. As Lok Sabha resumed at 3 pm the live telecast of the proceedings were suspended--another unprecedented move in a democracy (Lok Sabha Television describes it as a technical snag and its CEO has ordered a probe), and a vote on the Bill was taken up. Finally, the Telangana Bill got passed in the lower house on a voice vote with the main opposition BJP deciding to support for apparent political reasons—similar reasons for which the ruling coalition wanted to ensure the separation.

Pain and anguish expressed by the opposing Congress and regional leaders of Andhra Pradesh. Calls for protests and closures for the days to come. And, there were mass celebrations in Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, and in Telangana region. Ecstatic expressions for achieving the dream of a separate state after long, fighting and painful years. The new state is to share Hyderabad as the common capital for ten years.

Today, on Wednesday the 19th of February, the Telengana Bill is set to be introduced and passed in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. If it gets passed today it would become a law after getting the Presidential nod. Formation of separate states within India has been a complex and nagging issue over the decades. Now with the formation of Telangana more demands for many such proposed separate states are bound to get louder along with the politics associated with such separation. Expression of pain and ecstasy would continue too. How low or abysmal level would this process push democratic traditions to is the big question.
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