An Alternative to Middle East Violence

Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy recently condemned Israeli aggression saying: "Just because their (Israel's) two soldiers were kidnapped, they carried out a major military operation in Lebanon.” For the record, Indians supporting Palestinian cause should accept the fact that Hizbollah was the aggressor who crossed the border and kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Moreover, Hizbollah is at fault for amassing weapons on the border without the knowledge of the Lebanese government. For the rest of the world it may be a matter of “just two soldiers”. However, Israeli forces are secure in the thought that their government could go to any length to bring back its soldiers. If anything we should be first to blame the terrorists for starting this spiraling violence.

Mr. Jaipal Reddy seems to forget that there exist an honourable alternative to violence to attain freedom through non-violence. India is the living example of this virtue preached and practiced by Mahatma Gandhi. Instead of advocating such principles Indian leaders resort to appeasing the provoker for the sake of minority vote bank. Indians no doubt sympathise with Palestinian cause, however, they (Palestinians) should restrain their hostile intent- of teaching young children to hate Jews and kill them - and should embrace non violence and diplomatic means to reach the meaningful settlement.

 

The "Right to Hide" Act

Cabinet’s proposal to amend the RTI (Right to Information) Act to make file notings – comments of officer in charge written on a separate green sheet on the left side of files – inaccessible to the public. Under the original RTI Act, these notes could have been accessed by common man except for those on defense, security, personal information and commercial information. The amendments propose to block these notes from public scrutiny with the exception of those on "social and developmental" projects.

The Government argues that this change would allow bureaucrats to work fearlessly. On the contrary, why and whom should honest bureaucrats fear if they are doing the right thing. Besides, this new amendment would deter an honest public servant from voicing his opinion fearing reprisal from his corrupt bosses.

The RTI act was created to empower citizens and cleanse the system of corruption. Under this Act, the citizen has the right to know the status of their file together with names of officials responsible for the delay. This power would be taken away from citizen if the RTI Act is amended giving corrupt officials a free hand at what they do best.

 

Testing Times

Written by Administrator

After the 7/11 train bombings in Mumbai we were witness to a panic created by the media as to who is responsible for the crash and a mad rush from our politicians playing the usual blame game. It is tough in a country like India to analyze the events leading up to and after the terrorist action. Even after the meticulous work, all the leads may not point to the right target. Unlike their counterparts in developed countries Indian Police have limited resources such as cctv (Close Circuit Camera) technology. We should realise that we are fighting an enemy who is coward and shrewd. They plan their sinister activities while the ordinary citizens get busy with work. They catch you unaware and shock you with maximum destruction. In spite of their claim of bravery their acts are covered in utter cowardice. The right equivalence of their shameful act would be like punishing an infant or a person with physical disability.

These are the testing time for any country advocating freedom to choose. Therefore we should raise our degree of vigilance to a new level. The best thing the ordinary population could do is to report suspicious activities to the local authorities which I think in time would prove to be crucial in fighting terror in a densely populated society like India. This would spare the intelligence agencies the painstaking process of sifting through the information and enable them to act swiftly not only to catch the terrorists after their deadly act but to thwart their plan well in advance. In addition, if we give wholesome backing to Police and the Government without overly criticizing their every move it would give them new zest in their resolve to combat terror. This is painful when we lose our family members and friends and looking for instant justice.

More often than not our politicians first jump to the conclusion and then do their investigation. There is no doubt that Pakistan is rife with terror elements of which Musharraf has no control whatsoever. However, we should clean our backyard first and make sure we do not have radical elements capable of such atrocities. It is tragic the way Mulayam Singh came out in support of SIMI after 7/11. What chance does the UP Police have to successfully carry out anti terror investigation if the Government it serves put obstacles in its path? Lets pressurize the Government to build our intelligence agencies, Intelligence Bureau and RAW in the line of Israeli Shin Beth and Mossad respectively. We need to go after these terrorists the way Mossad did through “Operation Wrath of God" after Munich massacre.

 

Quota ??? till when ?

HRD Minister Mr. Arjun Singh had recently proposed to add 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to the existing 22.5-per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the IITs, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other premier institutes under managed by the Central government.The Cabinet Secretary has returned the draft reservation bill that the HRD ministry had forwarded. Yet, the new reservation proposal has elicited strong reactions and opposition from across the country.

India one of the fastest growing economy is a 59 year old country. So many other countries which were born after India have seen faster growth and development. Reservation system which was initiated in the early days of India's post independence was aimed to bring social justice and to bring all the sections of the society in the national mainstream. The area where we have faulted is, by not defining a monitoring system to gauge the progress made by the reservation system. The reservation system which was aimed to make a united strong India, has divided India further. Political parties have used the "reservation" system for none other than their political fortunes.

So now by announcing a proposal to add 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to the existing 22.5-per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), the "reservation" system has come back to haunt India again.

We all agree that, all the backward castes need education. However by reserving seats in IITs, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other premier institutes under managed by the Central government, we are all trying to diminish India's commitment to educational excellence.
What we need today is more education institutions so that every Indian can get quality education and not reserving seats for them in premier institutions.

Premier Institutions should admit students strictly on merit and for everyone. It does not matter if someone falls under OBC, SC, ST, Minority or Major community. There should not be any quotas and we should be done away with the reservation in these institutions. If the government is serious enough about the upliftment of the weaker section of the society, it should bring law to monitor quality education in the educational institutes irrespective of a premier institution or not.

Let us have some standards in education and let us build a "quota free" India.

 

English language from First standard

It is heartening to know that Udupi Zilla Panchayat(Udupi is located in the western coast of India in the Karnataka state) has decided to introduce English as one of the subject from first standard in Government and aided Kannada medium schools of Udupi district from the next academic year.

Introduction of English was necessary as many Kannada medium schools are on the verge of closure in the district due to lack of students as parents are inclined to send their children to English medium schools. Also I feel another reason for the support of this move is that the children belonging to certain sections of the society should not be deprived of learning English only because they were studying in Kannada medium schools. English is a universal language and is a very important for any student's personal ambitions.

I congratulate Udupi Zilla Panchayat and I hope that rest of India will follow this model soon. Afterall, we can not live in an isolated world.!

 

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Fundamental Rights

The Constitution offers all citizens, individually and collectively, some basic freedoms.

Fundamental Duties

By the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution, adopted in 1976, Fundamental Duties of the citizens have also been enumerated. Article 51 'A', contained in Part IV A of the Constitution deals with Fundamental Duties. These enjoin upon a citizen among other things, to abide by the Constitution, to cherish and follow noble ideals, which inspired India's struggle for freedom, to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so, and to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.

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