Tag Archives: democracy

Cricket bat should not become the symbol of defeat of democracy: Kamal Nath

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Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath today said in a message to the young people’s respresentatives: “let your bat be a symbol of India’s victory (in sports) and not the symbol of defeat of democracy on the streets.

The chief Minister gave this message without directly referring to Akash Vijayvargiya, the first time BJP MLA from Indore and son of National BJP General secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. Akash is now in judicial custody for assualting a municipal officer with a bat and obstructed the official machinery to perform its functions in broad daylight.

Kamal Nath said India has two great qualities. Firstly, it is the world’s largest democracy and secondly, it is world’s youngest nation. It is but natural that the country has greater expectations from the elected young representatives. Why not? When it comes to democracy, we have a glorious heritage.

The Chief Minister has said that the full-grown banyan tree of Indian democracy that we are witnessing today has deep roots. The seeds of sacrifice were sown deeper and today it stands as a source of inspiration for the entire world.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru used to say that only cultured youth will build the country’s future. Today, elected young representatives should introspect and think about the path they wish the country to follow in future. One path leads to fulfillment of expectations of the glorious heritage of our democracy and another one leads to fanaticism. Friends, fanatic approach can bring cheap popularity but it cannot enrich our democracy, nath has emphasised.

Young people’s representatives, according to the Chief Minister, are responsible for making the law and not violating it. You are expected to assert yourself with logic without exceeding the dignified limits.

Praising the glory of Indian cricket, nath said, today the whole world is witnessing our shining bat. Our cricket team is on the victory path and we all are confident of winning the World Cup. But the victory cannot be achieved without hard work. Players have to work hard and observe discipline and show patience. Patience, coupled with tolerance, brings maturity. And maturity lays the foundation of victory. Be it sports or democracy, the principles are the same.

I am not saying this in a parochial manner. This is my humble request to young colleagues across the politial spectrum. As Chief Minister, it is my duty to maintain a dialogue, the CM has underscored.

“The Enabler Narendra Modi: Breaking Stereotypes”

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It has been a year since Narendra Modi came to power after leading the Bharatiya Janata Party to a landslide victory in the 2014 parliamentary election.

Modi in a few months after his inauguration shut down the Planning Commission, which by default subverted the idea of India being a federal democracy. All chief ministers as a matter of routine would line up each year to get their annual plan approved by the Planning Commission. Modi has in place inaugurated NITI Aayog wherein the chief ministers head sub-groups on various subjects. But most importantly Modi assured from the ramparts of the Red Fort, that he would ‘neither take bribe nor allow others to do the same (naa khaaoonga, naa khane doonga)’. No Prime Minister before him acknowledged the cancer of corruption and owned up responsibility to crush it down. A year has passed by since the inauguration of Modi and the economy has resumed its journey on the upward trajectory, but the real-estate prices in Delhi and satellite towns around have slumped by at least 20 per cent. The real-estate in Delhi zone thrived because the black money was in ample supply. The tap appears to have been turned off and there is tangible effect on the grounds.

ENABLER NARENDRA MODIManish Anand in his book: “THE ENABLER NARENDRA MODI: BREAKING STEREOTYPES” describes Modi as an Emperor of Indian democracy. The author prefers not to draw a parallel but goes on to emphasise that Modi has surpassed the stature of Indira Gandhi of 1971 when she was India’s most powerful leader and had unveiled a single party rule in the country. Modi’s position is both ominous and providential, he says adding his position could be ominous because he may throttle dissent and cause serious damage to Indian democracy. At the same time it could also be providential because he can guide India onto a new path and liberate the shackled potential of the country.

In the preface, Modi has been described as “arguably” India’s first non-Congress Prime Minister. To drive home the point Manish says there were seven Prime Ministers of India, who headed non-Congress governments. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee of BJP was Prime Minister for about six years. Yet, Modi is the first non-Congress Prime Minister in the true sense. Congress in India is not just a political party but a culture. And that culture was seeded deep into Indian democracy by Indira Gandhi. Her stature was such in her prime time that she ensured Constitution Amendment (42nd) to give India the character of a welfare state. All her successors, barring Modi, bore her imprints in their statecraft.

Carrying forward the argument Manish underscores how PV Narsimha Rao, ably assisted by his Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, sought to force open the window to the world, which was further carried forward by Vajpayee, they could not lay their hands on a formidable electoral template. Both were consequently rejected by the people. Both suffered from contradictions. They wanted to write new chapters in Indian economy and polity yet could not shun the ideological imprints of Indira Gandhi fully. Rao was a Congress man, but had vision to think beyond the Nehru-Gandhi bank of party ideas. Vajpayee was an RSS man, but had co-opted socialists, who were non-Congressmen for just namesake. Vajpayee was a minister in the Morarji Desai Cabinet. The old man was a hardcore Congress man and a rival of Indira Gandhi in her party. Vajpayee propped up VP Singh as Prime Minister also with the support of the Left parties. VP Singh had spent his life in the Congress and quit the party to head the Janata Party, which was essentially a loose confederation of provincial caste chieftains. Vajpayaee in his thoughts was centrist, with little leaning to the right.

In this backdrop, Manish goes on to examine the Congress party and what it stands for. Congress essentially is a political culture wherein the power of decision making is centralized. Popularly it is called a ‘High Command’ culture. This bears strong imprints in the statecraft. Even though India is a Union of states, with much thrust on federalism, Indian statecraft essentially is of centralized planning and decision making. The Centre decides what the states should do. The Centre decides how much money states should spend and under what heads. The Centre decides what laws states should have.

The author has illustrated the point vis-a-vis the Congress by drawing attention to the Indian Parliament enacting a law on acquisition of land in 2013, which was actually a political legislation thrust upon the government due to Rahul Gandhi’s obsession to do the politics of land. Land is a state subject and all state governments have their own respective policies or laws on acquisition of land. Then what was the need for the Centre to enact a law on land and whose amendments Modi is desperately seeking, because he believes it has forced a lock-down on development. If not for Rahul Gandhi ambushing Bhatta-Parsaul to throw his weight behind arguably relatively rich farmers of western Uttar Pradesh, India may have continued with the British time law on acquisition of land. The basic idea is that the Centre essentially lacks trust in state governments to be fair in dealing with its people. And that must sound ludicrous, because the state governments have more connect with the people than the state.

Carrying forward the argument, Manish says Modi is the first non-Congress Prime Minister because he has not been touched by the ideology and culture of the grand old party. Because he was chief minister of Gujarat for about 12 years with strong majority in the state Assembly. He never needed to bend even little to allow Congress to cast its imprints on him. Congress and New Delhi are a lot similar, because they too have the same culture.

The book, by Manish, who is a seasoned journalist covering the political beat for The Asian Age in Delhi, is a treatise on Indian politics and an in-depth analysis of the political philosophy and style of working of Prime Minister Modi and what sets him apart from his predecessors when it comes to vision and setting the agenda for the nation.

 

Judiciary should be empowered and capable to play its divine role: Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister addresses the joint conference of Chief Ministers of States and Chief Justices of High Courts

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pmNew Delhi: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Judiciary should be both “Sashakt” and “Samarth” (empowered and capable) to play its “divine role” of ensuring the rule of law, and delivering justice to the common man.

Addressing the Joint Conference of Chief Justices of States and Chief Justices of High Courts, the Prime Minister said that while the executive is under constant assessment and scrutiny in public life, through various institutions, the Judiciary normally does not face any such scrutiny. He said the Judiciary has built up an enormous faith and reputation among the people of India, and should evolve its own in-built systems for self-assessment, so that it can live up to the high expectations placed on it by the people.

The Prime Minister, said good infrastructure for the Judiciary was a priority for the Government, and an amount of Rs. 9749 crore had been earmarked for strengthening the Judiciary under the 14th FINANCE Commission. He said that under the Digital India Programme, technology should be deployed to bring about a qualititative change in the Judiciary. He stressed that quality manpower was required for the Judiciary. He was as concerned about the Human Resource, as he was about the physical infrastructure, the Prime Minister added.

Without going into the details of pendency in litigation and corruption in the Judiciary, the Prime Minister hoped that this forum would suggest some fresh approaches to deal with these issues. He said Lok Adalats were an effective way of dispensing justice for the common man, and this mechanism should be strengthened further. Similarly, he stressed the importance of “Family Courts.” He also called for a comprehensive review of the system of Government-appointed Tribunals, to assess their efficacy and effectiveness.

The Prime Minister said laws are sometimes not drafted well, and therefore lead to multiple interpretations. He said there should be minimum grey areas, and therefore, drafting of laws requires special attention. He said he is committed to removal of obsolete laws.

He stressed the need to prepare for emerging areas of litigation such as maritime law and cyber crime. He said acquaintance with forensic science is now a must for those associated with the legal profession.

In his welcome address Union Minister of Law and Justice D.V. Sadananda Gowda said Indian judiciary has played a key role in upholding the fundamental rights of the citizens as enshrined in our Constitution. However, ensuring justice to a population of over 1.2 billion people is a herculean task. It is more so in a developing economy with vast geographic, cultural and socioeconomic diversity. This makes it all the more important for State Governments and High Courts to work jointly towards the effective administration of justice. The Minister said our judicial system is under strain today due to 3 crore cases pending across the courts in the country. Increasing the number of courts and judges at all levels is the first step towards achieving timely delivery of justice. Development of good judicial infrastructure is another priority area. By creating a favourable working environment for judges, lawyers and litigants, we can make justice more easily accessible to everyone. The Central Government has been releasing funds for this purpose through a centrally sponsored scheme for infrastructure development and has just completed the first Phase of an ambitious eCourts Project for ICT enablement of courts.

Gowda said that these initiatives have resulted in availability of more court halls than functional courts in the country; another 2500 court rooms are under construction. The e Courts Project has already computerised more than 13000 district and subordinate courts. Data relating to 4.4 crore cases in these courts is available for the lawyers and litigants to access through the district court website at their convenience. Looking at the positive experiences from these initiatives, He called upon all the Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts to recruit more judges and staff and provide manpower and extend financial support for maintenance of this ICT infrastructure.

Gowda said Government has taken many steps to popularize alternate dispute resolution (ADR). More than Rs 350 crore has been released under the 13th Finance Commission to set up ADR Centres and train mediators. About Rs 140 crore has been released for training of Judicial Officers, and another about Rs 68 crore for training of public prosecutors. We hope to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 soon to make the arbitration process more investor-friendly, cost effective and suitable for expeditious disposal of cases. Our goal is to make India a hub of international commercial arbitration, the minister said. Shri Gowda said he has written to all the High Courts and State Governments asking them for their views on the recommendation of the Law Commission for enactment of an enabling law to be used for the timely and effective resolution of commercial disputes.

In his presidential address Chief Justice of India Justice H.L.Dattu hoped that today’s dialogue between the Judiciary and the Executive will find deep and firm roots in the bond of trust, faith , which is shared between these two institutions.

The Chief Justice said the ultimate goal of all of us is to serve the people of India upholding the letter and spirit of the Constitution. We are bound by the constitutional values and principles of Democracy and it is our sacrosanct duty to uphold them. Our sacred Constitution draws its force and its authority from the people of India, but it places the onus and the duty of protecting these citizens on the three pillars of Democracy- the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary, the Chief Justice of India asserted.

Justice Dattu said social evolution, economic progress and development of the nation raise new challenges and present opportunities for all institutions. Issues concerning the administration of justice are complex and cannot be addressed by the Judiciary alone. The Executive has just as much at stake and the Judiciary must work with the Executive as equal partners in this extremely important mission, he added.

Justice Dattu said as judges are guardians of the rule of law and the Executive has an equally important role in facilitating a rule of law society. He said, it is in the highest traditions of democratic governance that two branches of the State- the Judiciary and the Executive have come together to communicate directly with each other. He said the very heart of the justice administration in this country, which cannot be solved by the judiciary alone as it requires the active cooperation and assistance of the Executive. The issue of pendency requires efforts on multiple fronts from multiple agencies to effectively address this issue. Above all, it requires tremendous investment in developing appropriate infrastructure for the judiciary, police, prosecution agencies etc. Shri Dattu said Supreme Court and the various High Courts have been taking a wide range of measures to address pendency and this can be seen in the reduction of the pendency in the Supreme Court in the last few months and the effective lok adalat measures that have been taken across the nation. To further intensify these efforts, Arrears Committees are being constituted in every High Court to develop a strategy to clear backlog of cases that is relevant to local contexts. He said we have been able to address the long pending matters pertaining to Land Acquisition, Direct Tax cases, Criminal cases and Service matters.

The Chief Justice reffered to the Judiciary and the Parliament as siblings- the children of Democracy and said we are obligated on one hand to support one another, and on the other hand correct the other if they sway from the path laid down by our sacred Constitution. He also stressed on ensuring the best minds to adorn the Bench and vouched for attractive re-numeration as in future if youth does not see this Judiciary as a financially viable career option, it may choose to stay away from the same. If one were to simply compare the salary and perks of sitting Judges in India to any other modern Democracy, or even compare the same to that of fresh graduates in Indian Law Firms, the stark reality would be evident. He said this would cause the greatest hindrance in attracting the competent youth towards the Judiciary.