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Issue No.: 559 | January 2014
 

The Good New and the Bad News

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First the Good News – The Congress (I) is Trounced

The Assembly Elections in Delhi overshadowed the sweeping victories of the BJP in Rajasthan and Madhya  radesh. And this is crucial for the AAP not so much to realise, but to understand. 

To begin with they must understand that they have arrived, and an impressive arrival that on the Indian political scene, as a party to reckon with. But they have not won – at least not enough to form a government. When Kejriwal kept saying that he would win and bring about policy changes, he meant not only his victory but a majority for his party. And so it was right that his associate Yogendra Yadav kept saying that the Aam Admi Party did not have the numbers. In a different context when the Swatantra Party in Gujarat was short of "numbers” to form the government in Gujarat after the 1967 elections, there were several offers from some moneyed people to ‘persuade’ some winning candidates belonging to the Indian National Congress to join (in fact defect) to the Swatantra Party in enough numbers to form the Government. Minoo Masani then national General Secretary of the Swatantra Party without a day’s hesitation declined the offers of the Party’s "moneyed friends”. He simply said: "We have not received a mandate from the electorate to govern but to play the role of the Opposition Party in the State Assembly”. This was emphatic. An emergency meeting of the Central Parliamentary Board of the Party reaffirmed the position taken by the Party’s General Secretary. Talking of "numbers” would give an impression that numbers can be "arranged.” by the party’s well wishers who will then extract their pound of flesh when the time comes. 

If Yogendra Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal had said they have received a mandate only to be in the opposition and not to govern and said they would offer issue based support to the BJP the single largest party if it decided to form a ministry, then there would have been much appreciation of the position taken by the Aam Admi Party and it would have been a test of the Congress (I) – would it oppose for the sake of opposing or also provide constructive opposition? If the latter it would have worked to their advantage in 2014 as a responsible party. Perhaps (the word underlines the uncertain scenario because the two parties consider themselves as ‘enemies’ and not as parties in the opposition). On the other hand both the Congress (I) and the BJP are engaged in muddying the waters so if the Aam Admi Party jumps in for a swim it will get muddied.

There is no such thing as "unconditional support”. Rajiv Gandhi had put and later pulled the rug from under the feet of the Chandrashekhar government at the centre in November 1990 after the fall of the V. P. Singh Govenment. Reminds one of an advice given by Lenin on United Front governments supported by the commies – support them as "the rope supports the hanged man”

Nevertheless what has happened in Delhi is indeed a game-changer and could well be the tipping point that augurs well for the parties in the opposition to tip the scales in 2014. Good for democracy not so good for the Congress(I).

Now for the Bad News – A Supreme Court Judgement that Violates Human Rights!

The following excerpt from an article by Laksmi 
Chaudhry argues why:

"The highest court in this land has delivered an enormous blow to all Indians, men and women, gay and straight. It has declared that we the people are not free citizens, but mere subjects of the state whose bodies are subject to its jurisdiction even in the privacy of our bedroom. It has upheld the Indian state’s right to decide what sexual acts are permissible between two consenting adults, and in doing so, it has enslaved us all in one fell swoop. "For that is what the Supreme Court ruling represents: The triumph of colonial-era law over our very own constitution; the brute power of the state over the fundamental rights of the citizen. "The 2009 High Court ruling stated, "We declare that Section 377 IPC, insofar it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution.” In other words, criminalising violates the fundamental rights to freedom, equality, and against discrimination. In decriminalising gay sex, the court was not just upholding the rights of the gay community but also the sexual freedom of all consenting adults.

For that is what the Supreme Court ruling represents: The triumph of colonial-era law over our very own constitution; the brute power of the state over the fundamental rights of the citizen.

More about this in the February issue of FF along with what is 377. Freedom First of course is deeply
disappointed and disturbed by the Supreme Court’s judgement.
 
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Other Articles in this Issue

Editorial

The Good New and the Bad News

 

Obituary

Dr. Sheryar Ookerjee

S.V. Raju
 

Perspective

Winds of Change Presage Hope of New Political Order

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana
 

Can We Legislate for a Better Society?

Rca Godbole
 

High Time to Abolish Governmental Awards

Kashinath A. Divecha
 

Elections to Parliament: Participation of Veterans

Ravindra Waman Pathak
 

Comments

Indictment of Justice Ganguly: To What Avail?

Keshav Rau
 

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting - 2013 (CHOGM)

Suresh C. Sharma
 

Reflections

Poverty and Humble Beginnings Are No Impediments to Success in Life

B. M. N. Murthy
 

The Rural Perspective

Social transformation in Rural India

Sharad Joshi
 

Point - Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

26/11 Anniversary

Ashok Karnik
 

Snoopgate

Ashok Karnik
 

Feet of Clay

Ashok Karnik
 

Mini general elections?

Ashok Karnik
 

Cornucopia

Snoopgate: A Comedy of Errors

Firoze Hirjikaka
 

Tarun Tejpal: How Have the Mighty Fallen

Firoze Hirjikaka
 

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

India and Latin America: ‘The Big Thing in the Making’ – Part Two

B. Ramesh Babu
 

National Security

Need to Move from Dvaita to Advaita

G. R. S. Rao
 

Book Review

What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

 

Educating Adults

Implementation – Finance

Suresh C. Sharma
 

A Triangle of Deceit: Onions, Gold and Black Gold

Jyoti Marwah
 

Onion Crisis Hits India

Dr. Rita P. Bhambi
 

Onion Crisis

Sarah Ratnani
 

Gold hits a new high

Hanspal Amandeep Kaur
 

Sachin - An Example to Emulate

Rahul S. Kumar
 

Special Republic Day Pull Out

Unsung Heroes of the Indian National Movement

B. N. Mehrish
 

Nostalgia

State Control of Films

This day in 1957
 

Between Ourselves

Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

Dr. Sardul Singh Minhas
 

Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

R. Subramanian
 

Leader and the Law

M. B. Damania
 

In Case You Have Not Heard This One

Nelson Mendela

 

A Sad Story of Corruption in the Armed Forces

Jug Suraiya
 

Constitutional Method of Demonstration

 

Aam Admi Party

 

A Man Who Cared for the Poor

 

C. N. R. Rao Conferred Bharat Ratna

 

What is Freedom ?

 

Marshal Zhukov on Alexander’s Failed Invasion of India

 
 
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