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The violence of the cow protection vigilantes, and government responsibility

For some months now, there have been reports and videos of cow vigilatism coming in from the Hindi heartland, on the borders of Delhi and Haryana, and other places in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. It was quite clear that these vigilantes were not an insignificant number, and it was equally clear that what they were doing was outside the scope of the law. No law gives the right to intercept vehicles or other people unless you are a law enforcer (police or similar agency). The police should be the first one to object to any private citizens taking the law into their own hands, but in this case, the police did not take any action. Now, it is not an unfair proposition that this was because of political influences, and it is only the BJP (and the parent organization, the RSS) which is encouraging this tactic, of promoting the cow as a symbol of Hindu and national pride, the mother animal for the entire country. This came dramatically to the forefront during the attack in Dadri, where mere suspicion of the consumption of cow meat caused the death of a Muslim man. This attack horrified large sections of the country, but the local BJP leaders were not at all defensive. They rose to the defense of those people charged with the death, and there were politicians from to place who claimed that the cow was the holy mother, and anybody taking action against the cow would be threatened.
Now, when somebody threatens something, and sees that there is really no action being taken by the police against others taking such action, there is a lot of confidence that there is no responsibility behind such an action. The plus point was that typically the meat business at the local level (or the local butchers) is handled by Muslims (even if ownership of larger such operations would be with Hindus). However, at some point or the other, such action will have consequences that are adverse, and so it happened in this case. Continue reading The violence of the cow protection vigilantes, and government responsibility

The Supreme Court continues to crack the whip on the BCCI

For the past few years, there has been increased pressure on the BCCI to clean up its act, and there has been a corresponding counter pressure by the BCCI that they will not change. The BCCI controls a large amount of money (after all, cricket is a very popular game in India) and this money and the power that it provides (and also, it is to be expected that the amount of money means that some diversion is always possible) ensures that you have a number of politicians who get involved. Some of the more famous ones include, Arun Jaitley, Sharad Pawar, Laloo Prasad, and the new kid on the block, Anurag Thakur. In the case of the new ones, they are far smarter and plan their involvement in the cricket board, as well as how to benefit from their involvement.
For many years, there were complaints that there was a lot of racketing going on inside activities related to cricket, but at the same time, due to the huge political power that the cricket establishment commanded, and the sheer failure of the BCCI to do anything to clean the game in the country, there was a sense of disgust about the level of corruption. The powers behind the BCCI (including the second most important person in the country’s Government, Arun Jaitley) refused to do anything about this. In fact, the current President of the BCCI, the BJP’s Anurag Thakur is involved in a controversy about the ownership and control of a stadium in Himachal Pradesh and has charges against him. And of course, the less said about people such as Sharad Pawar and Laloo Prasad Yadav, the better. And these are political rivals who are totally against each other politically, and yet, when it comes to cricket and its bounty, they are all with each other. Continue reading The Supreme Court continues to crack the whip on the BCCI

Second setback in experiments in Govt formation – Arunachal Pradesh

It would be easy to explain this off as a byproduct of the tension that the Modi Government has been having with the judiciary. However, there might be a kernel of truth in the sense that the relations between the Government and the judiciary are fraught with tension right now. The Government believes in the righteousness of what it is doing, no doubt helped by the euphoria of the massive Lok Sabha victory it got and the implied mandate by the people of India. However, it is for that very reason that the constitution of India mandates that the judiciary is a separate and equal pillar of democracy, no matter how strong the Government is. It may also be time for the government to re-look its advisers regarding the confrontation with the judiciary, the success factors of the confrontations so far is pretty low. The NJAC Bill regarding the appointments of the judges, something that the Government pushed with such a lot of effort, was reversed by the court and in a manner where there is not going to be reversal. Further issues regarding the process of appointments is being tossed back and forth, with the court very hesitant to let the Government (maybe, specifically this Government) the power that it is seeking.
Having said that, the situation is Arunachal Pradesh would have come as a shock to many. It seemed to be a settled deal, with the wheeling and dealing having happened some months earlier, and a combined Government of Congress defectors and BJP support ruling the state; and with the Assam election having gone the BJP way decisively, showing the way for the BJP to make deep inroads into the Congress ruled states of the North East. The situation in Arunachal Pradesh was not at all clear. There was a huge amount of dis-satisfaction within the Congress, and the Congress high command did not take any action to handle this dissidence. As a result, the situation grew to such a level that the dissidents were ready to walk out of the Congress and the BJP was more than willing to take these dissidents. After all, the North-East is a geographic zone that till that time had seen minimal political strength of the BJP and the chance to throw out a Congress regime would have seemed so right for the BJP – multiple political benefits of the same. Continue reading Second setback in experiments in Govt formation – Arunachal Pradesh