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DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 ● RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ● ISSN 0971 - 751X
DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 ● RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ● ISSN 0971 - 751X

Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 3 No. 233 City Edition 30 Pages Rs. 8.00 www.thehindu.in

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Allahabad, Malappuram, Lucknow, Anantapur and Nellore • • INSIDE   DELHI 2 CINEMA REVIEW A

INSIDE   DELHI 2 CINEMA REVIEW A fair dose of past affairs and mind games

INSIDE

 

DELHI

2 CINEMA

REVIEW

A fair dose of past affairs and mind games

3

CAMPAIGN

TRAIL

Gandhi caps, broomsticks all the way at AAP rally

 

SHORT TAKES

JPC blames Raja, clears PM on 2G

 

NEW DELHI: The draft report of the JPC on 2G spectrum allocation on Friday exonerated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of any wrongdoing and blamed then Communications Minister A. Raja. Mr. Raja was accused of “misleading” the Prime Minister. The report was adopted by the 30- member committee.

Page 15

 
 
was adopted by the 30- member committee. Page 15   Building collapse in Mumbai kills 13
was adopted by the 30- member committee. Page 15   Building collapse in Mumbai kills 13
was adopted by the 30- member committee. Page 15   Building collapse in Mumbai kills 13

Building collapse in Mumbai kills 13

MUMBAI: Thirteen people, including three of a family, were killed and 29 injured after a five-storey residential building in Mazgaon area collapsed early Friday morning.

Back page

METRO PLUS

 

-8 pages

Rahul blitzmakespartyseenewlight

Sonia tells PM his position is not being undermined but ordinance may be put on hold

is not being undermined but ordinance may be put on hold CONGRESS FLIP-FLOP Smita Gupta NEW

CONGRESS

FLIP-FLOP

Smita Gupta

NEW DELHI: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s in- temperate criticism of the government on Friday effec- tively put the controversial ordinance on convicted legis- lators on hold: Prime Minis- ter Manmohan Singh, away in the United States on a bi- lateral visit, was forced to is- sue a statement from Washington. But with the clumsiness of the attack sending confused signals through the Congress

on the position of the Prime Minister, party president So- nia Gandhi, government sources said, reassured the Prime Minister on the tele- phone, saying there was noin- tention to undermine his position. Earlier in the day, the Con- gress and the UPA govern- ment were caught completely off-guard when Mr. Gandhi “dropped in” at a Meet-the- Press programme addressed by party general secretary Ajay Maken, only to de- nouncetheordinancecleared by the Unioncabinet onTues- day — and on which President Pranab Mukherjee had sought a government briefing on Thursday evening. With this outburst coming

Rahul’s conciliatory e-mail

Smita Gupta

NEW DELHI: In a bid to

minimise the damage caused by his outburst against the UPA government for its decision to clear an ordinance on convicted

legislators, a contrite Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi sent a conciliatory e-mail to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is in the United States on a bilateral visit.

DETAILS ON PAGE 14

in the wake of Mr. Mukherjee having made his discomfort with the ordinance known to Law Minister Kapil Sibal and HomeMinister Sushil Kumar Shinde — when they met him for well over an hour at Rash- trapati Bhawan on Thursday — Congress sources said the fate of the ordinance now ap- pears to be sealed. For both the party and the government, nothing could have been more embarrass- ing than the Congress vice president’s bombshell min- utes after Mr. Maken had de- fended the ordinance. Worse, virtually at the same moment, at another venue, unaware of the drama unfolding at the Press Club of India (PCI), Minister of State for Informa- tion and Broadcasting Man- ish Tewari and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanswamy, too, were explaining the need for the ordinance. Earlier, minutes after Mr. Maken began to speak, he re- ceived a phone call from Mr. Gandhi, who asked whether he could join him at the PCI. In the less than 10 minutes Mr. Gandhi was there, he pro- ceeded to give what he repeat-

The future is now

Siddharth Varadarajan

WASHINGTON: With ill winds from India’s domestic political drama threatening to overshadow his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a statement from here on Friday morning seeking to play down the significance of Rahul Gandhi’s dramatic outburst against the controversial Ordinance granting a reprieve to convicted lawmakers. “The Ordinance cleared by the Cabinet pertaining to the Representation of the People Act has been a matter of much public debate,” the Prime Minister’s statement said. “The Congress Vice-President has also written to me on the issue and also made a statement. The government is seized of all these developments. The issues raised will be considered on my return to India after due deliberations in the Cabinet.” The Ordinance had run into trouble on Thursday with President Pranab Mukherjee asking the government why the move was considered necessary. It is not immediately known if the Prime Minister had an inkling of what Mr. Gandhi was going to do; certainly, the initial reaction of his advisers was to duck the controversy by telling reporters off the record that Dr. Singh would not comment on domestic matters while abroad. But in the face of the growing perception back home that the Prime Minister had been left holding a can that had become too politically hot for the Congress party and its leadership to handle, his statement is an attempt to treat Mr. Gandhi’s remarks as just another input to be considered in due course. The reality is that those remarks are anything but that. They have set a new line to which the Prime Minister and his government will have to conform, regardless of the intellectual gymnastics that are required to accomplish a U-turn. On his way back from the G-20 summit in Moscow earlier this month, Dr. Singh had said he “would be happy to work for the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhiji” when the 2014 elections are over. After today’s developments, it is apparent the future is now.

edly described as his “personal opinion.” The ordi- nance, he said, was “complete nonsense” and it “should be torn up and thrown away.” He said the “arguments” made in his own party in favour of the ordinance were that there were “political considera- tions,” arguments that he said were being made in all other parties. “It is time to stop this nonsense, political parties,

mine and all others,” Mr. Gandhi said as he rolled up his sleeves, “if we want to fight corruption, we can’t continue making these small compro- mises. Because if we make these small compromises, then we compromise everywhere.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 EDITORIAL: PICKING UP AFTER RAHUL

SC gives voters the right to negative voting

J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: With a view to bringing about purity in elec- tions, the Supreme Court on Friday held that a voter could exercise the option of nega- tive voting and reject all can- didates as unworthy of being elected. The voter could press the ‘None of the Above’ (NO- TA) button in the electronic voting machine. The court directed the Election Commission to pro- vide the NOTA button in the EVM. “For democracy to survive, it is essential that the best available men should be cho- sen … for proper governance of the country. This can be best achieved through men of high moral and ethical values who win the elections on a positive vote.” Thus the NO- TA option would indeed com- pel political parties to nominate sound candidates, said a Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana Desai and Ranjan Gogoi, while allowing a pet- ition filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Writing the judgment, the CJI said: “Giving right to a voter not to vote for any can- didate while protecting his right of secrecy is extremely important in a democracy. Such an option gives the voter the right to express his disap- proval of the kind of candi- dates being put up by the parties. Gradually, there will be a systemic change and the parties will be forced to ac- cept the will of the people and field candidates who are known for their integrity.” The Bench said the NOTA option “will accelerate effec- tive political participation in the present state of the demo- cratic system and the voters will in fact be empowered.”

cratic system and the voters will in fact be empowered.” The right to cast a negative

The right to cast a negative vote, “at a time when electio- neering is in full swing, will foster the purity of the electo- ral process and also fulfil one of its objectives, namely, wide participation of people.” Not allowing a person to cast a negative vote would de- feat the very freedom of ex- pression and the right to liberty, it said. The Bench held that Elec- tion Conduct Rules 41(2) and (3) and 49-O of the Rules were ultra vires Section 128 of the Representation of the People Act and Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution to the extent they violate secrecy of voting.

NOTA WILL CURB IMPERSONATION, SAYS COURT; IT WILL MAKE PARTIES MORE RESPONSIBLE, SAYS MODI: PAGE 15; EDITORIAL: YES TO NO-VOTE OPTION

SAYS MODI: PAGE 15; EDITORIAL: YES TO NO-VOTE OPTION PM: Glad US trying diplomacy in Syria

PM: Glad US trying diplomacy in Syria

Narayan Lakshman

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama ap- peared to finally be converging on their countries’ views on Syria and Iran when Dr. Singh said that he had “compliment- ed” Mr. Obama for “giving di- plomacy a chance,” especially considering that six million Indians lived in West Asia. Dr. Singh spoke softly dur- ing a joint press briefing fol- lowing delegation-level talks and along with the U.S. Presi- dent touched upon a range of areas of cooperation including defence, clean energy, the ci- vilian nuclear agreement, counter-terrorism and the Af-

Pak region. While Dr. Singh said that he looked forward to his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York over the weekend on the side- lines of the United Nations General Assembly, he cau- tioned that “expectations have to be toned down” as long as terror stalked the subconti- nent and its “epicentre” re- mained focused in Pakistan. Mr. Obama echoed Dr. Singh’s sentiments on Pakis- tan, thanking him for India’s “consistent interest in im- proving cooperation” across the border

CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

Big biz influencing politics, says Nitish

Prashant Jha

PATNA: In a full-throated at- tack on India’s big businesses and the media, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that corporates, which were ‘apolitical’ till now, have entered the political discourse. “There is a politicization of corporates. For its interests, it is speaking in favour of an indi- vidual.” This, he argued, was an effort to reverse the democrat- ic achievements of power reac- hing the poorest and weakest sections of societies, but it would not succeed. In an exclusive conversation with The Hindu at his official residence, Mr Kumar also said that the effort to impose a

Presidential-style contest in a Parliamentary set-up like In- dia would fail. He pointed out that this may have worked in a two-party system, but with ‘multiplicity of parties’, it was not compatible. While the Chief Minister did not name any individual, his comments were quite clearly directed at the campaign of BJP’s Prime Ministerial-candidate, Naren- dra Modi. Mr Kumar said that while religion and caste would continue to be factors, he had sought to create a separate identity – of Bihari sub-na- tionalism – to weaken other categories.

INTERVIEW ON

OP-ED PAGE

No prescription, no antibiotics

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: With the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry notifying amend- ments to the Drugs and Cos- metics Act, 1940, antibiotics

and anti-tuberculosis drugs will not be sold over the coun- ter from March 1, 2014. The government’s move is expected to check the indis- criminate use of antibiotics, anti-TB and some other drugs

in the country. The packaging

of

printed

mandatory

a

with a red border on the label.

these

drugs

will

have

warning

DETAILS ON PAGE 9

the label. these drugs will have warning DETAILS ON PAGE 9 C M Y K ND-ND
the label. these drugs will have warning DETAILS ON PAGE 9 C M Y K ND-ND

CM

YK

these drugs will have warning DETAILS ON PAGE 9 C M Y K ND-ND

ND-ND

TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

these drugs will have warning DETAILS ON PAGE 9 C M Y K ND-ND TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

2

THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

CITY

CITY PAGE 4 NOTICE TO KANDA ON BAIL CANCELLATION PLEA PAGE 4 SINGLA GETS BAIL IN

PAGE 4

NOTICE TO KANDA ON BAIL CANCELLATION PLEA

CITY PAGE 4 NOTICE TO KANDA ON BAIL CANCELLATION PLEA PAGE 4 SINGLA GETS BAIL IN

PAGE 4

SINGLA GETS BAIL IN RAILWAY BRIBERY CASE

KANDA ON BAIL CANCELLATION PLEA PAGE 4 SINGLA GETS BAIL IN RAILWAY BRIBERY CASE PAGE 7

PAGE 7

SIDHU TO FAST FOR AMRITSAR PROJECTS

Afair dose of past affairs and mind games this week

CINEMA

Anuj Kumar

WARNING

A group of friends go for a reunion in Fiji. One of them is

in the yacht business and he takes them out in the sea. After a bit of customary bonding and bickering, with the camera unabashedly caressing the female forms as they get down to embrace the waves, they find there is no way they can go back to the yacht. The reason is anything but convincing, but even then we wait for some action to unfold. However, what we get is a postcard from Fiji in 3D. After putting his protagonists into the Pacific Ocean, we find director Gurmmeet Singh all at sea as his characters come up with some absurd ideas to salvage their lives. The most ludicrous is to make a rope out of swimwear! With Manjari Phadnis and Varun Sharma leading the pack of non- actors, the acting is reduced to making faces and faux posturing. Actually, it is not the fault of the actors for the writer has given them very few options to keep us interested for two hours. Yes, the same old story. One has to contend with the fear of water; the other sees it as an opportunity to dive into the past. Only Madhurima Tuli manages to merge with the atmosphere with some flair. After a point the screenplay comes to a standstill. There is no urgency, little sense of purpose.

Even the shark seems to have been told to wait till the climax. It is neither a compelling take on the dangers of nature nor does it bring out the emotional turmoil of the characters. If the idea was to bring out the deeper human secrets in an emergency, it remains floating on the surface. Even the predictable dose of past affairs fails to perk up the proceedings and the plight of the lonely baby on board doesn’t manage to stir up the melodrama. Hope this is enough to warn you against this misadventure!

PRAGUE

I t is one of those ‘arty’ festival films which hides more than it

reveals. Touted as a psychological thriller, here the mind games lose their potency much before the director decides to take the lid off the mind of his crazy protagonist

Chandan (played with panache by Chandan Roy Sanyal). Chandan is an architect whose mental architecture is flawed when it comes to relationships. He says he comes across only troubled women but perhaps the problem lies with him. He ditches his classmate Subhangi (Sonia Bindra) because he believes that she is using him for his talent in academics and is in fact infatuated with his rakish classmate Gulshan (Kumar Mayank). Gulshan is one of the two alter egos that struggles for space in Chandan’s schizophrenic mind. The other one is of a possessive, sceptical boyfriend represented by Arfi. To make the screenplay full of twists and turns, director Ashish Shukla and writer Sumeet Saxena have

turns, director Ashish Shukla and writer Sumeet Saxena have A scene from ‘Maazii’ (above) and ‘Prague’.

A scene from ‘Maazii’ (above) and ‘Prague’.

created these characters representing Chandan’s ever- altering state of mind. In the beginning you don’t know which one of them is for real and which one is a creation of his mind but as the film progresses we get to know that Shukla is going abstract because he doesn’t have too much to say and wants to lend an art house feel to his work. When the scene shifts to Prague, we hope the city will add a new flavour to the screenplay but as the bond between Chandan and the gypsy girl Elena (Elena Kazan) evolves, a sense of sameness sets in. Like the joints his characters roll, the quirky theme works in spurts but the hallucination doesn’t last the distance. All the talk of a memorial for the victims of violence in World War II

sounds hollow as Prague fails to lend a distinct character to the story. It could have been any other city and we would not have complained. It is like that painting which demands interpretation but when you find one it begins to look shallow.

MAAZII

I n a week of small films with big designs, debutant Gaurav

Chopra’s Maazii surprises with its intent and craft. Set in Western Uttar Pradesh, it is our own Western and impresses with its honest approach and powerful performances. Unlike many polished versions from Bollywood, backed by stars, there is no fakery in accent and the sense of pride that the cowboys of the region hold dearer than their

pride that the cowboys of the region hold dearer than their lives permeates through the celluloid

lives permeates through the celluloid seamlessly. To top it the layered screenplay keeps you riveted. It is the story of a young man called Tarun Singh (Sumeet Nijhavan), who is trying to bury his violent past (Maazii means past) but it keeps lurking around his peaceful life with his wife (Mona Vasu) and daughter in the hills of Mussoorie. A flower seller, Tarun doesn’t know that a bed of thorns is awaiting him when he saves a female customer from the attack of notorious criminals Rathi and Bhati. The act of heroism takes the lid off his concealed identity and the trail of muck takes us to the hotbed of crime in Meerut. The violence is nothing new but it is rare to find a mainstream Hindi film where every bullet is accounted for and when the action looks more persuasive than stylish. And the way it is written, you can’t guess what lies in store for Tarun. Making good use of limited budget, Chopra doesn’t try to show every act of violence. Instead he uses razor sharp dialogues dipped in acerbic wit, which is true to the region, to drive home the point. It becomes

all the more compelling because the narrative is inhabited by some tremendous actors. Pankaj Tripathi as Rathi has mastered the diction as the remorseless killer. So has Manav Kaushik as his accomplice Bhati. Their blood- soaked revelry in the opening sequence is a hoot. Similarly Manish Chaudhari has come up with stellar performance as the policeman, we usually find at the chowkis in the cow belt. He indulges in corruption but all the time he will make you believe that he has your interest in his heart. Then Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub gives vendetta a fresh meaning in a small but impactful role. Sumeet as the central force comes across as a limited actor but has just the right kind of wooden face to justify Tarun’s artificial calm. Of course, there are signs of rawness at the edges and there are some trademark Bollywoodish exaggerations while dealing with Tarun’s past but overall it is a film that won’t disappoint you if you keep your expectations in check.

GAMBIT

W hen the ploy is to blend masters of broad humour

with champions of subtlety, it is bound to misfire. This is the story

of Gambit, a remake of 1960s hit of the same name. Here Coen (Ethan and Joel) brothers bring in their trademark low brow humour and broad characterisations in a film helmed by Michael Hoffman and led by Colin Firth. Both are known for their ability to underplay but here they are caught justifying forced humour and gags. Firth plays Harry Deane,

a docile art curator, who works for

a bullying media tycoon Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman). Seeking revenge for years of

exploitation, Deane and his friend The Major (Tom Courtenay) join hands and rope in Texan rodeo queen PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz is off-key) to mount an elaborate fraud against Shabandar. They convince her to pose as the owner of a rare canvas by the Impressionist master Claude Monet. If the con works, Shabandar will lose millions and Deane will get richer both in terms of money and self-esteem. It starts with how Deane expects the con to unfold. It is an interesting episode that tickles you in the right places but soon the reality dawns on both Deane and us as in the real world Shabandar is not as stupid as Deane thinks him to be. He doubts everything until the charm of Puznowski makes him blind. After a crackling start, Coen brothers lose direction and we are left with Firth without pants in Savoy hotel. The episode goes on and on. Firth wants to make it realistic while the writing wants him to loosen up. It is where the narrative starts bursting at the seams and we can see through the charade. Riddled with clichés, the brothers use age-old tricks like making fun of Japanese characters to bring smile. The brothers seem to be desperate to bring the pants down and only Rickman seems to know how to do

it without making a fool of

himself. At the end of the day it is

Puznowski’s initials that define this con job!

day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND
day it is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND

CM

YK

is Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND

ND-ND

TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

Puznowski’s initials that define this con job! C M Y K ND-ND TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

CITY 3

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SHORT TAKES

Woman killed in accident

 

NEW DELHI: A 60-year-old woman was killed while her brother was seriously injured when their scooter was hit by a truck near Akshardham Temple in East Delhi. Shakuntala Devi, a resident of Gautam Buddh Nagar, was going to his brother Mahendra’s (50) home in Sarai Kale Khan with him on a scooter on Thursday night, the police said. When the duo reached near Akshardham Temple their two-wheeler was hit by a truck from behind. “The injured were rushed to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital where the woman was declared brought dead. The truck driver fled the spot,” said a police officer.PTI

Ex-Serviceman

arrested

NEW DELHI: A 49-year-old ex- Serviceman allegedly attempted to murder his nephew by shooting him over a property dispute in Ranhola two days ago. According to the police, Bhagte, the father of victim Pawan Kumar (24), had made a call to the Police Control Room on Wednesday stating that Pawan had been shot in Baprola village. “Pawan himself was hospitalised and hence was unfit for statement. Bhagte told us that he along with Pawan had gone to his cousin Chander’s house in Baprola village to sort out a property dispute. As they reached the house, Chander and other family member took them to the roof. It is alleged that Bhagat and Pawan were abused and then Chander fired at Pawan,” said an officer. Based on Bhagte’s statement, a case of attempt to murder under Indian Penal Code and Arms Act was filed with Ranhola police station and Chander was arrested the following day. A 12 bore gun along with eight cartridges was also recovered at his instance. Chander, a former Indian Army man, is presently engaged in agricultural work.

SAHMAT: Seminar on “Secularism and theArts”, SahityaAkademi conferencehall, Rabindra Bhavan, 35 Ferozeshah Road, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

National Gallery of Modern Art:

Exhibition by Ketaki Sheth titled “A Certain

Grace The Sidi: Indians of African Descent’’, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Exhibition titled “Through

a

Lens, by a Mirror, The Parsis (1977-

2013)” by Sooni Taraporevala, Jaipur House, India Gate, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Photoink : Exhibition on, “Raghu Rai Trees,” 11 a.m. to 7 p.m; MGF Hyundai Build- ing, Ground Floor, 1 Jhandewalan, Faiz Road.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Meeting:

Aakarshan Group:Paschim Vihar, Delhi Government dispensary,G A2, Block, oppo- site Radha Krishna Temple; Primary Pur- pose Group: Church of the Resurrection,

near Mother Dairy Booth, DDAMarket, Ro- hini; Jeevandhara Group: Khyber Pass, Civil Lines St. Thomas Baptist Church; Pro- gramme of Recovery Group: Dwarka Health Centre, Sector-12; Prashanti Group:

Lord Mahavir School Sector-29, adjacent

to

Bhramaputra Shopping Complex; Chet-

na

Group: Delhi Govt. dispensary,B-1 Block,

YamunaVihar, nearMotherDairy; A.A. Uja-

 

la

Group: Masihgarh Church, Sukhdev Vi-

har, near Escorts Heart Institute; Group: St Columba’sSchool, Bhai Vir Singh, near Gole Dak Khana; and Morning Attitude Mod- ification Group: Basti Vikas Kendra, Jawa- har Camp, Kirti Nagar, Sector-6, 7 p.m.

 

Gandhi caps, broomsticksall the way at Bijwasan AAP rally

‘So many people have come voluntarily, we did not pay them, neither did we arrange transport’

“Very few films go against Muslim stereotypes”

Mohammad Ali

NEW DELHI: As an industry Bollywood resists movies which will break stereo- types of Muslims as terror- ists, argued filmmaker Subhas Kapoor while speak- ing at a function organised to mark 25 years of the Saf- dar Hashmi Memorial Trust. While talking about the “Trajectory of the Secular/ Communal Impulse in Indi- an Cinema”, the Jolly LLB director pointed out there were very few films which go against the established Muslim stereotypes. “Who is a Muslim charac- ter in Bollywood today? He is a terrorist and if the film- maker is progressive then the terrorist is shown dying while trying to save the flag,” the filmmaker said. While mentioning cases of innocent Muslim youths being framed in terror cases in which later they get ac- quitted, Mr. Kapoor shared his future plans to make movies which challenge the perception of Muslims as terrorists. He talked about his desire to make ‘Pandit Saleem Mo- hammad Chaturvedi’, a mo- vie where a Brahman youth gets killed in a fake encoun- ter. “There is a lot of resist- ance if one wanted to change that perception. When I discussed my plan

for the movie, senior pro- ducers frankly told me that it was not possible to make such a movie and it may lead to communal riots,” he said. But at the same time, the filmmaker said, Bollywood remains one of the most secular spaces to work with- out any strong biases. And there is competition be- tween Kapoors and Khans to get the Eid slot for the release of their films. Posing a rhetorical ques- tion as to when will the sit- uation change, the filmmaker said the answer lies in the society, the do- main outside the film indus- try. While adding to the film- makers’ argument, one of the trustees of SAHMAT So- hail Hashmi said the Mus- lim character in Hindi cinema has to pay for not going to Pakistan. “Muslim characters are drunks, poets or terrorists. Where do we have a hero who is Muslim? Normally a Muslim character has to die saving a Hindu hero. The opposite is quite rare,” he said. While talking about how reality was distorted to suit stereotyping of Muslims, Mr. Hashmi mentioned Sar- farosh, a movie which talks about Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The origins of the movie lies in the attack by Shiv Sena on a ghazal con- cert of Ghulam Ali.

BROOM

BOOM

Vijetha S.N.

a ghazal con- cert of Ghulam Ali. BROOM BOOM Vijetha S.N. A huge turnout at an

A huge turnout at an AAP rally at Bijwasan in Delhi on Friday on the eve of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary celebrations. - PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

country; sweep the floors if necessary,” he said, per- forming his latest duty of helping an old woman wear her Aam Aadmi Party’s Gandhi cap. The other women cloistered together on one side of the tent, all wearing their caps, on top of their already covered heads. Gandhi caps and broom- sticks were aplenty in the rally which even had a dona- tion stand. “We run our elections out of the money

you donate, the 10 rupees, the 20 rupees or the 500 ru- pees. We don’t take money from any Tata or Birla like

the Congress and the BJP,” came the announcement af- ter the song and dance per- formance. To catch the attention of the electorate and media alike, the party had organised a show of the “vanishing folk songs of ru- ral Delhi”. Then it was the turn of AAP’s Bijwasan candidate Colonel Devender Sehrawat to tell the audience when he would speak. “I will be speaking soon, we are wait- ing for Arvind Kejriwal,” he promised. As party candi- date, it was his chance to win over the people. “Please

meet Commando Surinder; he was one of those brave men who saved people’s lives when terrorists landed in Mumbai,” he began. As he spoke, Geeta, who had managed a front seat and who along with her fam- ily makes it a point to visit every political rally that comes to town, said: “I lis- ten to the speech properly, I note down what they say, I don’t come here just to be entertained.” “We listen to all their speeches but I like what the AAP is doing,” she added, pointing to the entrance of

the tent. A big crowd of flag- waving men then gave way to a waving Arvind Kejriwal, who arrived, albeit half an hour late but was greeted enthusiastically with shouts of “Bharat mata ki jai.” He held a broom and obe- diently posed for photo- graphs before taking to the stage. “Repeat after me,

Bharat mata ki jai, inquilab zindabad, vande mataram,”

he screamed into the mike, before some old men of the village came onto the stage and tied a turban on him and the colonel. “In this vil- lage, tying the pagdi is a way of honouring a person, ac- cepting him. This means, they all want to vote for us,” added Gajendra. There are many local leaders and sup- porters who have to get a word in before Mr. Kejriwal is finally allowed to speak about the “corruption” in Parliament and what the country needs at the mo- ment. On the way out, one cannot help but notice the sprawling farmhouses that run alongside the common hut. But did the AAP see their support base swelling and were there any new supporters. “I cannot say if any of them came today, we don’t treat anyone like VIPs, people have to sit wherever they find place, so there is no way of knowing,” said a Gandhi-capped vol- unteer.

NEW DELHI: On the face of it parts of Bijwasan village re- semble the numerous pov- erty-stricken, beset with flies, dusty villages of the country. But on Friday af- ternoon, one part of it came alive to the sound of music and political speeches at an Aam Aadmi Party meeting.

As around 500 men and women, squeezed into a tent, listened intently to the sound blaring out of loud speakers bent on convinc- ing them of the “evil” times they lived in and how they could only be “saved” through our “vote”, there were some in the gathering who were busy looking at the response. “Look at the crowd, so many people and the best part is they have come vol- untarily, we did not pay them and neither did we ar- range transport for them to come here,” said Gajendra Sharma, a Human Resource officer in an MNC on week- days and AAP volunteer whenever “duty calls”.

“I work for the ideology,

the vision of Bhagat Singh and I do whatever I have to

do to help us change the

“Volunteers are strength of the party”

Vijetha S.N.

NEW DELHI: A man from South Africa who quit his job; anoth- er from Madhya Pradesh who quit his business; an auto-rick- shaw driver of Delhi and sev- eral housewives. They may have very little in common but the Aam Aadmi Party has brought them together as vol- unteers. And on Friday all of them were present at an AAP

meeting in Bijwasan, setting the stage for party leader Ar- vind Kejriwal to speak.

A party leader said these

volunteers are the strength of AAP. Some of them just help with the organisation work while others engage in door-

to-door campaigning. They were all hooked on to social reformer Anna Hazare when he came to the Capital almost three years ago. “I can get a job and make money anytime, but the one thing I don’t want to regret when I am old with no energy left is the fact that I had the opportunity to serve the coun- try and I didn’t take it,” said Subash Tawar, who resigned as CEO in a South African company back in April. “I really do not care about

my business right now, I somehow could not leave and pretend nothing ever hap- pened after Anna Hazare’s movement in which I took

part,” said R.P. Mishra, who hasn’t visited his home State for awhile. “I drive autos and I have enough money to manage my life enough to volunteer here,” said Raju Barod. For Anu Mishra too there has been no turning back after Anna. “I have been campaign- ing door-to-door for quite some time now,” the home- maker said, adding that there has to be at least two women accompanying one man while they do their rounds. “Other- wise, the women, especially when they are without their men in the afternoons refuse to even open their doors,” she said, pointing to the insecurity

Mystery shrouds return of kidnapped Jamia man

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: A 23-year-old man who was allegedly kidnapped by unidenti- fied persons from Jamia Nagar on September 23 returned home on Fri- day but the mystery sur- rounding the entire episode is yet to be un- ravelled, sources in the police said. In the three days dur- ing which the drama un- folded, the victim’s family received calls de- manding an initial ran- som of Rs.1 crore, an amount which was ne-

gotiated and brought down to Rs.35 lakh. The police, however, have not confirmed whether any amount was actually paid to secure the re- lease of the victim. On Monday, while on his way to an institute in his car, the man was kid- napped following which his family members re- ceived ransom calls and reported the matter to the police who formed several teams to rescue him. The car was found abandoned at Ashram Chowk the following day. The victim is learnt

among the population in general. Parveen Devi and Pushpa Devi have had some nasty en- counters, from households strongly supporting some oth- er political parties. “We have never lost our temper: if we are shouted at, we speak calmly. We know the situation will work in our favour,” said a confident looking Pushpa. Parveen added that they have also become wiser by the day. “Sometimes, people from other parties want to waste our time so they call us in and keep chatting, so that we lose campaigning time. We are much better in avoiding this now.”

to have told the police that his limbs were tied with a rope and he was blindfolded by the kid- nappers. He also pur- portedly told them that he was drugged and that the kidnappers dumped him at ISBT Sarai Kale Khan from where he hired an auto-rickshaw and returned home. This leaves other questions such as who kidnapped him, where was he taken to and un- der what circumstances he was let off and whether he was kid- napped at all.

Focus on hardship faced by Kashmiri Pandits

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Hardship faced by Kashmiri Pandits after their ex- odus from the Valley was dis- cussed at a panel discussion on

the first day of the “Kashmir

Before Our Eyes -- A festival of films, discussions, photographs

and readings” at Jawaharlal Nehru University here on Fri- day. The three-day festival was in- augurated by JNU Rector Sudha

Pai and the opening film “Be- fore My Eyes” of late Kashmiri filmmaker Mani Kaul was screened. On the first day, there was a panel discussion on “Exile and Displacement” which saw heat- ed exchange between the panel- lists and those in the audience. Speakers including author Siddhartha Gigoo, Rahul Pandi- ta and Chandrakanta, who all grew up in the Valley, took the audience to the environment of

fear prevailing in the Valley which forced the exodus of Pan- dits.“After being dislocated from their land of birth, Pandits had to undergo a lot of hardship and suffering. People who have been an integral part of the State for the past 5,000 years were forced to abandon their ancestral homes and live in pa-

thetic conditions. Pandits were kidnapped and killed. But today they are a forgotten chapter in Kashmir,” said Mr. Gigoo, whose film “The Lost Day” was screened. Two other films, “Aatish-e- Chinar” and “Dairy of an Ag- gression”, were screened on the first day.

of an Ag- gression ”, were screened on the first day. Senior official gets terror messages
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Senior official gets terror messages on mobile phone

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: A text message claiming that crowded places in the Capital would soon be targeted by terrorists was sent to the mobile phone of District Magistrate (North) Ashish More this past Sunday, prompting the police to launch investiga- tions to establish the identity of the anon- ymous sender. In a complaint addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Delhi), Mr. More said he received the message around 2-15 p.m. on September 22 stat- ing: “Delhi kay three ýcrowd palace main aatankwadi hamla hone wala hai” (There would be terror strikes at three crowded places in Delhi)ý.

Case registration

Soon after Mr. More received the mess- age, he contacted the DCP. Taking up the matter seriously, the police officer or- dered registration of a case at the Civil Lines police station . It is learnt that the police have zeroed in on a person suspecting his involvement and are conducting further investigations.

his involvement and are conducting further investigations. Published by S. Padmanabhan at Kasturi Buildings, 859 &

Published by S. Padmanabhan at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Limited, B-2, Sector 63, Noida, Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P., on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Siddharth Varadarajan (Editor responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act).

responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). C M Y K

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THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

CITY THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 SHORT TAKES Spread awareness about diabetes: Sheila

SHORT TAKES

Spread awareness about diabetes: Sheila

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday underlined the need for disseminating public awareness about diabetes and its complication, terming it a “silent killer”. Inaugurating the Centre for Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism and an Advanced CT Scan and Radiology Unit at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, she said the government was committed to developing the GTB Complex as a holistic centre of health care. Health Minister A.K. Walia said Delhi has witnessed an “unprecedented expansion” in the health sector in the past few years. The number of hospitals has gone up from 18 to 38. —PTI

Japanese honour for JNU professor

NEW DELHI: Lalima Verma, professor of Japanese Studies at Jawharlal Nehru University, will be awarded the Japan Foreign Minister’s Commendation for promoting mutual understanding between Japan and India. Japan Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida will felicitate Prof. Verma at a function at the Japanese Embassy here on October 31, a statement from the Embassy said. Prof. Verma has studied and researched India- Japan relations, Japanese diplomacy and history for the past 30 years, it said. The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. —PTI

Will Modi hint at CM candidate at rally?

Party leaders say the prime ministerial candidate’s choice would carry a lot of weight

TIME

RIPE

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

NEW DELHI: With the Bharati- ya Janata Party prime minis- terial candidate Narendra Modi due to address a rally at Rohini here on Sunday, many party leaders and workers are eagerly waiting to hear if he would drop a hint on who would be the party’s chief ministerial candidate for Delhi. While Delhi Assembly election in-charge Nitin Gad- kari had earlier made it clear that the party would prefer going into the elections with- out announcing any candi- date, many in the party believe this is proving to be counter productive. The main plank of the ruling Con- gress now is that it has the best face in Sheila Dikshit and the Aam Aadmi Party has been claiming that it has the most honest face in Arvind Kejriwal, while the BJP does not have a face to go into the polls with. In fact, both the main war- ring factions in the BJP are opposed to the idea of not announcing a name for the post of chief minister. “It is a fact that in 1998, when the Congress came to power, it had not projected a chief ministerial candidate and

it had not projected a chief ministerial candidate and Hoardings being transported for the upcoming Modi

Hoardings being transported for the upcoming Modi rally at the Japanese Park in Rohini on

Sunday. PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Invitation to US Embassy

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The United States Embassy is among the many foreign missions in Delhi that have been extended invitations by the Delhi BJP to attend Narendra Modi rally this Sunday. This is despite the U.S. having previously denied a visa to Mr. Modi. Convenor of the rally committee and former Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta said formal invitations have been extended to almost 100 embassies of which 30 embassies have confirmed their participation. “We will issue a list of embassies that have confirmed to attend the rally on Saturday. Meanwhile, invitations have also been extended to sportspersons, corporate houses, media houses, cultural and theatre personalities and religious heads,” said Mr. Gupta.

Sheila Dikshit had emerged on the scene later on. But since then, both the parties have been clear on who their chief ministerial candidates would be and so why not now?’’ asked a party leader. Another leader, who was previously associated with the residents’ welfare associ- ation movement, said by not naming Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel as the chief minis- terial candidate, the party was actually sending out a message that Mr. Goel would be the first choice for the post of Chief Minister should the party gain a majority. “Sever- al senior leaders in the party, including V.K. Malhotra, Arti

Mehra, Jagdish Mukhi and Harsh Vardhan, have been opposing Mr. Goel’s candida- ture from the beginning. But instead of announcing a new name, the party decided to continue with the present dispensation and even made him in-charge of the Core Group and the Election Com- mittee. So what is the mess- age that is going out?” The name of former Delhi BJP president Harsh Vard- han was suggested by some for the post. But as a party leader said: “The situation is such that the moment you announce a name, others would start pulling him or her down. The semblance of unity among all those op- posed to Mr. Goel would frit- ter away.” “It is precisely for this rea- son that the party is doing well by not getting into the chief ministerial candidate issue as of now. In the past couple of months, our cam- paigning has picked up and we have been doing well,’’ said another former Delhi BJP president adding that it was in the party’s best inter- est to postpone the decision for now. As such, the party leaders insist they would be watching the body language of Mr. Modi very closely to see who he would be warming up to the most. “After all, he is the prime ministerial can- didate now and his choice of the chief ministerial would carry a lot of weight.’’

BJP distributes leaflets outside mosques, urges Muslims to join rally

Sowmiya Ashok

NEW DELHI: Making a last ditch effort to secure Muslim pres- ence at Sunday’s “historic” rally that will be addressed by prime ministerial candi- date Narendra Modi, the Del- hi BJP on Friday distributed leaflets outside 100 mosques in the Capital urging the community to join the rally. Meanwhile, convenor of the rally committee and former Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta said he was going to “personally invite” the Shahi Imam of the Fatehpuri Mas- jid to the rally that will be held at the Japanese Park in Rohini. The Delhi BJP tweeted that ‘pamphlets are being distributed outside 100 mosques in Delhi for the Sept. 29 Modiji’s rally’. Atif Rasheed, president of Delhi BJP’s minority cell, said: “We distributed over 1,000 leaf- lets outside 100 mosques in the city including Mustafa- bad, Nangloi, Basai Darapur and Fatehpuri Masjid.” Mr. Rasheed said at the back of each leaflet was a list of all the communal riots that have taken place be- tween 1947 and 2013 that showed that the BJP was not to blame. “The message urged Muslims to take the riots as a benchmark to reject the Congress,” he said. The message further asked the

BJP expecting nearly 25,000 Muslims to turn up at the rally

Muslim community to make the decision between ‘devel- opment’ and ‘betrayal’. The BJP is expecting near- ly 25,000 Muslims to turn up at the rally. Mr. Rasheed said the party was not insisting that Muslims wear skull caps on the day of the rally. “While we got a good response from the Muslim community, we are not forcing anyone to wear skull caps when they at- tend Sunday’s rally,” he said. Reacting to the distribu- tion of pamphlets outside mosques, Parliamentary Sec- retary to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Congress Legislative Party spokesper- son Mukesh Sharma said “The BJP is not a secular par- ty but a communal one” and the party has “never done any work for minorities”. He said: “This is but a gimmick by the party in Delhi and the people will not be impressed by this.” Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Delhi BJP said that an “exclusive meeting” was held with Muslim clerics in which participants ex- pressed their full support and took an oath to educate all about “misusing of minor- ities by the Congress”.

A HELPING HAND

of minor- ities by the Congress”. A HELPING HAND Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Bollywood

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan at the World Tourism Day celebrations at Dilli Haat in New Delhi on Friday. PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Singla, others get bail in Railway bribery case

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to former Minister for Rail- ways Pawan Kumar Bansal’s

nephew Vijay Singla in the cash-for-post case. Singla is charged with demanding a bribe of Rs. 10 crore from the then member (staff) in the Railway Board Mahesh Ku- mar for getting him shifted to the post of member (electri- cal) there. The three other accused who were granted bail along with Singla are Mahesh Ku- mar; his associate and manag-

ing

of

Bangalore-based G.G. Tronics India Private Limited Na- rayan Rao Manjunath; and al- leged middleman Sandeep Goyal. While granting bail to them, Justice Hima Kohli also

director

allowed their plea to furnish their personal bail bonds of Rs. 5 lakh each with one surety of a like amount, as directed by the Court, before the Dis- trict Judge or the concerned Additional Sessions Judge. The investigating agency had charge-sheeted them in July alleging, among other things, that “Singla had de- manded Rs.10 crore from Ku- mar for getting him shifted to the post of member (electri- cal) laterally from the post of member (staff). The money was to be delivered to Singla in instalments; Rs. 2 crore was to be paid immediately as the first instalment, Rs. 3 crore af- ter the appointment and Rs. 5 crore after five or six months.’’ The four accused had moved the High Court after the trial court on July 12 re- jected their bail applications.

Notice to Kanda on plea seeking bail cancellation

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued no- tices to former Haryana Min- ister Gopal Goyal Kanda and his former employee Aruna Chadha on a petition seeking cancellation of their interim bail granted by the trial court in the airhostess suicide case of 2012. Issuing the notices, Jus- tice J.R. Midha asked the ac- cused to file their replies by October 1, the next date of hearing. The trial court had on Sep- tember 5, granted interim bail to Kanda till October 4 to

attend the Haryana Assemb- ly session. While granting the relief, the court had asked him to produce his at- tendance in the House. Additional Sessions Judge M.C. Gupta had granted re- lief to Kanda considering “special circumstances’’ that he had to attend the Assemb- ly session and look after the development of his Sirsa As- sembly constituency. He is an MLA from that constituency. Kanda’s co-accused in the case Aruna Chadha is also on interim bail till October 15 to attend religious and family functions.

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NATIONAL 7

SHORT TAKES

Asaram ashram sealed

SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh Government on Friday sealed the Ponta Sahib ashram of Asaram Bapu in Sirmaur district. It was done on the State Government directions for dealing strictly with the encroachments even by religious and spiritual organisations. The ashram had been functioning from quite some time and constructed on about 15 bighas of land. The incumbent Government here had already cancelled the lease of Yoga guru Ramdev’s ashram in Solan that was allotted by the previous government.

Durga Nagpal shifted

LUCKNOW: Less than a week after revocation of her suspension, Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who had taken on sand mining mafia in Gautam Budh Nagar district, was on Friday night posted as Joint Magistrate of Kanpur (Rural). — PTI

‘Missing’ MLA

KOTDWAR (UTTARAKHAND):

People in Pauri have put up posters in the town looking for their ‘missing’ MLA. in protest of his prolonged absence from the area. The posters say that Pauri MLA Sundarlal Mandarawal has been missing from his constituency for the past six months and offer a Rs.5,000 reward for any clue of his whereabouts. — PTI

Unease in Gujarat overCBIgrilling

Buzz in agency is Amit Shah may be questioned soon

ISHRAT

JAHAN CASE

Darshan Desai

AHMEDABAD: Uneasy calm prevails in the higher eche- lons of the Gujarat govern- ment with the Central Bureau of Investigation questioning two Ministers and a former minister, be- sides two officials in the Chief Minister’s Office, in the case of alleged fake en- counter killing of Ishrat Jahan. During the last 48 hours, even as the State’s attention was drawn to flood fury in all major cities and regions, the CBI grilled for hours Educa- tion Minister Bhupendra- sinh Chudasama, Minister of State for Law Pradeepsinh Jadeja and former Minister of State for Home Praful Pa- tel in Gandhinagar. This amid the buzz in the CBI about possible ques- tioning in the near future of the former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, now the BJP national general secretary in charge of Uttar

Interrogation follows recording of a meeting that allegedly discussed how to derail probePolice officers languishing in jail are restless

recording of a meeting that allegedly discussed how to derail probe Police officers languishing in jail
recording of a meeting that allegedly discussed how to derail probe Police officers languishing in jail

Police officers languishing in jail are restlessInterrogation follows recording of a meeting that allegedly discussed how to derail probe

recording of a meeting that allegedly discussed how to derail probe Police officers languishing in jail
recording of a meeting that allegedly discussed how to derail probe Police officers languishing in jail

Pradesh and close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He is an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, along with several police officials, and is out on bail. The agency also interro- gated Principal Secretary in the CMO G.C. Murmu and Additional Principal Secre- tary A.K. Sharma. The interrogation follows the recording of a November 2011 meeting, held in the an- techamber of Advocate- General Kamal Trivedi’s of- fice, allegedly to discuss how to derail investigations in the Ishrat case. The proceedings were taped by the former IPS offi- cer G.L. Singhal, who too had participated in the meeting and is an accused among sev- en officials in this case. He was arrested in February this year but he obtained bail as the CBI failed to file a charge sheet against him within the stipulated 90-day

period. It was after this that Mr. Singhal handed over to the CBI the taped 10-page con- versation, in two pen-drives, which is now part of the charge sheet. It is speculated that Mr. Singhal’s alleged disclosure is an indication that he like several police officials, who are languishing in jail in dif- ferent fake encounter cases, is restless about his contin- ued suffering while the po- litical masters are out.The recent resignation by the po- litical establishment’s most trusted lieutenant, suspend- ed Deputy Inspector Gener- al D.G. Vanzara, who blamed Mr. Amit Shah for the “plight” of police officials in jails, is a case in point. Meanwhile, the CBI also questioned Mr. Vanzara in Sabarmati Jail in Ahmeda- bad last week. Sources claimed he was asked to de- pose before a magistrate but he refused to do so.

to de- pose before a magistrate but he refused to do so. Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sidhu

Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Sidhu to fast for projects in Amritsar

Special Correspondent

CHANDIGARH: Cricketer-turned- politician and television per- sonality Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday said he will go on a “fast unto death” in protest against the Punjab Government hold- ing up projects for his constitu- ency. Mr. Sidhu, the Bharatiya Ja- nata Party MP from Amritsar, will start his fast on Saturday. An unsigned statement from his staff said that Mr. Sidhu had de- cided to keep quiet and that his protest was borne out of his loy- alty and accountability towards his people. Mr. Sidhu, however, did not make any comments since returning to the city earli- er in the day. He has alleged that on direc- tions from Chandigarh, a part of the Rs.160 crore with the Am- ritsar Improvement Trust was diverted to other cities. He al- leged that this was done to en- sure that the projects he had brought to the city were not im- plemented.

20 die in Himachal mishap

Staff Reporter

SHIMLA: Twenty passengers

— 17 men and three women

— were killed when a pri- vate bus veered off the road and went down a 500-foot- deep gorge in the remote

Sangrah area of Himachal

Pradesh’s Sirmaur district

in the early hours of Friday.

A 12-year-old boy is the on-

ly survivor but his condi- tion is said to be serious. The victims, from nearby Haripurdhar and Uncha Tikker villages, were going from Uncha Tikker to Re- nukaji, the police said. — Staff Reporter Despite various govern- ment claims of improve- ment, road accidents have increased manifold in the past few years in the State.

have increased manifold in the past few years in the State. People gather near the accident

People gather near the accident site after a bus went down a gorge in Sirmaur district on Friday. PHOTO: PTI

Cop alleges sexual harassment

Omar Rashid

ALLAHABAD: A woman con- stable in Lucknow has al- leged that she was sexually harassed by a senior inspec- tor while she held the posi- tion of a clerk under him at the Reserve Police Line in the city. Even after a week of her complaint, no FIR has been registered. A resident of Rampur, the 1997 batch constable, who was recently transferred to a mahila thana, told The Hin- du that Lucknow Police Re-

serve Lines RI Kulbushan Ojha harassed her sexually and molested her. When she objected he slapped her. Even after this incident, Mr. Ojha continued to harass and threaten her. She was denied medical leave and transferred last week, she said. On September 20, Mr. Ojha again made sexual ad- vances, the woman alleged. The following day, the constable submitted a com- plaint to the Lucknow SSP, who asked a Circle Officer to investigate. The constable

then sent a complaint to the Lucknow DIG. However, no action has been taken yet. She was made to sit in the Mahanagar police station for up to four hours on Thurs- day, yet police did not lodge an FIR. The constable al- leged that the inspector had a reputation of harassment and several other female constables had been victi- mised. Mr. Ojha has dismissed the allegations and ques- tioned the timing of the complaint.

allegations and ques- tioned the timing of the complaint. C M Y K
allegations and ques- tioned the timing of the complaint. C M Y K
allegations and ques- tioned the timing of the complaint. C M Y K

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THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

NATIONAL

9

No prescription, no antibiotics

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: With the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry notifying amend- ments to the Drugs and Cos- metics Act, 1940, antibiotics and anti-Tuberculosis drugs will not be sold over the counter from March 1, 2014. The government had in- cluded a new provision, Schedule H1 to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act to check the indiscriminate use of anti- biotics, anti-TB and some other drugs in the country. As many as 46 drugs have been placed under this restricted category which mainly com- prises third and fourth gener- ation antibiotics, anti-TB and some other drugs. The packaging of these drugs will have mandatory warning printed on them in a box with a red border on the label and will be sold by chemists on production of a

Now, Tatkal for passenger trains too

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Continuing with its spree of raising fares to generate more revenue, the Railways have decided to in- troduce Tatkal tickets for passenger trains also, in- crease rates for parcel and for transportation of birds and animals. Tatkal would be in place for those passenger trains that had recorded an average utilisation of 60 per cent ca- pacity during the previous fi- nancial year. The zonal railways have been vested with the responsibility of identifying such trains. The Tatkal charges for these trains will be the same as for the superfast trains and the same principle will be ap- plicable for earmarking seats.

prescription. The chemist will retain a copy of the prescrip- tion and maintain a separate register for these 46 drugs where the name of the patient and the details of the doctor who prescribed the drugs will be noted. This register will have to be kept for three years before being destroyed. The Central Drugs Stan- dard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has the responsib- ility to enforce the order. Vio- lation of this provision can result in prosecution. State

Drug Inspectors can conduct surprise inspections at the pharmacies and chemist shops to check the registers and sale of these 46 drugs un- der Schedule H1. Restricted sale of antibiot- ics was one of the main rec- ommendations of the Chennai Declaration to check drug resistance which is emerging as a serious health issue in the country. Resist- ance to antibiotics and an in- crease in drug resistant TB cases are cited as a result of

improper prescription and consumption of antibiotics which are easily available. The Chennai Declaration, adopted last year, recom- mends urgent measure to for- mulate an effective national policy to control the rising trend of antimicrobial resist- ance, including a ban on over- the-counter sale of antibiot- ics, and changes in the medical education curricu- lum to include training on an- tibiotic usage and infection control.

WEATHER

 

Max Min

R

TR

New Delhi (Plm)

34

26

0

582

New Delhi (Sfd)

34

24

0

847

Chandigarh

33

25

0

837

Hissar

34

24

0

602

Bhuntar

33

19

0

416

Shimla

24

15

0

876

Jammu

33

21

67

1319

Srinagar

31

14

0

249

Amritsar

34

25

0

761

Patiala

34

25

0

738

Jaipur

34

25

0

693

Udaipur

27

22

0

725

Allahabad

34

27

0

996

Lucknow

33

23

0

742

Varanasi

34

26

0

809

Dehradun

30

24

7

2845

Agartala

34

26

0

864

Ahmedabad

29

25

2

937

Bangalore

30

20

0

693

Bhubaneshwar

34

25

0

914

Bhopal

32

22

0

1152

Chennai

34

25

2

637

Guwahati

34

23

24

782

Hyderabad

32

24

0

680

Kolkata

34

26

0

1606

Mumbai

29

25

9

2312

Nagpur

34

23

0

1442

Patna

34

26

tr

609

Pune

30

20

1

754

Thiruvananthapuram

33

24

0

1066

Imphal

31

22

tr

1043

Shillong

24

17

2

984

The columns show maximum and minimum temperature in Celsius, rainfall during last 24 hours (tr- trace) and total rainfall in mm since 1st June.

Mainly dry weather

NEW DELHI: The withdrawal line of South-west monsoon continues to pass through Kalpa, Hissar, Jodhpur and Nalia. Rainfall: Rain/thundershowers have occurred at isolated places over the region. The chief amounts of rainfall in cm. are: HARYANA:

Jatusana 4, Sohana 3, Palwal 2 and Pataudi 1, Himachal Pradesh HIMACHAL PRADESH: Naina Devi 1, JAMMU AND KASHMIR:

Jammu 7, Jammu Airport 5 and Samba 2, PUNJAB: Phangota 1, EAST RAJASTHAN: Khetri and Malsisar 4 each, Mount Abu 3 and

EAST RAJASTHAN: Khetri and Malsisar 4 each, Mount Abu 3 and INSAT PICTURE AT 14.00 hrs.

INSAT PICTURE AT 14.00 hrs. Observations recorded at 8.30 a.m. on September 27th.

Reodar 2, WEST RAJASTHAN:

Rawatsar 3 and Raniwara 1, EAST-UTTAR PRADESH: Safipur 1, WEST UTTAR PRADESH:

Khair 1 and UTTARAKHAND:

Munsiyari 2 and Kotdwara 1. FORECAST FOR REGION VALID UNTIL THE MORNING OF 29th SEPTEMBER 2013: Rain/ thundershowers may occur at many places over south-west Rajasthan during next 48 hours and decrease thereafter. Rain/ thundershowers may occur at one or two places over south-east Rajasthan and east Uttar Pradesh during next 24 hours and increase thereafter. Rain/thundershowers

may occur at one or two places over west Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand,

Punjab, north Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. HEAVY RAINFALL WARNING:

Heavy rainfall may occur at one or two places over south-west Rajasthan during next 48 hours and over southeast Rajasthan on 28th and 29th September. FORECAST FOR DELHI AND NEIGHBOURHOOD VALID UNTIL THE MORNING OF 29th SEPTEMBER 2013: Partly cloudy

sky. Very light

rain/

thundershowers could occur in some areas.

Disclaimer: Readers are requested to verify & make appropriate enquiries to satisfy themselves about the

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THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

PERISCOPE

Face of the nation

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 PERISCOPE Face of the nation RUPEE WATCH Divya Trivedi From the barter

RUPEE

WATCH

Divya Trivedi

From the barter system and Hundies predating 18 th centu- ry India to the crisp bank notes and smartcards of to- day, the banking system has come a long way. The currency note for its part has undergone several transformations to evolve as a reliable financial instrument. The motifs and designs on currency notes are chosen carefully to reflect a certain philosophy of the era. Over time, the image of Mahatma Gandhi has become a fixture on one side of the note while on the other side the images keep changing from that of the Parliament, the Hima-

layas, a farm tractor or a col- lage of animals - a tiger, hippopotamus and elephant.

A section of civil society has

questioned this and is de-

manding that the image of Ba- basaheb Ambedkar, who drafted the Constitution of India, should also be em- bossed on currency notes. One of the earliest images

to be used on a currency note

was that of a vignette of a fe-

male figure reclining on a bench on the quayside. Re- public and British India im- printed images of Lords, statues of Mountstuart El- phinstone and John Malcolm and images of governors such as Sir Thomas Munroe, the Governor of Madras. When the colonisers left the country, symbols for an

independent India had to be chosen. “At the outset it was felt that the King's portrait be replaced.” The Lion Capital at Sarnath was chosen through consensus and in 1953 Hindi was displayed prominently on the new notes. In 1969 a com- memorative design series in honour of the birth centenary celebrations of Gandhi was is- sued depicting a seated Gand-

hi with the Sevagram Ashram

as the backdrop. The 1980s saw a completely new set of notes issued. The motifs on these notes marked a depar- ture from the earlier motifs. Emphasis was laid on symbols of science and technology

(Aryabhatta on the Rs 2 note), progress (the oil rig on Re 1 and farm mechanisation on Rs 5) and a change in orien- tation to Indian art forms on the Rs 20 and the Rs 10 notes (Konark wheel, peacock). For

a nation obsessed with per-

sonalities, it might have been

wiser to continue with this se- ries of notes but it was not done so. In 1987, the Rs 500 note was introduced with the portrait of Gandhi while the water mark continued to be the Lion Capital, Ashoka Pil- lar.

It was only in meetings held

in 1993 and 1994, that the rec-

ommendations to print the portraits of Gandhi in the wa- ter-mark area and on the right

side of the banknote were

wa- ter-mark area and on the right side of the banknote were Note issued by Bank

Note issued by Bank of Bombay around 1840.

the banknote were Note issued by Bank of Bombay around 1840. Green Underprint introduced in 1867.

Green Underprint introduced in 1867.

of Bombay around 1840. Green Underprint introduced in 1867. Rupee One was introduced in 1917. First

Rupee One was introduced in 1917.

introduced in 1867. Rupee One was introduced in 1917. First note issued by Reserve Bank of

First note issued by Reserve Bank of India.

in 1917. First note issued by Reserve Bank of India. High denomination notes reintroduced in 1954.

High denomination notes reintroduced in 1954.

Bank of India. High denomination notes reintroduced in 1954. A Rupees Fifty note introduced in 1975.

A Rupees Fifty note introduced in 1975.

in 1954. A Rupees Fifty note introduced in 1975. MAHATMA GANDHI SERIES: Launched in 1996 and

MAHATMA GANDHI SERIES: Launched in 1996 and

continues till date. PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL/ ALL OTHER IMAGES COURTESY THE WEBSITE OF RESERVE BANK OF INDIA

Tracing the designs on currency notes, even as the demand to imprint B.R. Ambedkar’s image on it picks up

made in terms of resolutions passed by RBI’s Board of Di- rectors. This was then ap- proved by the Finance Ministry and in 1996 a Gandhi series was launched that con- tinues to this day. The Reserve Bank of India, the only authority to print currency notes in the country,

states on its website that its notes reflect the changing so- cio-cultural ethos and the world-view of the times, “buc- caneering mercantilism, colo- nial consolidation, domineering imperialism, the grandeur of empire, to the symbols of National Inde- pendence followed up by alle- gories of progress and finally in the latest series, reminis- cing Gandhian values.”

On September 24, this year

-- Poona Pact Day -- a round- table conference was held in the Capital demanding that Ambedkar’s image also be im- printed on currency notes. “Throughout the country, statues of Ambedkar are be- ing vandalised. Somewhere they break the hand, some- times the nose and sometimes the head. But if we print Am- bedkar’s face on Rs 1000 note, then nobody will tear it. Like this, we can maintain our dig- nity,” said Dalit Pandiyan, Na- tional Convenor, Dalit Liberation Movement who has been spearheading the movement since few years now. Leila Passah, General Sec- retary of YWCA – India said that Ambedkar would have gone beyond putting his im- age on currency notes but talking of dignity and rights of Dalits, she said the need of the hour was to agitate in which- ever way possible. “People are no longer lis- tening to our dharnas or ral- lies in Jantar Mantar. The bill or the note is not the main issue here. We are fighting for the values instilled by Ambed- kar. He fought for social jus- tice for all regardless of where they come from. The consti- tution provides safety and

dignity to all,” said Leila. Cit- ing the recent cases of vio- lence against Dalit women in the hinterland especially Ha- ryana, she said that Ambedkar had challenged the legal sys- tem and turned the wheel of law as far as women were con- cerned.

A Right to Information

query has revealed that there are close to 50 individuals and organisations that have re- quested that images of other national leaders on currency notes.

that images of other national leaders on currency notes. INNOVATION Sarita Brara THROUGH THE LENS Feeding
that images of other national leaders on currency notes. INNOVATION Sarita Brara THROUGH THE LENS Feeding
INNOVATION Sarita Brara
INNOVATION Sarita Brara

INNOVATION

Sarita Brara

THROUGH THE LENS

Feeding

spaces

Feeding birds is a common sight in Delhi and other ci- ties. Informal though it maybe, bird-feeding venues have got established in cer- tain prominent spots. Come rain or shine, people are seen overturning sacks full of grains and pulses for the birds. In Delhi, pigeons are the largest beneficiaries of this practice. Often cars stop at roundabouts or traffic junctions to carry out this activity, creating serious

traffic hazards for other mo- torists. The photograph cap- tures a man at the Defence Colony flyover feeding his feathered friends.

PHOTO:

PUSHPAKAR

SHIV

KUMAR

The photograph cap- tures a man at the Defence Colony flyover feeding his feathered friends. PHOTO:
his feathered friends. PHOTO: PUSHPAKAR SHIV KUMAR VARIETY RELIGION Greatness of an avatar CHENNAI: When the

VARIETY

RELIGION

Greatness of an avatar

CHENNAI: When the Lord takes an incarnation, He conforms to all the constraints that this de- mands and does not seek con- cession on the grounds of His supremacy. This is exemplified in Rama avatar with Rama declaring that He considers Himself as a mere human being and displays the gamut of emotions and actions, albeit on an evolved plane, as brought out by Sri Sankara Ra- ma Dikshitar in a discourse.

When Sita is taken away, Ra- ma gives vent to the pangs of separation of a loving and devot- ed husband. Advised by Kaband- ha, a celestial being cursed by Indra to become a monstrous rakshasa for his misdeeds, Rama and Lakshmana reach the Pam- pa lake in their search. Kabandha suggests the be- friending of Sugriva, the prince

of monkeys who lives in Rishya-

muka hill in fear of his brother Vali. Sugriva perceives the rov- ing visitors in hermit garb and fears that this might be a ploy of

Vali to identify and kill him. He directs Hanuman to assume the form of a brahmachari and meet the newcomers and find out their intent. With perfect courtesy and

reverence, Hanuman tries to elicit information on the pair ra- diating a certain divinity. He al- so projects the plight of Sugriva whom he serves as a minister. Sugriva leads the life of a fugi- tive, always fearing for his life against the persecution of an an- tagonistic Vali, says Hanuman, adding that friendship with Ra- ma will certainly be gainful for all. Impressed with his honesty and adorable manner of mar- shalling and presenting facts, Rama bids Lakshmana to extend their hands of friendship. The Lord indeed is deter- mined to keep His supremacy under wraps. But Lakshmana is unable to reconcile to the fact that Rama, who is the true refuge for all be- ings, should now seek refuge in Sugriva. With tears in his eyes, he recounts the story of Rama

and how their fortunes now faced a low due to quirk of cir- cumstances. They were now fac- ing exile and sorrow, bereft of Sita. Truly human emotions. The devout Hanuman recognis- es Rama’s paratva and like a true messenger briefs Sugriva of the inherent greatness of the vis- itors. His assessment is appre- ciated by Sugriva.

THIS DAY THAT AGE

(dated September 28, 1963)

(dated September 28, 1963)

Oil refinery in Cochin

Mr. O.V. Alagesan, Union Min- ister for Mines and Fuel, formally inaugurated on September 27 the fourth oil refinery being set up in Cochin in the public sector by the Cochin Refineries Limited. Speaking at the reception got up by the Board of Directors of the Company, the Union Minister said that public sector should play an increasing role to provide the country with its require- ments of oil and oil products. He said the Government expected the private sector to lend a help- ing hand in making their oil pol- icy a success by becoming joint partners. Mr. K.A. Damodara Menon, State Minister for Indus- try, presided. The function was attended, among others, by 22 members of Parliament, who are now on a visit to Kerala, besides State and Central Government officials and representatives of the business and industrial life of the region.

Crisis in P.S.P.

A major crisis has developed in the Praja Socialist Party as top

members were in disagreement while deciding the propriety of the action of Mr. Asoka Mehta in accepting the Deputy Chairman- ship of the Planning Commission and membership of the Indian delegation to the U.N. The ap- pointment of Mr. Mehta to the Planning Commission was offi- cially announced on September 26. The National Executive of the Party, after two days of discus- sion, passed a resolution in New Delhi stating that Mr. Mehta’s ac- tions did not fall in line with the Party’s policies. Mr. Chandra Sekhar, M.P., opposing the reso- lution, has resigned from the Ex- ecutive and all the Committees with which he is associated. The Executive’s decision was an- nounced in a 130-word commu- niqué.

Medical college admission

The Medical College proposed for Sholapur in Maharashtra would charge students seeking admission a “capitation fee,” which may extend up to Rs.7,000 each. The Maharashtra Govern- ment have granted tentative per- mission to enable the college authorities to charge the capita- tion fee, so that they may have sufficient funds to run the insti- tution with the approval of the Shivaji University and the State Education Department.

THE HINDU CROSSWORD 10890

Skulldugger

Across

1

Crude ramshackle slum in Cyprus (6)

4

Rock music: primarily awful blare (6)

9

Object used chiefly in hold-ups! (4)

10

Heavy, metal band employed as instrument of torture (4,6)

11 Queer-looking? Stifle it reflexively (6)

12

Well-rounded, we’d gone out and about to get displayed (8)

13

Found vigorous enjoyment took the edge off hidden wound (9)

15

Vessel, seaworthy even after a century (4)

16

Revolutionary fruitcakes take your breath away (4)

17

See trivia as a hodgepodge of sorts

(9)

21

After children migrated, West European got doubly large improvement on knocker (8)

22

“…happens to belong to us,” admits Cuban counter-espionage chief (6)

24

Quirky musical acquires strange image (10)

25

Finished a number of deliveries (4)

26

Stared openmouthed with surprise at first, then caught one’s breath (6)

27

Design vain venture boasts (6)

Down

1

Career actress regularly produces new work (7)

2

Adjusting nut that is loose (5)

3

Wicked king imbibed enough booze to make one drunk (7)

5

Wonder at a heartless, stupid fury (6)

6

Sick in the brain, twisted, extremely deviant, but magnificent (9)

7

Drunken melee at noontime leads to fire, perhaps (7)

1

9

1 9 2 3
1 9 2 3

2 3

11

1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16

10

10
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
8 12

8

12

4 5

4 5
6

6

6
6

7

7
7
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
1 9 2 3 11 10 8 12 4 5 6 7 13 14 15 16
13 14 15
13 14 15
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8 Regularly goes rambling where

criminals hang (6,7)

14

Blue-coloured rings you discovered

inside marine complexes (9)

16

Silence due to performance (7)

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Superhero who might become rusty?

(4,3)

19

Grave veterans leaving the front

broken (7)

20

Bounder thrown into lake for some time (6)

23

Not far away, in the outskirts of Cologne, the sun rises (5)

Solution to puzzle 10889

R H N A U S B G E N E E U C A
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R H N A U S B G E N E E U C A
R H N A U S B G E N E E U C A
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R E E D E T I N Y D D C M Y K ND-ND

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YK

E E D E T I N Y D D C M Y K ND-ND
E E D E T I N Y D D C M Y K ND-ND

ND-NDR E E D E T I N Y D D C M Y K TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

NATIONAL 11

‘Meiyappan used to betthroughVindu’

Rashmi Rajput

MUMBAI: The former team principal of Chennai Super Kings, Gurunath Meiyap- pan, and actor Vindu Dara Singh were charge-sheeted

last week for betting during IPL 6. The Mumbai Police charge sheet revealed how Mr. Meiyappan — BCCI president N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law — used to place bets through Mr. Singh and pass on confidential infor- mation to him. The police evidence is largely based on phone conversations be- tween the two. The Hindu has accessed the call transcripts of May 12, the day Chennai Super Kings played Rajasthan Royals. These reveal Mr. Meiyappan’s involvement in betting and his depend- ence on Mr. Singh. In this match, the former CSK of- ficial placed bets worth Rs.1.23 crore on CSK and Rs. 66 lakh on Rajasthan Royals.

The following are ex-

cerpts from the transcripts:

May 12, 8 p.m. onwards (30 minutes into the match) Meiyappan: What is the current rate? Singh: Rajasthan Royals at 79 paisa and CSK at 81 paisa. Though today CSK do not look like the favou- rites but they will surely win. Meiyappan: Place Rs. 20 lakh on Rajasthan Royals, I think they will win. (One hour into the match) Meiyappan: I think CSK will put up a score of 130- 140 runs only. Rajasthan Royals has a better chance. Singh: Yeah, but CSK will win, you have to trust me. You just see what is go- ing to happen. I will tell you CSK will make race runs (sic) and RR is going to lose. (At 8.55 p.m.) Meiyap-

Vindu Dara Singh pan : Can I exit, what can we do now? Singh :

Vindu Dara Singh

pan: Can I exit, what can we do now? Singh: Place bets on CSK. Meiyappan: Are you sure CSK will win? Singh: Yes. Meiyappan: What’s the rate? Singh: RR at 83 paisa. Meiyappan: Ok, so place 30 lakhs on CSK. (At 9.10 p.m., Vindu calls bookie Pawan Jaipur) Singh: Kya rate hai? (What is the rate?) Pawan: 80-83 (CSK 80 paisa and RR at 83 paisa) Singh: 30 peti uske liye lagalo (Place Rs. 30 lakh on behalf of Meiyappan) Pawan: Maine 80 pe 30 khai (code language used between bookies and punt- ers which means: I have ac- cepted a Rs. 30 lakh bet on the team, riding at 80 paisa. CSK was riding at 80 paisa.) (At 9.15 p.m.) Meiyap- pan: How are we trading now? Singh: You are losing Rs. 64.20 [lakh] currently. Meiyappan: Ok tell me what the current rates? Singh: RR is at 43 paisa. Meiyappan: Ok, place Rs. 30 lakhs on RR Singh to Pawan: Ye ma- rega aaj; 30 lakh at 44 paisa Rajasthan pe lagao. (It looks like he will do badly. Place Rs. 30 lakh on RR) Meiyappan: How are we

do badly. Place Rs. 30 lakh on RR) Meiyappan : How are we Gurunath Meiyappan doing

Gurunath Meiyappan

doing now? Singh: I am shivering. Forget about winning; let’s now just try to balance it. Meiyappan: How are we trading now? Singh: 1.24 crore on CSK and 55 lakhs on RR. (In the end, RR won the match. Once the bets were squared, Mr. Meiyappan ended up losing Rs. 68.77 lakh. The transcript also re- veals how Vindu Dara Singh made a one paisa ‘commission’ on every bet he placed on behalf of Mr. Meiyappan. “Vindhu used to take the rate from the bookie Pawan. But while quoting the odds, he used to either add or subtract one paisa depending on wheth- er Meiyappan was betting in favour of or against a team. Vindu used to pocket the difference,” said a source in Mumbai Police. ) Singh: How are we trad- ing now? Pawan: You are losing Rs. 1.23 crore on CSK and you are winning Rs. 66.49 lakh on Rajasthan (Mr. Singh then calls Mr. Mei- yappan but while quoting the figures adds his com- mission according to the odds placed ) Singh: Ok, so we are los- ing 1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR.

according to the odds placed ) Singh : Ok, so we are los- ing 1.24 crore
according to the odds placed ) Singh : Ok, so we are los- ing 1.24 crore
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested
1.24 crore on CSK and we are winning Rs. 55.43 lakh on RR. GJM elects arrested

GJM elects arrested leader as new GTA chief executive

Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: The Gorkha Jan- mukti Morcha (GJM) sabha members elected on Friday an arrested member as chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in a move that indi- cates that the party has no intention of giving up con- trol over the regional auton- omous body even though it had boycotted a meeting earlier this month. At a meeting called by the GTA principal secretary R. D Meena in Darjeeling, 34 elected GTA sabha members elected Benoy Tamang, who has been under arrest since August 22, as the new chief executive of the body. Mr. Tamang, who is also the assistant secretary of the GJM, held the portfolio of information and cultural af- fairs in the GTA. “All the members present voted in favour of Benoy Ta- mang who is still inside pris- on. While nine of the GTA sabha members are behind bars, our president Bimal Gurung who is also a GTA Sabha member, did not par- ticipate in the meeting,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, told The Hindu over telephone from Dar- jeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting.

secretary Roshan Giri, told The Hindu over telephone from Dar- jeeling. Another member, too, did not
jeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND
jeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND
jeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND
jeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND
jeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND
jeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND
CM YK
CM
YK
Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND

ND-NDjeeling. Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

Another member, too, did not attend the meeting. CM YK ND-ND TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

12

EDITORIAL

THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

L THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 Picking up after

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

Picking up after Rahul

28, 2013 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 Picking up after Rahul R ahul Gandhi has made a

R ahul Gandhi has made a habit of dropping in on unsuspecting journalists. And each time he has done that, he has exploded a bomb-

shell. In March this year, he told a gathering of hacks in Parliament’s Central Hall that he was not

interested in becoming Prime Minister. This was months after he had become Congress vice-president, a presumed precursor to his running for Prime Minister. On an unannounced visit to the Press Club of India in New Delhi on Friday, he roasted his own party and government for their decision to promulgate an ordi- nance aimed at preventing the disqualification of con- victed lawmakers. He called the Representation of the

People (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2013, which has been cleared by the Union Cabinet, “com- plete nonsense” and a piece of paper to be “torn up and thrown away.” The potshots did not stop here. Rahul said he had got the party line from the Congress’s communication chief Ajay Maken, which was that no political party was above making small compromises. But he, Rahul Gandhi, did not buy the line, and indeed,

it was his personal opinion that corruption could not be

fought through small compromises. Rahul said politi- cal parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party included, needed to stop citing one another’s example to justify wrongdoings. Unexceptionable as this was, it came not from an Opposition rabble-rouser, but from the son of Sonia Gandhi. If Rahul’s intention in lambasting his own government — which he said had “wrongly” cleared the ordinance — was to play the outsider, he has done it once too often. He cannot be both Congress vice-presi-

dent and a rebel with unlimited licence to attack. If he thought the ordinance was “nonsense,” he should have spoken his mind at the outset, while it was still in the form of a bill in the Rajya Sabha. And the most effective forum for him to air his dissent would have been a party meeting and not a media conference. Intervention at that stage would have likely stopped the ordinance, whose objective has been questioned by the President, much to the government’s discomfiture. The true mark

of a leader is his capacity to speak his mind at the right

time and place — and speak it knowing the consequenc- es. In the event, Rahul has left a mess in his wake. He has bypassed protocol and mocked at the “party line”, which from anyone else would have been treated as sacrilege. Worse, he has deeply embarrassed the Prime Minister, who was forced to take time out of his Wash- ington visit to issue a statement indicating a rethink on the ordinance out of deference to Rahul. If the Con- gress vice-president’s outburst was meant to show he’s the boss, he could have accomplished the mission with greater grace.

he could have accomplished the mission with greater grace. Yes to the no-vote option B y

Yes to the no-vote option

B y ordering that voting machines in future should have an additional provision for voters to record a ‘none-of-the-above’ (NOTA) op-

tion to reject all candidates in the fray, the Supreme Court has ushered in a key electoral reform that has found favour in the past with the Election Commission of India and even the Law Commission. The idea of according to a negative vote the same sanctity and secrecy as a vote in favour of a particular candidate is indeed laudable in a parliamentary democ- racy. Advocates of electoral reforms have encouraged voters to make greater use of Rule 49-O, the provision by which one can record a ‘no-vote’ option by signing a form in the presence of election officials, in the hope that a large number of such negative votes would in- duce political parties to field candidates known for their integrity. The verdict holds that the rule violates

election law and the voters’ freedom of expression alike by denying voters who exercise that choice the re- quired secrecy. The Court believes that the extra provi- sion in the voting machines would promote free and fair elections, ensure greater voter participation and reduce bogus voting. In recent times, the Supreme Court has struck down

a provision to prevent immediate disqualification of

convicted legislators and, more controversially, barred those in custody from contesting elections. The NOTA ruling fills a significant lacuna in electoral law, and is a welcome addition to the series of decisions it has ren- dered to protect the integrity of our elections. A doubt arises as to what will happen if a very large percentage of voters go in for the no-vote option. Even a meagre turnout is considered good enough to declare a valid result now, but a heavy quantum of negative votes may affect the legitimacy of the election process. Perhaps, the EC could fix a limit beyond which the percentage of NOTA votes would entail re-polling. All this raises a question: why has Parliament left electoral reforms to the courts instead of deliberating over and passing appropriate laws? Thanks to an assertive EC, the po-

tential for irregularities by the political class has been effectively kept under check, but this inherently ad- versarial relationship may have prevented the ushering

in of sweeping reforms through legislation. There is no

agreement on some reforms mooted by the Election Commission, such as making the framing of charges in serious criminal cases the basis for disqualification instead of conviction. Ranging from the need to check money power and paid news to the need for transpar- ency in the funding of political parties, there are a host of issues that ought to be addressed through compre- hensive legislation rather than ad hoc adjudication.

compre- hensive legislation rather than ad hoc adjudication. Seeing Madras in Hyderabad The bitterness that existed

Seeing Madras in Hyderabad

The bitterness that existed in the 1950s between Tamil and Telugu speakers on Chennai parallels the fight for the Andhra Pradesh capital in the Telangana agitation

A.R. Venkatachalapathy

“W e learn from history,” we are often told tritely, “that we do not learn from histo-

ry!” Perhaps there is more than a grain of truth in this clichéd observation, and this is evident from the ongoing Telangana crisis. So what did we fail to learn from the 1950s agitation that led to the formation of an Andhra province in the first place? It is now forgotten history that the city of Chennai was the bone of contention be- tween the advocates of a separate province of Telugu-speaking people and the then Ma- dras State (Tamil Nadu) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Though Telugu speakers, about 15 per cent of the population compared to about 70 per cent of Tamil speakers (1931 Census), constituted a minority in the city, they had a high visibility for a variety of historical rea- sons. With Indian nationalist politics at the threshold of its mass phase combined with the emergence of a linguistic and regional consciousness, legitimate demands were voiced for a separate province of Andhra as early as the first decade of the 20th century. During the early 1910s, B. Pattabhi Sitara- mayya wrote extensively in the pages of The Hindu articulating this demand.

Largest stumbling block

By the time of its Nagpur session in 1920, the Indian National Congress had reorga- nised itself on linguistic lines and the newly- formed Andhra Pradesh Congress Commit- tee demanded the city of Chennai for its jurisdiction. Though this demand was artic- ulated intermittently through the subse- quent decades, it came to a head only as independence became imminent. However the Telugu demand for Chennai got tied to the formation of a separate Andhra state and turned out to be the single largest stumbling block to the creation of Andhra state. In 1938, with the formation of the first Congress ministry, the Madras Legislative Assembly recommended the formation of ‘separate Provinces for the Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Kerala regions.’ The demand for Andhra got enmeshed in Congress fac- tional politics with intense rivalry between C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) and T. Prakasam. The fall of the Prakasam ministry in the

and T. Prakasam. The fall of the Prakasam ministry in the Madras Province, largely as a

Madras Province, largely as a result of Con- gress factional politics shortly after Inde- pendence, further fuelled the demand for a separate Andhra province. In June 1948, the Constituent Assembly of India appointed a commission headed by S.K. Dar to examine the formation of new provinces. The Dar commission recom- mended reorganisation not on “linguistic consideration but rather upon administra- tive convenience.” In the wake of the calami- tous Partition, this found support in Nehru. In its Jaipur session in December 1948, the Congress appointed a Linguistic Prov- inces Committee with Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya (the JVP Committee), which in its report presented in April 1949, accepted the Dar Commission’s views by recommending the postponement of linguistic reorganisation by a few years. But Andhra was an exception. “In some ways,” the committee observed, “the de- mand for an Andhra Province has a larger measure of consent behind it than other sim- ilar demands.” However, it added ominously that, “Yet there is controversy about certain areas as well as about the city of Madras.” Therefore the thinking of the Congress leadership at the top was clear and unequiv- ocal right from the beginning. In November 1949, the Congress Working Committee rec- ommended the formation of a separate And- hra province excluding the city of Madras. Inextricably linked with the demand for Chennai, the declaration of the Andhra prov- ince came to be delayed by a few more years. It also occasioned the unnecessary and trag-

ic loss of lives and property, and caused teething problems to the fledgling nation state. A Partition Committee was formed in No- vember 1949 and the Madras Cabinet ap- proved its report in January 1950, but was mired in controversy with T. Prakasam sign- ing a note of dissent that the apparatus of the new province should reside in Madras city until a new capital was ready. Andhra continued to be on a boil. It all at once came down to one issue: while the pro- testers demanded a separate Andhra state and the government was more than eager to grant it, the claim over Madras city stalled the issue.

Widening fault lines

As the agitation for a separate Andhra got protracted, the fault lines within the Andhra Congress widened. It became obvious that those advocating the interests of Rayalasee- ma and the coastal districts of Andhra did not see eye to eye. To this may be added the view that Madras city should become a Chief Commissioner’s province, effectively under the control of the Central government, or a joint capital or even a Union Territory — reminiscent of the story of Solomon’s justice over the disputed child. The first general elections of January 1952 added further variables. The Congress failed to win a majority in the Madras Presidency, weakening the hand of K. Kamaraj, its lead- er, and paving the way for Rajaji to form a Congress government; T. Prakasam too lost badly. Despite Rajaji’s view that the cry for linguistic provinces was a “tribal demand,” he supported the formation of an Andhra province but without conceding Chennai. Various Andhra leaders such as Neelam Sanjiva Reddy and V.V. Giri — the philoso- pher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan not excluded — put pressure on the Central government. Nehru not only refused the demand for the appointment of a commission without a gen- eral agreement but also ruled out a plebi- scite. By July 1952, Nehru declared that “there ha[d] been so much argument on this subject that no one can say anything new or worthwhile.” This, however, was to change with one as-yet-unknown Congressman’s fast. The death of Potti Sriramulu on December 15, 1952 led to large-scale violence in Andhra. Despite Nehru’s bold statement in Parlia- ment that “we must not mix up various things because a riotous mob did some- thing,” the Government of India appointed in December 1952 a committee under Jus-

tice K.N. Wanchoo. Wanchoo’s report, sub- mitted in early February 1953, favoured the creation of the Andhra state and recom- mended that, until a new capital was built, the Andhra government could be lodged in Chennai. Nehru was inclined to accept this recommendation but was stoutly opposed by Rajaji. The popular nationalist writer and jour- nalist, Kalki — the alter ego of Rajaji — cap- tured the dangers of declaring Chennai the temporary capital: This move could pave the way for the influx of excited agitators from outside leading to violence triggering police action. The ensuing loss of lives would lead to further claims on the ground that the soil of Chennai had been sanctified by the blood of martyrs. Soon the city would be termed ‘a disputed area’ and would lead to unending controversy and agitation, like Kashmir. In the light of this premonition Rajaji even went to the extent of threatening to resign from the premiership finally convincing Nehru this move would only result in “un- seemly agitation, acrimonious controversies and administrative conflicts.” By 1953 the question of Chennai was pret- ty much settled. The bitterness between Andhra and Tamil Nadu soon evaporated, as a united Andhra Pradesh was forged over the decades, and a new and thriving capital built. That this has not lasted is the present issue.

Issues of identity

What lessons does this now-forgotten sto- ry teach us? Is it a case of history repeating itself as tragedy? If issues of identity and territorial claims in so-called more enlight- ened times could have been so acrimonious, little needs to be said about the implications for more cynical times such as ours. The delay in addressing genuine popular con- cerns makes them an electoral issue leading

to competitive inter-party and intra-party politics. Decisions taken in the heat of large- scale violence and bloodshed tend to be not so well thought out. Appointing commission after commission in the hope that agitations will dissipate simply doesn’t work. When popular mobilisation gathers force, fault lines become chasms. Soft-pedalling on im- plementation confounds matters. This is amply borne out by the Seemandhra back- lash. One hopes that the Central government will keep in mind the Chennai lesson in de- ciding the fate of Hyderabad.

(This essay draws from the author’s earli- er contribution to A.R. Venkatachalapathy (ed.), Chennai, Not Madras: Perspectives on the City, Marg, Mumbai, 2006.)

Letters

to the

EDITOR

Letters emailed to letters@thehindu.co.in must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.

Rahulspeak

O ne wonders what Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi —

who said at a press conference that the ordinance seeking to overturn the Supreme Court verdict disqualifying MPs and MLAs upon their conviction should be torn to pieces and thrown out — was doing all these days. Surely, he must have been aware of the UPA government’s frantic efforts to get a bill passed in the monsoon session of Parliament. When they did not succeed, the government drafted an ordinance, cleared it and sent it to the President. Was Rahul not in the know of things? The great tamasha will start now. I pity all those Congress spokespersons who defended the ordinance in front of television cameras and tried to convince the public. God help them! Or, should he?

A. Jaikrishna,

Secunderabad

W hat a dramatic change in the Congress’ approach to the

ordinance! I am sure the Cabinet cleared the ordinance after a lot of

deliberations. The BJP protested and presented a memorandum to the President asking him to reject the ordinance. The President raised a query on the need to promulgate the ordinance. The Congress seems to have changed its stance after that. As such, Rahul’s stand should have no bearing on the ordinance because he is not part of the Union Cabinet. But his view is bound to prevail. Will that not be humiliating to the Cabinet?

Danendra Jain,

Dehra Dun

O ne really wonders if Rahul Gandhi’s belated but

blistering attack on the ordinance was a well orchestrated political stunt, as alleged by the Opposition, to salvage the party and the government’s image. Does Rahul expect the nation to believe that neither he nor his mother Sonia Gandhi was kept in the loop when the decision to go for the ordinance was taken? Why such a public condemnation of the ordinance by him after the President sought certain clarifications and the stiff opposition by the BJP and the Left? Did not Rahul’s ill-advised action undermine the authority of the Prime Minister who was in Washington all set to meet the U.S

President? Who will take the PM seriously hereafter?

S.K. Choudhury,

Bangalore

N one can disagree with what Rahul said about the

ordinance. But the timing, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is out of the country, and the harsh language are in bad taste. My sympathies are with Dr. Singh who is not a politician but an obedient bureaucrat.

V. Tilak Subramanian,

Chennai

I t was refreshing to see Rahul denouncing the ordinance

meant to shield convicted politicians. It is ironic that the

seniors in the Congress did not have the wisdom to appreciate the dangers of the ordinance. That said, one does wish Rahul had done this a bit earlier.

N. Nagesh,

Chennai

R ahul’s politics has left the Congress in a state of

embarrassment. If he was genuinely against the ordinance, he could have done a far better job than storming into a press conference and blazing all guns at the government. His recklessness shows he is immature and not yet ready to be the Prime Minister.

Nitheen Sivadas,

Palakkad

‘Reject all’ option

T he Supreme Court has covered itself in shining glory by

directing the Election Commission to provide a button on electronic voting machines for voters to reject all the candidates contesting an election from a constituency — recognising that the right to elect includes the right to reject. Often, a voter finds himself pitted between the devil and the deep sea. Of course he can abstain but that would be seen as indifference, not passive protest.

K.X.M. John,

Kochi

P olitical parties will henceforth field candidates carefully and not take the voter for granted.

K. V. Rao,

Bangalore

CARTOONSCAPE

the voter for granted. K. V. Rao, Bangalore CARTOONSCAPE T he ‘reject all’ option in the

T he ‘reject all’ option in the EVMs is indeed a welcome

step. But the percentage of voter turnout will be important to ensure that the provision is effective. Casting the vote should be made an unavoidable duty of every citizen. In the event of the votes polled in favour of ‘reject all’ being the maximum in a constituency, all the candidates should be banned from contesting elections for at least six years.

A.P. Govindankutty,

Cheruthuruthy

India-Pakistan

talks

B y deciding to go ahead with his meeting with Nawaz Sharif in

New York, even after the dastardly terror strikes in Jammu, Dr. Singh has demonstrated both pragmatism and courage. Non- engagement with a democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, who has professed his intention to pursue peace with India, is not an option for our country. In fact, forces inimical to India — both within and outside — want to see the breakdown of the peace process. Pakistan is as much a victim of terror as India is, and it is in the interest of both the countries to fight the common

enemy together.

Raj Kishore Mishra,

Gurgaon

T he Jammu attacks were undoubtedly meant to derail

the peace process. Dr. Singh’s decision to continue with the peace talks deserves to be appreciated. Hopes of improving India-Pakistan relations that have been revived with the election of Mr. Sharif must not die down.

Aneesh M. Makker,

Malout

T he Hindu has done well to tabulate the pattern and

timings of terror attacks, coinciding with meetings between the two nations. Had Dr. Singh cancelled his meeting with Mr. Sharif, the terrorists would have succeeded in their design.

Stephen Heynes,

Bangalore

W hat is abundantly clear is many forces in Pakistan are

against negotiations and want to ensure that instability prolongs in Kashmir. In this dismal scenario, talks with Pakistan will be an exercise in futility. Surely, enduring peace continues to be a mirage in the subcontinent.

P.K. Varadarajan,

Chennai

F or us to believe that terrorists infiltrate without the knowledge or backing of the Pakistani troops is absurd. What our diplomats and the Prime

Minister must understand is that peace is a two-way street and can never be achieved if there is no desire for it from across the border. Till then, we will keep losing brave army men and policemen and continue condoling their deaths.

Archit Gupta,

Manipal

C ondoling lost lives is not a solution to terrorism. We

have seen a series of attacks from across the border. It is difficult to understand why India cannot retaliate. Every life is important. Our security personnel cannot be left to die in attack after attack.

Narendra Reddy Singampalli,

Guntur

T he army has ruled Pakistan for most part of its existence. It

has consolidated its hold on the country and the civilian government is at best a smokescreen. Although at times one wonders whether retaliation could be an option, one shudders at the prospect of a war between the two nuclear states. It is hoped that the talks between Dr. Singh and Mr. Sharif will not end with the usual handshakes and bear hugs.

A. Michael Dhanaraj,

Coimbatore

handshakes and bear hugs. A. Michael Dhanaraj, Coimbatore C M Y K

CM

YK

and bear hugs. A. Michael Dhanaraj, Coimbatore C M Y K TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

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THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

OP-ED 13

Lessons in statecraft from the U.N. high table

The draft resolution on Syria is a victory for Russia and dents the image of the U.S. as the steering force in the Security Council

Arun Mohan Sukumar

steering force in the Security Council Arun Mohan Sukumar W ithin hours of the time of

W ithin hours of the time of writ- ing, the United Nations Securi-

ty Council will pass a resolution that not only paves the way for the elim- ination of Syria’s chemical weapons but also sets its crisis on track for a politically mediated settlement. For all intents and purposes, this will be the first time the Council would adopt substantive measures to tackle Syria, since conflict first broke out two years ago. The Council’s permanent mem- bers have signed off on the draft reso- lution, and its contents were discussed at a full-house meeting of all UNSC members on Thursday night. The UNSC draft resolution, which will be cleared without amend- ment, represents an unmitigated vic- tory for Russian diplomacy: Moscow has extracted every pound of flesh from its bargain with the United States to destroy Syria’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and more.

Separating the issues

The draft resolution was thrashed out by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in New York. First, Mr. Lavrov ensured the draft would not call on the Council to refer the Syrian conflict to the International Criminal Court — this provision, which France was especially keen to incorporate, would have led to the trial and likely conviction of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the commission of war crimes. Second, Russia has succeeded in convincing the U.N. Security Council that the use of chemical weapons in Syria and its ongoing humanitarian crisis are to be treated separately. The U.S. and its allies intended this exer- cise to condemn Mr. Assad for alleg- edly using chemical weapons. The West also sought to introduce Chap- ter VII measures under the U.N. Charter to threaten the Syrian regime into disarmament. The use of WMDs in Syria provided a “legitimate” pre- text to intervene militarily, and thus tip the balance of power in favour of the rebels fighting the Assad regime. Mr. Lavrov first undercut this plan in Geneva earlier this month — the “framework agreement” signed be- tween him and Mr. Kerry ensured Chapter VII measures would only be invoked only after non-compliance, and not as a tool to command Assad’s obedience. This went against French and British efforts at the U.N. Securi- ty Council, but once Mr. Lavrov had won over Mr. Kerry, there was little the Europeans could do. In negotiations, Russia conceded the use of chemical weapons in Syria would constitute a “threat to interna- tional peace and security” – under the U.N. Charter, such a threat is a sine qua non for the Council to approve the use of force. But Mr. Lavrov’s deft diplomatic manoeuvring has virtually ensured intervention in Syria is all but off the table for now. The same draft that suggests the use of WMDs is a grave threat to international secu- rity also stresses “the only solution to the current crisis” in Syria is political reconciliation based on the Geneva Communiqué of 2012. What’s more, the draft resolution now reads like a general denunciation of the use and proliferation of chemical weapons,

not just in Syria but “anywhere in the world.” The resolution also suggests “individuals” responsible for the use of WMDs be “held accountable.” Any attempt to prosecute the Syrian re- gime for its alleged use of chemical weapons will find it next to impos- sible to prove Mr. Assad himself au- thorised these attacks. If the Syrian President has been let off the hook for now, Russia has also managed to turn the spotlight on the Syrian rebels. The draft resolution re- quires “all Syrian parties to work closely” with the U.N. to “arrange for the security” of the WMD inspection team. The provision effectively man- dates a ceasefire in Syria, which the rebels are extremely reluctant to sup- port given that violence has now be- come their only bargaining chip. The draft resolution also addresses the possibility of chemical weapons being transferred to the rebels and requires all States to refrain from the same. It was clear from the beginning there was little appetite for military intervention in Syria both in the in- ternational community as well as do- mestic peoples in the West. But what explains the dramatic turnaround in Russia’s fortunes? For the most part of the last two years, Moscow, along with China has been branded by the West as a “persistent objector” at the Security Council, standing in the way of resolving this humanitarian crisis. But now, Russia has been able to push through a draft resolution that en- sures Mr. Assad will be in power for the conceivable future, while slap- ping down all of the western propos- als at once. What gives?

American actions

The answer does not have to do with Russia’s sudden popularity as much as the negative publicity that the U.S. has attracted at this year’s U.N. General Assembly meetings. The UNGA opened with a blistering attack by Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff on the U.S. National Security Agen- cy’s surveillance programmes, term- ing them a “breach of international law.” Her speech has resonated wide- ly with heads of state and foreign ministers in attendance. At the Coun- cil, Pakistan sharply criticised U.S. drone attacks on its north-western border and suggested they ran “coun- terproductive” to the objective of de- feating terrorism. To complicate matters for the West, Iran, a major ally of the Syrian regime, has moderated its defence of Bashar al-Assad, choosing instead to oppose military intervention for its disastrous spillover effects. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has even expressed his country’s willingness to join the Geneva-II conference to ini- tiate political dialogue among Syria’s warring constituents. In this climate, the U.S. has found it extremely difficult to push its brief on Syria through the Security Council. The Obama administration’s bluff on military intervention has been called, and its alienating posture on Iran has cut no ice at the U.N. Above all, the chickens from its intrusive, world- wide surveillance programme have come to roost in New York. The draft resolution on Syria is a severe setback to its reputation as the primary agen- da-setter in the Security Council. arun.sukumar@thehindu.co.in

ILLUSTRATION: SATWIKGADE
ILLUSTRATION: SATWIKGADE

Corrections & Clarifications

A sentence in “It’s Modi all the way at Bhopal rally” (Sept. 26, 2013) read: “Mr. Chouhan then proceeded to touch Mr. Advani’s feet.” It should have been Mr. Modi. A Business page headline (Sept. 26, 2013) read: “Open to all routes for buying balance stake in HZL, Balco: Vendanta”. It should have been Vedanta.

It is the policy of The Hindu to correct significant errors as soon as possible. Please specify the edition (place of publication), date and page. The Readers’ Editor’s office can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297/28576300 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday); Fax: +91-44-28552963; E-mail: readerseditor@thehindu.co.in Mail: Readers’ Editor, The Hindu, Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860 Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002, India. All communication must carry the full postal address and telephone number. No personal visits. The Terms of Reference for the Readers’ Editor are on www.thehindu.com

With malice toward goodwill

Gen. (retd.) V.K. Singh’s claims that the Army was paying money to ‘win hearts and minds’ in Kashmir has needlessly cast aspersions on Sadbhavana, its well-appreciated outreach scheme in the Valley

Chander Suta Dogra

T he furore over General (retd.)

ey being paid to politicians and

V.K. Singh’s remarks over mon-

non-governmental organisa-

tions in Jammu and Kashmir has stirred up a hornet’s nest. Besides their political impact, his words have turned the spot- light on Sadbhavana, a goodwill initiative by the Indian Army that began in 1997 aimed at winning the hearts and minds of people in the State. Here is what the former Army Chief said: “When I had said that some politic- ians were given money, it was not meant for their personal purpose or political purpose. It was not for lining their pockets or for bribe. If somebody says that any Minister was given a bribe, it is totally wrong. The payment was meant solely for stability. To win hearts and minds of peo- ple; to wean people away from separatist activities under the overall umbrella of

sadbhavna (harmony).”

Initiatives

A flurry of indignant reactions from

several retired generals, some of whom served in Jammu & Kashmir, asserting that no money was ever paid from Sadb- havana funds to politicians, countered his words.

The general was talking about the activ- ities of the Technical Support Division (TSD), a covert intelligence outfit of the Indian Army seen as his pet project and whose role in the State from 2010 to 2012 is under the scanner. But his attempt to pass off the TSD’s activities under the overall umbrella of Sadbhavana, has

activities under the overall umbrella of Sadbhavana, has ENDING ALIENATION : A photo exhibition in Srinagar

ENDING ALIENATION: A photo exhibition in Srinagar organised by the Army under

Sadbhavana. — PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD

raised hackles within the army too, as it threatens to undo much of the recent work done to integrate Kashmiris with the rest of India, besides giving a handle to separatists to step up demands to scale down Sadbhavna.

Separatists have always been insecure and critical about Sadbhavana initiatives such as building roads, bridges, schools and orphanages in inaccessible insurgen- cy-affected areas where it is difficult for the civilian administration to reach.

Funding

Intelligence funds are not subjected to audits. Sadbhavana funds on the other hand are subjected to a full-scale audit by the Principal Controller of Defence Ac- counts (PCDA) and has a sanctioning process that includes bidding. Work done

under Sadbhavana is documented and more importantly, no money is ever given directly to the units. Money is routed through the PCDA office in Jammu to the civilian contractors executing projects. There is no way that the TSD could have used Sadbhavana funds to pay off politicians. Between 2010 and 2012, roughly the same period as the TSD was active, Sadb- havana in the State took on a whole new meaning when the army’s 15 Corps under Lt.Gen. Ata Hasnain, now retired, reached out to the people like no other army offi- cer had done before. From Ji Janaab — a doctrine formulated to make the army troops aware of local forms of address and cultural sensitivities and to put them into practice while dealing with the civilian population — to the hugely popular awami sunwais, public hearings at which people were encouraged to vent their angst about everything that bothered them, including the army, initiatives implemented under the umbrella of Sadbhavana, drew wide- spread praise from the Centre and State.

Cricket matches

Soon, Lt.Gen. Hasnain began to be called “people’s general.” Earlier this month, he was awarded by the Vice- Presi- dent of India for military leadership. It was Lt.Gen. Hasnain’s brainwave to start the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) in the summer of 2011. As many as 350 T20 cricket matches were organised across all 10 districts of Kashmir. The idea was to use sport to prevent youngsters from tak- ing to violence. A sum of Rs.1.4 crore from Sadbhavana funds was spent on organis- ing KPL.

But it was not always like this. In the initial years after it was launched, Sadb- havana was seen by the local population as another intelligence gathering tool of the army. That many of the benefits distrib- uted through it were cornered by Ikh- wanis or surrendered militants, also had something to do with this thinking. Signif- icantly, many of those reservations van- ished during Lt.Gen. Hasnain’s tenure. This correspondent had the opportunity to meet enthusiastic villagers apprecia- tive of the 15 Corps’ new approach to win- ning hearts and minds that even included the army hosting iftaars for local people during Ramzan. A recent study by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies noted: “If the locals view Sadbhavana activities as a means employ- ed by the army to gather intelligence, it loses its value.” The former chief’s recent statements may well do just that. Whatever covert operations the TSD was engaged in are presently in the realm of speculation. Those in the know say that the money that Gen. Singh claims was paid to politicians to stabilise the State was most likely relat- ed to the period of 2010 during the stone throwing agitation, when the army was tasked to prevent people from coming on to the roads in large numbers. At many places, crowds were persuaded to disperse with no use of force, and much of this was done by reaching out to the local leaders who had some influence in specific pock- ets. In the complex political environment of Kashmir, the current turn of events is likely to have caused many more fault lines that may not be immediately visible. chander.dogra@thehindu.co.in

‘Corporates have entered political discourse’

Prashant Jha

From breaking a 17-year-old alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to waging a battle to redefine regional back- wardness, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been a central politi- cal figure in the past year. On Friday, he spoke exclusively to The Hindu in Patna on a range of issues. Excerpts:

Let us begin with certain new trends in national politics. There is a move towards a presidential-style contest in the polity. Will it work?

It cannot succeed. India is too com-

plex. The parliamentary system is set- tled, and this is not the time to play around with it. India is also a multiparty democracy. The era of one-party dom- inating the national scene has long gone. Neither the Congress nor the BJP are present in every nook and corner of the country. The

INTERVIEW

Congress

has moved

towards an alliance system at the centre in the past two terms. The BJP has grown in some States, but they do not have a pan-India presence. In this era of multiplicity of parties, it is not compatible. There are many factors — party, ideology, MPs. Ul- timately, you need a majority in Parliament.

You come from the socialist tradition. Do you sense a growing role of corporates in the run-up to the elections?

This is true. Corporates have entered political discourse. Corporates were apolitical earlier, but now we can see politicisation of corporates. For its in- terests, it is speaking in favour of an indi- vidual. This trend was not there in the past. And the advantage of that was that democracy reached the grassroots, the weakest sections. But there is an effort to introduce a new influence against that. It won’t succeed. Ultimately, it is one per- son, one vote. There is also a growing corporatisation of the media. What is ap- pearing in the media is not a reflection of the ground reality. Independent media is

a reflection of the ground reality. Independent media is Nitish Kumar — PHOTO: RANJEET KUMAR an

Nitish Kumar — PHOTO: RANJEET KUMAR

an institution, and if they get influenced, project choices and wishes of some indi- viduals as the popular will, there can be

temporary confusion. It will appear like there is a wave, but if you go to the true masses, you will encounter a different reality.

Would you say there is unprecedented religious polarisation in north India?

There is an effort to engineer polar- isation, to create an atmosphere. But po- larisation is not happening on the ground. There is a smokescreen.

In the last two decades, identity politics has primarily manifested itself through assertion of marginalised castes. But is religion going to trump caste this time?

Within our larger identity of being In- dians, these identities will continue. But we have tried to create an identity of sub-nationalism. To strengthen the country, you have to strengthen all re- gions. We have tried to instill a sense of Bihari pride, and that has weakened caste and religious identity to some extent. But there is an orchestrated move to revive the other identities. We connected the struggle for Bihar’s rights with pride. We want to make such a Bihar that it will be a badge of honour to be called a Bihari. Large masses of people from any caste or religion, by and large, want development and peace. But some influential sections — who are not worried about the future; who already have everything — try to create problems. They could be corpo- rates, or those at the forefront of extreme identity issues.

There is an effort to project a kind of

belligerent nationalism which questions the loyalty of Indian Muslims.

I believe in Indian nationalism, born of the notion of unity in diversity. There are others who don’t believe in Indian na- tionalism, they believe in identity na- tionalism. How can it be nationalism which discriminates against people who are citizens in one’s own country? How can nationalism be built on suspicion? Nations are built on trust, cooperation, and respect for diversity. This was shaped during the freedom struggle. It incorporated equal respect for all reli- gions, and provision of special opportu- nities for those who are backward in order to create a level-playing field. This is the true essence of nationalism, not that which treats our own people as sec- ond-class citizens.

It is during your reign that the RSS and the BJP got an opportunity to expand. How can you distance yourself now?

Seventeen years ago, we allied with them to prevent a split in the votes against the then ruling party. But we nev- er compromised on basic issues. That was not divisive politics. It was devel- opmental politics. They tried to intro- duce divisive politics, and our relationship broke on that count. We kept reminding them of the 1998 and 1999 promises, on the basis of which the governments were formed in Delhi. They began thinking that the Congress is so unpopular right now that the moment is ripe to impose their agenda, with the help of corporates. I became careful a year ago, and put some conditions about what

is not acceptable. The current propagan-

da may have some impact, but it will go cold soon. We have faith in our principles.

Now that the Rajan committee has declared Bihar the second least developed State, is there a ground for alliance with the Congress?

We have reached this stage because of the battle for special status. We had said change the yardstick, and emphasised the need for a paradigm shift in economic policy. We raised issues of Bihar and oth-

er backward States. There is now an in- dication of that paradigm shift. We would have been happier if per-capita income was taken as a parameter, but they took per-capita expenditure and consump- tion. But still, they have divided the States into three categories, and decided to adopt a different approach for the least-developed. The principle to develop the least-developed, to help industrialise such States, to provide central assistance has been recognised. The basic policy is that there should be a strategy to help backward States reach the national mean; this was my demand. This is a step forward.

Precisely because they have taken a step forward to meet your substantive demand, and to prevent a split of the “secular votes,” will you ally with Congress?

We have not thought about it so far. We have party programmes in October. Everyone is assessing the situation. We will see the mood in our rank and file. Our cadre is enthusiastic, but this does not get reflected in the media because we do not show off.

not get reflected in the media because we do not show off. Will the Muslim vote

Will the Muslim vote get divided between Lalu Prasad and you?

What has Laluji done substantively? The graveyard land used to be captured; I began a policy of fencing it and over half the graveyards are now fenced. I ad- dressed their issues of education, health, employment. We have given land for Ali- garh Muslim University (in Kishengunj). We have supported schools and madra-

sas, and run a campaign for their educa- tion to bring them into the mainstream.

He provided them security, and says there were no riots during his period.

There were communal disturbances during his time. There have been no riots during my time. In one place, there was an effort to incite tensions. But we im- posed a curfew, and within a few hours, normalcy was restored. prashant.j@thehindu.co.in

Full version: http://thne.ws/1h8suNQ

Looking beyond the Singh-Sharif meeting

India and Pakistan must break through the vicious cycle that dogs their peace efforts

Imtiaz Alam

T he feel-good factor created with the induction of the pro-peace Nawaz

Sharif government in Pakistan was nulli- fied by competing calls for retribution against the provocative killing of five In- dian soldiers on August 6 across the Line of Control (LoC). In January this year too, as the dialogue process was resumed after a longer interruption between the Asif Zardari and Manmohan Singh gov- ernments, India was enraged over the be- heading of one of its soldiers across the LoC. In both cases, the purpose of these acts seemed to be provocation — in Janu- ary, perhaps to jeopardise rapid devel- opments on the liberalisation of trade, and in August, to frustrate Mr. Sharif’s eagerness to jump-start negotiations.

Missed opportunities

As a result, the composite dialogue process has been halted once again, even if the two Prime Ministers agree to do some damage control when they meet in New York on September 29. However, any meaningful dialogue will have to wait for the outcome of the 2014 election in India. Had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

acted with a little more courage back in 2007, things might not have come to such a pass. With him lies the responsibility for the failure to sign an accord on Kashmir, which had almost been agreed upon be- tween him and Gen. Musharraf; and, for partially wasting the opportunity to move ahead with President Zardari. Mr. Singh was too cautious to seize a historic oppor- tunity for a cause that has otherwise been dear to him. He floundered once again in response to Prime Minister Sharif’s positive over- tures, knowing well that those who were responsible for the Mumbai mayhem are most likely to be behind the LoC provoca- tion and the latest outrage in Jammu. Meanwhile, it is only too true that Pa- kistan has done little to satisfy India’s legitimate demand for some visible move- ment in the trial of those accused for the Mumbai carnage. If Pakistan once held up Kashmir as the core issue, holding back forward move- ment on any other count, even keeping SAARC hostage to bilateral disputes for decades, it is now India that insists on its core issue of cross-border terrorism and says that the dialogue process and terror- ism cannot go together, even though it has been insisting on people-to-people

contact and the liberalisation of trade. Quite cynically, both have continued to rotate rigidities and flexibilities with ease. It seems the subcontinent’s bilater-

al diplomacy is an instrument for keeping

perpetual stalemates, allowing for snail’s

pace movement to put on a show of mini- mum civility. Rather than moving in a spiral mode, the talks have been fated to

move in the same vicious circle. Whatever progress is made in one round or talks on

a crucial issue is never concluded, and is invariably reversed in subsequent rounds.

Turning it around

For progress to take place, Pakistan and its powerful establishment must real- ise the folly of creating a highly intrac- table, violent and divisive mass of terrorist and extremist outfits as an in- strument of its foreign and security pol- icies. These are not “strategic assets” but freelancers in the market of global terror- ism. These outfits fight among themselves over sectarian and factional dividends of warfare and expand their fiefdoms at each other’s cost across the Afghanistan-Pa- kistan border regions and beyond. Given the possibility of the destabil- isation of at least the south-eastern Pak-

htun belt of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in 2014, Pakistan is left with no option but to clear its own territory of

all kinds of terrorists without cherry picking. There are no good Taliban. Wip- ing out terrorist sanctuaries will require cooperation with the international com- munity for a smooth transition and rec- onciliation in Afghanistan on the one hand, and a historic peace agreement

with India. On the other hand, India must shed its old fixations about Pakistan and the bag- gage of Partition, and understand objec- tively how Pakistan is embroiled in its own contradictions and trying to find a way out of the mess it has created over the last few decades. Instead of jumping to join any move against Pakistan or exploit- ing any opportunity to pay back in the same coin, in Balochistan or across the Af-Pak border, India must offer Pakistan a quid pro quo — helping Pakistan keep its north-western frontier stable, coupled with a joint India-Pakistan strategy to keep Afghanistan stable, in exchange for an end to India-specific terrorism.

(Imtiaz Alam is a senior Pakistan journalist and Secretary General, South Asian Free Media Association.)

and Secretary General, South Asian Free Media Association.) C M Y K

CM

YK

General, South Asian Free Media Association.) C M Y K TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

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THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

NATIONAL

GladU.S. tryingdiplomacy in Syria, Iran: Manmohan

Cautions that “expectations have to be toned down” on his meeting with Sharif

Continued from Page 1

and seeing a reduction of

tensions

on

the

subcontinent.

Civilian nuclear deal

The U.S. President also praised the continuous im- provement in bilateral ties that encompassed not only “enormous progress” with the landmark civilian nucle- ar agreement but also the fact that the “Miss America” contest was recently won by an Indian-American, Nina Davuluri. With regard to the former subject Mr. Obama ex- pressed satisfaction with the fact that in the last few days “an agreement on the first commercial agree- ment” between a U.S. com- pany and India had been achieved. The signing of a “pre-early-works” agree- ment between U.S. nuclear suppliers and the Indian op- erator, NPCIL, has been on the cards during this official visit. The strategic issues that may have dominated the bi- lateral discussion, however, appeared to have been on both Syria and Iran, regard- ing which diplomatic efforts that have involved nations such as Russia have led to improvement in ties in re- cent days and weeks. On Syria although Mr. Obama reiterated the role that the threat of force by America had played in mak- ing it possible to get Damas-

by America had played in mak- ing it possible to get Damas- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

on Friday. — PHOTO: AFP

cus to give up its chemical weapons stockpile, he add- ed, “But I’ve always ex- pressed a preference for

resolving

diplomatically.”

this

Both leaders underscored the significant advances in bilateral trade and invest- ment, with Mr. Obama re- marking that trade had risen by 50 per cent “just over the

last several years,” and Dr. Singh added that the figure had touched $100 billion de- spite the slowdown in the global economy. The two leaders did not

take questions from the press after their bilateral meeting and Dr. Singh im- mediately departed for New York, where he will attend the UNGA.

Pakistan looking for a ‘new beginning’ with India: Sharif

UNITED NATIONS: Ahead of his

meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday, Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif on Friday said he was looking forward to it to make a “new beginning” and re-engage with India in a “substantive and purposeful dialogue”. Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Sharif also raked up the Kashmir issue, calling for a solution of the problem in accordance with the U.N. resolutions. “I am looking forward to meeting Mr. Singh here in New York to make a new beginning. We have a solid basis to do that. Pakistan and India can prosper together; and the entire region would benefit from our cooper- ation,” Mr. Sharif said. Expressing regret over wast- age of resources, the Prime Minister said, “Our two coun-

age of resources, the Prime Minister said, “Our two coun- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses the U.N. General Assembly on

Thursday.— PHOTO: REUTERS

tries have wasted massive re- sources in an arms race. We could have used those re- sources for the economic well- being of our people. We still have that opportunity,” he

affirmed. Raising the Kashmir issue, Mr. Sharif said the U.N. “must continue to remain attentive to the issue of Jammu and Kash- mir and the full realisation of the right to self-determination of its people. Their suffering cannot be brushed under the carpet because of power poli- tics.” The U.N., he said, was re- quired at this point to play “a critical role” in resolving “fes- tering disputes”. “As in the past, Pakistan calls upon the international com- munity to give an opportunity to Kashmiris to decide their fu- ture peacefully, in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolutions. The issue of Jam- mu and Kashmir was presented to the Security Council in Janu- ary 1948; and yet the issue re- mains unresolved after nearly seven decades,” he said. — PTI

Rahul sends conciliatory e-mail to Manmohan

Smita Gupta

NEW DELHI: In a bid to min- imise the damage caused by his outburst against the UPA government for its decision to clear an ordinance on con- victed legislators, a contrite Congress vice-president Ra- hul Gandhi sent a concilia- tory e-mail to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is in the United States on a bilat- eral visit. “I realise that what I feel

about the ordinance is not in harmony with the Cabinet decision and the Core Group’s view,” Mr. Gandhi has written, adding, “I also know it would be exploited by our political opponents.” He then goes on to stress:

“You know that I have the highest respect for you and I look up to you for your wis- dom. I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the manner in which you are pro- viding leadership in extreme-

ly difficult circumstances. I hope you will understand the strength of my own convic- tion about this very contro- versial issue.” Evidently, Mr. Gandhi has been told that undermining the Prime Minister, who has for nine years led the UPA government, cannot help the Congress. After all, it is the record of this government that the party will have to de- fend in the run-up to the elections.

When Rahul dropped a bombshell at press meet

The ordinance should be “torn up and thrown away,” says Congress vice-president

Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: It was a brief and surprise appearance by Con- gress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during the “Meet- the-Press” programme of his party’s communication de- partment chief Ajay Maken at the Press Club of India here on Friday but he drop- ped a bombshell, denouncing as “complete nonsense” the ordinance to shield convict- ed lawmakers from disqualification. The Gandhi scion’s shock- er that has evoked criticism from various political quar- ters sent journalists and electronic channels scurry- ing to flash the “breaking news.” For, they had neither anticipated the presence of Mr. Gandhi at the press meet nor did anyone, including Mr. Maken, had an inkling of his outburst against the UPA government, headed by his own party. Mr. Maken was barely 20 minutes into his statement and chat with journalists when his personal aide hand- ed over a folded note to Press Club general secretary Anil Anand. It read “URGENT R.G.,” a call on Mr. Maken’s mobile phone which he took, interrupting his session and going behind the stage. When he resumed his place,NEW DELHI:

and going behind the stage. When he resumed his place, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with party leader Ajay Maken, addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. — PHOTO: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

he announced the “good news” to mediapersons that soon Mr. Gandhi would be joining them at the Press Club of India. The PCI general secretary received the Congress vice- president, who was paying his maiden visit to the Club, which had been visited by Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers,

Governors and other digni- taries in the past. Soon he was seated on the dais and seemed to show his restless- ness by frequently rolling up the sleeves of his kurta and indicating that he wanted to speak even as PCI president Anand Sahay was making an announcement about Mr. Gandhi’s unscheduled visit and told him: “Hang on” be-

fore offering the floor to him. “It should be torn up and thrown away,” said Mr. Gandhi with a straight face and stern tone while con- demning the controversial ordinance and stressing that it was his “personal opin- ion.” His statement came af- ter reports started trickling in about unease in the Con-

gress over the ordinance. Union Minister Milind Deo- ra and Congress leader Anil Shastri have voiced their reservations about the ordinance. Mr. Gandhi told journal- ists that he asked Mr. Maken what was happening and got to know about the “Meet the Press” at PCI, as well got from him a “political line” about the ordinance. “Now, I will tell you what is my opin- ion on the ordinance. It is complete nonsense,” he said. At this point, Mr. Gandhi got up from his seat to leave but mediapersons persisted with their queries. He came back to his seat to repeat his impromptu statement. “I am interested in what the Con- gress party is doing and what our government is do- ing. That is why what our government has done as far as this ordinance is con- cerned is wrong,” he said and abruptly left the venue. Soon after he left, Mr. Ma- ken chose his words careful- ly to clarify: “What Rahul Gandhi has said is the view of the Congress party.” News channels lost no time in airing Mr. Maken’s defen- sive views on the ordinance before Mr. Gandhi’s de- nouncement and the “R.G.” storm had left it in tatters.

Quit if you have self-respect, Jaitley tells Prime Minister

B. Muralidhar Reddy

Jaitley tells Prime Minister B. Muralidhar Reddy NEW DELHI: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s own

NEW DELHI: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s own goal on the draft ordinance to let convicted persons continue as legislators has given the Opposition a handle to target Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Ironically, the Opposition was not even ready to give credit to Mr. Gandhi, saying it was a damage-control attempt after President Pranab Mukherjee had asked the government to brief him of the background of the ordinance. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that if the ordinance was non-sense, as characterised by Mr. Gandhi, Dr. Singh should quit “if he has any self- respect.” The Trinamool Congress’s Saugata Roy said Mr. Gandhi’s remarks were an “orchestrated” move and demonstrated confusion in the Congress. The CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta said: “Now that he [Mr.

Gandhi] speaks about it most belatedly, this is not bad, this

This statement is coming to take credit.”

is good

Brinda Karat of the CPI(M) wondered how Mr. Gandhi suddenly realised the worth of the ordinance, days after the Cabinet had cleared it and sent it to the President. Mr. Jaitley said the country was waiting to see whether the Prime Minister had any self-respect left and whether he accepted this compliment or he reacted for the honour of his government. “Belated realisation of what the Congress now calls nonsense. The heads which brought out this nonsense twice in the last one month must roll. It is a charade to show the government can make a mistake, but the Congress’s first family doesn’t.” Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said the Congress was plotting an “escape route” after its “blunder.” Another BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked: “Is this a government or a theatrical production?”

Rahul’s remark throws Congress into a tailspin

Smita Gupta

NEW DELHI: Congress vice- president Rahul Gandhi’s open censure of the UPA gov- ernment — describing the clearing of a controversial or- dinance by the Cabinet as “wrong” — saw party func- tionaries scrambling to do damage control, even as some ministers spoke or tweeted, endorsing their young leader and, at the same time, insist- ing that his criticism had not undermined the position of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, now on a bilateral visit to the United States. If External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told a TV channel that the Prime Min- ister had not been under- mined by Mr. Gandhi’s statement and that if the par- ty had a view, the Cabinet could re-consider the ordi- nance, MoS for Human Re- source Development Shashi Tharoor tweeted: “Rahul

Gandhi speaking has given us a right to present our private opinion” and “… now that my party VP has broken ranks, I’m delighted. I’d declined numerous invitations to de- fend the Ordinance.” By the end of the day, Con- gress president Sonia Gandhi had to step in: in a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister, she assured him that there had been no inten- tion to undermine his position. But by then much of the damage had been done. Earli- er in the day, a senior party functionary even said he saw nothing wrong in Mr. Gandhi waking up to the ills of the ordinance weeks after the Bill on which it was based had been introduced in the Rajya Sabha: “Rahulji is only re- sponding to the sentiments of the public and party work- ers,” he said, stressing, “The issue is evolving; the situation is evolving.” Pressed on how

Mr. Gandhi could have em- barrassed the Prime Minis- ter, who is on a foreign visit, the spin put on was: “What if the President had given his assent to the ordinance? The Prime Minister won’t be back for a few days. Rahulji wanted to stop it.” Later, of course, it tran- spired Mr. Gandhi had sent an email to the Prime Minis- ter, citing his objections to the ordinance. Indeed, one account in the party has it that once it was realised that President Pra- nab Mukherjee had serious reservations about the ordi- nance — and might send it back — then a plan needed to be devised to ensure that the party — aka Rahul Gandhi — got the credit for it. In UPA-I, days after the then Rural De- velopment Minister Raghu- vansh Prasad Singh told journalists that the decision to extend the MGNREGS to the entire country had been

to extend the MGNREGS to the entire country had been Shashi Tharoor “Rahul Gandhi speaking has

Shashi Tharoor

“Rahul Gandhi speaking has given us a right to present our private opinion”

taken, Mr. Gandhi led a party delegation to the Prime Min- ister, asking him to ensure that the scheme covered all of India. On Friday, a senior leader even said the real reason why

the UPA government, in the monsoon session, sent the RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2013 that sought to keep political parties out of the purview of the RTI Act — after the Cen- tral Information Commission had ruled that they are within the ambit — to a Standing Committee rather than quickly push it through was Mr. Gandhi had insisted on it. But this writer recalls that during the session, the gov- ernment’s parliamentary managers said it was Ms. Gandhi who had directed her party colleagues to send the Bill to a Standing Committee, once she sensed that it was an unpopular move. Clearly, the desperation to build up Mr. Gandhi is begin- ning to show, even if it means undermining the Prime Min- ister and downgrading Ms. Gandhi, who is still party president. The media, a senior leader said, “is always complaining

that Rahul never asserts him- self, he does not speak out on issues. Now that he has done so, you are criticising him. He now occupies the high moral ground: it is the right decision in the long term.” Mr. Gandhi’s effort to dis- tance himself from a decision that party colleagues and workers are finding it hard to defend might have worked but for the fact that he is number two in the party, the heir apparent, and as party sources said, his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi was on board before the Cabi- net approved the ordinance. Throughout Friday, confu- sion reigned over what stand the party should take on the Prime Minister, with some leaders even saying it did not matter that Dr. Singh had been embarrassed by the par- ty vice-president’s statement.

“PM did not matter”

A senior leader even told

The Hindu that the Prime Minister “did not matter”:

with the Congress facing an uphill task in the coming elec- tions, many would like to at- tribute the fall in the party’s fortunes to Dr. Singh’s “unin- spiring leadership” of the gov- ernment, deflecting attention from the organisational short- comings in the Congress.

Sanjaya Baru’s take

It was left to Sanjaya Baru, the Prime Minister’s former media adviser, to lash out at Mr. Gandhi on television and write on his Facebook page, “Enough is Enough! How long will he take this 'nonsense'?! PM should cancel all engage- ments after his meeting with Obama, cancel NY trip, return home, call for snap polls, and quit. Service of the Country is more important than of any party or family.” There was no corresponding anger articu- lated on Friday by party mem- bers.

Rahul blitz…

Continued from Page 1 As he got up to leave, members of a suddenly gal- vanised press wanted to know whether Mr. Gandhi’s views had been shaped by the flak the ordinance was getting from the Opposition. He returned to his seat to say: “I’m not interested in the opposition, I am inter- ested in what the Congress party is doing and what our government is doing.” And then came the punchline: “I personally feel what my gov- ernment has done is wrong,” before he made a dramatic exit. Mr. Maken retracted all that he had said earlier in the press meet to declaim:

“Rahul’s view is that of the Congress party.”

declaim: “Rahul’s view is that of the Congress party.” Pakistan could explore FTA with India Sujay

Pakistan could explore FTA with India

Sujay Mehdudia

KARACHI: Pakistan has indi- cated that it could explore the possibility of having a free trade agreement (FTA) with India on the lines of the one it signed with Indonesia recently. Pakistan’s Minister of State for Commerce and Priv- atisation, Engineer Dastgir Khurram Khan told a group of visiting Indian journalists that the Nawaz Sharif Gov- ernment had been strongly pitching for peace with India. Probably for the first time the general elections in Pa- kistan were not fought on an- ti-India sentiment or propaganda, he asserted. “We should not let this golden op- portunity slip away. Both sides should work to promote economic and trade activity, and we could, after a period of consolidation, explore the possibility of having an FTA with India. We recently signed a preferential trade agreement with Indonesia. “I see no reason why the same cannot be concluded with our neighbour India. We should not allow third coun- tries to tap the huge trade po- tential that both India and Pakistan have, and move for- ward politically and econom- ically for the benefit of people of both nations,” he said. Mr. Khan said investors from India and Pakistan would not make any big com- mitments until they were as- sured of backing and stability from the political establish- ment of their respective countries.

the political establish- ment of their respective countries. C M Y K

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establish- ment of their respective countries. C M Y K TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

TheHindunewspapersdailyhere:-thehinduforfree.blogspot.in

ND-ND

THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

NATIONAL 15

Convicted lawmakers should have right to appeal: Somnath

Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: Disagreeing with the Su- preme Court ruling regarding dis- qualification of convicted lawmakers, former Lok Sabha Speaker and veteran Parliamentar- ian Somnath Chatterjee said here on Friday that it was for the people to decide whether Congress vice- president Rahul Gandhi’s opposi- tion to a proposed ordinance in this regard was good or bad. “Rahul Gandhi has given his own opinion… He has spoken as a party leader,” he told journalists. “If a sitting MP or MLA, once con- victed by a magistrate and is dis- qualified automatically and loses his seat, then I cannot agree to it. One should be given the chance to file an appeal. Why is there the system of appellate courts then?” he asked, pointing out that judgments of a lower court are liable to be changed by a higher court. “Civilised juris- prudence connotes giving proper opportunity to a citizen of India who may be subjected to a wrong judicial determination,” Mr. Chat- terjee said, adding that one cannot deny the right to appeal further. “Somehow I cannot get infatuat- ed by the theoretical excellence of the Supreme Court’s decisions,” he said. Commenting elsewhere on an- other ruling of the Supreme Court in the day directing the Election Commission to provide a button in voting machines to allow voters to reject all candidates contesting an election, Mr. Chatterjee said “he is unable to find reasons in it”.

NOTAwill curbimpersonation: court

J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: