Monday, 29 September 2014

At least 60% Muslims oppose Muslim Personal Law ( Shariat )

I can demonstrate that at least 60% Muslims oppose the Muslim Personal Law ( Shariat )

About 50% Muslims are women. Almost all of them are opposed to shariat. Which woman would like a damocles sword of  'talaq, talaq, talaq' ( or any other form of oral talaq ) hanging over her head ? I have personally spoken to many Muslim women, and everyone of them was strongly critical of shariat ( though many said to me that they could not say so openly for fear of offending their husbands ).

Of the remaining 50% Muslims ( the males ), at least 10% are critical of the shariat. Can any just, modern minded and fair person support such a barbaric law which prescribes stoning to death ( as was done recently in Somalia ) for adultery, or cutting off a thief's limbs ? I refuse to believe that there are no just, modern minded and fair males in the Muslim community ( even if they be in the minority ).

That proves my figure of at least 60%, and I am sure in the future it will go upto 90%

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Stoning to death

In Somalia a woman was stoned to death for secretly marrying several husbands. The woman was buried upto her neck, and then pelted with rocks and stones by hooded men in front of a large crowd. The sentence was pronounced by Islamic Court Judge Sheikh Mohammed Abu Abdullah.
 In my opinion stoning a woman to death is the work and customs of jaahils ( barbarians )


28.9.2014, 6 a.m.

I am losing perhaps one kilo weight every day during the Navratri fast. So in 9 days I will have lost 9 kilos. I am not eating meat, rice, chapati, dal, bread, biscuit, etc and instead eat fruits, baked potatoes, singhara, yoghurt, makhana, and drink milk and fruit juice ( not all at one time ).

I had become overweight, because of eating too much. Now I am again becoming slim and trim, thanks to Navratri.

To lose weight there is only one way, and that is to eat less, particularly fats and carbohydrates. So we should stop eating meat, rice, chapati, bread, biscuit, etc and instead eat fruits, baked or boiled vegetables, yoghurt, singhara, makhana, etc and drink milk and fruit juices. Exercises can contribute only to 10-15% of weight loss.

Commonsense tells us that we should eat only as much as our body requires, but we usually cannot resist cramming our stomachs with food ( pet bhar ke khana ), often far in excess of our requirement. it requires a lot of will power to resist this temptation, and few people have such will power. So we put on weight and become fat and  look ungainly, and invite a host of medical problems.

Our body is made of the food we eat. So to take care of our body we must take care of the food we eat, but do we ? A Yogi at Allahabad whom I knew ( who died at the age of 92 years ), and whom I would meet frequently, told me that sweet things are poison for the body, though they may be very tasty. But how many of us can resist eating sweets ?

To my mind fasts like Navratri, Roza, Lent, etc serve a scientific purpose by reducing the load on our stomachs and thus making us healthier. No doubt one can fast on days other than Navratri, Ramzan, etc but psychologically that is more difficult as few people have the will power to do so.

Time has come for brief arguments in Courts

I used to tell all lawyers in my Court, senior or junior, to be brief in their arguments. I said that I was not trying to gag or muzzle the lawyers, but with the huge number of arrears ( 31 million) in our country's law courts, is it fair that one case drags on for days, weeks, and even months ?

 I could, of course, keep hearing one case for days on end, and my salary and perks would remain unaffected, but would that be fair to other lawyers and litigants waiting for their turn ? Should their cases never be taken up ?

One brother Judge with whom I sat said that the Supreme Court was the last Court for a litigant, so we should give him a full hearing. I replied that it was the last court for all litigants, not just the litigant appearing before us. If all litigants were given a ' full hearing ', most of the cases pending in the Courts would never be heard.

So I would tell lawyers " Be brief, be bright, and be off ! "
Sometimes a long winded lawyer would ramble on and on with his arguments. I would then tell him of an anecdote which President Abraham Lincoln would relate ( he often related anecdotes ).
 There was this preacher in a certain church who would begin a sermon, but forget to end it. On and on he went, with the people in church tottering, reeling and falling asleep, but the preacher would not relent, so determined was he to save their souls.

 I would tell the lawyer that he reminded me of that preacher ! This was usually enough to make him come directly to the point, instead of beating around the bush or repeating what he had said before.
 But there are several patient Judges in our country ( I was not one of them ) who believe in giving a ' full hearing ' to litigants

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Kashmir must never be allowed to secede

Kashmir must never be allowed to secede from India. If today Kashmir secedes, tomorrow Nagaland may demand the same right, thereafter Mizoram may make the same demand, then Tamilnadu, Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka, Himachal, etc Where will this stop ?What then will remain of India ? It will be broken up into pieces. No, we must never let Kashmir or any other state to secede from India, at any cost. Did President Abraham Lincoln permit the southern states in U.S.A. ( the Confederate States ) to secede in 1861 ? No, he refused, and he even went to war on that issue. Similarly Kashmir must not and will never be allowed to secede from India, at any cost.
Many Kashmiris have been befooled and misguided by the separatist leaders who have their own vested interests and personal agenda. The only correct demand Kashmiris should raise is that Pakistan and Bangladesh must be reunited with India under a strong secular modern minded government which does not tolerate religious extremism of any kind. This will automatically solve the Kashmir problem.

The Kashmir Issue

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Nawaz Sharif has raised the Kashmir  issue again, this time in the U.N. General Assembly.

Let me tell everyone, particularly Kashmiris, the truth : the only solution to the Kashmir problem is reunification of India and Pakistan ( and Bangladesh ) under a strong, secular, modern minded government which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind, and crushes it with an iron hand. There is no other solution.

 Pakistan is really no country at all. It is a fake, artificial, entity created by the British to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other so that India ( of which Pakistan and Bangladesh are really a part ) may not emerge as a modern, powerful highly industrialized state, like China, of which it has now all the potential, considering our huge pool of engineers and scientists, and immense natural resources.
What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. These were all part of India in the time of Ashoka ( his edicts are still found there), in the time of Akbar, and in British times.
 The British artificially engineered religious hatred between Hindus and Muslims through their agents and agent provocateurs after the great Mutiny of 1857. The divide and rule policy began after 1857 ( see online ' History in the Service of Imperialism ' by B.N. Pandey ). In that Mutiny Hindus and Muslims fought jointly against the British. After crushing the Mutiny the British decided that the only way to control India was divide and rule. All communal riots begin after that date. The British Collector would secretly call the Hindu Pandit, give him some money, and ask him to speak against Muslims, and similarly he would secretly call the Muslim Maulana, give him money, and ask him to speak against Hindus. Agent provocateurs would throw slaughtered cows bodies into Hindu temples, and play loud music before mosques at prayer time. The 1909 Minto Morley 'Reforms' introduced separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims. All this resulted in the Partition of  India in1947 on the basis of the bogus two nation theory ( that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations ), and creation of a fake, artificial entity called Pakistan ( see my article ' The Truth about Pakistan '. It was published in the Pakistani newspaper 'The Nation', and is also available online ).

 In fact when I meet Pakistanis I feel no different from them. We look like each other, talk in the same language Hindustani, eat the same food, have the same culture e.g. love of Urdu poetry and Hindustani classical music, etc In foreign countries when Indians and Pakistanis meet they feel no different from each other.

We were befooled and taken for a ride by the Britishers, but how long further must we remain befooled ? How much longer must we be made to fight with each other ?

Some people say that Partition took place long ago in 1947, and now after 67 years the clock cannot be set back. My answer is (1) China has still not recognized Taiwan as a separate country, though they were divided in 1945, and (2) Pakistan was created for the very purpose that there should not be peace in this sub continent ( so that India, of which Pakistan is really a part, does not emerge as a modern powerful industrial state ). So should we remain befooled and keep fighting each other till eternity ?

 I appeal to Kashmiris in particular to stop being befooled by the separatist leaders who have only their own agenda and vested interests. All Kashmiris should now demand reunification of India and Pakistan ( and Bangladesh ) under a strong secular modern minded government which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind. That is the only solution to the Kashmir problem, as well as many other problems.

Shove Judicial Corruption under a Carpet

Justice Lodha, who retired today as Chief Justice of India, criticized me strongly ( without naming me ) when I made public disclosures about a corrupt Madras High Court Judge whom powerful politicians were protecting and promoting. He said that some persons ( meaning obviously me) were trying to defame the judiciary. He also said " For God's sake, don't shake the confidence of the public in the judiciary ".
In other words, shove corruption by Judges under a carpet, for disclosing it will do much more harm than actually doing corruption.
This was not a novel theory invented by Justice Lodha. Many people before him have believed and said that it is unwise, and even dangerous, to disclose corruption in the judiciary. What such people forget is that even if one buries judicial corruption under a carpet, the bulge will show.

 In this connection Judge Jerome Frank of the U.S. Court of Appeals said :
 "I am unable to conceive that in a democracy it can ever be unwise to acquaint the public with the truth about the workings of any branch of government. It is wholly undemocratic to treat the public as children who are unable to accept the inescapable shortcomings of man made institutions. The best way to bring about the elimination of those shortcomings of our judicial system which are capable of being eliminated is to have all our citizens informed as to how that system now actually functions. It is a mistake, therefore, to try to establish and maintain, through ignorance, public esteem for our Courts . "

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Judicial Function at its Purest

In his 'History of Bengal' Prof. Charles Stewart mentions an interesting case of 1490 before Qazi Sirajuddin, the Qazi -e-Subah of Bengal.

One day while the Sultan was practising archery, one of his arrows accidentally wounded a boy, the son of a widow. The widow immediately came before the Qazi and demanded justice.
The Judge (the Qazi ) was confounded , and said to himself " If I summon the Sultan to my court, I may be myself punished, but if I overlook the Sultan's act, I shall one day be summoned before the Court of God to answer for my neglect of duty. "

After much reflection, he ordered one of his officers to go and summon the Sultan.

The officer, dreading to obey such an order, thought of a device. He ascended the minaret of the mosque next to the palace and at an improper hour called the people to prayers. On hearing this , the Sultan ordered some guards to bring the officer before him.

When the officer appeared before the Sultan he related the circumstances of his call for prayers at an improper hour, and also conveyed the summons to the Sultan.

The Sultan instantly rose, and concealing a short sword under his garments, went before the Qazi, who far from showing him any mark of respect said to him " You have wounded the son of this poor widow. You must therefore immediately pay her adequate compensation, or suffer the sentence of the law. "

The Sultan made a bow, and turning to the widow gave her a sum of money which satisfied her, and after doing so said to the Qazi " Worthy Judge, the complainant has forgiven me. " The Qazi then asked the woman if she was satisfied, to which she assented, and the case was then dismissed.

The Qazi then came down from his seat and made obeisance before the King, who, drawing the sword from beneath his garment, said " O Qazi, in obedience to your command I came instantly to your Court, but if you had not done your duty I swear that with this sword I would have taken off your head. Thanks to God I have in my dominion a Judge who acknowledges no authority superior to the law. "

The Qazi then took up a whip and said to the King " I also swear by Almighty God that if you had not complied with the injunctions of the law this whip would have made your back black and blue. It has been a trial for both of us. "

 This story will be appearing in my forthcoming book on the Indian Judiciary

Another excerpt from my forthcoming book.

When I was a senior Judge in Allahabad High Court I often told my junior colleagues the story of Raja Nriga. This story is related in the Anushashan Parva of the Mahabharata ( 6.38,chapter 70 ), in the Ramayana ( chapter 7, shlokas 53-54 ), and in Shukraniti ( chapter 4, shlokas 5-8 ).

The story is that once two Brahmins had a dispute over the ownership of a cow, each claiming that it belonged to him. They decided to go to Raja Nriga to get their dispute resolved.

After they reached Raja Nriga's Court they were kept waiting for 3 days, as Raja Nriga was evidently occupied in pleasures with his queens or some sport.  After waiting for 3 days they gave a curse to the King that since he had delayed doing justice he will become a lizard in his next birth.
Having related this story to my junior colleagues, I would tell them that unless they decided cases quickly they would meet the same fate as Raja Nriga !

An excerpt from my forthcoming book ' Whither Indian Judiciary ? '

The decision in Rajendra Singh (Dead) thru. Lrs. & Ors.   Vs.  Prem Mai, which was decided by a Bench of the Supreme Court of which I was a member, was a case which took 50 years to decide finally,since it was instituted in the trial court in 1957, and was finally decided on appeal in 2007 by the Supreme Court.

This  decision observed  :

“10. We may quote a passage from the novel 'Bleak House' written in Charles Dickens' inimitable style :-
              Jarndyce vs.Jarndyce drones on.  This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means.  The parties to it understand it least; but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes, without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises.
  Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it.  Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce, without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendry hatreds with the suit.  The little plaintiff or defendant, who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce should be settled, has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world.  Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality.
 There are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps, since old Tom  Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless."

Is this not descriptive of the situation prevailing in India today?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

25.9.2014, 6.10 a.m.

It has been my habit of taking one cup of tea with sugar and milk in the morning. With it I take one biscuit and 5 almonds which were soaked in water in the night.

Today morning I asked my wife whether this was permitted in Navratri. She said that biscuit was not permitted, but the rest were.permitted.

Last night someone told me that 'ann' ( cereals) was not permitted. So no roti in the night, as earlier planned. I am not sure whether vegetables are permitted ( apart from baked potatoes).

Last evening I started work on my book on the Indian Judiciary. I dictated an Introduction of a few pages, which in a nutshell tells what the book is about. I thought the title could be 'Whither Indian Judiciary ?', but if you people can suggest a better title please do so. I would be obliged.

I have in my life written several books, but my forthcoming books ( several are planned) shall be the toughest to write. All my life's experience and the knowledge I have accumulated in my 68 years life will be poured into them. As Ghalib wrote :
 " Likhte rahe junoon ki hikaayat-e- khoonchakaan
   Harchand ismein haath hamaare qalam hue "
 " I kept writing my love story with my blood
   Though while writing it my hands became bloody "

I have been approached by another very reputed foreign publisher for writing my second book. I told their representative that I will talk to them only after my first book is completed.

My aim in these books is not to make money, but to present my views before the public for making India prosperous once again ( as it was in the past ). This is my life's aim and objective. Having crossed 68, I am quite sure that this will happen long after I am gone, but as long as I am alive it is my duty to give guidance to the Indian people to help taking India in that direction. With my tapasya (study and thinking ) for over half a century i am in a perfect position to do so. 

So I will write these books with my blood, as Ghalib did.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


When some Hindu priests complained to British General Sir Charles Napier ( 1782-1853 ) against the prohibition of sati ( the burning alive of widows ) he replied: " The burning of widows is your custom. But my nation's custom is to hang all men involved in burning a woman alive.  So let us all act according to our national customs ".

Cancellation of coalblock deals by the Supreme Court

I think the Supreme Court gave a good and legally correct decision in cancelling the coal block allocations.

The law on this point is very simple. So far as one's private property is concerned, one can deal with it in any manner ( provided no law is broken). Hence one can give away his private property to any one he likes, or deal with it in any manner.

The position, however, is very different in the case of public property or property belonging to the state. Here Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality, applies. Hence to give away public or state property ordinarily requires open public auction or public tender after advertising it in well known newspapers having wide circulation, so that everyone can apply, and it should be given to the highest bidder. This alone ensures transparency and fairness, and compliance with Article 14.

The coal blocks in question were given away surreptitiously without complying with the above procedure, causing heavy loss to the public exchequer, apart from violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. Hence the Supreme Court was perfectly correct in cancelling the shady deals.

Navratri fast

Navratri starts tomorrow. I have told my wife that I will keep the fast throughout Navratri, and will also keep roza throughout the month of Ramzan.
 My decision is not for any religious reasons ( the only religion I believe in is service to the poor people, whom I regard as my God ) but for a scientific purpose. I think fasting is good for health, as it reduces the burden on the stomach, and keeps in check one's weight. I tend to get overweight from time to time, which apart from making a person look ungainly, is bad for the heart.
 Any suggestion what I should eat in Navratri ? My wife proposes to give me roasted potatoes, singharas  and fruit in the day, and one roti with one vegetable at night.

Murder of an Ahmadi doctor-II

In my previous post I condemned the killing of an Ahmadi doctor in Sindh province of Pakistan, and the persecution and atrocities on Ahmadis there.
 In response to that post, some persons made comments critical of Muslims and Islam. This is most improper. We must respect all religions. This is absolutely necessary if we want India to remain united and to prosper. Whoever criticizes any religion is an enemy of our nation, because in effect he wants to divide us at a time when it is extremely important for us to remain united.

Murder of an Ahmadi doctor


In today's issue of 'Indian Express' it is reported on page 12 that a doctor in Sindh province in Pakistan, Dr. Mubashar Ahmad Khosa, who belonged to the Ahmadi community, was gunned down in his clinic by two unidentified armed assailants. Evidently this was done only because he was an Ahmadi. It is almost certain that no action will be taken against the miscreants.

 It is alleged that Ahmadis believe in a prophet, Ghulam Ahmad, who lived in the 19th century. Orthodox Muslims believe that there will be no prophet after Prophet Mohammed.

 In the modern world everyone should be allowed to believe in whatever they wish to believe. By believing in a prophet after Prophet Mohammed the Ahmadis have not broken any one's head or cut off anyone's limbs. 

Ahmadis are by and large a peaceful community who do not harm anyone. Such intolerance and religious bigotry are abhorrent and unacceptable in the modern world.

 It is of course open to orthodox Muslims to say that Ahmadis are not Muslims because Ahmadis believe in a prophet after Prophet Mohammed. But they have no right to attack or persecute Ahmadis. This shows what happens when a state is created on a religious basis in our sub continent which has so much diversity. Only secularism and religious tolerance can work in our sub continent.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Why I help Kashmiris

Some persons said to me that since I am a Kashmiri Pandit, why do I want to help the Kashmiri Muslims in the recent calamity, although they had committed terrible atrocities on the Kashmiri Pandits, who were only a tiny minority and not harming anyone, and driven them out of Kashmir.

 I replied, firstly, two wrongs do not make one right.

Secondly, all Kashmiri Muslims did not commit atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits, though some of them definitely did.

Thirdly, all Kashmiris are one by blood, and our DNA is the same, whether we are Hindu or Muslims. Kashmir is the land of my ancestors, and its tie to me can never be broken.

 And fourthly, as an Indian it is my duty to help fellow Indians.

No doubt some Kashmiris do not regard Kashmir as part of India, and demand separation from India. However, in my opinion such persons are totally deluded and  misguided by some vested interests who have their own selfish agenda. Instead of asking for separation, which should and will never be granted, all Kashmiris should reconsider the issue, and now demand that not only Kashmir should remain a part of India, but even Pakistan should once again become a part of India.

 Pakistan is a fake, artificial country created by the British to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other. It will definitely be one day reunited with India under a strong secular modern minded government which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind and crush it with an iron hand.

  The people of Kashmir have suffered terribly due to the recent floods, and are still suffering. At this moment all that is relevant is ways of helping them in their hour of crisis. All other considerations are in my opinion irrelevant.

Pakistan is a fake, artificial entity

I read on page 12 of today's The Hindu newspaper that a liberal Professor in Karachi University, Prof. Mohammed Shakil Auj, was gunned down in his car by some persons.

 I have repeatedly said that Pakistan is no country, it is a fake artificial entity created by the British to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, so that India does not emerge as a modern, powerful highly industrialized state ( for which it has all the potential ). The solution is reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh under a secular, modern minded state which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind and crushes it with an iron hand.

What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. These were all part of India in the time of Ashoka ( his edicts are still there ), Akbar, and the British.

 Moreover, a state created on the basis of religion in a sub continent with such diversity as ours is simply not viable, and it would certainly be torn apart, as is happening. Pakistan has become a Jurassic Park, with pre-historic monsters roaming around everywhere killing people and making peoples' lives hell.

 My answer to those people who say that Pakistan was created 67 years ago, and we cannot turn the wheel of history back, is that Taiwan was created 69 years back, but China has still refused to recognize it. And since the very purpose of creating Pakistan was to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, should we keep on fighting ?  Are we fools ?
Since I am going to Nepal someone commented on my facebook post that I should go to casinos. I replied that I never bet.
Once a relative of mine ( who is very fond of me ) took me to Las Vegas in U.S.A. He took me to The Strip, and into a casino ( if I recollect correctly, it was Caesar's Palace ). He offered me some money to bet. I refused. He told me that I would not have to pay him back even if I lost. I said that it was not a question of having to pay him back or not, it was  a matter of principle. The Mahabharata teaches that one should never bet. The Pandavas even lost their wife, Draupadi, for indulging in betting. So I never bet.
 This reference to the Mahabharata totally floored him ! He never asked me to bet thereafter.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Jai Ho !

While the people of Karnataka are suffering from the floods, some Karnataka M.L.A.s are touring Europe, lunching in Paris, dining in Rome. Jai Ho !

J&K Media delegation meets Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar

The J&K Media delegation led by Mr. G H Kaloo, President, J&K Press Association accompanied by me met the Hon'ble Union Minister for I&B, and Environment Mr. Prakash Javadekar this evening at his office. The delegation informed the Minister about the situation in Kashmir and the urgent requirements there. The Minister promised that the Government of India will do everything to help the people of J&K.

The Minister has also fixed up a meeting between the DAVP and the delegation tomorrow at 11 am.

I am leaving for Nepal tomorrow and shall be returning on the 23rd evening. I am the Chief Guest at the Nepal Press Day on the 22nd September.

If possible, I will continue posting on Facebook from Nepal.

On 23rd evening at 6 pm there is a function in the German Embassy at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi at 6 pm in support of the people of J&K.

Media Interaction at the National Media Centre

A delegation of the J&K media held a press conference at the National Media centre at New Delhi today. Mr. Ram Jethmalani, Senior Advocate and MP presided. Among the prominent persons present were Mr. Majeed Memon, MP, Mr. Vinod Mehta, Senior Journalist and others.

I conducted the proceedings.

Mr. G H Kaloo the head of the delegation, Mr. Rehmatullah and Mr. Nasir Ahmad Khora, members of the delegation spoke first and described the situation in Kashmir and the help required to deal with it. Mr. Majeed Memon said that he would send a team of doctors from Mumbai. Mr. Vinod Mehta said that it was sad that Mr. Omar Abdullah the Chief Minister instead of dealing with the crisis pleaded his helplessness.  Mr. Ram Jethmalani said that he had visited Kashmir in August and a Sindhi Hindu girl there predicted this calamity. She was rescued by some Muslim Kashmiri boys. At the end of the function a resolution was passed calling for the people of India to help people of J&K in every way in their hour of crisis.

In the end, I appealed  to all people in India and abroad to help the people of J&K in whichever way they wanted.

In the evening at 7 pm, the delegation accompanied by me will meet Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of I&B and Environment.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

J&K delegation meets Union Home Minister

Just came back with the delegation of J&K media persons who had come from J&K, after meeting the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh at his office. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes. Mr. G H Kaloo, President, J&K Press Association, who led the delegation presented a Memorandum to the Home Minister mentioning the situation in J&K and the urgent as well as the long term requirements of the people there. Several members of the delegation expressed their views. The Home Minister assured them that all help would be given by the Central Govt, and described in some detail about the measures being taken for rescue and relief work.

The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere, and at the end the delegates all thanked the Home Minister for giving so much of its valuable time.

Tomorrow, i.e. Thursday, 18th September, 2014 the delegation will hold a Press Conference at National Media Centre at 11 A.M., to inform the media and the public about the situation in J&K and the requirements there.

The Media and the general public are invited to this Press Conference, in which at first the members of the delegation of the J&K will inform the situation and the needs, and thereafter respond to the questions put to them.

I will preside over the conference.

Everyone is cordially invited.

Invitation for the Press Conference at National Media Centre on 18/09/2014 at 11 A.M.

A delegation of Media persons from J&K has arrived in New Delhi. Tomorrow, i.e. Thursday, 18th September, 2014 they will hold a Press Conference at National Media Centre at 11 A.M., to inform the media and the public about the situation in J&K and the requirements there.

The Media and the general public are invited to this Press Conference, in which at first the members of the delegation of the J&K   will inform the situation and the needs, and thereafter respond to the questions put to them.

I will preside over the conference.

You all are cordially invited.

For any queries, contact Mr. SK Sharma on 9899001684.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Shantiparva of Mahabharata

When I became a Judge in the Allahabad High Court in 1991 I was new to the job. So I thought of getting some guidance as to how to function as a Judge, and for that I turned to  the Shantiparva of the Mahabharata.

 When the Mahabharat war was over, Bheeshma Pitamah, the eldest among the Kaurav warriors, was lying on a bed of arrows. Lord Krishna told Yudhishthir that soon he was to become the King, as the Kauravas had been defeated. So he must learn statecraft ( raj dharma), and the best person to teach him this was Bheeshma Pitamah, who was shortly going to give up his body, and therefore this was the best opportunity to learn from him.

On Lord Krishna's suggestion, Yudhishthir went to Bheeshma Pitamah, and after paying obeisance to him, started asking him questions as to how a king should conduct himself. Yudhishthir would ask him one question, and Bheeshma Pitamah would reply. Then Yudhishthir would ask another question, and received the reply to that too. In this way almost the whole of Shantiparva consists of questions and answers.

 Among the things which Bheeshma Pitamah said to Yudhishthir was contained in this shloka :
 " Mridur hi raja satatam langhyo bhavati sarvashah
   Teekshrnyaat cha udvijate lokah, tasmaat ubhayam aashraya "
 " If the King is always lenient, nobody pays heed to his orders
    And if he is always harsh the people become terrorized

   Therefore a King should sometimes be lenient and sometimes harsh ( depending on the circumstances ) "

 Bheeshma Pitamah said the same thing in another shloka of the Shantiparva :
" Tasmaat naiva mridur nityam teekshno naiva bhavet nripah
   Vaasantarka iva shriman na sheeto na cha dharmadah "
 " Just as in the springtime ( vasant ritu ) the Sun makes the weather neither too cold nor too hot, so also the King should neither be too harsh nor too lenient "

 Bheeshma Pitamah goes on to say :

" The King should not always forgive, for then the wicked people shall regard him as weak and ignore him.
The King should take care of people who cannot take care of themselves, e.g. the old and the infirm. and punish the wicked.''

O Yudhishthir, I know that by nature you are forgiving and merciful, but the state cannot be governed in this manner. By always forgiving and being merciful, you will be regarded as a coward by the people and not given  respect.

O Yudhishthir. you must never oppress the weak or the poor, for then their anger will one day become like a raging fire and devour you. "

 There were many other such marvellous shlokas in the Shantiparva.

 I was totally absorbed in reading and thinking about all this for a long time. How could our ancestors think out such detailed and sagacious features of statecraft thousands of years ago ? What kind of people were they ? What sublime, lofty, and exalted ideas !

 The judicial function is a sovereign function, and used to be performed in earlier times by the King himself. Later, when the King acquired many other functions, he delegated the judicial function to his delegates, who became known as Judges. So the advice of Bheeshma Pitamah applies not only to Kings, but also to Judges.

  I followed this advice throughout my 20 year judicial career, from 1991 when I was appointed Judge of Allahabad High Court, to 2011 when I retired as a Supreme Court Judge.

  If a case came before me of a hardened criminal, or a big time financial crook, or of 'honour killing ', ' encounter killing ', dowry death,  harrassment of the poor by the rich and powerful, etc I was very harsh and gave harsh punishment.

 But if the case was of a handicapped person, a widow, a person in distress for no fault of his, an orphan, an oppressed or poor person, etc I was very tender and compassionate, and tried to bend the law as much as I could in his favour to give him relief.

 I recommend everyone to read the Shantiparva of the Mahabharata

Appointing Scheduled Castes/Tribes as High Court Judges

When I was in the collegium of the Allahabad High Court in 2003, the then Chief Minister of U.P. Ms. Mayawati wanted a scheduled caste District Judge to be elevated as a High Court Judge.

I checked up about that District Judge and learnt that he was corrupt. So I called the then Advocate General of U.P., and told him to tell the Chief Minister that I was in favour of appointing more Schedued Caste persons  as High Court Judges, since the Scheduled Castes had been historically and socially oppressed for thousands of years, and needed upliftment. Even now most non-scheduled caste people look down on them as inferiors.

 However, I added , the person to be appointed should be totally upright, as appointing a corrupt High Court Judge would not only defame the judiciary and harm the public, it would also defame the entire Scheduled Caste community, and give a handle to many non-scheduled caste persons to say that all scheduled caste persons are corrupt ( which is untrue, as there are honest and corrupt persons in all castes and communities, and I know many scheduled caste persons who are totally honest and upright ). So I told the Advocate General to request the Chief Minister not to press for elevation of that corrupt District Judge, and to her credit I must say that she did not do so..

 I told the Advocate General that if he could suggest to me a young scheduled caste lawyer, if not in the High Court, then even in a district court who had a high reputation of integrity I would get him recommended for appointment as a Judge in the High Court. However, before getting him recommended I would make my own enquiries to make doubly sure that the person was honest. He may not be an outstanding lawyer in the High Court or a District Court, and even a lawyer with average knowledge of law would do, but there must not be any compromise on integrity.
My Indian brothers and sisters,
On reading some of my previous posts  some of you may regard me as an arrogant supercilious know-all with a superiority complex, who looks down on others. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can assure you I have no ego problems, and regard myself as a pygmy before the giants, in India and in foreign countries, who preceded me or are my contemporaries.
Many of you must be more intelligent than me. But the advantage i have over you is that since I am much older than most of you ( I will be turning 68 on the 20th of this month ), and since I have all my life been a seeker of knowledge ( which one cannot be unless one is modest and has intellectual curiosity), I have accumulated more knowledge than most of you. You too would have the same knowledge, in fact much greater knowledge, than me when you too turn 68.
Most of the ideas I have are not my original ideas ( though a few are). They were created by others with minds superior to mine ( a few of such persons are alive). What I regard as my patriotic mission is to pass on this knowledge to you, so that you do not have to waste time rediscovering these ideas, and instead devote your time to discovering newer ones to serve the nation.
So you should understand what I say on these posts in this spirit. I am not trying to show off my intellectual superiority over you, or score points. Instead, I am like a true teacher who wishes his students to become intellectually superior to him, and imparts all the knowledge he has, and then tells the student that he has given him all that he could give, and now the student must either go to other teachers for more knowledge, or discover that knowledge himself.

Monday, 15 September 2014

As Chairman of the Press Council of India, I had appointed a 3 member committee to enquire into the alleged statement of the Telengana Chief Minister, Mr. K.C. Rao, at a public meeting, that he will break the necks and bury underground the media if they make remarks against Telengana or its culture. The committee has also been asked to enquire and report to me whether there is threat to media freedom in Telengana, and if so, what steps are required to prevent suppression of this freedom.
 Tomorrow, i.e. Tuesday, 16th September, the convenor of the committee, Shri Rajiv Ranjan Nag, and  member of the committee, Shri Krishna Prasad ( Editor-in-Chief of Outlook magazine ), are leaving Delhi by the Air India flight which reaches Hyderabad at about 12 noon. They shall commence their work thereafter.
  Journalists Unions, Media organizations, managements, editors, journalists, government officials, and the public at large are invited to present their views before the committee.They may contact Shri Nag, the convenor, at his mobile number 09811624581, or Shri Krishna Prasad, mobile number 09717225678, or Shri Amarnath Kosuri, mobile number, 09849562777.
Great Injustice to Urdu in India
" Jin sheheron mein goonjee thi Ghalib ki nawa barson
   Un sheheron mein ab Urdu benaam-o-nishaan thehri
   Azaadi-e-kaamil ka ailaan hua jis din
   Matoob zubaan thehri, ghaddaar zubaan thehri

   Jis ahad-e-siyaasat ne yeh zindaa zubaan kuchli
   Us ahad-e-siyaasat ko mehroomon ka gham kyun hai ?
   Ghalib jise kehte hain, Urdu ka hi shaayar tha
   Urdu par sitam dhaa kar, Ghalib par karam kyun hai ? "

  Sahir Ludhianvi at a function in Agra in 1969 on the centenary of Ghalib's death
Insults and attacks on North Eastern Indians
I read in the front page of ' The Statesman ' newspaper of today ( 15.9.2014 ) that two Manipuri youths who are students of Delhi University and live in a rented accomodation were called ' Chinkis ' and ' Nepalis ' by four persons in the Babulal Chowk area of Munirka in south west Delhi, and when they objected, were attacked by four locals with bricks, rods and scissors. One of the youths, Boilain was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital in a serious condition.
   I strongly protest against this. People from the North East are as much Indians as any of us, and should never be insulted by calling them ' Chinks ' or ' Nepalis ' or by use of any other racial or derogatory remark.. Those who do so are really enemies of our nation, as their action tends to divide us at a time when we must be united if we wish to see our country progress and prosper. Such persons should be given harsh punishment

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Meeting with Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh

4:30 pm, 14.09.2014

I just returned after a half hour meeting with the Hon'ble Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, and submitted him the Memorandum  earlier posted by me.

Shri Rajnath Singh read it in great detail. He said that the suggestions were very valuable, and will be put up tomorrow in his meeting with the Central govt officials concerned.

He made notes in his own hand on the Memorandum, and discussed the items mentioned therein with me.

In particular, he mentioned that the suggestion for de-watering pumps for removing the water in several localities was a very useful one. Also, the need for medicines, food, water etc.

I emphasized to him the need for a Central Cmmand Centre which would coordinate the work of all the relief agencies, as presently these agencies, while doing good work , are doing it in an uncoordinated manner, thus reducing their effectiveness. I suggested to him that with the consent of the state govt of J&K, the Union Home Secretary, Shri Anil Goswami, who is presently camping in Srinagar, may be made Head of this Central Command Centre, while the Chief Secretary of J&K may be made its deputy Head. That way both Central and State Govts will work in tandem. He agreed to put the suggestion tomorrow in his meeting with the Central Government officials.

I also emphasized the need for Nodal Centres in Delhi and/or Srinagar Airport where persons in India and abroad can send aid in the form of money, medicines, food, etc. and the mobile numbers of the persons manning these Nodal Centres should be widely publicized in the media.The Nodal Centres should also act as Information Centres where persons can enquire about their missing relatives or friends.

 At the end of our meeting Shri Rajnath Singh thanked me for these suggestions, and said that all that is possible for relief and rehabilitation work will be done by the Central government. He said that as soon as he came to know of the calamity he had rushed to Srinagar to acquaint himself with first hand knowledge of the situation.

I also told the Home Minister that a delegation of Kashmiri Media persons, headed by Shri G.H. Kaloo, President of the J&K Press Association, is coming on Tuesday afternoon to Delhi, and wanted an appointment with him on Wednesday. He agreed to give such appointment.

I thanked Shri Rajnath Singh for giving me so much time to discuss the matter.


Memorandum to the Hon'ble Union Home Minister

RegRequirements for J&K Relief

by Justice Markandey Katju,
Chairman, Press Council of India
Former Judge, Supreme Court of India

1.                 Baby Milk – Milk is presently unavailable and is needed in packets or in powder form.

2.                 Purifying Chlorine Tablets in large quantities.  These are required to put into drinking water, otherwise diseases will spread.  Water purifying straws and bottles which can purify 1500 bottles of dirty flood water should be provided.
3.                 Medicines for preventing cholera and other diseases, which will otherwise inevitably breakout.

4.                 Food Rations – Presently no rice, vegetables or pulses are available.  Shops have disappeared.

5.                 Edible Oil

6.                 Kerosene Oil

7.                 Petrol and diesel. – These are required as mobility is zero.

8.                 Dewatering pumps. – No such pump is visible.  Many areas are still submerged with whole colonies under water or flooded.

9.                 Mobile phones or other means of communication with relatives and friends. There is still a communication drought.

10.           Blankets and warm clothing.  These are necessary as the cold weather is shortly going to begin.

11.           Prefabricated huts for living.

12.           Boats – Presently many private boat owners are charging exorbitant amounts.  All these boats should be commandeered by the Central Command Centre and the boat owners paid by it.

13.           Prices of water bottles must be fixed, as presently exorbitant amounts are being charged.


(1)          A Central Command Centre for relief and rehabilitation needs to be immediately set up.  This is urgently needed as presently the relief agencies though working excellently are uncoordinated in their work and this undermines their effectiveness.  All relief agencies – whether of the Central or State Governments - should be subordinated to this Central Command Centre.

(2)          Hourly bulletins should be issued giving in details about each locality, the people stranded, the efforts being made by the relief agencies, the needs of the people etc.

(3)          Nodal Centres should be set up immediately in Delhi and at Srinagar Airport where people of India and foreigners can send aid.  At present, they do not know where to send it.  The mobile numbers of officials of these Nodal Centres should be widely publicized in the media and people should be told what is needed.  A Single Relief fund should be set up.

(4)          After the water recedes, medical personnel will be required as diseases may spread.  Appeal for volunteers to do medical work should be made.  Temporary hospitals and temporary toilets should be set up.

(5)          Appeals should be made, widely publicized in the media, for aid from everyone.  In particular, the Central Government or State Government may send an appeal to the Governors of the States to ask all people, Corporations, Educational institutions, Associations, NGOs etc. to send aid.   Great care must be taken to ensure that the aid sent really reaches the needy people and is not diverted or misused as was done in Uttrakhand.

(6)          After all the above is done and the water has gone, a proper drainage system must be constructed as rains will come every year.  The previously existing drains have all disappeared as they have been illegally constructed upon.

Situation in Srinagar

14.9.2014, 7.30 a.m.

I had a detailed telephonic talk just now with Mr. G.H. Kaloo, President of the J&K Press Association, and publisher of the J&K newspaper 'Mirror of Kashmir ' ( mobile number 09419005276 ). He is in Srinagar, but luckily his house on the Airport Road is on a higher area and so was not affected by the floods.

I also tried to contact Iftekhar Gilani of DNA newspaper, New Delhi, who had recently gone to Srinagar, but I could not get through to him.

 I told Mr. Kaloo that I was meeting the Union Home Minister at 3.45 p.m. today, and asked him what should I tell the Minister.

Mr. Kaloo said that the state administration in Kashmir has totally disappeared. Though the flood water in Srinagar is slowly receding many areas are still submerged. There is still 3-4 feet water in Lal Chowk. He said that the immediate requirements are :
1. Baby food. Milk is unavailable, and is needed, either in packets or in dry packs
2.Food rations. No rice, vegetables or pulses are available. The shops have disappeared.
3.Chlorine tablets. These are required in large quantities for purifying the drinking water, which may be contaminated.
4. Medicines for preventing cholera and other diseases which are otherwise bound to break out.
5. Edible oil,
6. Kerosene oil.
7. Petrol and diesel. These are required as mobility is zero
8. Dewatering pumps. No such pump is visible. Many areas are still submerged, with whole colonies underwater.
9. Mobile phones and other means of communication. There is still a communication drought.
10.Blankets and warm clothing. These are necessary as the cold weather is shortly to begin.

I told Mr. Kaloo that Iftekhar Gilani had suggested that a Central Command Centre should be established for rescue and relief work, and all relief agencies, both Central and state, should be subordinated to it. This is necessary as at present the rescue and relief agencies, though doing excellent work, are uncoordinated, which affects their effectiveness.

Iftekhar also told me that this Centre should issue hourly bulletins about the situation in Kashmir, giving full details about each locality, the people stranded, the efforts being made by the rescue and relief agencies, the needs of the people, etc. Planning should also commence immediately for the relief and rehabilitation work after the floods recede, as there will be a lot of litter left everywhere, causing all kinds of diseases. Doctors will be required.

 I also told Mr. Kaloo that many people in India and abroad want to send help in various forms, but do not know where to send it. Hence I intend to tell the Union Home Minister in our meeting this afternoon that a nodal Centre should immediately be set up, preferably in Delhi and/or at the Srinagar Airport ( which is on higher ground, and so is safe ), where this help can be sent, and the telephone numbers of the nodal Centre ( or Centres ) and the mobile numbers of its relevant officials should be publicized in the media.

 Mr. Kaloo is reaching Delhi with some media people of J&K on Tuesday afternoon, and will be meeting me. He has requested me to get an appointment for them with the Union Home Minister on Wednesday. I said I will certainly try.

Posting of Judicial Officers

When I became Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court I announced that I would post judicial officers wherever their spouses were living and working,unless for some reason it was absolutely impossible. Before this announcement, husbands and wives were often living apart in far distant places.

Although there was no such requirement in the service rules, I believed that if husband and wife live together they will have a better family life, their children will be properly looked after, and this will give them a freer mind to work better.

I applied my new policy not only where both husband and wife were judicial officers, but also where one of them was not.

As a result, many judicial officers,men and women, applied to be posted where their spouses were living and working. I remember one young lady judicial officer, recently married, who applied was posted  in district Sonbhadra ( in south eastern U.P. ) while her husband was working in a western U.P. district. I immediately posted her in the city where her husband was located. Another male Additional District Judge who applied was posted in Azamgarh in eastern U.P. while his wife was a teacher in a College in western U.P. I transferred him to the city where his wife was working. A large number of other judicial officers in U.P. were similarly transferred and posted at the place of their spouses.

When such judicial officers who applied in pursuance to my announcement came to Allahabad and met me, I would only tell them one thing, and that they should promise to me orally that they would work 25% harder after their new posting at the place of their spouses. I told them that I would not verify whether they had kept their promise, and in fact could hardly do so, as I was likely to go to some other High Court shortly as Chief Justice of another High Court (  under the policy of the government one could not be the Chief Justice of his parent High Court ), but I would trust that they would keep their word to me. From some reports I later got I learnt that most of them kept their promise.

 Later, when I went as Chief Justice of Madras High Court I did the same there too.

Appointment with the Union Home Minister

I had sought an appointment with the Union Home Minister, Mr.Raj Nath Singh ( we are both from U.P. and I had known him for a long time ). so that I could make some suggestions to him for helping the people of J&K. Late last night I received a telephonic call from his Secretary saying that my appointment has been fixed for today ( Sunday,14.9.2014 ) at 3.45 p.m. at his residence.
My request to all concerned is to tell me what I suggestions I should make to him ? I would be grateful for your suggestions, which should be practical.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Obey your wives

I used to joke a lot in Court when I was a Judge.

One day when I was in the Supreme Court a case came before me of a husband whose divorce matter had been going on for several years, maybe for 10-15 years, from the trial Court to the High Court, and ultimately in the Supreme Court.

 I told him " Zindagi mein khush rehne ka ek hi tareeqa hai ki jo bibi kahe usey maano. Tumne bibi se jhagda kiya, aur uska anjaam hai ki barson se bhugat rahe ho aur Court kuchehri ke chakkar lagaa rahe ho " ( There is only one way of happiness in life, and that is to do whatever your wife says. You quarreled with your wife, and the result is that you are miserable and running around the courts for years ).

 Of course I said this half in jest, but the consequence was that the T.V. channels and the newspapers started publicizing this widely. I received many telephone calls from people I know, including High Court Judges, saying that because of my remark their wives are not listening to them, saying that it is a Supreme Court ruling ! One senior lawyer, Mr. Nagendra Rai, said in my Court before he began his arguments " Aapne ghar mein jhagda karwa diya " ( i.e. I have caused big quarrels in many homes).

I never knew a joke could create such a furore !

Creche in Madras High Court

When I was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court ( 2004-2005 ) I thought of setting up a creche in the High Court.

A creche is an institution invented in the West. It caters to pre-nursery children, usually below the age of 3 or 4 years. There are many working women, whose husbands are also working. Their problem is what to do with their small children when they are at work. Obviously the child cannot be left alone in the house, with no one no to look after him/her. As long as there were joint families the grandparents often looked after the small children, but joint families are breaking up in India today.

 In the Madras High Court there were many young married ladies who  were lawyers or Registry staff having small children.

In a creche the small child can be left by the mother/father while going to work, and then picked up on the way home in the evening. During this time the child is looked after by adults, many of whom are professionally trained. In the creche the child is fed ( with milk, biscuits, etc) and can play with toys. He can also learn alphabets etc. often through toys.

The creche was set up in the High Court in early 2005, and I believe it is still running. There was no professionally trained person whom I knew then, and so i appointed a young highly educated lady as a class 3 employee to run it, and provided some class 4 staff to help her, and gave her other help. She did a good job. When I visited it ( which was often) I saw that she had organized some toys for the children to play with, put up beautiful paintings on walls, and made good arrangements for milk etc to feed the children there. The children seemed to be happy.

I think this concept should be followed in all establishments having many young married women

Have we gone forward or backward in 5000 years ?

The great tragedy due to the floods in J&K, in my opinion, was caused by the collapse or absence of effective town panning and drainage system in Srinagar and other places, and this tragedy will occur again and again in most of our cities in India unless we learn a lesson and take urgent remedial steps soon..

In one vital respect India has gone backward rather than forward in 5000 years, and that is in respect of town planning and the drainage system in our cities.

5000 years ago our ancestors had built the great Harappa-Mohenjodaro civilization, which was largely city based having excellent town planning and drainage systems. According to the eminent Indian historian, D.D. Kosambi, no ancient civilization before the Romans had such advanced town planning and drainage and sanitation system.

 Each city had a higher and a lower part, the higher part being for the richer , and the lower for the poorer people ( like the division between the civil lines and chowk areas in many cities in India today ).

The main streets ran in straight lines from north to south, and from west to east, intersecting at right angles. These streets ran for about a mile, Lanes were joined to these streets, each lane having a public well. Street lamps were provided for the public at night. Encroachments on streets and lanes were strictly prohibited.

 Most houses, some of which were multi- storeyed, had baths, wells, and horizontal and vertical covered drains, connected to underground street drains covered with stone slabs. The soak pits were made of burnt bricks, which was also the material used for building houses.

 There was a Great Granary for storing grain, great baths,( like the Roman Baths ) Harappa having 5 of them , the largest being of dimension 180 ft.x 108 ft. and 8 ft. deep. There were devices to fill and empty the water from them. There were galleries and rooms on all sides of these Baths.

Now contrast this with the situation in most cities of India today :

1. Town planning no doubt exists on paper in most cities in India, with Master Plans demarcating the residential, commercial and industrial areas, but the ground reality is quite different. Due to the corruption and connivance of the state and municipal authorities, illegal constructions and encroachments have mushroomed everywhere in most cities in India, turning them into urban jungles. Buildings are often constructed in violation of the building rules. For instance, perhaps half of Delhi is illegally constructed. As a result, the demarcations on paper in the Master Plans of different areas for different purposes have become totally blurred in reality.

2. The drainage system in most cities has totally collapsed due to illegal constructions and encroachments ( in connivance with the municipal and local authorities ) on these public drains. As a result flooding takes place every year in many parts of many cities.

 Monsoon and other rains will usually come every year, and there has to be a drainage system to take the water out of the city ( as was provided for in Harappa and Mohenjodaro ), but if this is absent or has collapsed there is bound to be flooding. For instance, in Allahabad ( my home town ) almost every year many localities like Allahpur, parts of Mumfordganj, etc get submerged 10 ft, underwater because the drainage system has collapsed.

3. In Harappa and Mohenjodaro the public drains were all covered, but in many cities in India today they are uncovered, spreading diseases through flies, mosquitos, etc. There is total lack of a sense of hygiene and sanitation in our public.Our people throw garbage and rubbish everywhere, as is evident from the mounds of filth and muck lying on roads and lanes everywhere, no doubt causing diseases.  Compare this with North American and European countries where people are trained from childhood to throw garbage and rubbish only in the garbage bins set up for this purpose.
The tragedy in J&K is due to this fact. Thousands of illegal constructions were allowed to be made by corrupt government, municipal and other local officials on the banks of the Jhelum river, thus narrowing its river channel. Consequently the river rose very fast due to 3-4 days of incessant rains. The overflowing water from the Jhelum, and also perhaps from the water flowing into the city of Srinagar due to the breach of a barrage, caused the terrible tragedy as the water flooded into the low lying areas submerging them, wholly or partially. The unplanned urbanization and illegal encroachments in many areas is largely responsible for this...

Some further details of the causes for the calamity are as follows :

1. The drainage channels in the city have been blocked for years due to illegal constructions and encroachments on them. Consequently water could not flow out of these channels.

2. Due to heavy encroachments into the Dal and other lakes in Kashmir, their open and catchment areas have been drastically reduced. Thus, the open area of the Dal Lake has been reduced from 24 sq. km. to 12 sq. km., and its average depth reduced to 3 m. due to siltation. This means that these lakes can no longer act as a sponge absorbing the flood water.

3.Many wetlands e.g. Batmalu Nambal, Rekh-e-Gandakshah, Rakh-e-arat and Rakh-e-khan, and streams of the Doodganga and Nalla Mar have been competely lost, while other lakes and wetlands have considerably shrunk. The Mar Nalla was lost to a road, and Doodganga Nalla was converted into residential buildings, shopping malls,  etc.

4. Wullar lake has lost 88% of its surface area due to encroachments. Since most streams and drains of the valley discharge into the Wullar, the clogged lake can cause major floods in the Kashmir valley.

5. With rising water in the Doodganga stream, both sides of which were  heavily encroached upon, residents at Barzulla broke a bund to allow the water to go into the Jhelum, instead of inundating their residential colony.. This resulted in more water entering the Jhelum, making its water level rise.

6. Illegal constructions have been rampant in Khanbal bridge, Bijbehara, Sangam, Haimula, Kakpora, Samboora, Guru, Padhgampura, etc

 All this is the inevitable result of unplanned urbanization and corruption.

I think we have gone backward instead of forwards in 5000 years in this respect. I fear such tragedies will be repeated in other cities in India too if we do not now wake up now.