Sunday 29 November 2015

Sangeeta Kalia

I spoke telephonically with Sangeeta Kalia a short while back. I told her that she is a brave and honest officer, and all right minded people in the country support her, and condemn that Minister who behaved like a goonda and humiliated her. I told her I will help her in every way I can, and so will all right minded persons, so she she should not feel dejected.

 I informed her of my decision in the Supreme Court in R.S. Singh vs. U.P. Malaria Nirikshak Sangh, 2011 ( see online ) in which I and my sister Justice Gyansudha Misra  observed: '  The senior officials too have their self-respect, and if the Court gives them respect they in turn will respect the Court. Respect begets respect.'.

 Evidently most politicians nowadays lack the culture to understand this.

I have invited Sangeeta to meet me at my residence for a cup of tea whenever she finds time. She is a young upright officer, and we must not allow her to be demoralized

Thursday 26 November 2015

Bihar Liqour ban from 1.4.2016


I thought Nitish Kumar is a sensible man, but I am changing my opinion. He has announced ban on sale of liquor in Bihar from 1.4.2016.

 It is common knowledge that such bans are counter productive, and give rise to crime, deaths by drinking illicit liqour, etc. The experience in America, where prohibition was imposed in 1920, and lasted till 1933, was that it gave rise to the mafia gangs which thrived during this period.

 Consumption of alcohol will not go down despite this ban, but many people will die by drinking illicit liquor.

 Poor people drink liquor to get temporary relief from their miserable life. So the real way to bring down consumption of liquor is to give them decent lives

Sunday 22 November 2015

Indian Journalists

Many of the top journalists in India have sold their souls to Mammon. They own huge bungalows, have huge bank balances, and have fancy chauffer driven cars. One is said to have aqcuired a huge house in Delhi reportedly worth Rs. 52 crores, another has a huge farm house near Delhi reportedly worth Rs. 50 crores.
 Can one expect objectivity and fair reporting of the real problems of the people from them ? Was Gen. V.K. Singh wrong ?

AAP's Delhi Car Free Day: another stunt


Poor, poor Arvind. One can obviously not blame him for resorting to stunts.

The real problems of the country, including those of people of Delhi, are massive poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, lack of healthcare and good education for the masses. The solution to these problems lie outside the system, but Arvind is within the system.

 So he is left with nothing to do except resort to stunts like Delhi Car Free Day
Hari Om

Saturday 21 November 2015

Commission needed


Almost all Indian politicians are ‘goondas’ and gangsters. They remind me of the American Mafia, the only difference being that the American Mafia are small fries compared to our politicians.

Like the American Mafia, our politicians are hell bent on amassing wealth by hook or crook (more often by crook) and I wish them happy hunting.

However, I have an advice to give to our politicians, which may benefit them enormously, if heeded.

In the early 20th century the American Mafia leaders were fighting with each other, as a result of which ‘business’ (i.e. manufacture and sale of alcohol, which had been made illegal by the Prohibition law, gambling, prostitution, racketeering, murder of ‘undesirables’, narcotics etc.) suffered a lot.

Then in 1931, a mafia leader called Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano had a brilliant idea. He told the other mafia leaders that fighting each other was bad for business. So he proposed a body called the ‘Commission’ consisting of some top mafia leaders whose job would be to peacefully settle disputes between the mafia families.

I propose that a similar body be set up in India too for our politicians.

At present, much of the time spent by our politicians is on fighting each other. This way ‘business’ (i.e. looting the country, polarising society on caste and religious lines, etc.) suffers a lot.

Let a ‘commission’ be set up by our politicians (the membership and modalities can be worked out once the principle is agreed upon). This way disputes can be settled quietly and confidentially, instead of in the public gaze. The commission should also have power to authorise (as the American Mafia Commission has) of bumping off inconvenient politicians and other public figures, and persons who talk too much of rationalism, secularism, freedom of speech,  and against politicians  (like this humble self),.

The New Miracle Man


Just as Narendra Modi was regarded a miracle man at one time, and Arvind Kejriwal later, some people are perceiving and projecting Nitish Kumar as the miracle man now, the modern Moses who will lead India into a land of milk and honey.

 I submit that this is only a pipe dream, which will soon disappear. Leave aside the fact that the new Bihar government is saddled with the stranglehold of the RJD, and assuming Nitish is personally honest, what can he achieve ?

  The main problems of Bihar, as also the whole of India, are massive poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, lack of healthcare, good education, etc. I am afraid Nitish has no idea how to solve these problems.

 Take, for example, the question of unemployment. Now jobs can be created and poverty abolished when the economy is rapidly expanding. For that massive industrialization is necessary. There is no difficulty in increasing production, because India today has a huge pool of competent engineers, technicians, scientists,etc ( which it did not have in 1947 ) and has also immense natural resources. 

The problem is: how will these additional goods produced be sold ? People in India, including Bihar, are too poor and have little purchasing power, and with rise in prices of foodstuffs, etc this purchasing power has further been reduced. After all, the goods produced have to be sold, but how can they be sold when people are too poor to buy them ?

 So the basic question is not how to increase production ( that can easily be done ) but how to increase the purchasing power of the masses ?

 Under the Nazi regime unemployment was largely abolished by a programme of massive rearmament ( see William Shirer's ' Rise and Fall of the Third Reich ' ), which was financed by certain Western powers. But that is hardly possible in India today.

 The other method for abolishing unemployment was that adopted in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. At a time when Western economies were going through a depression following the Wall Street Slump of 1929, the Soviet economy was rapidly expanding. How was this achieved ? The methodology followed there was this : the Central Government fixed all prices of goods. Thereafter they steadily reduced prices of goods by about 5-10% every 2 years or so, and sometimes raised wages by 5-10%. In this way by state action the purchasing power of the people was steadily increased. When prices are reduced, the real wages automatically increase, because incomes are relative to the price index. Simultaneously production was increased, and the increased goods produced were absorbed in the domestic market, because the people had more purchasing power. But this method cannot be used under the prevalent system in India.

 So our 'miracle man', who like a good politician had promised 'vikas' during the Bihar elections, will be compelled, like Modi and Kejriwal, to resort to stunts and jumlas. But sooner or later people will see through these gimmicks, making him very unpopular.

Dark days are coming in India


Orthodox sociological theory states that the substructure ( the method of economic production in society ) determines the superstructure ( the culture, customs, ideas, laws,state institutions, etc ), and when the substructure changes, so does the superstructure.

 But in India after independence in 1947 in almost every state zamindari abolition acts were made, which meant that the feudal sub structure was largely abolished. Yet casteism and communalism, which are feudal forces, have remained, and even increased in recent times, as can be seen by the increase of intolerance lately. How does one explain this phenomenon ?.

 It is explained by the fact that the formula, that the superstructure changes with change in the sub structure, cannot always be applied mechanically without knowledge of the specific facts..
 In this connection the following facts may be noted :

1. The mindset of people and customs prevalent in society often do not change immediately following change in the sub structure, but persist even long after change in the latter. For instance, despite change in the economic sub structure by the advent of the Industrial Revolution, which began in England in the early 18th century, for a long time even thereafter feudal customs, e.g. the aristocracy and aristocratic customs and laws, persisted. It required a long historical struggle before the minds and customs in England changed and became modern. In France though industries had been set up from the early 18th century, great, arduous, ideological struggles had to be waged against feudalism by thinkers like Voltaire, Rousseau and the French Encyclopedists which led to the French Revolution of 1789 which smashed aristocracy, and even thereafter there was a temporary feudal restoration in 1815 under King Louis 18th.

2. In England and France modern institutions ( Parliament, etc ) and modern principles ( freedom of speech, equality, liberty, freedom of religion, etc ) were created in the course of long historical struggles in those countries. In India, on the other hand, these institutions and principles were not the product of historical struggles of our own masses, but were borrowed by a handful of our modern minded leaders ( Pt. Nehru, etc ) from the West, and transplanted from above on our backward feudal society. But our society still had a feudal mindset, and this does not change immediately. The result was that these institutions were gradually feudalized. For instance, voting in elections in most states in India today is on the basis of caste and religion, instead of the merit of the candidate. Was democracy meant to be run in this manner ?

 Equality is enshrined in our Constitution. But the caste system discriminates against sections of our people e.g. the dalits. Secularism is enshrined in the Constitution, but communalism is still widespread. So writing things in the Constitution will not by itself change society It will require a long arduous people's struggle to get rid of casteism, communalism and superstitions.

3. In England and France the state often played an educative role in modernising society. For instance the leaders who came to power in the French Revolution of 1789 were all anti feudal, and propagated anti feudal ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity, and of religious freedom.

 In India no doubt our leaders immediately after independence, like Pt. Nehru, were modern minded. But a few decades thereafter vote bank compulsions feudalized our politics, which today largely runs on caste and religious lines.. Also, many MPs and MLAs were former feudal princes, and they naturally brought their feudal mentality into the legislatures, thus degrading and feudalizing them.

 In recent times, the party which has come to power has Hindutva as its professed ideology. Far from playing a modernising role, it is doing the reverse by spreading communalism,which is a feudal force. I
t is common knowledge that the BJP is dominated by the RSS which is rabidly anti minority. So how can it play a modernising role ? In fact it is playing a highly reactionary role, e.g by installing RSS minded people in all institutions such as the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan, a BJP member, as Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India ( FTII ) against which protests have been going on for long, and by  spreading reactionary ideas and hate speeches e.g. by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Mahesh Sharma,  Union Ministers, Adityanath, an MP, Sangeet Som, an MLA, and Sadhvi Prachi , beef politics, etc thus pushing India backward. No doubt the BJP leaders often try to distance themselves from hate speeches and communal incidents like that in Dadri  by saying that the views of such people are their individual ones and communal incidents are not of their creation, and no doubt the Prime Minister sometimes delivers homilies advocating communal harmony ( though usually after a long time of incidents like the lynching of Ikhlaque ), but these are only for public consumption and to assuage the fears of foreign investors. The BJP, like a leopard, cannot change its spots.

4. I believe that some kind of fascism is inevitably coming in India.in a year or two in which democracy, freedom of speech and of the press, and civil liberties will all be totally suppressed.
Consider the facts :

a. The present Indian government came to power on high expectations with the slogan of ' vikas ' or development. This meant, or at least was perceived as, millions of jobs for the youth, industrial growth benefiting businessmen and others, and general prosperity for the public.

b. We are now one and a half years since the new government came to power, but one can see no traces of vikas ( see my articles ' The Shape of Things to come ', ' Vikas ', 'Healthcare in India', ' Malnutrition in India ', 'Unemployment in India;, ' The Trickle Down Theory ', ' The Dream has evaporated ' etc on my facebook page and my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in ). All we have witnessed are stunts like Swatchata Abhiyaan, Ghar wapasi, Good Governance day, Yoga Day, etc. In these articles I have demonstrated that under the economic policies being pursued by this government there is bound to be further economic recession ( in fact recent figures show manufacturing and exports declining )  and further unemployment, malnutrition, lack of healthcare, farmers' suicides and poverty, though a handful of big businessmen may benefit. Prices of essential foodstuffs like dal and onions have already gone through the roof, and will in all likelihood shoot up higher

c. Consequently this government will become increasingly unpopular day by day, as people, especially the youth, get disillusioned and realize that they were befooled and taken for a ride by our superman who promised a paradise and Shangri-La in India with his accession to power, but have left people in the lurch.

d. This disillusionment and disenchantment, coupled with the terrible economic hardships and distress the Indian people are facing, with rising prices, rising unemployment, widespread malnutrition, farmers suicides, etc, is bound to lead to widespread and massive popular agitations, disturbances, and turbulence all over the country

e. To deal with these, attempts will first be made, as they have already been made, to divide the people on communal lines, and blame minorities for the problems, as Jews were blamed by the Nazis. One may recall that fascist regimes came to power in Germany and Italy in the 1920s and 1930s in he wake of massive unemployment and soaring inflation in those countries and the consequent popular agitations.

f. These attempts to polarize society will no doubt temporarily succeed, because unfortunately the communal poison which was injected into our body politic by the Britishers from 1857 onwards ( see my article ' The Truth about Pakistan ' online and on my blog ) and continued even after 1947 by some of our politicians, is still deeply entrenched. The truth is that today most Hindus are communal, and so are most Muslims. Since about 80% Indians are Hindus, Muslim 'bashing' is quite popular among the majority of our people. But ultimately the people will see through this game because in the long run food and jobs are more important than religion..The Jewish pogroms organized by the Czarist regime to divert attention of the Russian people from their economic problems by putting all the blame on Jews, did not prevent the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Massive popular agitations against unemployment, price rise, malnutrition, lack of healthcare etc will surely begin in India soon.

g. The rulers, threatened of being toppled and ousted by these agitations, will then impose some kind of fascist rule, suppressing all democratic freedoms and civil liberties, as was done in 1933 by the Nazis, and as was done by Indira Gandhi by imposing a fake Emergency in 1975.

 I am afraid dark days are ahead for India

The Truth about Arvind Kejriwal


It is the time now for the Indian people to know the truth about that phenomenon called Arvind Kejriwal, that 'miracle man',whom I had in an earlier post called a cunning fraud.

 As I had mentioned in an earlier post, voting is done by our people in most states usually on the basis of caste and religion. For instance, Mayawati has the scheduled caste vote bank in U.P. ,Mulayam Singh and Lalu Yadav have the Yadav and some other caste vote banks in U.P. and Bihar respectively, etc.

 What is the vote bank of Kejriwal ? He has none. Even the banias ( Vaishyas ), the business community, are divided, and moreover they are only 2-3% of the population. So where will Kejriwal get his votes ?

 Realizing this, like a realistic politician, he has targeted the sizeable Muslim voters. He is determined to get the  Muslim votes, at any cost. This is the reason why he rushed to Dadri to show he is a sympathizer of Muslims, why he supported the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar ( which was perceived by Muslims as anti-BJP ), and why he went to the extent of embracing Lalu Yadav, at the oath taking of the new Bihar government.

 Muslims were earlier Congress supporters. Their strategy has been to vote for the strongest non BJP candidate, and the Congress party was perceived by them as the only party which could prevent BJP from coming to power. But after the demolition of Babri Masjid they left Congress, and joined Mulayam Singh in U.P. and Lalu Yadav in Bihar. Later they again started moving towards Congress, but Congress became totally discredited because of the numerous scams under the UPA governments., and so Muslims, like other people,  stopped supporting it. They then looked for another alternative, and found one in AAP in the Delhi Assembly election of February 2015. So they voted en masse for AAP.

However, public memory is short, and now many people have forgotten the scams under Congress rule. And now the greatest fear of AAP, which has no other vote bank, is that Muslims may again veer towards Congress. This is the reason why Kejriwal is trying desparately to woo the Muslims and hold on to the Muslim vote bank..

 Kejriwal came to power piggyback riding on Anna Hazare's movement against corruption. But after coming to power he has shown his true colours, and become totally dictatorial. It is evident that he cannot brook criticism or dissent against him within his party. He ousted Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, co founders of AAP, because they objected to giving MLA tickets to some shady people, and one suspects Kejriwal insisted in giving tickets to them as they had contributed a lot of money to the AAP funds. He allocated a whopping Rs.536 crores in the Delhi budget ( 21 times last year's figure ) for his self publicity advertisements in Delhi.

 Like Don Quixote, Kejriwal has surrounded himself with Sancho Panzas, who never criticize him.
As regards the major problems of poverty, unemployment, price rise, malnutrition, healthcare and good education, I am afraid Kejriwal has no clue how to solve them, except by resorting to stunts.. Of course he has promised many more schools and hospitals, but which politician does not promise the moon ?

I have carefully studied Kejriwal's speeches and writings, and have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in the man.. Kejriwal has no scientific ideas about how to solve the massive problems facing the Indian people.

People of Delhi voted for AAP in February, 2015 because they were disgusted with both BJP and Congress and wanted a change, just as Indians voted for Modi in May 2014 because they were disgusted with Congress and wanted a change.

What is there in Kejriwal ? I think he is only a demagogue, who has no real solution to the peoples' problems, as people have themselves realized by now.

I read Kejriwal's book ' Swaraj '. In that book Kejriwal says that we must transfer power from Delhi to the gram panchayats and mohalla panchayats. This is sentimental nonsense. Everyone with even a little knowledge of social realities knows that most of such panchayats are hotbeds of petty caste politics and centres of corruption. It is general knowledge that officials ( or their kith and kin ) of gram panchayats have illegally grabbed most of the gram sabha land, which was meant for public use of the villagers ( as pointed out by me in my judgment in the Supreme Court in Jagpal Singh vs. State of Punjab, 2011, which may be seen online ), and often do all kinds of other misdeeds for the benefit of themselves or their kith and kin..What will transfer of power to such casteist and corrupt bodies achieve ?

So Mr. Kejriwal, your days in the Indian political scene are numbered. People have seen through your fraud.
.

Thursday 19 November 2015

The Indian Censor Board is really incorrigible



BE GINTI BOSEY LEIN GE , RUKH-E-DIL PASAND KE
AASHIQ TERE PADHE NAHIN ILM-E-HISAAB KO..
 Urdu poet.AATISH

( WE'LL IMPRINT UNNUMBERED KISSES ON OUR DARLING'S FACE
WHAT DO WE KNOW OF COUNTING, WE THE ILLITERATE )

http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/entertainment-others/censor-board-says-no-kisses-in-bond-film-spectre-twitterati-posts-jokes/

Wednesday 18 November 2015

What should our attitude be towards religion ?

It should be :
1. To firmly uphold the right of everyone to freely profess and practice his/her religion
2. To simultaneously propagate patiently the idea among the people that all religions are superstitions and irrational, which may have served a useful role in society at one stage of its historical development, but today are outdated, and must be replaced by science, which is no doubt constantly developing, but represents the truth.

Monday 16 November 2015

Gen. V.K. Singh, Laxmanji, and Lord Nelson


General V.K. Singh says that the intolerance debate in India is the 'creation of imaginative minds.

 In other words, intolerance does not exist in India.

 This reminds one of the Balkand of the Ramcharitmanas, where Parshuram tells Raja Janak to remove the impertinent Laxman from his sight, else he will kill Laxman. At which Laxmanji says :
" मूदें आँख कतहुँ कोउ नाहीं " ( i.e. shut your eyes, and there will be nobody ).

 This is also known as ' turning a Nelson's eye ' or deliberately ignoring a problem; or pretending the problem does not exist, attributed to the British Admiral Lord Nelson's putting his blind eye on a telescope at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 and saying that he does not see the enemy anywhere.

Gen. Singh was the commander in chief of the Indian army, so he is certainly entitled to follow in the footsteps of another commander in chief.

What destroys a Republic, and what unites it


 India has tremendous diversity---so many religions, castes, languages, regions, ethnic groups, etc. So to remain united we must know what our forefathers have taught us in this connection

" Bhedey ganaa vineshyanti, bhinnaastu sujayaah parah
Tasmaat sanghyaatayegen prayateran ganah sada "
i.e.
" Republics have been destroyed only because of internal divisions among its people.
It is only when there are internal divisions among the people that
an enemy can destroy it.
Hence a Republic should always try to achieve unity and good
relations among its people "
Bheeshma Pitamah's upadesh to Yudhishthir in Shantiparva of Mahabharata, Chapter 107/108, shloka 14.

" Palkuzhuvum paazhseyyum utpagayum
Vendalaikku kolkurumbum illadhu nadu "
i.e.
" That alone becomes a prosperous country
Which is free from separatist tendencies, and people
who harm its sovereignty "
Tirukkural by Tiruvalluvar, chapter 74, verse 5.

" Muppadhu kodi mugamudayal
Enil maipuram ondrudayal
Ival seppumozhi padhinetudayal
Enil sindhanai ondrudayal "
i.e.
" This Bharatmata has 30 crore faces
But her body is one
She speaks eighteen languages
But her thought is one "
Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi, 1910

Friday 13 November 2015

Arvind kejriwal


Arvind Kejriwal has no scientific ideas of solving the massive people's problems of poverty, unemployment, healthcare, price riser, etc. He is a Sapnon ka Saudagar and dramabaz, who cunningly took advantage of Anna Hazare's movement, and then ditched him.

He is dictatorial, and cannot tolerate dissent. He kicked out Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, co-founders of AAP, when they objected to tickets for MLA seats being given to alleged criminals, and other acts.

He shamelessly allocated Rs.536 crore in the Delhi budget for self publicity advertisements, and nothing for dengue.
 He says he is honest, but so do Modi, Mamata Banerji, CPM  leaders, etc. Hitler too was personally honest

Thursday 12 November 2015

To patriots


To the patriotic Indians, who are like Hanuman who has forgotten his mighty strength. The Indian masses are their Lord Rama, whom they have to serve, and I am their Jamavant, who has to remind the.patriots of their duty
This passage is from the Kishkindhakand of the Ramcharitmanas

कहै रीछपति सुनु हनुमाना
का चुप साध रहे बलवाना
पवन तनय बल पवन समाना
बुधि बिबेक बिज्ञान निधाना
कौन सा काज कठिन जग माहीं
जो न हो तात तुम पांही ?
राम काज लगि तव अवतारा
सुनतहिं  भउ पर्वताकारा
कनक बरन तन तेज बिराजा
मानहुँ अपर गिरिन्ह कर राजा
सिंह नाद करि बारम्बारा
लीलहिं नाघउँ जलनिधि खारा

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Industrialization


There are 3 kinds of industrializations :

1. Industrialization by the state as in socialist countries. This benefits the masses the most

2. Industrialization by the indigenous industrialists, as in England, France, Germany, Japan, U.S.A. etc. This also benefits the people to some extent, though it mainly benefits the industrialists.

3. Industrialization by the foreign powers, as was done to some extent by the British when India was their colony. This does not benefit the masses at all, but rather impoverishes them, and it only benefits the foreign rulers by giving them super profits, but ruining our domestic industries in the process.

 The policy being pursued by the present Indian government, e.g. by inviting foreign investments and giving concessions to foreign businessmen, is of the third type

The East India Company is back


It is well known that the British East India Company came to India and looted us.

 The present Government of India on Tuesday has invited several modern ' East India Companies ' by  opening up several key sectors including defence, construction, civil aviation and media to foreign investment, and has eased norms for foreign businesses such as single-brand retail and private banking.

  In 193 A.D. the Roman Emperor's guards, the Praetorian Guards, auctioned the Roman Empire to the highest bidder Didius Julainus for 6250 drachmas per soldier ( see Gibbon's ' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ' ).

  The present Indian rulers are auctioning away the country to foreign investors in the name of  ' economic reform '
Jai Ho

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/govt-eases-fdi-norms-fipb-limit-raised-from-rs-3000-crore-to-rs-5000-crore/

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Tipu Jayanti Celebrations


VHP activists are protesting against the Tipu Jayanti celebrations in Madikeri, Karnataka. One person is said to have died

 What is the truth about Tipu Sultan ? Was he secular or communal ? Before we consider this question we must know some facts.

The initial Muslim invaders who came into India no doubt broke a lot of Hindu temples, like for instance, Mahmood Ghazni who broke the Somnath temple.

However, their descendants ( e.g.Akbar, who was not an invader, though his grandfather Babur was ) who became local Muslim rulers in India, far from breaking temples used to give grants to temples and celebrated Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali.

 The descendants of those invaders who became local Muslim rulers ruled over populations of which about 80-90% were Hindus. They knew that if they broke temples there would be revolts and turmoils which no ruler wants.   So in their own interest almost every one of the local Muslim rulers fostered communal harmony, they gave grants to Hindu temples, they celebrated Hindu festivals, e.g. the Mughal Emperors ( there is a controversy about Aurangzeb, about whom I have written a blog which may be seen on justicekatju.blogspot.in ), the Nawabs of Avadh, Murshidabad, Arcot, etc.  For instance, the Nawab of Avadh used to organize Ramleela, and celebrate Holi and Diwali.  Tipu Sultan used to give annual grants to 156 Hindu Temples, his Prime Minister was a Hindu called Punaiya his commander-in-chief, was a Hindu called Krishna Rao.  Tipu Sultan sent 30 respectful letters with grants to the Shankaracharya of Shringeri (see online ‘History in the Service of Imperialism’ which is a speech given by Prof. B. N. Pandey in  the Rajya Sabha in 1977).  They were almost all secular rulers.

            Now the first part, that the Muslim invaders broke temples, has been mentioned in our history books, but the second part, which is of ten times longer duration, that the descendants of these invaders, who were local rulers used to foster communal harmony, they used to give land grants for building Hindu temples, they celebrated and organized Hindu festivals, etc. has been deliberately suppressed by the British from our history books, the whole game being divide and rule to create communal hatred and make Hindus and Muslims fight each other.

 If one goes online and reads the speech ‘History in the Service of Imperialism’ by Professor B. N. Pandey, one will read how the British policy was to make Hindus and Muslims inimical to each other.  For instance, Dr. Pandey has mentioned that in 1928 when he was a Professor of History in Allahabad University some students came to him with a book written by one Professor Harprasad Shastri, Professor of Sanskrit of Calcutta University in which it was mentioned that Tipu Sultan told 3000 Brahmins to convert to Islam otherwise they will be killed, and those 3000 Brahmins committed suicide rather than becoming Muslims. On reading this Professor B. N. Pandey wrote to Professor Harprasad Shastri asking him the source of his information?  Prof. Shastri wrote back that his source of information was the Mysore Gazetteer.  Then Prof.  Pandey wrote to Prof. Shrikantia, Professor of History in Mysore University asking him whether it is correct that in Mysore Gazetteer it is mentioned that Tipu Sultan told 3000 Brahmins to convert to Islam. Prof. Shrikantia  wrote back that this is totally false, he had worked  in this field and there is no such mention in the Mysore Gazetteer, rather the correct version was just the reverse, namely, that  Tipu Sultan used to give annual grants to 156 Hindu Temples, he used to send grants to the  Shankaracharya of Shringeri, etc.  Far from being communal, Tipu was thoroughly secular.

In 1791, Parshuram Bhave (Bhau), the Maratha General marched on Tipu’s richest province, Bednur. Here, Maratha horsemen under the command of Raghunathrao Patwardhan plundered the Shringeri Monastery of all of it’s valuables, killed and wounded many people and desecrated and committed sacrilege at the Holy shrine of Sri Sharada Devi.

 Shocked by the Maratha vandalism, the then Jagadguru of Shringeri, Sri Sacchidananda Bharati III was forced to leave the place and live at Karkala, another temple town about 50 miles south of Shringeri. Helpless and despondent in the face of this aggression, the first ever recorded sack of the temple town, The Shankaracharya petitioned Tipu Sultan for help.

 Tipu Sultan expressed his indignation and grief at the news of the raid and wrote to the Shankaracharya ::

"People who have sinned against such a holy place are sure to suffer the consequences of their misdeeds at no distant date in this Kali age in accordance with the Sanskrit verse: "Hasadbhih kriyate karma rudadbhir-anubhuyate" (People do evil deeds smilingly but suffer the consequences crying)."
Tipu Sultan immediately ordered his army to repulse the Maratha invaders, and sent to the Jagadguru Shankaracharya a letter dated July 6, 1791, which is given below :.

The Honourable Shankaracharya Shringeri Shri Sacchidananda Swamigal, bestowed with Shrimat Param Hansa.

We received your letter and have understood the gravity of the matter. We have noted that the cavalry of the Maratha king attacked Sringeri and beat the Brahmins and the other people, removed the idol of the Goddess Sharda Ammanavaru (Mother) and also looted the valuables belonging to the Shringeri Math. We have also noted that four disciples belonging to the Shringeri Math had to take shelter at Karkala and that the idol of Shringeri Sharda Ammanavaru was consecrated in ancient times, and if this idol has to be consecrated again, the support of the government is needed. The reconsecration of the deity will be performed along with mass feeding by requisite amount provided by the Government.

Those who have committed such atrocities will suffer the consequences as stated in the Sanskrit shloka  ‘People do evil smiling but will suffer the penalty in torments of agony – Hasadhvi Kriyathe Karma Raudhrir Anubhuyathe’.

On hearing of the attack, the Sarkar has sent an elephant with it’s Mahavat, Ahammed. The Asaf of the city has been ordered to get a palanquin made for the Math and pay 200 rahathis in cash and 200 rahathis for paddy for the consecration of the idol of Sri Sharada Ammanavauru, and carry out appropriate measures for the consecration of the idol of the Ammanavaru idol. He shall send me a report immediately. .

We are sending a heavy sari (worked in gold) and a blouse piece for the Goddess Sharada Ammanavaru, and a pair of shawls for you. Please write on receiving them. An order is sent to the Asaf of the town to deal with the problems of the Math. Contact him.
Date 26, month Samarisala Babarabadhi, Year San 1219, Mahammad, Virodhikrita Samvat Ashadha Bahula 12. Writer Narasaiah   Signed Nabi Malik

This particular incident that transpired during the 3rd Anglo Mysore war is well documented and known to historians and laymen alike.   A bunch of about 30 letters written in Kannada, which were exchanged between Tipu Sultan's court and the Sringeri Shankaracharya were discovered in 1916 by the Director of Archaeology in Mysore

Tipu’s close relationship with Shringeri did not begin with the sack of Shringeri by the Marathas but had begun much earlier in 1785 A.D. when Tipu issued a ‘Nirupa’ – Decree regranting the Shringeri Matha with a new ‘patte’ or ‘document’ which confirmed that Shringeri would continue as time honoured ‘Sarvamanya’ and free from all trouble. ‘Sarvamanya’ meant that the territory under it’s jurisdiction was tax free and it would enjoy all rights with regard to taxation and law within it’s territory.

Just prior to the actual  sacking of the town and Math , Tipu had been exchanging letters (April, June 1791) with the Jagadguru assuring him that the Mysorean army was in battle with the enemy who had ‘transgressed the boundaries of his kingdom and assaulted the people’.  Tipu firmly believed that the blessings of the Shankaracharya would result in bringing happiness and prosperity in his kingdom. In one of such letters Tipu writes that it is because of saints like the Shankaracharya in his kingdom that there is prosperity, there are good rains and harvests, etc.

There is a huge ancient Vishnu Hindu temple, built around 1000 A.D. known as the Ranganath Swamy Temple near Tipu's palace at Seringapatam, and I have personally visited it. If Tipu was communal, would he not have demolished it ? Instead he gave many costly gifts to it.

Tipu Sultan's treasurer was Krishna Rao, Shamaiya Iyengar was his Minister of Post and Police, his brother Ranga Iyengar was also an officer, and Purnaiya held the very important post of "Mir Asaf". Moolchand and Sujan Rai were his chief agents at the Mughal court, and his chief "Peshkar", Suba Rao, was also a Hindu.

The Editor of Mysore Gazetteer Prof. Srikantaiah has listed 156 temples to which Tipu regularly paid annual grants. There is such evidence as grant deeds, and correspondence between his court and temples, and his having donated jewellery and deeded land grants to several temples.. Between 1782 and 1799 Tipu Sultan issued 34 "Sanads" (deeds) of endowment to temples in his domain, while also presenting many of them with gifts of silver and gold plate. The Srikanteswara Temple in Nanjangud still possesses a jewelled cup presented by the Sultan. He also gave a greenish linga; to Ranganatha temple at Srirangapatnam and donated seven silver cups and a silver camphor burner. This temple was hardly a stone's throw from his palace from where he would listen with equal respect to the ringing of temple bells and the muezzin's call from the mosque; To the Lakshmikanta Temple at Kalale he gifted four cups, a plate and spitoon in silver.

 B.A. Saletare has described Tipu Sultan as a defender of the Hindu dharma, who also patronised other temples including one at Melkote, for which he issued a Kannada decree that the Shrivaishnava invocatory verses there should be recited in the traditional form. The temple at Melkote still has gold and silver vessels with inscriptions indicating that they were presented by the Sultan. Tipu Sultan also presented four silver cups to the Lakshmikanta Temple at Kalale

 Now one can imagine what mischief has been done.  Deliberately our history books have been falsified so that the mind of a child at an impressionable age is poisoned so that a Hindu child should start hating Muslims in India, and a Muslim child in Pakistan should start hating Hindus. The poison put in the mind of an impressionable age is very difficult to remove at a later age.  All our history books have been falsified in this manner.

Why was Tipu, a staunch secular king, later demonised and branded as communal? Obviously because he fought against the British to the last. It is British historians and their faithful Indian followers who have done this mischief.

 It is time we re-write our history books correctly and show that in fact upto 1857 there was no communal problem at all in India.  A composite culture in India had developed by then.  Hindus used to participate in Eid and Muharram, and Muslims used to participate in Holi, Diwali etc.

Communalism was injected into our body politic by the British policy of divide and rule, after suppressing the Great Mutiny of 1857 in which Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. Details of how this was done have been given in my article ' The Truth about Pakistan ' (which can be seen online), and that policy is being continued by certain vested interests even after 1947

Jayalalitha and Kovan

A  Tamilian friend of mine telephoned me a short while back and said that my letter to the President of India about Kovan's arrest and my request to the President to warn Jayalalitha for doing such despotic acts was widely covered by the media in Tamilnadu. However, he said that many Tamilians are asking why I am going hammer and tongs against Jayalalitha.
 
I replied that I will go hammer and tongs against anyone who acts undemocratically in India, and it is not against Jayalalitha alone. I had gone hammer and tongs against Mamata Banerji when she got Prof. Mahapatra and Shiladitya Choudhuri arrested and Damyanti Sen, the IPS officer, victimised, and similarly I had gone hammer and tongs against the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra when he got a girl Shaheen arrested for posting an item on the death of Bal Thackeray. I have gone hammer and tongs against several other persons too.

I had praised Jayalalitha earlier for not putting any pressure on me when I was Chief Justice of Madras High Court, and I had criticized the DMK for putting pressure on me in this connection. I had also earlier criticized Karunanidhi and his family, including the Marans, for amassing a fortune. So it is nothing solely against Jayalalitha. I have now criticized her for acting in a despotic, unconstitutional manner

How I predicted the Bihar election result


Many people asked me how I could so accurately predict the results of the Bihar election, when all the exit polls failed ( NDTV  was predicting an NDA victory till the last day before the results ).

  My answer is simple : in most states, including Bihar, most people vote on caste and religious lines, unless there is a wave.

 The Modi wave of 2014 had dissipated totally because people found the vikas slogan hollow as there was no job creation after May 2014. So they fell back on the traditional line of voting on the basis of caste and religion.

 So all I had to do was to calculate the percentage of caste population and Muslims, which I got from the net.
 
Thereafter it was a matter of simple arithmetic

Mr. Shanti Bhushan's 90th birthday


A grand dinner party was held on 6th November at the Fountain Lawns of the India International Centre, New Delhi to celebrate the 90th birthday of Mr. Shanti Bhushan, the senior lawyer of the Supreme Court and former Union Law Minister.

 I felt like a young man in the party, although I am in my 70th year, as I was seated next to Mr. Ram Jethmalani,92, Mr. Fali Nariman, 86, Mr. Soli Sorabji, 85, Mr. K.K. Venugopal, 84. and Mr.Andhyarujina, 82  I said to them " You people are immortals who will never die, while folks like me will come into this world and go away ".

I then began teasing Mr. Jethmalani, something I never fail to do whenever I get the opportunity. " How is it Mr. Jethmalani that whenever I see you you are with a new young beautiful lady ? "

'' Why don't you get some young ladies for yourself ? " asked Mr. Jethmalani.

 " Because they have all been captured by you " i replied. " None are left for an old man like me. "

I also teased Mr. Soli Sorabji for being a ' ladies man '.

Hundreds of people came to the party, and enjoyed themselves.

Speeches were then given by Mr.Jethmalani and Mr. Nariman in praise of Mr. Shanti Bhushan.

 When I was asked to speak I said :
" I have a special affinity with Mr. Shanti Bhushan as we are both from Allahabad.

 "These Bombay lawyers look down at Allahabad lawyers " I said, looking towards Mr. Jethmalani, Mr. Fali Nariman and Mr. Andhyarujina, " regarding us as rustic mofussil lawyers. But let me tell them that they have only drunk the salt water of the Arabian sea at Bombay, whereas we Allahabadians have drunk the sangam water of Ganga, Jumna and Saraswati.".

 I then said that when I joined the Allahabad High Court bar in 1971 Mr. Shanti Bhushan had already been earlier Advocate General of U.P. in 1969.. I narrated some incidents about our days in the Allahabad High Court. I mentioned that when he was arguing Raj Narain's election petition against Smt. Indira Gandhi Mr. Shanti Bhushan cited from Lewis Carrol's ' Alice in Wonderland ' the words of the Queen of Hearts " Off with his head ". When some people asked what about holding a trial and a verdict, she said '' All that can come later. First, off with his head ".

 I also mentioned that once when a a lawyer said in his arguments before me in the Supreme Court that his client was a very old man of 70, I said ' How can he be a very old man ? Here is Mr. Shanti Bhushan ( Mr. Bhushan was sitting in Court waiting for his case ), 85 years old but still alive and kicking ". At which Mr. Bhushan got up and said ' My Lord, I am still alive but not kicking "
.

Monday 9 November 2015

My letter to the President of India regarding arrest of Tamil singer Kovan


This is the email I have sent just now to the Secretary and Press Secretary of the President of India in connection with the blatantly unconstitutional arrest of Tamil writer and singer Kovan evidently on instructions from the Chief Minister Jayalalitha

To
(1) Smt. Omita Paul
Secretary to H.E. the President of India
Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi

(2) Shri Venu Rajamony
 Press Secretary to H.E. the President of India
 Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi

Dear Madam/Sir,
Kindly place the following note by me before His Excellency the President of India at the earliest :

To
His Excellency the President of India
Shri Pranab Mukherji
Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi

Your Excellency,
  The Tamil singer Kovan was  arrested on 30th October 2015 near Trichy in Tamilnadu for criticizing the Chief Minister Jayalalitha about sale of liquor, etc and all kinds of bogus trumped up charges, e.g. of sedition, have been levelled against him..Evidently this has been done on instructions, oral or written, of the Chief Minister

But surely in a democracy people have a right to criticize the government.
It is not only Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution but also the International Covenant of Political and Human Rights, which India ratified in 1979, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression to all citizens. Of course this right, like all rights, is not absolute, but is subject to certain restrictions mentioned in Article 19(2).. But as held by the Supreme Court in Sri Indra Das vs. State of Assam ( see online ) , it is only when there is an imminent threat of violence etc ( the clear and present danger test of the celebrated Justice Holmes of the U.S. Supreme Court ) that the right can be interfered with.

What was Kovan's fault ? He had not committed violence or done anything which posed any imminent threat of violence. He had only demanded closing of liquor shops as he thought that drinking of alcohol did damage to society, and had criticized Jayalalitha's government on other accounts. Can one not do so in a democracy ?

Kovan was reportedly arrested for writing two lyrics ' Moodu Tasmac Moodu ' which are critical of alcoholism and the state policy of liqour sale. The lyrics state that the CM is rejoicing at ‘Poes’ — her residence is at Poes Garden — while people are dying due to liquor consumption. It also refers to the apparently contradictory situation in the state where one can get an idli for Rs 1 but is forced to spend lakhs on education. It also alleges that the main source of liquor shops in Tamil Nadu is Midas — a distillery company with alleged links to Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala — and that the closure of liquor shops would affect their future. - See more at: 

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/sedition-charge-against-tamil-folk-singer-for-anti-jayalalithaa-song/#sthash.0oTq2C9g.dpuf

I am myself not in favour of prohibition, as experience of Prohibition in America in the 1920s has shown it increases crime ( the Mafia ). But surely people have a right to express their opinion. If anything therein is defamatory then a case of defamation could have been filed against Kovan, but there was certainly no warrant to slap sedition charges against him..
Kovan is still in custody and has not been released despite protests by human right activists in India and abroad e.g. Amnesty Internatiional, Human Rights Watch, etc. What then can be done in this situation ?

There is of course Article 356 of the Constitution which provides that If the President is satisfied that the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, he may dismiss the state government and
 assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State
It is evident that Jayalalitha is not willing to run her government in accordance with the Constitution, because Article 19(1)(a) which guarantees freedom of speech is part of the Constitution. So the President of India can sack Jayalalitha's government under this provision.

However there is another provision in the Constitution, Article 355, which enables the President to take a step short of the drastic step of dismissing a state government. Article 355 states :

" It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution "

Under this provision, the President can send a warning to Jayalalitha telling her that she is violating the Constitution, and hence she should release Kovan immediately and unconditionally and drop the trumped up charges against him, failing which her government may have to be dismissed.

In my opinion Your Excellency should excercize your power under Article 355 immediately and send her a stern warning that she is acting unconstitutionally. Every moment of Kovan's detention is an outrageous violation of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. If such despotic acts are not nipped in the bud there may be a collapse of democracy and freedom in Tamilnadu, and indeed the whole country.

Please therefore excercize your power under Article 355 of the Constitution and send a message to the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu warning her that she is acting unconstitutionally, and must stop doing so and release Kovan immediately and unconditionally and drop all charges against him, failing which more drastic action under Article 356 may have to be taken
Yours sincerely
 Justice Markandey Katju
ex-Judge, Supreme Court of India
0120-4981800

President should send warning to Jayalalitha under Article 355


The Tamil singer Kovan has been arrested for criticizing the Chief Minister Jayalalitha about sale of liquor, etc.
But surely in a democracy people have a right to criticize the government.

It is not only Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution but also the International Covenant of Political and Human Rights, which India ratified in 1979, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression. Of course this right, like all rights, is not absolute, but is subject to certain restrictions mentioned in Articl19(2).. But as held by the Supreme Court in Sri Indra Das vs. State of Assam ( see online ) , it is only when there is an imminent threat of violence etc ( the clear and present danger test of the celebrated Justice Holmes of the U.S. Supreme Court ) that the right can be interfered with.

What was Kovan's fault ? He had not committed violence or done anything which posed an imminent threat of violence. He had only demanded closing of liquor shops as he thought that drinking of alcohol did damage to society, and had criticized Jayalalitha's government on other accounts. Can one not do so in a democracy ?

 I am myself not in favour of prohibition, as experience of Prohibition in America in the 1920s has shown it increases crime ( the Mafia ). But surely people have a right to express their opinion.

Kovan is still in custody and has not been released despite protests by human right activists in India and abroad e.g. Amnesty Internatiional, Human Rights Watch, etc. What then can be done in this situation ?

There is of course Article 356 of the Constitution which says :

" (1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with he provisions of this Constitution, the President may be Proclamation

(a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or any body or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State;

(b) declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament; "

It is evident that Jayalalitha is not willing to run her government in accordance with the Constitution, because Article 19(1)(a) which guarantees  freedom of speech is part of the Constitution. So the President of India can sack Jayalalitha's government under this provision.

However there is another provision in the Constitution, Article 355 which enables the President to take a step short of the drastic step of dismissing a state government. Article 355  states :

" It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution "

Under this provision, the President can send a warning to Jayalalitha telling her that she is violating the Constitution, and hence she should release Kovan immediately and unconditionally and drop the trumped up charges against him, failing which her government  may have to be dismissed.

In my opinion the President should do this immediately. Every moment of Kovan's detention is an outrageous violation of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. If such despotic acts are not nipped in the bud there may be a collapse of democracy and freedom in Tamilnadu, and indeed the whole country.

Bihar elections

Mandal jungle raj and Kamandal jungle raj
In the recent  Bihar elections,.Mandal jungle raj defeated Kamandal jungle raj.

 I do not approve of any kind of jungle raj. But sometimes one has to choose the lesser evil.

I am against feudalism, as that is the main enemy of India today, and casteism and communalism are both feudal forces, which all patriotic Indians must combat..
But after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections communalism had become the greater danger, as massive attempts were made by the Sangh parivar to polarise society on religious lines.

 That is why I welcome the victory of the Mahagathbandhan, though having no illusions about its real nature

India's Future


The winter session of Parliament has been announced to last from 26th November to 23rd December.

 But it will almost certainly be washed out, as the monsoon session was, with no business being transacted. Thereafter the budget session will also be washed out, and so on. Budgets will now be passed by Ordinances.

In fact, as I had said earlier, all state institutions in the country have collapsed, while our socio-economic problems ( unemployment, price rise, etc ) are mounting and thereforer India is now inevitably heading for fascism, and then a revolution

Sunday 8 November 2015

The new cadet in N.D.A.


A friend of mine visited me today, and related an interesting story. He was 3 years senior to me in school ( the Boys High School, Allahabad ), having passed his Senior Cambridge examination in 1958 ( while I passed it in 1961 ).

 After passing Senior Cambridge he appeared in the selection  test for admission to the the National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla ( N. D.A.) and having passed it joined the N.D.A. in 1959 or 1960 in the 22nd course at the age of 18 or so.

 As a fresh cadet he was being ragged by a senior cadet one day, when a huge car appeared, and out of it emerged a young Sikh man, about the same age as my friend ( 18 or so ). Also from the same car emerged 3 or 4 tall Sikhs in the regalia and trappings of courtiers of some prince.

 This young man was also a fresh cadet, and the senior beckoned to him, forgetting my friend, who realizing that the attention of the senior had been diverted and so he had a lucky escape from the ragging, slipped to a little distance from the scene, watching the new ' murga ' being dealt with.

 When the fresh Sikh cadet appeared before the senior, the latter asked his name.

 The fresher replied " Sir, my name is Amrinder Singh "

 " And who are these jokers ? " asked the senior, pointing at the attendants on the young man.

 " Sir, I am the Maharaja of Patiala ":said the young man " and these are my attendants "

 " Tell them to buzz off with the car " said the senior and promptly the new cadet waived at his lackeys, asking them to leave.

 Then the senior cadet made the new cadet do front rolls, back rolls and dance stripped to his underwear. He also made him do things which cannot be mentioned. My friend said that to the credit of.the new cadet he stood all this coolly and with equanimity.

 Even thereafter the new cadet was often given ' special treatment ' by his seniors throughout his first term in N.D.A. ( a term is of 6 months ) since he was a Maharaja, but he put up with all this coolly.

 In later life my friend, who left the army as a Colonel and became head of N.I.S. Patiala was often invited to the palace by the Maharaja where they would 
exchange old memories of N.D.A.

 Today that Maharaja is a senior politician and member of Parliament, and Deputy leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha..

Bihar Elections

Alexander the Great set out from Macedonia ( north of Greece ) to conquer the whole world. In 326 B.C.he invaded western India, defeated King Porus, and reached well east of Amritsar 

There he was informed that there is a Bihari called Chandragupta ( called Sandracottus by Greek and Roman historians ) who will give him such a thrashing if he advances any further that he will forget all his victories. This information so scared the daylight out of him that he forgot his ambition of world conquest, tucked in his tail and ran back for his dear life.

When Biharis can so terrify and scare the wits out of a great conqueror like Alexander the Great just by their awesome reputation, and make him run for his life without even fighting him, what chance did that fake, who regarded himself another Alexander, have against Biharis ?

Hari Om
Diwali is on 11th November.
I appeal to all non Hindus to light some diyas on that date and place them inside and outside your houses.
 This does not mean you leave your own religion and get converted to Hinduism. It just means showing respect and solidarity with your Hindu brothers and sisters, just as one day roza by non Muslims in Ramzan, for which I had appealed, and which was observed by many non Muslims ( including myself and many non Muslims in America ) showed respect by non Muslims for their Muslim brothers and sisters, and solidarity with them.
This will be another anti-dote to neutralize the communal poison which was injected into our body politic, first by the Britishers, and after 1947 by some vested interests

Bihar Results

This is what I said on 5th November on my blog

Thursday, 5 November 2015
The Bihar exit polls
I do not agree with any of the exit polls of the Bihar elections which have appeared on T.V.( Some said that the BJP alliance is winning, while others said the Mahagathbandhan is winning, but with a narrow margin.)
 I still maintain, as I have said in my earlier posts, that the Nitish Lalu Mahagathbandhan will sweep the polls with upto two third seats. In other words, it may get 150-160 seats.
 But let us see whether on 8th November I am proved right or wrong

Sanskrit and Astrology

The following news item in a leading Indian newspaper ( Hindustan Times ) today prompted me to write this article :


I have been a strong supporter of Sanskrit, as much of our nation's culture is connected with it, and no natiion can progress if it overlooks its own culture.

The problem with Sanskrit is the same as that with much of our national culture: part of it is rational, and part irrational. We have to sift the rational part from the irrational, and promote the former while rejecting the irrational..

 In my article " Sanskrit as a language of Science "( which can be seen online, as well as on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in ) I have mentioned the rational and scientific features of Sanskrit.

 But there is also a lot of irrational mumbo jumbo in Sanskrit, and astrology ( not to be confused with astronomy, which is scientific ) is one of them.

 Astrology is pure humbug, superstition and nonsense. Even a little commonsense tells us that there is no connection between the movements of the stars and planets and our lives ? How can the movement of the stars, the planets and other heavenly bodies determine whether one will become an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, etc. or whether one will die at the age of 50 or 80 or whether one's business will succeed or fail ? There is no connection between the two.

It is true that the vast majority of our people, perhaps over 90% ,believe in astrology. But that does not prove anything. The majority are often wrong. At one time the vast majority of Christians believed in the theory of Ptolemy that the sun goes around the earth instead of the other way around, because the Bible apparently supported that view, and scientists like Galileo faced persecution for supporting the theory of Copernicus that the earth revolves around the sun. Later, the theory of Copernicus was found to be correct. Many people denounced Darwin for his theory of Evolution as it was believed to be against the Bible. As late as in 1925 an American teacher, John Scopes, was prosecuted in the famous ' monkey trial ' in an American state for teaching Darwin's theory.

   When I went to take oath as Chief Justice of Madras High Court I was told that I should not take oath at the 'rahukaalam' tiime ( inauspicious time, according to astrology ). The vast majority of Tamilians, who are otherwise very intelligent people, believe in rahukaalam, as I learnt later when I was in in Tamilnadu.One senior Supreme Court lawyer, who was earlier practising in Madras High Court, told me that when his clients, most of whom are educated, come from Tamilnadu  they request him to start reading their brief at a time which is not 'rahukaalam' time.

 And this belief is not confined to Tamilnadu alone. It is prevalent almost all over India. Many Ministers, Judges, etc. take oath at the 'auspicious' time, and consult their astrologer for finding out the auspicious date and hour. Marriages are often finalized after seeing the 'janam kundali' of the boy and girl, and fixed on an 'auspicious' date after consulting the Panditji. ' Grah pravesh '( entering a new house ) is done after consulting an astrologer for an 'auspicious' date. Many people wear certain gems on their necks or rings on the finger in accordance with the 'raashi' ( to ward off evil influences of 'shani', etc ).

  Why do so many people believe in astrology ? After all, they are not crazy. Even many eminent scientists believe in it.

  The reason is that the chance factor is still a very powerful factor in our lives. We plan one thing, but something else happens. Thus we are often unable to control our lives. So we start believing that there is some supernatural force controlling our lives.

  But that is not so. It is because of the low development of science as yet in the world, as compared to what it will be a 100 or 200 years hence, that we are unable to control our lives.

 As of today, science is still very undeveloped and at an embryonic stage. After 100 or 200 years from now it will have developed tremendously, and then we will be able to largely control our lives, and then what we plan will usually happen.

 It is said that many scientists believed in astrology. But that is not because astrology is a true science, but because for a long period scientific and unscientific ideas will often co-exist in the same person. For instance, Newton, one of the greatest scientists in the world, believed in alchemy and occult, which are nonsense and unscientific.

  I know that I will be attacked furiously by many for what I have said above, but that does not matter. I will say what I believe to be in the interest of my country, even if I am a solitary voice and even if I am castigated by many. It is in the interest of my country that superstitions be attacked and a scientific temper developed if we wish to progress and solve our country's massive problems. Science alone is the way out for our country if we wish to abolish poverty, unemployment, malnutrition ignorance and healthcare problems, and emerge as a modern, highly industrialized and prosperous nation.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Marching Through Georgia


 Bring the good old bugle, boys, we'll sing another song
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along
Sing it as we used to sing it, 50,000 strong[N 1]
While we were marching through Georgia.

Hurrah! Hurrah! we bring the jubilee![N 2]
Hurrah! Hurrah! the flag that makes you free!
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea
While we were marching through Georgia.

How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground
While we were marching through Georgia.

So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
While we were marching through Georgia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTjxqZWWmgc

Friday 6 November 2015

One Way to Fix the Collegium is to Televise its Proceedings

The hearing has begun before the Supreme Court on the question about reforming the Collegium system of appointment of judges. It is almost unanimously agreed that the collegium system lacks transparency, accountability and objectivity because of the secrecy, opaqueness and nepotism it involves, and is in need of glasnost and perestroika – as Justice Kurian Joseph said in his concurring judgment invalidating the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
In paragraph 106 of his dissenting judgment in the NJAC case, Justice Chelameshwar said:
“As Bentham has observed, ‘In the darkness of secrecy sinister interest, and evil in every shape, have full swing..’
Transparency is an aspect of rationality. The need for transparency is more in the case of the appointment process. Proceedings of the collegium were absolutely opaque and inaccessible both to public and history, barring occasional leaks. Ruma Pal , J. is on record – “Consensus within the collegium is sometimes resolved through a trade-off, resulting in dubious appointments with disastrous consequences for the litigants and the credibility of the judicial system. Besides, institutional independence has also been compromised by growing sycophancy and ‘lobbying’ within the system.”
Justice Kurian Joseph, agreeing with the above observations, said:
“I agree with Chelameswar, J. that the present collegium system lacks transparency, accountability and objectivity. The trust deficit has affected the credibility of the collegium system, as sometimes observed by the civic society. Quite often, very serious allegations and many a time not unfounded too, have been raised that its approach has been highly subjective. Deserving persons have been ignored wholly for subjective reasons, social and other national realities were overlooked, certain appointments were purposely delayed so as either to benefit vested choices or to deny such benefits to the less patronised, selection of patronised or favoured persons were made in blatant violation of the guidelines resulting in unmerited, if not, bad appointments.
“The dictatorial attitude of the collegium seriously affecting the self-respect and dignity, if not, independence of judges, the court, particularly the Supreme Court, often being styled as the court of the collegium, the looking forward syndrome affecting impartial assessment, etc., have been some of the other allegations in the air for quite some time. These allegations certainly call for a deep introspection as to whether the institutional trusteeship has kept upto the expectations of the framers of the Constitution.”
As reported in the press, Fali Nariman, the doyen of the Indian bar, said, “In Dinakaran’s case, I must say something. Very eminent people from Chennai wanted to say something about Dinakaran to the then CJI ( K.G. Balakrishnan ). Neither the CJI nor any of the members of the collegium agreed to meet them.. We were all hounded out. ”
Ad hoc, and prone to abuse
In this connection I may mention something in my personal knowledge.
When I came to know that the collegium was considering Dinakaran for elevation to the Supreme Court, I went to the chamber of Justice Kapadia, who was then a member of the collegium during a lunch interval and told him in great detail that when I was Chief Justice of Madras High Court, there were very serious allegations against Dinakaran (about alleged land grabs, etc ). I told Justice Kapadia that he was a member of the collegium while I was not, but that I had a duty to inform him about the facts, and now it was up to him to do what he wanted.
Despite my informing Kapadia, the collegium, headed by K.G. Balakrishnan went ahead and recommended Dinakaran for elevation to the Supreme Court, and it was just in the nick of time that the appointment was stalled because of the massive documentary evidence against Dinakaran produced by the Tamil Nadu lawyers, and impeachment proceedings against him by Parliament later.
Later, I reminded Kapadia that I had informed him of all the facts and said that if he had informed the collegium of what I had told him (which evidently he did not) the Supreme Court could have avoided the embarrassment the matter caused. Kapadia admitted that I had indeed informed him, but he could not do anything about it since the CJI (Balakrishnan) was pushing for Dinakaran’s elevation. But surely Kapadia could have informed the collegium of what I told him, and could have asked the collegium to invite me to present my views, which he evidently did not.
I may mention about another undeserving appointment made to the Supreme Court on the recommendation of the collegium. There was a judge originally from Kerala. He was transferred to four high courts, and everywhere he would hardly work, and left about 300-400 judgments undelivered in each place at the time of his transfer. When there was a move to bring him to the Supreme Court, a retired Supreme Court judge, also from Kerala, telephoned the then CJI Balakrishnan and asked why such an undeserving judge was being elevated. Justice Balakrishnan replied that there was no judge from his ‘community’ in the Supreme Court, and so one had to be appointed. Was this a valid reason for such appointment? And why did the other members of the collegium not object?
Even in the Supreme Court he hardly worked, and left many undelivered judgments on his retirement.
There was a further matter that I am privy to. A very senior judge in the Supreme Court, who later became CJI, wanted to get his sibling appointed judge of the Calcutta High Court. He reportedly told the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court to recommend the sibling’s name, although the person was then almost 60 years of age (a high court judge retires at 62) and had hardly any practice. This was strongly objected to in writing  by the judge next in seniority to the Chief Justice of the High Court, a judge known to be upright and learned. This so annoyed the Supreme Court judge that he never allowed the Calcutta high court judge to come to the Supreme Court. Consequently, the conscientious judge retired as a chief justice of a high court, while the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court was duly rewarded for recommending the name of the sibling of the Supreme Court judge by himself being elevated to the Supreme Court.
Glasnost time

Confirmation hearing in 2005 of John Roberts, then a nominee for the United States Supreme Court. Credit: senate.gov

I can mention several other instances of recommendations of undeserving persons made by the collegium, most of whom were subsequently appointed, causing great harm to the judiciary.
My opinion is that to ensure transparency, accountability and objectivity, meetings and discussions in the collegium should be video recorded, archived and televised. After all, the people are supreme in a democracy, and the people have a right to know what transpires in the collegium meetings, because ultimately it is they who would be affected if a wrong appointment is made.
In the United States, persons being considered for elevation to the US Supreme Court have to appear before the Senate, where they are questioned by the members not only about their judicial views and performance but also about their personal life, and these proceedings are televised. In my opinion, the persons being considered should be asked to appear before the collegium, and questioned by its members in televised proceedings, so that there is public transparency both about what the collegium is looking for in a judge and what the judge herself or himself has to offer.
(Published first on The wire)

Thursday 5 November 2015

The Bihar exit polls


I do not agree with any of the exit polls of the Bihar elections which have appeared on T.V.
 I still maintain, as I have said in my earlier posts, that the Nitish Lalu Mahagathbandhan will sweep the polls with upto two third seats. In other words, it may get 150-160 seats.
 But let us see whether on 8th November I am proved right or wrong

The rising intolerance in India


Saw a programme on a T.V. channel in which some of he panellists were saying that intolerance was going on in India since decades, so why this hue and cry now ? It is because of political motives, according to these panellists.

 It is true that intolerance is nothing new, but the point is that it has recently been intensified in India.
 The reason for this is that the contradictions in India have sharpened lately. Take a single factor. The prices of essential foodstuffs have gone through the roof, e.g. dal selling at Rs.200 a kilo, onions too expensive, etc.

  Incomes are relative to the price index. For instance, suppose a man was earning Rs.20,000 a month. Now if prices double and he keeps earning Rs.20,000 a month, in fact he is earning Rs.10,000 a month. In other words, his real income has halved.

 This is naturally causing tremendous discontent in the masses, coupled with other factors like rising unemployment, lack of healthcare etc.

 This popular discontent in the Indian masses makes them turn to popular agitations, and to divert attention from them the rulers resort to fanning communal hatred and intolerance.

 One may recall that in Germany when popular discontent mounted due to the inflation and high unemployment in the 1920s and early 1930s the Nazis whipped up hatred of Jews who became a scapegoat, and it was propagated by Hitler, Goebbels and others that the Jews were responsible for all the problems in Germany

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Release Kovan immediately and unconditionally


Jayalalitha must now release Kovan, the Tamil singer, immediately and unconditionally and drop the trumped up criminal charges against him ( of sedition etc  ), but evidently she seems unwilling to uphold the Constitution ( to which she has taken an oath ), part of which is Article 19(1)(a), which guarantees to all citizens freedom of speech and expression.

 I had thought that she had matured and mellowed down, but evidently I was mistaken. What was the offence of Kovan for which he was arrested at 2 a.m. ? That he criticized her for not imposing prohibition and for some other things. But in a democracy surely the people have a right to criticize the government.

 In feudal times the king was supreme, and the people were his subjects. Hence the people had no right to criticize the king.,

In a democracy, however, this relationship is reversed. Now it is the people who are supreme, and all state authorities, whether President of India, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, other Ministers and Judges, Chief Ministers, bureaucrats, police, etc are nothing but the servants of the people. Surely the masters ( the people ) have a right to criticize the servants ( the state authorities ) if they think the servants are not functioning properly..

 Jayalalitha's action is reminiscient of Mamata Banerjee's equally despotic and arbitrary action of getting Prof. Mahapatra arrested for posting cartoons about her on the social media, or of the recent circular of the Maharashtra police ( subsequently withdrawn ) stating that any criticism of the government will be treated as sedition.

 It is not only Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution but also the International Covenant of Political and Human Rights, which India ratified in 1979, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression. Of course this right, like all rights, is not absolute. But as held by the Supreme Court in Sri Indra Das vs. State of Assam ( see online ) , it is only when there is an imminent threat of violence etc ( the clear and present danger test of the celebrated Justice Holmes of the U.S. Supreme Court ) that the right can be interfered with. Kovan had not done anything which posed an imminent threat of violence. He had only demanded closing of liquor shops as he thought that drinking of alcohol did damage to society. .

 I am myself not in favour of prohibition, as experience of Prohibition in America in the 1920s has shown it increases crime ( the Mafia ). But people have a right to express their opinion.

 If Jayalalitha persists in such high handed and unconstitutional behaviour I am afraid she is inviting action by the President of India under Article 356 of the Constitution

 As regards the police officers and policemen who carried out this illegal order there is something I wish to tell them.

 In the Nuremburg Trials after the Second World War the Nazi war criminals took the plea that ' orders are orders ', i.e. they were only carrying out the orders of their political superior Hitler. This plea was rejected, and most of them were sentenced to be hanged.  Policemen and other authorities must not carry out illegal orders, such as the one given in Kovan's case, and if they do, they are liable to be criminally prosecuted and given harsh punishment

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Kovan


I strongly protest against the arrest and slapping of trumped up sedition and other bogus charges against the Tamil folk singer Kovan for criticizing Jayalalitha. Are we living in a democracy or dictatorship ? In a democracy people have a right to criticize politicians and the government.

In feudal times the king was supreme, and the people were his subjects, and so they had no right to criticize the king.
In a democracy, however, this relationship is reversed. Now the people ar...e the masters, and all state authorities, whether President of India, Prime Minister, other Ministers, Chief Minister, Chief Justice of India and other Judges, bureaucrats, police, etc are nothing but servants of the people.

That being so, the people have a right to criticize the state authorities, because surely the master has a right to criticize his servant if he thinks the servant is not working properly.

Consequently Kovan had every right to criticize Jayalalitha

I had thought that Jayalalitha had learnt her lesson, and had mellowed down, but now it seems otherwise. She still seems to have dictatorial tendencies.

As regards the police officers who ordered the arrest of Kovan, and the policemen who carried out the order, they must all be put up on trial, and given harsh punishment. They must not be allowed to take the plea that they were only carrying out orders of Jayalalitha.
At the Nuremburg Trials after the Second World War, the Nazi War Criminals took the plea that ' orders are orders ' ( i.e. they were only carrying out orders of their political master Hitler ), but this plea was rejected and they were hanged

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