HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENTS EVERY HINDU SHOULD BE PROUD OF…

Will Durant said in his The Story of Civilization, “..India has sent to the West such gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system. She was the mother of our philosophy..of much of our mathematics..of the ideals embodied in Christianity..of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.” Despite Bharata’s extraordinary cultural history and civilisational landmark achievements being well documented by well-known Western scholars, accurate knowledge of the country’s history has seldom entered public domain in west. And it is by deliberate design and not by innocuous default. Following handful of Bharatiya / Hindu  landmark verticals must be known to all in west with a sense of gratitude that they must ingratiate within their inner beings.

 

Bharatiya / Hindu  Numeral System :

Numbers that we all practise today are a Hindu  invention. Often referred to as Arabic numerals as Arab traders brought the mathematical concepts to the West, this historic path-breaking invention of Hindu-s replaced cumbersome Roman numeral system in use in West till then, stands loftily as one of the greatest human inventions of all time. “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.” Albert Einstein.

Ingenious Hindu  system succeeded where efforts of other civilisations failed, now underpins foundation of modern mathematics and infinite applications in our routine lives. Number of other vital mathematical principles also have their roots in Bharata  whose scientific texts and discoveries were regularly studied by foreign scholars, from Greek philosophers to Arab mathematicians, from British inventors to Nazi and Cold War era rocket / nuclear scientists. “Nearly all the philosophical and mathematical doctrines attributed to Pythagoras are derived from India.” Ludwig von Shroeder.

 

Carburised Steel :

Hindu-s have always been pioneers in metallurgy as we had mastered production of high quality steel more than two thousand years ago even before the process was unravelled in Britain and other European countries. Legendary Wootz steel of ancient Bharata  was a cause of astonishment to other civilisations from Greece to Persia and Arabia to Rome. It was so advanced and precious that it was selected by King Porus as a gift over gold and silver. Barely seven decades after independence, India has again become a world leader in metallurgy and high quality steel production.

 

Contribution To Western Philosophy :

Historians are well aware that ancient Greeks and Romans were infatuated with Bharata. Greeks marvelled over technology in ancient Bharata, town planning, state craft, actively sought new ideas / thoughts from our Vedic  scriptures / philosophers as well as by learning at universities like Taxila and Nalanda. Many scholars have underscored significant contribution of Hindu-s to ancient Greek philosophy, often depicted as foundation of western philosophy. In a comprehensive analysis in ‘The Shape of Ancient Thought’, Thomas McEvilley detailed how Hindu  wisdom directly influenced key facets of Pre-Socratic Greek philosophy. “Is it not probable that the Brahmins were the first legislators of the earth, the first philosophers, the first theologians – The Greeks, before the time of Pythagoras, travelled into India for instruction.” Voltaire.

 

Clothing The World :

Another revolutionary Hindu  contribution was development, production and use of cotton textile for clothing. Ancient Greeks were not even aware of cotton, draped animal skin until the war of Alexander that introduced to them cotton clothing. “Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, and their use spread to the Mediterranean countries.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. One of the pillars of British wealth as a so-called modern nation and foundation of their industrial revolution was directly derived from knowledge and experience of high quality textiles production gained in India as well as criminal destruction of Bharata’s pioneering textile enterprise. Dan Nadudere stated in his book The Political Economy of Imperialism, “It was by destroying the Indian textile industry that the British textile industry ever came up at all.” British historian Michael Wood’s The Story of India must be watched for better understanding of their demeaning acts. “If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.” Max Mueller.

 

Ancient Democracy :

Ancient republic of Athens has long been considered as the oldest non-tribal, organised democracy in the world. Racist European ‘historians’ distorted and re-wrote history of Hindu-s and other colonial events. They malevolently distorted dates of life and death of Gautama Buddha  to make it appear as if he lived after Pericles and Socrates, suppressed widely known references to the existence of ancient Hindu  republics as GanaSangha (equal assembly) and GanaRajya (equal government). Similarly, history of the ancient republic of Vaishali dates back to 600 BCE, highly sophisticated by then, almost a century before institution of Athenian republican democracy, was also ‘adjusted’ to support colonial propaganda of the day. Ironically, ancient Greece demonstrated adoration and attraction towards Hindu-s and their achievements. However, legacy of the distorted version of history still exists today. “Through such chronological manipulations, the threat that the Indian past presents to the Greek miracle [as postulated by European supremacists] is defused by chronology.” Thomas McEvilley. Another distinguished and widely known ancient form of Hindu  democracy is ‘Pancayata  System’ literally meaning an ‘assembly of five’ wise and respected elders. Unlike ancient city and state level republics, Pancayata-s as grassroots of democracy happen to be more than three thousand years old, have survived rise and fall of intermittent conquests, are still a central feature of contemporary democratic apparatus. “India was the mother of..village communities of self-government and democracy.” Will Durant.

 

Lunar Water :

Chandrayaan-1, first dedicated lunar mission of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) discovered water on moon in 2008/2009. ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carried both ISRO and NASA instruments. Indian ‘Moon Impact Probe’ first detected existence of lunar water. It was achieved three months before NASA’s ‘Moon Mineralogy Mapper’ (also part of Chandrayaan-1) did the same breakthrough to which discovery of lunar water is often wrongly attributed. “We want to thank ISRO for making the discovery possible. The moon till now was thought to be a very dry surface with lot of rocks.” Jim Green, NASA Director.

 

Einstein’s Quantum Statistics :

German scientists have long been considered to be world’s most ardent Indologists. “It [The Upanishads] is the most satisfying and elevating reading which is possible in the world; it has been the solace of my life and will be the solace of my death.” Arthur Schopenhauer. Prominent German Physicist Albert Einstein to Nazi inventors who migrated to USA / USSR, were eager students of Sanatana  texts such as Upanishad-s. Such texts were often referred to during 20th Century invention race for nuclear technology, space rockets, jet engines and even mind introversion methodologies, described in Bharata’s ancient Sanatana  texts. “India – the land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all were known to the seers who founded the Vedas.” Wheeler Wilcox. Satyendra Nath Bose is one of modern science’s unheralded heroes. His work provided foundation for Quantum Statistics, later endorsed, developed and published by Einstein; Nobel Prize 2001 for Physics was awarded to German and US scientists for their study of condensates, first conducted by and even named after Bose; widely covered ‘God Particle’ also known as Higgs-Boson, should have been rightly named as Boson-Higgs Particle for ground-breaking contributions of SN Bose to Particle Physics. SN Bose was never given his due in Physics for his discoveries. “Gravitation was known to the Indians before the birth of Newton. The system of blood circulation was discovered by them centuries before Harvey was heard of.” P. Johnstone.

 

Radio / Wireless Communication :

Guglielmo Marconi has for long been regarded as the inventor of wireless radio communication. Then he received Nobel Prize 1909 in Physics for contributions to wireless telegraphy. However, first public demonstration of Radio Waves for communication was made by a Bharatiya  scientist, Jagadish Chandra Bose. Bose first demonstrated use of radio in Calcutta in 1895, two years before a similar demonstration by Marconi in England. More than a century after the feat, JC Bose has been belatedly credited for the landmark invention. Bose’s revolutionary discovery is the foundation of technology applied in mobile telephony, radars, satellite communication, radios, television broadcast, WiFi, remote controls and countless other applications that play a central role in our daily lives. “The inventor (J.C. Bose) has transmitted signals to a distance of nearly a mile and herein lies the first and obvious and exceedingly valuable application of this new theoretical marvel.” The Daily Chronicle, England, 1896.

 

Zero (0) :

Hardly any introduction is required for ‘Zero’, one of the most important inventions ever. This mathematical digit and concept also has a direct link to the ancient philosophy of ‘No-Thingness’, is one of several examples of integration of Science, Mathematics with Adhyatma  in ancient Bharata. “In the whole history of mathematics, there has been no more revolutionary step than the one which India made when they invented zero.” Lancelot Hogben. Several other specialised disciplines of Mathematics such as Calculus, attributed to Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz hitherto, were in reality developed by Bharatiya  Mathematicians centuries before Newton & Leibniz’s could. Similarly, Pythagorean Theorem had been developed in ancient Bharata  a century before an almost identical discovery in Greece.

“The study of mathematics in the West has long been characterized by a certain ethnocentric bias, a bias which most often manifests not in explicit racism, but in a tendency toward undermining or eliding the real contributions made by non-Western civilizations. The debt owed by the West to other civilizations, and to India in particular, go back to the earliest epoch of the “Western” scientific tradition, the age of the classical Greeks, and continued up until the dawn of the modern era, the renaissance, when Europe was awakening from its dark ages…Due to the legacy of colonialism, the exploitation of which was ideologically justified through a doctrine of racial superiority, the contributions of non-European civilizations were often ignored, or, as George Ghevarughese Joseph argued, even distorted, in that they were often misattributed as European.” Dr. David Gray.

 

Complex Hydraulic Engineering :

Since the time of Indu Valley civilisation more than 5,000 years ago until British invasion in 17th century, Bharata  had a vast and highly sophisticated network of canals, well laid out irrigation, water management and sewage systems. These systems were so advanced that they were designed to automatically self-clean blockages as well as odour. World’s first flush toilets were also in use in ancient Bharata  over 3,000 years ago, remained an essential feature in every home of Indu Valley Civilisation, largest ancient civilisation in the world. System of canals that existed for thousands of years, was lifeline of what was world’s largest economy till British Occupiers destroyed it. According to American historian David Hatcher Childress, plumbing-sewage systems in ancient Bharata  were so sophisticated that they are still superior to those in many developed countries today. Large public baths were also in existence in Indu Valley Civilisation, thousands of years before creation of similar Roman baths. “A wonder to modern-day researchers, the cities [were] highly developed and advanced. A remarkable early example of city planning.” David Hatcher Childress.

Edmund Burke, a prominent British politician and founder of  Conservative Party, repeatedly condemned the damage that British dominion did to Bharata, specifically mentioned callous destruction of ancient reservoir systems which succeeded for thousands of years in preserving fertility of dry regions, people self sufficient, nourished and prosperous. “In the happier times of India, a number almost incredible of reservoirs have been made in chosen places throughout the whole country. There cannot be in the Carnatic and Tanjore [alone] fewer than ten thousand of these reservoirs of the larger and middling dimensions.” Edmund Burke.

 

Medicine :

From advanced understanding of human nervous system, muscles and organs to vaccination techniques; from a huge collection of naturally sourced medicines to holistic preventative care and from fortifying immunity to mastery of digestive and metabolic systems, ancient Bharata  had shaped very foundations of modern medicine and healthcare. “Indian medicine dealt with the whole area of the science. Much attention was devoted to hygiene, to the regimen of the body, and to diet. Arabic medicine was founded on the translations from the Sanskrit treatise, made by command of the Kaliphs of Baghdad, 750-960 AD. European medicine, down to the 17th Century, was based upon the Arabic; and the name of the Indian physician Charaka repeatedly occurs in the Latin translations.” Sir William Hunter, British Historian. Contrary to popular misconceptions, several herbs and spices used in Bharatiya  cuisine were not merely added to preserve or leaven food but also to combine preventative care too. Hindu  system of medicine Ayurveda, propagates holistic life-style so as to avoid any menical attention at all. More than 2,000 years ago, principal contributor to Ayurveda  articulated, “It is more important to prevent the occurrence of disease than to seek a cure.” Acarya Caraka, Father of Ayuraveda.

 

Surgery :

Concepts, operative methodologies and specialised tools of surgery used in ancient Bharata  more than 2,000 years ago, postulated during early Vedic  period are still under development in Europe. From Plastic Surgery to highly developed midwifery, from anaesthesia to advanced childcare procedures, ancient Bharatiya  skills constitute foundation of modern surgery. Under Emperor Asoka  raised a vast network of animal hospitals in which specialised veterinary surgery was also in vogue. “The surgery of the ancient Indian physicians was bold and skilful. A special branch of surgery was dedicated to rhinoplasty or operations for improving deformed ears, noses and forming new ones, which European surgeons have borrowed.” Sir William Hunter.

 

Religious Tolerance :

While Sanatana Hinduism  does not encourage conversion of faith at all, Buddhism  historically sought to proselytise through peaceful persuasion. Bharata  does not have a dubious history of conversion of faith through coercive means and the nation is identified by their pluralistic tolerance. Hinduism  and Buddhism  have been spectacularly successful in disseminating their message from ancient Bharata  to vast swathes of Far East, Indonesia, Japan, from Thailand to China. “It is an undoubted fact that in India, religions and philosophical thinkers were able to enjoy perfect, nearly absolute freedom for a long period. The freedom of thought in ancient India was so considerable as to find no parallel in the West before the most recent age.” Max Weber, German Sociologist. “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border”. Hu Shih, Philosopher & Former Chinese Ambassador to the United States.

Accomodative disposition towards all faiths is central to Sanatana Hindu  ethos. India, a predominantly Hindu  nation of 1.2 billion people, had a Sikh Prime Minister who constitute merely 2% of the total population; country had several Christians as Chief of Air Staff out of a community that constitute only 2.3% population; till recently, country had a Muslim President in APJ Abdul Kalam whose community make 14.6% of the population; Ratan Tata is one of the world’s most prominent businessmen from Parsi community that make merely 0.006% of the entire population. Historically, Bharata  has also been an abode for persecuted refugee minorities of Zoroastrian Iranians i.e. Parsis and Jews too. “The Bene Israel flourished for 2,400 years in a tolerant land that has never known anti-Semitism, and were successful in all aspects of the socio-economic and cultural life of the people of the region.” Avotaynu (the Jewish genealogical magazine).

 

Compassion / Empathy :

More an ancient contribution than a discovery, compassion and empathy have been fundamentals of culture and history. These are integrated into the core of Sanatana Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, encompassing entire world. Hindu-s have never invaded any country in their entire known history and their entire warfare had been limited to defending themselves effectively. All this, in spite of having been most powerful economy in the world for almost entire recorded history.  “India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings.” Will Durant, American Historian.

 

Gender Equality:

Another ancient, historical and cultural contribution of Hindu-s to the world is gender equality. Gender equality has been a cornerstone of ancient Hindu  scriptures and life with women possessing joint ownership of property rights with men and liberty to divorce. Ancient institution of ‘Swayamvara’ was a practice wherein a potential bride selected her husband in a congregation of suitors with the aim to win her over. ‘Swayam’ in Samskrita  means Self and ‘Vara’, option to chose. Ancient text of Kama Sutra, guide to harmonious relations, graceful co-existence etc. is highly evolved. Contrary to western perception of the text being merely a ‘sex manual’, Kama Sutra  postulates equality of all dimensions between man and woman. ‘Kama’  means desire which constitutes a very important pillar of human life demanding deft handling. It was authored when Europeans were barbarians and it took centuries before they could think of any such code of conduct. Several matriarchal communities having descent and inheritance through maternal lineage, have existed in ancient Bharata for thousands of years. Matrilineal communities in contemporary India include Nairs, Bunt and Khasi. Khasi women are still known to be married to multiple husbands which led Khasi men to fight for their rights. Virtue of gender equality was destroyed with Islamic invasions and British domination of the nation.

“India of the Vedas entertained a respect for women amounting to worship. Here is a civilization, which places the woman on a level with the man and gives her an equal place in the family and in society.” Louis Jaccoliot, French Author.

 

Published @ http://patriotsforum.org/historic-achievements-every-hindu-should-be-proud-of-ramakant-tiwari/#

 

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DE-COLONISING UNION BUDGET

For decades, Union Budget referred to as Annual Financial Statement in Article 112 of the Constitution, has been presented to Parliament on the last day of Feb., coming into force with the beginning of new financial year on April 1 to next Mar. 31 with entire exercise being completed by the month of May.

British conventions had been directly and indirectly influenced by the Roman Empire and we were too, affected by that for some 150 years. Country’s first Budget was presented on April 7, 1860 by James Wilson, Finance Member of the Council of Viceroy of India. Then financial year commenced on May 1 and ended on April 30. It was seven years later in 1867, financial year was shifted to April 1 to Mar. 31 to align with the financial year of Britain. However, first Budget of independent India was presented on Nov. 26, 1947 by the Finance Minister RK Shanmukham Chetty to make up for the remaining months of the financial year. Until the year 2000, Budget used to be read out at 5 PM on last day of Feb., again a legacy of pre-Independence era when British Parliament used to pass their Budget at noon followed by India’s, same evening. Since the year 2001 onward, Budget Speech has been read out at 11 AM on the last day of Feb. Date of Budget itself is a colonial practice as it was derived from Julian calendar, introduced by Roman Monarch Julius Caesar, practised till 1752. From 1155 to 1751, English calendar year of ten months, changed on every March 25, also date of presentation of Budget every year. In 1752, Britain adopted Gregorian calendar year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 but the Budgetary exercise stuck to the same old date.

Budget presentation in India has been a two-stage process. First is presentation of Budget, followed by discussions in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, then Presidential approval with the entire exercise running well into middle of May. Second is passing of Vote on Account to take care of federal expenses for the months of April and May as financial year starts on April 1 itself. Complete overhaul of the Budgetary process has been overdue and the exercise has been undertaken by the Government in right perspectives.

Overhaul of Budgetary exercise is also due owing to two important decisions taken recently –

 

Merger of Railway Budget with the main Union Budget,

Adoption of Goods & Service Tax that will subsume Excise Duty and all other indirect levies,

Abolition of separation of Plan and non-Plan expenditures and

Introduction of capital and revenue expenditures.

 

In absence of any Constitutional mandate regarding date of presentation of Budget, advancing the date by a month shall not be a cumbersome exercise which otherwise used to run well into mid-May after Parliamentary and Presidential approvals. Government shall no more be constrained to seek approval for Vote on Account from Parliament to carry on with expenditures for the months of April and May before complete Budget is finally passed as it shall turn redundant. Once this decision is adopted, entire pre-Budget exercise shall be advanced from December to September itself including brainstorming sessions with all stake-holders, evaluation of suggestions, presentation of Economic Survey Report, tax collections etc.

With incorporation of aforesaid overhaul, Budget is likely to be much lighter and slimmer in content with lot many proposals / legislations of Part B of Budget going into history. Also, 92 year old practice of presenting separate Railway Budget comes to an end with this Budgetary overhaul. Railway Tariff shall be then, responsibility of the Finance Minister while detailed Railway proposals of new trains and lines shall constitute Annexures and not the Budget Speech to be read out after presentation.

Committee has already been constituted under Chairmanship of Shankar Acharya to examine feasibility of having a new financial year and the report is expected by Dec. end. The Committee is seized with the issue of pros and cons of various dates of commencement of a financial year to be adopted with effect from next financial year. Earlier, LK Jha Committee had deliberated over the issue and recommended switching over to Jan. to Dec. calender year from April 1 to Mar. 31, currently in vogue which was rejected citing enormous inconvenience caused to corporate bodies.

It is the most opportune rather historic moment before us to introduce Vikram Samvat calender into the country. Vikram Samvat  calender is most scientifically computed one based of migration of Naksatra-s with impeccable accuracy. Let our nation showcase our brilliant ancient system of computation of date / month / year to the world and re-design our economic activities accordingly. Initial hiccups during transition phase which is bound to be there with any other possible new system envisaged, can be easily ironed out with a systematic plan required for at the most, a couple of years.   

 

Published by the Organiser, Vol68, No. 11, Sept. 11, 2016, Bhadrapada Shukla 9, Yugabda 5118 @

http://organiser.org//Encyc/2016/9/5/Opinion—De-Colonising-Union-Budget.aspx

 

 

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WILL URJIT PATEL DISAPPOINT COMMON MAN ?

Just two weeks down the calender, Urjit Patel is going to be installed as 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India at Mint Street. He takes over RBI at a time when inflation is gradually soaring, no concrete outcome appears on the horizon with respect to NPAs in spite of all the heat and dust kicked up by Public Sector Banks, Enforcement Directorate and CBI. News of his appointment itself has marginally depressed Bonds market and stocks have slipped though it will be an exaggeration to say, prophets of doom are hyperactive. On the other hand, news of his appointment has been received with greater optimism by several economists and leading industrialists. HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh agreed, “I think his appointment as RBI Governor is an excellent choice as it will bring stability and there will be no uncertainty.” Former RBI Governor C Rangarajan holds Urjit Patel “ideally suited” for the top job at the central bank.

First inflation, then employment generation followed by exchange rate are the economic verticals that directly affect common man. It was Urjit Patel who as Dy. Governor, had introduced consumer prices mainly comprising of food items as basis for inflation computation instead of wholesale prices, raising the susceptibility level enormously in view of impending onslaught of 7th Pay Commission Report and 3% fiscal deficit target. Inflation had hit 6.07% in July i.e. 23 month high figure which is going to tie him down to details of inflation micro-management for quite sometime. If he can introduce a long-term mechanism to maintain inflation at tolerable rather ‘Vote-friendly’ levels in view of forthcoming Assembly elections in a country inhabited by ‘price-oversensitive’ voters, it shall be a remarkable achievement for the incoming Governor. Prime Minister and his team shall be able to breathe easy for sometime, common man shall feel more assured of his savings and standard of life albeit Opposition may remain considerably distressed busy in burning their depleting calories at Jantar Mantar.

Second parameter that directly affects common man is employment generation. Without considerable boost to services and manufacturing industry, employment generation at best remains, marginal. Though India is now the best FDI friendly country in the world with Dollars raining in and foreign exchange reserves burgeoning, their transformation into production and employment generation has a long way to go. Though this lean period rather gestation period is sought to be covered with tremendous thrust in Skill India programme to promote self-employment generation, overall scenario is still fuzzy. Another important factor is interest rate cut which is directly in the hands of RBI rather the Governor. Interest rate cut will certainly promote industry but it brings in more inflation too. Incumbent Governor Rajan has been a bit conservative on this front for which he invited criticism from economists like Dr. Swamy and Nobel Laureate Prof. Joseph Stiglitz who cautioned him for being too rigid on rate cut. However, Governor Rajan largely preferred to maintain status quo on this issue and there had not been considerable rise in employment generation so far. Urjit Patel as his team member so far, cannot absolve himself from the bouquets and brickbats for the policy on rate cut that was followed hitherto. Now that he is in command of nation’s economy, he is at liberty to exercise his own free will and sense of professional judgement to steer nation’s economy. There the genius of Urjit Patel shall be at it’s best, hastening slowly, advancing cautiously and stoking expectations gently.

Exchange rate is the third parameter that affects common man that includes international travellers, exporters etc. Herein too, Patel is not entirely at liberty to tinker with the exchange rate. Exchange rate must be pragmatic to derive maximum advantages with minimum pain. Such a cautious approach shall have to to continue till the economy is hamstrung by rising inflation and high rate of unemployment.

Non-Performing Assets of PSBs and redemption of FCNR deposits are other major issues to be encountered by the incoming Governor though these do not affect common man so much. Almost half the NPAs have been cleaned and sanitized while RBI has to gear up for the FCNR deposits.

By appointing him as Governor, Government have released an explicit message for the people to remain moderate in their expectations. Also, Government have effectively countered the criticism, NDA Govt. did not deserve Raghram Rajan by maintaining a semblance of continuity through Urjit Patel. He shall have to redefine RBI’s relationship with the Union Government influenced by newer factors like constitution of Monetary Policy Committee allowing him a vote but not veto, being appointee of PM Modi / Finance Minister and the baggage of legacy that he carries alongwith him from the UPA era. It is certainly a tight-rope walk yet Urjit Patel may come out of his trial by fire brighter, given his extensive knowledge of Economics, international exposure and experience in the RBI so far. He has no other choice except to succeed in his new assignment with enormous responsibilities.

 

Change and Continuity by Ramakant Tiwari, published by the Pioneer dated Aug. 26, 2016

(original title – WILL URJIT PATEL DISAPPOINT COMMON MAN ?)

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/change-and-continuity.html

 

Also published in the Organiser dated Aug. 29, 2016 under the title,

GOVERNING AMIDST EXPECTATIONS @

http://organiser.org//Encyc/2016/8/29/Opinion—Governing-Amidst-Expectations.aspx#

 

 

 

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RIDDLES OF NSG NOW GRADUALLY UNRAVELLING

Our nuclear consciousness has it’s roots in nuking of two cities in Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA during World War II. Soon after independence was attained, developing a nuclear option now being essential, loomed large on leadership. In complete harmony with our cultural ethos, peaceful application of nuclear energy was accepted as the cardinal principle to govern our nuclear doctrine while voices in favour of complete nuclear disarmament were growing louder in international arena.

In 1951, Prime Minister Nehru announced a Standstill Agreement that sowed seeds for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty decades later. CTBT was concluded in 1996 albeit could not be operationalised as some major powers have not yet ratified it. Subsequently, India submitted a proposal for nuclear non-proliferation in 1960s yet major powers decided to take up Irish resolution for discussions on NPT. However, the Treaty turned out to be discriminatory whose compliance would have extensively damaged Indian nuclear interests hence, India declined the Treaty in it’s current form. In 1974, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to conduct Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) in consonance with the established global practice of conducting nuclear experiments for peaceful purposes, a step towards self-reliance in nuclear technology. However, Indian PNE was regarded as de facto nuclear weapon test and they all geared up to stall / curtail ease of pursuing nuclear research for peaceful purposes in spite of vehement protest by Indian Government at various international fora. Country was only bound to Partial Test Ban Treaty, also known as Limited Test Ban Treaty whereby nuclear weapon test in atmosphere, outer space and under water are strictly banned, being a signatory to it. India had signed the Treaty in 1963 and ratified too, in the same year. Hectic lobbying followed internationally and India finally succeeded in convincing the world, Pokharan 1974 essentially being a PNE.

In response to the peaceful Indian nuclear test in May 1974 at Pokharan in Rajasthan, alarmed and perturbed signatories to NPT seriously considered the idea of limiting all nuclear hardware and technology, met several times over and founded London Supplier Group in 1974 which later metamorphosed into Nuclear Supplier Group in the same year. “The NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear related exports.” is the solemn declaration on behalf of the powerful body on their website (www.nuclearsuppliersgroup.org). They further declare on the website, “The NSG Guidelines also contain the so-called “Non-Proliferation Principle,” adopted in 1994, whereby a supplier, notwithstanding other provisions in the NSG Guidelines, authorises a transfer only when satisfied that the transfer would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Non-Proliferation Principle seeks to cover the rare but important cases where adherence to the NPT or to a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty may not by itself be a guarantee that a State will consistently share the objectives of the Treaty or that it will remain in compliance with its Treaty obligations.”

NSG Guidelines were published in 1978 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as IAEA document INFCIRC/254, to apply to nuclear transfers for peaceful purposes to help ensure that such transfers would not be diverted to a nuclear fuel cycle or nuclear explosive activities devoid of adequate safeguards. For implementation of stated objectives, various bodies / committees were constituted viz. NSG Consultative Group,  NSG Information Exchange Meeting, NSG Licensing & Enforcement Experts Meeting, NSG Technical Experts Group, NSG Point Of Contact etc.

NSG was largely inactive during currency of Cold War yet membership went on rising. After Cold war was over, NSG became rigorous in their approach, imposed stringent conditions to govern every nuclear transaction and adopted a Dual List of nuclear items too. It was in 90s that NSG adopted the stipulation of being NPT signatory to qualify for membership of NSG. It is this clause for membership that ill-intentioned countries like China have persistently invoked to stonewall India’s prospective membership of NSG ignoring the fact that export control founder countries do not accept this restriction. International nuclear scenario throughout 90s was muddled as even NPT signatories declined to disarm themselves in spite of their commitment to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the Treaty, non-NPT countries like Pakistan continued receiving nuclear material from China / North Korea unofficially and surreptitiously. NDA I Govt. was hardpressed convincing the world, peaceful nuclear goals were still sacrosanct in spite of explosions of May 1998.

Zangger Committee constituted by IAEA, derived their mandate from Article III.2 of NPT, purported to be an authentic explanation of ambiguous NPT which prohibited development of nuclear weapons by non-nuclear weapon states albeit allowed nuclear commerce for peaceful purposes. Countries that developed and acquired nuclear weapons before Jan.1, 1967 only are recognised as nuclear states under the dispensation of NPT while others, even if in possession of nuclear weapons, are non-nuclear states. IAEA imposed another set of safeguards on so defined non-nuclear states for verification to prevent surreptitious diversion of nuclear hardware for weapon development programmes. Zangger List / Trigger List prepared by IAEA, allowed such export of listed items to non-nuclear states observing IAEA safeguards or in exceptional circumstances, after due deliberations. These two Lists are constantly under revision with respect to newer developments. When Iraqi weapon programme came to light during Gulf War, a new category of Dual Use equipment came into being and restrictions further tightened vide Dual Use List of 1992 in The Hague 1991 meeting. Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement further modified the scenario when NSG conceded clean waiver to India in Sept. 2008 that allowed USA and other NSG countries to export nuclear hardware only for peaceful purposes. Unblemished and impeccable nuclear track record of India paved the way in concretisation and operationalisation of the Agreement. US President George Bush exerted his influence to bring around all confronting countries to allow the concession of waiver in favour of India. With successful implementation of the Agreement for so many years down the line, next logical step certainly was full-fledged membership of NSG for India.

Nuclear Supplier Group i.e. NSG happens to be one of the four high technology export control regimes. Other three happen to be Missile Technology Control Regime i.e. MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement i.e. WA for conventional arms / dual use technology and The Australia Group i.e. AG for chemical / biological weapons. Most opportune time to apply for NSG membership immediately after the waiver in 2008 was frittered away by the then UPA regime. It was applied for the first time in May 2016 and pursued vigorously. 40 out of 48 member countries had agreed to accept it immediately despite India being a non-signatory to NPT, was certainly a remarkable achievement. China opposed it outright;  Brazil, Mexico and Switzerland demanded two announcements on India’s entry and criteria for membership; New Zealand and Ireland demanded criteria for membership with declaration of compliance by India.

India’s nuclear doctrine is demonstrably neither aggressive nor provocative with nuclear verticals like No First Use Rule, no use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states, credible minimum nuclear deterrence, reliable nuclear command & control system and nuclear button in the hands of an elected Prime Minister. Indian nuclear doctrine has so far served all stated objectives well. However, now that terrorists like Hafiz Sayed are openly threatening India of nuclear strike, Pakistani nuclear material falling into hands of terrorist groups is a real possibility, it is now imperative to re-consider the doctrine which had been neither Pakistan specific nor South Asia Centric so far. Debate in this direction has already started though it is stonewalled often or misled towards unspoken unilateral disarmament engineered by a handful of ‘bankrolled from abroad’ nuclear experts / retired diplomats / technocrats etc. Those elements must be identified and filtered out of debates. It is pertinent to recall, when sanctions were imposed on India in the aftermath of Pokharan May 1998 by Clinton Presidency, India opted for a policy of dialogue and engagement instead of confrontation. 14 rounds of Jaswant-Talbott Talks dramatically transformed the entire scenario. It was only due to our impeccable nuclear track-record, India was allowed exemption from NSG guidelines to carry out global nuclear commerce.

Now it is so ironical, NSG was constituted as a proceed of Indian PNE 1974 only to isolate, throttle us which now we are poised to join ! It is only a matter of time that India is admitted to NSG owing to the vast nuclear base, rigid export controls, commitment to non-proliferation and eagerness to earnestly engage with international community on all nuclear aspects. It shall be for the first time, India in a position to participate in decision making processes after a long spell of conforming to their decisions. Disarmament & International Security Affairs (DISA) have been putting their best foot forward to realise that earliest possible.

In NSG Seol 2016 Meeting, some members had been opposing entry of India as a full-fledged member mainly on the ground of self-interest camouflaged as impasse over concessional waiver and full-fledged membership being two different entities altogether, that India still being a non-NPT country etc. In spite of best efforts and hectic lobbying undertaken by Prime Minister Modi, few countries led by China declined to budge even by an inch. Owing to gradual economic decline of China and rising assertiveness at home, it behooves them strategically well to stonewall India’s efforts turning Nelson’s Eye on their own wayward nuclear conduct and pontificating a Nuclear-Buddha country like India on NPT. Quite absurdly, Pakistan too claimed full-fledged NSG membership which no other country including China, in spite of being their bosom mentors, even discussed. Policy of maintaining continuity with recalibration in response to changing circumstances i.e.nuclear dynamism has always been a hallmark of India’s nuclear doctrine.

After NSG Seol 2016 effort did not entirely meet all expectations, NSG appointed a special envoy to mobilise support for India’s entry and iron out all wrinkles on the way. Former NSG Chairman Rafael Mariano Grossi as the Special Envoy is seized with the issue of inevitability of NSG membership aspirant being a NPT signatory. India have been providing all necessary inputs to the Envoy in this regard. That China and 47 other countries had granted the waiver to India in 2008, that France, Argentina and Brazil had joined NSG even before they became NPT signatory, that NSG is not mandated to enforce any Treaty whatsoever on any country, that only brief of NSG is that nuclear material do not fall into undesirable hands, are the salient features that are being hammered out assiduously.  Moreover, with an impeccable track-record of being NPT adherent without being a nuclear proliferating country, it is not necessary to be NPT signatory, is a robust argument propounded by India which has been supported by NPT signatory Mexico. Leading disarmament votary Joel H. Garcia declares, coercing countries to sign NPT is not the brief of NSG at all as NSG objective is non-proliferation while that of NPT, disarmament. Few measures like separation of civil and military nuclear establishments, complete moratorium of nuclear tests and negotiating Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty have been suggested by India as a way out. India has been holding talks with China on the issue while procedural issues with other countries are under deliberations with the NSG Envoy. As soon as contours of consensus emerge, another Plenary NSG Session may be called before year-end to seal the historic landmark.  

 

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DALITA-S GRAVITATING TO BUDDHISM : CLIMAX OF IGNORANCE

After attaining enlightenment, Gautama Buddha  never uttered anything critical of Sanatana  Hinduism, Veda-s or even Manusmriti, for that matter. He was a highly enlightened reformer leading to social enrichment rather an iconoclast or a revolutionary. As a matter of fact, the sect now famous as Buddhism and ascribed to Gautama Buddha, was not even founded by the Tathagata. Gautama Buddha  had never even heard of Mahaayaana, Heenayaana…or anything even similar to that. He was one of the greatest exponents of Vedic  wisdom and sought to purge the contemporary society of social evils, superstitions, senseless violence, animal slaughter etc. He emphasized on re-visiting fundamental human values, also enshrined in Veda-s, as a measure of improvisation of quality of human existence and augmentation of objectivity, peace and bliss. He wished and proposed, we all precisely cognize real worth of human life, how to make it more beneficial unto others and how to realise that goal as effectively as possible. By elevating level of consciousness, he preached to improve one’s quality of existence.

As he was not an iconoclast, he did perceive profound merit hidden in the social order as prescribed in Manusmriti  by Maharsi Manu  for society of the era bygone. He did not find wisdom of Manusmriti  at the root of prevailing social evils hence, did not oppose that in his life-time. However, social orders as advised in Manusmriti  were later, subjected to manipulations, deliberate distortions, be an instrument of persecution of defenceless and those deprived of education under the torturous weight of human frailties as well as foreign invasions. All these collectively ravaged sanctity and sheen of the wisdom of Manusmriti, substituted Varna  with caste particularly under British domination. With this unfortunate substitution of Varna  by caste, the order of four Varna-s transformed into a potent instrument of persecution followed by degradation of Hindu  society. Had this not really been forced upon us in such a macabre manner, internal natural remedial mechanism of Hindu  society would have taken care of all distortions, anomalies in due course without allowing development of other anomalies as we behold today.

More under the influence of British domination than internal factors, notion that Manusmriti  was at the root of their mortification, assumed strong roots in gullible minds of Dalita-s. The resentment grew in geometric progression during subsequent decades and centuries nourished by forces hostile to Hinduism. Concurrently, same groups somehow succeeded in rooting the idea that Buddhism was a Varna– free / caste-free (though caste was implanted externally and it never existed in Hinduism) faith quite independent of Hinduism !! Thus, the stage was now set to aid and encourage Dalita-s, erstwhile Sudra-s, to reject Hinduism, embrace Buddhism, then turn hostile / abusive to Hinduism. To a great extent, anti-Hindu strategy of enemies of the nation had been effective.

If the sequence of socio-historical events is mapped properly, it turns out to be a theatre of absurdities –

Sudra-s persecuted under tormenting weight of Mughal invasions / British domination wherein Varna  system degraded into crass casteism, seeking liberation from oppressive Hinduism by conceding Buddhism in the belief of Buddhism being a caste free / independent faith which in reality, is the highest form of Sanatana Hinduism, leading to a strange scenario of almost all followers of Buddhism, now further degraded, desecrated by non-vegetarianism and other vices, also large segment of them tormented by Communists in Tibet / China, being dubbed Dalita-s / Sudra-s, once again !!

In spite of conversion to Buddhism, their lot has hardly improved and all Buddhists are still regarded as Dalita-s demanding reservation benefits. How has this ‘cosmic’ rigmarole helped Dalita  community ?

Have they really been emancipated from the shackles of one “-ism” from the other ?

Faith conversion / faith condemnation of Hinduism by proeslytising to Buddhism is never the right answer. Escapism never ferries one either on the right path or towards the right goal of emancipation. By resolutely remaining a Hindu  insider and resisting social oppressions diffidently, as declared once by Dr. Ambedkar, provides the panacea for all Dalita  related issues and bottlenecks.  

 

Published @ http://patriotsforum.org/dalits-gravitating-to-buddhism-climax-of-ignorance/#

 

 

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FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION : SOME OTHER PERSPECTIVES

Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India reads as under with respect to freedom of expression –

“(1) All citizens shall have the right –

  • to freedom of speech and expression,
  • to assemble peaceably and without arms,
  • to form associations or unions,
  • to move freely throughout the territory of India,
  • to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India and
  • To practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business”   

When Constitution of India was adopted in 1950, Freedom of Speech under the Article was the only freedom that was unfettered, free from any conditionalities. It is interesting to note that in India, freedom of expression was enshrined in the Constitution as a measure of fundamental right and not as a privilege while across the McMahan Line in the Middle Kingdom, it was adopted as a privilege and not at all as a fundamental right !! And these two countries were liberated from the colonial yoke almost simultaneously.

Within months of Freedom of Expression being enforced through the Constitution of India, one Romesh Thapar as editor of a south based paper Crossroads violated it beyond all confines of acceptance in 1951 and Prime Minister Nehru was constrained to impose undermentioned conditionalities thereby vide Article 19(2), withdrawing unfettered nature of the right to freedom of expression –

Sovereignty and integrity of nation,

Security,

Public order,

Decency and morality,

Contempt of court,

Defamation,

Incitement to an offence,

Friendly relations with foreign countries.

Thus, freedom of expression was disallowed to be exercised in a manner that could ravage any of those aforesaid restrictions.

UN came out with a Universal Declaration of Human Rights listing 30 rights wherein Article 19 referred to freedom of expression alone, “All human beings are equal in dignity and rights. They all endowed with REASON, CONSCIENCE and SPIRIT of BROTHERHOOD.” Similar expression was introduced to the Preamble of Constitution of India thus, “and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.” Thus we behold, Preamble of the Constitution of India differed from UNHR only for the word of FRATERNITY instead of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD.

Mind boggling debate on the right of freedom of expression arose sometime ago owing to a herd of ill-intentioned people worse than China / Pakistan, determined to destroy India by misusing every right and privilege guaranteed under the Constitution for bonafide citizens. Let us first have a glimpse of the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.

Section 121 of Indian Penal Code states –

Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India.—Whoever, wages war against the 75 [Government of India], or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or 76 [imprisonment for life] 77 [and shall also be liable to fine]. 78 [Illustration] 79 [***] A joins an insurrection against the 80 [Government of India].

Section 124A of Indian Penal Code states –

Offence – Sedition, Cognizable non-bailable to be tried in Court of Session,

Punishment – Imprisonment for life and fine, or imprisonment for 3 years and fine, or fine.

Though laws explicitly define the offence and punishment, invariably a group rises to claim, no punishment is called for and yet another group may claim, circumstantial evidence must clearly point at you a suspect !!! In the case of a Communist activist Kedarnath vs. State of 1962 in Begusarai wherein Congressmen and CBI Officers were called “Goondas”, Supreme Court intervened to release offenders by declaring, nothing against the State was stated at all. Similer situation brewed in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi wherein slogans like, “Bharata Tere Tukde Honge, Insha Allaha, Insha Allaha”, number of writers / artists came out to return their ill-gotten awards while the matter is again likely to be finally adjudicated by the apex court. Such developments raise an ominous question whether laws condone a particular ideology while punishing all others and whether laws should be ideology governed.

While every citizen in the country has a certain ideology and rightly so, can it be anybody’s vocation to stand up and ask the country, “Why should I respect you ? If I am expected to respect you, then how much ?” A country wherein respecting elders, parents, culture, nation is a cardinality, lobbing such outrageous questions publicly, that too by students diseased by a sense of anti-nationalism in the heart of a Central University within nation’s capital, is an offence too severe to digest and assimilate for a responsible citizenry. As a matter of fact, those who raise such questions, deserve to be destroyed sooner than later as no ideology, rights / privileges or prerogatives are larger than nation. They all rest within inviolable, sacrosanct boundaries of the nation. Boundaries of a nation being Laxman Rekha, limit all our rights, privileges, prerogatives, freedom, every other attribute and whosoever transgresses that, must be turned into ashes immediately after a due process of law.

We are almost a 70 year old liberated nation in the process of integrating a few last remaining vestiges of separatism in spite of having already traversed considerable portion of the path towards the goal of a strongly united, harmonized and coherent mighty national identity. Every effort we all must exert not to stretch and splay those limits of sustenance so much so that those are grievously weakened if not snapping altogether. Bharata is an ancient cultural nation and our ancestors had suffered immensely owing to lack of centralized governance, defence while struggling day and night for centuries to attain the freedom we so much cherish. We must strengthen all efforts for nation’s unity and homogeneity.

Our long time adversary China very aptly commented on us, “There is too much democracy in India.” And Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked, “Terrorists can have safe haven only in India.” Official emblem of UNESCO states, “Since war begins in mind of man, it is mind of man where defence of peace is to be constructed.” How ironical does it sound, freedom of expression has now become a burning issue in India already endowed with excessive freedom and suffering perpetually from excessive freedom of expression !! Wherein traitors / terrorists find safe haven !! Indeed, democracy in India has transgressed all limits of decency and tolerance where Government is unable to tackle / neutralize terrorists, legislature is a battleground for political pettifogging instead of debates / declamations of high standards and Judiciary is integrated to the crisis instead of being a panacea to that.

Fourth pillar of democracy i.e. media has been compounding the crisis by deporting themselves like proclaimed anti-nationals on payroll of hostile anti-India forces from abroad. Almost every media presentation is governed by foreign masters and TRP considerations. They are least bothered about nation’s interest or raising a nationalistic, pragmatic healthy public opinion across the country. This obstreperous media has converted representative democracy into ‘participative democracy’ by telecasting programmes like Exit Polls, known as Monkey Polls in west, to implant a certain voter’s conduct in their gullible minds on the eve of polls. And the vast majority is constrained to lap it up willingly or reluctantly. Paid media is yet another social menace out to disrupt right course of discussion in interest of the nation. In case of Nirbhaya episode, entire nation stood in one voice, perpetrators of the heinous crime must be immediately hanged while in case of venomous anti-national utterances of a bunch of Kashmiri traitors in JNU, diametrically opposite views were dished out and floated around by the media uninterruptedly. By demanding immediate capital punishment for Nirbhaya rapists, media merely ridiculed the country just as they did so in the case of JNU episode. Media argues in favour of those who provide shelter to anti-national traitors by proclaiming them innocent / misguided. Can there be anything more atrocious and ludicrous than this, ‘innocent’ shelter providers for accused / absconders ? When 9/11 happened in New York, entire USA was agitated and freedom of expression curtailed while in our country, it was business as usual in spite of the genocide of 26/11 in Mumbai with 160 precious high-profile lives extinguished. Media pompously pontificated the country, reporting acts of terrorism is a worthless exercise !!! When Pathankot was enacted, media shifted entire attention from 26/11 itself to ensure, it is duly forgotten. Even judgements are nefariously influenced by a howling media, even Police find themselves confused and directionless under intense media glare, such is the venomous / obnoxious effect of an ‘activist’ media over society.

What is the hidden messege in these ? That the law is ineffective in addition to utter lack of determination to enforce the law. Constitution of India may have very high ideals enshrined within yet the laws to convert them into reality are mostly toothless, deliberately by design. Right to Education was added to the Constitution in 2002 but the Act to implement that was passed only in 2010 !! Abolition of untouchability was constituted in 1950 but the law to enforce that, The Untouchability Act came into being in 1955. We have a plethora of similar instances wherein Constitutional provisions were taken so casually. 42nd Report of Law Commission of India pointed out glaring loopholes in the sedition law and vehemently recommended appropriate amendments. Section 66A of IT Act ordained, any offensive message to anyone through an electronic device is a cognizable offence. It was scrapped by Supreme Court and consequences on social media are now widely known. Print and electronic media are deriving maximum advantage out of absence of any credible regulation over social media. Police Station was burnt down in Malda and hardly any action was initiated at all. A cop in uniform may be thrashed on road, a woman constable may be molested in public by ruffians yet Governments have no will to act. They prefer to remain indifferent / nonchalant passers by !! It makes an interesting scenario, when law is there, there is no will to act. Sometimes, when there is a will to act, there is no law at all. Dadri episode turned out to be yet another dimension to the crisis, reprehensible dimension of mob justice. In absence of an appropriate law or in absence of will to act, mob-justice moves in to fill up the judicial vacuum thus created.

Section 153A of IPC is meant to tackle social disharmony punishable with 3 year imprisonment and Section 295 of IPC tackles defiling place of worship. These two well-defined laws, judiciary, media, Govt. are all there, holding their respective bastians yet all sorts of offences are intermittently being committed without provoking law enforcement machinery. Degradation of judicial machinery continues unabated in such situations leading to unexpected / unforeseen dimensions. Herein, law itself is degraded to become casteist. When member of a specific caste is tormented or killed, casteist media may not report at all leave alone high-decible brouhaha. On the same lines, law has become religion biased and gender biased too. In a nutshell, law has become an ass !! And when a few well-meaning ‘asses’ declare, law shall take it’s own course, it merely invites a derisive laughter all around !! Law that cannot assure equality for all and equality before itself, is a farce leading to anarchy. Statue of Justice is always black blindfolded only to ensure, law is equal for all and equally accessible to all. However, the Statue of Justice appears to be completely blinded to all sordid happenings going on around her to become a dubious Statue of Anarchy.

Rudiger Ahrend of London School of Economics investigated inter-relationship among corruption, human capital and freedom of media in 130 countries. He convincingly proved, lower level of media freedom is directly associated with higher level of corruption throughout the world. Interesting finding of the research is that mere rise in education levels does not lead to reduction in corruption. Another realtime benefit of media freedom as established by Timothy Bessly and Robin Burgess is that responsiveness of Government rises manifold during natural or economic calamities particularly agrarian. They discovered that 1% increase in newspaper circulation is associated with 2.4% increase in food distribution and 5.5% rise in calamity relief disbursement. Well-meaning, well-performing Governments are re-elected by their electorate where media is free with higher newspaper circulation. With media freedom exerting such a heavy role in governance of the country, can it be anybody’s business to allow them unmitigated freedom, rather runaway freedom to act, speak the way they wish to irrespective of catastrophic consequences on national polity ?   

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency for 21 months in 1975 under Article 352, suspended fundamental rights / freedom of expression, bullied Judiciary into subservience and unleashed a wave of inhuman tortures excruciatingly reminding oppressive British Raj. When Bofor’s scandal surfaced, her son Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi did his best to enact obnoxious Defamation Bill to curb “criminal imputation” and “scurrilous writing”. Media rose to the occasion, went on nationwide strike and forced Rajiv Gandhi to trash the Bill. However, the simpleton Bofor’s PM brazenly brought in Post Office Amendment Bill aimed to censor / intercept any mail. This time President Zail Singh outrightly rejected the Bill and the Prime Minister had to eat a humble pie.

We all must rise above petty politics and speak in one voice, law should remain one for all. Law is mandated to protect every person and State, should never be allowed to become a puppet in hands of politicians / bureaucrats / industrialists. Law that discriminates is not a law at all as discriminatory law is an oxymoron. Law must be free so as to be empower all others to function without fear or favour. We are largest democracy in the world with unity in plurality and our values can be defended only through an active, non-discriminative law enforcement mechanism. Fraternity ensures harmony and peace while a fearless, well-authored law ensures, national fraternity. And if we, responsible citizens of India fail to be vigilant, we shall be inviting consequences amounting to catastrophes upon ourselves.

Few words from a famous English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge would certainly provide enough nutrients for contemplation to all of us, “I have seen great intolerance shown in support of tolerance.” 

 

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GST : HISTORIC LEGISLATION

One huge nation comprising of 29 States with just one tax rate is not only Constitutionally a romantic idea but also very much practical and attainable unlike another romantic idea of Communism that turned out to be a historic ideological disaster. Enactment of GST across the nation is a historic milestone in nation’s history so much so that it almost equals in significance adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly way back in 1947 with Dr. Rajendra Prasad in Chair steering the House. Central Government headed by Prime Minister Modi deserves a thousand plaudits for orchestrating the historic landmark epaulette to India’s Constitution with an amazing finesse.

In one stroke, several financial ills afflicting the nation since 1947 viz. taxes on taxes, variations in taxes from state to state in the same country, duplication / triplication of taxes have gone into history. Not only that, massive corruption, discretionary powers of interpretation of laws, agony of voluminous paper-work, bureaucratic harassment in the name of annual assessment etc. too, are now poised to become relics of the Command-Control economy imposed upon the coutry by the first Prime Minister. States shall no more enjoy unmitigated liberty to impose taxes here and there at their whims and fancies in the name of State autonomy or federalism as they would be governed by one Parliamentary Act alone. Another salient feature of the law is constitution of GST Council comprising of members drawn from States and Centre. The Council would act as a tribunal thrashing out most of the contentious issues at the Council level itself. That significantly reduces burden of litigation involving tax disputes on an already overburdened Judiciary.

The Act transforms entire nation into one market wherein goods can be despatched from anywhere to anywhere, billed and sold anywhere at a uniform price without being tormented by additional tax worries. It shall generate more jobs with rise in productivity as well as facilitate raising more warehouses across the country reducing wastage. It shall also mitigate air pollution caused by thousands of stranded commercial carriers at Octroi Nakas across the country. Thus, GST Bill is meant to improve environment by inceasing Carbon credits too. It goes a long way in boosting consumption, nurture entrepreneurial enterprises, rise in services to raise a vast chunk of population above poverty line. For employment generation, productivity must improve and GST is a powerful tool to boost productivity. GST is a potent boon for those first generation entrepreneurs who possess high level of morale with grit and determination to succeed as their only seed capital. The nationally unifying taxation law is a great socio-economic equalizer and a true measure to democratize wealth substituting ‘trickle down effect’ or ‘Rob Peter to Pay Paul’ of the much maligned Nehruvian era with so-called ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’, now poised to be substituted by ‘NaMo Rate of Growth’.

As the GST law is destined to be administered through a digital GST Network alone, Govt. shall be in the know of each and every financial transaction occurring in the country. The payment system shall root out indirect tax evasion, generate enormous data for analysis and formulating better economic plans.

As every historic move spontaneously creates a few ‘Prophets of Doom’, GST too, is no exception. There are experts critical of two tier structure of GST who have overlooked the fact, narrowing down from some 64 types of taxes amounting upto 35% on invoice value in the country to a mere two upto 18%, itself is an enormous achievement. With greater efficiency, benefits and economic integration among States, it may well pave the way to just one GST in future as they have been emphasizing so far. Opposition repeatedly stressed upon one GST in several countries which even they have not been able to achieve in mere one stroke. With precious experience gained when the current Constitution’s 122nd Amendment Bill pertaining to GST is enforced and critiques turning vociferous supporters and facilitators, the situation may very well evolve to readily assimilate One Tier, One GST in the country in years to come.   

It is an highly commendable transformative achievement registered by Modi Government.

 

GST : ONE NATION, ONE TAX (Original Title – GST : HISTORIC LEGISLATION

Authored by Ramakant Tiwari

Published by Organiser, Vol.68, No. 8, Bhadrapada Krishna 3, Yugabda 5118 (August 21, 2016)

http://organiser.org//Encyc/2016/8/16/GST—One-Nation,-One-Tax.aspx

 

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