Saturday, April 16, 2011

Centre hides looters

15/04/2011 Centre hides looters behind rules
New Delhi: The Centre on Friday declined before the Supreme Court to make public names of the people who have stashed black money in foreign banks, saying it is not possible to disclose information received from foreign governments under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAT).
The Centre, however, agreed to reveal the names of six persons who had deposited money with the Liechtenstein Bank in Germany and who are being prosecuted by the government authorities.
Appearing before a bench headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said that the information received by the Centre from foreign banks and foreign governments cannot be disclosed as it is not allowed under DTAA.
He also informed the court that the government has no problem in making names public once judicial proceedings are initiated against them for tax evasion.
"We have launched prosecution against some persons and there is no difficulty in disclosing their names. But as far as others are concerned their names cannot be disclosed until the prosecution begins," he said.
The Court, however, was not satisfied and asked the government to explain on the next date of hearing as to which law bars it from making such information public.
The court was hearing a petition filed by noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani seeking direction to the government to bring back black money stashed by Indian citizens in the foreign banks which, he said, amounted to around $1 trillion.
Besides Jethmalani, five others, including former Punjab DGP K P S Gill and former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap who are petitioners, have alleged that the government was not taking action to bring the back black money stashed in foreign banks.
NGO People's Political Front and former top cop J F Riberio are also among the petitioners.
The apex court had earlier expressed displeasure over the government's reluctance in disclosing the names of Indians having black money in foreign banks.
"What is the difficulty in disclosing the information," the bench had asked, when Mr Subramanium told the bench that the government has got the details but did not want to reveal it.
The court's remarks had came after the Government contended that it has got the information from the German government pertaining to the bank accounts of Indian citizens in Liechtenstein Bank there. Source: PTI
Centre hides looters behind rules
Related Reading
ED to question Puducherry LG, UP babu over Hasan Ali links
Do not protect corrupt judges: CJI to politicians

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why Jan Lokpal Bill? Chief Ministers families running amuck

Big rewards for companies that hired Ashok Gehlot's son
Sudhi Ranjan Sen, Updated: April 15, 2011 01:27 IST
New Delhi: In never-seen-before numbers and volume, India spent the early part of April marching on its streets, rallying behind Gandhian Anna Hazare, demanding that a new law be introduced to check corruption.

The outpouring of public anger came after a maze of scams tumbled out of governmental files. In each case, there was careful collusion between politicians, bureaucrats and other practitioners of power. The most serious of these swindles - the spectrum scam which lodged former Telecom Minister A Raja in jail - has been declared India's largest-ever scam.

What Anna Hazare captured was the mood of a country that is keen to see zero tolerance of corruption and of politicians abusing their privileges.

Documents accessed by NDTV now suggest that in the Congress government in Rajasthan, there was a clear conflict of interest in multi-crore rupee contracts being awarded to companies which employed Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot's son.
Read more at: Big rewards for companies that hired Ashok Gehlot's son
Vigiliantism: Citizens welcome Political Parties controlling Criminals Vandalising Footpaths
MNS attacks snack vendors after one caught peeing in the serving vessel

Tamilnadu- a world leader of freebies and Cash for Vote syndrome- A true banana state- Full Fledged Fake Democracy Model
Giving a thumbs up to the Election Commisison for holding the elections in a commendable manner, former chief electoral officer of Tamil Nadu Naresh Gupta told IANS: “Cash for votes is a major problem in three southern states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.” According to him, the one sure way to stop the cash-for-votes is the postponement of elections in constituencies where the issue is serious.
“Elections could be postponed even twice or thrice and the political parties will understand the cash payment will not work,” Gupta said.
According to officials, the unaccounted cash seized will be deposited with the district treasury and the claimants can recover this after accounting for the cash.
“We have just crossed the half-way mark,” Praveen Kumar said, citing the May 13 counting of votes.
More at : 78 percent polling in Tamil Nadu
Comments: Commendable work done by Election Commission in spite of heavy odds perpetuated by ingrained corruption at all levels- no graffati- no cut outs- no party flags- no posters- no noise pollution. Citizens only wish there is permanent elections in Tamilnadu for citizen safety! Kudos to the Election Commission and Compliments.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pennies from heaven by Karan Thapar

Pennies from heaven by Karan Thapar, Hindustan Times
April 09, 2011 First Published: 22:47 IST(9/4/2011)
I've done a little test to see how right or wrong my views can be, and I'm delighted to tell you that, at least in this one instance, I'm almost spot on. I sent some 50 different people — journalists, politicians, authors, ambassadors, civil servants, doctors, elderly aunts, etc — an sms outlining my response to the way state governments have competed with each other to shower gifts on our World Cup winning cricketers. To my pleasant surprise, almost everyone responded readily, if not also immediately. So, now, I'm pretty confident I know how most people think!
The sms I sent read: "What do you make of this competition to give money or land or houses to the team? I find it questionable if not distasteful. What's your view?"
Three things stand out about the responses I received. First, practically everyone replied. This has rarely happened before. So, clearly, this is a subject that struck a universal chord. Second, not one person defended this gratuitous money-giving. Third, several responded with passion, even anger. I don't recall any replies that suggested mild or lukewarm concurrence.
Let me, therefore, draw a few conclusions. No doubt we all want to acknowledge, applaud and, even, reward our World Cup winning cricketers but doling out cash, land or houses is both morally wrong and demeaning. One of my respondents, not inaptly, compared the outpouring of crores to the way maharajas used to throw gold coins at courtesans. By that token cricketers are today's nautch girls! Others pointed out, again quite justifiably, that this suggests the team was only playing for money.
The second conclusion is possibly more damning. This behaviour betrays our own twisted set of values. Is money the only way of saying thank you? Is it the most meaningful way of doing so? Our chief ministers should think carefully about this. Their gifts reflect their thinking.
The third conclusion is actually a question: whose money did they gift away? Not their own but the tax payers. Yet in a country where hundreds of millions live in miserable poverty — even if you don't want to accept Arjun Sengupta's figure of 77% living on Rs 20 a day or less, you can't dispute this — should we be giving crores to those who already have several, in some cases hundreds? Is that responsible government? And is this how the aam aadmi is best served?
I wish just one of our cricketers had politely declined the cash or, better still, announced he would donate it to charity. Even if the new players could not be expected to do so, what about Sachin or Dhoni or Yuvraj? They don't need this largesse but the respect they would have earned from a polite refusal to accept would have catapulted them to moral stardom. Instead, we've ensured they remain only cricket heroes.
Let me, however, end with a thought that was not part of my sms. If the team deserves Rs 1 crore each from the BCCI why should their coach, Gary Kirsten, without whom they all acknowledge they would not have won, get less?
I can think of sound arguments for giving him more. But that did not happen. The only case for giving him half what his team got is either he wasn't very good — but the team dispute that — or the BCCI doesn't believe in generosity to people who aren't Indian.
Once again, that raises a whole set of disturbing questions. But where do we get the answers?
The views expressed by the author are personal.
Pennies from heaven by Karan Thapar
Comment: Cricket has become a money spinner for Politicians- Cricketeers are their tools- BCCI, ICC and ICL are all suckers who steal the sweat of the tax payers!

Radia drops Pawar- 2G Spectrum Bomb

Radia links Pawar to DB Realty, minister rubbishes reports
14 Apr 2011, 1507 hrs IST, AGENCIES
A fresh controversy brewed today (April 14) after corporate lobbyist Niira Radia reportedly linked Union minister Sharad Pawar to 2G scam-tainted DB Realty firm but the senior leader trashed her claim. Pawar was reacting to media reports which had quoted Radia as telling the CBI that he may be controlling DB Realty and may have pursued the issue of spectrum and license for Swan Telecom with former Telecom Minister A Raja.

Her statement was part of the CBI charge sheet but she herself made it clear that it was the perception in Mumbai that she was talking about and she had no documentary proof to back it. Pawar said, "This is absolutely a lie and foolish statement. I have no financial interest in this company. DB Realty and that telecom company I have no relations at all. I have no financial, not one 'naya paisa' interest in that company".

He said he knew DB Realty's Vinod Goenka's father for the last 35 years and he had set up a milk processing unit in Baramati about 20 years back. "We, all farmers, are helping him in getting good quality milk. We have a relationship. There are no two opinions about that but we have no involvement or association with the telecom company," he said.

Pointing out that Radia had herself stated that she had no proof to back the charge, Pawar said he had no talk with the corporate lobbyist or anyone else with regard to grant of licence for spectrum use. "I am looking after agriculture of the country, not telecom," he said.
Radia links Pawar to DB Realty, minister rubbishes reports
Comment: Pawar has fingers dipped in POWER- agriculture his hobby but his focus is on ICC- where his heart is!

Why Ex Servicemen are shortchanged?

Ex-servicemen in another combat
Sharan Poovanna Express News Service First Published : 12 Apr 2011 03:01:01 AM
BANGALORE: Defence personnel dedicate themselves to the country. Day and night, they guard the borders and save the people from enemies. They are recognised by the government and the society for their great contribution to the country with awards and medals.
However, once they retire, they face many problems. Undeterred, these retired officials continue to fight like they did on the battlefield. They have, so far, received nothing more than empty assurances.
"We have been fighting for One Rank One Pension," stated Wing Commander (Retd) Ashok Gupta. Terming the decision of the government to deny them their right as the "funniest thing in the world", he said the entire ex servicemen fraternity had voiced its concerns but the government continued to ignore them.
One Rank One Pension
Explaining the concept, he said a Colonel-rank officer in the army today gets more pension than that of a Major General who retired 15-20 years ago.
"We in the army follow hierarchy, but if a junior ranked official gets more pension, then what is the use of a higher rank?" he questioned.
Adding to this, Lt Col Satwant Singh, Secretary of the Delhi based Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA), expressed his displeasure and said this trend was funny at best and preposterous at worst.
Informing that retired officers from across the nation have even surrendered their gallantry medals, he said: "Defence personnel have put their lives on the line to earn those medals, which acknowledge and appreciate their work. But if the same people are willing to give away this, it only shows how pained they feel about being treated this way."
Grant of Rank Pay
On June 10, 2010, Major General Mrinal Suman wrote: "The growing adversarial relationship between the government and ex servicemen is a matter of grave concern. For the past few years, an impression is gaining ground that the government is becoming increasingly intolerant and biased against ex servicemen and is treating them unfairly. The military is an instrument of the government. How can a government let itself be seen as an adversary of its own constituent?" He added: "They do not seek favour or pity but ask for compassion, understanding and equity. They want their government to acknowledge the severity of their service conditions and their contribution to nation safeguarding." Lt Col Satwant Singh stated that the fourth Pay Commission had granted Rank Pay in addition to basic pay for officers up to the rank of Brigadier. However, he added, while fixing pay in the integrated scale, an amount equal to the Rank Pay was deceitfully deducted by the bureaucrats from the total dues, thereby causing heavy financial loss to the officers.
"It was an act of betrayal of the trust of the armed forces. No other country in the world is known to have conspired and connived so blatantly to deprive its own soldiers of their rightful dues," Major General Suman added.
Systematically deprived
Lt Col Savant compared an army man's retirement plan with a civilian's. He said civilians can work until their retirement age and hence can avail the full pension. "A Lt Colonel and Colonel retire at 54, Brigadier at 56, Major General at 58 and so on", he said and added: "That's the system which forces them to retire and hence, they would not be able to get the full pension."
He said Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and other such services had the provision of promotions that would guarantee them a minimum post of secretary in their service.
"It takes an officer more than 33 years of service to become a Major General in the Army, which is equivalent to that of Joint Secretary cadre. But any IAS officer will reach a minimum of secretary cadre within 1622 years of service," he said and added that only five per cent of officers in the Army would reach this position as compared with their civilian counterparts.
Disability pension
"We are not even given disability pension on the same lines as the civilian services," Lt Col Savant added.
Even the Supreme Court has directed the government to ensure that the same services are given to defence personnel but it is yet to be implemented by the government.
"There are over 4,000 cases pending in the Armed Forces Tribunal," he said and added that ex-servicemen were still being made to run from pillar to post to claim their rights.
Big steps
These brave soldiers were given some respite when Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrashekar gave a presentation on 'One Rank One Pension' to the Petitions Committee of the Parliament. The Petition Committee will now meet to discuss the petition and issue advertisements in leading newspapers to seek comments and suggestions from the public. The Committee will then consider all letters and suggestions and take the matter for consideration.
Ex-servicemen in another combat
Fake democracy at work. Electoral reforms?
Cash-for-votes in Tamil Nadu polls

Rally behind Anna Hazare to transform India

Anna Hazare a Patriot

His tryst with the army came when many Indian soldiers became martyrs in the Indo-China War of 1962 and the Government of India had appealed to young Indians to join the Indian army. Being passionate about patriotism, he promptly responded to the appeal and joined the Indian Army in 1963. During his 15-year tenure as a soldier, he was posted to several states like Sikkim, Bhutan, J&K, Assam, Mizoram, Leh and Ladakh and braved challenging environments.
In the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Hazare was posted at the Khemkaran border. On Nov 12, 1965, Pakistan launched air attacks on Indian positions and all of Hazare’s comrades became martyrs, It was a close shave for Hazare as one bullet had passed by his head. Hazare believes this was the turning point of his life as it meant he had a purpose to life. Anna was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. It was at that particular moment that Hazare took an oath to dedicate his life in the service of humanity, at the age of 26. That’s the reason why he pledged to be a bachelor.
By then he had completed only three years in the army and so would not be eligible for the pension scheme. In order to be self-sufficient, he continued to be in the army for 12 more years. After that, he opted for voluntary retirement and returned to his native place in Ralegan Siddhi, in the Parner tehsil of Ahmednagar district.
Here's a video of how he has transformed his village from a barren almost lifeless wilderness into a lush green township with abundant water, and bio gas. The village's biggest accomplishment is in non-conventional energy. For example, all the village streets are lit by solar lights. Each light has a separate solar panel.
Here's a must-see video on how he did it. Now don't you wish our 'worthy' politicians had even 1% of the dedication shown by Anna? If they had, rural India would have been completely transformed. We could then have confidently said, India IS shining!
There's hope yet! We will overcome!
Brig (Dr) C P Joshi


As received.
Regards...............K K Punchhi
These are very serious charges to make, have been in the public domain for a while and have not been rebutted/ challenged! Makes you wonder, doesn't it ? Listen to the explosive statement by Vishwabandhu Gupta, erstwhile income tax commissioner.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Benami Transanctions grips Adarsh Scam

More benami instances evident in Adarsh scam, CBI tells HC
Express News Service Posted: Tue Apr 12 2011, 03:27 hrs Mumbai
Refusing to defreeze the bank accounts of P V Deshmukh, former deputy secretary accused in the Adarsh Society scam, the CBI informed the Bombay High Court that like in case of Congress leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, instances of benami transactions were evident in this case.
Deshmukh and his family’s five bank accounts in Vijaya Bank and Bank of Maharashtra and two lockers were attached by the CBI after it registered a case on January 29 in the scam. The CBI stated in his affidavit that Rs 22.50 lakh and “incriminating documents” were recovered from Deshmukh’s premises in Adarsh that were raided on February 2. “The cash recovered is accounted for. Some of it belongs to my son Harshvardhan and his wife Veera,” Deshmukh’s petition stated.
The CBI’s affidavit, however, stated that the matter regarding the recovery of cash has been taken up with the I-T authorities for contemplating necessary action under the I-T Act, 1962.
Citing the example of Gidwani, whose three flats in Adarsh Society, were found to be benami in the course of the investigations, Additional Superintendent of Police, CBI, Ravindra Singh stated in his affidavit, “More instances of benami like Gidwani are evident which need to be investigated under the Benami Transactions (Prevention) Act.” He stated that the operation of the disputed bank accounts has been stopped “to verify the benami transactions purportedly made by the accused”.
The affidavit submitted to the court by CBI counsel D N Salvi also stated, “Investigation of the case is at a crucial stage and the relevant documents are yet to be received from various banks, which will require extensive scrutiny to ascertain source of funds along with benami transactions, if any.” Stating that Deshmukh had filed the petition with a malafide intent of subverting the investigations, the CBI urged the court to dismiss his plea.
Justice P V Hardas and Justice M N Gilani adjourned the case for further hearing when the court resumes after summer vacation in June.
More benami instances evident in Adarsh scam, CBI tells HC
Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill- relevance to urgency to act
Murky World Of Public Servants
Comments By: Lewis Sooting | 12-Apr-2011
The Adarsh Society Housing scam that gripped the country some months back, refuses to die down with the Mumbai High Court monitoring and directing the investigators at every stage ensuring escape routes are sealed. Benami transactions are not something new in this corruption-ridden country and are known to proliferate since the class of politicians who fought for India's independence were epitaphed into the history books. The Govt has the moral responsibility after wilting to Anna Hazare's demands to pass toughened Bills against corruption and direct all the investigative agencies under their command to carry out mass raids and uncover the benami ownerships of all political, bureaucrats, PSUs directorship and every other big name govt. servant in the civil services who have property in their kith & kins names. A Guinness record will be achieved when the country is informed of the how rich our public servants truly have become since corruption became the major life-line of the nation.
Related Reading
Radia tapes get a new, hawala twist

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who is Anna Hazare?

1. Who is Anna Hazare ?
An ex-army man. Fought 1965 Indo-Pak War.
2. What's so special about him?
He built a village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra.
3. So what?
This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills. In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest villages in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.
4. Ok...?
This guy, Anna Hazare was awarded Padma Bhushan and is a known figure for his social activities.
5. Really, what is he fighting for?
He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.
6. How can that be possible?
He is advocating for a Bill, The Lok Pal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman Bill), that will form an autonomous authority who will make politicians (ministers), bureaucrats (IAS/IPS) accountable for their deeds.
7. It's an entirely new thing right...?
In 1972, the bill was proposed by then Law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan. Since then it has been neglected by the politicians and some are trying to change the bill to suit their theft (corruption).
8. Oh.. He is going on hunger strike for the whole thing of passing a bill..! How can that be possible in such a short span of time?
The first thing he is asking for is: the government should come forward and announce that the bill is going to be passed. Next, they make a joint committee to DRAFT the LOK PAL BILL. 50% government participation and 50% public participation. Because you cant trust the government entirely for making such a bill which does not suit them.
9. Fine, what will happen when this bill is passed?
A Lok Pal will be appointed at the centre. He will have an autonomous charge, say like the Election Commission of India. In each and every state, Lokayukta will be appointed. The job is to bring all alleged parties to trial in case of corruptions within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty will be punished. Not like, Bofors scam or Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, that has been going for last 25 years without any result.
10. Is he alone? Who else is there in the fight with Anna Hazare?
Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, Social Activist Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and many more. Prominent personalities like Aamir Khan is supporting his cause.
11. Ok, got it. What can I do ?
At least we can spread this message
12. How ?
Putting status message, links, video, changing profile pictures. At least we can support Anna Hazare and the cause for uprooting corruption from India. At least we can hope that his Hunger Strike does not go in vain. At least we can pray for his good health.

An Ex-servicemen rally was held on Sunday, 10 April 2011 at Freedom Park, Bangalore, expressing solidarity and support to Mahatma Anna Hazare in his crusade against corruption. The rally led by senior Veterans, viz. Lt Gen VJ Sundaram (senior scientist DRDO), Air Vice Marshal BK Murali (an Aeronautical Engineer) and Brig DS Sandhu (a dashing Cdr of an Armd Bde, while in service) was attended by a large gathering of Ex-Servicemen of the Army, Navy & Air Force and Defence Family Pensioners.
Veteran Gen VJ Sundaram stated that the corner stone of a Soldier’s life is Devotion, Dedication & Sacrifice; and so also, an Ex-Servicemen’s life is rooted in Thyaag, Balidaan & Kurbaani, as exemplified by Mahatma Anna Hazare, a Sepoy Driver of the Army Service Corps (ASC) during the 1965 War with Pakistan.
Veteran Air Vice Marshal BK Murali spoke about Mahatma Anna Hazare’s life as a shining example of patriotism & social service of the highest order; and, his single minded devotion to the cause of eradication of Corruption deserves total support by all citizens, across all walks of society.
Veteran Brig DS Sandhu, said that corruption was eating into the vitals of the Nation and it was the duty of all citizens to join hands to combat corruption on war footing.
Veterans Sub Maj Balachandran, Sgt Subhash Balekai, Naik Ramesh & Naik Reddy spoke of the need for probity in public life and said that drafting of a comprehensive Jan Lokpal Bill is the need of the hour.
Report by:
Veteran Colonel SS Rajan
Convenor, Karnataka Ex-Servicemen Movement
Bangalore, 10 April 2011

Service to the Veterans in Remote Regions of Garhwal

Our second trip to the last village en route to ROOPKUND to meet the ESM, widows & dependents. It may be of some general interest for the pensioner fraternity. You may consider accepting it for your widely read Blog.
Our next trip will be to Mandoli-Wan, another last village on the Aali - Beduni Bugyal Axis.
In these remote areas they are totally illiterate, ignorant & neglected. So, our interaction is highly valuable.
The detailed report click here
The slideshow of photos are as above with caption titles which are in the report.
Big RS Rawat (Retd)

Readers Responses
Dear Rajender Rawat and like -minded Veteran Leaders,
Thanks for a fascinating account- what an awesome adventure and such an inspiring story of your 'service to the veterans' of a remote region. My humble compliments and admiration. May God bless you to undertake many more such 'missions'. The photographs are amazing.
Some thoughts below to ponder over- for Management and Members:-
  • Ar'nt such contributions as rewarding as a unifocal struggle for OROP and will such deprivations/ injustices vanish when 'that' is sanctioned - failure is and will remain in the implementation System?
  • Wonder how many more such deprived Veterans, widows/dependants?
  • Should IESM energies/objectives, therefore, be more 'inclusively' re-cast and re-directed in pursuing a comprehensive concept of JUSTICE for the Veterans?
    The priority area being resolving systemic flaws and synergising with allied agencies such as Regtl networks/RSB/ZSB etc, rather than setting up stand-alone IESM 'helplines'.
    My congrats once again to Brig Rawat and his Team.
    Yoginder Sharma
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

    Thanks very much sir for this very interesting update. We need more such efforts, but preferably as part of the system. The challenge is how to get updated information and action to reach ESM at grassroots level/ remote areas. Though organizationally we may have a process for the above, but obviously it is not working. May need to be taken up as agenda item for next meeting.
    Cdr NA Mohan (Retd)

    k\Kudos to the team. We need more Rawats to keep the service and spirit of ESMS going
    Brig SK Mehta, AVSM

    Kudos to the initiative of Brig Rawat. I am sure that it will motivate others.
    Maj BBL Narang (Retd)

    IESM Advocacy Opportunity
    One of our primary goals is to provide a voice for Ex Servicemen and their families. We can accomplish this by working with government to promote forward- looking policy, organizing calls-to-action, and keeping our brethren informed about changes in laws and regulations. We need to create, advocate, and lobby for legislation that will support ESM and their families long into the future. OROP is not the only issue- We should continue to focus our legislative and government efforts in areas that positively impact an ESM's quality of life, including policy and legislative improvements to provide high-quality healthcare (ECHS), age- appropriate rehabilitation options, and community- based and peer- supported care specifically for the war wounded- we all must support Gen Vijay Oberoi in his selfless service to the Physically Challenged Veterans. Lt Gen YN Sharma's call to quote "The priority area being resolving systemic flaws and synergising with allied agencies such as Regtl networks/RSB/ZSB etc, rather than setting up stand-alone IESM 'helplines'." is of paramount importance and most appropriate.
  • Monday, April 11, 2011

    Jan Lokpal first step to revive and redeem Democracy

    Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill
    Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. It can also encompass social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. The term comes from the Greek: δημοκρατία – (dēmokratía) "rule of the people", which was coined from δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος (Kratos) "power", in the middle of the 5th- 4th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC. Sadly our Indian Political System stems from bygone Royalty and Dynastic Rulers. The present system is an apology and insult to Democracy- The Constitution is not worth the piece paper on which it is written- the founders have not visualised that Criminals can artfully run a fake Democracy and blind the citizens and attempt to make them criminals!

    We salute Anna Hazare who is reviving Democracy and awakening the National Conscience. This is the defining moment in India's history where 1.2 billion people and the poor are crying out for Freedom from Corruption. Power emanates from Citizens!

    Jawaharlal Nehru had made the freedom speech, Tryst with Destiny to the Indian Constituent Assembly at the stroke of midnight on 15th August, 1947 little did he know that the India they had claimed back from the British rule would again be captured and ruled this time, though by its own citizens. Perhaps it was his prescient nature or good understanding of the human psyche that failed Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar to visualize Political Criminals could thwart Democracy and usurp power for corrupt purposes. To that extent there is a permanent deficiency in the Constitution- and Politicians fear to revisit or amend it for fear that their criminal activities will seal their fate!

    Our democracy is replete with instances where the conduct has been dictated by brute state power, not by its own power of reasoning. Today, after a traumatic transition to democracy it is the same vain lot that runs the affairs of the state. So there is hardly any difference in the style of governance or in its attitude.

    We take pride in having an elected government but it is the same known corrupt people the tax evaders, the bank defaulters, the smugglers and the criminals who are foisted upon an illiterate, poor electorate unable to make an informed political choice. The elections under prevailing system throw up not necessarily the best, the noblest or the fittest but the scum of the society (cash for votes syndrome), because they are manipulative enough to grab power. It is thus axiomatic that elections alone, even if they are fair and impartial, do not make political democracy.

    Caste your Vote- Exercise your Right- End Corruption

    The MRGG Appeal to the Indian Voter made 15 years ago might have been one of the lesser molecules in the catalyst that brought down the government. Even at that time corruption had reached unbelievable heights in the Congress-led government. The Appeal was translated into Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and several other regional languages. What is more, civil servants, including the Commissioner of a Division not far from Delhi had 10,000 copies of the Appeal printed and distributed. May be it should again be distributed in the current assembly elections and the elections to follow. If affirmative, please disseminate.
    vinod saighal
    Maj Gen Vinod Saighal, Convenor Movement for Restoration of Good Government & Trustee National Network for India
    NDTV: Pranab and Advani promise Lokpal Bill
    Photo slideshow of Anna Hazare's Crusade to crush cozy comfort of corruption

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Equating the civil service with military service is odious, repugnant and grossly misleading

    Letter to PM by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (Retd ), PVSM, AVSM
    You may kindly recall that I met you as part of an ex-servicemen delegation in Punjab Raj Bhawan during your earlier visit to Chandigarh. You were most gracious and gave me a patient hearing. I brought to your kind notice the unfair hand dealt to ex-servicemen by the Sixth Pay Commission. In specific I mentioned the case of Maj-Gens who had been given pension which was less than that granted to brigadiers. You were quite surprised at this information and told us that this was not known to you.
    I further mentioned that these Maj-Gens, after serving the country for nearly four decades looked forward to a peaceful retired life, instead the Sixth Pay Commission drove them to the courts and after doing the rounds of Punjab and Haryana High Court for three long years, they obtained a just dispensation. However Ministry of Defence had gone in appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict. This step by the Government ( MoD ) conveyed to us the impression that Maj-Gens should continue to get pension less than what is rightly due to them. I requested you to have this step by the MoD looked into and the appeal before the Supreme Court withdrawn. You very kindly agreed to have the case examined. A brief on the subject was handed over to your staff. It is possible that back in Delhi, the case was never brought to your notice by the PMO staff. In the meantime the Supreme Court turned down the MoD’s plea and yet again MoD put in a review petition.
    It later transpired that the MoD had also made Army Headquarters party in the appeal before the Supreme Court. This has created serious misunderstanding and misgivings amongst the veterans as to the attitude of military authorities toward the veterans. Since there is great bonding between the serving and retired in the defence services, unlike in any other service, such a development does not augur well for the overall cohesiveness and mutual trust within the defence services.
    Government has given some relief (not One Rank One Pension (OROP)- as being claimed by some self appointed government spokespersons) to soldiers, NCOs and JCOs, obviously in an attempt to draw them out of the on going all India ex-servicemen’s peaceful protests. Therefore, we have a situation where the top-most echelon of the army is on OROP and lowers ranks have been given certain amount of financial relief, whereas the rest of the officer cadre has simply been left out. While the officer cadre welcomes, whatever financial relief is offered to soldiers, NCOs and JCOs, such a policy of divide and rule being practiced by the government strikes at the very roots of military’s cohesiveness, effectiveness as a fighting force and can have disastrous consequences for national security.
    Government has, from time to time, followed policies which tend to lower morale of officers and soldiers. More recently, MoD has contested every single order passed by the high courts in favour of the veterans. This stance of the MoD, of ignoring fair and just demands of veterans in the most cavalier manner will surely have an adverse effect on those presently serving in the military. After all those in uniform to-day are the veterans of tomorrow.
    Government has been falling short of its promises to the veterans, ignoring even the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee of Defence for grant of OROP, on the mischievous, ill founded and specious argument that if OROP is given to ex-servicemen, other government servants will demand the same. The rationale for the demand for OROP is early retirement (where nearly 80 percent retire at the age of 35-37 years and another 15-16 percent between the ages of 42 and 58 years,) and the promotions or career advancement is extremely limited (as a functional imperative) vis-à-vis their counter parts in the civil services. So any attempt at equating the civil service with military service is odious, repugnant and grossly misleading.
    We request you to kindly do find time and look into some of these issues and see that your government deals a fair hand to the defence veterans.

    Doctor Manmohan Singh
    Honb’le Prime Minister of India
    Prime Minister’s Office
    South Block
    New Delhi 110011
    Copy to
    Gen V K Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC
    Chief of the Army Staff
    South Block
    New Delhi 1100 11


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