My heart goes out for Mumbaikars! They face the worst of crisis time and again, despite being in the midst of plenty. Mumbai is our industrial capital and India’s richest live there. People come to Mumbai from all parts of India with dreams in their eyes to strike it big. Not that all of those dreams come true – 40% live in the slums of Mumbai. Yet, many strike it big and dreams do get fulfilled. More importantly, everyone is on the move and working hard – rich or poor. It’s in their culture. But then, from blasts to water clogging, issues just keep testing them and trying to slow them down – the latest one being their unending month-long water crisis, which is hitting everyone in the city, rich or poor.

In the biggest and swankiest of buildings, there is hardly any water and people are now going to work very often without taking bath. Water comes from tankers and that too for a few hours only. The whole day, taps have no water. Tankers too are not easily available and there are offices where the lavatories haven’t had water for a week and are stinking! Overall, the situation is very bad. The lakes nearby from where water can be obtained are at near empty levels with hardly any water that can be taken out. And now, if the monsoon is delayed by even a week, the city will be facing its biggest challenge ever... Of course, the fact that now all society water tanks have high lead content thanks to the tankers – which themselves are high in lead content – doesn’t make things easier. With water coming to its lowest level around Mumbai, finding clean water has become near impossible. Needless to say, there will be a significant rise in health related problems cropping up soon.

As usual, the government sits and gapes and is always caught unawares. Every year during rains, water floods the streets – people die. Still, the condition of the roads doesn’t become better. There is no process of seeing to it that one year down the line, the same issues don’t crop up. That doesn’t happen. It’s the same with water. Millions of litres of water are wasted because of leaks and theft s. Rain water harvesting is not something that has ever been encouraged or has any public awareness. The situation looks quite helpless. People are somehow managing, but the worse could just be round the corner. In Australia, where drought is common in the biggest of cities, the water conservation drive is so huge. But such drives in India are hardly there.     Read More....

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In Chattisgarh, more crpf jawans get killed by mosquito bites than by Maoists! Yes, that’s the ironic piece of research my friend Prasoon dug out for his article in the last issue of The Sunday Indian! It does tell a big story. Of course, on one hand it tells the pitiable story of our CRPF jawans, as Prasoon pointed out in his article last week. Thanks to the Maoist attack recently, which left 75 dead, the government suddenly is feeling concerned about the jawans’ lives! However, before this incident, in the last two years over a hundred of them had died of malaria, which was more than the numbers killed on duty. But previously, of course, the government was not concerned about the lives of jawans because malarial deaths obviously don’t happen in a dramatic newsworthy manner.

Is it not ironic that our paramilitary forces die more of curable diseases than of bullets? Well, that’s the crux of India's problems. That more CRPF jawans are today scared to die of malaria than of Maoist bullets tells just one side of the story. The other side of the story is the story of India's reality today. The story of how we neglect about 60 percent of our population and condemn them to die of hunger, curable diseases and mosquito bites. That’s roughly about 650 million Indians who live below the internationally accepted standard of poverty line of 1.25 dollars per day. While India and Indian media celebrate the rise of its billionaires in the Forbes lists, the poor die penniless out of hunger – unknown and unheard.

And unlike the perception that the government wants to create of Maoists as terrorists, the truth is that Maoists are from these very poor families who are marginalised and left to die of hunger. Worldwide, when leaders have kept such huge sections of masses marginalized, there have been revolutions. You ignore human beings and condemn them to die, they will one day believe that picking up arms is a better option than to die without a fight. History is full of heroes who have killed. Those who kill for a cause are celebrated and those who kill without a cause are called murderers. And the cause is also determined by history. Not by today’s media and their judgment.     Read More....

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Poor Lalit Modi. He went a little too fast with his scam and partied a little too hard in front of public eyes. As per a confidential income tax report, he bought a luxury yacht, a private jet, a fleet of Mercedes S-class cars and what not! All in the last three years! He gave every possible deal to do with IPL to his relatives and family and friends or to people whom he owed money – so that they don’t come behind him. Again, this is as per that report which came out in The Economic Times. More, he took personal stakes in disguise in three of the IPL teams and is supposed to have been himself involved in fixing the outcomes of IPL matches along with a prominent page 3 personality; again according to the same report.

He is linked to Betfair – a UK firm that runs one of the world’s largest betting syndicates on the internet – and is helping it to enter the casino and hospitality business in India! This is what the Income Tax Department scooped out from Lalit Modi’s email box. And all this an unbelievable six months back. But then the government didn’t take any action till Modi in his stupidity tried to publicly challenge Tharoor because Tharoor gate-crashed into Modi's IPL party while he wanted to give that franchise to another big industrial house along with a couple of more film stars! And then Tharoor broke free and brought in the counter allegations, which everyone knew about but was maintaining the conspiracy of silence hoping to join the party at the right time. Of course, a number of government people are already involved!

But this is what you all almost already know by now. This is not what I want to elaborate upon. The bigger issue is something else. This is not something new. It’s something that is happening in India all the time. Ever since Independence, our focus has been to privatise every public good available through unfair means to allow private businessmen to profit, and in the process helping government middlemen make money. Sports in India is a public good. Cricket is a national craze. Then, is it fair to privatise this activity, is the bigger question in hand. Well, truthfully speaking, I am not against privatising sports. Worldwide privatisation of sports has helped nurture and encourage sports at a local level and bring in amazing talent. Case in point is the European football clubs, the British premier leagues. It’s the working class people whose children are the star players today; kids from the streets getting into the various clubs and making it big regularly. Club games and such leagues necessarily promote sports and encourage fresh talent. So privatising sports – especially cricket which Indians are so passionate about – is not a bad idea. And there is hardly any encouragement. But what is wrong is privatising it through a coterie and distributing it amongst themselves. Cricket is nobody’s father’s property. No one has the right to privatize it and distribute it between friends and family. It has to fairly go to the best bidders, because it is guaranteed money and valuations. Readers of this magazine will remember when IPL franchisees were distributed, I had written in this same column that there surely is unfair play. Many people couldn’t have surely afforded the teams on merit. Then, of course, I came to know that people who paid Rs.300 crores for a team never actually paid it. They m u rk y p i t c h had to pay it in a span of ten years at Rs.30 crores every year. That’s only Rs.2.5 crores per month. That too I doubt how many people had to actually pay. For it was decided that all the sponsorship money being earned on IPL would be divided in a particular ratio and distributed amongst the franchise holders. So there is all probability that if the due to the franchisee was Rs.25 crores in a year, he actually only paid Rs. 5 crores the differential! That too divided amongst a few partners per team. So, of course, all of Modi’s friends and family could afford it!
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We, at Planman Media, have been always very appreciative and excited about any policy that has ever made an attempt to bring in any substantial change in the state of Indian education – especially in primary education. Be it the annual budget or discreet policy decisions, education has always been our primary area of focus and inspection. There are two reasons for the same. Firstly, the returns on investment (in terms of societal dividends) on primary education, including intangibles, are very high; and secondly, knowing the fact that the returns are high, it is the very same primary education which has been subjected to perpetual political negligence and budgetary ignorance over the years. But then, with the introduction of the Right to Education bill (on April 01, 2010) the table seems to be finally turning. This act, at least on paper, holds the promise to deliver free and compulsory education to one and all, till the age of 14, across the nation.

On the face of it, I feel too excited about the idea of right to education for all. But then, whether this act is actionable, given the current education infrastructure of India, remains extremely doubtful. However hard the RTE might try to impart free education, it would never be able to achieve its objective, without enough service providers. And this brings me to my first concern – the RTE has already made it compulsory for all schools to maintain a student to teacher ratio of 30:1. Various pan-India surveys indicate that currently schools are struggling with a ratio of 50:1 (and some schools with 80:1), not to rule out those schools which are running with just a single teacher! With 5.23 lakh teachers’ positions vacant, the attainment of such globally-practiced ratios seems quite challenging. Add to this an equal amount of untrained teachers at the primary level, who have to be trained to match the qualification prescribed by the RTE within the next five years!

Now, the second challenge for RTE is its objective of making it compulsory for all private, unaided and minority schools to reserve 25 percent of total seats in elementary education for underprivileged and financially weak children. In order to make it actionable, the act clearly underlines that any breach of this clause would lead to stringent financial and legal punishments. No doubt, this is a clear attempt to eliminate the economic quandary that in most of the cases comes as a hurdle in any underprivileged child’s elementary education. But again, the problem is that the act does not talk about any concrete mechanism or model that would facilitate in pinpointing such pockets of population; in fact, there is no actionable model to ensure that this clause is not abused. Even if through some mechanism, the underprivileged section of the society is targeted and a handful of underprivileged children somehow manage to get into private schools, it still does not serve the purpose, as here again there are challenges. These so called reserved seats, that promise free education, would only give relief from tuition fees and not from other expenditures – which are quite considerable. The RTE does not consider the cost of school books, education tools, co-curricular fees, extra tuition needed and fees demanded in other development activities, which are quite high in good private schools. According to an ASSOCHAM survey, the costs of sending a child to school in India have risen by whopping 160 percent in the last 8 years and annual school expenses for a single child excluding tuition fees have risen by three folds, while the average annual income of middle class parents has hardly risen by 30 percent or so. So the entire purpose of the RTE would fail as the parents of these children will never be able to bear the extra expenditure. And the drop-out rates would continue.     Read More....

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When I got to know about the plan of the current government to pass the Right to Food Act, I went through a series of feelings. First it was dismay, followed by optimism, further followed by despair. For the first few minutes, I kept wondering why did it take so much time to provide the most basic and fundamental right to the citizens of this country? It is not that we have become self sufficient with respect to food only recently; on the contrary, we as a nation have secured food sufficiency since decades, but still allowed food grains to decay in our godowns, and not let them reach those who have been starving to death! Anyway, considering that it is better late than never, I felt that finally the common man and his poorer cousins were getting more attention from the government, which had been too engrossed in trying to save India Inc. from recession. I felt happy because this particular bill becomes even more pertinent at this point in time as the prices of food grains and cereals in the last one year have risen to such an extent that many items have become nearly out of reach of the common man. Needless to say, nothing much has been done to change much of that, as a result of which the middlemen and hoarders are making obscene margins at the cost of both farmers and the consumers.

Thus, from that perspective, the very concept of the Right to Food Act gives the fundamental right to every citizen to get safe and nutritious food, consistent with an adequate diet, necessary to lead an active and healthy life with dignity! But then, there are many glitches in the draft bill – to begin with, the fact that the quantum of food-grains has been fixed in the draft at 25kg per month, against an earlier Supreme Court directive of 35kg. Along with this, there is a huge gap between the Center and the states with respect to the number of people below the poverty line. The Center has budgeted the bill assuming 6.75 crores people below poverty line, whereas the states have already issued over 10 crore BPL cards. Not to forget, the assumptions for both the states and the Center are far from reality, as the basic paradigm of defining poverty remains questionable in itself in the Indian context! In addition to this, the introduction of the bill also highlights the failure of various government programs which were targeted at giving food security to the underprivileged! A case in point is the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), which was meant to provide subsidized food to the destitute, primitive tribes, disabled and old. Interestingly the bill is now attempting to scrap AAY and reduce the guarantee of rice to 25kg, which was 35 kgs in the case of the former, making the recipients worse off.     Read More....

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It is absurd to portray M.F. Husain as a martyr and a fearless fighter of artistic freedom

This whole controversy about M.F. Husain, his exile and his citizenship of Qatar has been so convoluted that ordinary Indians are confused. One big reason for this confusion is that the whole debate around M.F. Husain and his paintings has raised so many questions about Hinduism, Islam, tolerance and secularism that simple facts are being ignored. Let me start by pointing out some things our so called liberal journalists and intellectuals are afraid to admit. The fact is: many Hindus have, and will fi nd some of the paintings of M.F. Husain quite offensive. Showing grotesquely nude portraits of Hindu deities is bound to offend many Hindus. And I think, so called intellectuals who call these offended Hindus bigoted and intolerant are actually even more blindly bigoted and intolerant. How can you defend the right of M.F. Husain to offend and deny the equal right of some people to feel offended?

There is yet another valid point that many offended Hindus have raised. And the point cannot be ignored even if it is politically incorrect. What would have been the fate of M.F. Husain if he were a citizen of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia and claimed that he – as an artist – has the intellectual freedom to portray revered historical and mythical figures of Islam in a manner that deeply offends devout Muslims? In fact, the question to be asked is: would M.F. Husain would have invoked artistic freedom and done what Salman Rushdie did when he wrote 'The Satanic Verses'? Let me go further and offend our so called intellectuals: Would M.F. Husain – now that he is a free citizen of Qatar – behave like an iconoclast artist and offend the Muslim citizens of that country? We all know now – at least going by media reports of his love for some finer things of life – that he is not a devout Muslim the way that term is (mis)understood nowadays. We also know what his fate would have been in Saudi Arabia.

So, I personally think it is absurd to portray M.F. Husain as a martyr and a fearless fighter of artistic freedom. He is just about a normally good artist who with the media hype happening at the right time made it big and immediately learnt the tricks of marketing his paintings well. From branding his paintings with help of a recognisable logo i.e. the horse to walking barefeet- he did everything cleverly and rightly. His sense of colors makes his paintings bright but as with most modern art, its hardly much to write home about when compared to the art say for example from the renaissance period, that is really worth emulating. And yet, I think his exile and citizenship is actually a big loss for India. And for the Idea of India.

Let me start with the least important reasons why! For centuries, Hindu temples, monuments and literature have portrayed the erotic as one more manifestation of the so many paths towards spirituality and salvation. The fact is: Konark, Khajuraho, Ajanta and others are proof that eroticism was celebrated by at least a section of Hindus. We revere Lord Krishna and yet celebrate his interaction with the Gopis. In sharp contrast, Islam and Christianity have always been far more puritanical when it comes to their deities. You will not find any temple, scripture, painting or anything that would portray Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed in the manner that Hindus sometimes portray Lord Krishna. To that extent, you can argue that M.F. Husain was merely repeating what many Hindus before him have done.
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It is the women of the country who have been in the news for the first few days in the month of March. What started with the passing of one of the most contentious bill (women reservation) in the Rajya Sabha, ended up with another equally controversial, yet favourable judgment passed by the high court, with respect to women officers. The court granted permanent commission to interested women officers of the forces serving under the short service commission. As was expected, the government has been silent so far on the issue and again as expected the top brass of the Army and the Air Force have reacted against the high court’s stance. The high court passed this judgment with a view that few women officers who were assured eligibility for a permanent commission during the time of recruitment were denied of the same later. In fact, the denial was only meted out to them while their male counterparts were moved from the short service commission to permanent commission. The court was of the view that this act had been discriminatory, and thus passed an order stating that the officers, who joined before 2006, including those who have retired, should be awarded full permanent commission with complete financial and other benefits in retrospect.

Going by sheer merit of the judgment, it can be said that it is a landmark moment! And of whatever I have read so far, most of the editorial stance by most media houses has been against the judgment. So much so, the top brass of the Army and Air Force are contemplating to contest the judgment in the apex court. Their biggest concern has been with respect to the high court’s order to take back the retired women officers and accommodate them. As per the top brass, there aren’t any vacancies at the senior positions to accommodate these women officers who retired from Short Service Commission. There have also been reports stating that for people who have been against this judgment feel that there exists occupational hazard in forces, and thus women should not be given permanent commission. In fact all these arguments are profound in themselves, but then my question is that even after knowing all this, why such an assurance was given to accommodate women officers for permanent commission, in the first place? And if the assurance was given, then why such a differential treatment was meted out to them? And finally, why is the government silent now?

And frankly, I do not subscribe to logic of occupational hazards, as women officers in India still serve in the noncombat areas and as far as any other hazards are concerned they are equally associated with other professions as well. Women officers in India mostly serve engineering, ordnance, signals, intelligence, education, law, air traffic control, among others. And if today, women are equal opportunity partners in all other fields, why should they be denied the same in services. For that matter even, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, all of them have their special Mahila battalions, taking care of frontline duties in the border region. What more, a contingent of 120 CRPF women has been in Liberia for quite sometime taking care of law and order situation in the civil war torn nation.     Read More....

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So, the women’s reservation bill, which was first drafted by H. D. Gowda government in 1996, finally got cleared in the Rajya Sabha on the 8th of March, 2010. Of all the pending bills, this one in particular was the most contentious as most political parties could neither accept nor reject it, owing to vote-bank politics. Finally, amidst some ugly chaos and commotion, the bill got passed on the 8th of March in the Rajya Sabha. As expected, what followed was customary celebration, wherein all media houses projected the passing of the bill as one of the landmark moments in the history of independent India.

No doubt, the celebrations are too early, as the real test is yet to come; and that is when it goes through the Lok Sabha. Going by the precedence set in the Rajya Sabha, things do not look that simple. From the very beginning the Congress, along with the BJP and the Left , have been in support of the bill; whereas most other political parties have been opposing the bill in its current form. But then, it is also important to understand the contents of the bill that’s making so many political parties oppose the same. It is not just the Rashtriya Samajwadi Party (RJD) or the Samjwadi Party (SP) which has been most visible, the parties representing the backward and the oppressed classes have also been opposing the bill in its current form. In fact, the bill proposes to provide reservation to women at all levels of the legislature, starting from the Lok Sabha to the state to the local legislatures. It proposes to reserve one-third of the total number of seats for women in the central, state and local governments. The political parties who have been backing the bill argue that this bill is going to pave way for gender equality, would fight abuse and discrimination and would work for the overall cause of women who have been historically deprived in India. On the face of it, the arguments sound benevolent and profound as there is no doubt in the fact that women in our society have been pushed to the margins on all socioeconomic counts!

Then what is the opposition’s problem? Lalu Prasad Yadav’s contention has been that such blanket reservation would only invite the elite to exploit the reservation – the poor and marginalized would remain unrepresented. According to him, the reservation is justified only when there is a reservation within the reservation for Dalits, backward classes, Muslims and other religious minorities. Similarly, Mulayam Singh’s argument is that as such 22.5% of the seats in the Parliament are booked for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Now, with another 33.3 % reserved for women, more than 50% of the seats would come under the reserved category! It is not fair for the other stakeholders of the economy to have less than 50% representation left for them. As I said earlier, from a logical standpoint, both these arguments have definite merits, and their opposition to the bill in its current form does make adequate sense, though at the same time, their actions in the Rajya Sabha do not make any sense.     Read More....

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Shortage of a hundred and fifty million rural employment jobs. Shortage of twenty five million urban employment jobs… Additional Rs 1 lakh crore required to replace urban slums… And Rs 10,000 crore required every year for five years to give justice to every Indian by ramping up the judiciary… Another Rs 20,000 crore required every year to make universal primary education a reality and have equality in education opportunities… And additional Rs 10,000 crore required annually to give some basic access to health facilities… Welcome to India. A country where the hospital beds to population ratio is 1:1422, ranked 161 alongside sub-Saharan African countries, against an ideal ratio of 1:333 prescribed by the United Nations. A country with 2.4 million temples but only 1.4 million temples of education i.e. schools… A country with 30 million cases pending in courts, making life hell for the common man who wants justice, because our courts have only 12 judges per million population compared to 120 judges per million in the developed world.

In the middle of such an environment, what’s the role of an annual budget? Is it to maintain status quo or to give the world a robust signal that we are committed to our people – the 45 crore people who earn below 1.25 dollars a day? If the objective is to maintain the status quo, then Pranabda has delivered a perfect budget, as loudly proclaimed by each and every member of the equally objectiveless and visionless industry organisations like FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM etc. They were too happy that the entire stimulus package had not been withdrawn. As it is, the spokespersons aren’t independent intellectuals. They are timid business men – however rich they might be – scared to ever speak against the government as their businesses are at stake! In most cases, they aren’t even capable of commenting on the budget, such low is their understanding. But they are the people who give the bytes and that’s what next days headlines look like in papers indirectly and directly owned by them and mostly run by sold out editors or editors intellectually incapable of analyzing a budget or how it needs to be. So the verdict that they have given is thumbs up!

The man on the street, of course, has no voice. And his concerns are of no importance to politicians or media. Media has no vision to effectively and constantly focus on their cause in order to effect a change. They are more interested in rapes, murders and sex, which keep the readers confined to intellectually dumbed-down dustbins of these media houses.

The truth, however, is that if we were to look at this budget from the perspective of people – those 45 crore that I mentioned above and another 35 crore who are just marginally better off – then this budget is a hoax for them. Allocations to the best scheme of the Sonia government, or for that matter any government in ages – the NREGA scheme – wasn’t even increased enough to cover the inflation! What was done was a mere increase from Rs 39,000 crore to about Rs 41,000 crore. At a point of time when the common man is being made to pay an astoundingly scary Rs 50 per kg for sugar and Rs 100 per kg for dal, when the food inflation has touched horrific proportions and when they were looking up to the budget for some relief, forget immediate relief measures, there were no signs of any long run relief either in this budget. No lip service even to stop hoarding. No measures to stop speculation in food. No recommendation of strict punishment to the hoarders and no announcement of using the country’s huge forex reserves to import basic food necessities to increase supply and reduce prices. In other words, totally shocking. The reference to the aam aadmi went missing. It was clearly a budget for the mango people who live in India and not the aam aadmi who lives in Bharat.

The long-run steps to increase agriculture growth through a new green revolution got a token Rs 400crore. Nothing could have been more hilarious. Now, NBFCs (non banking financial institutions) can open banks and Rahul Bajaj must be very happy with his part of lobbying. But the real requirement of financial inclusion, which reaches a rotting low of less than 200 million people compared to the required 900 million people, still remains unsolved. At a time when so much had to be done for the poor who are the direct sufferers of the high inflation, the government gave away Rs 26,000 crore to the middle class and rich through its new tax structure favouring the two per cent top class of people who pay taxes in this country! I have been always for lesser taxes to increase tax base, but in a year like this, such a move was a bit too much to accept, especially when compared to the lack of commitment of resources for the bottom 70 percent people.    
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When the war against LTTE in Sri Lanka got over, it was thought that finally peace would arrive in the island nation after a brutal civil war for more than three decades. It was expected that there would no more be any major turmoil in that country and that finally it would be able to concentrate on the much ignored economy. It was also expected that tourism, which has been one of the mainstays of its economy, would finally get a breather now that the chances of any more conflicts would come down drastically. But all those presumptions now seem to be premature given the shocking developments taking place in Colombo in the last few weeks. Riding on the overwhelming popularity that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been enjoying since his endeavour to take the LTTE head on and finish its top leadership without capitulating to global pressure against the same, he called in for elections much before it was due. But little did he predict that his closest confidante and the real architect in the victory against LTTE – former Sri Lankan Army General Sarath Fonseka – would also stake his claim to this popularity and contest the election. Needless to say that Fonseka is one of the shrewdest and most tactical army generals of the world in recent times, given the way he defeated the LTTE even when the Americans are struggling in Iraq and Afghanistan. So, for someone like him coming to the election process, should ideally have been seen as an indicator of a healthy democracy. But Rajapaksa took it as a personal insult and threat to his own popularity and survival. Thus, when the election verdict came out and Rajapaksa won with convincing majority (cornering 57% of the votes as against 40% of Sarath Fonseka), he became vindictive. Fonseka himself had been extremely concerned for his life since the election results were out. In fact, the election process itself is doubted to have had major rigging and other malpractices to make the result in favour of Rajapaksa. Fonseka had been so worried about his personal security that he had even sought help from the Indian government. But the Indian government, in its own style, turned out his requests of mediation or giving any asylum to him by terming the incidents inside Sri Lanka as internal matters of that country. While this Indian response could have its genesis in past Indian misadventures in Sri Lanka, this inaction of India bolstered Rajapaksa to take the next step of dissolving the parliament and arresting the former general by slapping a charge of divulging sensitive information to the public, and of plotting both a coup and an assassination attempt on the president and his family. Now that Fonseka has been arrested, there’s no trace of where he has been kept in confinement. And shockingly, the Indian government still chooses to remain silent!

Irrespective of Fonseka’s flip-flop statements in the past where he has said one thing at a time and meant something else at another, at least there isn’t any doubt in the fact that Fonseka has been a true patriot for Sri Lanka and a real warrior, who led from the front and without whom, it would have been impossible for Sri Lanka and its incumbent president to either win the war or to take credit for it. A genuine government would have treated him like a war hero and given the highest honour of the country. But the sudden turn of events and his humiliating arrest – coming at such close heels of the elections – exhibit a suspiciously blatant misuse of power on the part of Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is pertinent to note that across many nations suffering political turmoil, this has been an uncannily common trend – of the winning party arresting the opposition leader on charges that seem outrageously egregious. Just take a look around at India’s neighbours and you’ll get what I mean. It is also a fact that not everyone in Sri Lanka is happy with the way the former general has been treated. If the fight against the LTTE united the Sinhalese against a common enemy LTTE, then this incident between pro and anti-Rajapaksa groups can ignite another and violent unrest in Sri Lanka. And at a point in time when the priority of the government should have been to ensure that the battered economy is taken care of and the fragile unity of the whole country is given a facelift , the current moves against Fonseka are perhaps sowing the seeds of another major unrest.     Read More....

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Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website


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