Canadian Parvasi Issue 29 November 2019

g.parvasi27041

www.luxurylights.ca

905-856-9999

Lamps LED Pendants Bathroom Lights

Wall Sconces Semi-Flush Mounts

Chandeliers & Accessories

4220 Steeles Ave. West, A8 Woodbridge L4L 3S8

www.canadianparvasi.com

Issue No : 119

Email: editor@canadianparvasi.com Contact Number : 905-673-0600 November 29, 2019 | Toronto | Pages 12

Punjab CM acquitted in

Ludhiana city centre case

Son Among 35 Others Discharged

Ludhiana: Stating that Pakistan

should have shown magnanimity by

granting visas to the Punjab government’s

31-member delegation, chief minister

Amarinder Singh said, “By denying

visas to the delegation, Pakistan has

shown its chhotapan (pettiness).”

More than a decade after Punjab vigilance

bureau booked the chief minister,

Captain Amarinder Singh and 35 others

in the Ludhiana City Centre case, a local

court on Wednesday discharged all of

them after accepting the closure report

filed by the bureau two years back.

The Ludhiana district and sessions

judge Gurbir Singh gave a clean chit to

the chief minister, his son Raninder, sonin-law

Raminder and 33 others in multicrore

Ludhiana city centre scam. Five of

the accused died after the case was filed

against them.

The issue was referred to the vigilance

bureau by the Amarinder government

in September 2006 and after Parkash

Singh Badal-led government took

over in 2007, the vigilance bureau filed a

case against 35 accused, including Amarinder,

for allegedly favouring a Delhibased

firm for the Ludhiana City Centre

project.

The project, which was to include

shopping malls, multiplexes, and residential

apartments over 25 acres, was

announced by Amarinder in 2003 during

his first term as the chief minister and

was launched in 2006.

On August 19, 2017, the vigilance bureau

filed a closure report in the court

contradicting its initial inquiry report

and claimed that there was no scam at

all, and no proof was found against the

accused after a re-investigation.

The trial court said on Wednesday

afternoon that no case of corruption had

been made out against any of the accused

and also former chairman of the improvement

trust Paramjit Singh also did

not indulge in corruption though he may

be accused of disobeying his senior’s orders.

All the 31 accused, including the

CM, were present in the court during the

pronouncement of the final order.

Welcoming the trial court’s verdict,

Amarinder termed it as a victory for

them in their fight against “brazen act of

political victimisation.”

Interacting with the media after the

court verdict in Ludhiana, the CM said:

“Truth has prevailed and our stand

against the politically motivated charges

has been fully vindicated.” He added that

he and his family members accused in

the case had always had full confidence

in law and unwavering faith in the judiciary.

The chief minister said that it had

taken 13 years for the victory to come but

the court verdict had shown that truth

always wins in the end. The manufactured

lies presented as evidence before

the court by the petitioners had no leg

to stand on and had been totally exposed

as nothing but shameless falsehoods, he

added. He added that five of the 36 accused

in the case had during the trial

period had died with the stigma of being

involved in the scam.

District attorney Ravinder Abrol,

who along with director, prosecutions

Vijay Singla represented the state in the

case, said the court didn’t find even an

iota of evidence against the accused and

discharged all of them. The court also

didn’t find any corruption, forgery or

bribe in the case, he added.

The judge also dismissed the plea by

Suneel Kumar Dey, who had had filed

an application a second time before the

court to be heard in the case and observed

that none of the allegations made

by him had been proved. Former state

DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, the then SSP

(Vigilance Bureau) Kanwarjit Singh

Sandhu, Lok Insaf party chief Simranjit

Singh Bains and architect Sunil Kumar

Dey challenged the closure report.

AI pilot told to remove

turban, get pat-down

at Madrid airport

Jalandhar: An Air

India Sikh pilot faced harassment

at Madrid airport

in Spain on Tuesday

night when he was asked

to remove his turban for

screening or undergo a

pat-down of the headgear.

However, the pilot, Captain

Simranjeet Singh Gujral,

refused to do either.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara

management Committee

president Manjinder

Singh Sirsa, whom Gujral

had rung up for help from

Madrid airport past midnight,

has alleged racial

profiling, and written to

external affairs minister

S Jaishankar, asking him

to take up the issue with

Spain.

Continued on page 10

Longowal re-elected SGPC chief unopposed

Amritsar: Gobind Singh

Longowal was re-elected unopposed

as president of the Sikh’s

single largest representative

body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak

Committee (SGPC),

consecutively for the third time,

amid protest by about half a dozen

members during the general

house session held here at Teja

Singh Samundari Hall in SGPC

complex on Wednesday.

Continued on page 08

For advertimesment in


The International News Weekly Canada

November 29, 2019 | Toronto 02

Hiking carbon tax to $210 cheapest way to

hit Canada’s climate targets: commission

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA : The Ecofiscal

Commission says

quadrupling Canada’s

carbon price by 2030

is the easiest and most

cost-effective way for the

country to meet its climate

targets.

But the independent

think-tank also warns

that might be the toughest

plan to sell to the public

because the costs of

carbon taxes are highly

visible.

The commission is

issuing its final report

today after spending the

last five years trying

to prove to Canadians

we can address climate

change without killing

the economy.

The report looks at

the options for Canada to

toughen climate policies

to meet the 2030 goal of

cutting greenhouse-gas

emissions by almost onethird

from where they

are now.

The choices include

raising the carbon price,

introducing new regulations

and adding subsidies

to encourage and

reward greener, cleaner

behaviour.

The report concludes

that all of those can reduce

emissions but that

carbon pricing stands

out for doing it with the

lowest cost to consumers

while permitting the

most economic growth.

It adds that the economic

benefits of carbon pricing

become even greater

if the revenues are returned

to Canadians

through corporate and

personal income-tax cuts,

rather than direct household

rebates as is done

now.

Commission chair

Chris Ragan said hiking

the carbon price $20 per

year between 2022 and

2030, until it hits $210 per

tonne, would get Canada

to its targets under the

Paris Agreement on cutting

emissions. That

would be on top of the

$50-a-tonne price on carbon

emissions that will

be in place by 2022.

The federal price, in

provinces where it applies,

is at $20 per tonne

now, and is going up $10

a year in each of the next

three years.

Rebates would also

grow to keep the tax revenue-neutral,

the commission

said.

The federal Liberals

have promised to review

the carbon tax in 2022 to

determine what happens

to it, but have been noncommittal

about what

that might be.

Canada’s federal tax

is only applied in provinces

without equivalent

provincial systems. Right

now those are Saskatchewan,

Manitoba, Ontario

and New Brunswick. Alberta

will be added in

January.

Ragan said regulations

and subsidies

would also work to cut

emissions but are more

expensive. Governments

lean on regulations and

subsidies, however, because

their costs are often

less visible to voters,

making them more politically

palatable, at least

at first. They still distort

the economy, he said,

just not as obviously.

“It’s crazy to use

high-cost policies if

you know that lower

cost policies are

available,” he said.

“Why would we do

that?”

Carbon prices

can include fuel taxes

and cap-and-trade

systems where emissions

are restricted

and credits must be

purchased to emit

anything beyond the

cap.

Regulations can

be either very specific,

such as requiring

agricultural producers

to capture methane

from manure

or cities to capture

methane from landfills,

or broad, such

as telling industrial

emitters they have

to find a way to cut

emissions in half by

a certain date. Subsidies

can mean helping people

or companies install

more efficient lighting

and appliances or to buy

electric vehicles.

Canada’s current policies

are a mix of all three.

Under the Paris accord,

Canada committed

to cutting greenhousegas

emissions to 511 million

tonnes by 2030. In

2017, the most recent year

for which data is available,

Canada emitted 716

Virsa

Fine Indian Restaurant

Niagara Falls

GuMmx jf rhy ho?

Indian

Food

million tonnes.

A year ago, Environment

and Climate Change

Canada said its existing

platter of policies leaves

the country 79 million

tonnes short.

Earlier this month

the international Climate

Transparency organization

said Canada was

among the three members

of the G20 group of

big economies that are

least likely to hit their

2030 climate targets.

The Falls

a family Lodge

D.Kang 289 296 5001

info@sherepunjabnf.com II www.sherepunjabnf.com

5677 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, ON, L2G 3L5

Working with provinces on

agenda as Trudeau meets Ball

on Parliament Hill

OTTAWA : Newfoundland and Labrador Premier

Dwight Ball says it’s time for his fellow provincial

leaders to put their focus back on Canadians instead

of internal, domestic squabbles.

He is downplaying any talk about revising the

equalization formula, which distributes federal

money to help cash-strapped provinces deliver services

and which western premiers have raised in

their grievances with Justin Trudeau’s government

in Ottawa. Premiers are set to meet next week

in Toronto, and Ball says he’ll talk about ways to

help provinces whose economies depend on natural

resources cope with downturns, among other

measures to keep provincial finances sustainable.

Ball, a Liberal, says he won’t go into the meeting

wearing any political stripe.

Ball met Trudeau on Parliament Hill this morning

in the latest in a series of sit-downs the prime

minister has had with provincial premiers since

last month’s federal election. The prime minister

said the two would talk about pharmacare, which

Trudeau called “always interesting to Dwight” —

prompting a smile from Ball, who has pressed the issue

in premiers’ meetings — and how to work with

other provinces “to ensure things are going well.”

Manpreet Minhas

Barrister & Solicitor

REAL ESTATE

Rupinder Minhas

Barrister & Solicitor

Sale/Purchase of Residential & Commercial Properties

Mortgage Enforcements & Lease

Refinance & Private Mortgages

BUSINESS LAW

Incorporation & Shareholder agreements

Sales & Purchase of Assets & Shares

Notarization & Affidavits

First

Consultation

FREE

WILLS & ESTATE

www.minhaslawyers.ca

Wills

Certificate of Estate Trustee with/without will

Power of attorney for Property & Personal care

CRIMINAL LAW

Drink & Drive offences

Bail Hearings

Domestic Assaults

Every Client Matters

Tel: 905-671-9244

Fax: 905-671-9245

IMMIGRATION

Skilled Worker Category

Spousal & Family Sponsorships

Students permit Visas & Renewals

138-2960 Drew Road Mississauga, ON. L4T 0A5 (Airport/Drew Rd, Near Malton Gurughar)


The International News Weekly Canada

November 29, 2019 | Toronto

03

It was One of Those Nights: Gala raises over

$2.2 million in support of Osler hospitals

THE CANADIAN PRESS

BRAMPTON: It wasn’t

Hotel California but the

Rose Theatre, where

hundreds gathered on

November 23 for the 8th

annual Gala Benefit Concert

for William Osler

Health System (Osler)

presented by DG Group.

The L.A. based rocker,

Don Felder, formerly

of the Eagles, and local

songstress, Sarah Slean,

entertained the crowd

with a mix of familiar

favourites. The concert

raised over $978,000 for

Osler’s three hospitals.

During the evening, a

special matching challenge

was announced—

matching all funds

raised that evening. Total

amounts reported are

inclusive of the matching

funds.

“It’s an honour to

support the Osler Foundation

Gala Benefit Concert,”

said Darren Steedman,

Vice-President,

DG Group. “DG Group

believes in strengthening

communities, and

supporting health care

in Brampton and Etobicoke

and our long-standing

presenting sponsor

support of this gala is

doing just that. We are

so pleased to be a part

of such an incredible

event.”

The concert included

a special announcement

by Orlando Corporation

– a donation of $1.5 million

to Etobicoke General

Hospital, as part of the

$100 million You Have

The Power campaign.

The donation was made

to finish the campaign

to build the new patient

tower at Etobicoke General.

There is still an urgent

need for new equipment

at Etobicoke General

and the fundraising

continues to help meet

those needs.

Orlando Corporation

was honoured at the Gala

benefit concert for their

original transformative

$15 million matching

challenge donation

that they announced five

years ago at the same

event. At the time, the

gift was the largest donation

to a community hospital

in Canada.

The gift inspired the

community to match

Left to Right: Mayor Patrick Brown; Bob Peacock, Chair, Board of Directors, Osler Foundation; Phil

King, President, Orlando Corporation; Darren Steedman, Vice-President, DG Group (presenting

sponsor); Ken Mayhew, President and CEO, William Osler Health System Foundation.

Left to right: Ken Mayhew, President and CEO, William Osler Health System Foundation; Dr.

Parneet Cheema, Medical Oncologist, Brampton Civic Hospital & Medical Co-Chair, Gala Benefit

Concert; Lois Rice, Donor and friend to Osler Foundation; Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles;

Dr. Brandon Sheffield, Molecular Pathologist, Brampton Civic Hospital & Medical Co-Chair, Gala

Benefit Concert; Bob Peacock, Chair, Board of Directors, Osler Foundation; Jane McMullan, Chair,

Board of Directors, Osler.

Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles, with Louise la France and Bob Saroli, the successful bidders of

an Epiphone Les Paul guitar, autographed by Don Felder.

their donation – totalling

$30 million. This contributed

to constructing

and equipping the new

Peel Memorial Centre

for Integrated Health

and Wellness, building a

state-of-the-art Endovascular

Therapeutics Suite

at Brampton Civic Hospital,

and helping to build

and equip the new Emergency

Department at Etobicoke

General Hospital.

“Orlando Corporation

is pleased to be making

an additional donation to

the new patient tower at

Etobicoke General,” said

Phil King, President,

Orlando Corporation.

“Over the last five years,

we have seen the community

mobilize in extraordinary

ways. From

staff and physician giving

to lemonade stands

to large events – like the

Gala Benefit Concert –

the community rallied

around the campaign to

transform health care in

the community.

After seeing how dedicated

the community

was, we were inspired to

do more to help push the

campaign to the finish

line.”

Osler Foundation also

celebrated the corporate

citizenship of Woodbine

Entertainment Group, a

long-time corporate supporter

of Osler. Woodbine

Entertainment

Group is the sixth recipient

of the Osler Award

for Philanthropic Leadership.

“The night was inspiring

and moving in

so many ways,” said

Ken Mayhew, President

Phil King, President, Orlando Corporation, announces a $1.5

million gift to finish the campaign to build the new patient tower

at Etobicoke General.

and CEO, William Osler

Health System Foundation.

“To see so many people

come together to support

local health care

is truly extraordinary.

From businesses and

individuals, to local political

leaders, and staff,

physicians and volunteers—the

theatre was

filled with people who

want to make a difference

in the lives of others.

We are grateful for

the support.”

Key facts about the

William Osler Health

System Foundation Gala

Benefit Concert:

• This year, the event

raised $978,000 through

ticket sales, sponsorships

and auction items.

• There was a special

fundraising focus

on Cancer Care at Osler,

where patient Andrew

Stewart spoke about the

life-saving care he received

at Osler. You can

watch Andrew’s story

here.

• Funds raised contribute

to equipment and

redevelopment projects

across Osler’s three sites

–Etobicoke General Hospital,

Brampton Civic

Hospital and Peel Memorial

Centre for Integrated

Health and Wellness.

• Past performances

include Alan Doyle,

Sam Roberts Band, Burton

Cummings, André-

Philippe Gagnon, the

Barenaked Ladies, Colin

James, Blue Rodeo, Natalie

MacMaster, Jann Arden

and Sarah McLachlan.

“This year’s Gala was

a truly outstanding way

to come together to celebrate

exceptional health

care in this community,”

said Dr. Brendan Carr,

President and CEO, William

Osler Health System.

“Funds raised from

the event will help Osler

continue to transform its

hospital sites, and build

on its innovative programs

and services so

that we can best meet the

needs of the communities

we serve.”

This year’s Gala Benefit

Concert was generously

sponsored by DG

Group (presenting sponsor),

Orlando Corporation,

LiUNA! Local 183,

Almag Aluminum Inc.,

Bayer, Borden Ladner

Gervais LLP, Mrs. Lois

Rice, Morguard Corporation,

Northwest Lexus

– part of the Policaro automotive

family, Sodexo

Canada and Steve Robinson

& Associates of RBC

Dominion Securities.

About William Osler

Health System and William

Osler Health System

Foundation

William Osler Health

System is a hospital

system, which includes

Brampton Civic Hospital,

Peel Memorial Centre

for Integrated Health

and Wellness and Etobicoke

General Hospital,

and serves 1.3 million

residents of Brampton,

Etobicoke and surrounding

communities within

the Central West Local

Health Integration Network.

Osler’s emergency departments

are among the

busiest in Canada and its

labour and delivery program

is one of the largest

in the province. William

Osler Health System

Foundation seeks to create

a healthier community

through giving by

inspiring its communities

to invest in exceptional

health care close

to home.


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto 04


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto

05

Shivaji Park dresses up for

Uddhav; will Ajit get big role?

Mumbai: Shiv Sena president

Uddhav Thackeray, chosen

unanimously as leader of

the three-party Maha Vikas

Aghadi of Shiv Sena, Congress

and NCP, will be sworn in as

chief minister at Dadar’s Shivaji

Park at 6.40pm on Thursday.

While initially there was talk

that he would have two deputies

— one each from the Congress

and NCP — according to the formula

worked out at a meeting of

the front on Wednesday, there

will be only one deputy CM,

from NCP. Congress will get the

post of speaker, but at the cost

of its claim for the second deputy

CM it had demanded.

Along with Thackeray,

NCP’s Jayant Patil and Chhagan

Bhujbal, Congress’ Balasaheb

Thorat and Sena’s Eknath

Shinde, too, will be sworn in as

cabinet members. Ajit Pawar

and Patil are frontrunners for

the deputy CM’s post, though

a final call will be taken by

NCP president Sharad Pawar

and Ajit may not be sworn in

on Thursday. According to

reports, notwithstanding the

banner of revolt raised by Ajit

when he joined the Fadnavisled

government as the BJP leader’s

deputy last Saturday, a

majority of NCP legislators on

Wednesday demanded that he

should be appointed deputy CM

in the Aghadi government.

According to senior NCP

leader and Rajya Sabha MP Praful

Patel, in addition to Thackeray,

“one or two legislators”

from Congress, NCP and Sena

will be sworn in on Thursday.

“The event will be big, but the

number of cabinet members being

sworn in will be small. We

propose to expand the cabinet

after December 3,” Patel said

after the Aghadi meet.

Senior NCPleader and Rajya

Sabha MP Praful Patel confirmed

the agreement reached

at the meeting was that Congress

would get the speaker’s

post, while the deputy CM and

deputy speaker would be from

NCP. “All the posts, whether it

is the CM, speaker, deputy CM

or deputy speaker, will be for

the entire term of five years,”

Patel added.

According to a senior Congress

leader, Thorat had proposed

that the swearing-in ceremony

should be small, with

only one member of each party

should be sworn in. However,

NCP took the view that since

the event was being organised

at the iconic Shivaji Park, as

many members should be inducted

into the state cabinet

as was possible at the function.

NCP proposed that at least

five members from each party

should be inducted, but later

the three parties reached a consensus

on “one or two members

from each party” being sworn

in at Thursday’s event. The

Aghadi meeting on Wednesday

was attended by Congress leaders

Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun

Kharge, KC Venugopal, Thorat

and Ashok Chavan, Sena leaders

Thackeray, Subhash Desai

and Eknath Shinde and NCP

netas Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar

and Sunil Tatkare.

There was delay in taking

decisions on crucial issues at

the meet owing to differences

over the number of members

to be sworn in on Thursday,

sources said. NCP, the sources

pointed out, had expressed

reservations on the appointment

of former CM Prithviraj

Chavan as the speaker and instead

proposed the name of KC

Padvi, also of Congress. But

Congress took objection, saying

that it was the internal matter

of the party who it wanted

to have as speaker and that

NCP should have no objections

over the nomination of Prithviraj

Chavan. Praful Patel said

a consensus had been reached

on sharing of portfolios as well

as state-run corporations and

boards.

Besides Ajit Pawar and Jayant

Patil, NCP is likely to nominate

Dilip Walse Patil, Hasan

Mushriff, Chhagan Bhujbal,

Nawab Malik, Rajesh Tope, Anil

Deshmukh, Dhananjay Munde

and Jeetendra Awhad for ministerial

posts, while Congress

is likely to nominate Ashok

Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan,

Vijay Wadettiwar, Satej Patil,

Yashomati Thakur, KC Padvi,

Vishwajeet Kadam, Sunil Kedar

and Varsha Gaikwad.


The International News Weekly Edit

06

November 29, 2019 | Toronto

The

w w w . canadianparv asi. c o m

Publisher & CEO

Associate Editor

Editor (India)

Online

Graphic Designer

Official Photographer

Contact

Editorial

Sales

Rajinder Saini

Meenakshi Saini

Gursheesh

Kshitiz Dalal

Naveen

Bashir Nasir

editor@canadianparvasi.com

sales@canadianparvasi.com

Coalition Experiment

Maharashtra aghadi offers a

potential alternative to BJP’s

centralised style of functioning

The fall of the three-day-old Devendra Fadnavis

government has empowered an “aghadi”

or front of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP – three

disparate parties whose coalition looks set to

form the government in Maharashtra. The

standard criticism of such coalitions, which

had become the norm after the decline of Congress

hegemony and before the current era of

BJP domination, is that they form “khichdi”

governments that are unable to rule due to

frequent dissensions among themselves, and

ultimately fall apart from their internal contradictions.

In an alternative view, however,

the heavily centralised model favoured by BJP

imposes certain limitations on governance too.

A “strong” government, for example, could

build in a certain inflexibility as there is limited

scope for consultation, contest of ideas,

talent or initiative at grassroots and intermediate

levels. This in turn can affect the quality of

governance. India is a vast and diverse nation

where an individual state can have the size and

complexity of a normal country. This requires

delegation of leadership and initiative rather

than a top-down command structure. In such a

context, it could be argued that a coalition government

suits the genius of the country better.

Indeed, the era of BJP dominance has also led

to an economic slowdown of a nature the country

hasn’t seen for a long time.

BJP’s centralised command structure and

unrelenting mode of functioning may also not

be unrelated to its ally troubles, as potential allies

fear getting steamrollered by it. Shiv Sena

feels, for example, that its sensitivities may

be respected more by NCP or Congress than

by BJP, despite its overall ideological affinity

with BJP. Whether the “maha vikas aghadi”

survives and succeeds in Maharashtra will,

indeed, be an interesting political experiment

to see what style of governance can serve the

country better.

What may augur well for the sustainability

of the aghadi is that Uddhav Thackeray

will himself assume the chief minister’s post,

instead of opting to operate the government

through “remote control” as has been the erstwhile

Sena style. Likewise Congress too plans

to fully participate in the government, rather

than support it from outside which too has been

one of its favoured stratagems before. These

moves ensure that both parties have skin in the

game, instead of merely being the tail that wags

the dog. TNN

After The Dust Settles

Maharashtra brings a very full plate of problems

for Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress to address

Geeta Seshu

Abrogation is a word we’ve seen

a lot of since August 5 this year.

Apart from its legal sense, it is also

a word that bears immense moral

meaning. The current political circus

in Maharashtra has showcased

a cynical abrogation of responsibility

to constitutional values by those

in power. Once the dust settles and

it is business as usual, can one seriously

expect any of these players to

rebuild trust in the institutions of

governance?

Granted, there was an undesirably

month-long hiatus in government

formation after declaration

of results on October 24. But it was

hardly such an emergency as to

warrant the dubious revocation

of President’s rule in the middle

of the night and the dawn swearing

in. How the office of the President

or the governor lent itself to

this travesty is another story altogether.

Will there be any scrutiny,

leave alone any attempt to secure

accountability, for these actions?

In the press conference announcing

his resignation as chief

minister, Devendra Fadnavis deflected

questions on this and reserved

much of his address to

attacking his former ally. He repeatedly

said that Hindutva was

being jeopardised by the obeisance

Shiv Sena is paying to Congress

president Sonia Gandhi. One can

expect that BJP will be using many

of these salvos to attack its former

Hindutva ally in the days to come.

The two parties were in an electoral

alliance since 1989, and Shiv

Sena was seen as the senior partner

in Maharashtra at least, for most

of the years the two were together.

With the rise of BJP after 2014, Sena

was forced to play a supportive role

and it had made no secret of its discontent.

Indeed, Shiv Sena distancing

itself from BJP is perhaps the biggest

development of the entire spectacle

and both its former as well as

its new allies will watch its every

move closely. How, for instance,

will the break in the saffron alliance

affect the rhetoric of Hindutva

and the building of Hindu rashtra?

Are we seeing an assertion of

Marathi pride by all the three parties

in the Maha Vikas Aghadi over

BJP’s nationalist rhetoric?

There are other big questions.

While he soon became the classic

leader without any followers, the

jury is still out on the real role of

NCP leader Ajit Pawar. Though the

anti-corruption bureau claimed he

was not implicated in the alleged Rs

70,000 crore irrigation scam of 2013,

its decision to announce the closure

of nine cases in the brief time

he was deputy CM is questionable.

There will be no end to the speculation

on his real intentions. Why did

he risk his political career to ditch

his uncle? Did he do it at his behest?

More to the point, what will be his

political role now?

In the normal course, electoral

politics is compelling. Who won,

who lost, who crossed over and

who was checkmated. But minus

the flipflops, the posturing and the

rhetoric televised for posterity,

what have we been left with in Maharashtra?

A new government and an entirely

new alliance that has been

formed to run the state, touted as

one of the wealthiest in the country,

the most industrialised, contributing

the highest GDP to the country

and seen as the seat of corporate

power in India.

Despite this, health and education

indices are hardly anything to

write home about. Sex ratio is 929

females per 1,000 males (in the last

Census, a fall from the 934 in 1991)

and state expenditure on health is a

woeful 0.5% of its income. While literacy

rate is better than the national

average, its spread is uneven,

with urban areas showing a higher

rate than tribal districts, also skewing

the figures considerably.

The agrarian crisis has only

worsened and the government’s

own data says 12,021 farmers committed

suicide between 2015-18.

Parts of Maharashtra are plagued

by drought and there have been no

measures to alleviate the situation,

whichever government has been in

power.

It has the pathetic record of the

most polluted rivers in the country,

with industrial effluents dumped

into them. In the monsoon preceding

the assembly elections, western

Maharashtra experienced unprecedented

rains and floods. The perception

that the BJP-led government

was callous towards farmers,

rural Maharashtra and tier-two cities

became stronger.

Over five years of the BJP-Sena

rule, mega-crore infrastructure

projects have been rolled out. But

there has been continuous conflict

over acquisition of land, destruction

of the environment, and lack of

agency of the people affected by all

these projects. Government simply

didn’t seem to listen to its people,

whether it was protests over the

felling of trees in the Aarey forest

for the Metro yard or the farmers of

Nashik protesting the acquisition

of land for the Samruddhi corridor

or the bullet train project that will

destroy tribal areas in Palghar and

Dahanu.

The new government will definitely

inherit all of this and its common

minimum programme, yet to

be spelt out for the public, will have

to take a stand on these projects. It

will also have to address BJP’s larger

national agenda, from the push

for the controversial National Register

of Citizens and the Citizenship

Amendment Bill to the Industrial

Relations Code Bill, 2019 which

will allow further flexibility for

dismantling of PSUs and contractualisation.

As the three allies occupy

the high moral ground again, it remains

to be seen whether they hold

together or abrogate their responsibility

to the people of Maharashtra.

Source Credit: This article was first

published in The Times of India. The

writer is an independent journalist based

in Mumbai

Parvasi weekly & people associated with it are not responsible for any claims made by the advertisement & do not endorse any product or service advertised in Canadian Parvasi. Please consult your lawyer before buying/hiring/contracting through the

advertisement Publised in this newspaper. The Canadian Parvasi is in the business of selling space and the clains made by the advertisement are not tested/confirmed by an independent source.


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto

07


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto 08

Longowal re-elected SGPC chief unopposed

Continued from page 01

Rajinder Singh Mehta,

Gurbax Singh Nawashehar

and Harjinder Singh

Dhami were also elected

unopposed as senior

vice-president, junior

vice-president and general

secretary of SGPC,

respectively. SGPC’s former

senior vice-president

Raghujit Singh Virk, considered

close to the Badal

family, failed to find a

place in the new team of

office-bearers.

Longowal’s name was

proposed by former SGPC

president Bibi Jagir Kaur

and seconded by former

acting president of SGPC,

Alwiderpal Singh Pakhoke.

A former MLA from

Dhuri, Longowal was first

elected as SGPC president

on November 29, 2017. He

was reelected on November

13, 2018.

A total of 154, out

of 185 SGPC members,

were present in the general

house session. Of the

31members who failed to

attend the session, 14 have

passed away, two have

submitted their resignation

while 15 were absent

Six SGPC members, including

Sukhdev Singh

Bhaur, Balwinder Singh

Bains, Amrik Singh Shahpur

and Swaran Singh,

walked out of the session

in protest against neglect

of SGPC employees’ interests

and failure to implement

hukamnama (edict)

issued by Akal Takht

among others.

A day earlier, the

SGPC members had

aligned with SAD(B) and

authorised party president

Sukhbir Badal to decide

on the appointment of

candidates of his choice.

After his re-appointment,

Longowal said he

would continue to serve

the panth (community)

and render his duties for

the propagation of Sikhism.

Promising a grand

celebration to mark 100

years of the foundation

of SGPC, he said, “I am

lucky to have got an opportunity

to serve at this

historic moment.”

On the occasion,

Bhaur slammed the Sikh

body for having spent

around Rs 12 crore on the

stage at Sultanpur Lodhi

for functions to mark

550th birth anniversary of

Guru Nanak Dev but not

paying salaries to teachers

of schools and colleges

run by it for the past nine

months. He also alleged

that SGPC was not taking

strong measures to check

apostasy among the youth

and resented its failure

to convene even a single

day’s general house session

to discuss celebrations

to observe the first

Sikh master’s 550th birth

anniversary.

Team selection: Sukhbir

manages fine balancing act

Amritsar: SAD president Sukhbir Badal

apparently ‘selected’ his SGPC team with

an eye on its possible general elections next

year and assembly elections. of the Sikhs’

single largest representative body in 2020

and assembly elections in Punjab. On the

election eve, SGPC members had given all

rights to Sukhbir to pick candidates to the

office of the committee.

Not only did the SAD president retain

incumbent SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal,

he also managed a fine

political balance by giving

representation to all major

regions of Punjab — Majha,

Malwa and Doaba. The exercise

could immensely help

in securing majority seats to

the party if SGPC goes to elections

next year.

Going by the composition of the new

SGPC team, president Longowal represents

Malwa, while senior vice-president

Rajinder Singh Mehta and junior vice-president

Gurbax Singh Nawashehar represent

Majha and Doaba, respectively.

The SGPC is considered a mini-parliament

of Sikh religious affairs and has an annual

budget of nearly Rs 1,200 crore.

A senior SAD leader claimed, “Not only

the SGPC elections, but we are also eyeing

the next assembly polls.”

The list of executive members also has

a fine combination of Jat, urban and Dalit

Sikhs. By including Kuldeep Kaur Tohra,

daughter of former SGPC president Gurcharan

Singh Tohra, in the executive body

the party, Sukhbir has given a strong hint

of bringing staunch Tohra loyalists in his

camp.

“We were earlier zeroing-in on former

SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur’s name for

the presidentship, but it would have courted

controversy due to her

tainted past. Then the next

choice was Tota Singh,

but there was risk of him

refusing to toe the party

line so best choice was to

reelect Longowal,” said

sources. A change of guard

was not considered advisable,

especially when SGPC has been facing

flak from different quarters, including SAD

(Taksali) and former SGPC general secretary

Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, for its alleged

exorbitant spend on celebrating the 550th

birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev at

Sultanpur Lodhi. “The new president could

have raised ifs and buts, giving birth to another

major controversy. But now, the issue

will be amicably handled,” they added.

Mehta and Nawashehar are both considered

a close confidants of Sukhbir.

Power dues: Centre urges state to

give BSNL ‘lease line’ till next year

Chandigarh: The

Centre has requested the

state government not to

disconnect the power connection

of Bharat Sanchar

Nigam Limited (BSNL) as

it would cause inconvenience

to those using its

services.

BSNL, which is facing

an acute financial crisis,

has failed to pay electricity

charges running into

lakhs to Punjab State Power

Corporation Limited

(PSPCL).

In a missive to Punjab

chief secretary Karan

Avtar Singh, Union communication

ministry secretary

Anshu Prakash has

requested to issue instructions

to the state electricity

board and Discoms

“to provide a moratorium

on payment of electricity

charges including arrears

by BSNL till March 31,

2020.” The letter further

reads, “Thereafter, the accumulated

dues may be allowed

to be paid by BSNL

in four quarterly installments

and the interest/

penalty/ surcharge due to

late payment may kindly

be waived.”

Currently, BSNL is operating

23,000 rural wireline

telephone exchanges,

Prakash stated.

“Disconnection of

electricity due to non-payment

of charges pertaining

to mobile phone towers,

wireline telephone

exchanges and administrative

buildings of BSNL

is causing disruption of

BSNL services including

in the remote, hilly and

inaccessible areas where

BSNL may perhaps be the

only source of telecommunication

for local residents,”

reads the letter.

A senior officer in the

Punjab power department

told media if any government

office, except those

providing emergency or

law and order services,

fails to pay electricity

bills, their power connection

is disconnected in the

same manner as of a common

man.

The Union government

has also reminded

the Punjab chief secretary

that even various departments

and undertakings

of the financial crises-ridden

Punjab government

have failed to pay dues

running into lakhs to the

BSNL for its services.

Therefore, the state

government has been requested

to issue appropriate

directions so that the

dues are settled on priority.

Taking note of the request,

the Punjab government

has directed heads

of all departments, deputy

commissioners, SSPs,

Punjab and Haryana high

court and SDOs (civil)

across the state to clear

payment of their outstanding

BSNL bills on priority

and submit report.

Prakash has urged

the Punjab government

to support BSNL, stating

that it is “currently facing

acute financial constraints.”

He has apprised the

state chief secretary that

the Union government has

already initiated various

steps to help BSNL overcome

the financial crisis.


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto

09

Stubble burning: Punjab begins exercise

to identify long-lasting workable solution

Bathinda: Even as stubble

burning has set new records in

the ongoing paddy harvesting

season that attracted the ire of

the Supreme Court, the Punjab

State Farmers and Farm Workers

Commission has started efforts

to prepare the ground to

contain the menace in future.

The commission on Wednesday

held lengthy parleys with

various stakeholders, including

farmer organisations, activists,

agriculture experts and

scientists from Punjab Agricultural

University (PAU), to find

a long-lasting workable solution

to the vexed problem.

Suggestions of the farm activists

included providing compensation

for crop residue management

(CRM) to those having

up to 10 acres of land, providing

machinery for management as

proposed by the National Green

Tribunal, dropping the practice

of imposing fines, prepare

ground for pulling farmers out

of paddy by setting up strong

marketing network with assurance

purchase of crops, stop

seeing farmers as villains, stop

making red entries into land records

of those burning stubble.

It was also suggested that

organic farming should be promoted.

The farmer commission

and state agriculture department

officials attentively listened

to the issues suggested by

various stakeholders.

Punjab Remote Sensing

Centre recorded a total of 52,942

incidents of paddy stubble

burning from September 23 to

November 26 up from 50,590 in

2018. As Supreme Court had expressed

serious concerns over

the deteriorating air quality

in Delhi and termed it as gas

chamber and directed distribution

of Rs 100 per quintal

as incentive to manage paddy

residue, the state government

had registered over 1,700 FIRs

against farmers and imposed

fines for burning stubble, impounded

combine harvesters

and made red entries in land

records.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal)

president Balbir Singh

Rajewal suggested that the PAU

should stress on research to

ensure that wheat sown using

happy seeder did not get fungal

diseases.

“The governments should

not change its perception of

farmers from hero to zero or

villain. During the Green Revolution,

farmers who made the

country self-sufficient in food

grains were termed heroes,

but now when country is food

surplus they are being seen as

villains for degrading the environment,”

he said.

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) president

Joginder Singh Ugrahan

said, “We suggested that it is

high time that farmers should

be pulled out of paddy by attracting

them towards crop diversification.

This is possible

only through proper marketing

with assurance of purchase of

crops at fixed rates. If paddy

has to sustain, we should be

provided Rs 200 per quintal in

addition to the MSP for crop

residue management. All cases

registered against farmers and

fines imposed on them should

be withdrawn, the limit of providing

compensation should be

raised to 10 acres.”

Kheti Virasat Mission

(KVM), which is promoting organic

farming, discussed the

ill-effects of overuse of chemical

fertilisers.

KVM executive director

Umendra Dutt said, “We should

respect the saying ‘what comes

from earth should be returned

to earth to improve soil health.’

We need to adopt innovative

ideas to stop stubble burning

and farmers need to make the

beginning.”

He also suggested to document

success stories of farmers

not burning stubble and

making optimum use of straw.

Some KVM members shared

stories about how they handle

crop residue in a better way.

Punjab farmer commission

chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar

urged the farmers to shun the

practice of stubble burning and

assured the farmers to give the

maximum which could be done

within the resources of the government.

Farmer commission member

secretary and Punjab

commissioner of agriculture

Balwinder Singh Sidhu said

farmers demanded incentives

for targeted technology. “Farmers

sought identification of the

technology best suited for them

to manage crop residue. Some

of the valuable suggestions

made by various stakeholders

will be taken up with the state

government for its implementation,”

he said.

Fatehabad tops in Hry with 710 FIRs

Karnal: In Haryana, the active

fires count between September

25 and November 26 has

reached 6,623. On Tuesday, 10

cases were reported across the

state. Fatehabad district has

remained on top with the highest

number of cases (1,335), followed

by Kaithal (1,252), Karnal

(1,122), Kurukshetra (722), Jind

(610), Sirsa (458), Ambala (373),

Yamunanagar (264) and Palwal

(204).

As per the data provided by

the Fatehabad agriculture department,

718 locations where

stubble had been burnt were

identified. In this regard, 710

first information reports (FIRs)

have been registered.

In Karnal, teams of the agriculture

and revenue departments

identified 444 locations

where stubble had been burnt

and 672 locations not related

to straw burning. As many as

437 FIRs have been registered

against farmers for burning

stubble. In Jind, 601 locations

have been traced by the teams

and 399 FIRs have been lodged

against violators in connection

with farm fires.

As many as 629 active fire locations,

including 458 reported

by Haryana Space Applications

Centre (HARSAC) and 171 by

the department, were reported

in Sirsa district, of which 305

have been traced and 324 active

fire locations were not related

to stubble burning. Police have

registered 89 FIRs in connection

with stubble burning cases

reported from various places in

the district and fines worth 5.87

lakh have been imposed.

Teams in Ambala and Yamunanagar

districts issued 74

and 94 challans against farmers

respectively. In Ambala, 22

FIRs were registered, while 15

were filed in Yamunanagar and

71 in Kurukshetra.

Kaithal deputy director agriculture

could not be contacted

despite several attempts.


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto 10

Fast track? In Bihar, 1 in 3 cases

took over 10 years to clear

AI pilot told to remove turban, get

pat-down at Madrid airport

Continued on page 04

It is learnt that Captain Gujral had faced a similar situation over a year back. He had spoken

to Sirsa after the first incident, who had asked him to contact him if he ever faced such a situation

again. Even when the metal detector did not beep, the security official told the pilot that he

wanted to carry out a turban pat-down or pass the headgear through the scanner. Gujral refused

to agree to both things. The security official even called the police but Gujral stood firm and spoke

to Air India’s airport manager at Madrid. He then called up Sirsa at around 1 am, who asked him

to stand his ground.When Gujral tried another terminal, he could clear the security check by

passing through the metal detector. In his letter to the external affairs minister on Wednesday,

DSGMC president Sirsa said the incident was a clear case of racial discrimination because of turban.

He urged the minister to raise the issue with the Spain government and to create awareness

globally so that Sikhs do not face such trouble at airports abroad.

Fast-track courts were set

up to deliver justice quickly.

Data, however, shows that they

have not quite lived up to their

reputation, sometimes taking

decades to give a judgment.

In Bihar, over a third of cases

referred to fast-track courts

(FTC) took more than 10 years

to clear.

Among other big states,

Telangana had the secondworst

record, with such courts

taking more than 10 years to

clear roughly 12% of the cases,

according to the recently released

National Crime Records

Bureau (NCRB) data for 2017.

These courts were set up in

2000 to clear the huge backlog

of cases in sessions and other

judicial courts.

In states like Meghalaya, of

the total 18 cases that were finally

cleared by FTCs, 10 took

more than a decade to complete.

Similarly in Nagaland, of the 17

cases, eight took more than 10

years to resolve.

In 2017, for India as a whole,

about 30% of the cases were resolved

in a year, another 30%

took 1-3 years and the rest took

more than 3 years for the courts

to pronounce verdict.

The top performers were

Jammu & Kashmir, where 89%

of cases were cleared within a

year. Madhya Pradesh (74.2%),

Tamil Nadu (65.6%) and Karnataka

(62.3%) performed well,

too.

If one looks at the national

picture, lower courts cleared

47% of the cases within a year,

better than the strike rate of

FTCs.

Here one needs to keep

in mind that unlike district

courts, fast-track courts in

many cities deal only with serious

offences and cases that

involve women, children and

senior citizens.

Recently, Union law minister

Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a

written reply to a question in

the Lok Sabha, said that as of

March 31, 2019, around 6 lakh

cases were pending in FTCs

throughout the country.

Uttar Pradesh had around

4.25 lakh pending cases in 206

courts though the state had disposed

of 4.5 lakh cases in 2017

and 2018. Maharashtra came a

distant second with 79,436 cases

pending in 77 FTCs. Indiahas a

total of 581 FTCs.

One of the main reasons for

delay in disposal of cases in

these courts has been the high

number of vacancies.

In order to speed up the process,

the government is planning

to set up around 1,000

FTCs for which the states and

the Centre will allocate around

Rs 700 crore.


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto

11

Ludhiana most ‘gender-discriminant’,

but better than Mumbai

Mumbai: A two-hourlong

drama unfurled

at the meeting of a parliamentary

committee,

headed by Congress

leader Shashi Tharoor,

on Wednesday as it was

marked by sharp differences

between MPs from

BJP and opposition parties

on whether the WhatsApp

snooping issue be

taken up for discussion.

Here’s some bad news

for Ludhiana’s men and

women: the city has

emerged as the most “gender

discriminant” in an

eight-city survey carried

out by an NGO.

But there still is some

consolation as the ‘Manchester

of Punjab’ has

done better than Mumbai

when it comes to the gender

equality acceptability

index, said NGO Akhshara

co-director Nandidta

Shah on Wednesday. The

survey measured the acceptance

of gender equality

among India’s youth.

For this study probing the

beliefs of youth on various

issues ranging from sexuality

to property rights,

NGO Akshara Centre interviewed

among 6,000 Indians

between the ages of

15 and 29 in Ahmedabad,

Vijaywada, Bhubaneshwar

and Ludhiana apart

from the four metros.

Kolkata emerged as

the most “gender-equitable”

of eight cities, while

Ludhiana as the most

“gender-discriminant”

city in this survey titled

'Big Small Steps', which

probed the minds of educated

and largely-single

men and women for their

beliefs on issues such as

social discrimination,

masculinity, sexuality,

Pak repatriates

Malerkotla resident

after 17 years

violence against women,

women's paid and unpaid

work and alternative

sexuality. While a large

number of men and women

surveyed across India

accepted gender equality

as a concept, the study

also indicated that some

traditional beliefs about

gender norms persist

stubbornly.

For instance, it

emerged that less than

1.5% men believe they

are responsible for basic

household tasks of washing,

cleaning and cooking.

Besides, over half

of the men agreed to the

statement: “Women who

wear revealing clothes

are inviting rape or sexual

harassment.”

The other sexist statement

that over half of

the men agreed to was:

“Women are emotionally

weaker than men.”

Nearly a half of the

men believed that last

rites of the parents should

be performed by the son

only and that boys are

better at learning math,

science and computers.

Over half of both men and

women were “opposed to

homosexuality”, even as

they supported the fact

that third gender should

have equal opportunities

as any man or woman.

Over 70% women did not

agree that it was okay for

men to cry in public.

At the launch of the

report, these beliefs were

mined effectively for

jokes by three stand-up

comics who riffed off on

everything from patriarchy

to men who don't

pay on Tinder dates while

actor and theatre personality

Rahul Bose — who

was raised in a family in

which the father cooked

and the mother went to

work — solemnly stressed

that the survey — while

“not definitive” — was an

important one.

“It’s too late to tell the

boys how to behave. The

boys will do as they see,”

said Bose, emphasizing

that the report could potentially

spur many more

such reports that could

prove crucial for the gender

rights movement in

India.

“We have accepted

modernity in clothing

but not in the mind,” said

Shah, who believed the

way forward is to have

many more conversations

around gender.

Amritsar: Malerkotla

resident Ghulam Farid,

who was lodged in Pakistan’s

Kot Lakhpat jail

since 2002, was repatriated

to India and reunited

with his mother on

Wednesday.

Amritsar MP Gurjit

Singh Aujla, who claims

to have played a major

role in tracing Farid and

ensuring his release, informed

mediapersons

that Farid had mistakenly

crossed over to Pakistan

in 2002 and was sentenced

for 13 years of imprisonment.

“His parents in India

tried to find him, but

to no avail and considered

him dead,” Aujla said.

One day, Farid’s parents

talked about their

son with Beant Kingra,

councillor of Malerkotla

nagar panchayat. Kingra

uploaded Farid’s information

on social media that

was spotted by Aujla.

“When I began investigations,

I found him

lodged in Kot Lakhpat jail

and initiated the process

to get him released. My efforts

eventually bore fruit

as Farid is back with his

mother Sadiqquen and

other family members,”

the Amritsar MP said.


The International News Weekly November 29, 2019 | Toronto 12

Ayodhya’s Peace Pact

But there are practical and political questions raised by the SC judgment

Randeep Singh Surjewala

Perhaps no judgment, in recent

times, has attracted the comprehensive

and thorough degree of commentary

as the Constitution Bench decision on

Ayodhya. While much of the analysis

has been focussed on the legal and theological

aspects, scant attention has been

paid to the more practical concerns and

challenges that the judgment, and in

some parts its silence, gives rise to. Some

of these concerns manifest themselves in

immediate political disputes while others

give rise to doubts about the very nature

of our government and the Constitution

it serves under.

First, the Supreme Court’s decision

to vest the control of the site in the central

government is problematic for its

political implications. Instead of putting

a quietus to the long running politicisation

of the dispute, it has, unwittingly,

allowed BJP to use this as a campaign

tool for as long as it takes for the temple

to be constructed.

Furthermore, investing a secular

government with a religious function

should have been scrupulously avoided.

It would have been significantly better to

create a trust which did not involve any

individual holding a public office or belonging

to any political party, and to entrust

them with the administration. The

judgment has thus opened the doors for

the conflation of party and government.

For a judgment that spends a significant

portion reaffirming how essential secularism

is to our democracy, this causes

some degree of dissonance for the reader.

Second, and flowing from the first, the

judgment does not resolve the claims of

the various competing religious groups

which stake claim to the construction of

temple. Barely five days after the judgment

was pronounced, three different

trusts based in Ayodhya have asserted

their right to have a say in the administration

of the site. If the government’s

control meant the extinguishment of

their rights, then the judgment stops

short of saying so.

The only recommendation by the

court is to include the Nirmohi Akhara

but it is silent on the rights of other

groups whose demonstration of faith and

persistent claims are the very basis for

the award of the site. Will these people

be given representation? Can the government

create a formula which is able to

determine, amongst these groups, as to

whose faith is deeper? Will this fuel newer

disputes? These are all thorny questions

which this government must now

grapple with.

Third, the lack of prescription on the

trial in Babri Masjid demolition. The

court acknowledged the “unlawful” nature

of the demolition in 1992 but stopped

short of issuing any clear directions to

ensure that the same is treated expeditiously

by the judiciary.

It must be noted that the Supreme

Court has never shied away from directing

an expeditious disposal of a trial. In

the 2G judgment (a pillar of BJP’s propoganda

in opposition) the bench directed

the court of the special judge to decide

the matter expeditiously and to provide

periodic updates on the trial to the Supreme

Court.

Surely the Supreme Court, after holding

the act of demolition to be unlawful,

could have issued requisite directions

for a day to day trial. This would have

helped in bridging the scales of justice as

also the divide between the two communities

in question.

Fourth, holding the demolition of

the mosque illegal is an incomplete

pronouncement as well. In the act of destruction

on December 6, 1992, the holiest

of the places – Ram Chabutra, Sita

Rasoi and the Hanuman Dwar – were

also demolished. It is the unquestionable

sanctity of these sites that led to the final

judgment being in the favour of Ram

Lalla.

The centuries of faith and devotion

these places had commanded were held

to be indisputable. Yet no one is held to

account for the demolition and vandalism

caused to these sites in 1992. It has

been stated repeatedly that Ram Chabutra

had the imprint of footprints of Lord

Ram and these were believed to be the

holiest places for Hindus. Why then are

the culprits not being identified and

tried for these specific offences?

Fifth, Places of Worship Act has been

upheld on the grounds that secularism is

a part of the basic structure of the Constitution.

In their dissenting judgment

given in the Ismail Faruqui case, Justices

Ahmadi and Bharucha had argued

that laws preventing destruction of religious

sites had previously existed (such

as Section 295 the Indian Penal Code) but

they had acted as little deterrent against

the mob.

The Supreme Court therefore could

have gone a step further and put a conclusive

veil on the titles of all religious

structures that currently exist. It could

also have called upon the legislature to

examine the need for amending the law

to increase the penalties from the current

three-year sentence prescribed by

the Act.

The central and/ or the state governments

have been given an additional and

immense responsibility; to identify and

provide five acres for the construction

of the mosque. Given the circumstances,

this needs to be done with grace, humility,

persuasion and generosity, qualities

which both the governments are grossly

deficient in.

As with any judgment that seeks to

deal with complex questions which mix

the political, historical and religious,

the court had to find a middle ground

that would yield the greatest good of the

greatest number. For now, this judgment

seems to have achieved that peace albeit

with questions..

Source Credit: This article was first published

in The Times of India. The writer is an

advocate and in charge of the Congress communication

and media cell.

Self-inquiry For Personal And Business Solutions

Anant G Nadkarni

Since the early 90s, although

businesses and economies have

increasingly become more empowered

and free, concerns about

environment, social inequality

and transparency are growing

enormously. There is an overall

sense of mistrust between people

and institutions.

While globalisation, technological

advancement, access to

resources and knowledge have

enhanced development and wellbeing

when applied appropriately,

the overall scenario is still grim

and aptly described as volatile,

uncertain, complex and ambiguous

(VUCA).

Even so, there have been a

surge of initiatives and innovations

to help create sustained

processes to solve such problems.

While governments, corporations,

civil society and all other institutions

and organisations are striving

towards their aspirations and

goals for a better future, there is a

phenomenal growth and opportunity

to also find a deeper sense of

meaning and a way for individuals

to grow and develop from within

towards better relationships

and sustained peace.

There is focussed and organised

effort on health, education, attitudinal

change, psycho-spiritual

development and on leadership at

all levels of personality on a scale

like never before.

More importantly, there is focus

on need for heightened awareness,

deeper sense of empathy,

new forms of collaboration, finding

greater purpose in life and so

on. There is significant awareness

about appropriate pace and fulfilment

of medium-term goals linked

to long-term aspirations, while

also coping with realities of today.

All this seems to converge at one

level: that our current manner of

‘thinking and thought-processes’

have to take a paradigm shift.

While different faiths, practices

and traditions have been saying

and following it differently for

long, the basics of heightened Selfawareness,

deep reflection, quiet

time, developing a sense of totality

and more are coming back to fuse

with our times and those to come.

Sri Ramana Maharshi was

among those in the forefront of

this realisation. The process of

Self-inquiry and operating in a

sense of totality and appreciation

for ‘questioning the unquestioned’

seem to align with what could

change our basic way of thinking,

when carefully and discretely applied

in our practical life and at

work. For instance, when a devotee

would expect the Maharshi

to bless or relieve suffering, he

would reply as if completely ignoring

the object like ‘suffering’ in

this case, and encourage devotees

to inquire ‘who’ is really suffering.

The relevance of this process

to our lives, apart from its own

purpose of guiding one to realise

the Self, is the depth at which one

has to shift ‘thinking and thought

processes’ in our life and at work.

With regard to economic, social

and environmental issues,

one of the finest such examples

of innovation today is ‘Integrated

Thinking, Performace and Reporting

System’. Over 1,500 companies

globally have adopted this process

and in India, 55 companies are

changing their thought process,

action and expression to look at

a basically different level of improvement

at work.

Yet another innovation applied

in business models for a

more meaningful use of artificial

intelligence, machine learning, is

known as Design Thinking. Shankar

Thayumanavan, in India,

has a working model on Design

Thinking. But what excitingly

connects everything is a summary

of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s

teachings on Self-inquiry with

solving problems in IT and AI

businesses in his book ‘Making

of a Level 5 Design Thinker’. It

shows how businesses solved

tough problems making changes

in thinking processes.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines