The way the Supreme Court bench endorsed the decision making process involving the Prime Minister is astonishing. This is the only area gone into by the three judges and the judgment clearly shows that they have ignored some of the major stages of the process involving serious violations on the part of the Indian Government. The apex Court has failed to perform its supreme duty as the custodian of the nation.
Prime Minister Modi and the BJP national president Amit Shah tried every trick to win the elections in its so called strongholds and mobilised massive resources and RSS muscle power. Even in the last part of the campaign, the PM stooped too low by openly telling in the meetings that Sonia Gandhi and her family would be named by the extradited Agusta Westland deal middleman as the recipient of the bribes.
Urjit Patel’s term as the head of the Reserve Bank of India would surely be reckoned as one of the most tumultuous time. Demonetisation was thrust upon him almost immediately after he took over the reins, while, some of the worst board members of the Reserve Bank were foisted upon to breathe down his neck. Without them around, the governor might not have left peremptorily.
It goes without saying that the Congress’s good showing in the three states is Rahul Gandhi’s big moment. He led the party from the front by effectively replying to Narendra Modi’s barbs with the video which the Congress president tweeted about the prime minister’s incessant harping on the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty being perhaps the most telling riposte.
At 128 in 2018 alone, and about 266 instances of internet shutdowns since 2012, India wears the unenviable crown of curtailing internet connectivity because of flimsy political excuses, despite chanting “Digital India” 24 X 7 X 365. Precisely why the validity of the Internet Shutdown Rules has been questioned in no uncertain terms by Shashi Tharoor, who has urged the government to undertake a comprehensive review of the Internet Shutdown Rules.
The Indian National Congress and other political parties will be pigmies before cash-rich saffrons on eve of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, thanks to the dubious electoral bond scheme introduced by the BJP government early last year, through the Finance Act 2017. Already, a staggering majority of the bonds have been issued to the BJP by corporate donors, as the Election Commission data have shown. This must be challenged in court.
Instead of coming up with a charter of demands the famers’ organisations had just three demands — an unconditional all-India loan waiver, increase in MSP as per the original Swamianthan formula and, above all, a 21-day special session of the Parliament divided into seven three-day thematic sub-sessions, each with a set of very specific and well-articulated demands.
Having noticed this huge lacuna in the general public’s understanding and awareness of the RTI Act, The Leaflet will be running a weekly column on it, in an attempt to make Indian citizens more aware about the myriad uses of the Act, thereby encouraging its wider application in holding various government departments accountable and transparent in their functioning as well as decision-making process.
All eyes are on the Supreme Court to hold the ideals of the Constitution up and declare FGM an offence. It is about time that India joins the international movement against FGM and that the law protects its citizens from such heinous violation of human rights and bodily integrity.