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The Model Between Mahatma And Modi

BY R.K.MISRA
Mahatma Gandhi’s Gujarat is now Narendra Modi’s home state and his ‘model’ for countrywide replication.
Thesymbolism of this transition was not lost when justdays before Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Sabarmati ashram in Ahmedabad for the official celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this October 2, 2019 his government unveiled plans for the takeover of the ashram.
The plan is to take-over all trusts, institutions, land and property, painstakingly built over the last 70 years ,with or without government grants. The Sabarmati ashram was served a notice informing the trustees and the 200 and odd inmates that the government was preparing to give them’ handsome compensation’ and apartments for ceding control of the institutions and the land. The government, the notice assured, planned to transform the Ashram into a fitting ’world class’ memorial to the Mahatma.
Stupified Gandhians wonderat the contradictions. Simplicity and austerity were the …

MV Act Amendment : Playing Political Poker On Pot - holed Roads !

BY R.K.MISRA
“If you are gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty”, said Marilyn Monroe. Sure Madamoiselle ! would go an imaginary conversation for there is no other way to explain the contradictions in the implementation of the amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act which came into effect from September 1, 2019 and stirred up a hornets nest countrywide. Narendra Modi is a powerful Prime Minister who rules with an iron hand. He has a steamroller majoritywhich ensured easy piloting of the Motor Vehicles(Amendment)Bill, 2019 through Parliament until it became a law on August 9, 2019. The amendments were made in consultation with transport ministers from 18 states along with discussions with other standing committees.
And yet mere days before it was slated to be implemented, Gujarat- the Prime Minister’s home state as well as that of his powerful party chief as well as Home Minister, Amit Shah- stalled and watered down it’s penal provisions. Soon other BJP ruled states followed su…

Tortuous Path To Justice : Lifer For Former BJP MP

BY R.K.MISRA
The conviction ofan MP for murder by the CBI court in Ahmedabad reveals how the rich and powerful get away with heinous crimes unless the judicial system works as it should.
“Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done”, or so goes an old saying. In this case it was finally seen to be done, nine days short of a nine year long epic battle. when the Special CBI Court in Ahmedabad sentenced former BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu  Bogha Solanki and six others, including his nephew and a police constable, life came full circle for a grieving father and a small dedicated band which fought indomitable odds to secure justice for the murder of his son, RTI activist Amit Jethva in 2010.
Amit’s father, Bhikhubhai, says: “The conviction is a victory of the judiciary and a proof that a judicial system exists which is re-assuring for commoners”. The verdict is perhaps the first time in the history of Gujarat that a former MP- he was a sitting MP when the crime took place- has…

Insidious Ways Of Duplicitous Governance !

BY R.K.MISRA
Insidious are the ways authorities function,preaching one thing, practicing quiteanother .
Administrative muscle- flexingto suit political goals was on display when the BJP ledVijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi- led governmentexpressed its intentto confirm it countrywide but stopped short of doing so. Here is a classic case of how governments function in India, looking London and talking Tokyo.
In April, the Gujarat High Court quashed three notifications of the state government aimed at stopping export of livestock from Tuna port in Kutch, terming it a ‘colourable exercise of powers”, to do something which cannot be done directly.
A division bench of justices Harsha Devani and Bhargav Karia termed the decision as ‘grossly illegal, unconstitutional and violative of the fundamental rights of the petitioners”.
Several livestock exporters had sought judicial redressal after the state government issuedorders u…

Gujarat : Tinder Box Tragedy And A Complicit Government

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BY R.K.MISRA
Gujarat spent Rs 3,000 crore building the Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in
the world, but in Surat 22 students died on May 24 because the fire brigade did not 
have a ladder to reach the fourth floor of a building in flames.
Considered the commercial capital of Gujarat, Surat is the eighth largest city of India. There are almost 14,000 people per km here and the skyline is dotted with multi -storeyed buildings. Many lack safety standards, leading to the chilling sight of these teenagers jumping to their deaths when a fire engulfed their coaching centre. There was not even a netting to catch them as bystanders clicked the sight on their mobiles, showing the criminal callousness of the government. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered a crackdown and warned that the guilty would not be spared but it is his government as well as those of his predecessors,Narendra Modi and Keshubhai Patel, which are in the dock. A perturbed National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) has suo m…

Poll Pot : Gujarat Law Minister In Legal Soup

BY R.K.MISRA  The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.  This is what is hoped in the case of Gujarat minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, whose election victory in 2017 by a mere 327 votes was challenged in the Gujarat High Court by his Congress rival Ashwin Rathod. As the case winds down, all eyes are on the judgment that will come out. Chudasama is a heavyweight in the Gujarat cabinet as he holds the ministries of law and justice, education and legislative and parliamentary affairs. He has enjoyed the confidence of various chief ministers, be it Keshubhai Patel, Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel or Vijay Rupani. He is a six-time legislator who has been with the saffron outfit since the Jan Sangh days, was an agriculture minister in the Janata dal-BJP coalition government (1990), chairman of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam and vice-chairman of the State Planning Commission. The current travails of Chudasama began when the election result came out in December 2017 and he…

Modi's Gujarat Model : A Matchless Mirage !

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BY R.K.MISRA Myths multiply matchlessly while reality is a reluctant racehorse. The same stands true for the Gujarat model of development which is the national role model in Narendra Modi ruled India. Hyped perpetually by a high voltage media blitz, gullible products of the ‘whats app’ university have led to the belief that Gujarat was ‘born’ the day Modi took charge as Chief Minister on October 7, 2001 and developed magically over the next 4,610 days until a buoyed nation asked him to relinquish charge on May 22, 2014 to lead the country. A reality check, based purely on facts, of his rule of the state would be in order. Though Prime Minister Modi is the present messiah of the Swachh Bharat movement, interestingly, it was Mahatma Gandhi who had launched the biggest sanitation drive in the history of Ahmedabad in 1919, cleaning almost 3,000 tonnes of garbage. Thirteen plus years of Modi’s helmsmanship and five years of his own party’s successors later, Gujarat accounts for three of the…