A New Caste Called ' Unreserved Castes ' !

Don’t play with fire, it burns.
The caste conundrum has burnt the BJP’s boats in Madhya Pradesh and is set to singe it in Gujarat, even sink it !
Caught in a cleft-stickfollowing the 2015patidaragitation which saw the ruling party nearly toppled fromits power perch in the 2017 Vidhan Sabha elections, successive BJP governments in Gujarat find themselves lost in the reservation alley, sinking further every time it seeks to beat its way out.
It’s latest move came on December 8 when it put out a list of 69 castes and sub-groups among, hindus, muslims, Christians, jains, parsis as well as jews who wouldbe defined as “unreserved classes”.
Officially the list is designed to provide caste certificates to those from theunreserved castes so that they can get benefits under the Gujarat Unreserved Educational and Economical Development Corporation Scheme of 2017.”This in effect means that the government has now created a new caste category called the ‘unreserved castes’. It’s like the pr…

Turmoil In Gujarat High Court : Rooting For A Judge

In a rare show of solidarity over the transfer of Justice Akil Kureshi to Bombay High Court, the Bar in the Western India state of Gujarat went on strike and relented only after a meeting with Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.
Rarely has the transfer of a High Court judge created the sort of upsurge in thelegal fraternity in Gujarat as was witnessedwhen Justice Akil Kureshi was moved to Bombay. The Bar struck work, and in one voice urged the apex court to reconsider it’s decision.
On October 29,the supreme CourtCollegium had recommended transfer of justice Kureshi, the second most senior judge of the Gujarat High Court to the Bombay High Court. It also cleared the elevation of Gujarat High Court chief justice R.Subhash Reddy as a Supreme Court judge. Ideally, after justiceReddy’s promotion, Justice Kureshi should have been made acting chief justice. But on November 1, the Centre issued a notification appointing Justice A. Dave to this post and asked Justice Kureshi to ta…

Life , Law And Liberty : A Case Study

The law is an ass unless you propose to ride it. Then it bucks you to spread-eagled state !
Is the search for truth in the quest for justice ,a matter of just right or wrong, a matter of bland rules and just plain guided legality or does one need to break through the straight-jacket ,at times, to dispense it ? The question brooks an answer. Here’s a case study.
The Supreme Court of India recently pulled up the Gujarat High Court for acting like “a trial court” in deciding a bail application and for disclosing the victim’s identity. The case related to sexual assault on a minor under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The High Court had ordered lie-detector, brain-mapping and narco-analysis tests on the accused person for deciding the bail application. And it also ordered that the same tests be conducted on the victim’s family members.
They appealed in the Supreme Court against this order. The apex court bench of Justices N V Ramana and Mohan S Shanta…

From Gallant Game Changers To Nervy Name Changers !

Narendra Modi brought BJP to power,single-handed in 2014 cresting a promise to change the ethos of Indian politics and governance.He electrified hope.He energised India. With just months to go for his five year term to end, the man and his weather-beaten party machine stand reduced to niggling name changers. 
By last published count 19 of the 23 Congress led UPA government schemes sit soundly in new BJP led NDA make-up. The hackneyed ‘old wine in new bottle’ sums up the ruling BJP’s  pan- India penchant, post 2014.
From schemes to cities has been a short walk ona circuitous trail. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Aditya Nath’s high profile political polo of turning Faizabad into Ayodhya and Allahabad into Prayagraj at the inter-section of an RSS orchestrated campaign for the Ram Mandir in a bid to hustle the apex court, is now predictable poll politics. So is the Narendra Modi led BJP government’s consent, so far, to the renaming ofat least 25 towns and villages, across India in…

Haren Pandya : The Slain BJP Politician Who Refuses To ' Die '

Ghosts from the past have an uncanny way of turning up in the present with immense potential to blight the future of the most powerful.
On November 3, a key witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case told a Mumbai court that the murder of senior BJP leader and a former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya in 2003 was a contract killing executed at the behest of former IPS officer D.G.Vanzara.
Thedeposition ofAzam Khan, an Udaipur based small time gangster before the CBI court has brought to life the most speculated and worst-kept secret of the time-- that the murder of theup and coming Gujarat BJP leader was a political extermination at the behest of some of the most powerful in the land of the Mahatma.
Vanzara terms it as yet another conspiracy to defame him. ”Azam Khan is a criminal. There are cases against him in Gujarat, Rajasthan and some other states. Even today he is in jail. Moreover his evidence is hearsay. It does not account for much under the Indian E…

Whose Memorial Is It Anyway ? Sardar Or .........

The Prime Minister of India added the tallest statue in the world to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s memorials and subtracted all that he stood for, in it’s dedication to the nation on his 143rd birth anniversary .
The 182 metre tall “Statue of Unity” built on the Narmada river at a cost of Rs 2989 crores facing the sprawling 1210 metre long sardar Sarovar dam, in Gujarathas been billed asthe tallest in the world, surpassing China’s spring temple Buddha .
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dwelt at length on the legendary vision of the first deputy Prime Minister who had unified the country and appealed to countrymen to remain united against divisive forces. Minutes later, he was hauling the opposition over the coals for opposing his mission.
The entire area of Kevadia colony had been turned into a policed fortress after the tribals of the region made known their resolve to boycott the function. The main inhabitants of the region stood simply barred out.
The cr…

Communal Cleaving That Fragmented The Hindu Caste Fabric !

Pebble-stirred ripples both caution and crush. In either case they leave a lasting impact. 
Three news items that appeared in the course of this week bear eloquent testimony to it.
The first, pertains to the account of Lt Gen.Zameer Uddin Shah(retd.) who had been dispatched at the head of a 3000 strong army contingent to control the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. His memoirs only confirm, what is internally well known, that the response of the state administration was ’tardy’ andthatthe army was delayed transport for over a day despite a request to the then chief minister, Narendra Modi. The former vice-chief of the army staff said that the sequence of events has been recorded in the ‘war diaries ‘ of the army. General S. Padmanabhan, the then chief of Army Staff had backed the assertions of Shah.
Thus it is that crucial time was lost in the statewide deployment of the army while the cops gave a free hand to the rioting mobs targeting the minorities in cities and towns engu…