Monthly Archives: OCTOBER 2017

Defamation a ploy to gag media, SC must revisit stance on criminal aspect
30.10.17 - By Vipin Pubby*

If at all, defamation may be treated as a civil offence, not a criminal one. Only that will end the practice of political bigwigs using it as a coercive tool to dissuade and even threaten the media.
The Editors Guild of India has expressed "deep disquiet over the continued misuse of the law that treats defamation as a criminal offence”. The Guild, which represents senior editors of the country, issued a release on Thursday to stress its concern over the misuse of defamation laws which are being used as "a coercive tool to dissuade and even threaten the media from carrying out its legitimate responsibilities”.
Although it did not name the latest victim of criminal defamation laws, it is obvious that the reference was to the defamation case filed against ‘The Wire’ for publishing a damning article against Jay Shah, son of the BJP chief, Amit Shah. The article had stated that ...

Bush, Obama said this on Diwali. Was it meant for Trump? Or Us?
19.10.17 - By Pandit Nasruddin Chichawatni

ON THE DAY of Diwali, two former presidents of the United States of America, who had not spoken in months, said stuff that many thought was actually aimed at rebuking President Donald Trump, but a number of Indians in western democracies said the message was just as appropriate for India's saffron rulers.


Former presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama spoke at separate events, and both warned that the United States was being torn apart by ancient hatreds that should have been consigned to history long ago.



Both the former presidents called for addressing economic anxiety through common purpose.


Political pundits in the US said while neither named Trump, there was little doubt whom and what they had in mind. Many of the readers in India said Obama's and Bush's words can be ...


Election Commission - You Failed to Convince. Try Again.
15.10.17 - By Punjab Today Editorial Board

Most Indian newspapers, including almost all English language newspapers, today carry a story that starts something like this: "Here is why EC did not announce dates for Gujarat assembly elections." All these news reports have dutifully reported the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Jyoti's reasoning that the delay was because the Election Commission was worried about the state's welfare.


Jyoti said "there is no justification to have a prolonged period of the imposition of model code of conduct as it could hamper development work," and quoted a 2001 precedent when the law ministry and the EC had reached an understanding not to allow a gap of more than 21 days between the announcement of polls and date of notification for elections.


Clearly, it is Jyoti's case that the delay was not to accrue any undue benefit to the BJP, as was being alleged by the opposition.


Clearly, the CEC's explanation ...


On a day India's Supreme Court stood up for girl child, Pak law makers let her down
12.10.17 - PT FOREIGN DESK

India Shamed Pakistan on Wednesday. Once again. Without uttering a single bad word. This is how a better democracy works — by winning the day without hatred, without communalism, and being eternally progressive and liberal. Incidentally, October 11 was International Day of the Girl Child. Pakistani law makers seem particular selective about deciding when to shame themselves!

ON A DAY WHEN India's Supreme Court struck a blow for the rights of the girl child and ruled that sex with wife below 18 years would amount to rape, a Standing Committee of Pakistan's Senate rejected ‘The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2017’, calling it un-Islamic. The bill was aimed at increasing the minimum age for girls to marry from 16 to 18.
Pakistan’s law makers went to Islamic religious scholars to ask if girls can be married before the age of 18 according to Islam. The ulema said yes, and the government should ...

She slept with Langah. Don't sympathise with her.

A WOMAN COMPLAINED against a minister, claiming years of exploitation. Alongside her complaint, she submitted a video. Sucha Singh Langah is now in jail, his party cleansed itself by expelling Langah, and a religion protected its purity by excommunicating him.

A leading playwright of Punjab, Pali Bhupinder Singh, wrote on his facebook how our society must not have any sympathy for such women who strip for jobs, something he termed was neither a qualification nor a matter of duress.

The kind of backing such comments received in the social media betrays the rape culture which engulfs our mindset. 
Clearly, the argument is that only good women deserve protection. And the playwright and his supporters have the uncanny ability to detect bad woman when they see one. In this case, they have seen her.

They have even watched her in circumstances in which she was being exploited. And it is their understanding that in fact, ...

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