Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2018

Pakistan, Navjot Sidhu & the hug: Amarinder Singh 2018 is opposing Amarinder Singh 2004
23.08.18 - S Pal

IS A SHORT-TERM political exigency actually eroding the goodwill capital earned by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh?

No one can dispute two simple facts: Firstly, that Captain Amarinder Singh had emerged as the harbinger of the Indo-Pak civilian discourse and steered a popular Punjab-Punjab narrative during his last term; and secondly, that the same Captain Amarinder Singh is now being seen as opposing a harmless gesture by his popular minister Navjot Singh Sidhu during his recent visit to Pakistan.

Certainly, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was not a shining knight of democracy nor a stalwart fighter for Indo-Pak peace, by Amarinder Singh had broken convention by walking across the border with a bunch of his ministers and embracing each and everyone, regardless of their past.

He was happy to receive a horse from the then Punjab government and from Elahi who was a leading coterie member of a four-star general Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf had ...

Narendra Modi will fend off this attack from Vajpayee. He did it earlier, too.
17.08.18 - S Pal

NO ONE HAS lost more than Narendra Modi in the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The former Prime Minister, who once reminded 'hamare Narendra Bhayee Modi' of his 'raj dharma,' seemed to have timed his death perfectly to deliver a message to the incumbent prime minister, and was found unsparing this time. Again.

As Modi trudged the seven kilometre stretch, walking next to Amit Shah behind the hearse, all the way from the BJP head office to Smriti Sthal, one could the see the worry writ across his face. You can blame the mercury for rising to 36 degrees or the humidity to have crossed 70 per cent, but Modi's concerns were very different.

It was a day of mourning for him. His idea of India seemed to be gasping for breath, his vision of India not only defeated but even its public humiliation being beamed live on national television. 

Vajpayee had finally ...

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?
13.08.18 - S Pal

WE LIVE IN 1947. It is midnight. A job is being done. An agenda is being implemented. We will see the morning only when the task is accomplished. Millions crossed the Radcliffe line; others are still being told to go. In 1947, the announcements were made from loudspeakers mounted on horse-driven tongas. Now, the message is being sent out from the TV studios.

In Delhi, someone fired at Umar Khalid at an event titled ‘Khauff Se Azaadi.’ 1947 is on.

It is not about the BJP, or Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The fact is that Muslims in India have not found the required political legitimacy that a functioning democracy should have provided them, theoretically on day one, pragmatically within a reasonable time.

Even when people weren't worried about what the guy next door was storing in his fridge, even riots weren't happening, even when the truck-cum-rath of LK Advani hadn't started trundling through ...

Sikh rebellion: Questioning the SGPC's authority
10.08.18 - VIPIN PUBBY*

THE Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), housed in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, is considered the Mini Parliament of the Sikhs. It holds sway over the affairs of this community with huge funds and vast powers at its disposal.

The Committee, which was set up under the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, is seen as a protector of Sikh maryada (traditions) and awards religious punishments, including excommunication from the community. It lays down strict guidelines on how respectfully the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of the Sikhs) is to be carried. It gives permission to set up new gurdwaras and organise prayers in gurdwaras and homes.

Besides having a major say in Panthic affairs, the SGPC has an annual budget of Rs 1,064 crore and the collection from the golak (offering by devotees in gurdwaras) runs into crores of rupees.
Besides managing gurdwaras, the SGPC runs several welfare and educational institutions, including medical ...

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election: NDA wins, Akali Dal loses
09.08.18 - S Pal

IN THE ELECTION of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman on Thursday, the Akali Dal of Sukhbir Singh Badal lost rather badly, without even a consolation prize. That's the political result of the joust.

As for the electoral joust, Harivansh Narayan Singh of the Janata Dal (United) who was the NDA's pick, defeated opposition candidate B K Hariprasad of the Congress with a 125-105 votes.

Even at a time when Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was caught up in a storm over the shelter home scandal in which young girl children were molested and a crescendo was on for the resignation of one of his ministers, the BJP could not ignore his grouse.

Nitish was miffed that while he had given full representation to the BJP in his government, the Modi-Amit Shah team had failed to reciprocate it at the Centre.

But Nitish Kumar did not utter a word in public. 

On the other hand, Sukhbir Singh ...

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