Monthly Archives: OCTOBER 2017


Three Women of 1984
31.10.17 - S PAL
Three Women of 1984



1984 - A Love Story. They burnt alive her husband, she watched silently. Should she have shouted?
 
There is a silly notion being floated for a few years now that Sikhs are demanding justice for the 1984 genocide. Indian TV and print media happily fuel such a narrative, repeatedly peddling the clichéd line that Sikhs have been waiting for justice for a long time.

If it weren’t so tragic, I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of it all.

No one demands justice for thirty-three years. 

1984 is a story India is not just too ashamed to tell the world; it’s a story Indians are too embarrassed to tell themselves. If they did, they would have wondered if it was even possible to render justice after 33 years.

33rd does not sound like much of an anniversary. In some grotesque sort of way, it is less sexy than 25th or 30th anniversary. It’s a truth in the times defined by news media. 

So when Sikhs were marking in 2009 the 25th anniversary of the 1984 killings, there was a great deal of hype about justice denied. HS Phoolka was still to turn a politician, and he lent his name and possibly some work to a book written by Manoj Mitta. Clearly, some bright book peddling expert must have suggested that it be released by a "riot victim." 

That's when I met Sanmeet Kaur. No, she wasn’t a "riot victim". Her mother was. Sanmeet was a fragile bundle, very delicate. She wasn't even two; her second b'day was still a few weeks away. Sanmeet had a deep connection with the idea of search for justice.

In 1984, Sanmeet wasn’t around, but questions from 1984 will be existential questions all her life for her, and no Proust could philosophize them enough to help her make sense of it all. 

At the book release function, her mother Kulbir Kaur fawned over her all the time. In 1984, Kulbir was even younger than Sanmeet was in 2009. She was just two-months-old – "I was also very chubby" – and was cradled in the arms of her mother Mohinder Kaur, who was all of 25 years of age at that time. 

Mohinder, 25 year old in 1984; Kulbir, 25 year old in 2009, and Sanmeet, just under two years when I met her. All three women of 1984.
----------
Today, after 33 years, the victims of 1984 are not demanding justice. They are not even there. No one remains the same after 30 plus years. The young who needed justice are middle aged now. The middle aged who watched people being burnt alive are in their 80s or 90s. The wise old men and women passed away long ago. 
----------
On November 1 of 1984, Mohinder Kaur carried Kulbir in her arms on the Delhi railway station. Delhi was not under any deathly silence; instead, there was dance of death all around. The goons armed with kerosene canisters were perhaps angry that long-haired people being burnt alive were making hell of a noise, resisting a little bit too much. 

But Kulbir hardly seemed bothered. She was asleep. Mohinder Kaur wasn’t paying much attention to that beautiful bundle in her arms. Something else was demanding her attention.
 
 Also Read:  MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

Her husband, Gurmej Singh, father of the two-month-old Kulbir Kaur, was being burnt alive a few yards away on the railway platform. They had spotted him, had pulled him out and given him no choice. They had unlimited supply of used tires and kerosene, and loved a spectacle. 

Mohinder Kaur watched, every nerve in her body straining and pulling at her heart strings to rush out and fend off the goons who were assaulting her husband and throwing burning tires around his neck. She wanted to fend for him, to throw herself over him, to take the blows, to extinguish the flames, to save her husband, or perhaps die with him.

But a bundle wrapped in a towel was stopping her. She needed to first get rid of the cherubic baby; left to herself she would have flung herself on her husband. She knew the odds. One step out of the train, one cry for her husband, one shout for help, and her religion would have been writ large on her face. The goons were in no hurry, they were searching for more Sikhs to be burnt, and there seemed little compunction in burning two-month-olds.

Mohinder Kaur watched hell’s fury from the train as the absence of the Indian nation state wrote the damning fate of the two-month-old Kulbir. 

I saw Kulbir Kaur a quarter century later, in 2009. She was 25. The chubby smile had long gone, the weary one had set in. She had seen too many summers to know that trees that fall in winter shake the earth. The activist lawyer, whose book was being released, presented a copy of the book to Kulbir Kaur. Carefully cradling Sanmeet in one arm, she unwrapped the book.

It was getting too surreal for the woman who was all of two-months-old when she had seen so much blood. Mohinder Kaur stepped ahead and offered to carry Sanmeet in her arms. In 25 years, one two-months-old had grown up enough to understand what denial of justice means. 

Another two-year-old watched. 

And no one was putting much money on what kind of book Sanmeet could possibly be releasing after 25 years. 

"You mean she watched her husband being burnt alive and she did not step out from the train?” an innocent young journalist working for an English daily that exhorts its readers to graduate to the times asked me. 

"Do you see her releasing the book?” I was forced to ask. 

"Yes.” 

"Well, if she had, you would not have seen her.” 

----------
We now use a calendar to remember the pain of others. So we recall the 1984 massacres around the end of October or the beginning of November every year. 
----------
Today, after 33 years, the victims of 1984 are not demanding justice. They are not even there. No one remains the same after 30 plus years. The young who needed justice are middle aged now. The middle aged who watched people being burnt alive because they had long hair, are in their 80s or 90s. The wise old men and women passed away long ago. The men who sported just sprouting moustaches have salt and pepper beards now. 

A Nigerian proverb that underlines a pragmatic approach to justice delivery mechanism says justice should ideally come before the sole of your shoe wears off. 

Kulbir has grown out of so many shoes by now. And Sanmeet will soon be asking for new ones. 

It is now for India to search for justice for itself. Destiny has decided that India will forever live with the shame of genocide against Sikhs. 

Has India decided to live forever with the reality that it never prosecuted the murderers of more than 3,000 men and women? 

We now use a calendar to remember the pain of others. So we recall the 1984 massacres around the end of October or the beginning of November every year. 

We haven’t humanized ourselves to remember Sanmeet’s pain every single day of our lives. Also, we haven’t dehumanized ourselves to forget it altogether. 

So we recall it every November 1 – appropriately, because that’s the day they burnt her grandfather. 

We are something between humans, and …?
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

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 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 





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ELECTION COMMISSION UNDER ATTACK – FROM MODI
PM Modi puts EC in a spot, questions legitimacy of RS election
23.10.17 - kanwar manjit singh
PM Modi puts EC in a spot, questions legitimacy of RS election



IN REMARKS THAT are likely to leave the Election Commission red-faced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually questioned the legitimacy of the recent Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat, belittled the victory of "those won in the recount” and, in the process, left the EC’s reputation further bruised.
 

Modi, in a public speech telecast nation-wide on most tv channels, was primarily attacking the Congress for questioning his visit to Gujarat just before the announcement of the poll dates and criticism of the EC for not declaring on October 12 the date for Gujarat elections alongside Himachal Pradesh poll dates.

"Some of them (Opposition) are worried why Modi is coming to Gujarat after Diwali. They can't say anything to me, so they are targeting the Election Commission," the Prime Minister said, but immediately thereafter, he went hammer and tongs after the EC, too.
 
"In the recent election, votes were counted and TV channels were showing who is the victor, but they (Congress) did something after which a recount took place in which they won," Modi said, adding, "Those who won in the recount are now asking the Election Commission why Modi is going to Gujarat." This was Prime Minister Modi’s third visit to his home state Gujarat this month.
-----------
Mainstream Indian media seems to have pulled its punches and refrained from calling a spade a spade while reporting the prime minister's speech in Vadodara on October 22.
-----------
Clearly, Modi, speaking as Prime Minister, made it clear that he granted more legitimacy to the earlier vote count and the victors being shown on television and put in doubt the validity of the recount ordered by the Election Commission. "Those who won in the recount are now asking the Election Commission why Modi is going to Gujarat." Clearly, the victory of "those who won in the recount" is not legitimate in the eyes of the prime minister. 

How will the Election Commission react to it remains to be seen, but by all available indications, hardly a murmur is expected from the men currently calling the shots, or holding them back. After all, the EC's reasoning for not declaring the Gujarat poll dates hasn't convinced many.

While Modi said the opposition does not have "any moral right to ask this question to the Election Commission," he did negate the EC's moral standing by questioning an election carried out under intense media gaze in which Congress leader Ahmed Patel won by defeating BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput.
----------
Modi said the opposition does not have "any moral right” to criticise the Election Commission, he himself negated the EC's moral standing by questioning the Gujarat Rajya Sabha election outcome.
----------
Mainstream Indian media seems to have pulled its punches and refrained from calling a spade a spade while reporting the prime minister's speech in Vadodara on October 22.
 

As it is, the EC seems to have become a butt of jokes on the issue of non-announcement of Gujarat poll dates. While the Congress has alleged that the Modi government had pressurised the EC to hold back the announcement of Gujarat election dates to facilitate the PM's sops-shower in his home state before the model code of conduct came into force, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram posted a sarcastic tweet:

"EC has authorised PM to announce date of Gujarat elections at his last rally (and kindly keep EC informed)." 
 
Meanwhile, Chidambaram reacted to the Prime Minister's remark, saying: "Congress complained to EC before counting began. There was only one count, no recount. Ask EC." Also, in a tweet, he wondered why can't the Congress question the EC, and rhetorically asked whether people should pray to the EC.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

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MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

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 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT




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Cops take WhatsApp message seriously, skip Rajnath Singh's Guard of Honour
19.10.17 - PT Bureau
Cops take WhatsApp message seriously, skip Rajnath Singh's Guard of Honour



IN AN EMBARRASSING episode, police constabulary in Rajasthan went on leave to protest a possible move to reduce their pay scales, leaving Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a piquant situation when he arrived in Jodhpur this week and the cops assigned for the Guard of Honour duty went AWOL. 

A separate police contingent was put together in a hurry to offer salute to the minister.


Authorities now plan to take action against the police constables. Any such action by constables in Kashmir could have invited criticism of being anti-national, but since this was Rajasthan, the government stuck to phrases like "serious" and "unfortunate."

Rajasthan cops are angry at the possibility of reduction in their pay scale from Rs 24,000 to Rs 19,000, but so far, there has been no official word on the matter and the issue has been a debating point on social media.
 
Police authorities have confirmed that the uniformed men tasked with guard of honour duty simply did not turn up and alternative team had to be despatched. 

Now, the state police chief has asked senior officers to clarify that there was no such move regarding pay scales.

Sections of the media in Rajasthan have also reported cases of policemen shaving off their heads to protest move to reduce their pay.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. SOON REACHING YOUR CITY. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

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THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS  Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT







[home] [1] 2 3  [next]1-5 of 12


Comment by: Powell Betel

Kidney donor for the sum of 3 crore 30 lakh If any one is willing to donate should please contact us on : austinbetel@ yahoo.com OR Whatsapp Or Call +917900190905

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Comment by: Powell Betel

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PUDR slams Tihar jail authorities for attacks on Kashmiri inmates
18.10.17 - PT Bureau
PUDR slams Tihar jail authorities for attacks on Kashmiri inmates



The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) has expressed "grave concern" at incidents it viewed as "specific targeting of   Kashmiri Muslims" in Tihar and other jails and slammed the jail for failure to protect the vulnerable.

In a statement, Cijo Joy and Anushka Singh, both secretaries of PUDR, pointed out the instance of a deadly assault against two Kashmiri undertrials, Mohammed Shafi and Javaid Ahmed, on September 13, an incident that came to light only earlier this month.

Incidentally, both the Muslim inmates were attacked by members of two warring groups. The deputy inspector general of police has acknowledged that the victims were not party to the gang war. 

The PUDR said such specific targeting of Kashmiri Muslims in Tihar had been reported earlier, too. It also added that such an ordeal of the Kashmiri Muslims was not confined to the male wards only. 
 
Presently, Tihar has over 15,000 inmates, of whom, only 20 per cent are convicted, the rest being under trials.
 
Calling the "incidents of attack on Kashmiri Muslim prisoners ... a fatal form of discrimination and targeting," the PUDR cited certain incidents to claim there was "culpability of the jail administration, whether through negligence, disdain or prejudice."

"The right to life enshrined in the Constitution does not cease to be fundamental (right) behind the closed doors of prison. Being the custodians, it is the responsibility of the jail authorities to ensure a life of dignity and security to the prison inmates and protect them from any form of violence whether in the hands of jail staff or inmates," the PUDR secretaries said. 
 
Surprisingly, the incidents of attacks on Kashmiri inmates in Tihar jail made news only sparingly in the mainstream media even though Delhi newspapers devote reams of newsprint to city coverage and Tihar is seen as a full-fledged beat.
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. SOON REACHING YOUR CITY. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF EXTENSION IN AGE OF RETIREMENT  What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS  Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

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DECODING THE MYSTERY
This is why Election Commission did not announce Gujarat poll dates
15.10.17 - Awagyakrit Singh
This is why Election Commission did not announce Gujarat poll dates



In the Super Bowl of Indian democracy, the reigning champion BJP and the challenger Congress are preparing for battle most ferocious, but the Election Commission’s conduct has given rise to a query most unfortunate — on whose side is the umpire?

 

NEW DELHI, OCT 15: If the Election Commission had announced the dates for Gujarat polls alongside that of Himachal Pradesh, as everybody and his uncle and nephew expected on October 12, this is what would not have happened. So, each of these are steps that the Election Commission not only allowed but facilitated with its decision.


Did it go out of its way, even putting its reputation at stake, while postponing announcement of Gujarat poll dates?


The Election Commission's main reasoning was that the Gujarat government had informed the EC that crucial flood relief work was on and the relief efforts will be sabotaged if the model code of conduct was to be suddenly enforced.

 

Now, both varieties of journalists, pertinacious as well as assiduous, have reported that the local authorities in Gujarat's flood-hit districts have already completed the flood-relief work to the extent of 100 per cent! In both, Banaskantha and Patan, the districts worst hit by the floods, relief work had ended days back.

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The Election Commission's main reasoning was that the Gujarat government had informed the EC that crucial flood relief work was on and the relief efforts will be sabotaged if the model code of conduct was to be suddenly enforced.

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Since the October 12 announcement, the Model Code of Conduct had come into operation in Himachal Pradesh. So no new sops can be announced, no new schemes can be launched, no roads can be laid, no bridges can be inaugurated, no new foundation stones can be laid.

 

Since the October 12 non-announcement in case of Gujarat, the following has either already happened or will happen.


* On October 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Gujarat, not to seek votes, but to announce sops. In the last 30 days, the PM has visited Gujarat four times. For his latest, he should take out the Election Commission for a thank you dinner.

 

* The 15-day, 149-constituencies yatra will have the slogan - I am Gujarat, I am Vikas. This is the 'habeas corpus answer' to the campaign about the missing vikas, or ‘Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe (Vikas has gone crazy)’, possible only because the EC did not declare Gujarat poll dates on October 12. 


* On October 17, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate an ayurveda institute. This would have been unthinkable if the EC had announced poll date on October 12.


* On October 23, PM Modi will again visit Gujarat where he will make appropriate references to the Labh Pancham day, the auspicious day when businesses reopen after Gujarati new year day. This will be an administrative visit, not part of election campaign, thanks to the EC.


* On October 23, the PM will happen to inaugurate development projects worth Rs 780 crore in Vadodara alone — something that would have been unthinkable if the EC had announced Gujarat poll dates on Oct 12.

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You cannot blame the EC for allowing the bullet train theatre as a poll sop. But for every government sop that happened or will happen after the EC failed to announce Gujarat dates on October 12, the EC needs to take the blame, unless the 100 gardens and gyms are part of the flood relief measures.

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* Entire official machinery of Gujarat will be at the beck and call of the state government for this function. If the EC had announced the dates on Oct 12, those officials would have been empowered to say no to misuse.


* The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday, October 17, to clear additional projects worth Rs 250 crore. This meeting would have been impossible if the EC had announced election dates on Oct 12.


* The new Rs 250 crore of projects, which the VMC will clear on Oct 17, will be announced by the PM on October 23. Needless to say, this would have been impossible if...


* Apart from the Rs 780-crore projects that it approved and that PM Modi will inaugurate on October 17, the VMC on October 13, approved civic projects worth Rs 300 crore. Not possible if…


* On October 16, entire paperwork for the newly approved projects will be cleared. This would not have been possible if...


* PM Modi will announce a mega flyover project worth Rs 222 crore during his visit. It is time we stopped telling you that it would have been possible if...


* 100 new gardens, an open gym, new playing areas worth crores, a nature-cum-safari park at Ajwa...none of this would have been possible if...


* On his last two-day trip, Modi had unveiled Rs 10,800 crore worth of projects.


* Gujarat government has promised 2 lakh jobs with its garment policy


* Gujarat CM has announced new GIDC units


* On Friday, day after EC did not press the button on model code of conduct, a foundation stone was laid for a medical college in Moraiya village of Sanand Tehsil, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It would not have been laid if…


* A foundation stone was laid for 2,121 houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) in Deesa, Gujarat.


* A Garib Kalyan Mela was organised in the same district under the tutelage of Gujarat Health Minister Shankar Chaudhary and MoS (Welfare of Socially and Economically Backward Classes) Keshaji Chauhan, both all set to fight the elections whenever EC announces.


* The two ministers organised a greh pravesh ceremony for 65 families who were allotted houses under PM Awas Yojana. 


* The Garib Kalyan Mela was organised in the main market yard of Deesa, a venue that would not have been possible if…


* The entire machinery, men and resources, of the Deesa Agricultural Produce Market Committee were involved in this sarkaari function which would not have been possible if the Model Code of Conduct were on. They have the Election Commission to thank.


* Help for 10,000 beneficiaries was announced, but if…

 

* People received gas stoves and cylinders, sewing machines, cycles, milk collection vessels and other kitchen items. They should thank the EC.


* Rs 1.2 lakh was announced as government assistance to build homes. EC, thank you.


* A minister also announced that Rs 30,000 have already been deposited in bank accounts. He should have thanked the EC also.


* Since the EC's non-action on pressing the Model Code button for Gujarat, these are worthies touring the state — Smriti Irani, Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti, Vasundhara Raje, Yogi Adityanath, apart from lesser names. All of these tours have been subjected to the observant eye of the EC, the expenditure would have been paid out of BJP's or the leaders' accounts, not the state exchequer, and their statements would have been subjected to the test of communalism etc., if only the EC had announced the Gujarat poll dates on October 12.

 

* Someone could have petitioned the EC that Yogi Adityanath's statements on Saturday, two days after EC's refusal to kickstart Model Code of Conduct, sound communal. Yogi, claiming that Hinduism is the culture and soul of India, said, "Hindu koi card nahi hain, ek sanskriti hai, is desh ka pran hain. Pran ke bagair sharir ki kalpana nahi ki ja shakti hai."


* Now you cannot go to Mr AK Jyoti because he will tell you the election dates were not announced because of pending flood relief work, and because the long period of model code of conduct hampers development.

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The EC did not declare the Gujarat dates on October 12. So, the PMO declared Modi’s Gujarat tour dates as October 17 and October 23. On October 23, the PM will inaugurate development projects worth Rs 780 crore in Vadodara alone. How’s that for EC’s reputation as an honest arbiter of democratic transition?

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Of course, everyone in Gujarat believes that the bullet train theatre with star participation by an exotic Japanese actor waving hands was only a huge leap forward in Gujarat's march towards development and had nothing to do with garnering votes. You cannot blame the EC for that one.


For anything that happened after that announcement by the EC on October 12, and the non-announcement, the EC needs to take the blame, unless the 100 gardens and gyms are part of the flood relief measures.


The sops are very necessary in Gujarat. BJP supremo Amit Shah cancelled a crucial meeting with OBCs in Fagvel even though the OBCs comprise 40 per cent vote chunk in the state. The reason given was 'heavy rain.' The real reason was the worry that the BJP had little to show what it had done for the OBCs. The sops will help.


Without sops, you need Pakistan a lot. In Bardoli, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on October 14 blasted Jawaharlal Nehru and said had he given Sardar Patel a free hand, India would not have been facing the Kashmir issue. In Gujarat’s Mandavi, Yogi Adityanath asked the crowd to shout "Bharat Mata Ki Jai” so loud that it is heard in Pakistan. In Ahmedabad, on October 14, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj dwelled in details on women skirts and surgical strike against Pakistan.


All of these visits would not have been possible with government money and local officials would have stayed miles away from political rallies if only the EC had announced Gujarat election dates on October 12.


In a recent meeting, BJP president Amit Shah pulled up a young man who asked an uncomfortable question, and said the young people should apply their minds before believing everything on WhatsApp. Hardcore BJP supporters hope and pray that Gujarat's voters do not take Amit Shah's advice seriously and continue to believe the great march towards development that our politicians are leading us on to.


There is, however, little danger of India's thinking men and women taking the EC's word seriously that it did not announce the Gujarat election dates on October 12, alongside the dates for Himachal Pradesh, because it was worried about flood relief work or did not want to hamper the development initiatives in Gujarat.


In Pakistan, Imran Khan has suggested that the Election Commission should register itself as a political party.


In India, Gujarat is set to see a lot of talk about Pakistan, and also about Election Commission.


The Congress, despite its many setbacks, has never dropped below 38 per cent of the vote bank in Modi’s time.

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Read Punjab Today Editorial here :

Election Commission - You Failed to Convince. Try Again.

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Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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