Monthly Archives: OCTOBER 2018


THE ADHAR CARD-YUKT JASOOS - THE FOUR MUSKETEERS OF IB
Mona Darling, Jao Dekho, Bahar Jagga Jasoos Jaisa Aadmi Karamchand Jasoos Jaise Aadmi Se Baat Kar Raha Hai
25.10.18 - S Pal
Mona Darling, Jao Dekho, Bahar Jagga Jasoos Jaisa Aadmi Karamchand Jasoos Jaise Aadmi Se Baat Kar Raha Hai



IN 33 NOVELS and more than 50 of her short stories, Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot is a man eager to reveal himself to anyone looking for a detective.

"He could pass as a detective to an outsider but not to a man who was a policeman himself," Christie described him in "The Erymanthian Boar," written in 1947, the same year when India's Intelligence Bureau was set up in its new avatar, shedding the Raj legacy that it had pursued since 1887.

This week, on Janpath, in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi, just yards away from India's National Museum and an even more famous 10-Janpath address, the personal security officers of the country's sleuthing expert caught four bumbling fools of the Intelligence Bureau.

While this may have triggered panic in the Alok Verma household, and a flurry of news television coverage of hefty men dragging other hefty men by their collars and waist belts inside the fortified Verma residence, it should actually worry people of India much more than Alok Verma.
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Much like the 'terrorists' caught by police in India who conveniently carry some Pakistani currency, these IB men moved around with their Aadhar cards & PAN cards duly secured in their pockets.
-----------
The fact is that Alok Verma is actually one man who knows how the IB snoops — one reason his men simply rushed out and caught the four IB men, and made no claim that any fifth person escaped. (The Punjab Police routinely tells us that it caught two culprits at a naka at xyz point that was set up upon receiving specific information about the movement of anti-social elements, and it still claims that another two unidentified men escaped.) 

Clearly, sleuths knew how sleuths work, and that's why we have a problem of four bumbling musketeers of Janpath on our hands.

The bigger problem is that now we know how sleuths work.

They are the most easily detectible, can be caught by four or five hefty men without use of any arms or weapons; in fact, without even a lathi. And much like the 'terrorists' caught by police in India who conveniently carry some Pakistani currency and a packet of moongphali nuts marketed by some small time home-based entrepreneur in Lahore's Anarkali Bazar in aluminium foil packs with distinct Urdu markings and ‘Made in Lahore, Pakistan’ splashed in large font size, these IB men were hiding their identities by moving around with their Aadhar cards, PAN cards etc duly and firmly secured in their pockets.

Such is the fear of the Doval regime that India's IB sleuths prefer not to risk careers by being found without an Aadhar Card at any time, notwithstanding anything in the Supreme Court judgement. 

We should all be very afraid now of the efficiency of our sleuths who have only swung between their description as one who gave instructions to 'Mona Darling' or the carrot-eating Karamchand. 

While national television splashed the faces of these IB men, it is surprising how details of their particulars have leaked out. The picture of the details of stuff caught from their personal possession, being published here, shows the utter failure of Indian sleuthing expertise.

That such a picture was taken even as these details were being minuted shows the casualness with which the serious job of spying is pursued in Modi-Amit Shah-Doval raj.

Gross inefficiency is seeped deep in our legacy.
 

Two Haryana constables, Prem Singh and Raj Singh, were similarly caught snooping outside another building along the same road, the one slightly more famous: 10, Janpath. Inside used to live Rajiv Gandhi who opened his window on the morning of March 2, 1991, spotted the two Karamchands, and decided enough is enough. In the next 96 hours, Prem Singh and Raj Singh brought down the Chandra Shekhar government with their bare hands. They were just having tea.
-----------
The picture of the details of stuff caught from their personal possession, being published here, shows the utter failure of Indian sleuthing expertise.
-----------
It is a pity journalists do not track down or interview Prem Singh and Raj Singh when movies like Jagga Jasoos or Bobby Jasoos are premiered — they could make for some great page 3 splash.
 
While the couple of minutes-long movie based on the actual working conditions of these four detectives of India's top internal spy agency has been running in a loop on multiple Indian television channels and people are lapping up the action-reaction drama from Arun Jaitley to Mallikarjun Kharge, you can form your own views on who was ‘Agent Vinod’ and who matched the 'Ek Tha Tiger' description.

As the accompanying photo of the details of their personal possession depicts, they were no 'Clyde Warren Beatty Barrow' of Bonnie and Clyde fame. In fact, in these times of #MeToo and women empowerment, the IB should seriously consider recruiting some 'Bonnie Faye Dunaway Parkers' for such Sacred Games along the Janpath. They'll probably be not as bumbling fools as these four musketeers.

P.S. Will the free bird IB now take steps to protect its reputation by buying its men better smart phone models than Chinese cheap popular versions? You know all these minor details now make it to the media and impact reputation. This is why and when the caged parrot sings, no Maya Angelou pun intended.
 

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: 

Amarinder Singh, the coup in the CBI & the ED case: Headline is missing, so please read it between the lines

COP Vs. COP IN PUNJAB: Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal Ab Dar Kahe Ka

SURGICAL STRIKE DAY & WE THE PEOPLE The story of the gate is not the story of the house

Akali Dal's attempt to brand Navjot Sidhu as anti-national & ISI agent is ridiculous

UNHOLY HASTE To save the faith

Hua Panthik-Panthik Punjab - How do we reclaim real politics?

The Yuba City Attack on Manjit Singh GK & General Sambit Patra

Pakistan, Navjot Sidhu & the hug: Amarinder Singh 2018 is opposing Amarinder Singh 2004

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Paragraphs that went missing from PM’s Red Fort speech could have pre-empted Opposition attack

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

Mr SY Quraishi, can you please help to save this pet dog locked inside this sealed building?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

Punjab is Silent as India Wakes Up to Talk of Refugees

AAP-CONG ALLIANCE: ARREY BHAI, YEH KYA LIKH DALA?

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS PLANNING HONEYMOON? 

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

DEATH EMBRACING LOGIC: Drugs in Punjab

PANJAB'S EMERGENCY: FORMAL AND INFORMAL

THE KASHMIR GOVERNOR, THE TRIBUNE TRUST & ETHICS - How Journalism Fails Readers?

"Congress Sikhan Di Dushman Jamaat Hai?” —Akalis need to dump broken record, shift gears

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

SIKHS & FEMINISTS – We hailed Harjit Sajjan; they didn’t hail Gina Haspel

AFTER BEING RAPED, I WAS WOUNDED; MY HONOUR WAS NOT

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WE MISSED A REVOLUTION, BUT CAN IT STILL BE A GAME CHANGER?

A POLITICIAN SPEAKS – YOU SHOULD HEAR

ENCOUNTER, JULOOS & SELFIES

SOWING ANGER - NO QUICK FIX - Democracy is an Empty Ritual in Punjab

OUT-OF-BOX SOLUTION TO STOP FARMERS' SUICIDES

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

'THORRI BAHUTI EHNA NU SHARAM AUNI CHAHEEDI HAI'

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON SUICIDE-HIT BATS FOR AARHTIYAS

RANGROOT OFFERS A PEEK INTO PUNJAB'S TRAGEDY

WHAT MAKE NEWS IN INDIA, AND WHAT DOES NOT?

HITLER, MODI & GANDHI: ON THE SAME PAGE?

PUNJAB IS STILL VERY FAR FROM INDIA

APOLOGY – AKALIS BIG LOSER, CONG TOO 

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

SUPER EFFICIENCY ONBOARD CM’S CHOPPER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties: The Coordinated Silence of Amarinder Singh & Badals

PM MODI VINDICATES PUNJAB TODAY REPORTAGE

NEW DELHI V/S OTTAWA — WILL QUEBEC DEFEAT INDIA?        

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA - Trudeau came to Punjab, pushed Amarinder closer to BJP, then called him a liar

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

J&K – RAM MADHAV LEAVES SPACE FOR MEHBOOBA’S POLITICS

SHEKHAR GUPTA'S HALF-BAKED TRUTHS 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

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

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

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

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


 







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Comment by: Dr. Prem Kumar

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SC declines blanket ban, allows to burst firecrackers for two hours on Diwali, 35 minutes on New Year’s eve
23.10.18 - Team PT
SC declines blanket ban, allows to burst firecrackers for two hours on Diwali, 35 minutes on New Year’s eve



People can burst low-emission firecrackers for two hours this Diwali,  the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, ruling against a blanket ban on fireworks. But the top court ordered that the firecrackers should not be too noisy or polluting.

A two-member bench said only "green crackers” — which have low emission and permissible sound limits — can be sold through licensed traders as it effected a ban on online trade of firecrackers. The court also said that e-commerce companies will be held for contempt of court if they failed to adhere to the court order.

Considering widespread air pollution concerns, the bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan fixed a time duration for bursting crackers: between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali, and between 11.55 pm and 12.30 am on Christmas Eve and New Year. It also directed the Centre to encourage community cracker bursting during Diwali and other festivals in Delhi-NCR. The bench also said that the station house officers of police stations concerned will be held liable if banned crackers are sold in their respective areas.

It ordered the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to give clearances to crackers only if they meet noise and emission standards.

The court also banned online sale of firecrackers and said it would be the responsibility of e-commerce companies to ensure there is no violation of the order.

The top court had earlier said all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, needs to be taken into account while considering a plea for the ban.

It had asked the Centre to suggest measures to be taken to curb the pollution and the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.

Manufacturers earlier told the court that the use of firecrackers should not be completely banned and it should instead be strictly regulated. They said firecrackers are not the reason for the increase in air pollution and there are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it.

Last October, the Supreme Court suspended the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1 to in the run up to Diwali which was celebrated on October 19 in 2017. But the use of firecrackers in the city was still rampant on Diwali day, according to an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) of CPCB data.
 

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: 

COP Vs. COP IN PUNJAB: Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal Ab Dar Kahe Ka

SURGICAL STRIKE DAY & WE THE PEOPLE The story of the gate is not the story of the house

Akali Dal's attempt to brand Navjot Sidhu as anti-national & ISI agent is ridiculous

UNHOLY HASTE To save the faith

Hua Panthik-Panthik Punjab - How do we reclaim real politics?

The Yuba City Attack on Manjit Singh GK & General Sambit Patra

Pakistan, Navjot Sidhu & the hug: Amarinder Singh 2018 is opposing Amarinder Singh 2004

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Paragraphs that went missing from PM’s Red Fort speech could have pre-empted Opposition attack

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

Mr SY Quraishi, can you please help to save this pet dog locked inside this sealed building?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

Punjab is Silent as India Wakes Up to Talk of Refugees

AAP-CONG ALLIANCE: ARREY BHAI, YEH KYA LIKH DALA?

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS PLANNING HONEYMOON? 

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

DEATH EMBRACING LOGIC: Drugs in Punjab

PANJAB'S EMERGENCY: FORMAL AND INFORMAL

THE KASHMIR GOVERNOR, THE TRIBUNE TRUST & ETHICS - How Journalism Fails Readers?

"Congress Sikhan Di Dushman Jamaat Hai?” —Akalis need to dump broken record, shift gears

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

SIKHS & FEMINISTS – We hailed Harjit Sajjan; they didn’t hail Gina Haspel

AFTER BEING RAPED, I WAS WOUNDED; MY HONOUR WAS NOT

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WE MISSED A REVOLUTION, BUT CAN IT STILL BE A GAME CHANGER?

A POLITICIAN SPEAKS – YOU SHOULD HEAR

ENCOUNTER, JULOOS & SELFIES

SOWING ANGER - NO QUICK FIX - Democracy is an Empty Ritual in Punjab

OUT-OF-BOX SOLUTION TO STOP FARMERS' SUICIDES

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

'THORRI BAHUTI EHNA NU SHARAM AUNI CHAHEEDI HAI'

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON SUICIDE-HIT BATS FOR AARHTIYAS

RANGROOT OFFERS A PEEK INTO PUNJAB'S TRAGEDY

WHAT MAKE NEWS IN INDIA, AND WHAT DOES NOT?

HITLER, MODI & GANDHI: ON THE SAME PAGE?

PUNJAB IS STILL VERY FAR FROM INDIA

APOLOGY – AKALIS BIG LOSER, CONG TOO 

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

SUPER EFFICIENCY ONBOARD CM’S CHOPPER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties: The Coordinated Silence of Amarinder Singh & Badals

PM MODI VINDICATES PUNJAB TODAY REPORTAGE

NEW DELHI V/S OTTAWA — WILL QUEBEC DEFEAT INDIA?        

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA - Trudeau came to Punjab, pushed Amarinder closer to BJP, then called him a liar

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

J&K – RAM MADHAV LEAVES SPACE FOR MEHBOOBA’S POLITICS

SHEKHAR GUPTA'S HALF-BAKED TRUTHS 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

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

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

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

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] 1-4 of 4


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#MeToo — MR PRIME MINISTER, DID YOU KNOW IT?
18.10.18 - S Pal
#MeToo — MR PRIME MINISTER, DID YOU KNOW IT?



MJ AKBAR HAS resigned. It is after the resignation that the real loss to the reputation of the Narendra Modi government has begun. 

If anyone thought that the Modi government was losing face due to the presence of M J Akbar in the Council of Ministers, they need to understand realpolitik once again.

As long as Akbar was there, the entire rage generated by the #MeToo campaign was directed at Akbar. Newspapers were full of details about his itinerary, the countries he was visiting, when he would return, his statement against women who accused him, his defamation case, the battery of his lawyers, his upcoming court hearing, his writings, his sense of suave dressing, his command over English, his acumen as editor, and, whenever possible, his bathrobe and underwear.

Now that his undergarments are out of the conversation, everyone's attention will be on the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept silent on this controversy.
In fact, even after Akbar resigned, sources in the government and the BJP went out of their way to make it clear that Akbar will remain in the BJP and that his resignation was his personal choice.   
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No one is inducted into the Union Council of Ministers without an internal check by the sleuths. The intelligence bureau presents a dossier that goes through all relevant pairs of eyes, including those of the prime minister.
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Modi and the BJP are making it clear, in so many words, that not only do they not want any credit for showing Akbar the way out, but they actually watched him go with a heavy heart.

And this is what will bring the focus back on how Akbar came to be inducted in the Union Council of Ministers. Surely, the induction of MJ Akbar followed the same procedural course as that of anyone aspiring to be a minister in the government of India.

No one is inducted into the Union Council of Ministers without an internal check by the sleuths. The intelligence bureau presents a dossier that goes through all relevant pairs of eyes, including those of the prime minister. Thankfully, India's intelligence agencies are capable enough of not missing what half of Delhi's drawing room circles knew, and the other half talked about incessantly.

Do you think that the IB dossier on Akbar would have not mentioned a word about the former editor's flamboyant ways with women, and downright predatory attitude? In case that has happened, we should get to read in the newspapers that heads of important IB honchos have rolled because of their failure to inform the prime minister that the man he was about to induct in the ministry could seriously harm his reputation one day.

Akbar's libido did not have an expiry date, and we are still not sure if he did not continue with his ways in the ministry. Remember that we do not have any account, not even an anonymous one, from any women working the ministry with Akbar that they did not suspect any such behaviour in all these past months and could never have thought that Akbar was such a dangerous man to be around.

So, did Modi read the IB report and decided to ignore it? Did Modi take the approach that 'men would be men' and such things often come packaged with successful men? Did Modi read the intelligence report on Akbar and summoned and warned him that he was inducting his into the ministry but he will not brook such behaviour from now onwards?

Alternatively, did the IB or other intelligence agencies gave no warning in their reports before the induction of Akbar into the ministry?
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Alternatively, did the IB or other intelligence agencies gave no warning in their reports before the induction of Akbar into the ministry?
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The Prime Minister can save his reputation by making public the intelligence dossier on Akbar, related to this aspect. If it was the failure of the intelligence agencies, then let those sleuths take the blame. Failure to do so will only confirm the worst fears: that everyone in the establishment knew what kind of person Akbar was, and they did not care.

Do you think when the news of Akbar possibly joining the Union Council of Ministers swirled around Delhi's gossip circles at the India International Centre, the Habitat Centre, the Golf Club, the Press Club, the Foreign Correspondents' Club and the many watering holes of Lutyens’ town, those women would not have called up each other and their friends with a sense of shock and disbelief?

How long do you think it takes for such talk to get around and permeate right down to the power structures at the top? And yet, Akbar was inducted, he stayed in the ministry, went flitting around the world, shook hands with women Indian and foreign, and worked under a woman boss. Every second that he was in that job, India's reputation was on the line.

Akbar was no political heavy weight, he did not make space for himself in the ministry by the dent of his political background or mass following. He was a personal pick of Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi owes an explanation to the country about why he inducted Akbar. Also, Narendra Modi owes an explanation of why he did not sack Akbar.

It was the travesty of justice that Akbar was allowed to resign. Also, the resignation of anyone from the ministry is not a punishment for violating the bodily integrity of a score of young talented aspirational women, decimating their dignity and sexually harassing them as a way of life.

By now, it is clear that MJ Akbar's typical day was: dress up, go to office, eye a young attractive woman, call her to the cabin, stare/ogle at her, make her feel uncomfortable, try to touch her and then take a pick - will he put his hand on her back, or try to pluck her bra strap, or shove his tongue down her throat? 
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Narendra Modi owes an explanation to the country about why he inducted Akbar. Also, Narendra Modi owes an explanation of why he did not sack Akbar.
----------
Day after day, woman after woman. 

If woman after woman talked about this, surely the men knew. Surely many of those men are today senior journalists, authors. Surely, they too would have spoken to many in the corridors of power, asking what makes this man the right fit in the ministry?

Akbar was in the Modi ministry because the men who mattered cared nothing about his transgressions. And Modi has not moved a finger or opened his mouth to make it clear that he is not a man like that.

Instead, his people have now informed the media that Akbar will very much continue to serve the BJP. The nature of his services rendered is national news, by the way.

On Thursday, the day after Akbar put in his papers, BJP's Ram Madhav has written an op-ed article on the #MeToo movement. The effort must be thoroughly lauded because it is the first #MeToo related article that manages to not make a single reference to a man called M J Akbar.

Madhav has praised three Union ministers — Menaka Gandhi, Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman, saying  they "deserve compliments for breaking that silence and raising their voice in support of the women who spoke out." He left out Sushma Swaraj who chose to remain silent and will forever remain accountable for it.

But with that, he also condemned every single male minister of the Modi government who chose to say nothing. The likes of Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goyal and Nitin Gadkari might have remained silent because they gave the space to PM Modi to say something or act, but that they remained silent even after Akbar quit shows they were lesser men.

It is this silence that will hurt women of India. The silence of Modi on what he did know before inducting Akbar, the silence of others regarding the likes of Akbar even after he left.

India's women are a vote bank that has never come together as one. Modi and company have tried to forge it into a vote bank with all that talk of Ujjwala, Beti Bachao, Triple Talaq. This awakened mass of women now watch the silence of men. 

That silence is on the other side of the political divide also, but rage often singes those in power.
----------
Akbar’s undergarments are now out of the conversation, and the question is: Does the emperor have any clothes on?
----------
In America, the Democrats, by opposing Judge Brett Kavanaugh's ascension to the Supreme Court, and by then watching him assume that coveted seat, have made sure that women come out in huge numbers and do what needs to be done — vote out the sexual harasser number one of the world, Donald Trump.

In India, Modi can avoid that tag of being the protector number one of a known top sexual harasser. He needs to speak up. He has the megaphone of the nation. He has the Red Fort as his pulpit. He has the Vigyan Bhawan as his bullpen. He has his Mann Ki Baat as his fireside chat show.

He is silent.

With Akbar out, Modi's silence is more painful. That pain is right now in the national public eye at least as far as women are concerned.

It is not just that Akbar has filed a defamation case against a Priya Ramani. It is that Modi is not saying a word against Akbar, and on #MeToo.

Akbar is gone. Narendra Modi is in the public eye. That's when real loss starts.

Akbar’s undergarments are now out of the conversation, and the question is: Does the emperor have any clothes on?

Tell the nation: DID YOU KNOW IT?
 

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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_______________________________________________________________


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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A Private Members’ Bill To Decriminalise Natural Drugs and Our Parliamentarians
06.10.18 - AMANDEEP SANDHU
A Private Members’ Bill To Decriminalise Natural Drugs and Our Parliamentarians



The debate on drugs is spinning towards farming of drugs. This article is a reminder on where it all started with Dr Gandhi. His appeal to amend the NDPS Act in November 2016. Now as we face perhaps the last assembly session before the Lok Sabha elections, is it time to finally act on this Bill? 
-Editor

In the coming winter session of the Parliament, which begins on 16 November 2016, Dharam Vira Gandhi, a member of parliament from Patiala who was suspended from the Aam Aadmi Party in August 2015, will table a private member’s bill to amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. The bill proposes that the definition of "narcotics” and "psychotropic substances” in the act, which currently includes all drugs, be classified into "soft” drugs—which are naturally grown, such as opium and poppy husk—and "hard” drugs—which are synthetic compounds and laboratory or industry-made chemicals. The proposed amendment also suggests that the possession of soft drugs be decriminalised, and its growth and sale be regulated by the government. "We are seeking a classification of drugs so petty drug users are not unnecessarily penalised,” Gandhi, who is a heart specialist, told me when I met him in October in Patiala, at his clinic, which was teeming with patients. Gandhi said that the regulated supply of opium and poppy husk for medical and personal use would be crucial in providing relief to drug users and to "rid society of dangerous unsupervised medical and synthetic drugs.”

Gandhi’s proposed amendments mark a radical departure from the approach that the police and governments have historically used in their attempts to curb the drug menace—primarily, to discipline and punish drug users. In its present form, the NDPS act and its implementation fail to pursue the real perpetuators of the drug business—the financers and the suppliers. The blanket banning of narcotic and psychotropic substances has resulted in the the propagation of a ban-smuggle-promote model, where a banned substance is brought back into the market through illegal smuggling, and promoted by dealers looking to ply their wares. Gandhi’s proposed change could transform how the the consumption of drugs is dealt with throughout India, especially in states such as Punjab, Manipur, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh, where drug use is widespread and has become a significant public-health risk.
-----------
Decriminalisation for petty users and the re-classification of drugs is the need of the hour. It will allow administrations to form a grip over the problem instead of letting it bellow like smoke from a fire.
-----------
Widespread drug abuse is perhaps one of the gravest issues currently facing Punjab. According to data released by the Narcotics Control Bureau, in 2014, seven states had more than 500 drug-related arrests. Of the nearly 12,000 arrests that year, about 22 per cent were from Punjab—over 3,500 arrests. Over 2,800 of these were cases of heroin addiction. In June 2016, the Indian Express reported that in the districts that see the most drug use, the Punjab police arrests an average of 25 drug-users a day, and that, in 2014 and 2015, one person died in custody every four days.

In late July 2016, the state police conducted tests for drug use on a controlled group: aspirants for jobs of police constables. About 4.7 lakh young men applied, and on the first day of the recruitment process, 7,800 were tested for drugs. Of these, 3.7 percent, or 294 young men, tested positive for either performance-enhancing drugs or habit-forming ones. The previous month, Kiren Rijiju, the union minister of state for home affairs, had admitted in Parliament that since 2014, 53 policemen from various departments in the Punjab police were arrested for being implicated in drug-related cases. The police in the state commonly uses chitta—smack—as a threat to subdue citizens, to settle scores, and even to implicate fellow policemen. News reports have repeatedly confirmed that even in jails, drugs are easy to come by. In a note explaining the objectives of the bill, Gandhi noted that only 2 percent of those arrested are financers and suppliers of drugs, while nearly 88 per cent of the arrested are either users or addicts. It is here that Gandhi’s reform becomes key—the proposed changes to the NDPS would establish drug users as victims and not perpetrators of drug abuse, and protect them from undue stigmatisation.

"The question is not of abuse,” Dr Puneet Kathuria, a psychiatrist who practices in Ludhiana and Malerkotla, told me. "For centuries, opoids have been common in our culture. In fact, much of our labour-intensive farming and small-scale industrial growth in Ludhiana was a result of the slightly stoned hard-working farmers, farm workers and industrial labour.” Kathuria’s assertions—that opium and poppy husk, along with home-brewed liquor have been an age old phenomenon in Punjab—is authenticated by folk lore, folk songs, anecdotes, popular culture and academic studies. Kathuria said that about a decade ago, the quality of opium and poppy husk available in the state began to deteriorate. "People needed to consume more to get a high. That led to the shift in consumption patterns and rise of synthetic drugs,” he said. This, he continued, led recreational users and addicts to substances such as Schedule-H drugs—which cannot be purchased without a prescription—such as Lomotil, which is used to treat diarrhoea; Tramadol, an opioid pain medication; cough syrups; and Fortwin and Phenergan injections, which are also used to treat pain. When the government began to regulate the supply of these drugs, people moved to chitta, which was cheap and easily available, and amalgamations of chemicals—a "hazardous cocktail,” according to Kathuria. "The rule of thumb is: addicts move quicker to substances than the state can ban them. There is no end to the chase.”

During the course of my reporting in Punjab, I met scores of addicts. Nearly all of them spoke about two things. For one, they felt slighted by the system, whose insistence on treating them as criminals robbed them of a dignified method of getting help and treatment (a study commissioned by the ministry of social justice and empowerment, which was conducted across 10 districts in the state, found that even though 80 percent of the addicts had attempted to break their habit, only 35 percent were able to obtain help). The second was the prevalent business model through which the cycle of drug abuse is perpetuated: once a person is hooked and runs out of money to support their addiction, their dealers encourage them to find five or ten new recruits to whom they can sell their product. The addict thus becomes the local supplier. Not only does the criminalisation of addicts and users fail to tackle the root causes of the pattern of drug habits as they stand currently—such as the reduction in the availability of natural drugs—it also compounds the stigma that is already associated with drug use. "No one has ever died of natural drug use,” Gandhi told me. "People have been consuming opium for centuries but there are no recorded fatalities.”
-----------
Over the past few years, the US government has softened its stance on natural drugs—in nearly half the country’s 50 states, regulations on marijuana growth, sale and use have been enacted, which include both decriminalisation of possession and legalisation of growth for sale, and personal and medicinal use.
-----------
"The reporting is less than real consumption because the patients are scared of NDPS,” a medical professional who is in-charge of a government-run National AIDS Control Organisation de-addiction clinic in Punjab told me. He added, "We can’t solve the issue through rhetoric, slogans, goodwill messages and jails.” The medical professional is a strong supporter of harm-reduction by way of decriminalisation, and of the Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), in which illegal-opioid users are supplied with a replacement drug under medical supervision, in order to treat and manage their addiction. "We must reduce harm by prevention of sharing syringes to prevent HIV and Hepatitis C, accidents, health expenses, family distress, and loss of jobs. The drug menace is a social issue with a huge bearing on the economic eco-system of an individual,” the medical professional said.

Yet, in several de-addiction centres I visited, I found that addicts swung between heroin or smack and OST because government hospitals in Punjab ran out of the OST medicines such as Buprenorphine or Methadone before the treatment was complete. The OST drugs, which are also opioids, have also found their way out of regulated hospitals into the open market. The emphasis that the doctors place on care and recovery is draining out of the sieve of the state system.

In the past, various nations have flirted with different approaches to curb drug trade, but few have succeeded in doing so by punishing drug users. That prohibition is ineffective is well-known: in America in the 1920s, prohibition of alcohol spurred rampant bootlegging and the rise of an underworld, and was eventually repealed. Closer home, the prohibition in states such as Bihar and Gujarat has been widely criticised and has led to the development of large, unregulated black markets—in the former, prohibition was recently declared illegal by the Patna High Court.

The war on drugs in the United States of America, which began with the former US President Richard Nixon’s declaration of drug abuse as "public enemy number one,” has cost the US billions of dollars every year and has widely been proclaimed a failure. Its focus on incarceration has resulted in the disproportionate targeting of people of colour—especially young black and Hispanic men—and profoundly affected South America. Over the past few years, the US government has softened its stance on natural drugs—in nearly half the country’s 50 states, regulations on marijuana growth, sale and use have been enacted, which include both decriminalisation of possession and legalisation of growth for sale, and personal and medicinal use.

Decriminalisation is different from legalisation. With the former, the emphasis is on eliminating jail-time for drug users, while dealers are criminally prosecuted. Bolivia, which until a few years ago was notorious for coca—used to manufacture cocaine—has emerged as a success story in the war on drugs. In the past four years, it has reduced its coca production by 34 percent. It did so by first expelling the US Drug Enforcement Agency, in 2008, and then by promoting economic development in rural areas that produced coca, and allowing farmers to cultivate coca for personal use and to sell in authorised markets.

But perhaps the grandest story is that of Portugal, which cleaned up its act through a 15-year period of reform in which it decriminalised all drugs. Portugal did not respond as governments usually do, with zero-tolerance legislation and an emphasis on law enforcement—instead, it focused on prevention, education, and harm-reduction. Today, more than 20 European and South American countries have removed criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of certain—and in some cases, all—drugs.

There is no doubt that any proposition to amend the NDPS and decriminalise drugs will find resistance among political parties. This is especially true in Punjab, where the drug problem is rarely seen as a complex issue that requires careful consideration and where it has been refashioned by every party to suit their platform for the upcoming 2017 assembly elections. In October 2016, at a press conference in Chandigarh, Sukhbir Singh Badal, the deputy chief minister in the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government asked the media to treat the drug issue as "a closed chapter.” The party has, in the past, regularly denied the proliferation of drugs in the state. The Congress, on the other hand, launched a campaign that branded the current dispensation "Chitta Raavan”—the Raavan of drugs. The party has also made the tall promise of eradicating drugs within four weeks of coming to power. The Aam Aadmi Party, the latest entrant in the state, has built its campaign on propagating a fear of drugs and against the state revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, whom they accuse of being a kingpin. The amendments can shift the status quo, and rob the parties of their respective poll platforms.

Punjabis can often be heard saying that the simplest solution to any wrongdoing—to mischief, to not studying well, to any deviation from what is understood to be the correct path—is a few tight slaps. Disciplining by punishment is ingrained in the state’s cultural ethos, but it has been unsuccessful in tackling its drug problem. Gandhi’s proposed change, which can regulate opiates and make them available to addicts, could serve as a first step to axing synthetic drugs from the system. Opium policies prescribed under the NDPS already allow farmers to grow opium legally, albeit only for sale to the government. To expand this system and allow natural drugs to be sold for personal use will not be possible overnight, nor will it occur by just a change in law. But by considering Gandhi’s proposition, and by treating drug proliferations as a public health issue instead of one of policing and vigilantism, the parliament can create a state that brings empathy to the care of its citizens. Decriminalisation for petty users and the re-classification of drugs is the need of the hour. It will allow administrations to form a grip over the problem instead of letting it bellow like smoke from a fire.
 


Amandeep Sandhu is working on a non-fiction book on Punjab. This article first appeared in Caravan.

 

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


 





[home] 1-4 of 4


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