Monday December 18, 2017
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Congress, AAP accuses Govt of seeking to curb individual freedom

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credit: www.amarujala.com

New Delhi: The now withdrawn draft policy on encryption which violates the right to privacy of communication was a move by the government to curb individual freedom, said the Congress and the AAP.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the government did a U-turn under public pressure.

He said the government’s move of first circulating the draft and then amending and withdrawing it was a “totalitarian, misconceived and a failed attempt” to override individual freedom of speech.

“Subjugation of individual freedom, surveillance of citizens and suppression of dissent have emerged as the DNA of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government,” Surjewala said.

The Aam Aadmi Party said the draft policy was a direct attempt to influence communication between citizens.

“The BJP government tried to push through a policy that appears to have thrown all sense of individual rights and privacy out of the window,” the ruling party in Delhi said.

“The government wants to monitor (rather snoop) the way we use modern communication platforms like WhatsApp, BBM, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, private server emails,” AAP said.

It said the draft policy also had clauses which would have had an adverse impact on businesses and start-up culture in India.

The Congress said that contrary to the stated objective of creating an information-secure environment and secure transactions, the draft policy gave the government a “license to indulge in 24×7 surveillance, monitor private lives of citizens – particularly the young population – and introduce a new registration and license raj”.

It said that by the end of 2014, India had 24.31 crore internet users (17.3 crore mobile internet users), 11.2 crore Facebook users, over eight crore Whatsapp users, 2.2 crore Twitter users and over 95 crore mobile connections.

The spokesman said individual liberty was fraught with “dangerous dimensions” in the Modi government.

Referring to the now withdrawn draft policy, he said if businesses store plain text version of encrypted communication for 90 days from the date of transaction, it would have led to massive expenditure on creation of additional storage capacity apart from risks of cyber-theft.

Surjewala said practically all online activity would have been controlled by the new policy as operating systems in Windows, Linux and Mac, e-commerce services like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and email services like Yahoo, Rediff and Gmail use encryption technologies.

And every communication device like telephone or tablet or computer would have been required to be registered.

Following an outcry, the govt on Tuesday withdrew the draft encryption policy. Earlier, it exempted social media sites and apps users, as also net banking and password-based e-commerce, from saving data for 90 days from the date of transaction.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Gujarat Elections: The Fight to the Finish between Congress and BJP

The counting of votes for the Gujarat elections will begin on December 18 at 8.00 AM

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The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Women on their way to the polling booths in Gujarat on December 9, VOA News

 

  • The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress into a close contest over the seats.
  • The exit polls predict a victory for BJP.
  • The counting of votes will begin at 8.00 A.M. on Monday, December 18.

The Gujarat elections, which were carried out in two phases on December 9 and December 14, will finally come to its culmination on Monday, December 18, as the counting of votes will commence from 8.00 A.M. The Gujarat polls, over which seasoned BJP politicians such as Narendra Modi and Amit Shah  have locked horns with the newly appointed president of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, have been subjected to numerous speculations and predictions, ever since the two political parties have launched themselves into relentless campaigning for the various constituencies.

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Rahul Gandhi kissing his mother after being elected as the President of Congress on December 16, 2017, VOA News

Congress vs. BJP: Who will Win the Gujarat Elections

The campaign for the Gujarat assembly elections has been a vehement one for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has extensively referred to the growth index and other statistical details while enumerating the virtues of the BJP government. His developmental policies, such as the Ujjwala Yojana through which free LPG gas facilities were provide to households below the Poverty Line, have made him immensely popular among the women of Gujarat. Modi’s appeal as the ‘son of the soil’ has earned him support in the urban and commercial hubs of Gujarat, in spite of the brewing discontent over demonetisation and the imposition of GST. The BJP has also succeeded in securing the support of the tribal people of Gujarat, who were previously considered as a stronghold of the Congress.
However, with the trio of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani, Rahul Gandhi seems to have infused young blood into the Gujarat elections, and has thereby attracted a significant number of young voters. Hardik Patel, with his political acumen has become a potential threat for the BJP, as multiple scandalous tapes of him as well as his aides have not decreased his popularity. In North, Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch, people seem to be disappointed with the BJP government, since the much-applauded ‘Gujarat Model’ has failed to solve basic issues in their lives, such as shortage of water.

 

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the voters at Kalol, in the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 8, 2017, VOA News

Gujarat Elections: The Exit Polls

The Gujarat Polls of 2017 have often been hailed as one of the closest competitions faced by the BJP government during its 22 year long tenure as speculations are rife regarding who will win the Gujarat elections. However, in spite of the unyielding campaign by the Congress and Rahul Gandhi, the speculations hint towards another victory for the BJP in the state. An aggregate of nine exit polls in Gujarat show that the BJP is expected to secure 162 seats, while 65 seats may be secured by the Congress.

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Rahul Gandhi Elected as President of Congress Amidst Celebration of Followers

The 47 years old has been Vice President for a while during the tenure of his mother Sonia Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi becomes president of Congress as mother Sonia Gandhi steps down
Rahul Gandhi steps in as President of Congress, Wikipedia

Rahul Gandhi was elected to the position of the President of Congress after his mother Sonia Gandhi stepped down in his favour on December 16, at a ceremony in the AICC Headquarters in Delhi. In an event attended by sister Priyanka Gandhi, brother in-law Robert Vadra and veteran politicians such as ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi became the sixth member of his family to have ascended to the position of the President of Congress, after a significantly long period of apprenticeship as the Vice-President.

 Rahul Gandhi becomes the president of Congress as mother Sonia Gandhi Steps Down
Rahul Gandhi steps in as President of Congress after a speech by his mother Sonia Gandhi. Wikipedia

Sonia Gandhi Steps down

In an emotional farewell speech, Sonia Gandhi thanked all the party members who had supported her in the initial days of her 19 year-long tenure as the President of Congress, as she nostalgically recounted how she had never intended to join politics, but was thrust into it by the tragic circumstances. “Meeting this challenge was not the achievement of one individual but the continued efforts of all of you,” said she, addressing the crowd for the last time as the President of Congress. Sonia Gandhi, whose election to the post was preceded by the assassination of her mother in-law Indira Gandhi as well as her husband Rajiv Gandhi, expressed her confidence and pride in the spirit and resolve of her son, stating that his training as Vice President has made him “Stronger and unafraid”. Sonia Gandhi’s speech, however, was constantly interrupted by the noise of firecrackers, which were being burst by some members of the party, who were celebrating the much-awaited election of Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi steps in as President of Congress after a speech by his mother Sonia Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi with the Prime Minister of Greece at New Delhi, Wikipedia

Rahul Gandhi becomes President of Congress

The 47 years old Rahul Gandhi, who until recently was engaged in an active campaign for the upcoming state elections at Gujarat, was awarded the Certificate of Election by Mullapally Ramachandran, the President of the Central Election Authority of Congress. “Politics belongs to the people, it is their greatest weapon in dismantling the structures that oppress, silence and disempower them,” stated the newly elected President of Congress, calling himself an ‘idealist’, who looks forward to better days. Rahul Gandhi’s fiery speech was met with much applause and appreciation, especially from the younger members of the party.
In 2013, the ascension of Rahul Gandhi as the Vice President of Congress was followed by a loss in nine state elections, and a victory in three. The election of the president comes at an interesting point of time, with the upcoming elections in 16 states, as well as the national election in 2019.

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Stand of Chanda Bandh Satyagraha: Hamari AAP ka Siyasi Dafan poora ho, Hamara Hawan Poora Ho

A true volunteer of AAP will not rest until a morally debased AAP is consigned to flames.

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Chanda Bandh Satyagraha appeals to AAP leaders to make donations public.
Chanda Bandh Satyagraha appeals to AAP leaders to make donations public.
  • By Dr. Munish Raizada

One of our steadfast volunteers sent me a message at Facebook and sought my opinion on the current dogfight going between #ChandaChor gang of our Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Through Chanda Bandh Satyagraha, our stand is clearly a matter of conviction:

सच्चे स्वयंसेवक का यज्ञ तभी पूरा होगा , जब सिधान्तों से भटकी हमारी AAP की पूर्ण आहुति दे दी जाएगी.
अगर जनता का दिया गया चंदा खाओगे, तो कोई हक़ नहीं राजनीती में तुम्हे!
2020 में AAP का अंतकाल आना चाहिए. हमारी पार्टी का सियासी दफ़न पूरा हो, हमारा हवन पूरा हो.

Loosely translated: A true volunteer of AAP will not rest until a morally debased AAP is consigned to flames. Because a party that can eat away the public funds (donations), has no moral right to be in politics. The year 2020 will hopefully see the political demise of our AAP.

As you see the dogfight has come to the streets now. A poet is trying to revive and talking of an AAP II. Some well meaning volunteers are standing with him. He is zestfully speaking about bringing back values of the party and old folks too.

Tragically, the other Chandachor camp led by Mukhiya Kejriwal has termed this as a fantasy.

But, we must be able to read through the lines.

In my opinion, our hardcore selfless volunteers who really wanted to see a change of politics and polity through a vehicle called AAP, now understand that the fight is for personal survival and NOT for principles.

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha appeals to AAP leaders to make donations public.
Chanda Bandh Satyagraha appeals to AAP leaders to make donations public.

But the poet is fighting for his survival, so believe me, this fight will not lead him anywhere. It is NOT a MORAL fight. It is a personal fight. Janta ka vishwas nahi milega (public’s trust can not be regained). Janta ek Kejriwal ko dekh chuki hai (the public has already seen one Kejriwal). Abhi 20-30 saal wait kariye (Wait for another generation before you utter of revolution again).  Kraanti kee baaten kar ke janta ko aur dukhi mat kijiye (Do not exploit the sentiments of the society by talking about yet another revolution when the first one was never ever attained).

If you really care about the principles, just do one thing: Ask where is the donation list that the party received?  After all. how can a party fight against corruption and graft, if its own house is  not clean. And then talk about other principles.

Bringing back old folks is a good idea. Reviving AAP is a welcome idea. But, let us remember one thing: Public (janta) is not a toy. You can play with their sentiments once, not again and again.

At AAP, our refrain used to be:

सत्य परेशान हो सकता है, पराजित नहीं.

Today, we know in our hearts, we have eaten the donations given by the public. सत्य को चंदाचोरों व् ‘सत्यवीरों” ने परेशान भी किया तथा पराजित भी (Truth was not only messed around with, it was badly defeated by the so called saints of truth and honesty).

Then, what ideological principles is the poet talking about!

The dogfight is a fight without morality. It is a sign that the rot in our AAP is deep set. However, the karma cycle is trying to complete the circle. The dogfight is exposing the unworthiness of our AAP’s leaders who one time the public thought are statesmen. The poet is helping us achieve our cherished goal: Taking us towards the the Aahuti!