Thursday July 19, 2018
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Let Delhi government function independently: Arvind Kejriwal appeals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday appealed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a letter, to allow his government function independently in the state. The Aam Aadmi Party leader also accused the Centre of trying to run the Delhi administration through Lt. Governor.

As reported by PTI, Kejriwal mentioned in the letter the posting and transfers made by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and said the elected government must have a say in distribution of work to senior officials.

“In Delhi, Central government is trying to run government unconstitutionally through the Lt Governor. Let Delhi government function independently,” Kejriwal said.

The letter by Kejriwal came a day after both he and Jung took their ugly spat over appointment of bureaucrats, to President Pranab Mukherjee.

Kejriwal had met Mukherjee along with his deputy Manish Sisodia on Tuesday, complaining about the interference of Jung in the functioning of Delhi government.

Sisodia was reported by PTI as stating, “LG was functioning as if there is President’s Rule in the national capital and there is no elected government here.”

“Despite having a democratically elected government, he (LG) is bypassing the chief minister and ministers and issuing instructions to officers. He is even threatening them with transfers if they do not follow his orders. It is not good for democracy.”

“We told the President that we accepted LG’s decision to appoint acting Chief Secretary even without consulting us. But after that too, he has been appointing officers bypassing the elected government. He is even interfering in the appointments of secretaries and directly ordering them. Then where is democracy,” he added.

However as per news reports, the Lt Governor has maintained that he has the power to appoint and transfer the bureaucrats and none the actions taken by him has been “unconstitutional” as was being alleged by the AAP government.

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  • Mission of a regional Government is to make sure that people of the region have facilities and services required for a decent normal life. Lt. Governor is there to facilitate that mission. So far no one not even its arch enemy has accused the Government of not trying to provide facilities to the populace. People have little to do with the Lt. Governor, a nominated position like the vice-Roy of the British Raj, whose duty was to secure loot and enslavement of the population for the benefit of the ruler. The Governor seems to be playing exactly the same role. Instead of supporting the elected Government to work for the people the man is forcing himself with the help of cronies in high places, wearing a mask of democracy and constitution, to make things difficult for the Government. His agenda seems to be to make the Government unpopular with the masses and find excuses to dismiss them. This is a breed of Indian that Anna Hazare called “KALA ANGREZ”. They do best what they have been doing since 1947: use Government machinery to enrich family, transfer trillions to overseas account etc. It is time that all political parties and institutions in India who believe in working for the nation and not for the OLIGARCHY should now close rank and support AAP Government.

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  • Mission of a regional Government is to make sure that people of the region have facilities and services required for a decent normal life. Lt. Governor is there to facilitate that mission. So far no one not even its arch enemy has accused the Government of not trying to provide facilities to the populace. People have little to do with the Lt. Governor, a nominated position like the vice-Roy of the British Raj, whose duty was to secure loot and enslavement of the population for the benefit of the ruler. The Governor seems to be playing exactly the same role. Instead of supporting the elected Government to work for the people the man is forcing himself with the help of cronies in high places, wearing a mask of democracy and constitution, to make things difficult for the Government. His agenda seems to be to make the Government unpopular with the masses and find excuses to dismiss them. This is a breed of Indian that Anna Hazare called “KALA ANGREZ”. They do best what they have been doing since 1947: use Government machinery to enrich family, transfer trillions to overseas account etc. It is time that all political parties and institutions in India who believe in working for the nation and not for the OLIGARCHY should now close rank and support AAP Government.

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India Can Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?

A total of 548 global experts on women’s issues , 43 of them from India

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BJP Leader Asks Parents Of A Rape Victim To Express Gratitude To Them
Can India Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?. Flickr

-By Deepa Gahlot

You read with a mixture of alarm and scepticism, the poll report by the London-based Thomson Reuters Foundation that India is the most dangerous country in the world for women, beating Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

According to reports, a total of 548 global experts on women’s issues — 43 of them from India — were asked about risks faced by women in six areas: healthcare, access to economic resources and discrimination, customary practices, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and human trafficking. And shockingly, India comes out as the worst!

We see women progressing in every field in India, but, there is also the increasing violence against women and young girls reported every day; not long ago, female tourists felt safe in India; but now, women travelling solo are constantly targeted. Everyday there are reports of the rapes and murders of minor girls, often accompanied by unimaginable torture and mutilation.

There has been outrage in India, and also holes punctured in the survey that has such a small number of respondents, but can we really take an ostrich approach to the condition of women? Even as education and healthcare improve for women — at least in metro cities — the contempt for women is socially and culturally ingrained in the Indian psyche. In a city like Mumbai considered progressive and relatively safe for women, the girl child is unwanted even by many educated and wealthy families. In spite of laws being in place, female foeticide and infanticide is rampant, to the extent that there are large territories where there are no girl children and brides for the men have to be ‘imported’ from other states.  As dowry murders and rapes rise, the more unwanted the girl child becomes.  The fact is that India’s gender ratio is deplorable.

And if the male child is valued over the girl child, he grows up believing that he is special and if he is thwarted in any way, he can resort to violence. In spite of education and exposure to progressive ideas, in the case of rape or sexual violence, the tendency to blame and shame the victim persists.

To give just one small example, in the West, accusations of sexual harassment resulted in united shunning of a man as powerful as Harvey Weinstein and many others in the wake of the #MeToo movement, that helped many women speak out about their experiences.

In India, Malayalam actor Dileep, who has been accused in the abduction and rape of an actress, and was boycotted by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), was recently reinstated. This caused shock and dismay among women in the film industry.

A statement by a group of over 150 women film practitioners says it like it is, “A body that is meant to represent artistes of the Malayalam movie industry showed complete disregard for its own member who is the victim of this gross crime. Even before the case has reached its conclusion, AMMA has chosen to validate a person accused of a very serious crime against a colleague. We condemn this cavalier attitude by artistes against women artistes who are working alongside them. There is misogyny and gender discrimination embedded in this action.

“We admired and supported the Women in Cinema Collective that was formed by women film artistes in Kerala in the aftermath of the abduction and molestation of a colleague, a top star in the industry. We applaud the WCC members who have walked out of AMMA to protest the chairman’s invitation to reinstate the accused. We pledge our continued support to the Women in Cinema Collective who are blazing a trail to battle sexism in the film industry.

“Cinema is an art form that can challenge deeply entrenched violence and discrimination in society. It is distressing to see an industry that stands amongst the best in the country and has even made a mark in world cinema choose to shy away from using their position and their medium responsibly at this important moment. Today, women form a significant part of the film and media industries, we reject any attempt at silencing us and making us invisible.”

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Indian women. VOA

The preference for male children has had some unexpected ramifications. In a working paper published by the American non-profit, National Bureau of Economic Research, by Northwestern University’s Seema Jayachandran and Harvard University’s Rohini Pande (quoted in Quartz Media), finds that stunting in Indian children could also be blamed on the cultural preference for sons.

“In India, on average, the first child — if he is a son — doesn’t suffer from stunting. But, if the first — and so the eldest — child of the family is a girl, she suffers from a height deficit. And, then, if the second child is a boy, and hence the eldest son of the family, he will not be stunted. This happens because of an unequal allocation of resources to the first child”.

According to the report, “When Jayachandran and Pande compared India and Africa results through this lens, they found that the Indian first and eldest son tends to be taller than an African firstborn. If the eldest child of the family is a girl, and a son is born next, the son will still be taller in India than Africa. For girls, however, the India-Africa height deficit is large. It is the largest for daughters with no older brothers, probably because repeated attempts to have a son takes a beating on the growth of the girls.”

Also read: Has Legal Framework Turned a Blind Eye towards Under-representation of Women in Indian Politics?

In spite of all the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao rhetoric, the required shift in the male-centric attitude towards a more egalitarian one is simply not happening; or, it is a case of one step forward, two steps backward. The Thomson Reuters Foundation report may be unfair and skewed, but being known as the rape capital of the world does nothing to improve the image of India in the world or even in its own eyes. (IANS)