Sunday March 24, 2019
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#SalmanVerdict: Justice meted out, time for media to shift focus

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salmankhan

By Gaurav Sharma

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan known for delivering blockbusters that easily supersede the works of other Bollywood hunks, has been sentenced to 5 year rigorous imprisonment for mowing down a man sleeping on a pavement, while grievously injuring four other

The judgment has drawn sharp reactions from both die-hard fans and detractors alike. No sooner was the verdict passed than the Indian media started covering Salman Khan, like bumblebees swarming over a honey-soaked flower.

Fathom this: Twitterati has flooded the social media platform with #SalmanVerdict and #Salmanfoundguilty for days on end now. Facebook status updates also invariably revolve around the judgment on the superstar.

Being a popular Bollywood star, one would assume it to be quite natural for the masses to have an opinion on their Bhai. Things are, however, taken to a whole new level when a war of words escalates between celebrities, as to who was responsible for the ‘accident’.

Celebrities seem to have eschewed their sense of equanimity while the verdict being announced. Abhijeet, a famous Bollywood singer lost his wits so much so, that he started blaming the accident victim for ‘sleeping on the road and getting killed’.

The indiscriminate coverage of the Salman Khan verdict by the media shows the shoddy level to which journalism standards have stooped in the country. From showing an emotional Aamir Khan hugging Salman after the verdict, conducting ridiculous panel discussions on the issue, to propping up images of fanatic fans refusing to eat, all the post-Salman-verdict noise has only shrouded the important issues which affect the common man.

Moreover, the media has missed the opportunity to ask the more relevant question of whether the elite should hold the life of a common man as sacred or have the right to non-chalantly crush them under their wheels, thinking they have everybody in their pockets.

A young athlete has committed suicide following alleged harassment by her seniors. The Lok Sabha has passed the Juvenile Justice Bill, the GST Bill has been steered through. These are just some of the many stories that remain veiled under the deluge of Dabanng news.

Just a handful of media channels chose to focus on the issues that matter to the man on the street. Hardly any news channel thought it pertinent to ask why it took an overwhelming 13 years for justice to be served.

It is not as if the world has come to an end with Salman being imprisoned. Truth be told, a guilty man deserves to be punished, that too at the earliest.

Salman could deny the allegations with all his heart and soul, but in the end the judgement was crystal clear in that he was inebriated at the time he was driving the SUV.

If only Being Human meant Being Humane, bhai would have thought twice before crushing someone under the wheels of his monster Land Rover.

The case is done and dusted and it is time for the guilty to serve his period. Media, please, move over.

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Government Introduces Quota Bill For Upper Castes in Lok Sabha

The government decision has been described by the opposition as another "election gimmick" to garner votes

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The government on Tuesday introduced a Constitution amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha that seeks to provide 10 per cent reservation for economically backward sections in the general category in government jobs and higher educational institutions.

The introduction of the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot was a smooth affair in the House with no member raising any objection.

The Bill, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Monday with an eye on the upper castes vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, seeks to amend Articles 15 and 16 under whose present provisions the benefits of the existing reservations are generally not available for the economically weaker sections of the forward castes.

The statement of objects and reasons appended to the Bill said that the economically weaker sections of citizens have largely remained excluded from attending the higher educational institutions and public employment on account of their financial incapacity to compete with those persons who are economically more privileged.

The benefits of existing reservations under clauses (4) and (5) of Article 15 and clause (4) of Article 16 are generally unavailable to them unless they meet the specific criteria of social and educational backwardness, it said.

The directive principles of State policy contained in Article 46 of the Constitution enjoins that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Quota Bill for upper castes introduced in Lok Sabha.

Under the Constitution (93rd Amendment) Act, 2005, clause (5) was inserted in Article 15 of the Constitution which enables the State to make special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens, or for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes, in relation to their admission in higher educational institutions.

Similarly, clause (4) of Article 16 of the Constitution enables the State to make special provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State.

However, the statement of the objects and reasons said the economically weaker sections of citizens were not eligible for the benefit of reservation.

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“With a view to fulfil the mandate of Article 46, and to ensure that economically weaker sections of citizens to get a fair chance of receiving higher education and participation in employment in the services of the State, it has been decided to amend the Constitution of India,” it said.

Accordingly, the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 provides for reservation for the economically weaker sections of society in higher educational institutions, including private institutions aided or unaided by the State other than the minority educational institutions referred to in article 30 of the constitution and also provides for reservation for them in posts in initial appointment in services under the State, the government said in a statement.

The government decision has been described by the opposition as another “election gimmick” to garner votes. (IANS)