Monday January 20, 2020
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SC says no to politicians’ photos on government ads; here’s what common man has to say

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Supreme Court has come up with a new guideline today, which prohibits the government and its agencies from using pictures of political leaders in government advertisements since it leads to promotion of a personality cult.

The bench, led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, has only allowed the use of photographs of the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, President and deceased leaders like Mahatma Gandhi for the advertisements.

The court stated that the use of photographs of political leaders not only leads to association of an individual with a project, but could also end up with a development of a personality cult, which is a direct injustice to democracy.

These advertisements are directed towards the public, therefore, it’s essential to know their opinions on this issue.

NewsGram asked the general masses whether the guidelines issued by Supreme Court are justified or not.

“I don’t understand how the Supreme Court tags this as an injustice to democracy? When a political leader is associated with a government scheme, the general people become aware that the person is the master-mind behind the scheme. Therefore, it becomes easier for the voters during elections to elect the rightful political leader. Through the use of photographs, these leaders make personal relations with the public,” said Shadab Malik, an entrepreneur.

While Shadab questioned the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, Tanuj Mitra, a student, seemed to favor the guideline. He told NewsGram, “Indeed it’s an injustice to the democracy and often leads to dictatorship. We see all kinds of political leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha, Mayawati, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao in Telangana and now Modi being represented as cult figures by their blind followers. The important thing is to notice how SC would curb this representation of larger than life pictures. SC should also review what kind of an agenda is being set by these advertisements. Associating cult figures, like the Father of the Nation, would lead to trivialization of the idol figures and would impact the perception of those figures.”

“The SC should also analyze the visual discourse along with photographs, which leads the public course of action. The center as well as the state should be responsible enough to not mislead the public and misuse the freedom of speech and expression. The role of the public relation offices, which conducts such advertisements, should also be brought under the scanner,” Tanuj added.

Aparna Pathak, a computer science graduate, too supported the decision of the top court and told NewsGram, “I think there is no need of those smiling faces whose size is more than the main concern of the advertisements. It is done only for the sake of securing votes in future. These advertisements are merely used as assets by ministers to deceive public at the time of polls.”

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Mercy for the Nirbhaya Rapists?

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past.

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Nirbhaya
The Nirbhaya incident in Delhi was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India.

By Salil Gewali

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.

Nirbhaya rape
The public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night.

Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.

Nirbhaya rape
Advocate Indira Jaising suggested that the convicts of Nirbhaya rape case could be “forgiven” by the parents.

However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”

The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.

Nirbhaya rapists
In 2015, the Delhi Government proposed to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine.

Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine?  Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?

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I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali