Monday, February 27, 2012

NGO Mischief Goes Beyond N-Plants / The Sunday Standard/February 26, 2012

POWER & POLITICS
Somebody Tell Manmohan That NGO Mischief Goes Beyond N-Plants

The good news is that the UPA government has finally woken up to the rising menace of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). The bad news is it has selectively targeted only those who are fighting against the setting up of civil nuclear plants.

According to published reports, the home ministry has cancelled the licences of the three Tamil Nadu-based NGOs who have been opposing the construction of the nuclear power plant at Koodankulam. All three have been accused of diverting funds they received from foreign countries and using the money to hold protests against the plant. It is after many years that the Government has chosen to punish any NGO that indulged in converting a UPA dream project into a nightmare. For the past few months, an NGO has been able to mobilise massive public opinion against the setting up of the nuclear facility. Surprisingly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deviated from his usual style of not naming either an agency or a country for any misdemeanours, and was forthright in his condemnation. Taking a cue from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Manmohan also discovered the role of a sinister and invisible foreign hand behind the sabotage of important developmental projects. In an interview to a US-based science journal, he minced no words when he said: “There are NGOs, often funded from the US and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces.” By singling out the US and Scandinavian countries, the Prime Minister pointed his finger only at those NGOs who were active in Tamil Nadu. If these NGOs were also suspect, then why was the Government indulging in a dialogue with them and sending senior ministers, civil servants and even a former president of India to try persuade them to withdraw their agitation? It is also possible that a large number of other NGOs, including those opposing the nuclear plant, may have also misused their funds for purposes other than for what they were granted. The belated punitive action against the NGOs Manmohan referred to raises an important question about the neutrality of the administrative system. The government is sending out unequivocal signals that those who don’t give in to its pressures will be punished. What surprises many is the government’s sensitivity to civil movements against nuclear power plants?

Over a dozen crucial infrastructure, power and mining projects worth Rs 30,000 crore are stuck because of the silly objections and roadblocks raised by various NGOs in many part of the country. All of them are working in the areas of environment, health and children welfare. They have also been receiving money from abroad and are misusing these funds for the purpose of blocking developmental activities. A large of number of them have also been accused of settling scores against those who opposed the UPA government. Some other NGOs have been charged with or have been accused of forcible religious conversions in some communally sensitive states. Truthfully speaking, NGOs have become the most powerful pressure groups for settling intra-sector or intra-party disputes. In fact, the growth of the NGO is never affected by the economic fluctuations of an economy. On the contrary, it thrives on natural calamities, economic deprivation and human conflicts. While the number of NGOs has risen by over 100 per cent over the past decade, their funds have grown by almost 500 per cent. According to unofficial estimates, there are over 2.5 million NGOs operating in India, who directly or indirectly employ around 20 million people. In other words, there is one NGO for every 500 people in India, as against one doctor for 1,000 persons. These NGOs raise amounts varying between Rs 80 crore to Rs 40,000 crore annually. Over 21,000 NGOs collectively received foreign contributions to the tune of over Rs 49,968 crore during 2005-06 to 2009-10. The dominance of the NGO sector is the outcome of a liberal democratic set-up. Big corporate houses, retired civil servants or their wives and left-of-the-centre intellectuals have set up most of these organisations. Rebels by nature and opulent by lifestyle, a large majority of them have always been working against liberal economic policies and nationalist culture. They have, knowingly or unknowingly, been used by the ruling party to target its opponents in every state. Now, when its most pampered monster threatens mayhem, the UPA has unleashed all its weaponry to go for the kill shot.

Undoubtedly, foreign-funded and controlled NGOs pose a serious threat to India’s economic growth, political stability and cultural harmony. The success of the government lies in taming them, irrespective of the colour of the causes they espouse or oppose.

prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com Follow me on Twitter @PrabhuChawla

Teekhi Baat with Akhilesh Yadav on IBN7/February 26, 2012

Interview with Samajwadi Party’s scion Akhilesh Yadav for Teekhi Baat on IBN7

Hello! I am Prabhu Chawla and our guest for today on Teekhi Baat is UP’s likely future chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, did I say right or wrong?

AY: No, it is not so.

PC: No

AY: The whole party wants Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) to become Chief Minister.

PC: Future (chief minister) means anytime, can even be in 2025

AY: Now Netaji will become chief minister.

PC: That will happen, got may give him long life and good health, but future (chief minister) is you

AY: What will happen in future, nobody knows.

PC: What do you think Akhilesh, five rounds are over, what do you feel about the wrestling between you and Congress is having adverse effects on both of you. Both are getting angry, somebody is tearing clothes, some are tearing papers.

AY: Please see, Congress is getting angry because the public has rejected them, and hence the cabinet ministers are giving threats. And in a democracy, if anybody gives threats, then in a democracy, public will answer. At this time, the ones who are getting angry are those whose belief is gone.

PC: Are the shocked

AY: They are shocked, they are sad, and the question is they are not getting support of the people.

PC: The question is that two ‘Yuvraj’ are fighting elections here, one is Rahul Gandhi, and Akhilesh Yadav. They are in aggression because they have more confidence than you.

AY: No they are angry, because their anger did not turn into hard work, their anger is only remained that, anger.

PC: Why are they getting angry?

AY: They are getting angry, because the achievement that they have been touting, and saying that they will change Uttar Pradesh, demanding details of work done in 22 years, then they have to give details of work done in 40 years after getting independence. And in the past eight years, the kind of corruption that has happened, the corruption in 2G is such that we are not able to explain it to poor people. We would want to explain farmers that Congress has done such big corruption in 2G,

PC: These are old issues, forget them, 2G is old issue, now what Rahul Gandhi has started in elections, talk about development, after that he is speaking with such anger because the condition of Pradesh has turned very bad.

AY: No, he is getting angry because nobody is working in the party, the people are not seen in the organization, and hence he is angry on his party. But he is reflecting that anger on somebody else, they put ‘anger’ on their manifesto, and when faced with reality, he tore the list of his own senior leaders. Now their leaders would have understood how much they are respected. When the list of their names is being torn apart, and in a democracy, the most important thing is manifesto. And every party places its manifesto before the public. If the public rejects, doesn’t like, doesn’t give vote, how can one party make our decision theirs. The other party is taking decisions.

PC: The campaign of Rahul Gandhi which ran in the past one year, with what view do you look at it, are you getting worried or no.

AY: I am not worried because of that, and was not worried when we lost elections in Faridabad, and whatever work they did, the public is intelligent, they are asking them questions, that in the end what did you do?

PC: Your fight is with Rahul Gandhi or Mayawati.

AY: Out first fight is to see that the Mayawati government goes out, the chief minister of Bahujan Samaj Party goes out, because they have ruined Uttar Pradesh, have put stone statues. And the second fight is with the Congress because, because Congress allowed everything to be ruined. If stone statues have been erected in Uttar Pradesh, in Noida so much money was spent on stone statues, then Congress is also responsible. And our third fight is to stop the BJP, and somewhere we have succeeded in that, we have stopped BJP, and we will be successful in displacing BSP.

PC: You stopped BJP from coming in the centre; in UP they won 50 seats, but the Congress party tells everytime that they will not support you, will not support your government, one central minister said that they will enforce President’s rule if their government doesn’t come, then why are you behind them

AY: We are not behind them, if the Congress feels that their government is running fine, then they should refuse and say that they don’t need the support of Samajwadi Party.

PC: No but you have supported them without any demand.

AY: Netaji has given support only because, there was talk in between, and we supported because we want to keep BJP out.

PC: How can a BJP form government, there have got 110 MP’s remaining, how can a government be formed with 110 MP’s.

AY: We have given support only to stop the BJP. And that is why are running the Congress government this time.

PC: You don’t want mid term polls this time.

AY: Elections should not happen earlier, and the biggest issue is that the BJP should not get ahead. To stop BJP, Samajwadi party has given support to Congress.

PC: Why am saying that in UP you will go with Congress, because in Centre you are with them, in UP they are attacking you.

AY: In UP I understand that the Congress would not be needed, or any other party, because the people will somewhere give majority to Samajwadi party. And because of this majority, the opposition is in a state of shock.

PC: If you think you will get majority, like you are saying, then you will not need Congress, any other party, then you don’t have to stop the BJP, because then it will be your wish in parliamentary elections in 2014, then would you withdraw your support to the Congress.

AY: Now what will be decided, on the issue if supporting, not supporting central government is being decided by Netaji. And the national party will decide, but talking of taking or giving support in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party will from a government with majority. What will happen in future, decisions regarding that will be taken in future.

PC: Congress is saying that they will not support you. You are not saying that you will not take their support.

AY: That, Congress will change when, don’t know, but Samajwadi Party is getting full support, Samajwadi Party will form a majority government.

PC: That is agreed,but if you don’t get majority, then will you ask Congress’s support or no?

AY: At the moment it is not right to say so, but we have confidence that people will give majority to Samajwadi Party.

And if gives majority, we will not need anybody.

PC: That is the difference between Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh, Rahul Gandhi says it loudly that he will not do, (support, alliance), and you say that you will think, then take decision. That means you are depending on Congress.

AY: Our party is nowhere dependent on the Congress,

PC: Why don’t you say that you will not take support, you will sit in opposition.

AY: I am saying that we will get majority, we won’t need Congress.

PC: No, this is imaginary, I am talking of another imagination, if you don’t get majority then what will you do?

AY: No, till now according to our estimates, Samajwadi Party will get enough seats so that it does not need the Congress.

PC: How many seats will you get.

AY: According to our understanding, around 207 to 260.

PC: From 207 to 260, how many will Congress get.

AY: Congress may get at the most under 40.

PC: Will not get above 40

AY: Will not get above 40

PC: Then what will you say, that the Rahul Gandhiji’s magic didn’t work there.

AY: I understanding that the hard work and efforts he took, that was unsuccessful, because among public, somewhere his achievements seemed far away. He assured people that they would not allow MNREGA funds would not be siphoned off, he assured that he will let central schemes be implemented, at last they were not implemented in Uttar Pradesh, CBI is investigating, he is getting angry.

PC: What do you think, is the public not believing on the promises, talks made by Rahul Gandhi.

AY: None of his promises were fulfilled, I read in newspapers, in the dalit families that he ate food with, when those women were asked by journalists, and were printed in newspapers, they were also sad, they said that wherever, whatever promises were made, were not fulfilled. In the same way, in Bharaij the family that he ate food with said the same thing, they said that the promises made and the talks done were not fulfilled.

PC: If Rahul Gandhi’s campaign is to be stated in one line, what will you say, fail, pass, second class, third class.

AY: He did efforts, and in politics efforts are done, and those efforts I think are not complete.

PC: If he would have been the chief ministerial candidate then?

AY: That is his choice.

PC: I would have been better?

AY: It would have been more better I think,

PC: Then he would have had a better fight with you

AY: It would have been better, his competition should be done with Mayawatiji, I have no objections to that.

PC: But the claimant to the chief ministers post is your party.

AY: I want he should be compared with Chief Minister Mayawatiji.

PC: It should not be done with Netaji

AY: Should not be compared with Netaji, because Netaji is a senior leader, and when the newspaper people are comparing with me, then there is no need of comparisons with Netaji.

PC: No people are being told that giving vote to Samajwadi Party means getting goonda raj back, Congress people are saying this, even Mayawati is saying the same, then what do you think about the Goonda Raj issue raised, is it going to affect your party or no. Like earlier, when there was goonda raj, people voted you out.

AY: It is true that there were some incidents for which Samajwadi Party had to answer. And somewhere a lot many questions were raised against Samajwadi Party.

PC: That is why the people made you loose

AY: The people gave us punishment, which happens in a democracy. But in the past five years, the public will not be able to raise any question stating that Samajwadi Party people have engaged in any hooliganism, or insulted anyone anywhere in any manner. Hence, there have been efforts in the past five years, that by any means, Samajwadi Party should look a party, and people like these, whose image is bad somewhere, and do hooliganism they should be removed.

PC: But even now 20 -25 such people are there in your party who have criminal cases against them.

AY: Some because there are political cases in which the sections have been changed,

PC: There are dacoity charges, charges like these

AY: These have been leveled by the Bahujan Samaj Party. The andolans that have happened in the past five years, an the struggle done by the party, and such charges were leveled against all leaders of our party.

PC: Defectors, all of them came to you

AY: Not many have come

PC: two – four have come but you took them

AY: Because efforts have started, I can assure that if the public gives in opportunity to Samajwadi Party, then there will be no question of goonda-raj or hooliganism. Anybody who breaks law and order or take law into their hands, action would be taken against them, even if he is Samajwadi Party’s worker or leader.

PC: Many times it seems because even now you have soft attitude to Congress which can be seen in your speeches, don’t you think that an alliance with them would have been better,

AY: Alliance is not possible because

PC: You have an alliance from the mind

AY: Alliance cannot happen because Uttar Pradesh has been devastated due to the wrong policies of the Congress. Today even Congress is responsible for that.

PC: From 22 years, Congress made Mulayam Singh’s government, after the support to the VP Singh government was withdrawn by Netaji, Congress saved him, but then withdrew support, Congress had betrayed you then.

AY: Situations change in politics, times have changed, today Samajwadi Party is strong, can form government on its own.

PC: You could have entered into an alliance, it would have been good.

AY: Alliance was not possible, before elections no alliance is possible, and now we are working for majority, because don’t know that by depending on somebody we will be able to work for Uttar Pradesh or not,

PC: Alliance was not possible earlier, will not be possible in future.

AY: Our party has its own manifesto, so many schemes we want to implement for farmers. Farmer is in distress, tension, if any work has to be done for them you can do it when you have a majority government.

PC: There can be alliance even at the centre, after winning you would want your ministers at the centre.

AY: Till now there is no such decision of the party to be a part of the government at centre. We are not going to be a part.

PC: Later it may happen

AY: We will not be a part.

PC: Later also you wouldn’t

AY: I understand that the Congress party wouldn’t ever agree to Samajwadi Party being a part.

PC: They are not ready, but you are ready

AY: No, we are also not ready, we are only extending support because, BJP should be far. If today we give support then we will have to give answer for the question of inflation.

PC: Let me ask a question, all the chief minister, non BJP ones, have taken up a stand against the central government, that the center is taking all the powers of the state government. Mulayam Singhji has not spoken much on that till now, will you be a part of this club, they are all against the BJP, Mamtaji, Navin Patnaik, Jaylalitha, they are all against BJP

AY: If anybody interferes with the state government, and the things that come under its jurisdiction, if anybody forces things, then it is natural that every state,

PC: I want an answer in one line from you, which is why I am doing Teekhi Baat with you, that if you come to power, then will you join these chief ministers, they are not BJP chief ministers.

AY: Please see, now elections are going on, we have not paid much attention to that as of now, but if anybody is interfering in Uttar Pradesh, then certainly issue would have to be raised against that. For example, on the issue of VAT, Uttar Pradesh did not allow VAT to be implemented.

PC: Like you opposed on the issue of Lokpal,

AY: We had not allowed VAT to be implemented.

PC: When Lokpal comes in Rajya Sabha, then also would you oppose

AY: We will oppose Lokpal, because corruption is not going to go away due to Lokpal.

PC: Hence you will oppose Lokpal.

AY: The party had opposed Lokpal. Because we want such a law should be made, which should be strict, because of which corruption can be stopped. That is why, we were against Lokpal.

PC: Now the issue that are coming, will you have cases registered against Mayawati.

A Y: No cases will run, only how Uttar Pradesh should be developed, how good roads be made, how arrangement of electricity be done, with what ways law and order be improved, if due to use of technology police stations can be improved, some facilities be given to police, and the towns which are growing, in those if an environment of security is crated,

PC: Hence your agenda is very clear because you are working president in the state, it will not be the government of a family, all Yadavs.

AY: It will not be government of a family because nobody is fighting elections.

PC: Uncles, and relatives

AY: No, except for my Uncle, nobody is fighting elections. Only one member of the party is fighting elections this time, except for uncle, no one is fighting elections.

PC: You removed spokesperson Mohan Prakash recently, who was a senior man

AY: No, he has not been removed, when the issue of removing DP Yadav was came forth, then party took a decision that such people should not be in the party, the image of the party will go bad, we are trying to not let such people come in the party, somewhere that issue went ahead.

PC: He is an old timer

AY: I have full respect of respected Mohansinghji even today.

PC: Will you restore him again as spokesperson.

AY: Certainly, lets see what happens in coming times, he might get a bigger responsibility too.

PC: Tell me, earlier in UP, election commission showed a lot of strictness, in the past few days, election commission is seen nowhere, neither any cash is recovered, no anybody is being banned, Ministers speaking one after the other, one time somebody abuses, then say that we have said nothing, you have kept silence on this issue.

AY: Our party has made complaints, when a minister said that President’s rule will be imposed, we said that it is a violation of the code of conduct. We complained to the elections commission, I think that the election commission will issue notice.

PC: Don’t you think that the election commission was unsuccessful in the past few days, it is seeming weak to you.

AY: Now not being able to seize money, money should have been seized earlier by the election commission,

PC: Now what the three ministers have done,

AY: It should be strict, we have complained

PC: I want to ask doesn’t it seem that the election commission actions seem loose and weak since a past few days,

AY: I think that the election commission should have taken action against these ministers who gave such statements,

PC: If that has not been done, isn’t it the fault of the election commission, weakness of theirs

AY: If they don’t do it, or do it late, even then it will be understood as weakness.

PC: What have they done till now

AY: They have given notice

PC: Gave notice, then would be forgiven, take Salman Khurshid’s case

AY: It means that is a weakness of the election commission. I think that the election commission has got the required powers, laws, they can comment on anybody, ban, I understand that they should have taken action against the cabinet minister.

PC: Hence you think action should be taken

AY: Action should be taken. Because one minister said, then other one said, then the third minister also said, hence somewhere, or they are doing purposely. They have protection from somewhere.

PC: It means that there will be protection of the election commission

AY: Someone’s protection, I think that the they should be dealt with strictly, anybody who violates, action must be taken against him.

PC: Thank you for coming to our studio

AY: Thank you, Prabhuji !

video

Teekhi Baat with Baba Ramdev on IBN7/ February 25, 2012

Interview with Baba Ramdev for Teekhi Baat on IBN 7.

Hello! I am Prabhu Chawla, and our guest for today on Teekhi Baat is India’s new Rajguru, Baba Ramdev.

BR: Thank You Prabhuji! You keep on giving me new nomenclatures.

PC: I have given you many nomenclatures, sex guru, tax guru, and many more. I also made you Chanakya, Kautilya,

BR: Please see, my roles may be different, but the basic is Yoga Science, and using that as a base, am making a edifice by people, character, nation building work. And the dishonest people, who have looted lakhs of crores of nations wealth, and who have done injustice to the country, I don’t know they have started fearing.

PC: You are saying right that you are making and edifice, whose foundation is built on sand, and hence falls.

BR: Whatever work we do is strong, now the base of those people is shuddering who have looted the country from the time of independence till now, they have acted are traitors and done injustice to the country. And when they are about to be exposed, they fear and then started making allegations against us, which do not baseless, lies, fabricated. They are doing our character assassination when they have looted lakhs of crores of rupees and then tell that Baba has black money. I have told them from one pie to crore, whatever black money you find, you announce that as national wealth. If they find I have it, then they should do it, they have put all agencies to work, they have made various allegations through televisions and newspapers.

PC: You are attacked and character assassination is done, you are saying, but the recent Supreme Court judgement said that you followers were not under control, and even followers created some problems, they have got into habit of breaking the law.

BR: At 12 pm in the night, you impose section 144, first time

PC: It is the government’s job to do that.

BR: That means we don’t have a right to sleep. Supreme Court judges say that sleeping is our fundamental right. And now the next issue comes, when section 144 imposition is itself wrong, as stated in the Supreme Court decision, which I have with me,

PC: Misuse

BR: No, not misuse, they said that should go to high court and appeal that the imposition of section 144 is incorrect, and then come to us. They agreed that it is wrong, but said that since they have taken suo moto cognizance, hence we cannot say it is wrong, but the base of democracy was shaken. The fundamental rights have been attacked, the constitution has been killed, they agreed everything. Delhi police had the aim to declare us at criminals,

PC: You did not get what you were expecting from the Supreme Court judgement. The SC judges that that authority was used in excess, but regarding you they also said that you should have treaded with caution,

BR: There was an attempt to confuse the court, as the CCTV footage has been erased, the police is even confusing the court, and court can talk indicatively, it was stated that the whole thing happened with the knowledge of the home ministry. It is a big thing, the government has turned a killer. And i talk straightly, if anybody does a protest on black money, corruption, why do they have a problem, are they having black money? Have they and their forefathers looted the country?

PC: But the SC has given the judgement.

BR: What is our fault Prabhuji, what is our crime.

PC: Henceforth, police won’t do any such thing, they will put a thought to it before doing so.

BR: The next andolan will be a very powerful one, and the ruthlessness and barbaric acts done earlier, they wont be able to do it now. And when the andolan grows 100 and thousand times more stronger, then let us see what they can do.

PC: Babaji, I am following you from 5-6 years, did eight ten interviews of you, I feel that the people who used to come to Babaji before, earlier it was Baba Sharnam Gachchami, now it is the opposite you are going to the sharan of politicians, lawyers.

BR: On the issue of going in the sharan of politicians and laywers, see all politicians are coming to us except for just one party, and even the good people in that party, they like Karan, Bhishma, Dronacharya, people who have conscience left, now you look at any other party, all parties earlier and now also support us, even today the issues that we have raised, tell me any lacunae in those.

PC: Earlier there would be a crowd to meet Babaji, now you are going to the houses of lawyers, good lawyers are standing with you, some of BJP,

BR: We did not go to Supreme Court, but if there is a case, we will have to have a laywer, if we don’t do that, it is wrong. Please see till today I have done gathering of 11 crore people, and even after the barbaric act of June 4, you see from Jhansi to Chitrakoot, and even during elections, in Lucknow, Bandha, Mainpurti I did gathering of thousands and lakhs of people.

PC: I think Baba Ramdev, is digressing from his principles, his basic way.

BR: No I have not at all digressed.

PC: You work was to teach Yoga, wake people, to make people healthy.

BR: Even today in more than one lakh villages….

PC: You said that you will make people fight elections

BR: We said that we will make the nation healthy and rich, Prabhuji, over 84 crore people in the country lives below poverty line, in this country there is so much money, wealth and property but all is looted and taken away, should we sit back and keep quiet, isn’t it the duty of aware citizen of the country. Am I not a citizen of this country before being a sanyasi. Is Rashtra Dharam not ahead of Yoga Dharma. All our works are later, doenst the nation come first. And if the nation is first and if I speak for the country, then what is the crime

PC: Am saying it from earlier that your whole andolan, against black money, that became weak,

BR: That is going on hundred per cent. Please see, if the government does cruel and barbaric acts, that is the ill doing by the government. Please see, till the elections results in five states do not come out, till then they will not understand. Now the way the voting percentage if increasing by 20,30, 40 per cent, that will show how the crimes done by them will be washed away. The next thing is that, before the next elections in 2014, a big andolan would have to be done, then not only their roots will shake, they will be finished. Because they have become so cruel, so arrogant, have you seen the kind of statements they make, that if they don’t get vote and their government is not formed, they will impose presidents rule. They finish off anybody who speaks against them. Now you see, who, our brother Vinod Rai from CAG, If any person or organisation issued any statement against him,

PC: Who?

BR: The people who run the government, the goonda, mafia,

PC: You are talking about the central government or Mayawati.

BR: Am talking of the central government, and that too one party in the central government, not all parties.

PC: Are you speaking of the Congress party at the Centre.

BR: Their name suits your tongue,

PC: I want to hear it from you, why do you fear. You are saying goonda, mafia, but are scared of taking name, that they will nab and take you again.

BR: Prabhuji, our elders have taught us, that should not take names of bad people from ones tongue.

PC: I am not talking of bad people, I am talking of party,

BR: I was telling you that before 2014, there will be a big abhiyan, then they will fall and will not rise for many years.

PC: That means Yoga Guru Ramdevji’s job is to bring about political change, after this you will do less of yoga and more of politics.

BR: Yoga will be 100 per cent there, even now I have residential camps, gatherings, thousands of vaidh, who are doing work with even more humbleness.

PC: Now what your effort is that in the next two years, you want to do bring about a change in the ruling dispensation.

BR: There should be administrative reform, 400 lakh crores which have been looted, that the country should get back, loot should be stopped.

PC: You want political change, the this can happen, isn’t it?

BR: Changing the ruling dispensation can be a support, but the effort is towards administrative reform.

PC: That means you will want to change the parties sitting in power at the centre.

BR: Please see, we want to change this corrupt administration, our target is black money, corrupt government and corrupt administration. We can also be targeted, let them level lakhs of allegations against us, and whoever have challenged a corrupt administration, they have faced the attacks from these cruel people, let it be Prophet Mohammed sahab, Yeshu, Bhagwan Ram Krishna, Maharshi Dayananad, Bhagwan Budha to Mahatma Gandhi. I am not comparing myself with them, I consider them my ideals and want to follow their path.

PC: I ask you again and again and you avoid answering it, you don’t have interest in doing Teekhi Baat,

BR: If I talk teekha, you say that you are a sadhu and yet do teekhi baat,

PC: Teekha means that you clear what is in your mind.

BR: I do sachchi baat

PC: Sachchi baat is that you don’t want to say that the government took unfair action against you, the home ministry is not run by communists, home ministry , BJP who you are loving more these days.

BR: I love all country and countrymen. Prabhuji, Supreme Court said that the home ministry has taken the decision, now home ministry does not take any decision, alone the government is also involved in it.

PC: Even if the decision is taken by the whole government, even then the political target is the Congress party, isn’t it?

BR: Please see, our target is black money, and that is so big, Prabhuji, now the CBI director did such a brave thing. The wrong policies and intentions of the government, and due to their will power being less, more than Rs. 25 lakh crore is out of India.

PC: The government denied, finance ministry denied.

BR: I am telling that anybody who speaks against black money, corruption. When the issue of Lokpal came then the ACB of CBI was under kept under its jurisdiction. The right and effective procedure to bring back black money, that was not adopted, be it black money inside the country in illegal mining, drugs, politics. The effective procedure that should be adopted to get back black money, why do they fear to adopt it, that means it is clear that it is loot and being a traitor with the country. When the issue of Gaddafi came that he had 10 lakh crore rupees and the country GDP was 3.75 lakh crore rupees. In this country there are many Gadaffi’s in this country, when they go out of power, then this country will get justice, I am also doing this work, I had never left Yoga, ayurveda,

PC: You recently did a meeting which had old RSS timers in it,

BR: Which meeting

PC: It had Gurumurthy, KN Govindacharya, they all

BR: There were no politicians in the meeting,

PC: They have a political ideology

BR: Not a question of political ideology, any person who is working against black money, corruption, if he invites me, I am not a member of any committee. If anybody fights a battle against the corrupt system, we will bless them,

PC: Earlier Laloo, Subodh Kant Sahay and other such people used to be with you, flim stars used to come, all have left you now. Now only BJP and RSS people are left with you.

BR: Now you see, except one party, all other people, be they from the film world, industry, and I am working for the common man of this country. The people whose stomachs are full, who are staying in luxury, people with facilities, they never do any andolan, I am talking of those people…

PC: May I do teekhi baat with you, you are not in politics, but are doing politics,

BR: Please see, politics is not a crime, but talking a principled stand and talking about cleansing politics, I have said that political power is not our ambition, but wont we work for political purity?

PC: You said a year ago that you will have political power, will make candidates fight, and even if I won’t become prime minister, I will make prime minister. That andolan of yours also got finished. Swabhimaan andolan also got finished.

BR: It has not finished.

PC: Where are you doing it now.

BR: You are saying about fighting elections ,we are saying that good people we have supported, wherever I went across the country ,crores of people asked Babaji what is the alternative, I even ask you, you are very senior to me

PC: You said that you will make candidates fight and after that

BR: Let 2014 come , in 2014

PC: Will you make candidates fight elections, which you told me earlier. In Swabhimaan andolan you said everywhere..

BR: I have told earlier, am telling again now, people who will change the corrupt system, will bring back black money, finish corruption, about them a whole strategy will be chalked out, and will tell you, wait for it.

PC: In up you went for elections ,you would have spoken against some party, asking give votes to them.

BR: the big criminals need to be punished first,

PC: Most of them are in power

BR: And choose who have less allegations on them, and even explain them

PC: You are going to Goa too and will ask to vote for somebody

BR: There loot of Rs. seven lakh crore has been done, and around Rs. 50 lakh crore of iron is there, that will also be looted, hence, the people who are looters, should they be supported? Is this justice,

PC: You are going at many places, your aim..

BR: Our aim along with Yoga is to save the country. While serving people, this work of serving the nation, along with Dharma, the rashtra dharma if we can take ahead, I think no better ideal life than this.

PC: You are in Uttar Pradesh and Utarrakhand, what do you think, is any change happening there or no, for which you tried, will that kind of change happen or no. Because you don’t want to take name of any party, because you have some fear in your heart.

BR: There is no fear, please see there is a tradition of saints, I have to build that also, but also follow my rashtra dharma, the intentions of a party in Uttar Pradesh, we will get 100 seats, and I am surpruised

PC: They will come to power there

BR: They will make government there, people whose 25-50 seats being won is also difficult, they are saying that we will form government, and when they get hit they shudder, get angry, tear papers apart, if anybody speaks like this, people say that you are not got elected till now and are speaking in such a manner, will you sit on our head later. Before elections people are told they are beggars, who made this country beggars? People like these are giving childish statements out of fear and the people will teach them a lesson, they will be finished.

PC: Lets see, elections are on the anvil. Thank you for coming to our studio.

BR: Thank you, Prabhuji !

video

Monday, February 20, 2012

Teekhi Baat with Rishi Kapoor/ February 18, 2012 on IBN7


Teekhi Baat with
Rishi Kapoor,


the boolywood lover boy of yesteryear,
who gave a look test as a villain in Agneepath for the first time in 40 years of his career.




video

Poll Panel Neet To Find Their Teeth Again/The Sunday Standard/ February 19, 2012

POWER & POLITICS

The Three Wise Men of the Poll Panel Need to Find Their Teeth Again

Has the lion been caged? It has stopped roaring. After high voltage outrage, banning busts, covering statutes and transferring errant poll officials, the Election Commission (EC) has retreated into a shell. Last week, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi wrote an irate letter to President Pratibha Singh Patil seeking her decisive intervention to deal with a serious violation of the model code of conduct by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid. The commission then magnanimously forgave Khurshid, after receiving a letter from him accepting the EC’s supremacy. This liberal gesture is being perceived as weakness. Soon after, Union Minister for Steel Beni Prasad Verma also promised job reservation for the minorities, delivering the EC yet another body blow. Like his colleague, Verma called his gaffe a mere ‘a slip of tongue’ and expected the commission to give him the same treatment it gave to Khurshid.

Undoubtedly, the commission has been able to instil confidence in the electoral process and has succeeded in taming political muscle and money power. However, for the past few days, it seems to have lost its bite. Its highly visible head Quraishi is now hardly seen on TV debates. His two other colleagues prefer to hide within the four walls of their spacious rooms in Nirvachan Sadan. No money is being seized from cash-rich candidates. Nor is excessive publicity material or illicit liquor being recovered.

The sudden minimisation of the EC is ominous for the free and fair conduct of elections in a state like Uttar Pradesh. The commission was excessively active in taking strong action against the ruling BSP. It ordered all statues and busts of Mayawati be covered along with those of elephants—the party’s election symbol. The commission was prompt in taking action on complaints filed by the Congress party about the conduct of a few top poll officers, in both Rae Bareily and Amethi. It shunted out over half a dozen officials, including a lady district magistrate. It even repatriated an IAS officer—posted by it as an observer—back to Goa after he strictly enforced the code of conduct in Amethi. The transfer was reversed after the Opposition made it an issue and charged the commission with playing into the hands of the Congress party.

The EC’s reluctance to move against the two Union ministers raised serious doubts about its neutrality in the state. Frankly, they are entitled to market their ideology and manifesto to voters. It’s ridiculous to consider political promises made during an election campaign a violation of the code of conduct. But once the commission has taken a view, it must follow through to the logical end. Its inexplicable decision to knock on Rashtrapati Bhawan doors against Khurshid is seen as an attempt to pass the buck and give the ruling party an escape route. Never before has the commission approached Raisina Hill to invoke presidential authority against code of conduct violations.Surprisingly, Quraishi and his colleagues have betrayed their inconsistency in dealing with recalcitrant politicians. The EC has shown its teeth when it comes to smaller or opposition parties, and its tail while dealing with the Congress. In 2009, Quraishi, as one of the three members of the commission, rightly passed a strong order against Varun Gandhi —a BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Pilibhit—for making inflammatory speeches. Not only did the commission censure the young firebrand leader, it also issued a notice to the BJP seeking explanation. It took suo motu cognizance of Varun’s speeches. It even advised the BJP to deny him an election ticket. When it came to Verma and Khurshid, the EC didn’t even bother to question the Congress on the conduct of its senior ministers.

In 1999, the commission displayed its powers when it disqualified Bal Thackeray from contesting elections for six years, and barred him from voting in any election. He was also charged with inciting communal disharmony and speaking against the minority community. Surprisingly, ignoring the advice of the then law minister Ram Jethmalani, President K R Narayanan accepted the recommendations of then chief election commissioner M S Gill and election commissioner J M Lyngdoh to punish Thackeray. Under Article 103 (2) of the Constitution, the President is bound by the advice of the EC on matters of disqualification. The commission can bar any leader from campaigning, countermand an election and even disqualify a defiant leader from contesting an election. However, the commission has now restricted itself to recovering cash, tracking the use of motor vehicles and punishing pygmies in every political party. Unfortunately, the current state of mind of the three wise members signal a fear of the unknown. Unless reversed at the earliest, it may undo the great contributions made by the institution and lose the confidence of the people.

prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com Follow me on Twitter @PrabhuChawla

Monday, February 13, 2012

Teekhi Baat_Subramanian Swamy/ February 11, 2012 on IBN7

video

Teekhi Baat with Janta Party chief S
ubramanian Swamy, on IBN 7.

Hello! I am Prabhu Chawla and our guest for today on Teekhi Baat is the master player of Indian politics Dr. Subramanian Swamy.

SS: Thank you, Prabhuji (laughs)

PC: Aren’t you a player, one man army?

SS: You have the freedom, you are in journalism, can do anything.

PC: Tell me one thing, you are the lone general of your party, there is no soldier

SS: What can I do if you cannot see the soldier? You change your specks

PC: There are many soldiers

SS: many of them, but I speak about enemies and hide my friends

PC: You have fought so many battles in the past years, alone. Recently you had a continuous winning stint but have had a small defeat now, you would be sad now

SS: No, there is nothing surprising about it because, the licenses which have been cancelled now, and the issue of sanction that came up in Supreme Court, in both of these cases I had lost in the high court. But then the people did not notice it. Then I got reprieve in Supreme Court. In present case also, I feel that the trial court judge has done half of my work, he has proved that Chidambaram and Raja both together decided. Now, whether is a criminal or not is a matter of trial, but he decided before the trial hence I feel that I will win in the higher court.

PC: You feel that there are infirmities in the judgement.

SS: There are paradoxes, and at last I understand that the decision has gone against my prayer. But the body will be of benefit to me.

PC: Dr. Saab it seems that you have taken up a mission. But people opposing you say that you have a personal agenda against Chidambaram, because he is also tamilian, you are also tamilian, hence you choose an individual, not the mission.

SS: This is not right because when earlier I had filed a case only against Raja that time Karunanidhi said that I am a Brahmin and he is a Dalit hence I am doing so, when Kanomozhi’s turn came then he said that I am against women, hence they keep on saying such things. But you see the Supreme Court judgements that we have got no concern for personal enmity, what is important, whether there is supporting evidence or not. Now if I have any personal enmity with Chidambaram or not, what difference does it make.

PC: There are tamilian’s in all this, do you think in this whole government, only tamilians are corrupt.

SS: No no I will make it all right, because am getting many complaints from Tihar jail that the cooks are sad as all Tamilians ask Masala Dosa. Now they will have to be compelled to make Pizza.

PC: You will compel them to make Pizza. I will come later to what you are indicating. But don’t you think that there is a contradiction in your stance. There is a collective responsibility in the government, you say that with the Prime Minister you have no enmity, and he is a clean man, but all his ministers are bad men. Is this your strategy or is it your conviction that the Prime Minister is a right man.

SS: No, it is my conviction that he has made no money in this. I have total conviction in that. Now the question is I have to see, because a criminal case is on, that whether on any issue the Prime Minister was authorised, to decide, and he took the opposite decision. According to the documents, the Prime Minister had written to Raja and told him, that auctions it, don’t do it this way. But he didn’t listen as Raja’s godfather was sitting above the Prime Minister.

PC: Even I saw the documents. When the license were on 10th, the then Additional Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office wrote on the file that I have conveyed to the telecom secretary to go be the old file. Hence, the prime minister knew before 10th that this is going to happen.

SS: No, no, as far as what would have the Prime Minister have done if he was a strong Prime Minister, in that he is guilty, like Bhishmacharya in Mahabharat could have stopped the vastraharan of Draupadi but he said that he is majboor and vivash, and he kept on seeing. But he cannot be compared with Durshashan. Hence I say that I will see the Prime Minister later, that to what extent he should be held responsible for this.

PC: Let me do teekhi baat with you, you agree that I was in the Prime Minister’s knowledge before giving the license, that they are being given.

SS: Yes, yes

PC: Then if he wanted to stop he could have

SS: It is not a question of whether he could have stopped, did he have the power to stop it. No. From the first day he was made the Prime Minister because he is spineless.

PC: What are you going to do?

SS: I know that there are political games in this, if the Prime Minister goes then who will come. If the whole UPA goes I have no issue, in which case this Prime Minister will also go, we accept it. But if only he goes, for the post to fall vacant, and for that another yuvraj is made to sit there, this I cannot agree upon.

PC: Hence you will save the Prime Minister.

SS: I hold the whole UPA responsible, then why only the Prime Minister be removed. If somebody has to be removed, all have to be removed.

PC: You cannot see corruption charges against anybody else.

SS: They are not corrupt as much.

PC: I am not speaking about the Prime Minister only ,there are other ministers too. Dr. Subramanian Swamy has given a clean chit to others.

SS: I have not given a clean chit. I am a private citizen, I don’t have CBI, nor enforcement directorate, tomorrow you make me in charge of these, in 10 days, I will make all ministers of UPA land inside.

PC: That is ok, but the impression that is being formed

SS: That has been formed.

PC: That you are an enemy of Soniaji, other people, but the prime minister is absolutely golden, clean for you like the pious Ganga.

SS: Laughs…No no question of pious Ganga

PC: Are you working together, people are say you are working on his directions

SS: Laughs…..that suspicion is there. I am a former minister, I have been a five time MP. I am a public figure if I need an appointment then I will go. That is a different thing, but when I had gone to Sri Lanka recently, our High Commission had done the whole arrangements. That they will have to do because I am a former minister, hence it is a courtesy, it is not compulsion. But they do it every time, whenever I go abroad, the embassy helps me.

PC: Do they do because you are a supporter of the Prime Minister.

SS: Now he fears less about his job because, PM has got affection for me, hence even officers are less scared. During Indira Gandhi’s tenure, no officer used to come to me.

PC: But during Manmohan Singh

SS: Manmohan Singh is a very old friend of mine, of 40 years, how can you say I will not acknowledge, I am not such a person.

PC: Is you friendship ideological, pro market, pro America, all this

SS: He is a dabbu has no spine, but is a good man.

PC: He is ideologically with you

SS: Yes, from the start. After forming the Chandrashekhar Government, I requested him to become the economic advisor.

PC: He used to report to you then.

SS: Then he was our consultant. (laughs)

PC: Now he is your Prime Minister

SS: Yes

PC: Professor Subramanian Swamy, you were removed from the post at Harvard, you used to teach there.

SS: No not for the professors post, my course was discontinued. Now there is no need of going.

PC: But tell me one thing, you will not teach now, then what is your source of income, from where. So much expenses you have, so many functions you do, you travel so much, somebody must be donating

SS: Yes, surely, I am an old Brahmin I cannot work without dakshina.

PC: From where does it come.

SS: Come from people, people who have money.

PC: Because you are fighting against corruption. Now Chidambaram will order an inquiry pertaining to you.

SS: How much and many inquiries he has done, he has done so many. During Indira Gandhi’s tenure everyday inquiries against me were done. Today there is no such thing that he does not know about me. He searched everything but got nothing, because I am an open book. Because I don’t hide anything, I openly call out my enemies and say that I am his enemy and am going to get after him.

PC: If Prime Minister says leave Chidambaram you will leave him

SS: If Prime Minister says leave Chidambaram then I will get the Prime Minister inside. Chidambaram is a worst man.

PC: You didn’t get any corruption charges against him.

SS: Regarding corruption, what are you saying.

PC: You talked about documents and he passed everything. But nothing like Raja, who got donation some where

SS: In the Prevention of Corruption Act, which CBI took cognizance about against Raja, it was criminal misconduct. That you gave ample opportunity to Swan Telecom and Unitech to earn money, in Judge Saini’s order he has agreed to it.

PC: But there is money in his account like he took a loan from somebody

SS: No, no,no,no, you are speaking out of ignorance, regarding Raja there is no money trail regarding him till now.

PC: Because you have taken an agenda pertaining to Chidambaram, but not pertaining to Raja

SS: No, no,no,no, this what you are saying. Today one court has said I have not proved, tomorrow some other court will say. It had happened earlier too in the case of license cancellation. The same happened in sanction, when the Delhi High Court dismissed a petition, in Supreme Court I won.

PC: A section of people who oppose you say that you, since RSS cannot fight against him, because he created the name of saffron terror, now RSS is fighting keeping the gun on your shoulder and they have done studies pertaining to the issue.

SS: I have no need to fight against Chidambaram on the issue of Hindu terror because he will drown and die in that issue, because first our government had said that Samjhauta express blasts were done by LeT. This was also told to America, who told it to the United Nations and LeT was declared terrorist organisation. Now they have changed, I say that CBI and Maharashtra police are crying today, because they have no proof. They will all come out.

PC: You are a supporter of RSS.

SS: Am a supporter of RSS from the start. I could have gone to any party when I came from Harvard, that time I became a Jana Sanghi. And that time you were a student in Hindu college at that time,

PC: Teacher

SS: You had became a teacher, and you know that because I joined Jana Sangh, they had took of my full professorship at IIT. I am clear that in a country like ours, an organisation like RSS is needed to build unity.

PC: From the past some years it has been heard that you are trying to join the BJP.

SS: I, how can I join

PC: BJP leaders say that Swami wants to come, we don’t let him come.

SS: Arre, then they should be ashamed. On the one side they say that Hindu powers …

PC: But you have no following anywhere

SS: I see, the people who say, do they have following. Following on what country, have been elected to parliament five times, out of which three time Lok Sabha. These Rajya Sabha people will say they have following and I don’t.

PC: But you want to come to BJP

SS: Please see, I am an old Jana Sanghi, if BJP comes on the line that they will give importance to Hindutva, then certainly I want to join the BJP. Because, why should be we do division of votes. We have to be together.

PC: Then you will go to NDA

SS: I am engaged to NDA not married.

PC: Marriage has not happened, you have done engagement. That means Gadkari saab, Advani saab will be ready to get you in

SS: Now, that I don’t know, but Gadkari is the president and my relations with Advani have been sweet from the start.

PC: Then you will try to join the NDA

SS: Why should I try, there are many people to represent me, why should I do.

PC: What is you political ideology basically, nobody knows.

SS: This is just public propaganda, I came first day, and this has been stated by Manmohan Singh in public, I said that socialism will not work, we should get market economy. When I became minister, I made that package, of economic reforms. Then I said that Israel should be our friend, that I did, thirdly we should have good relations with China, that I did, and in 1972 I had said that to join this country

PC: But this is economic ideology, free market

SS: No, Hindutva, I wrote in 1972.

PC: All your old associates are Jana Sanghis, RSS people and your people speak against Anna, that you do not agree with Anna

SS: No, no we say that we have difference with Anna that in the current system, we can get results, we have got it. But I know Anna from the time when I want Lok Sabha MP two times form Bombay. He is such an honest individual and I respect him at all times. But the team with him is tilted towards communism. This is what I said.

PC: You are saying that in the present laws itself you can fight against corruption.

SS: Can fight,

PC: Then there is no need for Lokpal

SS: No, I did not say that. I said let Lokpal come when it comes, will get some more help from it. But in the present set of laws too I can do it.

PC: Like you fought via court cases

SS: I did it and showed, many people have been affected. Have got the home minister to sweat, what all he had to do to be in the post, everybody knows.

PC: You shift the agenda and goal post, sometime you fight with Jailalitha, sometime love, today are you friend or enemy of Jailalitha

SS: There is no enmity now. Let me tell you one thing, this dual weighing scale of yours, this I want to point out. On what point Congress party made the Gujral government fall, because they did not let the DMK out, now with the same DMK they entered into an alliance. And the people who gave protection to Dhanu, the bomb person, who blew up Rajiv Gandhi, the same person was made minister on the advice of Sonia Gandhi. BJP once went with AIDMK, then DMK, then third time with AIDMK, you don’t speak about anybody else. Communist are sometimes with Congress, sometimes in opposition. Then what I am saying wrong, I did not leave the Janta Party.

PC: Janta Party you registered yourself.

SS: That is there, I could have gone to any party, Rajiv Gandhi was my very good friend. Narsimha Rao was my good friend, I could have gone, I didn’t.

PC: You are saying that you have no enmity with Jailalitha

SS: Never I had enmity. Please see, I never had enmity, but one time she had got arrogant that she is all that is, that time she had to be taught a lesson, after teaching a lesson.

PC: Now she is working well

SS: She is a good lady

PC: On the Tamil issue, everybody is against Sri Lanka, but you are with them

SS: Who says that Tamilian are in favour of LTTE.

PC: Tamilians have bene killed. You go to Sri Lanka, you get support there, why do you go to Sri Lanka

SS: Because that Tamilians from there also tell me today that, how much relief we feel today, after the LTTE has been finished, we never had that before. And they are finding a way out so that there is some change in the constitution there, and some autonomy is given, then I say that all this issue will be resolved.

PC: Why had you gone to Colombo?

SS: I had gone to pray in Colombo.

PC: You pray

SS: I pray sometimes .

PC: of whom

SS: Kartik mane Subramanya which in Tamil is known as Subramanya there is a old temple six hours form Colombo, a special day which fell yesterday, on seventh, that a shakti pradan is there

PC: Had you gone to demand shakti

SS:Shatru ko naash karne ke liye

PC: Did you get shakti

SS: What do I know, will come to know in few days.

PC: But your purpose was to get some more shakti

SS: That I will get, that is our religion, in Hindu dharma whenever we go for war we ask for strength.

PC: What is the future of Subramanian Swamy.

SS: There is no worry about the future

PC: Your personal future

SS: I don’t worry about the future

PC: Is your future in the BJP, or your own Janta party

SS: What is the difference between BJP and Janta Party, the difference is of B, there is no other difference,

PC: If you get a chance you will

SS: I was there earlier with them,

PC: You said that your engagement has been done, with NDA

SS: Yes, it is no new thing, we had relations from the past.

PC: No, I have asked three questions, your future, is it in the Janta Party, or the BJP, or in Manmohan Singh’s friendship

SS: The friendship with Manmohan Singh will never change. If he does a crime, I will certainly work towards punishing him. But till now I have seen no crime pertaining to him or heard about it

PC: Your future is with the BJP

SS: My future is with Hindutva powers because in this country

PC: You are Hinduwadi

SS: I am Hinduwadi because I think that this is a religion that can get all of us together.

PC: Now, today’s fight is against Chidambaram, not against anybody else

SS: No, no, no, no we went one by one, Chidambaram’s name has not come till now, earlier it was Raja, then Kanimozhi, then Maran, now it is the chance of Chidambaram, after that more people

PC: You will see

SS: No, No, it is not about I will see, I have a list, according to which I will go and if you give me a post I will do it in one stroke.

PC: This is a trailer, the movie is left

SS: No, to collect my powers, one by one I have to go.

PC You have shown a trailer, but you movie is left, thank you for coming to our studio.

UPA's Stars Reflect the Light of Their Company/The Sunday Standard/February 12, 2012

POWER & POLITICS

UPA's Stars Reflect the Light of Their Company, Not Aam Aadmi

A leader is known by the company he keeps. Or by the company he avoids. Last week, two prominent pillars of the UPA betrayed the nature of the company both have been keeping lately. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is one of the most respectable political leaders who rarely spoke for the classes and kept the company of the masses. Salman Khurshid, the Oxford-educated legal eagle and Union law minister, is known for his secular and pragmatic approach to politics. But both Pranabda and Khurshid sprang a surprise when one spoke for the classes and the other for a community.

As India’s beleaguered Chief Financial Officer, Pranabda is expected to plan national expenses according to income. He, however, seems to be less concerned with raising income by withdrawing concessions from the rich and mighty and taxing them heavily. Instead, he seems to be plumping for the easy option of making the poor poorer by cutting subsidies on food, petroleum products and fertilisers. There is no doubt that subsidies, which now account for `2.25 lakh crore, need to be rationalised and pruned. But what stunned Pranabda’s admirers was his emotional opposition to the principle of subsidies. “As finance minister, when I think of the enormity of subsidies to be provided, I lose my sleep,” he announced at a recent official meeting. If the finance minister was spending sleepless nights over rising subsidies, the law minister was invoking emotional appeal in the name of his leader, Sonia Gandhi. Khurshid took Uttar Pradesh voters by surprise when he claimed the Congress President actually wept over the Batla House encounter in which a couple of youngsters and a decorated cop were killed. Khurshid claimed: “I was not a minister at the time, but still took the issue of the Batla House encounter to Sonia Gandhi. When we showed photographs of that incident to Mrs Gandhi, she wept bitterly.” Since the Congress hasn’t taken to his statement kindly, it is clear Khurshid was speaking for his votebanks. For the party, the Batla House deaths were as much a matter of concern as those of the securitymen who were also killed by terrorists during the 2001 Parliament attack. Moreover, Khurshid conveniently forgot even Home Minister P Chidambaram has ruled out any investigation in the Batla House matter and made it clear that the Government doesn’t subscribe to any fake encounter theory.

Both Pranab and Khurshid are known for their articulation and intellect. However, Pranabda seems to be under pressure to speak the language of the marketwallas who don’t want him to target them for the purpose of raising resources. For the past 15 years, corporates has gained from both the NDA’s and the UPA’s policies. The finance minister doesn’t lose his sleep when his revenue department gives tax concessions worth over `4.6 lakh crore to India Inc as against just `2.25 lakh crore worth of subsidies. During the UPA’s last six years, `21 lakh crore has been gifted to corporate India as concessions in customs and excise duties. The finance ministry wrote off `90,000 crore as corporate tax last year alone.

A study of returns filed before 2010 by 4.27 lakh companies shows the effective tax rate was only 23.53 per cent as against the statutory rate of over 33 per cent. Moreover, smaller companies end up paying higher taxes than industry giants. While companies with profits up to `1 crore ended up with an effective tax rate of 25.52 per cent, the ones with profits of over `500 crore paid 22.05 per cent on an average. The finance minister should actually be losing sleep over the rising death of infants, burgeoning unemployment, the rare availability of drinking water and the hopelessly low quality of health facilities for the rural and urban poor. A recent FICCI study on healthcare infrastructure revealed India barely has 0.9 beds per 1,000 people.

The finance minister should be spending more and more sleepless nights over the growing number of unemployed youth in India. During the past seven years of the UPA rule, the unemployment rate has risen from less than 7 per cent to almost 10 per cent now. The number of people living below the poverty line has gone up. While the number of Indian billionaires listed by foreign publications may have gone up to 300, the per capita availability of foodgrain is much lower now than what it was five decades ago. The law minister should be crying over the denial of justice to the poor because of poor legal infrastructure and killing of innocent poor people by terrorists and Naxalites. Unfortunately, both august ministers seem to prefer speaking the language of only those who have easy access to them, than of those who put them in power.

prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com Follow me on Twitter @PrabhuChawla

Friday, February 10, 2012

Teekhi Baat with Ajay Maken_Prabhu Chawla on IBN7/February 04, 2012

video

Teekhi Baat with Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken on IBN 7. In this interesting and wide ranging interview, Maken strongly advocated bringing BCCI and other sports federations under the RTI Act, made a case for the sports bill, spoke about unprecedented expenditure being made to give training across the globe to sportspersons preparing for Olympics.
PC: These days you are playing political games, other games are over. You are going to UP, other places.

AM: In addition to being the union sports minister, am a party worker.

PC: Recently, you were hell bent on getting the sports bill. The way India is suffering in cricket, the name of India is affected, as it is known as the Indian team, though it comes under BCCI. Even in T20 the performance was poor, whom do you hold responsible, the players are being blamed, they were heroes, now they have become villains. But those who choose them are not held responsible, you also fear them, other people too fear them.

AM: No, no, it is not a question of fearing, if you look back in the recent history, then by the medium of sports bill, public statements, I spoke about bringing transparency in sports federations, including BCCI, which I don’t think had ever been done before. And I think that sports bodies, including BCCI should be under the ambit of the RTI Act and have transparency.

PC: But the bad manner in which we are losing matches now, who do you hold responsible for that. I am asking you teekhi baat, but you will not talk straight since you fear.

AM: I it nothing like I fear or something.

PC: Because, these were the players, who got us the world cup, T20, after that such mediocre performance, it seems they are tired.

AM: Please see, our players are best among the world players, there is no doubt about that. But the way these players are being managed. Consider, you are putting them under pressure to play commercial cricket by way of IPL. Hence, I think that Indian players are the ones who play the most matches in the world. In the whole world, any player of any country does not play so many matches. And most of these matches happen in India. Hence we have two bad effects of this, first is that they get tired, the second is that they only know to play in India and don’t get enough exposure abroad.

PC: Hence, you are saying that playing too much, that too only in India, affects their performance.

AM: Certainly. And when there are commercial matches, like IPL, the fees that they get for playing these matches is so much that even if the players are injured, they hide the injury and play the match. Hence, performance is affected when they play for India.

PC: Hence, the good players of India play commercial cricket, ignore their fitness.

AM: I don’t blame the players for this. Our players have an opportunity to earn fame and money. If we have so many good players, who have played for so many years and reached a level, we should not rob them of these opportunities. But administrators also have a responsibility, there are things that players cannot see and are also not scientifically equipped to see. Hence, the organizers, the BCCI, who organizes IPL, they should take precaution that a balance is maintained, hence they don’t get more than necessary exposure in India. And they should not be made to overplay in India our outside.

PC: Let me ask you in one sentence, don’t you think that overplaying affects performance.

AM: I have said, our players are overexposed, in India also they play the most matches. They are overexposed players. And they have to play may times in spite of being injured.

PC: And BCCI hides their injury many times you said.

AM: Yes, I have said, that when they foresee commercial benefit, and in the absence of any proper checking mechanism, they have to play forcibly. Hence, I don’t think they players are at fault here. I think that BCCI and the IPL organizers are at fault.

PC: But players can also say no to play these matches, saying that they cannot play so much.

AM: Please see, players don’t dare to say no. If players say no, then it would be difficult for them to get to play tests. The strength of the player is his game only, if he is not played in four matches, then there is nobody is encourage him. Hence, I believe that it is no fault of the players. Our players are the world best players. But it is the responsibility of the BCCI and IPL organizers, that players should not be made to play when they are injured and not overexpose them.

PC: You are saying we have the best players, but due to BCCI’s commercial interests, their performance is being affected.

AM: Certainly, I am saying this.

PC: You think they should be made to play less, or balanced.

AM: They must be made to play in balanced form. I have said that they have to be made to play in a balanced way.

PC: It means they must be made to play less commercial matches.

AM: Certainly, they should be made to play only those many commercial matches which do not have adverse impact on their fitness.

PC: Now you are saying that commercial matches are more and other ones are less.

AM: I think there should be a balance. It is not question of commercial more or less.

PC: You also fear players it seems, on the issue of commercial interest.

AM: I am not scared of players

PC: A player would be recognized as an Indian, he will not be known as a good player if he earns Rs. 10 crore, if he makes 10 more runs, he will be known as a good player

AM: I know under what conditions our players play and the kind of mental pressure on them of their sports federations. And how the player are scared every time that if they do something, this or that will happen and they will not be made to play in the next match.

PC: Hence they are being made to play forcibly.

AM: Certainly.

PC: There is a compulsion on them.

AM: Prabhuji, I am saying this.

PC: But you don’t have any role in this.

AM: Our government has no role in this. And in the whole world…

PC: They whole BCCI lobby is so influential, that it does not let your proposed law to be passed.

AM: Not only of BCCI, and in BCCI, not only the Congress, there are member of all parties, cutting across party lines, big leaders of all parties are in BCCI. And only Congress, even state chief ministers of the BJP write letters and saying that this law (proposed sports bill) should not be there.

PC: What law shouldn’t be there?

AM: The sports bill. They don’t want to have the sports federations under RTI. They don’t want players participation in organizing the players which we want to bring via the sports bill. They want to have a 70 year age limit

PC: You are talking of other sports bodies. Regarding cricket let me ask, why is the team known as India team and not BCCI’s team.

AM: It is India’s team, not BCCI’s. When they play, they move with the Indian flag. Hence, this is of India.

PC: But Indian laws are not applicable to them.

AM: Now via the sports bill we are planning to do this. They should not be answerable to the government, but the people of the country. Hence, the people of the country, demand information from them, because they are doing the biggest work of being a public authority by choosing a team, which will represent India. When they are choosing a team which represents India, then the people of the country have full right to know about the organisation which chooses a team for India.

PC: That is fine to know about how the finances are being used, but what about the health fitness issue?

AM: Financial, even administrative, how their elections are happening? Are they happening fine or no, financial matters, the money that is being earned, from where the money is coming, where it will be deployed, today there are enforcement directorate cases concerning IPL.

PC: But all the cricketing grounds given to IPL are of the government.

AM: Certainly. And through your medium I want to tell the people of the country that the sports ministry has submitted an affidavit in the Central Information Commission (CIC) in which we have told the CIC that they are a public authority and they should be under the ambit of RTI. We have also to them that they have got land free of cost in the country, be it state bodies or others. Secondly they have got income tax exemptions year 2006. Then exemption of entertainment tax, police,

PC: Ajay, bhai when you are saying so much, you also submitted information to CIC, then why as minister you failed get the bill passed.

AM: See the sports minister or any minister has to make a bill and take it to different stages. But I want to tell you not only Congress people, but many more BJP people who have interest are opposing the bill.

PC: But your cabinet ministers are against you.

AM: Even in BJP, if the BJP government comes, they will face the same opposition.

PC: But recently you meet the leaders in BCCI.

AM: I meet everybody.

PC: You met Sharad Pawar, Jaitley saab, did you get any assurance that your bill will be passed.

AM: I meet everybody because I want this bill to be passed. There were some issues, doubts that needed to be cleared.

PC: You stop playing, do teekhi baat now.

AM: I am not playing, If I would have been doing that, then I would have not been able to take this movement regarding sports federations, who are giving stiff resistance, to this level.

PC: You bill is still hanging; secondly you are saying that Suresh Kalmadi be removed, but are not able to do that.

AM: Tell me the law, tell me the law by basis of which I can get Kalmadi to step aside.

PC: In this country, can any jailed, charge sheeted, convicted man become the president of sports federation.

AM: You are right, he certainly can become. Hence, I am talking, I want to bring this law, the sports bill.

PC: Are sports bodies public bodies.

AM: Certainly, they are.

PC: In public bodies charge sheeted people cannot fight elections. This should happen isn’t it?

AM: This is what is there in the sports bill. These are the provisions of the sports bill, and hence all of them are against it. If they oppose me, and Prabhuji, if even you oppose me on Teekhi Baat then i..

PC: I am not opposing, I am saying why you cannot get it done, there is a government, but there is no power.

AM: Three four months ago, we had moved it in the cabinet. After moving it in the cabinet, some people raised valid questions. We don’t want to give the message that the government wants to take under its control, it is not a good thing to bring it under government control. But we also want, there should be transparency, hence we will rework the bill and table it in cabinet.

PC: Like you are saying ,there is opposition in your party.

AM: No.

PC: Is it not, Rajiv Shukla is going everywhere and.

AM: He is not a cabinet member.

PC: But he is in the minsiter’s group.

AM: He is not a cabinet, he does not sit in the cabinet.

PC: But he goes to everybody.

AM: He does not sit in the cabinet.

PC: He is the parliamentary affairs minister, he will have to lobby to get the bill passed. Jab ghar ka thanedaar na saath de aapka, to kya pakdenge aap kisiko.

AM: The thanedaar of Congress party and UPA government is Dr. Manmohan Singh and Shrimati Sonia Gandhi.

PC: Not thaanedar, they are IG police, DG. Am talking about thaanedar who are gate keepers, it does not seem that you have got the support of the whole Congress party as yet.

AM: Please see, I am a member of the Congress party and if I am working for the reforms I am doing by the medium of the Congress party. When as a member I have come this far, I have been able to do this as a representative of the Congress party.

PC: Tell me one thing, how much time limit you have to pass the bill.

AM: No time limit, by I will try, that in this budget session

PC: You will not surrender.

AM: I will not surrender.

PC: Either Ajay Maken will get the bill passed, or he will not be there.

AM: I will not surrender; I will take the bill ahead.

PC: Even if the parliament rejects it.

AM: Let’s see, I don’t hope the parliament will reject it. I parliament I have spoken to many MP’s, 95 per cent Member of Parliament tell me that the bill should certainly be passed.

PC: But tell me so many thousands of crores were invested in sports, there were many scandals also, last time also you told me that the utility of the sports stadiums will be increased, they all are lying in the same condition now.

AM: Now, you come with me, right now, in all stadiums, you will see 12,000 children playing in stadiums all over Delhi. 12,000 children are playing in the come and play scheme that we have started. In Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Nagar there was a football match with Munich Wales with India here. South Asian Federation of football games happened here. Now hockey world cup qualifiers in national games will be held here. Before this Nehru cup and other games were held here. And in these sports facilities, by paying just Rs. 1000, any school, any sports federation of state can use this.

PC: It has been one year with you at the helm of affairs in the ministry, there are Olympics after six months, is India ready for it.

AM: We are spending Rs. 260 crores in this, 732 core probables we have finalised in last April, till November end we have spent Rs. 111 crore. Rs. 65 crore were spent on giving foreign exposure, we have deployed 39 foreign coaches. Besides this 125 …

PC: On what games are you preparing?

AM: We have identified 16 diciplines, we have found 732 core probables from these 16 diciplines. But now we have narrowed it down, we are asking the the qualifiers and the prospective medal winners what help do they what help in what manner. You will be surprised to know Poonia is playing and training in South Africa, before that she was in USA. All our shooters are training in Germany. Archery people are going to Korea. We have said wherever you want to go, our wrestlers are in USA at the moment, boxers will go to Kazhakistan. We are providing them the best facilities available in the world. This is unprecedented, has not happened till now.

PC: You will participate in Olympics.

AM: People are preparing.

PC: The Olympic association has taken an agenda, on behalf of the government too, since Dow is a sponsor, we will not go, not participate.

AM: We have said that keeping our protest on, and by doing a strong protest, there should be no name of Dow chemical’s at any place. Like Dow chemicals was putting its name on the ramp of the main stadium, later they also said no to it. Now as things come in front of us, and wherever we see the name of Dow chemicals, we will protest, tell them to remove the name.

PC: You will keep on protesting, but there is no chance of withdrawing.

AM: Presume if we are protesting and getting results too, then why should be fire keeping the gun on our sportsman’s shoulder. If Dow Chemicals has given sponsorship in London, then why should we fire keeping the gun on the shoulder of our sportsmen, rather, till the last moment we will see how much they listened to us and what decision we have to take. But at this moment, I don’t want to put a mental block in the minds of our players who are preparing for London Olympics. And let me also tell you, there should be no propaganda to the effect that, players and coaches get a doubt in their minds that will affect our preparations.

PC: Tell one, one year has passed, what have you gained and lost. What have you lost.

AM: opportunity, we put the sports bill forward, but could not get it cleared. What we gained is sending the sports bill again for inter ministerial consultation. We have gained that we have done unprecedented preparation for the London Olympics. What we gained is all the Commonwealth stadiums, and other stadiums in the country, we have started come and play, in Delhi alone ,12, 000 children have benefitted from this scheme. Hence, we have prepared to put systems in place.

PC: How much budget do you have, you don’t have much of it.

AM: In these things, we do not need to much budget.

PC: For making UID cards Rs. 8000 crore is given, you don’t get Rs. 800 crores for games.

AM: This I want to tell you, we don’t need too much budget, more than budget, there is a need to change the mindset

PC: Money is needed, in a country of one billion, to make a team.

AM: Like I said, the kind of money we are spending on preparation of Olympic games is unprecedented and there are many such countries…

PC: But it is still not as much as wanted..

AM: Whatever we for Olympics preparation we have got.

PC: Not Olympics, I am talking of sports budget

AM: We need sports budget, even if we demand too much, it will be less, to develop sports infrastructure in the country, at the low level. But let me tell you, sports is a state subject too. Hence, when sports is a state subject, hence we can create only elite infrastructure. Recently, for the national games, the Kerala government had a budget of Rs. 325 crores earlier, they said that they wanted Rs. 625 crore, we recommended Rs. 625 crores and sent it to the planning commission. If they would spend the money we gave to them by August, the Indian Government will given them Rs. 311 crore to Kerala government, in the same way, there were games in Jharkhand, we gave funds to the Jharkhand government. Games will be held in Goa, we will give funds to them. Hence, wherever games will be held..

PC: But what target have you set, how many medals will you gets in Olympics, ASIAD, do you have any target.

AM: Please see, we have made a target. Our first target is that our London Olympics qualifiers, last time only 57 of our people qualified, our efforts are there this time that at least 90-100 people of ours should qualify this time. If the numbers of qualifiers increase, then automatically the medal prospects increase.

PC: Other than sports, you had recently gone to Varanasi to release the Vision Document, don’t you think that people from outside are going and releasing vision document, but not the local leaders.

AM: See, that is not the case.

PC: Sam Pitroda went there and started talking that he is the son of a carpenter, don’t you think that this is a joke on the government.

AM: No, that is not the case, certainly it is not so.

PC: Sam Pitroda is talking of being a carpenter.

AM: I will tell you the reason of my going to Varanasi.

PC: Yes,

AM: Varanasi is an urban area, urban centre, am from Delhi and went there, I have told them to help in brining the Congress government there. We will make Varanasi a developed area like Delhi. I went to Varanasi, Mohan Prakash was with me, he was the president of Banaras Hindu University,

PC: That is fine, but by giving prominence to Delhi people , you were not able to create candidature of local leaders.

AM: All our candidates are local, then we have a government at the centre, we went there to give a message that we have a government at the centre,

PC: In Rahulji’s rally, young people went, who are less than 50 years in age. Do you think that if people there is loss, the youth will lose, if there is a win, then the youth will be the winner.

AM: There will certainly be victory. And under that , the whole party is working under Rahulji’s leadership.

PC: There is a fight of the youth there.

AM: If you think that, they let it be that, but we will win.

PC: Lets see, what happens, thank you for coming to our studio.

AM: Thank you, Prabhuji !