Saturday, 11 March 2017

UP Elections - Two Points - NOTA and Kursi Parivar

From the sample of 180 constituencies which I picked, I am able to see that a total of 209 parties contested the elections. 
161 out of 209 parties scored less than NOTA vote count in all the constituencies they contested. Bharatiya Subhash Sena leads the pack with 44 seats.
Of the balance, 24 parties have more number of seats with votes less than NOTA as compared to number of seats with vote count more than NOTA with Bahujan Mukti Party leading the pack with 69-7.
There are only 11 parties which scored more than NOTA. Ironically, big names like Congress, RLD, CPI and CPM have scored some less than NOTAs as well.
Note that I have deliberately excluded independents because they don’t have the party muscle behind them.
The questions then, are these.
1.What to do with those parties which haven’t scored more than NOTA?
2.What to do with the parties where there are NOTAs?
May be, ban the first set of parties for the next election and ban the contestants from set 2 as party 
contestants. May be, they can try their hand as independents. And, to bring parity between both the sets, may be, we can block the contestants to contest as party members for the next 5 years?
Let’s talk about a Kursi Parivar – to prevent BJP from gaining the CM Kursi or CM chair. Here, it is supposed to constitute SP, Congress, BSP and RLD. 
Of the 180 considered, BJP contested in 173. Only in 39 out of the 173 constituencies, BJP scored more than the combine. Even, out of these, BJP has a margin of less than 5% in 9 seats and in the range 5-10% in another ten. On the other end of the spectrum, in 23 seats, BJP will lose with a margin less than 5% and in the range 5-10%,  26 more. Meaning, if there is a Kursi Parivar, BJP can win only in 13 seats for sure and a maximum of 68 more - 81 out of 173 - decisive advantage Kursi Parivar.
There is no doubt that the same story will play out in the complete sample, meaning had there been a Kursi Parivar, BJP would never have won. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Pakistan Escapes Again - This Time, From Being Tagged as a Terror Sponsor

The debate is lively. But, it shouldn’t be trivialised in the way it is done. An attendance of 20 odd for such a monumental discussion? The bill is eventually withdrawn because it’s not upto the mark with regard to legal scrutiny. But, everyone, at least those speaking in English,  all appreciated the spirit of this. But the real question is, why didn’t anyone of these stalwarts help make a better, or rather, a perfect bill? Is this appeasement or is this something else?

A synopsis of the English discussion below. 

Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu: May be we need to declare Pakistan a terror state. But, where exactly do we stand? Does our government has the done the homework to achieve this? Is it necessary to condemn a nation for the deeds of a few? And the problem is, Pakistan is supported by many. What are we going to achieve by just blocking Pakistan and leaving all it’s backers, without dealing it with diplomatic finesse?

KTS Tulsi: I will readily support this bill if the bill does something meaningful. Whatever the bill aims to do, the government can do it today.

V Vijayasai Reddy: The first question is, is this bill beyond the limits the Constitution of India. Note another, If we want to take Pakistan head on, you can use Art 62 of Vienna Convention to bend the rules. But, don’t forget the issues with Pakistan – no reciprocation, military stranglehold and is acting against the people’s will which is good terms with India. Hence, I support the bill.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi: The intent is good, but it’s a bad bill. It doesn’t help us in any way – whatever the bill proposes, the government can do it even without Parliament. May be, Rajeev Chandrasekhar should come up with a better bill.
Subramanain Swamy: We tried everything and we failed. It’s high time we do something such. And if there is a possibility we take help of someone else, let us.

Swapan Dasgupta: Bill needed because it will clearly tell the world anyone supporting terror against India won’t be tolerated. But, we need to remember that India is not as powerful or rich as America. Our foreign policy should be in line with the fact that India is a developing country. Saying Indians and Pakistanis are of the same blood won’t do any good, it’s better we have the bill.

Rajeev Chandrasekar: My point is, we are not talking about this topic. Because executive is not responding, we are forced to act(in response to KTS Tulsi). Time for graded response is over(in response to Singhvi). If there is a talk of India taking help of other countries(in response to Subramanian Swamy), this is India’s problem and India should take the lead. We should, may be, expand our ambit from peace marches and military strokes to everything else.

And the real discussion below.

Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu:
Respected Deputy Chairman, Sir, I was in the midway of my speech while there was a break. To continue my submission on the Private Members’ Bill moved by Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, to begin with, I pay homage to the Indian martyr, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who shed his blood on the American soil to highlight the gradually spreading hatred that could even take the shape of terror. His bereaved wife, Sunayna Dumala, while grieving and crying, asked on the soil of America at Kansas, “Whether I belong to this land or not, i.e., America?” It has sensated whole of the world, and the Kansas killing has drawn the attention of the enlightened citizenry of globe to think about humanity and accommodativeness. Secondly, I take another important mention and salute Insha Mushtaq, the 15 year old girl studying in 9th class, the native child of Shopian, just 70 kilometres away from Srinagar, who got blinded with the unleash of the pellet guns about eight about months ago in July, 2016. She got completely blinded, but, bravo, that child has thronged to her school at Shopian, recently, to pursue and continue her studies. Her new incapacity has given her a challenge and she is ready to continue her studies even with her latest blindness and she is becoming another Malala Yousafzai. On this occasion, there is a submission from the Indian side for announcing the neighbourhood as the terror sponsorer. How are we moving towards that? Though, we may not totally encourage and appreciate the approach of Donald Trump, the American President, but with his latest warning, what is happening on the other side of our borders; how are they tightening their nuts and bolts; how are they looking at their own civil rights and human rights? Within people all along the world, there is no difference. We always strive for equality and equity. We wish for an inclusive globe, but, at the same time, the increasing hatred is leading to terror, and unmindful terrorism is creating such havoc. But when the State and the Government itself is encouraging and sponsoring terror tacts and acts and running away from the opportunities without having the diplomatic decency, then the necessity of the diplomacy and the shrewdness of the diplomacy will get highlighted.
In this context, from our Indian side, where exactly do we stand? How attentive are we on our diplomatic mission? How are we having our bilateral relations? How are we positioning ourselves on the wealth? Have we ever considered on the economic and trade fronts first to impose sanctions and to declare a nation as an enemy State? As far as our information and knowledge are concerned, the Indian Government is not at all having the assessment criteria to look at from that angle whether to put at rest already established trade pacts and put certain agreements at a standstill and to announce any State as an enemy State. Until and unless we focus on trade and economic sanctions between the countries, the yield of any effort will be very meagre Those are examples available across the globe. But my friend, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar is asking for declaration of the neighbouring country, Pakistan as a terrorist State. The Indian Government doesn’t have the basic formula to look at the economic and trade sanctions, and to bring certain pacts and agreements to a standstill. Take the irrigation agreement between the two countries, or, any other inter dependence pact. When you are not ready to look at those things, straightaway announcing a neighbouring State as a terrorist State is going to pose a bigger challenge between people to people of the Indian sub-continent. We are having our own affinity. We are having cultural, religious and traditional affinities across the communities.
At the same time, Pakistan is always looking at our country in a way which will create hurdles and hurt our expectations. But that country is being promoted by several other countries. When we look at the tightening of the environment linked with Pakistan and other nations which are promoting Pakistan, it will be a futile exercise to announce Pakistan as a terrorist State and is not going to yield any result. However, I understand and appreciate the concern of the hon. Member, Shri Rajeev Chndrasekhar about the need to focus on the impending complications that are prevalent across the border to harmonise and attain the peace between the two nations. This is a priority subject for the Union Government to look at the latest condition and with the diplomatic shrewdness. Thank you very much.

KTS Tulsi
Sir, I am not opposed to the Bill. But I am a bit uncertain of its practical utility. So, I want to place my doubts before the House that a Bill, in essence, seeks to declare the States which sponsor or support a terrorist act, directly or indirectly, as a terrorist State, and withdraw economic and trade links with such nations. But I do not know whether this Bill by itself can achieve anything. The states always have the power to impose legal, economic or travel sanctions. Even without this Bill, States have the executive authority; if they think that it is in the national interest, it can always be done.
It is, of course, well-known that Pakistan does more to enable terrorists than to fight them. The spy agency of Pakistan, ISI, has actively supported various militant groups in Kashmir. There are three such groups, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. The United States has already declared these to be terrorist organisations. Yet, Pakistan continues with its activities. We can’t forget the attack on the Indian Parliament on the 13th of December, 2001, the twin-car bombings in Dubai and the Mumbai attack on 26th November, 2009 in which 160 people were killed. There have been enough provocations, but it was not considered necessary, simply because a mere declaration does not achieve anything. India took solid action in each of these; whatever was necessary to be done was done.
Now, I believe, this Bill has been proposed in the wake of Uri. I really feel, if this Bill is capable of doing anything in the direction of increasing the international pressure and to unite in the fight against terror, I would welcome it. But we have seen that various countries have taken action against Pakistan, suspended economic and military aid to Pakistan and, yet, terrorists continue to be sponsored by them. For instance, United States took direct action in the case of sanctuary given to Osama Bin Laden. So, it is the action that is required. India has similarly taken adequate action, whatever action was required.
So, I don’t know whether a mere declaration of a particular state would make a difference. Yes, if it was being considered by a block of nations, then, it might be a different matter. But, I doubt, our declaring a particular state as a terrorist state would make any difference. These organisations are already ‘declared’ terrorist organisations by the United States. So, we need to consider as to what is going to be the practical utility of a Bill like this.

V Vijayasai Reddy
Sir, the Bill, as introduced by Rajeev Chandrasekharji and as I have understood, is applicable to those countries which sponsor terrorism and should be declared as terrorist countries. This is the sum and substance of the Bill. I am only suggesting the Government and also trying to find out whether this Bill is ultra vires the Constitution of India. If it is going to violate the UN Charter or UN Conventions, probably, it will be ultra vires the Constitution. Therefore, I request the Government of India to look into that aspect. However, I may be permitted to highlight both positive and negative aspects of the Bill so that the Government of India will take care of these issues. In fact, YSR Congress Party, on behalf of our Party President, Jaganmohan Reddy Garu, supports this Bill. However, I would like to pinpoint certain issues which may go against the Government of India in case if this Bill is enacted and those issues can be taken care of. So, kindly give me five minutes from now onwards. It is like introduction.
Sir, since 1994, till now it is now 22 years, so far in these 22 years approximately about 25,000 civilians and about 10,000 security personnel have been killed because of the Pak- sponsored terrorism in India. It is a fact. Further, approximately 78,000 square kilometers of our own Indian land is in the illegal occupation of Pakistan as Pak Occupied Kashmir. Further, Sir, in Pakistan, leave about India, the religious minorities such as Hindus, Christians, Shias, Ahmedias, Islamias and various other religious communities even today are being targeted, being persecuted and subjected to so much targeted attacks. Therefore, it is an undeniable fact that Pakistan is a sponsor of terrorism and, therefore, it has to be taught a lesson. But how? It has to be in a legal framework and it should stand for judicial scrutiny. That is what my point is. In fact, the fact that it is a terrorist sponsored State can be substantiated with reference to some more facts also. In 19th Asian Security Conference which has been held at the Institute of Defence Studies, former National Security Advisor of Pakistan, General Mahmood Ali Durani, himself has admitted that 26/11 terror attacks in India in Mumbai had been orchestrated by Pakistan. That attack is a reminder to us. We can remember that 166 people had been killed, including some of the foreigners. The Pakistan Government has itself accepted that it is sponsoring terrorism in India. What more evidence is required? That itself is evidence.
Sir, one more point is, Pakistan has got a dual policy insofar as terrorism is concerned. According to Pakistan’s dictionary, there are two definitions. One is bad terrorists and another is good terrorists. Who are bad terrorists? Bad terrorists, according to Pakistan, are the terrorists who attack Pakistan military installations, Pakistan civilians and Pakistan Police. Good terrorists, according to Pakistan’s dictionary, are the terrorists who attack Indian Police, Indian military and Indian establishment. This is the dual policy which is being adopted by the Pakistan Government so far as terrorism is concerned. Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of this august House one important issue, when it comes to violation of rules that have been framed under Vienna Convention. I draw your kind attention to Article 62 of the Vienna Convention which states “a fundamental change of circumstances”. Why? How can Pakistan be declared as a terrorist State? I am only referring to Article 62. According to Article 62, it is “a fundamental change of circumstances”. That is very important. Wherever there is a fundamental change of circumstances which occurred with regard to those existing at the time of conclusion of a treaty, it may be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty. Therefore, what I am trying to say, Sir, is, even though there is a Vienna Convention and we are also party to that, still it is very much justified and it is within our fundamental right that because there is a change in the ‘fundamental change of circumstances’, as per the article of Vienna Convention, it is very much justified that we can withdraw economic and trade relations with Pakistan. Therefore,.. Sir, just a few more minutes. It is a very important issue. I would really like to put forth to your goodself. Sir, let us see the international perception of Pakistan insofar as terrorist State is concerned. Sir, in September 2016, in the U.S. House of Representatives a Congressman named Ted Poe introduced a Bill ‘Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act (HR 6069). It means that the U.S. also has confirmed it. In fact, he is the Chairman of the Committee on Terrorism. The U.S. itself has recognized that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism. This is an indication. Secondly, in December, 2016, the President of Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of waging an “undeclared war” against Afghanistan and he further confirmed that Taliban insurgents battling against his Government may not last long without sanctuary of Pakistan Government. Therefore, it is not only against India, but also against Afghanistan and other countries also, Pakistan is waging an undeclared war and also encouraging terrorism. Finally, Sir, one more point. (Time-bell) Sir, you please give me one more minute. Sir, whether the lenient attitude of India towards Pakistan is really yielding any result or not. According to me, it is not yielding any positive result. In fact, hon. late Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruji, in the case of Indus Water Treaty, had clearly stated that he is giving 80 per cent of water to Pakistan so far as tributaries to Indus river, Jhelum and Chenab, are concerned. Eighty per cent of water is given to Pakistan. That is the goodwill gesture. Is Pakistan really responding and reciprocating positively to the goodwill gesture that India is sending? In fact, I say, ‘no’. I can say even our own Prime Minister... Sir, I will conclude. Sir, I will finally conclude. Sir, Pakistan, post-independence, almost for 30 years, is under military rule. Even if the civilian Government wants to cooperate with the Indian Government, still the military of Pakistan will not allow the civilian Government of Pakistan to cooperate with India. Thirdly, Sir, according to me, in the light of the circumstances, India should enhance people-to-people contact and use its soft power. And, further,...even today 68 per cent of the people of Pakistan want good relationship with India.
In the light of this fact, I support the Bill and want that Pakistan has to be taught a lesson.
Thank you.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Sir, let me first start by commending the propounder of this Bill, Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, our colleague, and I think his zeal, good intentions, researches is not in doubt. His bona fide is not in doubt.
Although I am going to show how the Bill does not really achieve any objective and suggest some changes, I think, the fact that he has generated a great awareness on this subject in a very short time is highly commendable.
Sir, the issue is not whether Pakistan terrorizes India. The issue is not how many people and how many lives we have lost. The issue is not that the international perception clearly is that Pakistan is a huge exporter of terrorism. The issue is not that Pakistan plays multiple hypocrisies and has many, many standards in dealing with terrorism. I think, all that is a given one. There would not, perhaps, be a single Member of this House or the other august House to oppose it. So, I think, as far as the sentiment is concerned, the whole of this House fully support the fact that Pakistan deserves to be treated as a terror exporting State, particularly with respect to India. The real question, however, is none of these. The real question is: Does this Bill add any value? And, with the best of intentions, I would say that value may not be added. Why does it not add value? We have already declared and we have had Parliamentary resolutions and declarations and, perhaps, we should have another one saying exactly what Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar's Bill propounds. We can have a Parliamentary resolution in two minutes saying, 'Pakistan is a terrorist exporting nation and is a terrorizer of India.' But, there is a difference between a resolution or declaration and an Act or a Bill of Parliament. A Bill must have some teeth. It must give some actionable points by which the Government is bound. It must be the law of the land. Now, the heart of this Bill is clause 3. It gives some 7-8 penal provisions. It permits travel and Visa restrictions. It permits trade restrictions. It permits receiving and grant of remittances, manufacturing, maritime fishing, trading, over-flight restrictions, credit transfers and so on and so forth. There is a very comprehensive list. The question is, each one of them, as I had just mentioned, can be done by a simple notification by the Government of India requiring no Parliamentary enactment. To put restrictions on trading or on fiscal front, there are statutes which permit notification. Even today, as we sit here, we can ban any travel or restrict any Visa.
Therefore, clearly, with the best of intentions, Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, needs to go back to the drawing board and use his very, very impressive intellect and vast resources to come up with a better model. Now, let me suggest a better model. I am saying it only constructively. I am sure he will be able to do it much better.
If you accept that a Bill or an Act of Parliament must have teeth, then how do you punish? The whole idea of Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar is, to some sense, to punish Pakistan when it does all that. Well, I suggest, merely saying, 'the Government of India may do it' is not enough. You need to create a calibrated hierarchy of both events and punishments. Let me explain what I mean it very, very briefly. I will be finishing it in a couple of minutes. If Pakistan is found in any particular event -- Uri or anywhere else -- in India to have a hand, on the basis of the Government of India's inquiry, within a short period, that is offence number one. In the event that Pakistan is found after another three months to have done a second event, then that is offence number two and so on and so forth. So, a future, better and improved Bill of Mr. Chandrasekhar should say that the moment the Government of India comes to a finding that there have been three events of this kind or two events of this kind, which are based on the Government of India's reports and inquiries, then the first of a calibrated list of consequences 'must' follow, not 'may' follow.
It is not an Act of Parliament that the Government has an option. The Government already has options in all these Acts to have notification issued. It must follow. Now, what is that calibrated list of penalties? And, I am not saying that this is the right way; I am saying that these are only suggestions. The first could be, the official Government warning. Under this Act of Parliament, having found offence one, two and three, the first is a warning; then, having found the fourth offence, the next is that we must exercise the right of curtailing travel or curtailing visas for a particular segment, which hurts Pakistan, but at a lower level; if it continues as a habitual offender, then, the third can, for example, purely by way of example, a fishing restriction; fourth can be a trade restriction in a particular commodity which hurts Pakistan more than the first three. It is this kind of a calibrated specific list of penal consequences, in turn, based on multi findings of repeat offences recorded by the Government of India, which alone will make this from a mere declaration of intent into an Act of Parliament, if ever it becomes an Act of Parliament. Obviously, that is what the intention is. And, I think, it will have the entire might of the sovereign State of India; it will have the entire might of the Parliament. And, since it is based on Government findings and inquiries, which show Pakistan with a hand here killing ten people, with a hand there killing twenty people, with a hand there hurting so many people, the Government, in that case, is bound by its own conclusions. Therefore, the necessary consequences in a calibrated manner must follow. I am sure, you can leave a little bit of play in the joints; I am sure, you can leave a little bit of flexibility. But that is the kind of model on which we must all collectively work together. And, indeed, it will be a unique model. It will be a model, as far as I know, not available in most of the countries. The US is a wrong example because they have so much of financial assistance, so much of trading of different kinds. If it simply declares someone a terrorist State that stops their funding. India does not necessarily have that financial assistance power. So, our Act must be differently styled and, I think, it will be the first of its kind. And, I am sure, that in the near future Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be author of a better and a more efficacious Bill. Thank you.

Subramanian Swamy
Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, first of all I think the sentiments of the House seem to be to compliment Mr. Chandrasekhar for thinking of this, articulating this, and producing a Bill. The best way to understand the Bill is to read the Objects and Reasons, which are on page 6 of the Bill. Of course, the object is to declare Pakistan as a terror-promoting or sponsoring State. How disappointed we are with what Pakistan is doing. My predecessor speaker spoke about calibrating. I wonder whether we have long past that time. When partition was created, the hope was that the elements, which constituted Pakistan leadership, would work for peace with India as they had got a separate country. But that did not happen. In fact, if you read the debates of the British Parliament on the Indian Independence Act, which created Pakistan, the speakers after speakers said in that debate, and this was endorsed by the then British Government, that the aim is to create a Muslim-governed Pakistan and a Hindu-governed India, which led Ambedkar to say, "Let’s have a population exchange." But some Indian leaders, particularly Mahatma Gandhi, felt that that would be wrong and that we should continue with the experiment of trying to live in peace with all communities. But, over a period of time, we have found that it has become increasingly difficult.
In 1971, we were compelled to break Pakistan into two because of the fact that a heavy burden was imposed on us on account of an internal conflict. So, the question now will become: How do we deal with this question of Pakistan now? We have tried all this calibration during the 10 years of the UPA; all we have got is more terrorist attacks. Some relief has come after the surgical strike by our Government, but that is not enough. We need a much more macro-surgical strike, and, for that, we have to prepare ourselves. In fact, yesterday, Mr. Chandrasekhar, just informed me and showed me a publication. One of the Senates has introduced a Bill to declare Pakistan as a terror-sponsor State. So, it is not only we who think it is. The biggest patron of Pakistan today thinks so. There are people who are lawmakers there who think that it is so. And, now with Mr. Trump becoming President, it is just possible that they all will go in that direction. We are the ones who are the affected people. How many incidents have taken place? So, what is the answer? Each time, you can't say, peace, peace, peace. There has to be, at some stage, a retaliation. And, the first retaliation, in my opinion, would be -- if the Government is ready to do it -- of an executive action, as Mr. Tulsi has suggested, or, by seeing the sentiments in this House, accept this Bill, or, say that we will come forth with our own Bill in this matter, or, a statement in the House. I would like to say that one of the greatest tributes to India's composite culture is that the founder of Pakistan, Mohd. Ali Jinnah, had only one daughter, and she chose to live in India. She made a public statement disowning Pakistan, and her only son today is one of our prominent industrialists. So, this itself is something that we have not publicised. But it is something that bothers Pakistan, which keeps referring to it time and again. This shows that, ultimately, the civilian society in Pakistan may be for India, but the fact is that the civilian society does not run Pakistan. There may be an election and there may be an elected Government, but, ultimately, it is the military, the ISI and the terrorists. Today, with ISIS coming into, on its own, as an identity, there is a vast influx of ISIS people into Pakistan, and that is spilling over to India today. We saw that in Lucknow, we saw that in Bhopal, we are seeing this in Kerala, we are seeing it in Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu. The ISIS is very clear that India has to be converted into a caliphate. Whether they succeed in it or not, but they are going to try. Therefore, you have to prepare for it. We may, again, be forced to intervene in Pakistan's structure, like we did at the time of Bangladesh. There are States within Pakistan which do not want to remain any more with Pakistan. Like Balochistan, there are movements in Sindh. One of these days, it might become necessary for us to enforce --- like we did it in the case of Bangladesh -- Pakistan into four separate countries to reduce the hotbed, the basis for Pakistan terrorism, namely, what is now called as Punjab in Pakistan. So, now, it is no more a question of debating and looking for conciliatory approaches. We have tried everything. Today, we have nothing but to take action, but what kind of action? The first signal is, if the United States is doing this, we can coordinate with the United States. Of course, the Israelis are very good friends, despite some ideological problems of the people on that side. But the fact is that they have been supportive of us. They have been helping us in our fight against terrorism. So, the United States, Israel and India become natural partners in dealing with terrorism. Therefore, I would very strongly recommend our Government that on the basis of the facts assembled by Mr. Chandrasekhar, let us move forward, declare Pakistan as a terror-sponsoring State, and remove the Most Favoured Nation status that we have given them for trading. Today, Pakistan's cement comes here at a price lower than that of our own cement manufacturers. They are dumping cement here. There are so many trades where they are benefitting. This money, then, ultimately, gets funnelled into the military, and, from there into terrorism.
So, it is about time for us to stop talking in terms of all this goody-goody stuff, having their cinema stars come here, playing cricket. These are all over. They are not going to produce results. They just make a mockery; they make fun of us on this issue. What we need to do is, take a hard look at Pakistan and see whether this state deserves to exist in this present form. For that, the first step will be declaring it as a terror-sponsoring state. Thank you very much.

Swapan Dasgupta
Sir, whatever time you give me, I am glad because I gave the notice at a very late stage.
I want to join other Members here who complimented Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar for his erudition, for his scholarly application and for producing a wonderful document. However, I will desist from adding the word ‘but’ to his wonderful Bill. Because, unlike a lot of others, I don’t necessarily see the nuanced and calibrated approach, which we often find Foreign Office Communique mentioning ‘necessarily a very good thing’. I often wonder whether it is time we should say certain things quite openly and explicitly. It is not necessary for us to go through the rigours or trying to show who is a bad boy. First bad mark, second bad mark and after the third bad mark, he is expelled. It is not necessary. I think by now everybody knows what Pakistan is. Unfortunately, for us, we seem to be under a degree of squeamishness about how we can approach this problem. It is being contended that a Bill of this nature while wonderful in sentiment does nothing specific. I think it does. I tell you, Sir, in my view, which may be a little different from that of Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has proposed the Bill. The first important point is that I think it creates a safeguard against what I would call ‘the Wagah spirit’. There are people who believe that every bomb blast, every act of terrorism and every attack on our Army camp should be responded by going with a candle to Wagah saying Aman ki Asha and let us have more Samjhauta, etc. It sets an institutional deterrent to the type of activities we saw in Sharm-el-Sheikh where we equated their terrorism with our terrorism. A moral equivalence was established. A Bill of this nature puts a natural safeguard to say that terrorism directed against India will not be tolerated. If today it is Pakistan, tomorrow it could be some other country. But I think once that mechanism is in place, then we know the limits where the Foreign Policy Establishment can go and cannot go. It is very, very important in that respect.
Secondly, Sir, it is being contended that what really is our power. The United States is a big country, etc. They can do this and they can have Bills and legislations against terrorism. We are just insignificant. The moment we start thinking of ourselves as merely, to use Krishna Menon’s phrase, the quality in world affairs rather than a power in world affairs, we fall into this trap. It is about time India as a rising economic power must have a foreign policy which is commensurate with that. We cannot have a foreign policy which is really one of arm-wringing while economically we are better off. There must be a level of parity.
And, Sir, in that level of parity, one of the things is the protection of India’s natural sovereignty. For Pakistan, it is not merely a question of territorial disputes. We can have territorial disputes with a lot of people. That is part of the game. In Pakistan, they have gone one step further. I think it is the subversion – whether it is in the form of fake currency notes, which was one of the major reasons for demonetisation programme, or whether it is subversion in other ways. We cannot always respond to it by saying that we are really estranged brothers. Yes, we were estranged brothers at one time. But, after 70 years, when someone thinks of you as an enemy and someone thinks of you as separate, to use that thing that we were once linked by the same bloodline is no longer a valid proposition. So, Sir, it is to first create the environment whereby foreign policy is not based on individual flights of whimsy (Time-bell) and is more based on certain institutional checks. That is the reason I would like to support this Bill. Thank you very much.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar:
Thank you, Sir. Let me start by thanking all my colleagues who participated in this debate. I am grateful to them for their support through the course of passage of this Private Bill for the last many months.
Sir, let me just start by saying, I think, the objective of this Bill, as I said very early on, was to start a debate in this House because since 1994 this House has said very little about Pakistan’s role in sponsoring terrorism and Pakistan’s role in claiming of thousands and countless of innocent lives in India.
Sir, I would like to place in front of my friends four quotes. One is what Sushmaji said in the 71st UN General Assembly in September, 2016 and I quote, "We must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights. It targets the innocent and kills indiscriminately. Terrorism has gone way beyond affecting individuals or nations. It is a crime against humanity itself. But it is important to ask – who is behind this and who benefits from it? Terrorists do not own banks or weapons factories, so let us ask the real question: who finances these terrorists, who arms them and provides sanctuaries?" Sir, I am putting this quote here for us to just ponder because this is the thought that is also crossing, these are the questions that are being put by every man and woman in this country as they hear about terror acts regularly.
Sir, let me put another quote to you. This is by the former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi talking about the context in which India has never been the aggressor and she said in 1971 and I quote, "India always tries to be on the side of peace and negotiations and so on but of course we can't endanger our security in any way. We have never ever attacked anybody but we have been attacked many times."
Sir, in February, 2000, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji did not mince words when he said and I quote again, "Pakistan is sponsoring cross-border terrorism as it has its internal compulsions. Pakistan has been smarting ever since its defeat in 1971 and the formation of Bangladesh, and now it has been humiliated in Kargil. Though the battle of Kargil is over, the war against terrorism will continue till Pakistan does not stop sponsoring terrorism. There can be no meaningful talks with Pakistan till it stops cross-border terrorism."
Sir, the point here is, for seven decades, our neighbour has managed to leverage their sponsorship of terror as an instrument of state craft. This is the fact. This has been going on for seventy years. I think, like, my colleague, Maheshji said, it is now time for us, as a nation and as people and as Parliament, to say, 'Enough is enough'. Some of our Members were talking about various points and though questions are raised about whether there is any utility of this Bill. Sir, there is a utility of this Bill and the utility is very simple. Since 1994, the Parliament has not spoken about this issue and I think for the Parliament to speak about the fact that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism is in itself a big thing. It may not translate into the necessary executive actions immediately on passing of the Bill or on the discussion of the Bill but the fact is that the Parliament of India and indeed the Rajya Sabha has not spoken on this issue since 1994. So, just by speaking, Sir, we are sending a message. So, I don't want to go on to extraordinary lengths to reinforce and re-emphasize the need for such a debate and need for such a Bill but I want to clearly address some of the doubts that have been raised by the Members because these are doubts that exist today even amongst some pockets in India. So, if you give me some time, I would like to say this. One of the points like, for example, K.T.S. Tulsiji has said is, 'If the Executive has power so why should the Parliament do anything about it?' But that is precisely why this Bill is necessary. That is precisely why this debate is necessary because over the last seven decades, successive Executives have abrogated their responsibility in declaring and calling out Pakistan for being a state sponsor of terrorism. So, if the Executive does not want to do it then the Parliament can't just sit around and say, we will just standby, sit silently and have the Executive decide what the people of India want. So, Sir, there is a utility and this Parliament has a role to talk about Pakistan's role in terrorism regardless of what the Executive does or does not do. So, that argument, that the Executive has the power and the Parliament should sit on its seats and do nothing is, I think, the moot point.
There is another point raised again by our colleague saying, 'We need action, we don't need Bills.' But, that is, precisely what this Bill is supposed, to not allow the discourse to drift into. Today, Sir, when there is a terror act, we are left with two options. One is, you take a candle and do a candle-light vigilance and say, 'Aman Ki Asha' or we say 'surgical strike' or a 'military action'. The whole contention of this Bill is to argue that we have a broad space between doing nothing and doing military options and that is precisely what this Bill is about.
This Bill is about exploring the middle ground of options that have to do with economy, trade and other forms of sanctions and other forms of pressures on Pakistan that go beyond doing nothing and doing only military action. Sir, there is a view that we must also declare Cuba and Israel. Parliament talks about who impacts us and who harms us. Cuba and Israel don’t harm us. If some other country is affected by Cuba and some other people are affected by Israel, they will, in their Parliament, in their Legislature, declare them as terror States. This is India. We represent the people of India and the clear and present danger to the people of India is Pakistan. Therefore, the argument that we should drag in...(Interruptions)..Sir, let me conclude. I want to finish all the points. Give me three more minutes.(No. There is not much time.) These are the points raised. So it is my obligation to reply to them.(Please reply in brief.) Sir, now you are disturbing my train of thought. The other point that was raised was that we should work with other countries. This is again a bit farcical because if we are the victims of terrorism, we have to take the first move on this issue rather than relying on other countries to work with us to declare our enemy a terror State.
Sir, there are last two points before I wrap up. My colleague, Dr. Manu Singhvi said about graded response and, there, I agree with my friend. I think the time for graded response is over. There is no need for us to investigate as to whether Pakistan is a terror State or not. We already know that it is a terror State and now, it is a question of debating options. I will just end by repeating what my colleague Dr. Swamy said. Just yesterday, the U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism has introduced HR 1449, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act of 2015. And during the interaction he said and I quote, “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years. From harboring Osama Bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it's not America's. It is not the world’s. It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a State Sponsor of Terrorism.” Sir, I will end by requesting the Government that let the status quo not continue, that the Government explore options that go beyond just candle raising or military options and explore the all plethora of options that lie in the economic and trade area so that we can approach the issue of Pakistan and the relationship with Pakistan afresh. Thank you, Sir. Sir, I am withdrawing the Bill.

The Bill(Bill No. LIII of 2016)

 




Friday, 3 March 2017

Ramjas College Protests - Bloated and Overhyped beyond Recognition

With regard to the current Ramjas College ruckus, there are a few things worth noting. Going by the cast of speakers they got, it’s clear that the intent was not a debate, but a ruckus. How convenient to challenge the government on Right to Freedom of Speech, meaning government muzzles dissent, that too at the time of elections?

We saw Church burnings during Delhi elections, we saw Award Waapsi drama during Bihar elections and now this. Why are we blind to a pattern? Let’s forget the pattern. Let’s look at this instance.
A group of people, who have got a pathological penchant for talking things anti-national are invited and someone from the college, with or without the support of ABVP submitted a petition to the college authorities to bar their entry. Well, as expected, all hell broke lose. The left unions all over Delhi descended upon the college protesting over the lack of right to freedom in the country. ABVP, as anticipated, pitched in support of those opposing the entry of these people, maily Umar Khalid. This, then, in a true leftist fashion, came to body blows, with left unions, with it’s woman foot soldiers in the front, started alleging police brutality. DCW gets involved, ministries get involved, and as wanted, this became a bloody mess. So, what went wrong here? What can be done to make situation more meaningful? After all, it’s a college protest. What’s the need for the country, our morality, prime time on TV to pitch in?
1. Establish a process that in case an undertrial is to be invited to a seminar, permission from Central Home Ministry or it’s designated delegate should be mandatory
2. For an event happening in a college, what are the outsiders doing, be it from AISA or ABVP? Doesn’t the college principal has the legal authority to evict all those who are not students of the college? Meaining, the college authorities should have absolute control over managing a college, and that includes controlling human traffic in and out of the campus.
23 The concept of this round of ruckus is provocation. And the target is achieved. I guess these sort of issues should be dealt with a cool head. Let there be a protest over this. Why bother? They will shout till their vocal chords split and then simply go home. Remember what happened to the kidnap of the Romanian Ambassador to India at the peak of Khalistani troubles.
4. When we know the list of campuses from which trouble is emanating, what’s stopping the government from installing security cameras? That sort of unclinching proof would have sorted the mess out long back.
5. Subsidy only for students who complete their degrees on time. All of them who fail or skip exams to continue in the college, they should be made to pay full fees.
6. The need for patriotic media. Supporting government is secondary, but, questioning the stand of the government on such issues should not be encouraged.
7. Any prime time debates, if there is support to sedition, what is being done to arrest them under relevant charges?
8. Effective applicability of CPC Conduct Rules for the staff and creation of a similar code of conduct for students
The government has got much to do to tackle these sort of problems. But, the question is, when will it.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation - Indian Claim

Well, Pakistan decides India is a competition to it in every aspect and one of the very few areas where it succeeded is by blocking India's entry into OIC. Well, as a consequence of this, Pakistan didn't understand that OIC doesn't have any moral authority to represent Indian Muslims whatsoever. The sham of this arrangement is clearly visible from the below table. The table contains the list of top 30 countries(excluding India) in descending order of Muslim population.
Below are the salient points -
1. India's Muslim population is higher than any country in the world but two.
2. There are only ten countries in the world which has got a population greater than a province of India - Uttar Pradesh
3. 8 of Indian states have a population greater than every country in the world but 30.

The question is simple. With such an overwhelming Muslim presence in India, what sense does it make to block India from OIC? What happens if India declares OIC's representation or support of Indian Muslims is illegal and block all avenues of religious interaction except pilgrimage? Can OIC afford such, alienating a powerful country with a progressive Muslim population? These are but open questions for the OIC countries to ponder over.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The New World Order - What if the Old Resist?

Two of India’s biggest business entities are facing serious top level management turmoil, and with an overwhelming presence in Indian IT, the sort of troubles in question are clearly unwanted. There can be a thousand reasons to justify the break in status quo, but there is one central theme for both these entities - Tata Sons and Infosys, viz. people who legally retured really don’t want to retire. The question is simple. Did both Ratan Tata and Narayana Murthy give absolute operational independence to their designated successors post retirement? There are two major reasons - ego clashes and boredom. After all, they ruled the empires, how can they 
I wouldn’t want to dwell into the details but would want to highlight one of the most irritating point in both the episodes.
Narayana Murthy was not happy at the hefty package Vishal Sikka was getting. Narayana Murthy came from the days when India is literally closed to the world. Any talent, you will have to find it in India and consequently, you will be paying Indian rates. Well, times changed. When you need world quality stuff, you will have to pay world quality. This is something like the difference between a bicycle and a race car. To need a bicycle race, you need not spend much than your competitor. May be, your competitor had a BSA SLR. You will buy an Atlas cycle. It doesn’t cost much to buy a BSA SLR or an Atlas cycle and the difference in cost between the both is not that much. Those were Narayana Murthy’s days. But, these are race car days. You can’t compete a Ferrari with a Tata Nano. If you want the quality of a Ferrari, you can’t justify the expense limit you set as slightly above that of a Tata Nano. You will have to shell money. Either shell the money or wilt away. Unless Narayana Murthy respects the point that quality is associated with cost, there will be strife.
Ratan Tata’s case is even curious. Even though he stepped down as the head of Tata Sons, he is still the head of Tata Trusts, the majority shareholder. Being an ex head of Tata Sons and currently the biggest shareholder, will he allow his successor to diverge from his mode of functioning? There will be cases of Ratan Tata acting as a voluntary freelancer and in some cases, there is unwanted advice. When the freelancing is frowned upon and if there are no takers for the advice, what happens? And, unless Ratan Tata understands that, even Chandrasekharan is going to face the same problem.
Well, we are at cross roads now. It’s upto them to decide - meddle or fade into obscurity.