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Two seventy year old tribal women raped in Bengal,Time for people to act

July 16 :The macabre manner in which two septagarian tribal women were raped in two separate incidents in the districts of Midnapore and Bankura only goes to reveal the mind set of a section of the people who can go to extreme lengths to fulfill their diabolical pleasure.It is matter of great concern that even the elderly are not spared by people with morbid tastes and preferences. In the Midnapore district of West Bengal a seventy year old woman was raped by three drunken men on the pretext gathering leaves from the ground without their consent. The three men pounced on the helpless women and outraged her modesty without any qualms.In the other horrific incident in Bankura district a tribal woman was raped by miscreants while she had ventured out in the woods to collect wood. Such is the state of affairs in West Bengal that crime against women has seen an alarming spurt. People cutting across political lines should unite in a bid to thwart the atrocities committed on our womenfolk. Unless and until the people of the state act courageously to put an end to this menace women of all age groups would continue to be soft targets of the beasts in human form looking for their preys to attack.The police too are also to some extent are responsible for the rise in abuses against women for not being prompt enough in nabbing the culprits and taking exemplary punitive measures.Now the time has come for the people of the state to act strongly and deal with the people who consider women as objects to satisfy their lust. It is high time that the common people unite and fight with vigour against those unscrupulous people who are out to outrage the modesty of our women. Time is running out and if we do not act now it will unfortunately then move to a point of no return. By Anjishnu Biswas


India defies US diktat on missile procurement

The decision of the Modi government to ahead with the S 400 missile deal with Russia shows India's bold move to ignore USA's caution against striking any form of defence contract with the Russian government. Defence minister Sitharaman’s revelation that India is not going to bow down to US pressure is significant considering the fact that US has imposed strong sanctions on Russia so that it cannot fructify its defence pacts with other nations . The Trump administrations decision to take this severe measure comes against the backdrop of allegations that the Russian administration had intervened in the US Presidential elections. The S 400 missile are sophisticated in the sense that it is one of the most advanced defence systems currently prevalent in the world. The missile has the capability to destroy any enemy missile or drones deployed to carry out attacks against specific targets. The missiles once procured will be utilised to augment security along the Sino- Indian border. The procurement of the Russian missile will be a great boost to the arsenal of weapons which the Indian Army has at its disposal. China which has already enhanced its security system with the addition of the S 400 missiles to its defence establishment is likely to be more cautious in its military approach towards India. Both the nation’s in the recent past have been engaged in hostile border activities much to the chagrin of the people of the two countries.


Khap Panchayats and their irrational diktats

The Supreme Court’s directive to khap panchayats also referred to as community or social groups that pass judgements on various subjects including marriages not to act like the conscience keepers of society is significant considering the fact that more often than not these so called kangaroo courts interfere in the in the marriage of two consenting adults. The Supreme Court’s ruling comes against the backdrop of a plea seeking a prohibition on the workings of khap panchayats as well as the necessary actions to be taken against honour killings that has resulted in the bizarre acts of violence by members of khap panchayats against individuals who have tried to defy the diktats of these groups with extreme views on marriages in which individuals belonging to different social strata are barred from entering into a wedding relationship.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is a welcome relief for those who have tried to defy resistance from society and tried to tie the wedding knot with the person of his or her choice. It is common knowledge that khap panchayats enjoy considerable clout in North India and have tried to impose their decision on marriages which is not in accordance with their desired social customs. At times khap panchayats have labelled marriages as null and void according to their perceptions.

It is a matter of great regret that in a country like India Khap Panchayats have been allowed to chalk out the dress code, especially of women, dissolving marriages, clamping a ban on cellphones and at times compelling victims of rape to marry their tormentors. The severe opposition of the khap panchayats to marriages have resulted in a number of murders that has seen an alarming rise in recent years.

The Supreme Courts stringent criticism of the Khap panchayats for their assault on those going for inter-caste marriage and terming the acts of the khap panchayats as illegal is the step in the right direction and needs to be greatly appreciated. Unless and until sanity prevails among these groups the Apex Court’s role is likely to be of momentous nature.


Chai and pakoda: a favourite combination for Indians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent comments that selling pakodas was not below a person’s dignity and was a decent means of livelihood for people as it enabled them to fend for themselves has evoked mixed reactions. While the Congress is of the view that such comments are purely designed to mislead the people about the government’s failure to create suitable jobs for the unemployed, the BJP is of the notion that selling pakodas could pave the future generation of the person concerned to be prospective entrepreneurs. Congress leader P Chidambaram’s remarks that since the government did not succeed in creating jobs to cater to the requirement of the unemployed of the country such a ploy was to distract the attention of the nation. But Chidambaram’s observation that the poor and the disabled who beg should be counted as employed people is rather surprising considering the fact that those who adopt such practices do not have to toil to earn their livelihood.

A pakoda seller on the other hand hast to produce a food stuff through his exertion as well as labour and ensure that it is fit for consumption. Such business activities even though on a small scale should be always encouraged as involving in such enterprises would keep the youth away from wrong doings. Prime Minister Narendra Modi through his relentless effort and perseverance became the Prime Minister of India from a chai wallah or a person who vends tea. This by itself is no mean achievement. Who knows whether a pakoda seller could turn out to be a business tycoon in the near future? Examples of people rising from humble beginnings to attain unimaginable monetary and social success are not uncommon in the country. There are also instances of offspring of famed personalities faring badly in their pursuit of success. So whether selling pakodas or chai can lead to the road to glory cannot be said with certainty but there is no denying the fact that there is no substitute to hard work.



br>Modi’s crusade against corruption; is it comprehensive?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s robust stance to weed out corruption from the country is laudable. His assertion that two former Chief Ministers of Bihar convicted in the fodder scam case and an ex CM minister of Haryana behind bars for his links with cruption speaks volume for the fact that his government is determined to eliminate corrupt practices in the country. The Modi government’s contention that unlike in the past when the subject of tackling corruption was brought up, people were skeptical and often viewed such measures with a certain degree of cynicism.

His observation at a gathering of NCC cadets is no doubt a statement that would certainly come under close scrutiny. Although some positive steps have been initiated it is far from adequate to curb the corrupt practices prevailing among a section of the wealthiest populace in the nation. Liquor baron Vijay Malliya who is accused of siphoning of substantial sums of the country’s assists is still eluding the concerned authorities to avoid detention.

There are numerous other instances of unscrupulous people who have amassed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income against whom stringent action requires to be taken. But unfortunately nothing has been done to nab the culprits who have plundered the nation’s assets. There are also instances of businessmen utilizing their proximity with powerful political stalwarts for advantageous gains. Unless and until the Prime Minister is in a position to take action against such elements his dreams of making India a nation free from corruption will be a farfetched idea.

Obviously Modi will have to encounter anumber of obstacles in his crusade against the menace of corruption. The Sarada, Narada scandal which rocked West Bengal in which several Trinamool Congress members were allegedly accused of swindling money from common men who had deposited their hard earned money in chit funds is yet to be resolved and continues to be a mysterious affair. There are even allegations of the BJP trying to shield the alleged TMC leaders involved in the scam. If only Modi can distance himself from all these allegations and take concrete measures only then can be labelled as a Prime Minister who is willing to get rid of corruption notwithstanding the difficulties he faces.



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