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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.

ANJISHNU BISWAS


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.



BJP in big trouble in Maharashtra as Shiv Sena severs links while party leaders resent saffron brigade’s stance on Vidharba problem

January 24: Close on the heels of the decision of the Shiv Sena to sever its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party and asserting that it would fight the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls in Maharashtra on its own strength, resentment has been brewing in the state unit of the BJP over the saffron brigade’s complete silence on the demand for a separate Vidarbha region. The woes of the Bharatiya Janata Partys in Maharashtra has augmented. Following Nana Patole, yet another BJP leader from the home town of Nagpur of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is considering alternate possibilities with regard to BJP’s position on a separate Vidarbha. Ashish Deshmukh, a BJP legislator from Katol near Nagpur, has commenced a Vidarbha Atmabal (self-respect) Yatra to seek the claim for a discrete Vidarbha state, a topic that BJP utilized to garner votes during the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly polls in 2014.

Deshmukh revealed that he had written to the Chief Minister retelling him of the assurance for a discrete Vidarbha the BJP had made prior to the commencement of the polls but it seemed that he had ignored the assurance.

He also highlighted topics of agricultural suffering, chiefly that of suicide by farmers and the current pink bollworm contamination that has devastated cotton crop in considerable portions of Vidarbha.

Deshmukh is the second leader from Vidarbha who is displeased with the BJP over the pledges made to the electorate on a distinct state and execution of the Swaminathan Committee endorsements on the farm segment.

Previously, BJP Lok Sabha member Nana Patole vacated his seat and cut off links with the party subsequent to an argument with Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the strategy of the Maharashtra government in tackling the problems of farmers. Patole afterwards bonded with the Congress.

Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti, who was component of the NDA, quit the ruling coalition over the supposed indifference of the Modi government towards agriculturalists.

Deshmukh, the son of previous Maharashtra Congress chief Ranjit Deshmukh furthermore divulged that people were disillusioned with the BJP and that he had requested leaders from all political outfits to join his yatra on fortifying Vidarbha. But no BJP leader had reacted. Ashish combined with the BJP in 2009 and vanquished his uncle Anil Deshmukh, a NCP leader and a minister in the preceding Congress-NCP government, from Katol assembly seat in 2014.

Deshmukh had commenced the yatra on January 7 that will comprise all the 62 assembly seats throughout 11 districts in Vidarbha.

He stated that he would be directed by what the people of Vidarbha would reveal to him but was not clear whether he would continue to be with the BJP.

Deshmukh will coordinate a gathering of youth and farmers in Nagpur on February 13 where he is anticipated to proclaim his forthcoming tactics.

Articulating concern a senior BJP leader told exoticecho.com from Delhi that the party would have to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to cope up with the problems at the earliest.



Devouring the unpalatable to survive, mud now an addiction for Jharkhand farmer

Jan 21: The revelation that a farmer from Jharkhand Karu Paswan has subsisted on mud since he was eleven to stave of poverty is shocking and brings to the fore how the underprivileged in the country are compelled to find ways and means just for their survival. Karu Paswan has now developed a liking for mud which has turned into an addiction of sorts and his mature age of 99 in which he is fit and strong makes many wonder whether the secret to his long life is the consumption of the filth as is commonly referred to by the advantaged classes. . The fact that Karu has been consuming mud since he was 11 prompts one to ponder over the fact how people can go to any extent to fulfill their hunger.

Though Karu Paswan is fit and healthy even after eating mud which in common parlance is often labelled as dirt, it does not necessarily mean that such habits should be encouraged. There are weird reports in India even today of the deprived surviving on leaves which are not commonly eaten and even grasses and weeds. Bizarre instances of the starving, eating fruits unfit for consumption have also come to the fore. While India boasts of many technological accomplishments and grand progress made on the economic front both the rural as well as the urban poor continue to be victims of a system where their voice is seldom heard. Before every election political outfits make significant electoral promises for the voters especially the poor who form the bulk of the electorate only to forget the pledges once in power.

It is high time that the people at the helm of affairs give a serious thought to the progress of the underprivileged class who can go to any extent to consume food unfit for human consumption for satisfying their hunger and fulfilling the demands of the family. Karu Paswan took to eating mud as he had a large family to feed. Such a pathetic tale should goad the politicians to review their strategy about the welfare of the poor and not rely merely on publicity stunts.

ANJISHNU BISWAS



 

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