Saturday, February 21, 2015

An insult to judiciary

An application for anticipatory bail was filed in the Supreme Court by activist Teesta Setalvad.  Ms.Setalvad is accused of misappropriating contributions received apparently for post-Godhra riot victims. Gujarat state police contends that the accused is not forthcoming with details of accounts and therefore seeks custodial questioning. Gujarat state government and Setalvad are sworn enemies. So, it is difficult to comment on merits of their respective contentions.

But what is astonishing and in fact disgusting is the way in which proceedings have started in the Supreme Court. The petitioner questioned the objectivity of the two judges constituting the Division Bench because Narendra Modi had attended the marriages of children of these two judges! This is at best a ridiculous reason and is certainly a condemnable contention. By the same logic, one may say that Teesta Setalvad's grand-father M.C.Setalvad was a legal luminary connected one way or the other to all justices of the court and therefore no judge can hear a petition filed by her.

The Bench was reconstituted in an inexplicable act of compromise of judicial dignity. Prashant Bhushan waxed proud: "It has been brought to my notice that Mr. Narendra Modi was an invitee of, and recently attended, the weddings of the children of Justices Mukhopadhaya and Ramana, who are hearing the case of Teesta Setalvad. The allegation of Teesta in this case is that she is being hounded by the Gujarat Police since she had played a leading role in exposing the role of Modi in the Gujarat carnage of 2002, and is seeking accountability for it. In these circumstances, the question has arisen whether it would be appropriate for these judges to hear this case”.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Delhi Shock

Arvind Muffler has produced the Delhi Shock the gravity of which was not anticipated even by political pundits. Winning 67 out of 70 assembly seats is a typical Black Swan event. It is also a wake-up call to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah emphasising the reality that no one has mastered the electoral arithmetic of democratic India.

Delhi is geographically small, but politically large. Modi could have viewed the exit polls with grace. On the contrary, he arrogantly dismissed them as 'lies'. In a way, he was right. The exit polls indicated only 45 to 50 seats for Aam Aadmi whereas the party snatched as many as 67 seats.

Present indications are that Arvind Kejriwal has become a seasoned politician and is more likely to adopt pragmatic policies rather than rabble rousing polemics. It will be interesting to watch how these results alter Modi's tactics. Will he become more or less of a reformer?

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A B C in Delhi

It looks like AAP, BJP and Congress in that declining order in Delhi elections. A B C in D ?