Sunday, 19 June 2016

ANNEXURE – I

Dated : 14/05/2016

WRITE UP -  BY RAJINDAR SACHAR

DR. LOHIA – OUR REVOLUTIONARY MENTOR


It is a sad reflection on the academic circles of a quite a view universities in the country that the writings and philosophy of politics of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, the great socialist and one of the tallest leaders and thinker of India should find no place in the curriculum of political science in most of the Universities.  He was amongst the tallest leaders of his time. But to me his unique contribution was in the intellectual field of socio economic ideology that he propounded.

    It was usual in those times to explain political theory with reference to relying mainly on the contribution of Marx in an effort to understand the social relation and the reorganistion of the society.  Dr. Lohia chartered a new path particularly to explain the inherent system of development by a radical philosophy of transformation of the Indian society in the socialist path.  He boldly dealt with various formulation made by Marx and though unhesitatingly accepting his very unique contribution.  He nevertheless wrote a treatise “Economics after Marx (1943)” pointing out that Marxism has not attempted to evolve the production patterns suited to socialism to Indian conditions.  

He forcefully rebutted the argument that by merely joining together the political democracy of capitalism and the economic democracy of communism, social democracy would came into existence.  He said that capitalism and communism had their own correlations and they could not be joined together.  “Until and unless socialism discards the postulations on which capitalism and communism are based and sets up a new correlation between the economic and general aims, it will remain incongruent and will not develop fully”, 1 His message was empathetic – “ that for India both communism and capitalism are irrelevant.  As an alternative, he outlined a new set-up based on Gandhi’s principles of non-violence.  Satyagraha, civil disobedience and decentralization and also on small machine of less energy-consuming and labour intensive technology”.2.The path that India must take in order to bring out a classless and casteless society were clearly expressed as far back in 1950 thus;
Socialism is a newer doctrine compared to capitalism or communism.  Socialism must ever be a doctrine that grows but it must also ever seek the principle that holds its various limbs together.
____________________________________________________
1.  [collected works of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Edited by Mastram Kapur Pg. 77]
2.  [collected works of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Edited by Mastram Kupur Pg. 79]  
Socialism henceforth and in the rest of the world must be drastic, unconstitutional when necessary, and lay the accent on persuasion.  The processes of persuasion and law making are not always available or particularly in the undeveloped areas.  Class struggle hastens and matures the destruction of capitalism, without which two thirds of the world cannot even make the first move.

His greatest contribution to the political thought is the role of the castes in India. He was the first political thinker to put forward the startling truth that castes and class are interchangeable in our Indian conditions. I remember him telling us that Communist Party considered this formulation as an anathema to revolutionary politics (though they later on accepted it). He finding this reluctance to accept Indian realty, told them once in his annoyance and in lighter vein that they had read English translation of Karl Marx but he read him in original, as he studied in Germany.

We remember him with love and affection and as one of our top leader of socialist movement. He had a many facet personality. He was different from our other leaders like J.P.  We had a reverence for J.P., a certain kind of awe in his presence. There was no question of levity or extra talk – it was only the vision of a just socialist society that we listened to.
    But with Dr. Lohia while philosophical, political and theory of socialist thought were no doubt a constant exchange, there was a lightness of conversation, a banter, a little bit of cynical talk but of course without venom – more in a friendly manner.

It was in fortuitous circumstances that brought me near to Dr. Lohia. In May 1949, the Socialist Party under Dr. Lohia leadership held a demonstration before  Nepal  embassy at  Bara Khamba Road, New Delhi to protest against the take over of Nepal govt. by Rana and the forced fleeing of King. We vere arrested (about 50 of us including Dr. Lohia) for violating Section 144 CRPC. As a policy decision had been taken that none of us would be asking for bail – our prosecution was being done in jail – (apparently the government was too embarrassed to prosecute Dr. Lohia in open court.) So we remained in jail for a month and half Dr. Lohia had an informal and easy mixing temperament. He liked to sit with all of us, exchanged serious policy matters and also light talk. So a close relationship came up which continued throughout. He had that informal life style that one never felt a distance which one may have felt between average worker like myself and a leader Of Dr. Lohias stature. This was not only an experience of a few but many who claimed to be close to him.

I had become an active member (in fact chairperson) of Socialist Party (Punjab Branch), So my contact with Dr. Lohias was quite frequent.

There is an wrong impression that Dr. Lohia was personally hostile to Pt. Nehru. There is no doubt that he was strongly critical of Nehrus policies and criticized him strongly not only on political ideology but for his general philosophical outlook. But it is wholly unfair to analyze it as a personal rancor. The fact is that Dr. Lohia had his earliest lessons in politics under Nehrus leadership,  and  openly  acknowledged  that  Nehru, “ was at one time my leader and teacher.” Whatever their differences, a certain bond of nearness continued between them. This was reflected when we were in jail in 1949, Indira Gandhi sent a basket of mangoes for all of us. Good grace amongst politicians had not vanished at that time.

In 1951 before Lohias visit to USA he had come to Delhi. I remember that we were talking in the sitting room when some one told him that there was a phone call for him. Dr. Lohia went to the other room. When he came back I asked whose phone was it. He said Pt. Nehru. What did he say, I asked. Dr. Lohia in half banter and annoyance repeated the conversation thus;

   
Nehru “ Ram Manohar, I hear you are going to USA
    Dr. Lohai  ‘Yes’
    And there was a pause. Then again Nehru asked “when”
    Dr. Lohia ‘ Next week’.
pause and then Pt. Nehru said ‘Alright’, switched off.

It was a curious talk and I asked Dr. Lohia what PURPOSE IN PHONING. Dr. Lohia in half banter said – you know he wanted to tell me. Ram Manohar you are going abroad – do not criticize govt. when abroad, but did not have the guts to tell me. And then Dr. Lohia in a half annoying and anger said “ what strange behaviour – does  he  think  I  will  talk  ill  of  govt. when abroad”. Such was their closeness, and yet so apart. Of course I know apprehension of Nehru was somewhat correct because Dr. Lohia could not but comment when in USA on some of the international policies of govt. of India – but there was no such wholesale criticism – How ever when Lohia met Einstein he could not restrain and in answer to the later’s questions remarked that “politicians are liars”. Einstein was normally sobriety personified, but he added warmly “that they were criminals”. Would Einstein have been able to find adequate words now - I doubt it.

It must be recognized that the reverence and hero worship for Nehru was normal and strong not only of Dr. Lohias generation, but even of my generation who had been brought up on the heroism, sacrifice and intellectualism of Pt. Nehru – for my father right throughout his life, Pt. Nehru represented almost an icon  of perfection in patriotism, intellect. I remember basking in Nehrus presence when he came to Lahore to canvass for my fathers Assembly election. Again when is 1945, after his release from prison, Pt. Nehru while going to Srinagar, broke his journey at Lahore – my father had invited him and some other important leaders for an informal get together at our place. I remember the awe, inspiration, admiration and respect with which all of us felt in his presence. I am mentioning this to highlight Dr. Lohias strange love/anger relationship with Pt. Nehru, because I myself had a very personal experience in 1955 which of course me in later time makes me feel stupid and yet it shows the different phases one passes through.

In 1955 Pb High Court at Chandigarh was to be formally inaugurated by Pt. Nehru. I was then general secretary of High Court Bar Association. Pt. Nehru had come to Chandigarh the  evening before. My father who was then the Chief Minister of Punjab invited Pt. Nehru for breakfast at his residence in the morning. I was staying with father though my office was in another sector. Here was an occasion for a young man like me, who had hero worshipped Pt. Nehru from his waking period and amongst the earlier books which had inspired me were Nehrus Autobiography, and Letters from Prison to Indira. But then I had grown up, become a full blooded socialist and still in thirties.  We in the party were convinced (rightly or wrongly, time alone will tell) that Pt. Nehru, who had shown the vision of socialism to us had not kept that pace following wrong policies. Our disappointment with his policies were deep. I was a small fry in part of that milieu. So I told father that I will not be at breakfast table to receive Pt. Nehru, though my wife will certainly he there along with my mother to play the hostess and look after the arrangements. My father and I had beautiful understanding and our sense of values and respecting each others views were the same. That is why he accepted my hesitation though he mentioned that I was being childish. I thereafter  went  out  of  the  residence to my  office  before  Pt. Nehru arrived for breakfast. I had even at that time that admiration and inspiration for Nehru that I could not think of being at home and be rude by not joining for breakfast. Of course I behaved absolutely correctly and all of us office bearers received Pt. Nehru with all the dignity and respect and deference due to him when he came to the High Court to inaugurate it.

Later on and now I laugh at my presumptuousness – a chit of boy, whom Pt. Nehru will not even notice beating his chest by absenting himself and denying to himself such a close breakfast meeting with one of the greatest of leaders  of all time and who had been a hero of our family. But then I take it that such are the peculiarities of radical youth, the devil may care attitude and the almost fatalistic belief in the rightness of the cause of ones own party. But then I suppose that is the real difference between youth and old age – one may laugh now, but one does not demean it because at that time it represented what I like to feel was a youthful genuine and unshakeable faith in a socialist society – which faith, fortunately I have still not lost.

Dr. Lohia was very particular and sensitive in avoiding any reference to his personal top position in public life. I remember he was to appear as a witness in a election petition which had been filed against Mani Ram Bagi our socialist candidate from Hissar. I was Advocate for Bagri.  Dr. Lohia was to be examined as a witness, He told me that I should not ask him, as he assumed normally witnesses are asked to give their background to establish their position in public life and status. I told him I had no such intention because if the judge did not already know about stature and position Dr. Lohia. I was not going to belittle Dr. Lohia by giving history. As expected judge naturally knew about Dr. Lohias position and status. May be his suggestion was a small little sensitivity that his political standing should not be told to the court who on its own should be expected to know about it. I am mentioning this, to show how Dr. Lohia looked at each small point in detail.

I had the privilege of Dr. Lohia coming on tour and staying with me in Chandigarh at my residence for two days. As I said Lohia never believed like a stiff political leader. I remember we had a public meeting in the evening – the morning was free. I had an important engagement in the morning. But Dr. Lohia wanted to go around Chandigarh and willingly was takenout for a cup of coffee by our District Socialist Party Comrades. Dr. Lohia simplicity and spontaneous companionship made even the smallest worker easy.
I remember however a very pained Lohia when he was staying with me at Chandigarh on next morning, News had come that Anti Hindi Agitators in South had burnt Hindi periodicals. I still see him sitting quietly with a sad took on his face sitting in the verandah lawn of my house at Chandigarh and telling me softly ‘Rajindar – movement for Hindi is dead – when it will be revived I do not know’.  Dr. Lohia was not a Hindi chauvanist. He was for State languages – he believed that presence of English knowing minority of which even now are only 4% will never let poor become the vehicle of politics. He accepted the supremacy of Tamil & Telequ language in the States. He was only insistent that states should communicate with the center in their own regional languages and center was bound to reply in states language. He could not understand why Hindi speaking states should not correspond with center in Hindi, which was the official language. He was not against English language as such. He was of the view that in no democratic peoples state, bureaucracy can effectively work for peoples policies unless the administration is carried out in states – i.e. poor peoples language – present use of state languages in its own administration, though not fully satisfactory shows the vision he saw decades ago, being now recognized though slowly.          

His greatest contribution to the political thought is the role of the castes in India. He was the first political thinker to put forward the startling truth that castes and class are interchangeable in our Indian conditions. I remember him telling us that   Communist   Party   considered   this    formulation    as   an   anathema  to revolutionary politics (though they later on accepted it). He finding this reluctance to accept Indian realty, told them once in his annoyance and in lighter vein that they had read English translation of Karl Marx but he read him in original, as he studied in Germany.

He described the philosophy of caste thus; ”The gap between the hundred million Dvijas on the one side, and the two hundred million Sudras on the other is so wide that no political party has as yet undertaken to fill it up. Political life in India is not clean. Nepotism, Jobbery, opportunism, flattery, non-adherence to truth and a tendency to twist doctrines to suit particular motives are some of the traits of Dvija leadership. These traits will remain with the Dvijas unless they make a conscious effort to bridge the gulf between themselves and the sudras. The Sudras too has his shortcomings. He has an even narrower sectarian outlook. Once in office, the Sudras tries to perpetuate himself by having recourse to dirty sectarian methods. He cannot achieve a broadness of outlook. Inspite of all this, not only must the Sudras be now pushed to positions of power and leadership out sustained efforts should be made to enable them to imbibe a broad cultural outlook so that the stagnant waters of the country’s social life may flow, and the Dvijas and Sudras both shed their weaknesses. It is futile to talk of revolutionary politics  unaccompanied   by   efforts for   social  change. Only  that political party has a future now in the country, which would make itself the spearhead of this social revolution and by its organization herald a new dawn.
This division of Indian society into hundreds if not thousands of castes, which have a political as much as a social significance, explains why India wilts before foreign armies. When she has not so wilted in her history, it has almost always been those periods when the bonds of caste were loose. A great misreading of Indian history is current. The tragic succession of foreign conquests, to which the Indian people have succumbed, is ascribed to internal quarrels and intrigues. That is nonsense. The largest single cause is caste. It renders nine-tenths of the population into onlookers, in fact, listless and nearly completely disinterested spectators of grim national tragedies.

    The Indian experience of caste goes farther than that of any other nation and all the world may have lessons to learn from it. At the moment, we are concerned with the terrifying damage castes have done India and how she may rid herself of it. The entire scale of values has been upset.

    The system of caste is a terrifying force of stability and against change, a force that stabilizes all current meanness, dishonour and lie. An unholy fear prevails, lest, if  some meanness or lie  were to tumble the whole structure might topple. Postfreedom India is but a strict continuance of British India in most essential ways. The Indian people continue to be disinherited. They are foreigners in their own land. Their languages are suppressed and their bread is snatched away from them. All this is done for the alleged sake of certain high principles. And these principles tie up with the system of caste, the great chasm between the few high-castes and the four hundred million of the lower-castes.

    He always found Delhi heartless and removed from reality in the country (I feel that still holds true) Dr. Lohia described Delhi thus  “Furthermore, where is the base for summit polities? Whenever I come to Delhi, a sense of overwhelming despair seizes me. There is no fundamental question of theory or even of enduring politics. One hears nothing but gossip about succession, inter related with spicy stories of what the other side has been doing in connection with money, or women or foreign relations. The worm is eating into Delhi’s heart”.

There is another misunderstanding that Dr. Lohia did not give due regard and respect to J.P. How wrong it is. Dr. Lohia himself told me when J.P. after general elections and not so successful Bhoodan movement was leading a semi retired life, Dr. Lohia was convinced that in order to revive socialist movement J.Ps. leadership was mandatory. He told us that he went to J.P. at Patna and told him ‘Jai  Prakssh  utho’  (getup) – you alone can  electrify the country (this clearly shows realism of Dr. Lohia and respect for J.P. – but J.P. was reluctant and expressed his hesitation saying he had no one left to understand him – Dr. Lohia, friendly mischievous as he was told him ‘ Come on’ you have at least Prabha Ji – I have, on the otherhand (none). “ Such were the banters of the giants. I still recollect J.Ps oration at Lohias cremation at Delhi when J.P. overwhelmed with sentiment said “Ram Manoher, you were younger to me – you place was not there I if any body, it should have been mine.” What a beautiful relationship and  political comradeship.

Dr. Lohia give a slogan, the sheet anchar of Democratic Socialism, thus - spade – prison – vote – which sympolised constructive activity, prison stood for peaceful struggle against injustice and the vote foe political action.

Unfortunately all the political parties, including those who call themselves leftists, with rare exception, have only one item in their list of work – ‘vote’ – but this will not transform the society and we will remain mired in small squabbles.

March, 23rd is also the Martyrdom of one of the greatest revolutionary of our age – Sardar Bhagat Singh.  I have no doubt that both of them would have been  the  closest of  kindred souls as they shared above all their compassion for the poor and their determination to fight for his rights to enable him to get his just dues in the society.

I salute the memory of these two great inspirational souls.

                                                                                                Rajindar Sachar


Dated : 14/05/2016
New Delhi.

TWO YEARS OF MODI’S GOVERNMENT


TWO YEARS OF MODI’S GOVERNMENT


Two years ago when Modi swept the Parliamentary Elections, the Corporate Sector, especially big ones went agog - their enthusiasm and hopes were unbounded. They went on to imagine a free rein to expand in the way it likes.  

The young generation went dancing on the streets and dreamt of immediate boom and the expansion of economy.

The minorities legitimately were in panic considering the anti minority role of Modi starting from 2002 Gujarat killings and the continuance of anti Minority expression and the policies carried out as Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Any Prime Minister with Modi’s background should have started his term by assuring the Minorities that there will be no discrimination against them and he accepts that all people of whatever religion enjoy the same rights and will be treated equally. Apart from being practical wisdom of a politician, this assurance was necessary in the context of preamble of our Constitution that we have resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist and Secular …… Republic……..also it is accepted wisdom, “that in any country the faith and the confidence of the minorities in the impartial and even functioning of the State is the acid test of being a civilized State”.

But ironically now even corporate sector is openly saying that policies of growth are mere chimera. That is why it is pressing for a free hand and asking for further dilution of workers rights. But for obvious reasons there are limits to which even Modi can ignore workers rights and dilution of them will lead straightaway to a collision course.

There is unexplained silence in explaining 5 Lakh Crores bad loans (of course inherited partly from U.P.A. government). Deliberate propaganda is being done that disclosing the names of the defaulters will harm economy. How deceitful – rather disclosure may prevent innocent public from being cheated by those very Corporates and also expose the political parties which may have benefited in the matter of donations made to them for elections.

I do not mind confessing that I feel disappointed with the organized Labour which is not taking an aggressive stand against these anti Working Class Policies. I have not seen any strong stand taken by Railway Unions against Bullet Train madness. Nor is there any plan to stop industrial corridors of Delhi – Bombay, Amritsar – Calcutta to be built on Railway land which requires diversion of the railway line resulting in crores worth of wasteful expense and ruination of farmers. Of course it was approved by U.P.A. Government – is Modi comfortable to be in the same muddy swamp as the congress. The choice is his.

I am however, seriously concerned that in two years the confidence of minority in even handed treatment by the state is diminishing, if not almost vanished.

Secularism mandates giving equal dignity and respect to all religions - thus inclusive development in India and for that matter in any country alone is the path to prosperity. It is an undeniable truth and needs to be irrevocably accepted by all in India, namely that minorities, Muslims and Christians are not outsiders. They are an integral part of India. Swami Vivekanand in fact profusely praised Islam and in a letter to his friend Mohammed Sarfraz Hussain (10th June 1898) without any hesitation wrote “therefore I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind. For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems Hinduism and Islam – Vedanta brain and Islam body - is the only hope……. the future perfect India.” There thus can be no real progress in India which does not include minorities, Muslims, Christians as equal stakeholders.

Also in the Report of U.N. Human Right Council Forum for minorities has mandated thus; “Consequently, the right of minorities to participate effectively in economic life must be fully taken into account by governments seeking to promote equality at every level. From implementing non - discrimination in employment Governments can consider both targeted and inclusive approaches to addressing the economic and social exclusion of minorities.”

It was encouraging to read the speech made by Modi on September 15, 2015 while speaking at the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, the PM said, "The confluence of Indian and Islamic civilisation took place in Central Asia. We enriched each other in spiritual thought, but also in medicine, science, mathematics and astronomy."
***"The Islamic heritage of both India and Central Asia is defined by
the highest ideals of Islam - knowledge, piety, compassion and
welfare. This is a heritage founded on the principle of love and
devotion. And, it has always rejected the forces of extremism," he
added.*** [Emphasis added.]

But no effective steps have been taken by Modi to assure the Minority by concrete acts, in the spirit of speech above. Dr. Lohia the great Socialist Party leader always condemned this dishonest separation of speech from deeds. He always maintained that honest politics mandates that there should be equivalence of words and deeds in politics – would Modi follow Dr. Lohia’s advice.  

The recent elections to various State Assemblies no doubt have dealt a possibly irrevocable blow to Congress. But to interpret this as a victory for B.J.P. (excepting in Assam) would be totally misreading the political situation I am worried that B.J.P. is going to increase communal pressure in the garb of illegal Immigrants in Assam. This danger must receive immediate attention of all Human Right Organizations. Modi, if he wishes to quicken the development in the country cannot do so without utilising the natural resources of Assam.
The danger to development plan by Modi is the strong lobby of RSS with its congenital antipathy to the Minorities especially Muslims. U.P. Governor recently criticized the State Government which banned and arrested a group of V.H.P. who were, making preparation to play a mischief by maliciously provoking Muslims on the building of Ram Temple issue (to me the question of building Ram Temple at Babri Masjid can never arise as it is an act of treason to even think of it). But the Governor of the State Mr. Naik has again embarrassed Modi publically by saying that this group was only learning self defence – should a Governor criticize publically the State Government on an action totally within the jurisdiction of State Government. The least that Modi can do is to transfer Naik to some other State.       

Rajindar Sachar

PRESIDENT’S RULE IN UTTRAKHAND – ITS VARIOUS ASPECTS




PRESIDENT’S RULE IN UTTRAKHAND – ITS VARIOUS ASPECTS



The imposition of President’s rule, article 356 of the constitution on the recommendation of the BJP Central Government, in Uttrakhand State governed by Congress has again revived the debate held even during the Constituent Assembly debates about the propriety of such a provision. Broadly one can make a safe assertion that it has been often misused by which ever party was in government at the Centre. The reluctant resort to it by, Nehru Government to dismiss the Namboodiripad Government (no doubt pressurized by Indira Gandhi Congress President. I have it on the authority of Justice Krishna Iyer who was a Minister in Namboodiripad Government and had met Nehru to dissuade him to do so) was amongst the first blow on Provincial Autonomy.

Another important case of dismissal was in 1977 when Janata Government dismissed Congress states Governments on the puerile plea that the party had lost confidence because in the parliamentary election congress lost disastrously which plea the Supreme Court rejected outright.       

Similarly the Supreme Court rejected the action of Central Congress Government when its Governor Mr. Buta Singh dismissed the opposition ruled Bihar Governments (in this case Ex Congress Law Minister HR Bhardwaj made the sensational public disclosure that he had been asked to influence Supreme Court Judge about it, but he refused to do so, and thereafter was black listed by Congress High Command). The Supreme Court held the proclamation illegal.

An yet with all my continuing  opposition to resort to Presidents rule in the states, I must reluctantly accept that its use to dismiss nine BJP dominated states Government in Bommai case (1993) was welcome, as it strengthened the secular character of our country against communal forces.

But the Presidents rule in Uttrakhand is a mixed bag, brought up and acted queerly by both the main parties, Congress and BJP. A resume of facts leading to the President’s rule shows the ugly face of both parties. Uttrakhand assembly has 70 members. Before suspension Congress had 36 members supported by 6 independent MLA (total 42). Than gradually 9 Congress MLA led by Bahuguna formed a separate group and announced their intention to vote against Rawat. Earlier one B.J.P. member had crossed over to Congress – BJP asked speaker to disqualify him but speaker refused to do so. During budget debates the Speaker of the Assembly even rejected a valid request for division of votes and instead declared it passed.

On 26 nights the Central Government recommend President’s rule which has been accepted. I must frankly admit that neither the Congress nor BJP has come out clean. BJP effort at encouraging defection of Congress MLA shows that main parties in their lust for power are willing to break all moral rules. Let me quote what an MLA should do if he is going to join another party. In 1946, Acharya Narendar Dev of Socialist Party, when it was still in the Congress was an Congress MLA from U. P. Assembly. When Socialist Party decided to come out of the Congress, Acharyaji, whom Gandhiji had even wanted him to take over as Congress President, without any hesitation following moral stand resigned his seat and fought election again on Socialist Party ticket, though he lost.

I feel that apart from moral grounds, Congress Committed a grave mistake in persuading the speaker to disqualify Bahuguna and others not only after the President had imposed President’s rule instead of relying on Anti Defection law which provides an easier course by resorting in 10th Schedule of the Constitution which provides that;

  1. A Member of a house belonging to any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the house ---.
  2. If he votes or abstains from voting in such house contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs…..Thus if rebel Congress MLA had voted against the budget or even abstained they would have been legitimately disqualified. Further clause 9 provides that a decision of Speaker shall be final. Further clause bars the jurisdiction of the Court. But now things have gone beyond the Speaker. Disqualification after Presidents rule is a nullity, apart form the fact that no voting in the Assembly was allowed by the speaker, and hence no charge against Bahuguna and others for defection can be leveled against them.

The matter was naturally taken to High Court where single judge without issuing a notice to central government passed an ex-parte order fixing the date for a floor test to be held in the Assembly. Such a strange order had to be stayed by the Division Bench, which will now hear both the parties on the next date.   

I may in this connection mention a precedent in the U.P. Assembly, on a matter of confidence vote, the Supreme Court dealt with it in a most novel way. It allowed debate in the Assembly but directed the proceedings to be televised so as to avoid any wrong presentation of what happened in the Assembly, of course subject to the order of the court later on – (after all no one should object all proceedings being televised as parliamentary proceedings are televised every day). Thereafter the Division Bench could deal with the matter.

There is another unusual novel way for Congress to act. Under article 356 of the constitution the notification would cease to operate after expiration   of 2 months unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolutions of both houses of parliament.

At present the opposition is in majority in Rajya Sabha. If Congress can rely on its colleagues why not give an embarrassing slap to B.J.P. in this Constitutional matter and let B.J.P. face public ridicule. Of course it is a different matter if there are chinks in the opposition – in which course naturally we will have to await for the decision by the Division Bench to sort out this ugly mess.   

The matter is now in Court. May one still hope that both the parties who have disgraced themselves at the bar of public opinion for encouraging defection and equally resorting to money power and have given bad name to politics, show some remorse and make a joint request to the President and Election Commission to hold new election to the assembly within three months or so. If they don’t show that mutuality, may be the court in its wisdom could so direct so that an unpleasant of chapter of public chicanery can come to an end at the earliest.

Rajindar Sachar

CASTE ABOLITION IS THE ONLY REMEDY

CASTE ABOLITION IS THE ONLY REMEDY

I feel that Justice has been vindicated when parties united to celebrate 125th Birthday anniversary (on 14th April, 2016) of Dr. Amedkar. But the question that needs to be asked: is “whether that is genuine sentiment of these parties who reviled him in his life time”. Dr. Ambedkar how ever was made of sterner stuff and carried on vehemently his campaign against Caste System. He specifically said “I have never been Anti Brahmin but I have always been anti Caste. To stop taking about Caste is to shut ones eyes to the most important single reality of Indian situation”. Fortunately, in all fairness and deference Dr. Rammanohar Lohia Socialist Party leader (though much younger to him) openly recognized the greatness of Dr. Ambedkar when he said pubically in 1955, “Dr Ambedkar to me was a great man in Indian politics and apart from Gandhiji as the greatest of the Caste Hindus this fact has given me a solace and confidence that the caste system of Hinduism could one day be destroyed. I have always been trying to communicate to the Harijans an idea which is basic with me.”
It was in pursuance of this basic philosophy that Dr. Lohia corresponded with Dr. Ambedkar the need for both the Socialist party and Dr. Ambedkars party and jointly contesting the forthcoming Parliaments elections. Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Lohia had agreed on a date to discuss this mutually. Unfortunately Dr Ambedkar died before the meeting could take place. But Dr. Lohia’s regard for the view expressed by Dr. Ambedkar in his book on “Annihilation of Castes” expressed by Dr. Ambedkar, was on the same wave length that enable Dr. Lohia to continue his fight against the Caste system which he expressed so vehemently thus; “Caste is the most overwhelming factor in Indian life. Those who deny it in principle also accept it in practice. Life moves within the frontiers of caste and cultured men speak in soft tones against the system of caste, while its rejection in action just does not occur to them.”
Dr. Ambedkar was for giving special opportunity to those who had been deprived for Centuries in all walks of life: But the false friends of the deprived castes take cover by suggesting that solution lies in raising everybody economically, give every body an equal opportunity. But these so called false advocates of destruction of caste, wrongly presume as though rising standards and opportunities would be restricted to the low-caste only. When everybody has an equal opportunity, castes with the five thousand year old traditions of liberal education would be on top. Only the exceptionally gifted from the lower-castes would be able to break through this tradition.
Some of the so called secular parties how ever seek to maintain reservation                                                 in a cast-moulded measure while they are themselves viciously caste-ridden, perhaps unknowingly. They denounce caste by birth, but in enthroning the principle of merit, they keep secured their privileged positions. It is to the credit of Dr. Ambedkar philosophy and vision that this perverted view of history is now being viewed differently.
Notwithstanding the universal acclaim for Dr. Ambedkar (obviously for taking political advantage) no government has yet tried to take effective steps to increase the participation of Dalits in the field of economic development – without which the chain of stratified caste system can not be destroyed.
In the matter of alleviation of any misery a country with limited resources has necessarily to evolve priorities in each sector. Our social system has, it must be remembered to live down the centuries of caste exploitation and sub-human existence to which this large chunk of our population, i.e., Dalits were condemned. It is for this purpose that many of us maintain that to see fruition of Dr. Ambedkar philosophy completely, it is now necessary to go beyond mere provision of reservation in education and service sector. To do further leveling Dalits need to be assured by law of a proportionate share of public works and government.
The same would be justified on the ground of reasonable classification inasmuch as it was to give benefits to a class or society which have been deprived of opportunity for hundreds of years and which can only be redeemed by providing them special provisions.

A similar situation arose before the United States Supreme Court. There was a “minority business enterprises” clause in the Public Works Employment Act of 1977 which contained a provisions that 10% of the federal funds granted for local public works projects must be used by state and local grantees to procure services or supplies from businesses owned and controlled by “minority group members”, amongst being defined in the Act as United States citizens i.e. who are “from Negroes”. The Court upheld the validity of the legislation as it contained provisions designed to uplift those socially and economically disadvantaged persons to a level where they may effectively participate in the business mainstream of the U.S. economy.

The Court said that it was necessary to ensure that the minorities were not denied equal opportunity to participate in federal grants to state and local governments, which is one aspect of the equal protection of the laws.
Thus it is fallacious to say that if a similar law was made in India, non-Dalits will thereby be thus discriminated because as the US Court said “it is not a constitutional defect in this program that it may disappoint the expectations of non-minority firms. When effectuating a limited and properly tailored remedy to cure the effects of prior discrimination, such “a sharing of the burden” by innocent parties is not impermissible.”
The Court ended with ringing words “if we are ever to become a fully integrated society, one in which the colour of a person’s skin will not determine the opportunities available to him or her, we must be willing to take steps to open those doors.”
These like steps need to be follow immediately if we wish to avoid the grim warning given by Dr. Ambedkar at the conclusion of the finalization of the constitution when he said; “We are going to enter a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic life, we will have inequality….We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this assembly has so laboriously constructed.”
I humbly submit that the above warning continues to have the same relevance and urgency today.
Rajindar Sachar

Both Cong, BJP to blame

Both Cong, BJP to blame
Rajinder Sachar

The imposition of the President’s rule under Article 356 of the constitution on Uttarakhand governed by Congress following the recommendation of the NDA-ruled Centre has again revived the debate held even during the Constituent Assembly debates about the propriety of such a provision. Broadly, one can make a safe assertion that it has been often misused by whichever party was at the helm at the Centre. 

The Jawaharlal Nehru government reluctantly resorted to dismiss Kerala’s Namboodiripad government. I have it on the authority of the late Justice Krishna Iyer (who was a minister in Namboodiripad government and had met Nehru to dissuade him to do so). It was among the first blow on the provincial autonomy.

Another important case of dismissal was in 1977 when the Janata Party government at the Centre dismissed Congress states governments on the puerile plea that the latter had lost the confidence of the people because in the parliamentary elections, Congress lost disastrously. This plea was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Similarly, the apex court rejected the action of Central government ruled by the Congress when governor Buta Singh dismissed the Opposition-ruled Bihar government (in this case, former law minister H R Bhardwaj of the Congress made the sensational public disclosure that he had been asked to influence the Supreme Court about it, but he refused to do so, and thereafter he was ‘blacklisted’ by the Congress high command). The Supreme Court held the proclamation illegal.

Despite all my continuing opposition to imposition of Article 356, I must reluctantly accept the dismissal of 9 BJP-dominated state governments in the wake of the razing of the Babri Masjid in 1992. It was welcome as it strengthened the secular character of our country against communal forces.

But the President’s rule in Uttarakhand is a mixed bag, brought up and acted queerly by both the main parties, Congress and BJP. A resume of facts leading to the President’s rule shows the ugly face of both parties. The Uttarakhand Assembly has 70 members. Before the suspension of 9 of their MLAs, Congress had 36 members and was supported by 6 independent MLA (total 42). Than gradually, 9 Congress MLA led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna formed a separate group and announced their intention to vote against CM Harish Rawat.

Earlier, one BJP member had crossed over to Congress, BJP asked the Speaker to disqualify him but the Speaker refused to do so. During budget debates, the Speaker even rejected a valid request for division of votes and instead declared it passed. I must frankly admit that neither the Congress nor BJP has come out clean. BJP’s effort at encouraging defection of Congress MLA shows that main parties in their lust for power are willing to break all moral rules.

I feel that apart from moral grounds, Congress committed a grave mistake in persuading the Speaker to disqualify Bahuguna and others after the Centre had imposed President’s rule instead of relying on the anti-defection law which provides an easier course by resorting in 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

No defection

This provision provides that: “A member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified, a) if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs.” Thus if the rebel Congress MLAs had voted against the budget or had even  abstained, they would have legitimately been disqualified.

The law provides that the decision of the Speaker shall be final. It bars the jurisdiction of the court. But now, things have gone beyond the Speaker. Disqualification after President’s rule is a nullity. No voting in the Assembly was allowed by the Speaker and hence no charge against Bahuguna and others for defection can be levelled against them.

The matter was naturally taken to the High Court where a single judge bench without issuing a notice to Central government, passed an ex-parte order fixing the date for a floor test to be held in the Assembly. Such a strange order had to be stayed by the division bench which will now hear both the parties from the next date.  

I may, in this connection, mention a precedent in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, on a matter of confidence vote where the Supreme Court dealt with it in a most novel way. It allowed debate in the Assembly but directed the proceedings to be televised so as to avoid any wrong presentation of what happened in the Assembly.

There is another unusual novel way for Congress to act. Under Article 356, the notification would cease to operate after expiration of 2 months unless before the expiration of that period, it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of parliament. At present, the opposition is in a majority in the Rajya Sabha. If Congress can rely on its colleagues, why not give an embarrassing slap to the BJP in this constitutional matter and let the party face public ridicule. Of course, it is a different matter if there are chinks in the opposition – in which course naturally we will have to await the decision by the division bench to sort out this ugly mess. 

The matter is now in the court. May one still hope that both the parties who have disgraced themselves at the bar of public opinion for encouraging defection and equally resorting to money power and have given bad name to politics, show some remorse and make a joint request to the President and the Election Commission to hold fresh polls to the assembly within three months or so. If they don’t show that mutuality, may be the court in its wisdom could so direct so that an unpleasant of chapter of public chicanery can come to an end at the earliest.

(The writer is former chief justice of Delhi High Court)

Letter to Dr. Sunilam

Date: 14.05.2016

Dear Sunilam,

I had already mentioned to you that I will not be able to attend the meeting as I had N. Ex. Meeting of PUCL at Jaipur of 15th and 16th of May 2016 but as it is I am not also being able to go there, because I was admitted to the Hospital on 09th of May 2016.  I am therefore writing from there. Just sharing some old memories of the party, which some olders must do, for the sake of socialist party and next generation.  I joined socialist party in 1946 at Lahore I had, of course to take leave of absence because of my joining as Judge in the Delhi High Court in 1970.

After retirement in December 1985 I have been more active in the PUCL. But I have always had a deep yearning for the principles and programme and deep philosophy and the need of the programmed, policy of the party being represented by revived Socialist Party. This was necessary as socialists had been working in separate fields first as a part of the Janata Party and also in separate organization of Labor, peasantry and others people’s moment separately. I had always expressed my desire that all the old socialist party member and the new once who were working in various organization should consolidate themselves in one socialist party.

I had mentioned this often to Surender Mohan with whom I had greater, more frequent and intimate relationship. We had taken it up with Mr. Purohit Ji who was than General Secretary of A.I.R.F. He had also agreed to get together trade unions and other comrade friends to advance this idea.

By the combined leadership and inspiring efforts of Surender Mohan Ji, Bhai Vaidya Ji, Panna Lal Surana Ji, Balwant Khera Ji, Giresh Pandey Ji, Prem Singh Ji and other member / we old members, it was agreed to bring together all and form socialist party again,? you your self played a very important and in increasing role in the decision to form Socialist Party at Mumbai.

Even a few days before the death of Surendar Mohan we were fixing the date for holding inaugural conference when we were together at Railway Men’s Federation council meeting at Mombai. But unfortunately he left for heavenly above soon thereafter. 

But we were determined to carry out Surendar Mohan’s wish. Fortunately we had old committed leaders of the Socialist Party as I mentioned earlier. So Socialist Party had its Inaugural Session at Hyderabad, in December 2011.

I am hoping that many of our friends all over and at this meeting will reach consensus on the program which can be unitedly followed. Of course though I wish that all of us could work together in Socialist Party (India) which is based on the inspiration idealism of our founding fathers and mothers, J.P. Ji, Achrya Narender Dev Ji, Dr. Lohia Ji, Kamla Devi Chatoupadhya Ji.  

I am mentioning some items which all of us could take, as it has no party monopoly. Of course my suggestions are very tentative and can be finalized at a separate meeting, of all Socialists. Thereafter we may be able to persuade others to agree, possibly some of the leftist parties, Trade Unions. This is necessary because the B.J.P. Government is determined to dismantle public Sector, the sheet anchor for a Socialist Society.

A.      Minimum of 30% Income Tax on the higher incomes including that on Corporate Sector. 

B.      Inheritance Tax, to reduce gross inequality in the Society; even the Conservative Governor Reserve Bank is suggesting it.

C.      Disclose in public the names of big defaulters of Public Sector Banks, the total amount being 4 lakh crores. Why should they be shielded, that would be endangering the public.

D.      Napams anti Corridor battle could be jointly worked out.

E.      Prohibition against any election funding by the corporate sector even in the guise of separate electoral trusts formed by corporate sector.  

F.      Substitution of the present electoral system by the list system prevalent in Europe.

Those of the younger generation sometime feel pessimist whether Socialism will ultimately win. Let me give you the lighthearted humour but a unforgettable response of our leader Com. Ramanand Ji when he was addressing one of the party’s meeting in Delhi in 1950. One comrade asked him “Sir, how can we have firm faith that one day Socialism will win”. His reply was cryptic and full of humour. He said; ‘Comrade, when you go out of the house for work in the field you do not go on doubting whether your wife will remain faithful to you in your absence’ and will be at home when you return home. So just go on working for the Socialist party without doubting that ultimately “Socialist Party will bring in Socialism within Country” I dedicate that faith and confidence to you all.        

I have had a little more experience with some of our inspiring leadership, not because of any special qualification but only because of being fortunate accidentally of old age. Many others would have greater experiences to tell, which must be shared with all.

Let me start with Karpoori Thakur Ji. After his successful period as Chief Ministers, there was a ghastly murderous happening at Arawal in 1985. I had retired by December, 1985 Karpoori Ji asked Tarkunde Ji (PUCL leader) to ask me to come to Patna to hold an enquiry). My other member was General Sinha, I was so embarrassed   when I landed at Patna to find Karpoori Ji personally there. I remonstrated with him that he has been and now again was my leader and he should not have come to aerodrome.

But more important was that before finalizing our report I told Karpoori Ji that I would like to meet Director General Police and one or two others high officers to enquire about certain vital facts concerning the enquiry, and that he may fix my appointment with those officers and I will go to their office to meet them. But Karpoori confidently said that they will come to meet me at the guest house where I was staying. The next days those officers came the guest house – this showed the respect he enjoyed amongst public that the officers (notwithstanding that there was another government) their respect for him was continuing.

I was particularly fortunate that by mere accident I was quite close to Dr. Lohia (of course there were others like Madhu Limaye who were much closer) I had some time back written above Dr. Lohia for a magazine.(I am attaching a copy of this as Annexure – I.) You may share it with other friends and colleagues at the conference.

Please give my best wishes to all for a successful meeting.


Yours’

 Rajindar Sachar

बांग्लादेश में अल्पसंख्यकों के साम्प्रदायिक उत्पीड़न पर सोशलिस्ट पार्टी का बयान

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