Questions to Kejriwal
Dear Mr Kejriwal,
In the past few weeks you have written letters to some key politicians especially those who are contenders for the prime ministerial chair and as you didn't get response from any of them it seems you have gained the upper hand on the issues raised by you.
Now, a common man like me wants to post some questions in the interest of the nation as you have maintained silence on a number of issues.
1. In the past few weeks, several naval officers have died due to alleged negligence by the defence ministry in terms of faulty submarines but you have not raised your voice against the issue. Why are you keeping mum on the issue and not taking any stand against the UPA minister AK Antony? Is this because of the fact that you don't want to lose the poll focus? Do you keep politics above the lives of the defence personnel?
2. You have not raised any voice against the Sahara chief Subrata Roy. Why so?
3. I was born and brought up in UP, where electricity, corruption, hooliganism are some of the major problems faced by the people of the state. But, you chose to tour Gujarat, not Uttar Pradesh. Why so? Is it because of the reason that you want to grab power at the Centre and you assume Narendra Modi as the biggest threat to your PM ambition and hence you chose to tour Gujarat?
4. You criticise several leaders for using private choppers but when you used the facility for the ‘India Today Conclave’ you justified it by saying that it was sponsored by the event organisers. In future, if any organiser arranges a chopper for you to attend its event won't you ask for the money behind such facilities; if it's genuinely earned money or black one?
5. You claim that your party—AAP—follows democratic procedure to select candidates to be fielded in elections. But, it seems leaders like Kumar Vishwas, Yogendra Yadav chose to contest elections from their favourite constituencies without undergoing any democratic process. How was Vishwas selected to contest from Amethi? Don't you think AAP's internal democracy has been murdered this way?
6. Your leaders term the incidents of ink attacks as an act of cowardice. We all second that. But, the man—Jarnail Singh—who hurled a shoe at Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 2009, has been chosen by the Aam Aadmi Party to contest the Lok Sabha elections. Don't you think this signifies the double standards followed by the AAP? How can shoe hurling be justified, if at all?
7. You praise media when it shows that corruption has gone down during your tenure in Delhi but when the same media house publishes your report pertaining to demand of government bungalow in Delhi, you tag it as paid media. Why so? Don't you believe in the concept of free and fair media?
8. Why all of a sudden you have upped the ante against the BJP's PM nominee and softened the stand against the Congress? Is this because you're aiming for the PM's chair and feel that Modi is the biggest hurdle in your way and the Congress is no threat (as suggested by opinion polls)? Please clarify.
Prashant V Singh
AAP and Sharmila
This has reference to Biswajit Roy’s article on AAP [Frontier, Vol 46, Nos 30 & 31, February 2-8 and February 9-15, 2014].
Mr Roy mentioned Irom Sharmila in passing under AAP's treatment of those in the margin. He mentioned that Team Anna had sent a letter of support to Sharmila when Mr Anna Hazare felt he could not ignore her satyagraha. However Mr Hazare failed to follow through on two promises to meet with her. He did send representatives to discuss the matter. But it fizzled out.
Similarly Mr Arvind Kejriwal promised to meet with her if he became CM of Delhi. He seemed genuine enough but what do I know. I didn't meet with him. I queued along with the huddled masses about the entrance to his high rise flat. I did manage to see his secretary at the Secretariat. All I asked was that he meet with Sharmila once she is presented to Delhi for trial.
The Manipur Authorities don't want her in Delhi though before an election. I have no interest in Indian party politics. I don't feel the need for politicians to talk the talk either. Whoever delivers the goods and removes the AFSPA will be my hero. But yes Mr Kejriwal has resigned as CM. I don't know if he is now free to travel to Imphal to see Sharmila. I don't think such a meeting would hurt him or the AAP.
Mr Bushan apparently sent a letter offering Sharmila their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Inner Manipur. She had the morning to consider and she politely declined at a brief press conference allowed by the local judge. During her last judicial remand the local judge decided the security forces should have the greater say on whether she be allowed to interact with the press. When I was in Imphal for her judicial remand hearing 3 January earlier this year the Judge ruled he was; too terrified of 6 elderly fat women who had turned up to prevent our meeting. He did not mention the two thugs sent from Imphal East Police Station to terrorize both IPS officers and Nurses the evening before stating on no account were we to be allowed to meet at the hearing the next day.
Politicians can meet her. They choose not to. Earlier this month Chief Minister Ibobi Singh was in the JNIMS visiting a former Chief Minister who was undergoing treatment. Ministers like the JNIMS security ward because of the heavy security there. He ran in and out. I have no idea why. He had no intention of listening to Sharmila any more than he would to any others of the Manipuri electorate.
As far as I can tell no political party has sent a senior representative to meet with Sharmila. But if she were presented to Delhi the AAP would and then Rahul-ji and Mr Modi would follow. But what difference would it make for the removal of the AFSPA. It would be encouraging if politicians did meet with her. Or at least pointed out that the illegal isolation order deemed a form of mental and emotional torture still remains in a modified form. The only concession was made not to the NHRC judgement but by a passing Tamil Scribe who took High Court action to see Sharmila. Now most can see her for 20 minutes once a fortnight. Probably not long enough for a mayang to bother to visit Imphal for her.
Prof Nirmal Chandra
A meeting in order to pay tribute to Prof Nirmal Chandra was held at the Institute of Development Studies, Salt Lake, Kolkata, on April 1. Prof Sabyasachi Bhattacharya presided over the meeting. Besides Prof Bhattacharya, Prof Amiya Bagchi a life-long friend of Nirmal Chandra, Sushil Khanna, Mritunjoy Mohanty, Sudip Chaudhury of IIM, Joka, Kolkata and Anirban Biswas spoke on different aspects of Prof Chandra’s life and carrier. Mr Biswas particularly highlighted his long association with Frontier even in difficult times.
Vol. 46, No. 41, Apr 20 - 26, 2014