Anganbaadis on Strike
23 July [New Delhi]. Anganbaadi workers of Delhi who have been protesting for the past 16 days today [23-07-2015] begun their indefinite Hunger strike outside Arvind Kejriwal's Residence. The Anganbadi Workers of Delhi have been on strike since the 7 of July this month. But the Government has paid no attention to their demands whatsoever. The anganbadi workers have declared to continue their indefinite hunger strike till their short-term-demands are met. The striking workers are demanding that their back wages be paid immediately without delay, they should be paid by the 10th of every month, every anganbadi worker should be given an ID, they should be given Anganbadi worker insurance, the workers kept on Panel should get full wages, they should be given benefits covered under the SABLA scheme. The workers have been protesting outside Kejriwal's residence since 7 July demanding that they be regularized and given permanent appointments, 8 hour work day, minimum wage and other benefits given to a government employee.

Before the election Kejriwal promised to abolish contractual labour system from work of perennial nature. However after coming into power not much has been said or done in this regard. On the second day of the Hunger strike, a worker observing the hunger strike told that the Government made no effort to look into their demands or give them any assurance while they were getting threats from the Supervisor of getting sacked. Bigul Mazdoor Dasta has been supporting the strike of the Anganbadi workers and standing in solidarity with workers in their fight for their rights. Avinash from Bigul Mazdoor Dasta said that there seems to be no difference between Congress, BJP or Aam Admi Party when it comes to delivering on their promises made to the poor working class of the country or state for that matter. The Kejriwal government which has allotted a whopping 526 crore of the tax payers' money solely for Radio advertisement now fails to address the needs of the Anganbaadi workers who have been on strike right outside the CM's residence for the past 16 days. The best advertisement for the government would be fulfilling its promises made to the common man rather than launching a futile radio PR campaign.
Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, Delhi


Judges’ Children
It refers to a letter dated 18.06.2015 written by Union Law Minister to Chief Justice of Delhi High Court about alleged corruption, favouritism and nepotism in the Delhi Judicial Services Examinations held last year after Department of Justice received many complaints on mode of conducting these examinations where sitting High Court judges framed question-papers and evaluated answer-sheets of candidates. Out of total 659 candidates appeared for the examinations, only 15 could be selected which included topper and another successful candidate being children of sitting High Court judges. Media-reports also indicate that the Delhi Judicial Service Examinations had to be cancelled in the year 1990 and re-conducted in the year 1991. Many unsuccessful candidates of the year 1990 were declared successful in the re-held examinations of the year 1991.

Social media also depicts that majority of the present judges in higher courts are from families of earlier judges. System of holding Judicial Services Examinations should be changed not only in Delhi but also in other states where bar-councils of other states may conduct examinations to prevent all types of favouritism and nepotism even from members of bar if decided to conduct such examinations. It is also time that Indian Judicial Service (IJS) may be constituted on lines of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for all appointments in judiciary right from lower courts till Supreme Court.

All judges in High Courts should be compulsorily appointed from outside their home-states to effectively check local relations and former bar colleagues approaching them.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi


Girdhar Gomango Episode
It refers to now self-confessing the then Chief Minister of Orissa Girdhar Gomango guilty of misusing his controversial vote in Lok Sabha in the year 1999 resulting in single-vote defeat for Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the centre unnecessarily dragging the nation in the costly mid-term poll, now resigning from Congress blaming party-leadership not defending him for his guilt of voting in Lok Sabha by being state Chief Minister.

Irony of Indian political system is that same very Girdhar Gomango causing big embarrassment for BJP and the nation in the year 1999 is now being reported joining BJP. This is not first such case. BJP which once stalled Lok Sabha proceedings continuously on Sukhram episode, later shook hands with Sukhram for power-sharing, it is shameful that proven characterless politician ND Tiwari is still respected by politicians cutting across party-lines like was done by Mulayamsingh Yadav (SP) and Rajnathsingh (BJP) having approached him for 'blessings' before 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Girdhar Gomango episode should make Narendra Modi government legislate at least minor poll-reforms like auto-termination of Parliament-membership of a Parliamentarian taking oath as Chief Minister (or Minister) in the state and vice-versa, and not allowing a person contesting from more than one constituency or for both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha. Rather a sitting member of Parliament or state-legislature must resign from his membership before filing nomination for the other seat. At least such simple-simple poll-reforms must not be deferred in name of never-to-be-achieved political consensus.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi


Muscle and money power are unfortunately dominating Indian poll-system where voters are at  times compelled to select best out of worst. Political parties are also compelled to give party-tickets to undeserving persons just to ensure victory.

Presently 'None-of-the-above' (NOTA) option available on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is simply of theoretical value affecting election-results in no way. Even if ideally NOTA gets maximum votes, next to NOTA has to be declared elected thus making NOTA absolutely meaningless.

It is time to experiment 'Right-To-Reject' in coming elections to Bihar state-assembly where re-poll may be held in case of NOTA getting highest votes. But to avoid any chain of re-elections caused by NOTA again winning the re-election in such case, NOTA button may be disabled in subsequent re-election caused by NOTA getting maximum votes. But all those getting votes less than NOTA should be disqualified to contest any election preferably in life-time. System will make political parties put best possible candidates so as to avoid NOTA winning election, and in practice will avoid any such possibility of NOTA winning in future.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi


Black Money
Special Investigating Team (SIT) set up by Supreme Court on aspect of black money in its third report has rightly pointed out towards irregularities detected in name of 'donations', 'charity' and other such contributions. Already several Non-Government-Organizations (NGOs) have been under scanner for converting black money and hawala operations. Schools are charging heavy amounts for admission in name of 'donations'. Charitable trusts are formed with tax-exemption certificates for whitening black money. There is heavy loss to exchequer because of double-edged tax-exemption to political parties which are not complying with full-bench CIC-verdict for being accountable to public through RTI Act.

Best is to abolish altogether provisions under various sections of Income Tax Act for any type of contribution made to anybody. It will effectively check all tactics to whiten black money. Otherwise also huge revenue so earned will be available for public welfare and national development which in no way is less important than contributions, donations, charity and other aspects presently wrongly exempted under Income Tax Act.

It is time to bring an altogether new Income Fax Act to replace more than half-a-century old Act of 1961 which since has too many patch-works in form of amendments.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi

Vol. 48, No. 8, Aug 30 - Sep 5, 2015