Doctoring History
Amit Shah's enthusiasm for having India's history rewritten must leave any knowledgeable person amused. Shah considers Mughals who ruled the greater part of the subcontinent for two centuries as outsiders. But so were Aryans who, after leading a pastoral life for a long time, finally settled in the Kuru-Panchala region. Neither the Aryans nor the Mughals took away resources of this country to any foreign land. This was done first by the English rulers. Those who first drew attention to this 'economic drain', e.g. R C Dutta and Dadabhai Naoroji, were admirers of the British civilization. V D Savarkar, whom the Modi-Shah combine has been trying to idolize was at first a nationalist who brazenly capitulated to the British raj and helped it in every possible way. When he, during the nationalist phase of his career, wrote on the rebellion of 1857, he called it a joint war of Hindus and Muslims for independence. Let everybody form his own opinion.
N K Chatterjee, Bolpur

Open Letter to CJI
On 5th of August. 2019, through a notification from the President of India, the Article 370 for Kashmir was abrogated. Along with it, through a parliamentary law formulation (Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation ACT 2019), a huge step was taken, that being, this state was divided into two parts of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Both were given the status of a Union Territory, the former having no Legislative Assembly of its own while the later could have the same.

Since 6th of August, six petitions were submitted till now to the Supreme Court, challenging the President's decision. Amongst the petitioners, there are lawyers from different parts of the country, members of parliament, ex-military officers, retired IAS officers, Jammu and Kashmir's former Home Ministry officer and two Kashmiris, an artist and a senior journalist. Six separate petitions, but there is a common chord in all of them : the decision of abrogation of Article 370 is unconstitutional.

The petitions submitted to the Supreme Court are extremely significant. The citizens of this country can certainly hold diverse opinions regarding the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and the Articles 370 and 35A. In a democracy, nurturing different opinions and the right to debate against or for it is a very obvious right of every citizen, what is known as fundamental rights in the constitution. The petitions, very relevantly questioned, if the President, though his decision on 5th of August, directly disregarded the Articles 14, 19 and 21 which confirm the fundamental rights of the citizens of India. By the time, the Supreme Court has formed a Constitutional Bench for addressing these petitions. A lot of people before being aware of these petitions have faced this question from their conscience and integrity. Thus, as citizens of the same country, people are sending an open letter to the Chief Justice of India.
Jiten Nandi, Kolkata

Peril of the World’s Largest Democracy
Indian democracy, the world largest democracy is representative democracy. Residents of India elect their representatives to govern the country. Effective and transparent ruling and peaceful living with equity and justice of the residents are the prime motto of the government.

Practically, many times elected government fails to meet its ultimate goal as well as the interests of the electorates because of so many factors of party politics. Therefore, it causes disturbances and threats among the residents because of politics. The peril of this democracy echoes every time variously and it varies according to the interest of the ruling party in government. It ignores the sustainable development of residents as well as nation.

After seven decades of independence, government has no initiative to consider or recognize the residents as the citizen of the country. The entire national documents i.e. from Ration Card to PAN, Aadhar, Passport, and Voter Cards, etc. are the proof of residential identity. And unfortunately, these documents are not for citizenship. Recently, The National Register of Citizens is the latest peril, when no one is a citizen, even highest authority of the nation. It significantly reminds the colonial rule because that time Indians were foreigners in their own land. Now their elected government is trying to make them foreigners once again. The cross-border migration is a chronic problem of the country. So, government should be concentrated its policy to stop it. But it should not be worked to evict the people who voted them. Government works for human rights and dignity. But detention camps for NRC victims are a torture to the humanity and it is absolutely the violation of human rights.

Most recent peril of Indian democracy is instruction for on-line verification of voters. Once present government took policy and programme for digital India. Could it share the rate of digital literacy of the country? Then, how voters could be able to register and verify themselves as active electorates. Till date majority of the country is ignorant to handle computer/smartphone and operation of the internet is unknown and unfamiliar to them. Has there any practical knowledge of the policymakers or are they informed about the ground reality? Why are they creating this type of unfair policy? Have they any attachment to the target community? It has mostly created a threat and bridge of mistrust and conspiracy among the commons. Government has failed to promote the real work of economic development. But it involves disturbing people. When government has no policy to feed hungry people, to provide health care facilities and to create jobs for youth, how it would lead a 5 trillion economy?

For voter's verification government should arrange booth level verification machinery. Voters do not elect them to meet any political party's goal. No more peril to the residents would be the agenda of a sensitive and responsible government.
Harasankar Adhikari

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Vol. 52, No. 18, Nov 3 - 9, 2019