To be and only to be
This being the only motto, in the light of its recent electoral washout the Congress party is hard pressed to find a president outside the Nehru fold. All they want is someone to stand tall and elegant and take the ruling party's assault while the other members/supporters can continue with their money-making activities, which they all do for a living. More importantly and more than the Congress it is the left that wishes the Congress to "play its due role in history" so that they can dream of a third front and also keep their home fires burning. If only a hologram of Jawaharlal Nehru could be put up outside AICC headquarters and the "tryst with destiny" speech played in the background, it could be a venue for a nice "light and sound" show.
Soumyabrata Guhathakurta

al-Baghdadi is Dead
Potus Donald Trump has announced through a televised address that a daring American commando raid in Syria this weekend culminating in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. He was being chased for five years. President Trump claimed significant victory even as American forces are pulling out of the area amidst opposition from various quarters. "Last night, the United States brought the world's No. 1 terrorist leader to justice, Trump said .Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead." President Trump said. Al-Baghdadi was chased to the end of an underground tunnel, "whimpering and crying and screaming all the way" as he was pursued by American military dogs. Accompanied by three children, Mr al-Baghdadi then detonated a suicide vest, blowing up himself and the children. President Trump said claimed.

The New York Time says the death of Mr al-Baghdadi may be a signal moment in the generation-long war against terrorists as well as in Mr Trump's presidency, eliminating a ruthless enemy who beheaded American captives and at one time controlled a swath of the Middle East roughly the size of Britain. But terrorist leaders have been killed.

The elusive Islamic State commander, died during a U.S. military operation in Syria, an important breakthrough more than five years after the militant chief launched a self-proclaimed caliphate that Inspired violence worldwide. Last night, the United States brought the world's number one terrorist "leader to justice". Trump said in a televised announcement from the White House. "He was a sick and depraved man, and now he's gone."
Sukumar Roy, Kolkata

Supreme Court verdict on disputed site of Ayodhya
The recent Supreme Court verdict on disputed site of Ayodhya is not a surprise for me, since the country has been witnessing partisan rulings and verdicts at all levels of administrative and judicial interventions. The verdict sealed the deal in favour of Hindutva, a militant political Hindu identity and is full of self-contradictions and superstitions. On one hand the five-judge bench said "The court does not decide title on the basis of faith or belief but on the basis of evidence." On the other hand, it declared "The faith of the Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the demolished structure is undisputed." So, they gifted the land to "Ram Lala", an utterly fictitious-mythological character! Eminent historian Romila Thapar has raised an important question—"The court has declared that a particular spot is where a divine or semi-divine person was born and where a new temple is to be built to commemorate the birth. This is in response to an appeal by Hindu faith and belief. Given the absence of evidence in support of the claim, such a verdict is not what one expects from a court of law. Hindus deeply revere Rama as a deity but can this support a legal decision on claims to a birth-place, possession of land and the deliberate destruction of a major historical monument to assist in acquiring the land?" The decision of the Supreme Court that Muslims should be allocated five acres of land on which they can build a mosque in a place of prominence in Ayodhya since their place of worship was illegally destroyed is also troubling. The judgment says this is because of principles of justice, but justice would mean that we defend the rights of the wronged, not hand over a plot of land as some compensatory act of charity.

The 5-judge constitutional bench also ruled that the destruction of the 16th century three-domed Babri mosque on 6 December, 1992 by Hindu Kar Sevaks, who wanted to build a Ram Temple there, was a wrong that must be remedied. What the remedy they have decided? They gifted the place of act of the crime to the criminals—the Hindu Kar Sevaks! What if the Ram temple were demolished on December 6, 1992 instead of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya? I don't think the Supreme Court judgment would have been the same. In that case, the demolished structure would never have been given to the party that was involved in razing it to the ground or supporting its demolition. Former Supreme Court Judge raised another important question—"If the Babri Masjid was not demolished, and Hindus went to court saying that Ram was born there, would the court have ordered it to be demolished?"

My conscience does not allow me to forget the gross injustice done in the broad-day light on December 6, 1992. How could we forget that thousands of fanatic Hindu mobs were mobilised to demolish centuries-old religious place of the minority community? How could we forget that the Ram Temple mobilisation sparked off violence and riots, taking the lives of 2000 people? How could we forget innocent people were injured, displaced and killed in the name of building a temple at a place where no historical evidence can suggest that it had existed there? How could we forget this tragedy? I think that December 6 was one of the darkest days in the Indian history. On that day, not only the domes of mosque was razed to the ground but also the pillars of secularism and democracy were broken. Justice, therefore, cannot ignore the questions of majoritarian tyranny, violation of law and order and the Constitution and mindless murder and violence. But the judgment today hurried to please the majoritarian sentiments constructed and maintained by the Hindutva forces. The so-called bench comprising several judges made a historical blunder to paint a false picture of 'India (read Hindus) being a tolerant and secular. We must not forget that "Collective Conscience of the People" was used to hang Afzal Guru. Today the same is used for building a temple and declaring "Ramlala" to be a juristic personality. The SC has Long lost its status of Sentinel it attributed to itself in 1952.

Justice can never be done without bringing perpetrators of the demolition of Babari Masjid to justice. L K Advani, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh; VHP leaders Ashok Singhal (deceased), Giriraj Kishore (deceased), Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Champat Rai Bansal; Shiv Sena leaders Bal Thackeray (deceased) and Moreshwar Save (deceased) are the main accused in the Babari Masjid demolition case along with many other BJP leaders as well as so called Car Sevaks who were present there and participated in the demolition of the historic mosque. 27 years have passed since the demolition of the mosque and CBI has not been able to do anything credible in the case. The political fortune of all the accused had grown disproportionately after the demolition of Babari Masjid and BJP tasted powers not only in various states but at the centre also. BJP (formerly Jan Sangh) struggled with their divisive agenda and could not convince the Indians to give them more than 2 seats in the 545-member parliament for nearly 40 years. The politicians found it beneficial to politicise the issue and claimed that the Mosque was built on the where a temple stood before, and Lord Ram was born exactly 11,000 years ago where the Mosque stands now. L K Advani, rallied up people to go destroy the Mosque. They destroyed the mosque, and right after that they got some 60 seats, and when they stirred up the passion of the "Hindutva" (Political Hindu fanaticism) to build Ram Temple they gained a majority in the house of Parliament. These politicians got the taste, and have continually sowed the seeds of discord between Hindus and Muslims and earned a super-majority in 2019 elections.

We must also not forget the fact that after the demolition of the Babri Mosque, the then Prime Minister P V Narsihma Rao promised the country that the Mosque would be built at the same place. It was not a party promise but a promise made by the government. When the court is asking the government to expedite the temple building process, which means asking the government to build the temple, which in any secular society is not desirable then why nobody reminded them that there is a solemn promise of a government to build the Babri Mosque which was, as rightly pointed out by eminent historian Romila Thapar, part of our cultural heritage. Though the court asked the government to provide the Sunni Waqf Board five acres of land to build a mosque, it remained silent on the government's promise to the nation that Narsimha Rao made. If the temple is to be constructed at exchequer's money then why not re-build the mosque which was promised by the Government of India.

I know my views are against the majoritarian frenzy. People around me are greeting me with 'Jai Sri Ram'. My conscience, let me say it clearly through your esteemed daily, does not allow me to celebrate a judgment that appear to "honour" the so-called majoritarian sentiment. The judgment that does not show courage to challenge the brute power of a majoritarian government cannot appeal to my conscience. In his famous book "Pakistan or Partition of India", Dr B R Ambedkar correctly wrote "If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will no doubt, be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. On that account it is incompatible with democracy. Hindu Raj must be prevented at any cost."
Rudra Sen

Proverbial Fight between Mongoose and Snake gets fiercer
After the Delhi Govt created a corpus of Rs 50 crores for the Welfare of Delhi lawyers, Arvind Kejriwal became the darling of the common lawyer of Delhi. With elections in Delhi around the corner, making Namo and Tadipar lose their precious nights' sleep. They were looking for an opportunity to get even. The instructions went out to the senior police officer's, don't lose a chance to terrorise lawyers wherever and whenever. The rest is known. Point blank shooting of a lawyer was part of the plan. It was done on instructions of very high ups. But plans went haywire as the action plan was implemented much in excess. Thats why senior police officers did not open their mouth before the High Court. That's why the HM was not traceable and did not react when over 2,000 policemen unprecedentedly protested against their own high-ups at the ITO Police HQs. The tables have been turned. Arvind Kejriwal's poll prospects on account of support of lawyers and unsettling of law and order in the Capital, appear brighter after Saturday 2nd November, despite the Godi media's every attempt to tarnish the lawyer. Without the AAP leader having to open his mouth. The proverbial fight between the mongoose and the snake gets fiercer.
Ideally, however, the police and the lawyers could have been the complementary arms of a peaceful, orderly society in the pursuit of the rule of law and social justice.
Aurobindo Ghose,
Human Rights Lawyer, New Delhi

"Will the 'Kishan' tribes ever get their identities?"
There are more than two lakhs and thirty-one hundred 'Kishan' tribes in West Bengal. Most of them live in the district of Malda. But the state government has not handed over their caste identities even though the 'Kishan' tribes of West Bengal comprise Indian tribes.
Malda district was pertained to Bhagalpur division of Bihar from 1876 to 1905. After 1905, Malda was pertained to Rajshahi division. Some 'Kishan' tribes of the same origin remained stay in the districts of Bihar. Again, a part of that tribe people came to live in a part of Purnia district which was called 'Diyara'. Actually, the climatic zone of diyara is suitable for agriculture. And the 'Kishan' tribes provide their livelihood through agriculture. This 'Diyara' area is comprised of Bhutni, Manikchak, Katahadiyara, Ratua, Kaliachak, Baisnabnagar, and some parts of English Bazar. Declaring Malda as a separate district, 'Diyara' area came under Malda district. As a result, the 'Kishan' tribes, along with other communities living in diyara, became the residents of newly formed Malda district. Those 'tribe' people belonging to Bihar of the same origin had gotten their 'Kishan' identities; but the people of 'Kishan' tribes in West Bengal are completely ignored even today without getting their 'tribe' identities.

After 70 years of independence, how long will these 'Kishan' tribes live in illiterate, backward socio-economic environment? Will the 'Kishan' tribes ever get their identities?
Sukanta Mandal

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Vol. 52, No. 22, Dec 1 - 7, 2019