Sep 072011


And there is one more bomb blast. This time, outside the Delhi High Court. Many are dead, many more are injured. The excuses and accusations have begun. As have the high pitched, almost frenzied, coverage of news channels. Everyone has a view as to whether the bombs were type x or type y. Whether group ‘A’ or group ‘B’ was involved. The old excuses are dusted out of the cupboard – where they have been sitting since the 26/11  attacks on  Mumbai and used 5 times since then.   Intelligence Failure is a standard excuse – and that is apparent. Security apparatus like CCTV’s and scanners not working, is another excuse – and that is also apparent. One just has to go to a mall to understand how lax either security or checking mechanisms are. The accusations group says that the Government is soft on terror. That India needs better anti terror laws. While both sides may have a point – more attacks take place, more families are bereaved and the intrinsic sense of safety and security lies in tatters.

The key department in the war against terror is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). However, if you look at their portfolio that is not all that they do. The MHA is divided into various departments and divisions that handle different aspects of the ministry’s portfolio.  The departments include :

  • The department of Border Management – dealing with management of borders, including coastal borders.
  • Department of Internal Security dealing with police, law and order and rehabilitation
  • Department of J & K Affairs –  dealing with the constitutional provisions in respect of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and all other matters relating to the State
  • Department of Home dealing with the notification of assumption of office by the President and Vice President, notification of appointment of the Prime Minister and other Ministers.
  • Department of Official Language – dealing with the implementation of the provisions of the Constitution relating to official languages and the provisions of the Official Languages Act, 1963.
  • Department of States – Dealing with Centre-State relations, Inter-State relations, Union Territories and Freedom Fighters’ pension

If you thought that wasn’t enough – there is more. The MHA is split up into 17 divisions –  each with its own area of expertise. These are the Administrative, Border Management, Centre State, Co-ordination Division, Disaster Management, Finance, Foreigners, Freedom Fighters & Rehabilitation, Human Rights, Internal Security, Jammu & Kashmir, Judicial, Naxal Management, North Eastern, Police, Police Modernisation, Policy Planning and finally Union Territories Divisions. Also, divisions like Internal Security & Police are further sub divided into discrete divisions with very different scope of work. For example, Internal Security 1 deals with internal security and law & order, while Internal Security 2 deals with Arms & Ammunition, Narcotics, and the National Security Act. Similarly, Police 1 is the cadre controlling authority vis-à-vis the IPS while Police 2 deals with Central Police Forces.

Essentially, if you were looking at this through the point of view of management – then what you have on your hands is Ministry that is creaking under the weight of all that it manages. Its span of control is too high, there are too few people at the top managing it – and it is muddled in terms of all the things that it does. In all likelihood a department that is supposed to co-ordinate between states is possibly keeping secrets from the division that is in charge of intra ministry co-ordination work & vice versa . Similarly, the Human Rights division may be in direct conflict with the Internal Security division.  From a management perspective such diverse roles are possibly going to end up in paralysis – and it actually shows from the way the ministry has been functioning. Centre State relationship is possibly at an all time low. Internal Security is in shambles. Police reforms are in cold storage. The judicial division seems to be suffering acute paralysis – be it in terms of the IPC or the CrPC. The Police Modernisation Division seems to be a figment of bureaucracy’s imagination.

To be effective the Ministry has to be restructured and re constituted. There needs to be coherence in the role of each ministry that is created.

  • The Minister for Home & Internal Security – Ideally speaking it will have 3 ministers of state reporting into the HM – the minister for law & order, the minister for Int. Security, and the minister for ‘borders’ including coastal boarders. it is responsible and accountable for law, order & security within the borders of the country. It could include both the Internal Security Divisions, work relating to Crime & Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), The Policy Planning Department, the Naxal Management Division and those aspects of J&K and the North East that deal with security. Ideally speaking it should spin off VIP security – also under its remit – as a separate department – with its own hierarchy – and let the police focus on Law and Order. Also this ministry would have the judicial division that deals with the IPC and the CrPC. It may also want to contemplate the setting up of a Central Prosecution Service. The ministry will also continue to look at   passport, visa, immigration, citizenship, overseas citizenship of India and related issues.
  • The Ministry for Federal Affairs – Possibly one of the most important ministries in the coming years. The role of this ministry is to ensure that there is adequate co-ordination between the states in terms of legislation, taxation, economic policies. This ministry should also look at the non-security related issues of J&K, the North Eastern States and the Union Territories. This Ministry will also look at the  implementation of the Constitutional and legal provisions relating to Official Languages.

Divisions such as the Human Rights Division could possibly move under the ambit of the NHRC – a statutory autonomous body, and the Disaster Management cell could move under the ambit of the NDMA – which in any case reports to the Prime Minister.


India is not Great Britain. The Ministry of Home Affairs based on the British Home Office may have worked in kinder gentler times. But, in an era of complexities you need specialized ministries. Better to split the function and deliver on each count rather than keep it all together and fall flat on all counts.


for those who are interested, the organisational chart for the MHA is here

Jul 272011

I grew up learning Carnatic Vocal music. Learnt the Veena for a while as well. But, today most of my music listening tends to be Hindustani Classical Music. Especially Vocal music. I find the form – which is non regimented – a delight to hear. Here a typical raga – let’s say Bhairavi – sung by two different exponents from two different gharanas – and the experience will be completely different.

Generally the full form of Hindustani Classical music is often forbidding for a new comer. It seems to be a lot of “aa aa aa aa” (as my brother once told me). That is the singer exploring and expounding on the Raga. Its a pleasure and a revelation. For example, one of my favorite ragas is Miyan ki Todi and my favorite singer is Bhimsen Joshi. I have 9 long forms of this Raga sung at various concerts, at different points of times in his life. Each is a different experience for the listener, but also in the way the singer explores and weaves his magic.

A good starting point for the newbie to Hindustani classical Music is the myriad Hindi film songs composed in a number of ragas and sung by popular singers and for a variety of moods and seasons. Atleast that is the way I began. there used be this morning show on All India Radio – its still on – called sur sangam. It explores a raga. It tells you the unique aspects of the Raga. It discusses the raga with a classical singer. It plays a classical piece and it plays a film song. A great primer and a great introduction to the genre. Semi classical music – such as Thumris, classical Qawalis and classical Bhajans can also be a great way of picking up various ragas. Thumris are love songs. They look at various aspects of love – from the anticipation of meeting the lover, to the joys of being with the lover, to the throes of despair on separation. Depedning on the Gharana – the thumri can be sung as a yearning for the lover or yearning for God (the bhakti ras).

One of the most famous Thumri’s in Hindustani Classical music is Babul Mora. It was composed by Wajid Ali Shah (played by Amjad Khan in the film Shatranj Ke Khiladi) the deposed ruler of Oudh during his exile in Calcutta. It is supposed to be the longing of a woman for her maternal home. Having said that the best renditions of the song have been by men.


This is Bhimsen Joshi – live in concert at Baroda – singing Babul Mora

Part 2 is here

And, of course, the version that made it popular amongst the masses. Kundan Lal Saigal singing Babul Mora in Devdas



I actually didn’t manage to get the camera out today. Completely busy. Started the morning by signing a contract with Film Orbit for running Jhing Chik Jhing on their site. Also interesting conversations on content. interesting possibilities.

this is one i shot yesterday

30 day Project Day 20 -rings


Pakistan has sent their young and extremely photogenic foreign minister, Mrs.Hina Rabbani Khar,to India. the Indian news media – which has the collective IQ and sense of a retarted hedgehog seems to be fida on her. Completely forgetting the Bombay Blasts, 26/11 and all the other dead from all the other blasts and other terrorist strikes that have originated across the border. She arrived on the day of the Kargil victory and promplty met Kashmiri separatists in Delhi. Maybe we should let her host a dinner party for Dawood Ibrahim in Parliament grounds … after all it is important to achieve peace for our time.

Jul 242011

Strange sort of a Sunday. A domesticated sort of a Sunday. Can almost hear myself go Moo.

I cooked – Pasta with tomato and veggie sauce. Something deeply therapeutic about assembling a dish from fresh ingredients rather than opening a bottle of pasta sauce and pretending to cook.

Chopping onions, pureeing tomato, mincing garlic, slicing carrots, dicing capsicum, nuking corn ….So much better than beating up people :D. I wonder if this is why women are so much calmer than men. The inner desire to commit homicide is sublimated through violence against vegetables (or meat).


I read quite a bit – lots of articles. and the next chapter in “Poor Economics”

Some good reads today:

The Murder of Linguistic History -in the Express Tribune by Dr Tariq Rahman. Fascinating insights into Hindi and Urdu. here the author talks about the various names of Hindi :…

… emerges that the ancestor of Urdu and Hindi was called by the following names: Hindi, Hindvi (13th-19th century); Dehlavi (13th-14th c.); Gujri (15th c.); Dakhani (15th-18th c.); Indostan (17th c.); Moors (18th c.); Rekhta (18th-19th c.); Hindustani (18th-20th c.).


“Nowadays we use the term ‘Urdu’ for Persianised Khari Boli written in the Perso-Arabic script and Hindi for Sanskritised Khari Boli written in the Devanagari script. “

both languages are equally alien to me – my mother tongue is Tamil, I have been brought up in Maharashta, and schooled in English. I can understand the simpler forms of other Indian languages – including Gujarati or Bangla – even able to follow films with out sub titles. but, flounder at the more purist form of Language

I completely understand the Hindi of the older Hindi films – Hindustani. But give me a series like Chanakya – which uses heavily Sanskritised Hindi, or a film like Taj Mahal – which is highly Persianised urdu and my eyes glaze over. I know the essence of what is being spoken, but not what is spoken in its entirety . Mostly its a guessing game – fuzzy interpretation of language.

There was a piece in on how the Mumbai suburban train system is adopting small steps to reduce death on the tracks. (LT- @pragmatic_d)

On average, 10 people die daily by being hit as they’re crossing the tracks. Track trespassing is the largest everyday cause of unnatural deaths in Mumbai.
For just over a year, however, an experiment at Wadala station, on the Central Line, has been hinting at unorthodox solutions to this problem. On the surface, the experiment involves small, odd changes. Certain railway ties have been painted bright yellow; a new kind of signboard has been installed near the tracks; engine drivers have modified the way they hoot their warning whistles.

A manifesto for a Muslim-free Europe, an Infidel-free Middle East – by Imran Khan in the Al Jazeera Blogs – makes for a chilling read. The author compares two hate manifestos – both available freely.

The challenge for us who believe that violence – religious or otherwise – can never be justified, is how we stop lone figures and small cells from attacking us without destroying the very freedoms we care for.

Should these documents be somehow wiped from the web, or should they be allowed to exist? Not easy questions.

Do our governments have a solution?

And while we are on the subject, should I even be writing about the documents?

Yes, is answer to that one. As I said earlier, free speech is an absolute. And so is social cohesion. Which is just ‘political speak’ for “Why can’t we all just get along? Evil will always exist in the world, but we are not born that way.”

Incidentally, Al Jazeera blogs has some of the best writing on the web – you may not agree with everything. But, it is kind of boring to only read things that you agree with

Predictably articles from across the globe were focused on the massacre in Norway. Among the more interesting columns were

Obviously more in the next few days …

The BBC website had a fairly interesting piece on famous musicians who died at the age of 27. This was obviously in response to Amy Winehouse’ accidental death yesterday.

There was a fabulous piece on Transmedia in the MIPBLOG

There were some great columns on Murdoch – Press Ownership and Press Regulation – this and this in the Economist, and this by Christopher Hitchens in the Slate and this by Carl Bernstein in the Newsweek where he asks if phone hacking is Murdoch’s Watergate

No. before you ask – I didn’t read too many Indian papers today – I need a break from the combative style of communication. I don’t live in a war zone where everything is screwed up, and I don’t like being made to feel that way. Tomorrow – well tomorrow is another day 😀

And, of course on the 20th anniversary of Economic Liberalisation, I read the speech of the then FM – and the current PM Dr.Manmohan Singh. do read – it is brilliant.

barriers to entry and limits on growth in the size of firms, have often led to a proliferation of licensing and an increase in the degree of monopoly. This has put shackles on segments of Indian industry and made them serve the interests of producers but not pay adequate attention to the interests of consumers. (pg. 3)

it has therefore become necessary to take effective measures so as to make the public sector an engine of growth rather than an absorber of national savings without adequate return. (pg. 4)

India stands at the cross-roads. The decisions we take and do not take, at this juncture, will determine the shape of things to come for quite some time. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that an intense debate rages throughout the country as to the path we should adopt. In a democratic society it could not be otherwise. What can we learn from this debate? The most important thing that comes out clearly is that we cannot realise our goal of establishing a just society, if we abandon the planning process. But India’s future development depends crucially on how well the planning process is adapted to the needs of a fast changing situation. I believe that without an intelligent and systematic coordinated resource use in some major sectors of our economy, development will be lopsided. It will violate deeply cherished values of equity and it will keep India well below its social, intellectual and moral potential. But our planning processes must be sensitive to the needs of a dynamic economy. Over centralisation and excessive bureaucratisation of economic processes have proved to be counter productive. We need to expand the scope and the area for the operation of market forces. A reformed price system can be a superior instrument of resource allocation than quantitative controls. But markets can only serve those who are part of the market system. A vast number of people in our country live on the edges of a subsistence economy. We need credible programmes of direct government intervention focussing on the needs of these people. We have the responsibility to provide them with quality social services such as education, health, safe drinking water and roads. (pg.7)

we must restore to the creation of wealth its proper place in the development process. For, without it, we cannot remove the stigma of
abject poverty, ignorance and disease. But we cannot accept social misery and inequity as unavoidable in the process of creation of wealth. The basic challenge of our times is to ensure that wealth creation is not only tempered by equity and justice but is harnessed to the goal of removal of poverty and development for all. (pg.8)

my purpose is not to give a fillip to mindless and heartless consumerism we have borrowed from the affluent societies of the West. My objection to the consumerist phenomenon is two-fold. First, we cannot afford it. In a society where we lack drinking water, education, health, shelter and other basic necessities, it would be tragic if our productive resources were to be devoted largely to the satisfaction of the needs of a small minority. The
country’s needs for water, for drinking and for irrigation, rural roads, good urban infrastructure, and massive investments in primary education and basic health services for the poor are so great as to effectively preclude encouragement to consumerist behaviour imitative of advanced industrial societies. Our approach to development has to combine efficiency with austerity. Austerity not in the sense of negation of life or a dry, arid creed that casts a baleful eye on joy and laughter. To my mind, austerity is a way of holding our society together in pursuit of the noble goal of banishing poverty, hunger and disease from this ancient land of ours.(pg.8)

Do Read – 31 pages of the most significant course correction in Modern Indian history. And, a lot that is said here is still valid today.


No. I didn’t shoot anything worthwhile today. Tried to shoot droplets of oil  floating on water but was too afraid of the lens getting steamed up.

But I heard some great music. The fabulous Kaushiki Chakraborty singing a thumri in raga Mishra Chraukesi

Jul 192011

Penguin had brought out an entire series of books last year (14 to be precise) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Indian Republic. Called Words of Freedom – Ideas of a Nation – the series covers a number of luminaries who were at the forefront of the freedom struggle. When I chanced upon this one by Dr.Ambedkar – last week when i placed my order, I wasn’t aware of the other 13. The rest have gone onto my wishlist.




The Ambedkar volume is a collection of speeches. In this post i will quote extensively from the first of these speeches. If Democracy Dies, it will be our Doom – is an Address by Dr. Ambedkar at the All India Depressed Classes Conference held at Nagpur on the 18th of July 1942 – 70 years to date… and the issues he writes about resonate even today.

It is a matter of immense satisfaction that the Untouchables have made great strides along all sides. I will particularise only three. They have acquired a degree of political consciousness which few communities in India have acquired. Secondly, they have made considerable progress in Education. Thirdly they are securing a foothold in the institutions and in the public service of the country. (pg5 &6)

Progress in the competition of communities is the result of power. The power may be economic, it may be social or it may be political. Have we the power to sustain our progress? Have we economic power? I am sure we have none. We are a class of serfs. Have we social power? I am sure we have none. We are a degraded portion of humanity. The only thing, therefore, we can depend upon for our continued progress is the capture of political power. I have no doubt that is our only salvation, and that without it we will perish. (pg. 9)

Let me begin by telling you what has been the keynote of my politics. … The basis of my politics lies in the proposition that the Untouchables are not a sub-head or a sub-section of the Hindus, and that they are a separate and a distinct element in the national life of India. (pg.10)

He then goes on to discuss his issues with Mahatma Gandhi on the inclusion of Dalits as a sub-section of Hindus. He says that though he signed the Poona Pact to save the life of Mr.Gandhi, he believed that Gandhi played unfair by never giving his true and honest consent to the principle underlying the Poona Pact.

He then talks about the Muslim League and his opposition to them and in particular the new equation of values set up by them. It also gives a glimpse of why the talks between the Congress and the Muslim League failed – repeatedly. Jinnah, possibly, didn’t want an agreement.

The Equation says that the Muslims, whatever their numbers, are just equal to non-Muslims and therefore, in any political arrangement the Muslims must get fifty percent. To this equation no one can consent. Not only it is against arithmetic; it is also against the interest of all non-Muslim including the Untouchable. (pg.18 and 19)

He then goes on to give advice to his audience:

…you must insist on being recognized as an independent and separate element in the national life of India. The theory that they are only a sub-section of the Hindus must be fought tooth and nail. Failure to get the Untouchables recognized as a distinct element, separate from the Hindus, will keep them submerged and lead to their suppression and degradation. (pg 20)

He also says –

We suffer from bad administration and not from bad laws. The administration is bad because it is in the hand of the Caste Hindus, who carry their social prejudices into administration and persistently deny to the Untouchables for one reason or another the principle of equal benefit to which they are entitled. Good Laws can do you no good unless you have good administration and you can have good administration when you have persons belonging to the Untouchables holding high administrative posts from which they could watch how other Hindu civil servants are behaving towards the Untouchables and to check them, control them and prevent them from doing mischief. (pg. 21)

And for those of you who say reservation – here is the GoI figures on reservation in the administrative services :


Secy Addl. Secy Joint Secy Director
Total No. of officers 149 108 477 590
No. of SCs 2 31 17
% age of SCs 1.85 6.49 2.88
No. of STs 4 2 15 7
% age of STs 2.68 1.85 3.14 1.18

( The number of officers presently working as Secretary, Additional  Secretary, Joint Secretary and Director level posts, in the Government of India and the number of SC and ST officers on these posts and their percentage, as  on 14.3.201)

And the almost prescient Dr.Ambedkar has this to say

“It is, however, not enough to ask for mere reservation. It is necessary to insist that such reservation shall be given effect to within a stated period. This is far more essential than mere reservation. For, unless you fix a period, the reservation will not come. It will be evaded on one ground or another and of course on the usual and unfathomable ground that no suitable candidate was available. We all know to a Hindu, if he is the appointing authority, no candidate from the Untouchables would be a suitable candidate. “(pg.21)

And finally in this speech he talks about the solution. He ends by talking about the support for the British war effort against the Nazis.

This is a war between democracy and dictatorship – not an enlightened dictatorship but a dictatorship of the most barbarous character based not on any moral idea but on racial arrogance. If any dictatorship needs to be destroyed it is this vile Nazi dictatorship. Amidst all the political dissensions that one witnesses in this country …we are likely to forget what a menace to our future this Nazism, if it wins, is going to be. What is more important is that its racial basis is a positive danger to Indians. (pg.26)

Looks like people flirted with the Nazi ideology even then.

He continues:

…There lies on us a very heavy duty to see that democracy does not vanish from the earth as a governing principle of human relationship. If we believe in it, we must be both true and loyal to it. We must not only be staunch in our faith in democracy but we must resolve to see that in whatever we do, we don not help the enemies of democracy to uproot the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. …. If democracy lives, we are sure to reap the fruits of it. If democracy dies, it will be our doom (pg.27)


Such vision. Such clarity. Such empathy. Still relevant after 70 years ..


And in case you are wondering, i reject Dr.Swamy’s ideology – it goes against everything I believe in. Everything that I believe to be sacred.

I may support his right to express, but i will fight his ideology with all that I can and all that i have.
And finally, the photograph for today.

It was raining cats and dogs and buffaloes and cows – almost for a week. The lakes are full, and the roads have become the moon crater. I couldn’t bear driving any more so I took a rick yesterday. This was the view through the wind screen. The “Ram” is a sticker – the two red lights belong to cars stranded ahead of the rick. It is almost like giving me a glimmer of hope on a dark and stormy day…

30 day Project Day 14 - red2

May 312011

It seems to be open season on formulating legislation… Everyone and his idiot cousin has gotten onto the bandwagon. And, underlying this desire to legislate to solve India’s problems lies a deeply fascist thought -” I know better than you. I care more than you and therefore I have the right to take over your life and the way you live it – and rule it with an iron hand”. … a deeply dangerous thought. Be it Anna Hazare and his bunch of Jan Lok Pal supporters or the NAC and its Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill – the assumption of I know better than you, and if you oppose me you are pro corruption and pro communal violence – is a dangerous trend in a political space that is already polarised.

Both corruption and communal violence are the bane of Indian society .. but, having unimplementable laws that create monolithic institutions with a concentration of power is not the solution. The solution is far simpler ..implement the laws that exist.

With both the bills I am going to assume “good intention” – i have no reason to believe that those behind the Jan Lok Pal Bill or the PCTV bill have any malicious intent. I am also going to assume that they genuinely care about the problem at hand – corruption and communal violence. My views on the Jan Lok Pal bill is fairly well known to anyone following this blog or my twitter stream (i think i went bonkers at that time and flooded mine & other people’s timelines with my opposition to the bill). Friends asked me – why are you supporting corruption. And, the answer was simple – I wasn’t. I just didnt want one unaccountable system replaced with another even more draconian unaccountable body.

Last week when the Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence Bill came out and I posted on twitter that it was flawed – very flawed  and that the BJP should turn up in Parliament to properly debate both this and the JLP — rather than posturing in TV studios. A friend called me up and asked me when I changed sides and moved from being Secular to being Communal. I was zapped. And hurt.  I haven’t been brought up to be communal. I detest communal thought, behaviour and attitudes. I have always spoken out agaisnt them – and yet, my opposition to the proposed bill was getting me labelled as Communal.

So if I am not communal, and I hate riots, why do I oppose the bill. The answer is simple- because I have read it. What am I against? well,

  • It is anti the Republic of India.
  • It is against the basic principles of non discrimination
  • It violates the rights of the States
  • It violates the rights of individuals.
  • It over rides the basis of the criminal justice system and says “guilty by association” and ‘guilty until proved innocent’.

And that is just for a start.

See these definitions:

  • e) “group” means a religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clauses (24) and (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution of India;

What happens if the Tamils and the Biharis in Maharashtra riot against each other ? is it a communal riot or is it a friendly skirmish ?

What happens if a SC ‘group’ that is Buddhist riots against a ST group that is Christian ? obviously another friendly skirmish. What happens if a Maharashtrian Hindu family in Dharavi ( predominantly settled by Tamilians of all religions) is attacked – is the Maharashtrian Hindu family a majority or a minority ? Are the people who died in the train compartment in Godhra – marjority or minority or simply victims… what a discriminatory clause !!

  • j) “victim” means any person belonging to a group as defined under this Act, who has suffered physical, mental, psychological or monetary harm or harm to his or her property as a result of the commission of any offence under this Act, and includes his or her relatives, legal guardian and legal heirs, wherever appropriate;

so if there is a riot in Mumbai between a majority community – either linguistic or religious – and a minority community – either linguistic or religious -and I – a minority – cannot get to work for 5 days – have i suffered monetary harm ?

  • 4 – Knowledge.- A person is said to knowingly direct any act against a person belonging to a group by virtue of such person’s membership of that group where:(a) he or she means to engage in the conduct against a person he or she knows belongs to that group; or,(b) with the knowledge that the person belongs to a group, he or she means to cause injury or harm to such person because of the membership of such person to that group.

At the risk of sounding stupid, how do you prove this ?

  • 8 – Hate propaganda.– Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, whoever publishes, communicates or disseminates by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise acts inciting hatred causing clear and present danger of violence against a group or persons belonging to that group, in general or specifically, or disseminates or broadcasts any information, or publishes or displays any advertisement or notice, that could reasonably be construed to demonstrate an intention to promote or incite hatred or expose or is likely to expose the group or persons belonging to that group to such hatred, is said to be guilty of hate propaganda.

ok – if we write vehemently against the Khap Panchayats – and let us say that the people rise up against the Khap Panchayat, and maybe beat them up – is it hate propaganda ?

  • 10. Aiding financially, materially or in kind for commission of offence under this Act.– Whoever knowingly expends or supplies any money or any material or aids in kind thereof, in furtherance or in support of an act which is an offence under this Act is said to be guilty of aiding financially in the commission of an offence under this Act.

again, at the risk of sounding stupid, how do you prove this ?

  • 13. Dereliction of duty.- When any person who is or was a public servant not removable from his or her office save by or with the sanction of the Central Government or State Government, as the case may be, authorized to act under any provision of this Act:(a) exercises the authority vested in him or her colourably or in a manner otherwise than provided under law for the time being in force, which causes or is likely to lead to an offence of communal and targeted violence or by which he or she intends to screen or knowing it to be likely that he or she will thereby screen any person from legal punishment; or, (b) omits to exercise lawful authority vested in him or her under law, without reasonable cause, thereby fails to prevent the commission of communal and targeted violence, breach of public order or disruption in the maintenance of services and supplies essential to a group,shall be guilty of dereliction of duty.

Wow – how do you prove colourable …

  • 20. Power of Central Government in relation to Organised Communal and Targeted Violence.- The occurrence of organised communal and targeted violence shall constitute “internal disturbance” within the meaning of and the Central Government may take such steps in accordance with the duties mentioned thereunder, as the nature and circumstances of the case so requires.

The referernce cited here is Article 355 – which says

Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution

Article 355 of the Constitution is followed by Article 356 – which calls for President’s Rule.

Chapter 4 calls for the setting up of a National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice & Reparation – I don’t have too much of issue with the idea of the body, except that communal harmony cannot be brought about by a National Authority – it is brought about by equitable policy and ensuring that diverse groups – and India is a country of unimaginable diversity – have equal access & opportunity. What i do have an issue with is the following:

  • 31. Functions of the National Authority.- The National Authority shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely:-(a) inquire or investigate, suo motu or upon any information or otherwise received in relation to the:(i) occurrence or likely occurrence of offences of communal and targeted violence in the manner prescribed by rules under this Act;(ii) negligence in the prevention of communal and targeted violence by public servants.(b) receive and collect information on:(i) any acts that indicate a build up by State or non-state actors of offences under this Act;(ii) any form of communication, propaganda, mobilisation or the activities of persons, which may promote enmity or hatred against groups.(c) entertain appeals against decisions of the State Assessment Committee in relation to non-inclusion of names of persons under section 98.(d) issue advisories and make recommendations, in relation to clause (a) above and section 32, to State and non-state actors;(e) frame, in consultation with the Central Government, schemes for relief, reparation and restitution of all persons entitled under section 90 including those registered under section 98;(f) frame, in consultation with the Central Government, guidelines in relation to the prevention and control of communal and targeted violence;(g) receive regular reports at least once every quarter on incidents, outbreaks and patterns of communal and targeted violence from all State Authorities constituted under this Act;(h) visit, under intimation to the State Government, any relief camp under the control of the State Government, where persons registered under section 98 are lodged to review the living conditions of such persons;(i) visit, under intimation to the Central Government or the State Government, any jails or any other institution under the control of the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, where persons are detained or lodged for the purposes of inquiry or investigation into any offence under this Act;(j) observe proceedings in court in relation to any offence punishable under this Act either through Members of the State Authority or by appointing independent observers;(k) intervene in any proceeding, involving any allegation of communal and targeted violence pending before a court, with approval of such court;(l) such other functions that it may consider necessary for the preservation of communal harmony and prevention and control of communal and targeted violence.

Wonderful – and why do we have the Parliament, Cabinet, Judiciary, State Governments, Police, Bureaucracy  .. shall we disband all of them and hand over power to the National Authority ?

And, if you think that this is bad – check out the powers of the National Authority :

  • 33. Powers of the National Authority.- (1) The National Authority in the fulfillment of its objectives and in furtherance of its functions shall have the following powers, namely:-(a) requisitioning information from the:(i) Central government, any State government or concerned Union Territory or any of their officers or departments; or(ii) non-state actors;(b) appointing any person to observe, gather facts and information, inquire on its behalf;(c) issue directions to State Authorities in relation to the conduct of any inquiry.Provided that any direction issued by the National Authority to any State Authority shall be binding on the State Authority.

I can see a whole bunch of States standing up and screaming, violation of Federal Compact …

  • 41. Statutory Information.- (1) It shall be the duty of any District Magistrate or Police Commissioner having knowledge or information of patterns and incidents of outbreaks of communal and targeted violence or anticipating any of these, to report to the National Authority in writing without any delay.(2). All reports received by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Home Departments of all State Governments, and District Magistrates relating to communal and targeted violence, build-up and possibilities thereof and advisories related therein shall be sent to the National Authority without any delay.

lovely – combined this with the dereliction of duty clause, every time someone sneezes – you are going to have a despatch sent to the National Authority saying ‘riot’.


Chapter 5 deals with State Authorities that report to the National Authority.

Chapter 6 deals with Investigation, Prosecution and Trial – and the setting up of Special Public Prosecutors and to appoint designated judges

chapter 7 deals with Relief, Reparation and Restitution


I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind supporting this Bill – it is draconian, goes against the principles of Federalism and deeply flawed. Between this and the Jan Lok Pal Bill – with all their good intentions  – they are going to destroy the Republic of India….

A riot is about hate,  murder, arson, rape, and violence – while you may not be able to legislate hate, the rest are under its purview – apply the laws that exist.  Don’t create new super agencies with a concentration of power.