Aadhaar

Sorry Justice Chandrachud, I don’t trust judiciary

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

All too often we hear our honourable judges speak about the “trust” the people of the country have in the institution of judiciary. I am one of the people and unfortunately, I lack complete trust in judiciary, one of the four founding pillars of our democracy.

My angst today is on reading in Indian Express the contents of an alleged letter Supreme Court judge, Justice DY Chandrachud wrote to his colleague Justice Bobde who is heading a three-member in-house panel, presently hearing a sexual complaint charge against the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

Before I discuss the content of the letter, I must point out my unease over such leaks which appear to happen by design than any act of intrepid journalism.  Readers would recall a fortnight ago, how the letter of ex woman-staffer against the CJI reached almost at the same time to four news web portals, three of whom are identified with pro-Left leanings. All of these websites prepared almost the same questionnaire for CJI Ranjan Gogoi to answer and sent it to the latter around the same time!!! So much for coincidence.

Then look at how events unfolded. If you pay heed to events of last fortnight, you would learn a great deal how our democracy is sabotaged. First a charge is made. Then the CJI says there are “bigger forces” at work…that it’s a conspiracy to deactivate the office of the CJI.” He also asks media to show restraint. Supreme Court also takes note of a lawyer alleging he has proof that it’s a plot to neutralize CJI. On viewing the lawyer’s content, SC judges are so alarmed that they summon chiefs of Police, CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in private chamber even as the hearing is on!!! A three-member panel is appointed under the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP). The woman-complainant shows no trust in the panel and quits.  The panel, meanwhile, continues its deliberations.

This entire episode has two sides: One, of the woman-complainant and whether she is being given fair hearing or not. Two, of the “plot” which could “deactivate” the office of CJI as part of a larger “conspiracy.” Let’s call the two sides of story as Story A and Story B.

Now readers, do tell me if you have seen our newspapers discuss Story B at all. The “conspiracy” angle has already been given a quiet burial. For our newspapers, it’s a dud issue. All their energy is on Story A which could be genuine but could also be a part of a “plot.” What if this entire episode is meant to subvert Indian judiciary?

The next logical question is: why certain media houses are so palpably partisan in this case? Or are they themselves a part of the “conspiracy”? Edits are written almost every day. Why no lens are trained on CBI, Police and ED who are probing the “conspiracy” angle.  Why “news leaks” are not emerging from these probing agencies as they are “managed” from the hallowed precincts of Supreme Court judiciary?

Now let’s cast a look at Justice DY Chandrachud’s letter which Indian Express has got hold of. In the letter, as per Indian Express, Justice DY Chandrachud demands a full court in the sexual-complaint case; not only suggests retired women judges in an expanded court but also who these three ex-judges should be; apparently going for judges who are “apolitical and above board”. Justice DY Chandrachud’s letter “was not an individual view but conveyed the sense of disquiet among judges of the apex court after informal consultations with more than 17 judges,” as per Indian Express.

Indian Express reveals that Justice Chandrachud in his letter has raised fundamental questions “for the reputation of the Supreme Court…because people repose `trust in us’ as we are `fair-minded’ and “even-handed.”

Sorry Your Honour. Trust comes with conduct. Neither did I find the press conference of four SC judges last year an action of inspiring “trust” nor does it help that your letter appears to be an act of interference in the functioning of an ongoing three-member panel probe. I have no problem when you dissent on the scope of “Aadhaar” or give a verdict in favour of women devotees in Sabrimala Temple case but this is trespassing in your fellow judges’ domain and functioning.  I am not sure if your attempt “for the reputation of the Supreme Court” actually has ended up damaging it. Your father, retired Justice YY Chandrachud, the longest-serving Chief Justice of India, once was part of the SC bench which abrogated the right of life under the Emergency. I hope future jurists won’t view your present “letter” as a seminal moment in India’s judiciary.

As an aside, I ask readers to read a few reports of Vibhor Anand, a young Supreme Court lawyer, who in his various twitter threads has claimed that judiciary is “fixed” and that appointments of judges in both High Court and Supreme Court are managed at the behest of corporate lobby.  Our judiciary is in dire need of a clean-up. But how do you bell the cat which has all sweeping powers in the form of the Collegium they themselves operate in an opaque manner? 

Why Indians have short memory and how it puts their lives at risk

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

Brahma Chellaney, a trusted voice, laments in Hindustan Times today that Indians suffer from a short memory.

He cites three instances around the macabre 26/11 attacks in Mumbai which lasted four days.

One, that nobody remembers Tukaram Omble, a junior police officer who held the barrel of Kasab’s AK-47 on to his chest to make sure it hits only him and his other colleagues could swoop on the Pakistani terrorists unharmed.

Two, that all the 10 Pakistani terrorists were wearing red string wristbands for Hindus that Pakistan-American David Headley got for them from Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple. But for Kasab’s confession, the narrative of “saffron terror”, peddled so in Manmohan Singh’s government as witnessed in 2006-2007 blasts in Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express, would’ve received another heavy coat.

Three, that the Kartarpur Corridor had its cornerstone laid on the 10th anniversary of 26/11. One could imagine Pakistan’s generals and politicians doubling up in mirth at Indians’ absence of memory.

I bring all this up to drive home a larger point. People don’t remember because in-your-face newspapers decide that for you. They decide what you remember and what you don’t. Often what they hide is more relevant than what they choose to reveal.

So they ensure you remember “Karkare” because Pragya Sadhvi has taken his name—and never Tukaram Omble.

That you remember Modi, Shah, Yogi Adityanad as divisive and not Omar Abdullah who has given call for two Prime Ministers in the country. Or that Mehbooba Mufti has warned “Hindustanis” they would be wiped out from the history books.

That Rahul Gandhi could lie  on the shoulders of Supreme Court for his “Chowkidar Chor Hai” agenda but you wouldn’t know a thing why Rahul Gandhi himself is on bail in the National Herald case. That Rahul Gandhi’s shady deals with evidence is in public domain; India’s finance minister (Arun Jaitley) subsequently held a press conference on the matter but not a line is to be seen in any mainstream English daily of the country.

 

That Supreme Court could induce “mediation” on the matter of Ayodhya but not in equally contentious “Sabrimala” issue.

That the settlement of Rohingyas is a human rights issue but not 5 lakh Hindus displaced from Kashmir.

Not  a word on same Rohingyas, at least a lakh of them, and how they are settled in Jammu when under Article 35A other Indians can’t buy property in J&K.

That stopping Bangladeshi infiltrators is a human rights issue but allowing persecuted Hindus from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan is an attempt to erode the cultural compass of a state.

That even after helping a Muslim and a Dalit to become the President of India, BJP is an anti-Dalit party and not Abdullahs and Muftis who have refused voting rights to lakhs of  “Valmikis”, brought from Punjab on that explicit promise in 1957 to fill the post of “safai karamcharis (sweepers)” on strike.

That why RSS is a communal organization and not SDPI or PFI, identified as a terrorist network by National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and who are in alliance with Congress in Wayanad where Rahul Gandhi is contesting.

That BJP is a threat to institutions such as judiciary, RBI and CBI but not Mamata Banerjee who allows investigating CBI officers to be manhandled and forcibly kept in a police station. Or Congress who invokes impeachment of the Chief Justice of India and called the army chief a “goonda.” Or when Mamata doesn’t allow opponents to hold public rallies in Bengal.

That a police officer killed in Uttar Pradesh points to the deteriorating law and order situation in the state but spate of murders in states like West Bengal and Kerala is par for the course.

That EVMs, VVPATs or Aadhaar are a threat to people’s rights and democracy but not the lies of Congress and AAP leaders who refuse to take up the challenge of Election Commission and yet indulge in an event in London to show how “EVMs” are hackable—and fail miserably in that.

That Amit Shah’s son has made “millions” in crooked deals but the three-year-old Devansh, grandson of Chandrababu Naidu, somehow has assets of nearly Rs 20 crores and still not worth readers’ attention.

That Congress could promise “nyay” and Rs 72,000 in poor’s pockets without a single reader being told that it’s not feasible, that Congress hasn’t delivered on most of their promises in 70 years; and that Rs 72k annually to poor would be pick-pocketed from the middle class and would easily put our inflation into double figures.

Why there is no credible book on the macabre tales of The Partition?  Why the mention of Subhas Chandra Bose, BR Ambedkar, Lal Bahadur Shastri or Sardar Patel wouldn’t produce more than 50 words from majority of us? Why the torture suffered by Veer Savarkar in “kaala paani” in Andamans is no memory while Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in “home-like” prisons was such a sacrifice? Why Nathuram Godse and his book on his trial subsequent to Mahatma Gandhi’s murder why banned for more than 20 years? Why not a single copy of Niyogi Commission’s report on the menace of “conversion” by Christians is available anywhere?  How come Kashmir Valley, which had only 3 districts to Jammu’s 6 districts, were brought on par to the extent it has 46 seats to Jammu’s 37?

One could go on endlessly. But the narrative is the same: Lutyens Media and Leftist websites work on an agenda, brainwash readers and do it with impunity because the counter-narrative—run primarily by Swarajyamag, OpIndia and NewsBred—is only recent. Unless more such forums mushroom; unless readers are questioning, until the laws of the land haul these newspapers up for their lies and manipulation, unafraid of the so-called “Freedom of Press”refuge to these miserables, Indians would continue to have short memory and the repercussions would be grave.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Mainstream Media wants to keep you “uneducated”

There is a good reason to believe that mainstream English newspapers in India keep masses uneducated. Most of it stems from bias. A lot has also to do because journos themselves are uneducated. They can’t speak or write on any subject coherently. At best they are quote-renters. At worse, remotely controlled by compromised bosses, politically aligned. The whiff of money and power also keeps them drugged.

Look at the data issue currently clouding our mornings. Aadhaar of course is unpalatable to these journos. In the name of data breach, for months at end, the mainstream media is trying to discredit it. So when Union Minister of State, KJ Alphons made a spirited defence of it, Hindustan Times on its front page accused him for kicking up a “fresh row.” The stable of Times of India called it “bizarre.” Indian Express buried it on Page 10.

What Mr Minister has done is to ask a few simple questions:

  • Aadhaar only asks for your name and address to go with identification. When a telephone directory can have your name and address, why not Aadhaar?
  • When you apply for US Visa, everything of yours, including your body, is laid bare, so why object Aadhaar?
  • Not a single breach of Aadhaar data has occurred in the past three-and-a-half years.

A sensible and responsible media ought to have reflected and posed these questions to its readers in response:

  • When you give your personal details to earn loyalty points and discounts in a shopping mall, why not Aadhaar?
  • When you give your personal details for mobile numbers, Facebook, banks and passports, why not Aadhaar?
  • When in order to get a blue tick on twitter, you give all your personal information, why not Aadhaar?

Yet, all we get is the minister being accused of being “bizarre” and “kicking up a row.” Row? Who’s in opposition? Obviously the mainstream media itself is offended and nobody else.

Never would you see an English mainstream media applauding Aadhaar for ostensibly eliminating fake subsidies, throwing out middlemen out and; securing direct subsidies to poor and needy. Damn it, I would let government put every bit of me under a scanner if the rampant corruption could be rooted out.

Those in support of corrupt practices are obviously corrupt. The implication is clear for mainstream media. Yet in the name of privacy, they are using hammers and axes of lies everyday to dismantle Aadhaar. And to keep us “uneducated” on Aadhaar’s overwhelming benefits.

Since “data breach” is the current flavour, in the wake of Facebook outrage,the English mainstream media has gone berserk on the NaMo App. Indian Express has spilled over columns and pages in ugly multi-layered headlines on NaMo App to convey private information of its users are being passed on to US companies. This has followed on Rahul Gandhi claiming that the Prime Minister is “spying” on “personal data” of users.

Now all these dim-wit English mainstream media would never care to inform its readers that one could use NaMo App without giving any information. Yes, without giving any information!

The attempt clearly is to hijack the current outrage over Cambridge Analytica’s alleged data theft of Facebook users. Yet English mainstream media would hide the most logical fact from its readers and indulge in hysteria.

Readers ought to be aware of a very common tactics used by these presstitutes while running down BJP and Prime Minister Modi.   Whenever a valid accusation is made by BJP against its opponents—like the engaging of Cambridge Analtyica by Congress—a counter allegation is hurled at BJP and the headlines in newspapers next day read: “BJP and Congress trade charges over Analytica.” This is the same tactics presstitutes use when BJP workers get killed in Bengal or Kerala. Opposition are nudged to similar allegations in return and newspapers next day report: “BJP and Left trade charges on political murders.”

The only option left with the neutral citizens of this country is to call out this “fraud” of the presstitutes. Keep hammering away at their moral credibility till they are left without even a fig leaf to cover their shame.

And keep informing their mistruths to unsuspecting readers who pay for being told lies.

Aadhaar case: Why Express blanked police statement?

India Express, the pallbearer, err…flagbearer of Indian Mainstream Media, for two days running on its front page (there would be more Front Pages in coming days, be assured) has gravely stated (in its editorial) how the authorities are browbeating the journalists of this country.

The matter relates to a Tribune story in which one of its reporter could gain access to as many Aadhaar numbers as desired by buying a login and password for only Rs 500 only. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Aadhaar’s regulatory body, in retaliation has gone to police, and lo and behold, all hell has broken loose. Indian Express, along with press bodies and Amnesty International, not to forget the Congress and other opposition skunks, are beating their breasts in mourning.

A few questions to these pall-bearers are in order. Let’s begin with Indian Express. My beloved newspaper, why have you chosen to blank (sic) the statement of Delhi Police of Sunday which could have answered most of your insinuations misleading your innocent readers?

The Police in its official statement has stated that UIDAI had filed a “open-ended” complaint with the former’s cyber cell which the Police later converted into an FIR. Why then defame a regulatory body with a “crime” they never committed? Why hide the facts?

Two, while you cry hoarse and run your throat dry, why not report that the FIR says “unknown” under the column “accused”? Why hide the facts?

When UIDAI hasn’t named Tribune or its reporter as “accused” how could it be an attack on the freedom of the press? Could reporting a sequence of events be construed as an attack on free press?

(We must chip in and be on our feet to applaud the Police. When fake MSMs are misleading the public and avoid/neglect official reactions, the regulatory authorities increasingly are resorting to Social Media, press conferences, advertisements and official statements to convey their side of the story. Way to go, folks).

Three, Indian Express actually should admonish fellow Tribune and its reporter for wasting Rs 500 when the allowed access is only to help personnel/officials address the grievances of citizens. Without security measures—highly encrypted ones—such as biometrics and iris, the newspaper report is not a “data breach” and can only be described as “misreporting” which the UIDAI has dryly noted.

Now let’s come to other jokers. Google practically has no trace of Editors’ Guild of India hard as I tried. No website. All I could do was to find it has just 2 tweets (yes, TWO!) since its’ joining in 2016. Such media-shy body is the custodian of free media in this country. The most my search could yield was a 2014 report which showed Barkha Dutt, Shekhar Gupta, Seema Chisti, Kumar Ketkar among others as its working committee members. And oh yes, Mrinal Pande as its specially invited member.

Indian Express quotes Editors’ Guild extensively and the latter is shown using grave words such as “booked” and “penalized” and “persecuted” when its just an FIR (converted too) and doesn’t name anyone as “accused.” Given the gravitas of this jury if it still happens to be around, you would believe the basic understanding of IPC is not beyond them. Surely, I do trust my washerman to come out with flying colours if he was subjected to such a test.

Such distinguished people ought to ask Indian Express–and themselves—whether betraying paying readers with fake news, and mounting a campaign in its support, amount to “cheating or loot” under the Indian Penal Code.

You also have Indian Women’s Press Corps in protest. Before you express your surprise at what’s our women journos grouse is in this case, you must be told the Tribune reporter happens to be a woman. Next time issues of “triple talaq” and other such matters flicker in your mind, my advisory is don’t look for the reaction of this august body. You see, women with pen aren’t the same as women under burqa.

And oh yes, there is Amnesty International too (Sorry folks, there was no prize for guessing). An important tycoon of “human rights industry.” An organization which is openly accused of being a “servant of US Warmongering Foreign Policy”, a ‘soft-power” of post-War colonialism, is outraged at the UIDAI move to protect its shed.

Let me share a fact-sharing website, Mental Floss, to bring a few truths on Amnesty International to light. The organization was inspired by the arrest of two Portuguese students in 1960 which may never have happened! This very organization had accused Nelson Mandela of promoting violence and didn’t campaign for his release in 1963-64. It concedes it takes money from governments “in some cases.”