Neelam Krishnamoorthy

Remembering Uphaar: Still Waiting For Justice

The Association of Victims of the Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) has been fighting to get justice for their loved ones who were killed on June 13th, 1997 at Uphaar Cinema, New Delhi in one of the worst manmade tragedies.

AVUT invested its faith in the Criminal Justice System and took up an arduous and agonizing fight for justice in the hope that it would get justice for those who were killed in the tragedy. But the final verdict of the Supreme Court we believe is certain to go down in the history as a travesty of justice. AVUT’s  endeavour for past 21 years has been not only to get justice for our loved ones, but also to ensure implementation of   safety laws in public spaces so that no precious human lives are  lost.

In the last two decades the nation has witnessed many fire tragedies, the most recent being Kamala Mills Fire, Mumbai. Apart from the number of casualties being different, there is one common thread that runs through each of   them is that all of them were man-made. Under our prevalent system, such offenders are booked under section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code which translates into causing death due to rash and negligent act. In this grim scenario, incidents of such catastrophic magnitude are bound to recur since there is no legal deterrence that can instill fear in the minds of possible wrongdoers

Sidharth Mishra 2

BJP NeedsTo Change Style Sheet To Outpace Opposition in 2019

Within hours of HD Kumaraswamy taking over as Chief Minister of Karnataka, the social media noticed quiet posting of a tweet by union home minister Rajnath Singh. The post said, “Congratulations to Shri HD Kumaraswamy and Shri G Parameshwar on taking oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka. I hope, Karnataka will move forward towards peace, progress and prosperity under the new Govt.”

This post came at the time when the world was going gaga over the presence of almost all the opposition leaders in Bengaluru at the swearing in of the JD(S) leader as the new chief minister and the Congress leader as his deputy. The swearing in ceremony in Bengaluru was happening after much animated political activity which had followed the fractured mandate. The post surprised the Modi-Bhakts, the BJP-sympathisers and the BJP-opponents alike.

When more than a month had been spent in a political discourse which lacked in any respectful degree of civility, the tone and tenor of Rajnath Singh’s post indeed could be seen, if nothing else, as an attempt by his political party at course correction. A functionary in the ruling party mentioned that it was customary for the Home Minister to extend such courtesy to a new state government.

Sidharth Mishra

A Downhill AAP Seeks Political Sustenance In Alliance With Congress

A vehicle on a downhill drive has a peculiar feature. It moves at high-speed and takes several sharp U-turns. AamAadmi Party (AAP) leadership in the past six-months has gone on a U-turn drive, apologising to one and all, and trying to make-up with their rivals including country’s Finance Minister ArunJaitley.

Now the latest is the reported ‘offer’ made by AAP leadership to the Congress to enter into some kind of an alliance in Delhi to take on the BJP in the 2019 LokSabha polls. This ‘offer’ comes close on the heels of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit giving an interview to a Hindi daily saying politics was all about possibilities and Delhi Chief Minister ArvindKejriwal complementing Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken for his son’s performance in school board examination.

Dikshit’sinterview, much to the chagrin of Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, came on the day he was launching a weeklong agitation against the AAP government’s alleged scam in the purchase of close circuit television cameras. Delhi is, thus, being presented with ascenario where on the one hand Maken-led Delhi Congress has upped ante against the AAP government andon the other Chief Minister ArvindKejriwal is going out of his way to build bridges.

Chiranjit Banerjee

Petty Politicians' Tit For Tat Mantra

My residential school had both formal and informal rules of engagement that were spelt out upfront (within hours and not just days of being admitted) by the school authorities and the senior boys respectively. The latter usually had the blessings of the establishment even though some of it may have been covert. I still vividly recall one of the several missives that my school mentor (who was all of thirteen even as I was within touching distance of twelve) held out very sternly for me, “ Don’t ever try to take a lift from Bengali boys senior to you and don’t dare speak in your mother tongue while on school campus.” In short, there was going to be no patronage racket on identity lines at the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC). Its unsurprising that some of the dearest friends that I ended up making in those life defining five years are not Bengalis. At every juncture, our masters and prefects reminded us to rise above our origins and identities. There was simply no room for pettiness in school.

Prof. Rajvir Sharma12

In Defence Of Karnataka Governor

Elections to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly are over and it has come out with a fractured verdict where in no political party was able to get absolute majority. The BJP emerged as the largest single party with 104 seats followed by the Congress with 78 seats, 44 seats less than its 2013 tally and the party at the third place was JDS with 37 seats, three seats less than what it got in 2013.

But what is the electors’ message coming out of this election? The first and the foremost message is that Karnataka disapproves the politics of manipulation, machination, and division and of negative rhetoric. The second message is that the electorate wanted a change of government. This is evident from the fact that the incumbent chief Minister himself lost in one constituency and managed somehow to win in the other with a margin of just 1600 and odd votes and the seats of the Congress were tremendously reduced.

This may be rightfully interpreted as the rejection of the Congress by the voter. The third message is that BJP was favoured by them as an alternative government in broad terms as that party fell short of majority by a marginal number.