Shravan Krishna 1 Vik Samvat 2068. Yugabda 5113: July 16, 2011

1. FESTIVAL: Nāg Panchami, which falls on Shravan shukla Panchami (August 4 this year) is a festival when either images of or live Nāgas (cobras) are worshipped. According to mythology, Lord Krishna had conquered Naga Kālia and put an end to his evil deeds on Nāga Panchamī.
During the festival, in many regions especially Nepal , people traditionally post pictures of Nagas above the doors of their homes to ward off evil spirits, offer prayers to Nagas, and place food items such as milk and honey in their fields for Nagas.
On this day married women and the girls wake up early in the morning, take head bath, arrange the things necessary for puja and start to reach a nearest Ant Hill (Snake's Home). They offer puja and Milk to the Ant Hill and pray to Snake God (Bharatiya Cobra - Lord Subramanya's Incarnation) for the wellness of their brothers and their family.
2. WORLD'S ONLY SANSKRIT DAILY TURNS 42: Sudharma, which claims to be the only Sanskrit newspaper in the world, is struggling hard to survive as it enters its 42nd year. "That's because no state or central body comes forward to assist us in any way and the response from various organisations in the private sector is indifferent," K.V. Sampath Kumar, editor of the Mysore-based daily that has over 2,000 subscribers said.
But then why publish a paper in a "dead language" at all? The editor's wife, Jayalakshmi, who is well versed in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, English and of course Sanskrit, reacts sharply: "Who says Sanskrit is dead? Every morning, people recite shlokas, conduct pujas...all ceremonies including marriages, childbirth to death, are in Sanskrit. Bharat is united by Sanskrit, which is the mother language sustaining so many languages in the country. It's growing and now even IT professionals are saying it is useful."
Sampath Kumar said his father Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar started the paper July 15, 1970. Priced at Re.1, the paper mostly contains articles on Vedas, yoga, religion and also politics and culture, among others.
3. DRDO INCLUDES YOGA AS PART OF STUDY: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has included Yoga as part of study in the joint research centre set up in Kyrgzstan for high altitude diseases and their treatment. The centre will study acclimatisation at heights above 10,000 feet by the Bharatiyas and Kyrgzis population as the Bharatiya troops are deployed at those heights be it Siachen or Nathu La in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
This Centre was established by DRDO under a project with a budget of 1.5 million US dollars (`6.0 crores) for a joint collaborative R&D study with National Centre for Cardiology and Internal Medicine (NCCIM) of Kyrgyzstan.
In this regard, impact of yoga in improving performance at heights where breathing is a tough proposition let alone fighting a war will be studied in this centre.
Moreover, nutritional and pharmacological interventions, improvement in physical endurance and treatment of pathological conditions such as bronchial asthma, vascular diseases, and others by moderate altitude exposure will also be studied.
4. DOCUMENTARY ON PUNE’s WOMEN PRIESTS: Women are now performing the puja, marriage rituals and funeral rites and the city is accepting them with open arms. 'Back to the Vedas', is the resonant mantra among religious organisations in Pune , which are training women to become priests. The Vedas propagate gender equality and encourage women to learn Sanskrit shlokas.
Mama Thatte, a Hindu priest and scholar in Vedic literature, started training women to become priests in 1970. Arya Joshi, course coordinator at Dnyana Prabodhini, said so far they had trained over 1,000 women priests since 1990. Pune now has more women priests than other cities in the state. "Pune has over 7,000 practising women priests which is more than Mumbai and Nashik," said Suhasini Mulay, national award-winning actress and director. Mulay is in the city to make a documentary on women priests.
5. NEW MEETING GROUND: The recent all-party meeting discussing the upcoming Lokpal Bill ended on agreement - and argument. The assembled groups agreed in principle on the institution of a strong anti-corruption Lokpal, the Bill towards this to be introduced in Parliament's monsoon session. The abiding irony is that while most political parties took swipes at civil society for agitating on the issue, had it not been for civil society agitation it would have remained on the back burner, as it was for the last 42 years when left to the political class. The very fact that political parties are meeting now to address an urgent issue is a tribute to civil society activism.
In that sense, what an out-of-touch political class has failed to grasp so far is that public opinion has been increasingly disturbed over corruption, the current season of scams - Commonwealth Games to 2G to Adarsh - being the last straw that broke the camel's back. The rise of civil society activism reflects the depths of public feeling - and the political vacuum around the issue. Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI is an honourable exception to this blind spot among politicians. He stated that civil society and media should both be commended for challenging corruption. By contrast the RJD and SP - parties that have been associated with headline-hitting corruption - were also the most vituperative in condemning civil society activism. It certainly looks as if they have something to hide.
Overall, it's welcome that corruption is much higher on the political agenda than before. While the prime minister provided some direction regarding the Lokpal fitting into the matrix of constitutional checks and balances, the BJP refused to specify its exact stand on issues like MPs in Parliament and the PM being under the Lokpal's purview, reserving insights for the House. The sleight of hand was heavy enough to escape none. The BJP should note it's not gathering fans as it tries capitalising on the Congress's discomfort without clarifying its own position - or cleaning up its act in Karnataka.
Now that a debate has been started it's important that considerable attention be devoted to the systemic causes of corruption and generation of unaccounted incomes. This is an element that has been missing from past debates on corruption. Unless we talk about how high stamp duties and a distorted land market incentivise sleaze in real estate - to take just one example - even a duly empowered Lokpal will not be a panacea. It's going to be a long battle. Civil society must also display the patience to stay engaged. Corruption, after all, is too important an issue to be left to the politicians alone. – Editorial, Times of India, 5th July 2011.
6. SUBSIDY TO SRI LANKA PILGRIMS: Madhya Pradesh will soon offer a subsidy to pilgrims who travel to Sri Lanka which it believes has several places associated with the epic Ramayana. The State already offers subsidies to pilgrims who travel to Kailash Mansarovar and two sites in Pakistan - Hinglaj Devi temple and Nankana Sahib Gurudwara.
Sri Lankan Government is currently developing what it calls the Ramayana Train linking various sites associated with the greatest epic of Asia. It hopes that the train will soon become not just an added tourist attraction for thousands of Bharatiyas who visit the island, but will also draw many devout pilgrims from across the Ram Setu.
A university for the study of Buddhist tenets will soon be built at Sanchi in the state.
7. HINDU SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH, NAIROBI: 70 taruns and their families gathered at the Jamhuri High School grounds on 3rd July and had a day long karyakram comprising games, & telematches, HIndu Sevika Samiti did a cultural evening programme organised by Jijamaata Shakha on 3rd July from 4.00 pm to 8.30 pm. Tarunis & gruhinis presented geet & bhajans. About 40 children took part in fancy dress. Parents were part of more than 180 participants.
8. LORD PADMANABHA’S WEALTH BELONGS TO HIM ONLY: Let’s not meddle with it: Goddess Lakshmi resides where Lord Padmanabha is. For, the Lord is an aspect of Lord Vishnu himself, whose consort is Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. No surprise that such huge amount of divine wealth has been unearthed in the locked up chambers of Lord Padmanabha’s temple in the present day Thiruvananthapuram, earlier known as the capital city of the Royalty of Travancore.
After finding such enormous wealth the right question to be asked first is as to how come a relatively smaller temple of Lord Padmanabha had so much wealth while much more popular shrines like the Balaji at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh or for that matter the Guruvayurappan temple in Kerala itself seem to have much less? No one can dispute the fact that these two temples have been much more popular and have attracted many times more devotees for centuries. Nobody can also dispute the fact that they must have attracted lot more of public endowment in all these centuries. What happened to all that wealth of these temples?
Therein lies the answer to many issues being raised by the overzealous over the recently unearthed wealth of Lord Padmanabha. It is safe only and only in the hands of the Lord, and none—not even the Government-run trusts—deserve to handle it. By now it has become common knowledge that the wealth is the accumulated offerings by the successive kings of the royalty of Travancore and many other kings, rulers—Indian as well as foreign, traders and commoners.
One should acknowledge the enormous commitment of the royalty to Lord Padmanabha in safeguarding this wealth. I have had personal acquaintance with the royals of Travancore. It is known to many in Kerala that the royal family’s financial fortunes have dipped considerably in the last few years to an extent that they were finding it difficult to manage the temple affairs too. It has resulted in some problems between the temple priests and other staff and the royals who manage the temple. I am told that there were several such occasions earlier too when the royalty had faced acute financial strains. Yet they never dared to touch the temple wealth, an iota of which would have met many of their needs.
It is nobody’s case that we should condone the omissions and commissions of the royals, if any, in managing the temple affairs. However it must also be borne in mind that successive kings of Travancore deserve rich tributes for protecting this vast wealth with utmost devotion and sincerity. The British had looted several temples in the country and transferred all the booty to the Royal Palace in London. In fact the Queen must in great sorrow after the news of this unearthed wealth and cursing for sure the inefficient officers of the British Raj for failing to do that when they had the chance.
However the rapacious political leadership that succeeded the British has meticulously completed their unfinished task in the last six decades. Temples like Tirupati and Guruvayur and many more are a standing example of this domestic loot. The story of the loot of Hindu temples in India by our political masters post-Independence pales Ghori and Ghaznvi into obscurity.
On January 17, 1750 the then ruler of Travancore, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma stood before the Lord Padmanabha and offered his entire kingdom at His altar. After that the successive rulers had rechristened themselves as Padmanabha Daasa – vassals of Lord Padmanabha. Like loyal soldiers they not only protected the kingdom and the temple but also the enormous wealth it had earned over centuries.
Loot of Hindu temples by the political masters in post-Independence India has acquired humongous proportions. Lands and other property of many a temple have been nibbled away by the goons of local and sometimes provincial political termites. Jewellery, cash and artifacts including antique sculptures have been stolen from the museums directly or sometimes through sleight of hand by taking them to overseas destinations in the name of India exhibitions and replacing the valuables with duplicates and sending them back while the originals found their way into international markets for huge sums. There are serious allegations that this kind of loot has made several politicians billionaires while the temples have turned into paupers.
The ongoing litigation that has led to the opening of the locked chambers at the Padmanabha temple appears to be motivated by some such sinister designs only. There is no dearth of treacherous Hindus in our country. They become easy tools in the hands of greedy politicians – a breed for which too there is no dearth in India. The entire game plan appears to be to loot the wealth of Lord Padmanabha by hook or crook.
In a way this litigation has brought back into focus the critical issue of the control of Hindu temples by the political establishment. Temples and their entire wealth – whether it is lands or offerings or antiques – should belong to the Hindu society only. There is a need to amend or discard the Hindu Endowment Act so that the religious places of Hindus become the property of the society rather than the government. Travancore proved that devout Hindus can safeguard temples better than unscrupulous politicians.
Chief Minister of Kerala was sensible in declaring that his government has no interest in taking over the wealth or management of the Padmanabha temple. Suggestions by sections of the media and intelligentsia like creating a museum or trust are also too premature. What is needed is for the entire Hindu society including the saints and spiritual leaders to vociferously oppose any move to take over the temple or its wealth. Let it be protected by the management as before and let there be a larger discussion over the management of Hindu temples by Hindu society itself. – Ram Madhav ( Organiser July 17,2011)
9. PM SHOULD HAVE ONLY LIMITED IMMUNITY: The BJP on July 4 reiterated its demand to include the PM under Lokpal, with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley posting a write-up on the matter on the party website.
"Laws granting prime minister's immunity from legal provisions have been frowned upon. Constitutional amendment which made prime minister's election non-challengeable was introduced in the Emergency. It was struck down by the Supreme Court... There may be a rationale for treating these (national security or public order issues) areas as special and distinct but if a prime minister were to receive kickbacks on commercial transactions or subvert a vote of confidence through bribery, why should he be immune to the penal law? It is for this reason that both Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh have repeatedly said they have no objection to being covered by Lokpal," Jaitley wrote.
10. RELIEF WORK AT THE KALKA MAIL ACCIDENT BY SANGH VOLUNTEERS: In a tragic accident to the Delhi-bound Kalka Mail on 10 July morning ,two general compartments were very badly mangled and over 60 people lost their lives.. The RSS Swayamsevaks were already at the site of the accident for several hours helping the railwaymen and other security personnel. They offered help at the railway station near the dead bodies. They were there in hospitals where the injured have been transported. They were there even in Kanpur attending to the seriously injured. They gathered blood donor lists needed for blood and other help. More than hundred local volunteers were organising relief at the site along with the local head of the RSS , a doctor by profession who told that he was busy attending to the injured people in his own hospital as dozens of them had arrived. This network of inspired individuals is what the RSS has created as an asset for the country.
11. 15TH SINDHU DARSHAN UTSAVA CONCLUDES: Fifteenth Sindhu Darshan Utsava concluded on June 25 in Leh. A large number of pilgrims from across the country participated in the festival. On first day, a function was organised in main market of Leh where the pilgrims resolved for liberation of Kailash Mansarovar. The Himalaya Parivar and many other organisations have been demanding to open a route for Kailash Mansarovar from Karu to Leh. The meeting was addressed by the RSS National Executive Member Indresh Kumar. In the evening all the pilgrims were felicitated by Ladakh Kalyan Sangh.
12. BHARAT PUTS ANOTHER SATELLITE IN SPACE: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on July 15 successfully launched its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV- C17) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 100 km north of Chennai, carrying to space GSAT-12, a communication satellite. This is the 18th successful launch of PSLV. The majestic launch vehicle lifted off from Sriharikota at 4.40 pm and within a few seconds disappeared into the clouds. Thirty minutes later, it injected the satellite into an orbit with a perigee (closest point to earth) of 284 km and an apogee (farthest point) of 21,000 km.
GSAT-12, weighing 1,410 kg at lift-off, is configured to meet the country's growing demand for transponders in a short turnaround time. It will boost television broadcasting and various other communication services like tele-education, telemedicine and village resource centres.
PSLV-C17, which marked the 19th flight of the ISRO's workhorse, was similar to the one used for the Chandrayaan-1 mission on October 22, 2008, with six extended solid strap-on motors.
13. EXPORTS RISE 46% IN JUNE TO $29BN: The country's exports rose 46.4% in June to $29.2 billion on the back of robust shipment of engineering goods, gems and jewellery, leather and marine products, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said on July 8.
Merchandise exports have continued their robust growth in the current fiscal year and grew nearly 57% in May but officials and analysts say the rapid acceleration may moderate in the months ahead as demand remains sluggish in major global markets. The government has also diversified its export basket and is concentrating on capturing market share in non-traditional markets.
Imports in June totalled $36.9 billion, showing a growth of 42.4% from the year ago and the trade deficit during the month stood at $7.7 billion.
14. YOGA CAN HELP BREAST CANCER PATIENTS, SAYS STUDY: A research conducted by the University of Texas's M D Anderson Cancer Center in collaboration with the Bangalore-based Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana says yoga offers benefits to women undergoing radiation therapy for treating breast cancer.
While simple stretching exercises improved fatigue, patients who participated in yoga incorporating yogic breathing, postures, meditation and relaxation techniques into their treatment plan experienced improved physical functioning, better general health and lower stress hormone levels, the study said.
The study assessed -- for the first time, the researchers said -- yoga benefits to cancer patients by comparing their experience with patients in an active control group who integrated simple, generic stretching exercises into their lives.
'The combination of mind and body practices that are part of yoga clearly have tremendous potential to help patients manage the psychosocial and physical distress associated with treatment and life after cancer, beyond the benefits of simple stretching , Lorenzo Cohen, professor and director of the integrative medicine program at MD Anderson said.
15. 'BHARAT ROLE MODEL FOR BALANCED GROWTH’: Bharat over the years has emerged as a role model for balanced economic growth for countries across the world, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in Washingron on June 28 while addressing a meeting of Bharatiya and American corporate leaders, policy makers and think-tank members . Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee led a Bharatiya delegation to attend what is being billed as the highest level economic meeting between the two countries.
16. JAPAN MAKING A BETTER USE OF AYURVEDA: According to Dr. U.K. Krishna, who has been practicing and popularizing ayurveda in Japan for the past two decades, the country is already on its way to accept ayurveda, the traditional Bharatiya medicine system, as holistic medicine system. "The country witnessed spread of ayurveda from meagre one to two per cent to around 12% of the populations, a figure enough to suggest growing popularity of the medicine system in Japan. Also, the country has evolved successful marketing strategies to promote ayurveda, something which Bharata lacks despite being the originator of the system," he informed.
17. YOGA CAN TACKLE MENTAL DISORDERS: The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans) not only has a 45-minute yoga package to treat psychiatric disorders like depression and schizophrenia, but has started comparing its curative effects with general medicine.
Doctors at Nimhans say their studies reveal evidence of biological changes in the body brought about by yoga. They prescribe yoga therapy along with medication in major ailments, while using yoga therapy alone for less serious disorders. Nimhans is currently doing rigorous clinical trials on the impact of yoga in treatment.
18. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Ravikumar sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will tour Mauritius from July 30 – Aug 7. Visitors: Gajanan Dhapodkar, Sanjiv Kumar USA
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: All that we are is a result of what we have thought: We are formed and moulded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them. – Gautam Buddha

Arun Jaitley

In the aftermath of the Gujarat communal violence in 2002, there was a clamour from intellectuals, academics, social activists and many civic groups for a separate law to deal with communal violence. The result of a sustained campaign is the proposed 'Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011'
A draft of a proposed legislation titled 'Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011' has been put in the public domain. The draft bill ostensibly appears to be a part of an endeavour to prevent and punish communal violence in the country.
Though that may be the ostensible object of the proposed law its real object is to the contrary. It is a bill which if it is ever enacted as a law will intrude into the domain of the state, damage a federal polity of India ] and create an imbalance in the inter-community relationship of India.
What does the bill in effect state
The most vital definition of the bill is of the expression 'group'. A 'group' means a religious or linguistic minority and in a given state may include the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The bill creates a whole set of new offences in Chapter II. Clause 6 clarifies that the offences under this bill are in addition to the offences under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Can a person be punished twice for the same offence?
Clause 7 prescribes that a person is said to commit sexual assault if he or she commits any of the sexual act against a person belonging to a 'group' by virtue of that person's membership of a group. Clause 8 prescribes that 'hate propaganda' is an offence when a person by words oral or written or a visible representation causes hate against a 'group' or a person belonging to a 'group'.
Clause 9 creates an offence for communal and targeted violence. Any person who singly or jointly or acting under the influence of an association engages in unlawful activity directed against a 'group' is guilty of organised communal and targeted violence.
Clause 10 provides for punishment of a person who expends or supplies money in the furtherance or support of an offence against a 'group'. The offence of torture is made out under clause 12 where a public servant inflicts pain or a suffering, mental or physical, on a person belonging to a 'group'.
Clause 13 punishes a public servant for dereliction of duty in relation to offences mentioned in this bill. Clause 14 punishes public servants who control the armed forces or security forces and fails to exercise control over people in his command in order to discharge their duty effectively.
Clause 15 expands the principle of vicarious liability. An offence is deemed to be committed by a senior person or office bearer of an association and he fails to exercise control over subordinates under his control or supervision. He is vicariously liable for an offence which is committed by some other person. Clause 16 renders orders of superiors as no defence for an alleged offence committed under this section.
Any communal trouble during which offences are committed is a law and order problem. Dealing with the law and order is squarely within the domain of the state governments. In the division of powers between the Centre and the states, the central government has no direct authority to deal with the law and order issues; nor is it directly empowered to deal with them nor it can legislate on the subject. The central government's jurisdiction restricts itself to issue advisories, directions and eventually forming an opinion under Article 356 that the governance of the state can be carried on in accordance with the Constitution or not.
If the proposed bill becomes a law, then effectively it is the central government which would have usurped the jurisdiction of the states and legislated on a subject squarely within the domain of the states.
India has been gradually moving towards a more amicable inter-community relationship. Even when minor communal or caste disturbances occur, there is a national mood of revulsion against them. The governments, media, the courts among other institutions rise to perform their duty. The perpetrators of communal trouble should certainly be punished.
This draft bill however proceeds on a presumption that communal trouble is created only by members of the majority community and never by a member of the minority community. Thus, offences committed by members of the majority community against members of the minority community are punishable. Identical offences committed by minority groups against the majority are not deemed to be offences at all.
Thus a sexual assault is punishable under this bill and only if committed against a person belonging to a minority 'group'. A member of a majority community in a state does not fall within the purview of a 'group'. A 'hate propaganda' is an offence against minority community and not otherwise. Organised and targeted violence, hate propaganda, financial help to such persons who commit an offence, torture or dereliction of duty by public servants are all offences only if committed against a member of the minority community and not otherwise.
No member of the majority community can ever be a victim. This draft law thus proceeds on an assumption which re-defines the offences in a highly discriminatory manner. No member of the minority community are to be punished under this act for having committed the offence against the majority community.
It is only a member of the majority community who is prone to commit such offences and therefore the legislative intent of this law is that since only majority community members commit these offences, culpability and punishment should only be confined to them.
If implemented in a manner as provided by this bill, it opens up a huge scope for abuse. It can incentivise members of some communities to commit such offences encouraged by the fact that they would never be charged under the act.
Terrorist groups may no longer indulge in terrorist violence. They will be incentivised to create communal riots due to a statutory assumption that members of a jihadi group will not be punished under this law. The law makes only members of the majority community culpable. Why should the law discriminate on the basis of a religion or caste?
An offence is an offence irrespective of origin of the offender. Here is a proposed law being legislated in the 21st century where caste and religion of an offender wipe out the culpability under this law.
Who will ensure implementation of this act
The bill provides for a seven-member national authority for communal harmony, justice and reparations. Of these seven members at least four of them including the chairman and vice-chairman shall only belong to a 'group' (the minority community). A similar body is intended to be created in the states. Membership of this body thus shall be on religious and caste grounds. The offenders under this law are only the members of the majority community.
The enforcement of the act will be done by a body where statutorily the members of the majority community will be in a minority. The governments will have to make available police and other investigative agencies to this authority. This authority shall have a power to conduct investigations and enter buildings, conduct raids and searches to make inquiries into complaints and to initiate steps, record proceedings for prosecution and make its recommendations to the governments.
It shall have powers to deal with the armed forces. It has a power to send advisories to the central and state governments. Members of this authority shall be appointed in the case of central government by a collegium which shall comprise of prime minister, the home minister, and the leader of the opposition in the house of people and a leader of each recognised political party. A similar provision is created in relation to the states. Thus, it is the opposition at the Centre and the states which will have a majority say in the composition of the authority.
What are the procedures to be followed
The procedures to be followed for investigations under this act are extraordinary. No statement shall be recorded under section 161 of the CrPC. Victim statements shall be only under section 164 (before courts). The government will have a power to intercept and block messages and telecommunications under this law. Under clause 74 of the bill if an offence of hate propaganda is alleged against a person, a presumption of guilt shall exist unless the offender proves to the contrary. An allegation thus is equivalent to proof. Public servants under this bill under clause 67 are liable to be proceeded against without any sanction from the state.
The special public prosecutor to conduct proceedings under this act shall not act in aid of truth but 'in the interest of the victim'. The name and identity of the victim complainant will not be disclosed. Progress of the case will be reported by the police to the victim complainant. The occurrence of organised communal and targeted violence under this act shall amount to an internal disturbance in a state within the meaning of Article 355 entitling the central government to impose President's Rule.
The drafting of this bill appears to be a handiwork of those social entrepreneurs who have learnt from the Gujarat experience of how to fix senior leaders even when they are not liable for an offence.
Offences which are defined under the bill have been deliberately left vague. Communal and targeted violence means violence which destroys the 'secular fabric of the nation'. There can be legitimate political differences as to what constitutes secularism. The phrase secularism can be construed differently by different persons. Which definition is the judge supposed to follow? Similarly, the creation of a hostile 'environment' may leave enough scope for a subjective decision as to what constitutes 'a hostile environment'.
The inevitable consequences of such a law would be that in the event of any communal trouble the majority community would be assumed to be guilty. There would be a presumption of guilt unless otherwise proved. Only a member of the majority shall be held culpable under this law.
A member of the minority shall never commit an offence of hate propaganda or a communal violence. There is a virtual statutory declaration of innocence under this law for him.
The statutory authority prescribed at the central and state level would intrinsically suffer from an institutional bias because of its membership structure based on caste and community.
I have no doubt that once this law is implemented with the intention with which it is being drafted, it will create disharmony in the inter-community relations in India. It is a law fraught with dangerous consequences. It is bound to be misused. Perhaps, that appears to be the real purpose behind its drafting. It will encourage minority communalism. The law defies the basic principles of equality and fairness.
Social entrepreneurs in the National Advisory Council can be expected to draft such a dangerous and discriminatory law. One wonders how the political head of that body cleared this draft. When some persons carried on a campaign against the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act -- an anti-terrorist law, the members of the UPA argued that even terrorists should be tried under the normal laws. A far more draconian law is now being proposed.
The states will be watching hopelessly when the Centre goes ahead with this misadventure. Their power is being usurped. The search for communal harmony is through fairness -- not through reverse discrimination. (