Season Of VVIP Interrogations
The panic in the Congress camp is discernible. It seems as if a cobra is slithering towards some senior leaders. The party men fear the most from Dr Manmohan Singh. The Supreme Court has asked the CBI as to why the former Prime Minister who also held the charge of the Coal Ministry for almost two years, the period during which coal allocations were made, was not interrogated. Pushed by the apex court, the CBI is expected to meet the Sardar soon. What he might say is causing high blood pressure in the Gandhis and other Congressmen. Now about 82 or so, and a devout religious person, he might decide to open up and bare the ‘truth’ which could save him from ignominy. He would surely not like any more blemish on his reputation, and certainly not any suspicion on his probity in public life. He enjoyed a very good reputation of being clean, honest and above partisanship and commanded respect.
The Congress led-UPA returned to power in 2009 by projecting him as the natural incumbent of the prime minister’s gaddi. But lately the coal allocations scam seemed to be casting shadow on his clean image. The apprehension in the Gandhi camp and other leaders is that now with nothing left except his worry of how history would judge him, Dr Singh could come out with ‘truth’ unpalatable to his mentor and other colleagues. The mentor and her son Rahul, as it is, are likely to be caught by the long arm of the law. It is a rather serious case, the rumour being that Dr Subramaniam Swamy has filed documents supporting his charges of criminal offences in taking over the assets of the National Herald. And registrar of companies has verified that the documents filed by Swamy are genuine and relevant. The lower court after hearing the case issued summons to all the accused. Attached with it was the magistrate’s order running into 19 pages. This is when a battery of Mrs Gandhi’s lawyers headed by Kapil Sibal appealed on two counts before a single Bench in the High Court. They moved two petitions, one for quashing the criminal charges against them in a lower court and the other request was for the excusing them from personal appearance. Sibal and company dragged the matter for months by taking dates. But now, with Dr Swamy objecting to the series of adjournments, the Judge ordered that the case would be heard on daily basis from January 12. It seems Rahu and Ketu are after the Gandhis. They might have to fight two equally serious cases, in case their hitherto docile Dr Singh developing spine to throw all the stinking mud away from him towards the Gandhis. Another likely casualty to law could be the former Finance Minister, lawyer, suave and arrogant P. Chidambaram. But he looked dark, drawn and least arrogant while he walked towards the CBI building for an ‘interview’. Report is that the CBI recorded his statement in connection with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to the Aircel-Maxis deal. The CBI reportedly grilled him and took his statement in New Delhi on December 6, but not many knew about it. Chidambaram confirmed to a daily that the CBI did interview him. The case is that he exceeded his powers as a minister to clear the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. FIPB had sought the approval of Chidambaram for clearing the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who is a petitioner in this case, made certain allegations which led to the CBI investigating whether the finance minister was the competent authority to give approval to Maxis subsidiary Global Communication Services Holdings Ltd to invest $800 million in Aircel Ltd in 2006 since similar cases were sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). A fortnight before the results of the Lok Sabha elections came out, the then CBI director, Ranjit Sinha, cleared a CBI proposal, pending since October 2013, to further investigate the role of Chidambaram in the FIPB approval. The government at the Centre changed. The CBI filed its chargesheet on August 29, based on opinion of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. It mentioned the FIPB clearance. “Further investigation is being carried out into the circumstances of the said FIPB approval granted by the then Finance Minister. The related issues are also being investigated,” the chargesheet filed in the CBI special court stated.
In his counter, Chidambaram issued a statement: “The FIPB is chaired by the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. It recommends proposals for the approval of the Finance Minister and, where required under the rules, the approval of the CCEA.
“In the Aircel-Maxis case, the FIPB sought the approval of the Finance Minister in accordance with the rules. The case was submitted through the Additional Secretary and Secretary, DEA. Both of them recommended the case for approval. Approval was granted by me, as Finance Minister, in the normal course,” he said.
It is a formidable line-up facing the CBI and Court—P. Chidambaram, Dr Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vohra and Sam Pitroda, Suman Dubey. Robert Vadra is in trouble with Rajasthan Government. Will more join the line?
DECEMBER 16, THE DAY INDIA WAS SHAMED
The second year has passed since Nirbhaya was tortured and raped in a moving bus. The young erupted and the government passed many laws to curb this heinous crime. One of them was for speedy trial and conviction of the accused.
But the accused sentenced to death by Supreme Court are still around, two years after they committed a brutal assault on a young girl whose bright future was cut short by worst kind of criminals. What justice the country has given to Nirbhaya. What did the government mean by speedy trial. Yes trial was speedy but conviction can be delayed for years, it seems. No wonder rapes and molestation of women has been going up. The women live in fear, men, the rapists, rape without fear. This is India that worships women deities. How many years we will have to remember the Day of Shame!
BEIJING BANS MUEZZINS’ CALL
Why aren’t Sharif Government, Hafeez Saeed, self-appointed defender of faith, mualvis, maulanas and our own Liberals and Intellectuals who develop red rashes the moment something anti-minority is said or done. The all-weather friend of Islamabad, China has officially banned Muslim prayer meetings and other religious practices in government buildings, schools, and business offices in the Xinjiang region in western China. In India, parts of expressways –like on NH 8 near Gurgaon- are blocked during festivals for namaz. One writes from Oshiwara locality in Mumbai that the driveway in his building is blocked for 35 to 40 minutes. In London, near the Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, hundreds assemble in the noon time for namaz. Others stop playing music and children asked to move elsewhere and not make noise.
The call for prayer is made on loudspeakers, awakening residents nearby. During Roza, the call is made at 3am for the faithful to wake up and have something to eat before the day starts. No one in India has ever objected. Ours is a multi-cultural, multi-religious society. We respect all religions and their practices. But in China steep fines have been imposed on the use of mobile phones and internet for content that may “undermine national unity,” meaning Islamic propaganda. Officials claim that such propaganda may threaten social stability or incite ethnic hatred, quite the contrary of the USA’s idea of Islam.
All religious activity, including praying, will be restricted to designated mosques only. Another rule is that Muslims cannot wear clothes or logos associated with extremism, Jehadists, Mujahideen and no ISIS flags or patches to this effect allowed.
The new rules will immediately affect Muslim employees, many of whom required five prayer breaks each day in their places of work. Their personal phones will also no longer be used to study the Quran or practice religious hymns. Fines for using the internet or cell phones for religious purposes will be $5,000 per offense. “An increasing number of problems involving religious affairs have emerged in Xinjiang,” Ma Mingcheng, deputy director of the Xinjiang People’s Congress and director of its legislative affairs committee, told the media. Chinese officials have been saying that Xinjiang has seen a sharp growth in religious fundamentalism, which may be affecting young minds and turning some of them towards terrorism. The region, which borders Pakistan, is a hotbed of a violent separatist movement run by the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement. So the question is why Pakistan, an Islamic state, silent, is its dependence or fear of Beijing so much that it continues to call China its biggest ally. More importantly the question is why our Liberals, the Left and historians of Leftist beliefs are being mute witnesses of such blasphemous actions of China. They are brave enough to show fists at their own Government, why not at the road-roller methods by Beijing to crush religious practices of people in Xinjiang region?