Monday, December 31, 2012

Chinese Think Tank: "Conflict With Japan Inevitable" | ZeroHedge

Chinese Think Tank: "Conflict With Japan Inevitable" | ZeroHedge:

In a conflict between China & Japan what would India do? Who would it side with? China is a natural competitor of India, Japan is not, because of its size, location etc. If India is forced to choose between the two , it would be in India's interest to side with Japan. Japan doesn't suffer from Middle Kingdom syndrome.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Red science vs. blue science

Red science vs. blue science - Salon.com:

Intense ideological polarization and motivated reasoning have vitiated the thought process of many of us.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Roger Scruton – A culture of fake originality

Roger Scruton – A culture of fake originality:

Didn't our own Tulasidas say centuries ago:" Pundit vahi jo gaal bajaabaa"? Roger Scruton is repeating Tulasidas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Joy and Pleasure

Joy by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books:

Is there a difference between joy and pleasure? What do we want- joy or pleasure? The Utilitarians considered Pleasure and Pain sovereign masters of our life. We do everything to have pleasure and avoid pain. Hedonism guides our activities. In India Charvak's philosophy, also known as Lokayat philosophy, exhorts us to enjoy life and have pleasure. But what is joy? Is it the same as Anand in Sanskrit?
   Zadie Smith, in her book JOY, tries to find an answer.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rahul’s exit will be a ‘good thing for democracy’, historian Ramachandra Guha says - The Times of India

Rahul’s exit will be a ‘good thing for democracy’, historian Ramachandra Guha says - The Times of India:

Ramchandra Guha is entitled to his views as an individual, but his views should not be made weighty by describing them as the views of an eminent historian. Politics, like love and religion, raises intense passion. Guha's  eulogisation of the Dynasty/Nehru family is well known and so is his hatred of the BJP and Hindutva. But when persons like Guha are forced to admit that the exit of Rahul Gandhi from Indian political scene is required one is forced to sit and take notice.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Evangelists of Democracy : Karl Popper, George Soros, Francis Fukuyama

Evangelists of Democracy | The National Interest:

Liberal democrats are gloating over the triumph of liberalism and democracy everywhere. From Daniel Bell's End of Ideology to Francis Fukuyama's End of History it has been claimed that ideologies are no longer at war against one another and there is an ideological convergence in the world now. There is democratic triumphant today. But these liberal democrats forget the lessons of great liberal John Stuart Mill, who advocated the case of liberty against democracy. Democracy may well be majority tyranny having a disdain for liberalism. The irony is that sometimes liberals turn out to be greatest illiberals.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Two books, two consequences: Shashi Tharoor on Congress icons - The Hindu: Mobile Edition

Th Two books, two consequences: Shashi Tharoor on Congress icons - 

Shashi Tharoor has spoken about the Dynasty as any honest and intelligent would do. If Tharoor shows such candour in politics, many Indians would admire him.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

U.S. Signs Declaration Of Dependence On China - Bhartihari Comes True

U.S. Signs Declaration Of Dependence On China | The Onion - America's Finest News Source:

Bhartihari, the composer of Shatak Trayee, has been proved right even in foreign policy matters. India is dependent on the USA and the USA is dependent on the People's Republic of China.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Working the Room - The Science of Humour Studies

Working the Room - Lapham’s Quarterly

What makes a politician endearing? Do politicians who laugh at themselves and make the audience/viewer laugh create a stronger rapport with them? An academic field of humour studies, made up of scholars from across the arts & sciences, has arisen . The three theories dominating the fray and trying to answer what makes a statement/ situation funny are 1) superiority theory favoured by Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, 2) relief theory favoured by Sigmond Freud and 3) incongruity theory favored by Aristotle, Cicero, Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer ( Find about these theories in the text).
Mel Brooks' definition of tragedy and comedy is revealing. "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."
Politicians, with strong sense of humour, create an easy rapport with the people. We Indians feel sorry that we don't have in our midst politicians like Abraham Lincoln , John F. Kennedy and even George W Bush, Jr. At the time of unveiling  his portrait in the White House, Bush told Obama," When you are wandering these halls as you wrestle with tough decisions, you will now be able to gaze at this portrait and ask, What would George do?" :) Kennedy said that his father had advised him not to buy more votes than was absolutely necessary to win.:)
It is not enough for politicians to amuse, they must also persuade for their benefit and others. Gorgias, a 5th century BC Greek philosopher and rhetorician, urged orators to" destroy one's adversaries' seriousness with laughter, and their laughter with seriousness." Aristotle, distinguishing mockery from buffoonery,  said " mockery is more gentlemanly than buffoonery; for the mocker makes a joke for his own amusement, the buffoon for the amusement of others." Our Lalu Yadav indulges in buffoonery. Our leaders must be able to withstand ridicule and use it as a weapon and not try to censor internet and other media.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Rotten Parliament


18 October 2012

How Freedom of Information requests led to a Parliamentary scandal: Read an excerpt from Heather Brooke’s book

The British Parliament elected in 2005 has an unfortunate nickname  — the “Rotten Parliament.”
Journalist Heather Brooke had a lot to do with the uncovering of their rottenness. In 2004, just a few years after the passage of the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, Brooke began requesting documentation on members of Parliament’s expenses, from their travel to their incidentals to their second homes.
“I didn’t set out to revolutionize the British Parliament. That was not my intention. I was just making these requests as research for my first book,” says Brooke in this moving talk from TEDGlobal. (The book is called Your Right to Know: A Citizen’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act.) “[But] the amount of resistance I got, you would have thought … I was asking for the code to a nuclear bunker.”
It took a multi-year legal battle for Brooke to get the information she requested. And not all of it came through the usual channels. A whistleblower inside Parliament copied much of expense report data onto a disk, and walked out of the building with it, leaking it to The Daily Telegraph. Slews of stories followed, detailing expense abuses from a £12,000 gardening bill to £18,000 bookshelves to payments on a third home. A full-blown scandal erupted.
In the end, six ministers would resign — the Speaker of the House of Commons stepping down for the first time in 300 years. A new government was elected, with 120 members of Parliament opting not to seek re-election. A few of the former members of Parliament even received jail time.
“Access to information used to be quite a niche interest, but it’s gone mainstream,” says Brooke in her talk. “Everyone around the world wants to know what people in power are doing. They want a say in decisions made in their name and with their money.”
In her talk, Brooke highlights a few new tools, which she hopes will make tracking information on those in power much easier. Alaveteli.org aims to take the hassle out of Freedom of Information requests while creating a public database of the information received. Brooke is also a fan ofInvestigativeDashboard.org, which streamlines the process of tracking of assets across borders.
To hear more about Brooke’s battle with Parliament, listen to her talk. And after the jump, read an excerpt from her new book, The Revolution Will Be Digitised, which not only tells her story but looks at others — from pro-democracy campaigners to hackers — fighting what she calls “the Information War.”
Brooke’s new book begins:
“We are at an extraordinary moment in human history: never before has the possibility of true democracy been so close to realisation. As the cost of publishing and duplication has dropped to near zero, a truly free press, and a truly informed public, becomes a reality. A new Information Enlightenment is dawning where knowledge flows freely, beyond national boundaries. Technology is breaking down traditional social barriers of status, class, power, wealth and geography, replacing them with an ethos of collaboration and transparency. In this new Enlightenment it isn’t just scientific truths that are the goal, but discovering truths about the way we live, about politics and power.
During the first Enlightenment the free flow of information was considered essential to understanding the natural world; without full disclosure we had no hope of overcoming our inherent human biases that occluded our vision of the truth. In England, scientists were careful to cordon off this questing curiosity to science but its revolutionary impact in politics led to the American and French revolutions. Thomas Jefferson said that America was an experiment that would ‘demonstrate to the world the falsehood that freedom of [speech and] the press are incompatible with orderly government’. America produced ‘the first legislature that had the courage to declare that its citizens may be trusted with the formation of their own opinions’.
This aspiration is not solely American. Citizens around the world have long declared a desire to be trusted with the formation of their own opinions, and that can only come when they have access to the facts. This is the essence of the information war. Do we trust citizens to communicate freely and come to their own conclusions, or do we believe those in authority have a right to restrict and manipulate what we know? Do we hold to Enlightenment ideals of reason and the pursuit of truth no matter where that takes us, or put our faith in authority to make certain an uncertain world?
The Internet is powerful because it allows people to organise around issues at unprecedented speed, broadcast their thoughts and challenge those in charge. A wave of such groups banded together in early 2011 to demand the removal of authoritarian leaders in the Middle East as one country after another rose up with varying degrees of success. But the Internet doesn’t cause revolution. It is a communications network. What people choose to do with technology – that is where we can make moral judgements. Some people will use it for ill, others for good. Security forces tend to focus on the ills, while the majority use it for good. In the name of protecting us from ‘bad things on the Internet’ there are increasing moves to suppress communications networks in both repressive and democratic countries. Demands to shut down, censor, filter or in other ways oversee and control the way people communicate are on the rise.”
To read the rest of this excerpt, head to TheRevolutionWillBeDigitised.com.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Massimo Pigliucci – On consilience

Massimo Pigliucci – On consilience:

Are sciences and humanities antagonistic? Is there a fight for supremacy between the two? Are they two cultures, as C P Snow wanted us to believe? Where do the social sciences and philosophy stand? Can/should knowledge be compartmentalised? Find answer to these questions in the present article.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Isaiah Berlin - Philosopher of Freedom

It's Complicated > Jewish Review of Books:

Isaiah Berlin, one of the most distinguished philosopher of right, among other things, will be remembered for his distinction between " Freedom from" and "Freedom to". He considered freedom from as the kernel of freedom.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Renata Salecl on Modern Misery | The Browser

Renata Salecl on Modern Misery | The Browser:

Renata Salecl has identified the " tyranny of choice" as the main reason behind our misery. We have many choices and we choose the best according to our judgment. But " good, better, best" depend on the context. Read these books or read about them to realize the great wisdom of Indian Rishis & Munis.

Beneath their judicial robes - Salon.com

Beneath their judicial robes - Salon.com:


Stephen Breyer on Intellectual Influences | FiveBooks | The Browser

Stephen Breyer on Intellectual Influences | FiveBooks | The Browser:

US Supreme Court Judge Justice Stephen Breyer has very thoughtfully said that on every constitutional issue there are two points of view from which the judges choose one. He says: " Our job, the nine of us, is basically to create a uniform rule of law by ironing out differences." The Indian judges should also try to have uniformity in our rule of law.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Experts call for amendments to prevent judges taking up jobs after retirement

 Experts call for amendments to prevent judges taking up jobs after retirement:

In our highly polarized polity even the acts and decisions of Constitutional Authorities are seen with suspicion by one or the other side. The decisions of the Governors have been controversial and partisan for a long time, especially since 1967 when in many states Congress failed to get a majority. The decisions of High Courts & the Supreme Court have also caused concern, particularly after the supersession of  3 SC judges by Mrs Indira Gandhi and the dubious decision of the Supreme Court that during Emergency under Art 352 of the Constitution right to life ceases to exist. From Golaknath case in 1967 to Keshavanand Bharati case in 1973 & Minerva Mills case in 1980, the Supreme Court questioned the authority of Parliament to amend the Constitution as it wished. In spite of several amendments of the Const to negate these judgments the SC refused to give in and declared that basic structure of the Constitution could not be violated. Even in regard to the appointment of SC & appointment and transfer of HC judges the Supreme court, first in 1983 and then in 1999 affirmed its primacy by interpreting " in consultation" in its own way. However, the decisions of the Supreme Court have not always been consistent. It is true that the lower judiciary is concerned with facts, the High Courts with deficiencies of facts and judgment, the SC is concerned with wisdom, yet the wisdom of the SC has to appear consistent and rational. Many decisions of the Supreme Court raise doubt over its wisdom. The SC feels that RTI Act is not applicable to judiciary; similarly in spite of historic Vishakha judgment the SC can't protect the honour and dignity of its female employees and lawyers. When the SC, due to its power of review has become so powerful, the Union Govt, more often than not, wants to keep it in good humour. And the judges are also human beings like us and the spectre of retirement stares in their face also. The prospect of getting post retirement appointment may colour their judgment. It is in this light that Arun Jaitley made a sensible suggestion that until two years after retirement, SC & HC judges should not be given any assignment.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Crimes ‘unfit’ for TV and "unmentionable" for Chief Justices

Crimes ‘unfit’ for TV - Analysis - DNA:

There is something fundamentally wrong with our systems - social,economic, ethical, political, legislative, judicial and information-communication. We never take a problem by its horns and try to bury unpleasant events under the carpet. This is the sign of a decadent society, which has given in to the " Chalata Hai " culture - permissiveness at its worst. We have given up the hope of bettering ourselves and our society. Our youth is forced to suffer for the "politically correct" stand of our political parties whose Summum bonum is to win elections to capture power. For our political parties power is not a means to an end, but an end in itself.

Even our judiciary is failing us. We go to the courts to get justice, but when women lawyers are denied hearing and justice in the courts and the CJ refuges to register the case as the act is " unmentionable". What a shame?Our judiciary has become the den of various crimes as judges are not only short on ethical behaviour but have begun to appear more and more politically correct.
About our media less said the better. However, Sunetra Choudhary of NDTV24*7 has publicly admitted the shortcomings of TV News Channels in suppressing some news and not reporting them correctly, even when they report.

One of the accused lawyers involved in the incident hails from Bihar. This has punctured the myth of changing Bihar.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Politics: Power shifts | The Economist

Politics: Power shifts | The Economist:

The Indian democracy has been transformed into an oligarchy and a kleptocracy by the UPA2. Other parties also benefit from this kleptocracy, but the main culprit is the Ruling Combine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Govt to seek review of SC order on judges as CICs -

Govt to seek review of SC order on judges as CICs - Hindustan Times:

One of the casualty of bad governance in India has been the institutional balance created by the Constitution. Appointment, including the appointment of judges, is legitimately function of the Executive, but the Govt's acts of omissions & commissions in appointments raised doubts about the intentions and ability of the Govt to put right people in right places. The ideas of committed bureaucracy and committed judiciary, with a captive media, lowered people's faith in Institutions. In this backdrop the Supreme Court stepped in and claimed for itself a larger role in the appointment of judges. People's distrust of the Govt made the SC's task easy. After tasting blood the Supreme Court wants for itself and the judicial fraternity more & more power. This can't and shouldn't be allowed. The Court should step in only when the Govt fails to put right people in right place.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Irrelevance of Modern Political Science

The Irrelevance of Modern Political Science — The American Magazine:

If in the land of its birth Political Science( not politics/Rajneeti/ NeetiShastra/ RajDharm) is beginning to be thought as irrelevant, what about countries like India where no first hand or first rate work has been done in the discipline?

The Weaker Sex - Sandra Tsing Loh

The Weaker Sex - Sandra Tsing Loh - The Atlantic:

Are we going to experience role reversal soon? The workplace is likely to be more feminine and housework more masculine.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Desirability of Bunds

Bunds, Gheraos, HallaBols are Indian contrivance for disrupting the rule of law and making  democratic life miserable.Even though Bunds have not found entry in Wikipedia & dictionaries, they are very popular with Indian political parties. Why are Bunds called? What is the teleological explanation of a Bund? Through Bunds what do we try to achieve?Are Bunds a means to an end or an end in themselves? Are Bunds rational? These questions beg an urgent answer.

If I recollect correctly Bunds were first introduced in Indian polity by the Socialists and Communists. The then Kerala Governor Mr Vishwanathan rightly pointed out that to call Bund to protest against shortage of rice was meaningless as " Bunds do not produce rice." Let us see why are Bunds called? There may three main reasons : 1) to protest against a particular policy or policies of the govt.; 2) to protest against an event; and 3) to show the support of the people for the cause. For these purposes the political system provides for mechanism of political communication and feedback. Why don't the Bund-callers make use of these mechanisms? The Bund-callers wrongly believe that causing hardship to the common people will frighten the side against which the Bund has been called. In public affairs, particularly in a democracy, the argument of reason is more effective than a show of strength and argument of violence. Bunds achieve nothing, cause immense hardship to the people, particularly the patients, children, travelers and daily bread earners. For organizers of Bund calling for a Bund is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. It tramples the Fundamental Rights of others, it endangers our lives, it fosters indiscipline and an atmosphere of anarchy. The time has come when we should firmly say a big NO to Bunds. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

'Foolish and Backward Nation': A Self-Effacing Chinese Satire of America - The Atlantic

'Foolish and Backward Nation': A Self-Effacing Chinese Satire of America - The Atlantic

This satire, ostensibly of the USA, but actually of China, proves that the Chinese Govt is more tolerant of criticism than our own UPA. Had this been about India, the UPA would most certainly have banned it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A disturbed history

A disturbed history | Cover Story | Times Crest:

A journalistic history of House Disruptions in India. Even in Nehru's days there were disruptions. That was not only Nehru era, but the era of single party polity. Nehru exercised immense influence not only over the members of his party, but on others as well. During Nehru era Indian polity was not so fractured. With conflictual and confrontationist politics replacing the earlier consensual and accommodative politics Parliament became more noisy and prone to disruptions.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Islamism’s turning point

Islamism’s turning point - Salon.com:

After Hindutva we now have Islamism. Researchers on Muslim majority societies have found that there are variations in Islamic beliefs and practices. We believed that Islam was a monolith, but it is not so. It simply means that there are elements of pluralism in Islam also. If that is so it is better for the world and religious fundamentalists of all hues to realise this. The researchers have suggested that instead of Islam we should call it Islams.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Information, Decision-making, and Democracy | Advancing a Free Society

Information, Decision-making, and Democracy | Advancing a Free Society:

There is governmental paralysis not only in India, but the world over. Why? What is the problem -- lack of information about political consumers or the surfacing of real information?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vote Banks can't wash the blemishes of black-money and corruption

Black money inaction is betrayal:

Ram Jethmalani, a distinguished lawyer, shows in this article the callousness of the present UPA regime to bring back black money back to India. Black money is nothing but the stolen and robbed public money. UPA thinks that trough its cleverness it has created such entrenched vote banks that it would be impossible to dislodge it from power in the present first past the post system. But the anger against the present regime is so intense and widespread that it has the potential of making any Vote Bank bankrupt.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cat among BA pigeons: are our graduates employable?

Cat among BA pigeons: are our graduates employable?:

The journalist does not know that students reading Philosophy are not philosophers nor students reading History are historians. Mr Sibal does not know that the purpose of liberal art education is not to produce employable robots but to make better human beings. The failure of our education system lies in the fact that while we have succeeded in producing technocrats of whatever quality, we have failed to produce better human beings.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bodoland: The Burden of History | Economic and Political Weekly

Bodoland: The Burden of History | Economic and Political Weekly:

Correct Perspective on the problem of Bodoland and the dangers of myopic politics.

The Meaning of the Attack on the CAG

The Meaning of the Attack on the CAG | Economic and Political Weekly:

Along with Election Commission and Public Service Commissions, the Comptroller and Auditor General was provided for by the Constitution of India to keep India's nascent democracy on track. If these institutions work as intended and as is required by their Dharma, the wrong-doers would not be able to play havoc with the nation, people and democracy. Unscrupulous people would always try to undermine the authority of these institutions and that is what is happening.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

India’s ‘silent’ prime minister becomes a tragic figure - The Washington Post

India’s ‘silent’ prime minister becomes a tragic figure - The Washington Post:

Although the general thrust of the article cannot be faulted, the writer has erred on many points. It was not Man Mohan Singh, but P V Narsimha Rao, who should be credited with opening the economy; similarly it was not Man Mohan Singh, but Atal Behari Vajpayee, who should be considered as the architect of the policy of India's close relations with the US. So far as modernization is considered Nehru was a modernizer and so was his grandson Rajiv Gandhi. In fact, MMS is an overrated economist and underrated politician. The remark that " minorities have the first right on India's resources" can't be made by a reluctant politician. How could he make such a stupid, but vote-bank enhancer, remark is still a mystery.
As an economist he should have known that without production there can't be any distribution, but in order to keep Sonia Gandhi in good humour he forgot his basic lesson and embarked on populist programmes which have jeopardized India's growth story.
Man Mohan Singh is a weak man and a weak man cannot be honest.
Tailpiece: Ramchandra Guha, the Sarkari Historian, has been quoted in this article as saying that MMS is "intellectually dishonest."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why Blame Others When Hindus Themselves are Cowards? | The Rediscovery of India

Why Blame Others When Hindus Themselves are Cowards? | The Rediscovery of India:

This is the translated version of the Kannad article for which the terrorists, which included DRDO scientist, engineer & journalist, planned to kill the journalist writer of the article.

Can India Revive Nonalignment?

Can India Revive Nonalignment? - Ashley J Tellis

Even astute scholars can misunderstand a policy. Find my take in Comments.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Corruption in India: In Vinod we trust

Corruption in India: In Vinod we trust | The Economist:

Paul H Appleby wasn't very enamoured with the Auditors. He felt that auditors, by finding fault with Govt spending, create road blocks for development administration. But Appleby expressed such views when Bihar was considered the best administered state in India and not many heads of govts - at the union or state levels - were considered corrupt. But then came Mrs Indira Gandhi's era. The Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, when accused of corruption, asserted that it was an all-India phenomenon, to which Mrs Gandhi retorted that it was a universal phenomenon. Prior to Mrs Gandhi period neither Pt Nehru nor L B Shastree was accused of personal pecuniary corruption. Although Nehru was accused of looking the other way when his close confidantes were pinned down for corruption as in Jeep scandal, Mundhra case, Kairon case etc. Shastree's honesty and integrity were exemplary. Although L N Mishra's assassination was linked to the corruption in govt ( Mishra was said to have known too much), except Nagarwala case Mrs Gandhi was not held personally responsible for governmental corruption. Morarji Desai wasn't personally accused of corruption, but his son Kanti Desai's dealings gave some the opportunity to point finger at Morarjibhai. Things changed after Rajeev Gandhi became d PM. Early period of his tenure was a period of hope, but Bofors changed every thing. Indian polity has never been able to come out of the shadow of Bofors. When the fence begins to eat crop guarding it becomes very difficult. The Constitution of India provided for a Comptroller and Auditor General to keep an eye on the spending of the Govts - union and state. The CAG can't look at scams like Cash for Vote when MPs were offered money to save a minority Govt in a trust vote. Earlier also, during P V Narsimha Rao's premiership votes were purchased (JMM Bribery) and schemes like MP-LAD initiated to keep minority govt going, but Cash for Vote was different as MPs produced wads of notes in the Lok Sabha. But the confidence of the people was shattered when these who gave the bribe and those who benefited from were spared and the whistle blowers were put behind bars. In such a scenario any body who shows the courage to stand up to the Govt becomes a hero to the hero-worshiping people of India. Mr Vinod Rai, the CAG, is one such hero .  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A new home for forefather of our language

A new home for forefather of our language:

Do you find this new research on the origins of Indo- European languages convincing?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ram Krishna Paramhans: One of the Most Versatile Of Mystics

Los Angeles Review of Books - The Most Versatile Of Mystics:

Interpreting Ramkrishna  and  Kali's Child

In the Bhagwadgeeta Sri Krishna says that he is available to his devotee in the same form in which he wishes to see him. Goswami Tulasidas says in his Ramcharit Manas: " Jaaki rahi bhawana jaisi, Prabhu moorat dekhi tin taisi." One sees God in the same form as he/ she aspires to see him. In another word, man/woman sees God in his/her own image. If instead of looking at his spirituality, one is more interested in imagining his sexuality it is his/her choice.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Supreme Court slowly taking over Parliament: Markandey Katju

Supreme Court slowly taking over Parliament: Markandey Katju - India News - IBNLive:

Markandey Katju was a judge of the Supreme Court of India. He delivered many memorable judgments. After his retirement he was appointed Chairman of the Press Council of India. As Chairman of the Press Council he made many controversial and even ridiculous statements. A comparative study of Kataju's judgments and his later day observations after his appointment as Chairman of PCI by the UPA would throw light not only on the difference between two phases of his life but also show how thought process changes with the change of employer.


Does Contemporary Neuroscience Support or Challenge the Reality of Free Will? | Big Questions Online

Does Contemporary Neuroscience Support or Challenge the Reality of Free Will? | Big Questions Online:

Neuroscience neither challenges nor supports Free Will.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Politics of Riots in India

Head On : Minhaz Merchant's blog-The Times Of India:

Minhaz Merchant, a Parsi Indian, delves deep into the politics of riots in India. He doesn't mince words and calls a spade a spade.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dilip Simeon -- Closing the Circle

Frontier articles on Society & Politics

Dilip Simeon's piece "Closing the Circle" in Frontier examines the past, present and future of Left Politics in India in a lucid way. One may not agree with his conclusion, yet it is an interesting study.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Tory Anarchist | The Weekly Standard

George Orwell,The Tory Anarchist | The Weekly Standard:

Orwell is relevant even today as like many of us Hindus he was a bundle of contradictions. He, like us, loved the past, hated the present and dreaded the future.

Broken Windows - George L. Kelling|James Q. Wilson - The Atlantic

Broken Windows - George L. Kelling|James Q. Wilson - The Atlantic:

Didn't we learn since our childhood that a stitch in time saves nine? Kautilya, the great Indian theoretician & practitioner of politics, said: " soochimukha hyanartha", devastating events originate like the mouth of a needle. If we take care from the beginning we'll not have to face devastation. Broken Windows theory says the same thing.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Assam’s tragedy has roots in history

Assam’s tragedy has roots in history: Ram Jethmalani in Sunday Guardian


Most of our problems have root in history, Assam is no exception. Broken Window theory explains most of our problems. Had our leaders taken care to understand and sort out the problems when they arose our history, society, economy and polity would have been different.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Disturbing trends in judicial activism?

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Disturbing trends in judicial activism:

Judicial activism is the stepping in of judiciary in the domain of executive and legislature. When other institutions fail to perform their assigned duty the Supreme Court as guardian of the constitution has to step in . Friends of the Govt don't take kindly to this development, but the common people look towards judiciary to rein in the unresponsive and irresponsible govt.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Indian Ayatollahs of Secularism -- Part 1

Head On : Minhaz Merchant's blog-The Times Of India:

Very few words have been so much used and misused in India as secularism and socialism. These words were not included in the Indian Const. originally, but in 1976 through the instrumentality of 42nd Constitution Amendment Act Mrs Indira Gandhi got these words included. In consonance with the practice in Third World Countries form was given primacy over substance because the Indian Const was already a secular const. It could not be otherwise as Hindus are by belief, conviction and nature secular. Yet these terms were included to make people believe that it was only Congress which cared for the minorities and the haves not.The misuse of the term "secularism" has made Indian polity conflictual and confrontationist. Minhaz Merchant in his two part analysis throws some light.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Being Bismarck | Hoover Institution

Being Bismarck | Hoover Institution:

Otto Von Bismarck, a master juggler, a nation builder, a great leader holds generations in awe...

BBC News - Hobson-Jobson: The words English owes to India

BBC News - Hobson-Jobson: The words English owes to India:

England owes many things to India and so does the English language.

FICTIONARY.

FICTIONARY.:
I'm generally left cold by invented-word sites (English has plenty of words already—use them!), but for some reason The Oxford English Fictionary gets through my defenses. Maybe I just like "Anachronister (noun): a time-traveling spider." Anyway, check it out, there's some amusing stuff there. (Thanks, Paul!)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The New Atlantis » The Truth About Human Nature

The New Atlantis » The Truth About Human Nature

Truth is not absolute. Sometimes lying also serves a purpose.Find this in this beautifully written article.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Indira as PM was a tragic mistake

Indira as PM was a tragic mistake:

Ram Jethmalani holds views which appear extreme to many has uncharacteristically analysed the harmful effects of  Indira Gandhi's ascendance as PM of India. One may quarrel with Jethmalani's assertion that Lal Bahadur Shastri was the best PM of India, but by and large his analysis is balanced. The greatest disservice that Indira Gandhi did to India was that she wrecked all institutions of governance and the constitution . Before her becoming PM the Indian political system operated on the course set by the Constitution of India, she began to short-circuit the constitution and ethical considerations. All the malaise afflicting the Indian political system could be traced back to her rule.

Monday, April 9, 2012

7 Hard Questions for IB Chief Sandhu

7 Hard Questions for IB Chief Sandhu:

What happens when public organizations are used to  promote personal interest ?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

When the watchdog turns lapdog - Analysis - DNA

When the watchdog turns lapdog - Analysis - DNA:

Had the camels not knelt down they could not have been loaded. The Indian journalists do not realise this.

Friday, April 6, 2012

SC spreads its media gaze from court to crime to contempt

SC spreads its media gaze from court to crime to contempt - Indian Express:

When govts, institutions, citizens don't know their " Dharma "-- proper sphere of action - they tend to look to the Courts for guidance. The more intervention by the court, the more proof that the system has become dysfunctional. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Democracy Without Politics? | Hoover Institution

Democracy Without Politics? | Hoover Institution:

Democracy is a much loved idea, democratic politics is the most despised practice. We love democratic theory, we hate democratic practice. In fact democracy is the most promiscuous word in the vocabulary of political science. Can democracy exist without politics? Find the answer...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lawyers-Media-Police Clashes

Lawyers-Media-Police Clashes:

The three institutions indulge in a clash of egos. If every institution did confine itself to the assigned task, there won't be any problem.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shame on the Leaders of Jharkhand: झारखण्डी नेताओं को धिक्कार

२०१२ के राज्य सभा चुनाव में झारखण्डी नेताओं और यहाँ के राजनीतिक दलों का जो आचरण रहा है उसने देश और देश के बाहर झारखण्ड के वासिन्दों का सर शर्म से झुका दिया है ।झारखण्ड भारत का पहला और अबतक का एक्मात्र राज्य है जहाँ राज्य सभा चुनाव की पूरी प्रक्रिया निरस्त कर दी गयी है । आय कर विभाग की सक्रियता और निर्वाचन आयोग की अनुक्रिया ने बिकाउ झारखण्डी विधायकों का पर्दाफाश कर दिया । सबसे पहले झारखण्ड के सबसे कद्दाबर नेता और संविधान सभा के सदस्य जयपाल सिंह ने कांग्रेस के साथ समझौता कर झारखण्ड के हित के साथ समझौता किया था । बाद में नरसिंह राव की सरकार को बचाने में श्री शिवू सोरेन के नेतृत्व में जे.एम.एम. के चार लोक सभा सद्स्यों के आचरण ने झारखण्डी नेताओं की पहचान बिकाउ नेता के रूप में करा दी थी । जे एम एम रिश्वत काण्ड भारतीय राजनीति के पतन की एक सीढी के रूप में आज भी चर्चित है।
          झारखण्ड के साथ नेताओं के धोखे का सिलसिला और आगे बढा जब निर्दलीय मधु कोडा की सरकार कांग्रेस और जेएमएम के समर्थन से बनी और उस सरकार ने लगभग दो सालों तक शासन कर न केवल  एक कीर्तिमान बनाया बल्कि झारखण्ड को जिस निर्दयता से लूटा उसकी मिसाल किसी अन्य राज्य मे नहीं है ।
         झारखण्ड से राज्य सभा के चुनाव में धन बल की जो भूमिका होती है वह वास्तव में झारखण्ड के नेताओं के बिकाउपन को ही स्पष्ट करता है ।बाहरी अवाँछित तत्त्वों के लिये झारखण्ड चारागाह है । यहाँ के कुछ राजनीतिक दल और अधिकतर विधान सभा सदस्य राज्य सभा चुनाव का इंतजार उसी प्रकार करते हैं जैसे किसान अगहन और बैसाख का तथा शिक्षक उत्तर-पुस्तिकाओं के मूल्यांकन का । अभी तक का इतिहास बताता है कि इसमें झामुमो की भूमिका सबसे अधिक चिंताजनक रही है । अगर काँग्रेस / भाजपा जैसे अखिल भारतीय राष्ट्रीय दल राज्य सभा में अपना प्रतिनिधित्व बढाना चाहते हैं तो बात समझ में आती है, परन्तु जब झामुमो या झाविमो राज्य सभा में जाने के लिये एडी-चोटी का पसीना बहाते हैं तब उनके उद्देश्य सन्देह के घेरे में आ जाते हैं ।ये केवल राष्ट्रीय दलों की बाँहें मरोडने के लिये राज्य सभा में स्थान चाहते हैं । ये क्षेत्रीय दल विधान सभा में अपनी संख्या बढा कर अपने प्रभाव में वृद्धि कर सकते हैं ।
         भाजपा इस बात को शायद समझ नहीं पायी है कि केन्द्र से लेकर राज्य तक के गठबंधन उसके लिये बहुत मँहगे सिद्ध हुए हैं । सत्ता के क्षणिक सुख के लिये भाजपा ने अपने भविष्य को दाव पर लगा दिया है । सत्ता मोह से दूर रहकर उसे अपने आधार और संगठन  में सुधार क प्रयत्न करना चाहिये । केवल सत्ता सुख के लिये झामुमो के साथ गठबंधन उसे भविष्य के लिये बहुत मँहगा पडेगा ।
   झारखण्ड के नेताओं को यह समझना होगा कि केवल जीन्स- टी शर्ट पहनने से कोइ आधुनिक नहीं हो जाता, इसके लिये मानसिकता में बदलाव लाना होता है । क्या झारखण्डी नेता इस बात को समझ पाएंगे?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Foreign affairs gone local

 Foreign affairs gone local: Swapan Das Gupta



Foreign policy is an instrument of promoting the national interest of a country. Through the instrumentality of policy a country tries to respond to the challenges of and inputs from international environment. It is a truism to say that foreign policy is the other side of domestic policy. When India was ruled on the bases of ideology and rhetoric India enunciated the policy of non-alignment, the content of which was anti-power, anti-West and anti-capitalist growth. Had non-alignment been really judging each issue on merit, not entering into multi-lateral military alliances and the extension of the concept of sovereignty in international affairs, there won't have been much problem with non-alignment. In fact, non-alignment as a policy of independence was a wise policy, but non-alignment as surreptitious alignment with the Soviet bloc brought ridicule to the policy. No doubt, domestic politics is a determinant of foreign policy , but when in order to placate a coalition partner, the  government bends foreign policy to an extent that hurts national interest, the govt owes an explanation to the country.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Naming Your India Book: A Pocket Guide - NYTimes.com

Naming Your India Book: A Pocket Guide - NYTimes.com:

I have been an admirer of Patrick French since the days he wrote Liberty or Death. But in the present list of books on India, French has omitted some very important books like Ronald B Inden's Imagining India, Indiana University Press, 2000 and Sunil Khilnani's Idea of India, Penguin Books, 1998.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reconciling Gandhi With Ambedkar - NYTimes.com

Reconciling Gandhi With Ambedkar - NYTimes.com:

Dr Ramchandra Guha, a historian made to order, only tries to be politically correct and in the process is economical with truth.

Economics Journal: The Price of Political Dynasties - India Real Time - WSJ

Economics Journal: The Price of Political Dynasties - India Real Time - WSJ:

The writer argues here that dynastic politics in India has not only affected the polity, but economy as well. In fact, dynastic politics dehumanises our soul and destroys the moral fabric of society.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Paul Berman: The Thought Police | The New Republic

Paul Berman: The Thought Police | The New Republic:

Facets of Islamic Thought and Practice

David Rieff for Democracy Journal: Democracy No!

David Rieff for Democracy Journal: Democracy No!:

America's record of promoting democracy has neither been sincere nor genuine; often it has been strategic. Had the US been serious in its support of democracy it could not have supported dictatorial Pakistan against democratic India. However, it must be admitted that American scholars don't hesitate to hold mirror to their own society and government.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The real reason why SP won in Uttar Pradesh - Analysis - DNA

The real reason why SP won in Uttar Pradesh - Analysis - DNA:

Francois Gautier is honest in his analysis and tells the truth, unpleasant to many. Akhilesh's coronation as UP CM is not going to change the nature of Samajwadi Party and BJP, in order to woo Muslim voters, loses the Hindu votes also.

World's Richest Politicians

World's Richest Politicians:

If rich people come into politics and remain rich it could be understood, but if people take to politics to make money it is not only immoral but the very anti-thesis of what politics should be. Sonia Gandhi will have to explain how she manged to make so much money.

Friday, March 9, 2012

India's Congress Party Loses Election in Uttar Pradesh for Pandering to Muslim Voters - NYTimes.com

India's Congress Party Loses Election in Uttar Pradesh for Pandering to Muslim Voters - NYTimes.com:

The politics of pandering has done immense harm to India and sooner the political parties realize this better will it be for the future of the country and their own future. Pandering to sectarian demands is showing its effect on society and polity.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Women in politics: India ranks 105th in world - Indian Express

Women in politics: India ranks 105th in world - Indian Express:

This is simply because Indian politics is so much dirty; our women will have to carry long brooms to clean it; and politics being the game for people with leisure, women in India find it difficult to enter politics.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

India a superpower? Unlikely, says LSE study - Indian Express

India a superpower? Unlikely, says LSE study - Indian Express:

We can appreciate that India is not a super power; we can also take in our stride that it is not likely to be one; but from these statements how does it flow that India should not aspire to be one? With historians like Ramchandra Guha included in the group, this type of study is not surprising.

I Paid a Bribe and Similar Corruption-Exposing Sites Spread - NYTimes.com

I Paid a Bribe and Similar Corruption-Exposing Sites Spread - NYTimes.com:

Anxiously waiting for the tipping point.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Column: Is the judiciary ruling India? - Analysis - DNA

Column: Is the judiciary ruling India? - Analysis - DNA:

Arvind Radhakrishnan, who has written this article, teaches law, but he has failed to understand the basic reason for the people's distrust of the executive and the legislature and its trust in the judiciary. It's right that politicians will have to play politics, but the politicians will have to understand the limit of their politicking. From 1950 the politicians began to play politics with the Constitution and began to violate its spirit, its provisions and unabashedly resorted to reckless amendment of the Constitution. No wonder that when in 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in the Golaknath case that Parliament could not amend Fundamental Rights, people generally welcomed this. In Keshavanand Bharati(1978) case the SC came out with the "basic structure" theory, which said that though Parliament has the power to amend any part of the Constitution, it could not amend the basic structure of the Constitution. In the Minerva Mills case(1980) the SC reiterated its position. The politicians took the Constitution for a ride when they had the requisite majority in the Parliament and State Legislatures. Had not the judiciary stepped in, the politicians would have thrown constitutional provisions and propriety through the window as is evident in the case of federal structure, governor's role, meaning of secularism etc. As the guardian of the Constitution it is incumbent upon the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution in the spirit of our founding fathers.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Great Catherine's Many Dimensions | The National Interest

Great Catherine's Many Dimensions | The National Interest:

Catherine the Great was one of the most famous rulers of pre-Revolution Russia. She was at once an enlightener, a law giver and reformer of state institutions. But she was also a woman whose marriage could not be consummated. In desperation she used her power of seduction to help her consolidate her hold over her country. Her's was a classic case of the successful use of sexual politics. For us Indians there is deja vu here.

Exclusive: HC requests UPA to ensure Prez nod for Mayawati’s bill - India - DNA

Exclusive: HC requests UPA to ensure Prez nod for Mayawati’s bill - India - DNA:

It is a curious case and previously unheard of. The Allahabad High Court has requested the UPA to shed political considerations and expedite the Presidential assent of Anticipatory Bail Bill passed by Mayavati Govt. The Governor can refer a bill passed by State Assembly for Presidential consideration and assent. There is no time limit for the President to give his assent. Simply by sitting on the bill the Union Govt can kill a bill passed by the State Assemblies. This is clearly against the federal structure of our Constitution. The politicians, the judiciary, the media, the academia and the legal fraternity owe it to the nation to address the issue before it is too late.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Muslim behavior/terrorism correlated with population size « Heaven Awaits

Muslim behavior/terrorism correlated with population size « Heaven Awaits:

Is Muslim behaviour dependent on its share in the society/ country? An analysis with many may not agree.

Bravely evaluate your leaders, starting with Nehru

Bravely evaluate your leaders, starting with Nehru: (1)

What has bravery to do with evaluation of our leaders?Like so many other things, such as, mixing religion with politics as in Khilafat Movement or caving in to blackmails by leaders like Jinnah, Gandhijee began the practice of nominating rulers which continues to this day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Four women judges hold promise of justice for 2002 - Indian Express

Four women judges hold promise of justice for 2002 - Indian Express:

Not sure if it is a sociological study of judicial behaviour in Gujrat or a sinister design to influence the course of justice!

SHEHJAR - Web Magazine for Kashmir :: A History of The Kashmiri Pandits Race

SHEHJAR - Web Magazine for Kashmir :: A History of The Kashmiri Pandits Race:

Not many people in the world have been forced to abandon their homeland in the name of democracy, secularism and short-sighted politics.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homosexuality in India: A Literary History - NYTimes.com

Homosexuality in India: A Literary History - NYTimes.com:

We have a penchant for tracing every thing, from aeroplane to atomic weapons, to ancient India. Homosexuality was never a feature a Indian tradition. To assert this is not to pass judgment on the morality or otherwise of individual sexual preferences.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The American Conservative » Christian Jihad

The American Conservative » Christian Jihad:

The Bible vs The Koran. In the context of controversy about the Bhagvadgita, it is interesting to find out which one advocates violence and genocide.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Delicately Poised Chemistry of Diplomacy - NYTimes.com

The Delicately Poised Chemistry of Diplomacy - NYTimes.com:

Xi Jinping, the trainee ruler of PRC's USA visit has again brought the situation behind the bamboo-curtain to the fore. And the secular-libtards of India in order to protect Nehruvian values and the Dynasty want us to follow the country, which has followed us at least for the last three millenniums.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Literary Review - Nick Cohen's February Pulpit

Literary Review - Nick Cohen's February Pulpit:

" ... radical Islam is probably the greatest cause of self-censorship in the West today." And so it is in India.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Somnath on 2G: Can’t interfere with policy decisions

Somnath on 2G: Can’t interfere with policy decisions:

Politicians, lawyers and some journalists are worried about the Supreme Court's foray into policy matters. However, they conveniently forget that the Supreme Court steps in only when other organs of government fail to perform their duties conscientiously. As guardian of the Constitution the Supreme Court is obligated to protect the Constitution in letter and spirit. Left to themselves our politicians won't have any compunction in sacrificing the interest of the country for staying in power and personal aggrandizement. These people fail to realize that in India it is not parliamentary supremacy, but supremacy of the Constitution. As interpreter of the Constitution the Supreme Court is justified in examining the laws, acts of Parliament and omissions and commissions of the Govt. The Indian Constitution does not establish a totalitarian state, it establishes a limited government. In a limited government it is only the judiciary which arbitrates on the limits of all organs of the government. It goes without saying that there is a vested interest of many sections of society in the continuance of a corrupt system. Protests from those sections in cleansing the system is expected.

Srilal Shukla: Tribute from a Rereader

Srilal Shukla: Tribute from a Rereader: Mrinal Pande

"... a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader."-- Vladimir Nabokov: Strong Opinions


Saturday, February 4, 2012

For men of honour - Hindustan Times

For men of honour - Hindustan Times:

Awarding Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards are against the spirit of the Constitution of India. Every law abiding, patriotic citizen is a Bharat Ratna. The Janata Party govt headed by Morarji Desai did away with this anti-democratic and autocratic practice in 1977. Indira Gandhi, after her return to power in 1980, again resumed the practice. What are the criteria for conferring these awards? No body knows. These awards go against the spirit of an egalitarian society and are in consonance with a feudal society. On what basis Atal Behari Vajpyee is denied Bharat Ratna, but Rajiv Gandhi is conferred one?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

At the crossroads of mediaphobia

At the crossroads of mediaphobia:

There is a concerted move to curb freedom of expression. The Govt manipulates media through advertisements, giving journalists several benefits, awarding Padma awards, putting them on various govt bodies, cajoling them, threatening them and through various other means. The countervailing force to Paid Media is social sites like the Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo etc. ,where citizen journalists freely express their opinion. This hurts the intolerant government. The Indian Constitution under Art 19 grants its citizens certain civic freedoms including Freedom of Speech and Expression. The First Amendment to the Constitution in 1951 widened the grounds of restrictions on the Freedom, but mercifully added the word "reasonable" before restriction making judicial review of restriction possible. The Courts in India have generally acted as the guardians of Fundamental Rights, but in the present case the role of a court has been against the spirit of the Constitution. The Court wanted to make India like China. Criticizing Sonia Gandhi may be blasphemy for the Congress, but for others it is not. Besides, in India blasphemy is not a ground for restricting the freedom of expression.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cullen Murphy - Inside the heresy files | New Humanist

Cullen Murphy - Inside the heresy files | New Humanist:

There has been The Inquisition, there have been many inquisitions and still several inquisitions are being held. As Hegel said Owls of Minerva hoot only during the nights, The Inquisition brought Renaissance and other inquisitions also rouse our conscience and make our thinkers sit up to think about society, government and governance.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Constituent Assembly and the Making of the Indian Constitution


The Constituent Assembly and the Making of the Constitution

The Constituent Assembly, constituted under the Cabinet Mission Plan, met for the first time on Dec.9, 1946. The Muslim League, smelling the creation of Pakistan, boycotted the CA. Before the boycott Congress constituted 69% of the membership of the CA, but after the withdrawal of the League the Congress percentage rose to 82. It is a fact that the Congress dominated the CA and most of its decisions were initiated and finalized within the party circles outside the Assembly forum, but the membership of the Assembly was nothing but representative of the prevailing opinion. The Assembly consisted of leading figures like Nehru, Patel, Pant, Rajendra Prasad, C Rajagopalachari, K M Munshi, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Abul Kalam Azad , M A Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan as also leading statesmen, journalists, professors; eminent lawyers like T T  Krishnamachari, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer and N Gopalaswamy Ayangar; learned public men like H V Kamath, H N Kunzru, K T Shah, K Santhanam, B Shiva Rao, eminent educationist Dr. S Radhakrishnan and B R Ambedkar, who was described by Beverley Nicholas in 1945 as “ one of the six best brains of India.” The CA also included Thakur Das Bhargav, Naziruddin Ahmad, Frank Anthony, Maharaja Of Darbhanga Kameshwar Singh and Jaipal Singh. Among women members mention may be made of Hansa Mehata, Sarojini Naidu & Mrs Durga Bai. Sir Benegal  Narhari Rau was the constitutional advisor to the CA.

Working of the Assembly
·         9th December 1946 – CA meets under the chairmanship of Sachchidanand Sinha.
·         11th December 1946 – Dr. Rajendra Prasad elected President of CA.
·         13th December 1946 – Jawaharlal Nehru introduces Objectives Resolution.
·         22nd January 1947 – CA accepts the Objectives Resolution.

The CA worked through a number of Committees. There were mainly two types of Committees: (a) Committees on Procedural Matters, (b) Committees on Substantive Matters. There were 10 Committees on procedural matters like Steering Committee, Rules of Procedure Committee, Training and Staff Committee, Credentials Committee, Hindi Translation Committee, etc.  There were 12 Committees on substantive matters like States Committee for negotiating with princely states  chaired by Nehru, Advisory Committee ( chaired by Sardar Patel ) , its  sub-committees on different matters like Fundamental Rights(chairman JB Kripalani), Minorities(chaired by H C Mookerjee), Union Powers Committee, Union Constitution Committee, Provincial Constitution Committee, Committee on Linguistic Provinces, etc. Nehru, Patel, Prasad & Azad chaired many of these committees along with eminent lawyers like Gopalaswamy Ayangar, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Pattabhi Sitaramayya, K M Munshi, BR Ambedkar and Satya Narayan Sinha formed the inner circle of these Committees. They provided the connecting link between various Committees.
The members were given extracts from 60 constitutions known as ‘Constitutional Precedents’.  After receiving  reports of the Committees B N Rau was asked to prepare a draft of the constitution. On 15 August 1947 the CA became not only a Constitution – making body, but a law-making body as well. The two tasks were to be performed on separate days; thus the Assembly became the first Parliament of India. Sri H C Mookerjee and V T Krishnamachari  became the Vice Presidents of the CA, where as G V Mavalankar  became the Chairman and M A Ayangar  the Deputy Chairman of CA(Legislative).
Status of the CA
When the Objectives Resolution was introduced in the CA, M R Jayakar objected to its introduction on the ground that it was “ wrong, illegal, premature, disastrous and dangerous”. Dr B R Ambedkar also supported Jayakar.
Jayakar’s arguments were countered by A K Iyer and N G Ayangar on the ground that there were two significant rules which proclaimed the sovereign nature of the C A. First, the President of the Assembly was named the guardian of the privileges of the Assembly, its spokesman, representative and its highest executive authority. Secondly, the Assembly could not be dissolved except by its own resolution passed at least by two thirds of all the members of the Assembly.
The Drafting Committee, constituted on August 29,1947, consisted of Dr B R Ambedkar, who was its Chairman, and A K Iyer, N G Ayangar, K M Munshi, Syed MD Sadullah, N Madhav Rau, B L Mitter, who soon after his appointment ceased to be a member of C A and D P Khaitan, who died in 1948. T T  Krishnamachari  replaced him in January 1949.
The Report of the DC was submitted on 21 February 1948. The Report was published to afford an opportunity to the Public, the Press and the Provincial Legislatures to give their opinions. A large number of comments, criticisms and suggestions for the amendment of the Draft Const. were received. The Drafting Committee considered all these. A Special Committee was constituted to go through them along with the recommendations of the Drafting Committee thereon. The suggestions made by the Special Committee were again considered by the Drafting Committee and certain amendments were picked up for incorporation. To facilitate reference to such amendments, the D C decided to issue a reprint of the Draft Constitution which was submitted to the President of the Assembly on 26 October 1948. The C A took it up for general discussion on 4 November 1948. The C A finally approved the Constitution on 26 Nov. 1949 as the President of the Assembly signed on that day and it was declared as passed. On 24 January 1950 Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected President of the Republic. Some provisions of the Constitution immediately came into operation, but the full Constitution came into force on 26 January 1950, the date that was celebrated as First Independence Day in 1930.
The C A took 2 years 11 months and 18 days to frame the Constitution. (The US Constitutional Convention took 4 months, that of Australia 9 years and Canada 2 years and 5 months). The C A held altogether 11 Sessions which covered a period of 165 days. Of these 114 days were spent on the consideration of the Draft Constitution. B N Rau’s text consisted of 243 Articles and 13 Schedules, the Draft Const. prepared by the Drafting Committee consisted of 315 Articles and 8 Schedules. At the end of the consideration stage, the number of Articles grew to 386. In its final form the Const. consisted of 395 Articles and 8 Schedules. To the Draft Const. 7,635 amendments were tabled, of which 2, 473 were actually moved, discussed and disposed of. The Assembly cost the Exchequer Rs. 6.4 million.
Problems and Tasks of the CA
1.       Boycott by the Muslim League
2.       Partition of the Country
3.       Accession of Princely States
4.       Constitution-making
5.       Law-making             
Points on Which There Was Not Much Debate in the CA
1.      India should have a written const.;
2.       India should be a Republic;
3.       It should be Secular;
4.       It should have a Federal set up;
5.       There should be Parliamentary democracy;
6.       It should be a Welfare state;
7.       There should be Adult Suffrage; and
8.       India should continue its membership of the Commonwealth.
Critique of the CA
1.       Unrepresentative;
2.       Not Sovereign;
3.       Congress dominated;
4.       Lawyers dominated;
5.       Not Indigenous – A Purloined Constitution,  Govt. of India Act,1935 – 321 Articles/ Sections;
6.       Very Lengthy Const. – Lawyers’ Paradise ( Sir Ivor Jennings );
7.       Irreconcilable Systems and Provisions.
Philosophical Postulates of the Indian Const.
  Based on the Objectives Resolution, Preamble and Discourse of National Movement
1.       Popular Sovereignty – Article 326 entitles citizens above the age of 18 years (61st Amendment brought down the age from 21 to 18) to be registered as a voter; Art. 243C(2),243R(1);
2.       Democracy – Democracy involves two questions: i) Decision taken by whom (collective choice) and ii) for whom (social choice)? Democracy is a system of collective decision-making in which there is:  i. Public control over collective decisions and ii. Equality of rights in implementing those decisions;
3.       Republicanism – Latin Res Publicae, the public thing, i.e. state & govt. Two uses: Narrow and Broad. In narrow meaning any state that is not Monarchy; In broader terms a system that doesn’t allow majority tyranny and favours popular sovereignty. The Americans prefer Republic over Democracy;
4.       Liberalism – dignity of individual, limited government, rights of men/women, man/woman centric;
5.       Secularism – A state which has no state religion; does not discriminate on the basis of religion; allows freedom of religion to all. The secularist view holds that while politics is a public affair, religion is a private affair. The two should not be mixed up. Indian view of secularism emphasizes Sarva Dharma Sambhava , equal respect for all religions;
6.       Egalitarianism – a belief that people are or ought to be equal in at least some, possibly every, activity relevant to political decision-making;
7.       Socialism, Justice & Welfare State – Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, Part X – Scheduled & Tribal Areas – Schedules V & V1, Minorities, Backward Classes;
8.       Nationalism – in the Indian context nationalism + patriotism;
9.       Gandhism; and
10.   Internationalism.
Our Founding Fathers made a constitution on the basis of Indian genius of Consensus and Accommodation. As was observed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad: “ The Constitution has provisions in it which appear to be objectionable from one point or other. We must admit that the defects are inherent in the situation in the country and in the people at large.” He very pertinently pointed out:  “ We have prepared a democratic constitution. But successful working of democratic institutions requires in those who have to work them, willingness to respect the viewpoints of others, capacity for compromise and accommodation. Many things which cannot be written in a Constitution are done by conventions. Let me hope that we shall show those capacities and develop those conventions. The way in which we have been able to draw this Constitution without taking recourse to voting and to divisions I lobbies strengthen that hope.” CA Debates, Vol. 10, p.192
Objectives Resolution:
The Objectives Resolution moved by Jawaharlal Nehru on 13 December 1946 expressed the objectives of the Constitution-makers. The main principles outlined in the OR were as follows:
1.       India was to be an Independent Sovereign Republic;
2.       It was to be a democratic Union with equal level of self-government in all the constituent parts; (the constituent units “ shall possess and retain the status of autonomous powers and functions of government and administration, save and except such powers and functions as are vested in or assigned to the Union.”;
3.       All power and authority of the Govt. was derived from the people;
4.       It would strive to obtain and guarantee to the people social, economic and political justice, equality of status, of opportunity and before the law;
5.       There would be freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association  and action;
6.       The Const. would provide just rights for minorities, backward classes, tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes so that they could be equal participants of social, economic and political justice;
7.       The maintenance of territorial integrity and sovereign rights according to justice and the law of civilized nations; and
8.       To secure for India a due place in the comity of nations.( This ancient land attain its rightful and honoured place in the world and make its full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.)
While introducing the OR Nehru described it as “a declaration, a firm resolve, a pledge, an undertaking, a contract with millions of Indians and, therefore, in the nature of an oath which we mean to keep.”
 Gandhi’s Vision for India’s Constitution
While standing on the deck of a ship en route to London in 1931 Mahatma Gandhi, in reply to a journalist’s question about the type of constitution he would like for India, said:
I shall strive for a constitution which will release India from all tharldom and patronage, and give her, if need be, the right to sin. I shall work for an India in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice; an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people; an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks and drugs. Women shall enjoy the same rights as men. Since we shall be at peace with all the rest of the world, neither exploiting nor being exploited, we should have the smallest army imaginable. All interests not in conflict with the interests of the dumb millions will be scrupulously respected, whether foreign or indigenous. Personally, I hate distinction between foreign or indigenous. This is the India of my dreams.
Bibliography
Austen, Granville: Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation, OUP, 1966
Palmer, Norman D: Indian Political System
Jones, Morris: The Indian Politics and Govt.
Pylee, MV: Constitutional Govt. in India
Kashyap, Subhash: India’s Constitution, NBT
Jha, Raj Kumar, Rashtreeya Andolan aur Bharteeya Shasan, Motial Banarasidas, 1987