PUCL Bulletin, Oct., 2002

Mulayam Singh chastises the President
-- By Y.P. Chhibbar

Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, the President of the Samajwadi Party, issued a statement on August 24 expressing his "concern" on the decision of the President to send back to the Union Cabinet the ordinance on electoral reforms. He said that not to give presidential assent on a matter on which the country's political parties were unanimous was against the basic sprit of the Constitution. He went on to say that it was against the dignity of the President's office and against the soul of the Constitution to return an ordinance for reconsideration on the basis of incomplete information and on the advice of so called intellectuals who have no understanding of practical functioning of Indian politics. He went on to issue a warning to the President that he better be mindful of the Constitutional traditions before embarking on such steps.

It is a statement that merits serious attention.

Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav looses sight of the fact that the Constitution, and for that matter the Constitutions of all democratic countries, are based on checks and balances.

The necessity of Presidential assent has been written in the Constitution precisely for such situations. If the government of the day decides to undo a judgement of the highest court of the country, such a step of the government may require a second consideration. The unanimous opposition by all political parties, is not, cannot be, the last word on a question of basic importance to the democratic structure, which the Constitution represents. If all the political parties join hands to circumvent the attempt of the Supreme Court to cleanse the electoral process, it does not mean that the people of the country do not want clean elections and unblemished candidates to go to the Parliament or the Assemblies. The basic sprit of the Constitution is not the supremacy of the political parties but the supremacy of the common citizen. The right of the citizen to know is an important element of informed opinion. It is to safe guard the general will from the actual will that checks and balances are woven into the fabric of Constitutions.

Shri Yadav further accused the President of acting on the advice of the "so called" intellectuals who have no understanding of the practical functioning of politics. Shri Yadav has every right to debunk any citizen who does not agree with his views. No one will fight with him on that score. If a former Chief Justice of a High Court, a former Editor and a present member of the Rajya Sabha, a former Vice Chancellor, a former Chief of Indian Navy, political analysts, and lawyers call on the President and the President gives them a patient hearing, Shri Yadav should not be irked by it to the extent of calling them names.
If by "understanding of practical functioning of Indian politics" he means depriving the common citizen of her/his right to know the background of those who want to fight elections and get elected, the country should better be prepared to see the likes of Dawood elected to the Parliament. One remembers that in the recent past when the cabinet in U P had taken oath, highly placed police officers were quoted as saying that criminals who had been absconding for long had surfaced in the Raj Bhawan that day to take the oath of office!

The Supreme Court will decide on the legal correctness of the issues involved. But the concern of the "so called intellectuals" and of the people at large will remain the healthy growth of democracy in the country.

Narendra Modi's hate-full speech
The matters surrounding 'the speech' of Shri Narendra Modi are getting curiouser and curiouser. Translated into simple words, it is alleged that he had said the following in Gujarati:

'We do not want to run the (refugee) camps for those persons who marry four wives, and this family of 5 in turn produces 25 children. This increasing number of children lines up for fixing punctures and they have no manners'.
When the National Commission for Minorities wanted a tape of the speech, the State Government denied that such a speech was made. Shri Arun Jaitley also said on TV that there was no tape because no such speech was made. Then, a TV channel played the tape and claimed that this was the tape of the speech in question. Now, the VHP has announced that they have a tape of the speech and they are planning to make thousands of its copies and play them all over the country to educate the Hindus. The VHP has already been saying that the events in Gujarat were an experiment, which is now going to be repeated all over the country.

What the stand of the Psuedo-Hindus and the psuedo-secularists making up the NDA is going to be now is to be seen

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