1) Kerala under disaster
Kerala is under a big disaster. The torrential rain is batting continuously in various parts of the state. The government has sounded a red alert in the eight districts. 3,000 families have been evacuated from the affected areas. More than 53,000 people are lodged in 439 relief camps across the state. The army has been deployed to rescue frenzied mob and flood victims in various parts of the state. Now, it’s a moral obligation and high time for the welfare organisations and the NGOs across India to lend a helping hand to all rescue works and provide the victims with foods, accommodations, and all the necessaries. I appreciate the Kerala government for doing admirable efforts to help them.
2) Permanent pyre-platform in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Union Cabinet in the year 2000 passed a resolution that no more samadhis would be made for departed leaders, and also no government-bungalow would be converted into memorials. The central government thereafter decided to develop a permanent cremation-platform for dignitaries entitled for state-cremation. The central government should develop pyre-platform of Atal Bihari Vajpayee into a raised one named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee so that his passed resolution may be respected and extraordinary privileged honour may be given to Atal Ji by naming the pyre-platform after him like was done by naming VVIP pyre-platform used for cremation of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya at Nigambodh Ghat at Delhi after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
The central government rightly honoured protocol framed during the regime of Atal Bihari Vajpayee by declaring just a half-day holiday for the central government rather than a full-day holiday. However, the Delhi government rightly gave him the due honour for declaring a full-day holiday at state-level in offices and schools with trade-associations of the capital coming forward for the closure of markets in the capital city on August 17, 2018, as a mark of respect to the undisputed political star of the country.
– Madhu Agrawal
3) Stop crime against children
A six-year-old girl was raped by an electrician inside the school premises in New Delhi. It is very shameful, terrible, and a horrible act. Whatever is happening to the children or women is totally wrong. We strongly condemn this heinous act. It shouldn’t be regarded as a religious matter as this is a matter of humanity. We need to stand up against these barbaric incidents. We also need to enforce strong morals and human values in our schools and make that effort along with the families.
– Md Adil Qasmi
4) What about hung state-assemblies?
The BJP President has given some practical ideas to the Law Commission for initiating the process for simultaneous elections at least for some state-assemblies, if not all, with forthcoming Lok Sabha elections due in the year 2019. Imposing President-rule in states where Assembly elections are till 2019-elections to Lok Sabha, is not difficult because three out of four states are BJP-ruled. State-assemblies, where elections are due till December 2019, can be dissolved to pave way for simultaneous elections. Since the idea is given by BJP President himself, all the BJP-ruled state-assemblies can be dissolved on the recommendations of the Chief Ministers of BJP or their allies. For future, it can be legislated that the terms of state-assemblies can be auto extended or reduced by up to say six months to hold simultaneous elections with Lok Sabha elections for ensuring any election simultaneously only once in a year.
But a big question is of the hypothetical situation of hung state-assemblies. In such cases, state-assemblies cannot remain suspended for five years. Only and the best remedy is to elect Prime Minister and Chief Ministers simultaneously with Speakers and Deputy Speakers through secret and compulsory votes of all members through VVPAT equipped EVMs on nominations signed by at least 34 per cent members to ensure direct election. Losing one in the race of the Chief Minister may be declared the Opposition Leader. Members not participating in such elections may lose voting-right in the House though retaining membership. Arrangements may be made for votes of ailing members at the place of treatment. Such elected persons may only be removed through no-confidence motions passed in the same manner but with a compulsion to name an alternate leader in the same motion. Such a process will eliminate possibilities of hung assemblies and unholy political bargains.
– Subhash Chandra Agrawal
5) Agni V aiming high
Agni-5 will be inducted by December this year and that is a good news. With a strike range of 5,000 km, the surface-to-surface missile will be launched by the year-end. This is the sixth trial of the state-of-the-art Agni-5. The missile covered will cover the full distance during the trial. Unlike other missiles of the series, Agni-5 is the most advanced with new technologies in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine and hence it would prove a significant success. The missile features many new indigenously-developed technologies, including the very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS), and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) which improves the accuracy of the missile. The Agni V is widely seen as a nuclear deterrent, capable of reaching the destination in China. The long-range missile likely to undergo a final test by October end and it will be one more feather in our scientist’s cap.
– C.K. Subramaniam
6) An obituary- VS Naipaul
VS Naipaul, the Trinidad-born Nobel laureate whose precise and lyrical writing in such novels as A Bend in the River and A House for Mr. Biswas and brittle, misanthropic personality made him one of the world’s most admired and contentious writers, died at his London home. He was 85. Naipaul’s work reflected his personal journey from Trinidad to London and various stops in developing countries. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories. In an extraordinary career spanning half a century, Naipaul travelled as a self-described barefoot colonial from his rural childhood to upper-class England and was hailed as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. From A Bend in the River to The Enigma of Arrival to Finding the Centre, Naipaul’s books explored colonialism and decolonisation, exile and the struggles of the everyman in the developing world. Let his travelogue continue in heaven.
– Nickhil Krishnan
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)