New Year celebrations
January 1st was a special day for people as this day was the beginning of the New Year and people welcomed the new year in their own way. People start the preparations for the New Year celebration many days in advance. As we all know that the New Year of different nations begins on different days but celebrating the New Year on January 1 also contributes significantly to the unity of all religions. From the night of December 31, gathering in different groups at different places, people start celebrating New Year and at midnight, greet each other with New Year wishes and greetings. New Year is a time when many people around the world make promises; however, many of the promises made by people are rarely completed.
Accidental Prime Minister
It refers to the film trailer release of The Accidental-Prime-Minister on December 28, 2018. The film based on the book by Sanjay Baru, media-advisor to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that has caused waves of embarrassment in Congress party for obvious reasons, confusing everyone in the party whether to demand ban on the film or not. Any such demand to ban would have been considered an attack on freedom of expression.
Damage control exercise of Congress President by giving special honour of symbolic cake cutting to Manmohan Singh on the occasion of Foundation Day of oldest political party with Congress President seen helping him, and confusing talks by the party cadre for the demand to ban of the film bounced back giving extra publicity to the film which is said to have projected Manmohan Singh having acted on directions of the then Congress President during his tenure as Prime Minister. Ignoring the film would have been beneficial for Congress.
It is noteworthy that famous Hindi film ‘Aandhi’ was banned in Congress regime because of the common knowledge that the film was based on the life of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Instant divorce should be criminalised for all communities
The issue of abandonment of the wife is at the heart of the argument against instant divorce. The government wants to criminalise this act but only for Muslim men. Abandonment is not criminally punishable for members of other communities. Why? A Hindu, a Christian or a male member of any other community could practically lock his wife out of their residence or shift to a different house and live in an ‘ adulterous’ relationship, and still escape the criminal process. The words the men may use to announce their sudden dislike for their wives are not even a matter for the law. It is totally discrimination regarding Muslim men from the government. I think the government should ponder about every abandoned woman of every community not only Muslim women. I sincerely hope that the apex court will strike down the draconian law. India’s social fabric can only sustain so much damage.
Plastic menace continues
Coastal sites off Mumbai are clogged and have formed a menace for the fishing industry. We come across fish with plastic in their stomachs which is a sorry state of affairs. Eighty-four-thousand kilos of plastic bags accounted for the bulk of garbage, which in turn clog the drainage system and sea, thus making life most miserable for the fishing fraternity. The civic bodies have failed to achieve a fair result in banning plastic bags and the menace continues. Even BMC drive against plastic bags loses steam due to various reasons, which includes administrative exigencies. Of late, the plastic menace had taken the country by storm. So, plastic-free zones have been created. But the response is not encouraging and the public turn to plastic bags despite caution from the State and Central Governments. By banning plastic bags, we must try our best to combat the plastic menace. It is the utmost duty of the residents of Navi Mumbai to maintain the city neat and clean. Firstly, the use of plastic needs to be avoided totally. That is the root cause for blockage of coastal blocks and ecosystem and that causes contamination of sea water disrupting fishing activities.
All savings-schemes, RBI bonds and LIC pension-plans should be available at branches of PSBs
The then Finance Secretary Dr. Hansmukh Adia vide a demo-official letter dated February 7, 2018, transferred suggestions about making available all government savings-schemes including all those available in post-offices, RBI-bonds bearing 7.75 per cent annual interest and LIC pension-plans including Jeevan Akshay and Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojna in all branches of public sector banks to Rajiv Kumar, the then Secretary of Department of Financial Services. These detailed submissions also suggesting linking of every branch of all public-sector banks to nearing units of LIC of India, were also posted on February 2,2018, at various portals vide registration-numbers PMOPG-E-2018-0048627, PRSEC-E-2018-01856, DEABD-E-2018-01715, DEAID-E-2018-00278, DPOST-E-2018-01854, DORVU-E-2018-00185.
Deputy Director (Budget) Vijay Kumar at Department of Economic Affairs in a reply dated February 16, 2018, to submissions dated January 2, 2018, registered at pgportal.gov.in vide registration-number DEABD-2018-0187 gave a list of 23 institutions including some of private and public-sector banks where investments could be made in RBI-bonds. He on telephone number 23093569 confirmed that all saving-schemes presently available in post-offices were available in all public-sector banks. But bank branches are not aware of any such facility as confirmed telephonically by Deputy Director (Budget). However, he did not confirm in writing about facility being available in all bank-branches despite telephonic assurance.
Concerned government departments and public sector institutions should co-ordinate to implement these suggestions in the interest of all concerned by abolishing private commission-agents, and instead motivate bank managers through incentives to popularise these schemes. Even private-sector banks can be authorised to accept deposits under these schemes by offering some nominal commission.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
Public discipline is necessary
As the bells tolled this December 31st midnight, people danced in joy and responsibly displayed fireworks, heralding the advent of 2019, I wish AV’s readers and well-wishers, a very vibrant and progressive new year with greater wealth and wellness.
Good health, good heart and exquisite beauty should be cherished by everyone and we should exhort our young boys and girls to be strong, skilled, well-mannered and happy faced indicative of obedience and discipline. Without public discipline, no nation can really progress and we take a pledge to be disciplined and chivalrous.