‘Kejriwal’s Arrest Is An Attack On Indian Democracy’

Rani Rajput, a journalism student at Jagran Institute of Management and Mass Communication (JIMMC) in Noida, says Kejriwal’s arrest raises questions on ED impartiality. Her views:

My initial reaction to the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal and the ED (enforcement directorate) raids targeting opposition leaders was one of deep concern, while holding the commitment to objective and impartial scrutiny. This act of the BJP government clearly shows that they want to bring a certain kind of dictatorship in the country, since there is no evidence to show that the elected Delhi chief minister is guilty. These events raise questions about the impartiality of the law enforcement agencies, and the potential misuse of power for political purposes.

It is the same scenario with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia who is languishing in prison for over a year; even while the question remains about any solid evidence to prove the charges against him. If they are involved in money laundering, then show us where the money has gone? There is no money trail established thus far.

Indeed, we cannot keep anyone in jail like this merely on accusation and suspicion. Additionally, it’s crucial to uphold journalistic principles of transparency, accountability and the protection of freedom of expression, especially in an environment where political tensions are high. Hence, reporting about these sensitive cases should be based on unbiased, balanced, and evidence-based objectivity.

India is a democracy. Such acts reflect the characteristics of brazen dictatorial tendencies. We can clearly see that the current ruling party at the Centre does not want to give up their power at any cost. The arrest of opposition leaders and targeted raids by central agencies in the weeks leading up to the Lok Sabha polls, and earlier, can send a message signifying the suppression of dissent and the absolute dominance of those in power. In a democracy, there must be free and fair elections, transparency and rule of law must be followed. With these methods to suppress the opposition, it erodes trust in the democratic process and can lead to disillusionment among the citizens.

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Besides, as a citizen of Delhi, I think Kejriwal and his government has done good work for the people of Delhi since they have focused on the basic needs of common citizens. More so, everyone’s needs cannot be fulfilled just by building temples! The initiatives, such as providing free water and subsidized electricity, have been widely praised for their direct and positive impact on the lives of citizens, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. These policies have helped alleviate the financial burden on low income households.

Similarly, in the education sector, the government’s investment in public schools, including infrastructure upgrades and teachers’-training, has led to enhanced educational outcomes and higher excellence in primary and secondary education for thousands of students, mostly coming from humble backgrounds. Additionally, initiatives such as mohalla clinics have expanded access to healthcare services for ordinary citizens.

However, it’s also important to consider the challenges and criticisms faced by the Delhi government.  Some critics argue that the government’s policies may not be sustainable in the long-term. However, overall, Kejriwal’s government’s performance in Delhi depends on various factors, including their social welfare priorities and perspectives. Certainly, as a journalism student, it’s important to critically analyse, both the successes and the shortcomings of government policies.

As told to Amit Sengupta

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‘BJP Suspended Oppn MPs To Avoid Debate On Controversial Bills’

Dr Manish S. Hindvi, Uttar Pradesh Congress leader, says the ruling dispensation conspired to push through amendments that should have faced House scrutiny. His views:

It has been well established by now that the present government at the Centre is working in a dictatorship mode. Other than suppressing all the voices advocating free and fair democratic setup, the BJP-led NDA government has nothing to boast in terms of its achievements in the past 10 years. The suspension of 146 Parliamentarians during the just concluded Winter Session must be seen in this context.

There was no other reason but to avoid any public debate in amendment of the three Criminal Laws. I suspect that the ploy to suspend MPs also carried a dip-stick test to gauge public opinion; if the decision had received any negative opinion they could well have recalled the suspension.

The other major development that went unnoticed was the introduction of the Bill which proposed the selection of the election commissioners by a panel led by the prime minister, leader of the opposition and a Union minister as it members. This was done, in the absence of a majority of opposition MPs, to overrule the verdict of the Supreme Court that ruled that the appointment (of the ECs) will be done by the President of India based on the advice of a committee comprising the PM, the leader of opposition and the Chief Justice of India. They conveniently and unethically replaced the CJI role with that of a Union minister to tilt the scales in their favour.

ALSO READ: ‘Suspension of MPs Smacks of Political Monotheism’

Other than its evergreen agenda of the Ram Temple and the abrogation of Article 370 from J&K, the BJP has nothing to put forward for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections irrespective of the fact that whatever is happening in Ayodhya was possible only after the verdict of the Supreme Court.

This government never talks of rising inflation, crime and unemployment as against the larger than the picture claims made on various platforms. They only peddle soft Hindutva (which they did in 2014) and Pulwama (in 2019); they forget that the issue of Ram Temple will only have limited impact in the northern part of India.

It is also unconstitutional and unbecoming for a PM to head any kind of religious function in a secular state. Ideally, the Shankaracharya or the head priest of the Ram Temple should be presiding over the consecration ceremony. Lord Ram is the subject of one’s personal faith and every Sanatani Hindu has a right over Ramji. But, can anyone restrict God to any single party?

By the actions and ongoing propaganda of BJP, it appears that the consecration ceremony is the program of only a single party. They (BJP) are sending invitations by a pick and choose method as if they have the proprietorship over Lord Ram and they are, in a way, also checking the reaction (of the opposition parties) that they could well use in the elections.

I am a Sanatani Hindu and I will not wait for any invitation or directions from anyone to pay a visit to the Ram Temple as we bow to God on every auspicious occasion and the beginning of each day.

As told to Rajat Rai

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