The Devil’s Advocate
1984 will always go down as the year of bad memories. The massacre of innocent Sikhs following the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi remains a black spot on Indian democracy. The fact that the innocents can be killed in thousands is terrible. What is worse is that the guilty went unpunished.
The collusion of the state was visible. None of the rioters were fired upon by the police. They were given a safe passage to loot and kill. For years, the FIRs were not registered. No arrests were made. The violence was politically rationalized by the then Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. Justice Ranganath Mishra’s Commission, appointed by the Congress government, provided a cover up for the state sponsored violence. After his retirement, this judge was rewarded with the Rajya Sabha nomination by the Congress Party. It is only the NDA government who appointed Justice Nanavati Commission of Inquiry which came out with the truth. Since then investigating agencies have tried to prosecute many of those involved in the riots.
It is for the investigating and judicial process to find out the truth. Why has Captain Amarinder Singh become the “Devil’s Advocate” and decided to offer a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler? Is he trying to prejudge the guilt of a person who is perceived to be involved in the riots? Is his personal and political relationship more important to the Captain than the interest of the victims?
The Captain has charged me for appearing for “Dow Jones” against the Bhopal gas victims. Dow Jones has nothing to do with either the Union Carbide or Bhopal gas tragedy. It is a leading American financial company. Dow Jones incidentally owns the Wall Street Journal. The name of the lawyer who appeared against Bhopal gas victims is Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is the chief spokesperson of Captain Amarinder Singh’s political party. I have advised and appeared for thousands of clients as a part of my professional commitment. If persons or a company not involved in the tragedy, wanted to have the benefit of my advice, it is my professional ethics as a lawyer to give them the correct legal advice. This is what I have done.
India’s Vulnerable Defence
As the election campaign proceeds, I have come across hundreds of ex-servicemen who live in every part of the country. They served India through its crisis. They are patriotic and welled intention citizens. All of them are concerned with the issue of “one rank one pension” which has been a long standing demand of ex-servicemen.
The BJP has included the “one rank one pension” issue as a part of its manifesto. We are committed to implement this. The Congress has been repeatedly bluffing the ex-servicemen on this issue. A few years ago, the Finance Minister announced, in the course of his budget speech, that this demand had been accepted. Subsequently, we found out that the acceptance was only in respect to a very miniscule category and not all ex-servicemen. This year again, in the budget speech, the Finance Minister announced the acceptance of this demand. However, again the ex-servicemen have been bluffed. No notification has been issued to give enforcement effect to this demand.
What is of equal concern is also the lack of India’s defence preparedness. Our defence procurement has hugely suffered. The Raksha Mantri A.K.Antony’s failure to take decisions is primarily responsible for this. Today the geostrategic realities of India’s have changed. A Pakistan - China military axis has come in to existence. China’s increased assertiveness and Pakistan’s unpredictability in border relations calls for India never to lower its guard. However, modernization of defence equipment is woefully lacking. Obsolete technologies have to be replaced with the state of the art technologies. The gap between India’s military superiority over Pakistan has somewhat narrowed down. No country with 15000 kms of international border can afford to rely on obsolete technologies. The recent tragedies involving Indian submarine flags the issue of obsolete Naval fleet. Whereas China continues to strengthen its border infrastructure, we have neglected ours.
As a “nation first” party, the BJP is committed to be firm on defence preparedness.