Friday, April 14, 2017

WHY DID THE INDIAN ARMY TIE A STONE-PELTER ON THEIR JEEP?

Source: V. Oshoyoung
THE REAL STORY
An image of the Indian Army tying a stone pelter on their jeep has surfaced on social media. Although several people hailed the move, quite a few termed this action as barbaric. Omar Abdullah was the first to join the voice against the Indian Army for this action. Here is the truth about the incident which happened today. You be the judge and decide for yourself whether the Indian Army did the right or wrong thing.


The video is of 9th April. The location is Budgam in Kashmir. One of the police booth was targeted in Budgam on the election day on 9th April. The ITBP and Jammu and Kashmir personnel were guarding a polling booth. When the polling was almost over, a mob of about 900 stone pelters attacked the personnel guarding the booth. Eye witnesses said that they were not pelting just stones.


SHOCKING DETAILS
They in fact had huge boulders in their hand which they were throwing at the ITBP and J&K Police. They wanted to prevent the people from casting their votes, said a person who witnessed the incident. What is to be noted here is that there were only 9 security personnel to guard the polling booth. It was 9 versus 900. The ITBP Jawans realized that they would not be able to get out alive unless and until they do something.


Please recall at this moment that a stone pelter doesn’t fear the CRPF or police anymore. A recent video on social media showed Kashmir youth who were beating up CRPF Jawans carrying guns. Guns were useless at this moment too. “They threatened us that they would lynch us all to death. We were 9 people in total, they were in hundreds. We immediately called the Army station commander and sent out a SOS message. The Army Commander immediately helped us. He sent in a Quick Response Team (QRT) with one jeep and one bus,” said one of the men who was trapped in a room with a mob of 900 waiting outside to kill him.


COMMANDER’S AMAZING PRESENCE OF MIND!
When the QRT arrived, they too realized that they were outnumbered. The QRT has about 17 members, but they too knew that it would be difficult to face a mob of 900. The Commander of the QRT decided that it would be a bad idea to open fire at the mob and could escalate tensions. The Commander immediately decided that rescuing the men inside is what was important.


He caught hold of one Kashmiri stone pelter, tied him on to the jeep and drove pas the mob of 900. Not only did they go in, they saved the 9 ITBP and J&K Police personnel, and managed to come out alive. Omar Abdullah and several other so called liberal people who are criticizing the army must understand what really transpired before commenting.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What makes our municipal bodies a den of corruption?

It was hardly surprising when star comedian Kapil Sharma tweeted a bribe complaint against Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials. At the same time many questioned what a Prime Minister has to do with graft charge against officials of a local municipal body and as the elected head of the country PM’s concerns are much larger issues affecting the country. While that may be true the fact is that even the Prime Minister’s intervention could hardly have done anything much beyond saving the day for Sharma to address the larger malaise ailing our municipal bodies. In India, like elsewhere some departments are inherently corrupt, municipal bodies being one of them. It doesn’t matter where and in which cities or state these municipal bodies are situated, one common thread connecting almost all of them is that they are all highly graft-prone.

Let’s take the case of BMC. The body is one of the most cash rich municipal bodies in the country with an annual budget of whooping Rs. 37,000 crore. Controlled by the Sena-BJP alliance it covers an area of 480.24 sq kms and touches lives of more than 1.2 crore Mumbaikars daily as per the census of 2001. Among many other things needed to create and maintain the megapolis’ civil infrastructure, the agency is also tasked with business licensing, health services and disaster management.

It is no more a classified fact that corruption is well entrenched in the BMC. So much so that a 2005 Transparency International Report had to conclude that municipal services in Maharashtra including the BMC rank among the top five corrupt services in the country. It does not stopped there, in a stinging indictment of the agency a division bench of Bombay high court in September 2011 called it as one of the most corrupt institution. Maharshtra’s own Anti-corruption bureau in its annual report ranked it a top offender in corruption cases in 2008.

Time and again claims have been made by the state government and top BMC officials that they are doing as much as they can to get the agency rid of the malaise, but much of it has not got beyond a mere lip service. The seriousness of their efforts was laid bare recently when a RTI reply showed that the agency did not initiated any action against as many as 27 officials who were found to be involved in corruption cases between 2005 and February, 2016 but rather reinstated some of them. It is on record that every year a large number of BMC officials are trapped and arrested for demanding and accepting bribes. A news report published today says that just in the past one year, the state ACB has arrested 20 people working for or associated with the civic body for graft charges.

It is not just about the BMC, the fact is it’s just one of the symbols, and governments world over are struggling to find a way out to get rid of corruption in local governance in their respective countries. Take a name, Africa, Latin America, Asia, even European countries - almost all of them are struggling to cope with the graft affliction in their local governance. Forget treatment, in reality with time scams are becoming larger, the corruption money is growing exponentially from quite a few lacs to now in hundreds of crores.

The question also is that why it is so challenging to the extent of nearly impossible to get BMC rid of the corruption cancer? Let’s take it one by one:
  
-     Size: Is one of the largest local governments in the Asian continent with more than 1.2 crore population under its wings. With more officials, it is harder to keep tabs on each one and establish a decent administration and to monitor their activities.

-     Politics: BMC has an established political culture with politicians brazenly known to influencing plum postings with the most lucrative departments being Building Proposal Department, Slum Rehabilitation and Road Construction. Attempts to rein in the corrupt officials have stumbled due to political interference and had to be abandoned.

-     Transparency: While of late rules have been tweaked to ensure greater transparency but not much has changed. In 2010 CM Prithviraj Chavan said "The BMC lacks transparency”.

-      Accountability: There’s no proper and established mechanism to fix responsibility. For eg. engineers intentionally delay sanctioning projects to pressure builders to pay up.

So, what is the solution? No one will disagree to the fact that Mumbai with all its manifestations still remains the singular super-tall symbol of a rising aspirational India. The Maximum City accounts major portion of India's foreign trade and government revenue, from being one of the foremost centers of education, science and technological research and advancement. The soft power of its cinema industry has mesmerized millions world over and has helped in nation’s global outreach. And therefore leaving its local governance into status-quo mode does not bode well for the future of the city.

The fact is in days to come we will see more steady devolution of powers from the centre down to the municipal level. From health, education to social welfare and commercial licensing, municipal agencies are now playing a far greater role in devising and delivering key public services to the last mile.

First and foremost a strong political will to change things coupled with transparency and active citizen participation is a need of the hour. A proper auditing and monitoring must be ensured to achieve accountability and transparency. And lastly, a size as humongous as the BMC is not conducive to counter corruption. The smaller, the better governance.

@rajivjournalist

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Holy cow! When BJP governments took ‘gau seva’ to ludicrous heights

It’s often said that cow, in India, is a political animal. She gives milk as well as votes, and of course cow dung, cakes of which is used as fuel for making food. She’s a holy animal for Hindus, which I too believe in, irrespective of the never ending debate over when and how she became sacred for the Hindus. Unfortunately, she’s is in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Most of us recently saw the video of how four men, suspected of trading in cow skin, were brutally thrashed by a mob of cow vigilante in Gujarat's Somnath district. It was a shameful, inhumane incident and a gross violation of the law and human right. Any sensible government would have had immediately acted against the perpetrators and ensured toughest punishment for them. But that was not to happen. Arrests came late and customary to the gravity of the crime.

 Gujarat’s incident was just the latest in a long series of similar incidents happening across the country, especially in north India, and more so in the BJP ruled states. So, who are these cow vigilantes, the people who may not hesitate to kill for their ‘Gau Raksha Mission’ and how do they work? What inspires them and why all of sudden they have become so obnoxiously notorious?

It’s a well known fact that these cow vigilante groups have been active in India for years, but experts believe they have been emboldened after the BJP government came to power in May 2014. 

The stated aims of these cow vigilantes are to spread awareness about cow, and prevent its slaughter and illegal trade. Driven largely by the faith they out rightly dismiss their links to the ruling BJP or its ideological mentor, the RSS. They are educated, fluent in social media, a far cry from flag-bearing, slogan-shouting activists. They thrive on strong network of informers – which often include vegetable vendors, cobblers, rickshaw pullers etc. Their contention is that they are doing all this to bring ‘sanskaar’ (values) back into society and strive to make cow the national animal, and hang those who slaughter her. In many states they have institutional back-up. For example in Gujarat, a ‘Gau rakshaks’ qualifies for an award of Rs. 500 for every cow he/she rescue under a government scheme. They are eyes and ears of law enforcement agencies in states where law prohibits cow slaughter. “We work with police, alert them whenever our members inform us,” said one of the ‘Gau rakshak’ to a national daily. Their proliferation is also attributed to failure of enforcement agencies tasked with cow protection to implement the law. 

In fact, cow protection has been a key BJP agenda from the beginning, and the animal has helped the party with rich dividend elections after elections.

To understand the importance of cow for the BJP one needs to peep into the election manifesto in various states where it is in power. In 2013 for Rajasthan polls, the party promised to set up a separate Cow Rearing ministry.   The manifesto also vowed cow protection police posts, special insurance policies for cow-shepherds. Similarly, party’s policy statement for Madhya Pradesh promised a separate animal ambulance service, separate cattle grazing land development board and efforts to be made to produce and sell items made out of dung and urine.

In Chhattisgarh a separate board for cattle grazing land, and setting up cow shelters with the latest facilities and amenities was promised in the party’s poll manifesto. In 2012, during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, it promised a free cow to each of the over five lakh families living below poverty line.

In Haryana, the Manohar Lal Khattar led BJP government has appointed IPS Officer Bharti Arora to supervise & check cow slaughter and smuggling. In Oct 2015 Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij started an online poll, raising the query – should the cow replace the tiger as the national animal? Recently, the Haryana Gau Sewa Ayog sent a proposal to the government to impose 5% 'cow cess' on cinema tickets.

Given BJP’s obsession with cow protection, experts say has led to embolden the cow vigilantes, many of whom were reticent before 2014. The democratic institutions too along with promotion of nonpartisan by the government had out powered such sentiments for years, but things have changed now.

Sadly, opposition leaders too have limited themselves to paying lip-service fearing counter polarization would result into loss of votes. At the same time denouncement of such vigilantism by the government has been far from being forceful. Fearing reprisal, law enforcers are scared to touch the perpetrators and often go lax on them. Silence of both the centre and the state governments have further emboldened these vigilantes and their targets are those who are socially and economically the least empowered citizen of this country, the Dalits and the backward Muslims.

Ironically, despite this obsession of some to protect the cow, India remains one of the largest exporters of beef.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The ‘dirty race’ to be at the top

It was wrestler Narsingh Yadav on Sunday, shot putter Inderjeet Singh today and it won’t be surprising someone else is caught tomorrow or day after in NADA’s anti-doping tests done prior to August Rio Olympics to avoid international embarrassments for the country.

While the accused sportspersons are crying ‘conspiracy’ and that their samples have been ‘tempered with’ to ‘sabotage’ their chances but the fact is in India, as is elsewhere; doping or substance abuse to enhance sporting performance by some sportsperson is an open secret. But what is surprising is that globally we rank 3rd just behind Russian Federation and Italy in a 2014 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report on ADRV (Anti-Doping Rule Violation). 

With 96 positive cases from India in 2014, the statistics is incriminating and calls for an immediate attention of Indian sports authorities. Worst, the findings say Indian violators have only increased compared to 2013 figures of 91 athletes caught in the ADRV.

With 30 violations, track and field event tops the WADA chart followed by powerlifting (23) and weightlifting (22). 3 cases each were reported from basketball, taekwondo, wrestling and wushu.

So, why do sportsperson cheat? There is no unanimity in opinions or analysis that explains one real reason behind athletes taking to dope to win. And it’s not just amateurs, how can we explain the behavior of professional athletes? If anti-doping agencies are catching the big names, why do athletes continue to dope?

To quote Dick Pound, a longstanding IOC member and former World Anti-Doping Agency chairman there are five main reasons why athletes resort to performance-enhancing drugs. Talking to CNN in November 2012, he had said that "there are reasons but then there are also excuses."
  1. "A desire to win at all costs -- even if that means lying.
  2.  For financial reasons -- with professionals trying to extend a career. 
  3. National pressures -- as exemplified by the old East German system.
  4. Individual pressure from coaches -- who get paid better if they coach winners, and that can apply for administrations too.
  5. Finally, they dope because they believe they will not get caught -- they believe they are invincible."
The fact and a sad truth is that while athletes have been caught and punished, many – some say most-- do successfully beat the drug testers.

Coming to the Indian context, truth is that many of us unknowingly consume drugs that we hardly know, what impact it will have on us. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics has made many of us immune to this ‘wonder drug’. Many of the daily used drugs too have elements that are banned in the sports. Caffeine, for example, was fine for athletes to use until 1962. Then it was banned by the International Olympic Committee, and it suddenly became an illegal. Then, in 1972, the ban was lifted, and caffeine was suddenly just something you got with your coffee or soda. It was re-banned in 1984. Narsingh Yadav and Inderjeet Singh’s trouble may have to do with this ignorance on what is ok and what is a strict no no. Or medication laced with substances banned in sports.

Till the investigators reach a final conclusion, like most sports fans, I don't want to believe that any of these stellar athletes are guilty, and of course, each individual is innocent until proven otherwise.

Monday, January 12, 2015

BJP projected to win 34-40 seats in Delhi: India Today-Cicero opinion poll

Rajiv Kumar
New Delhi January 12, 2015:BJP is all set to make a comeback in Delhi after more than 16 years, while Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Admi Party (AAP) is likely to be close second according to the latest round (Round 2) of the India Today Group-Cicero opinion poll. The biggest loser as per the opinion poll will be the Congress party, which is likely to see further decline in its fortune.

VOTE SHARE

The survey findings show that BJP is likely to get 40 percentage point of votes, an improvement of about 7 percent compared to its December 2013 Assembly poll performance. Aam Aadmi Party is expected to get 36 percent of votes, against its previous 2013 performance when it got 29.4 percent of votes, a gain 6.5 percentage point. Congress' fortunes continue to decline with the party sliding further down to finish by garnering 16 percent of votes, down 8.5 percent compared to its December 2013 performance. Others are expected to score 9 percent of votes.

SEAT FORECAST

As per the opinion poll, BJP is likely to get 34-40 seats, an improvement from its 2013 performance, when it got 31 seats. Though Aam Aadmi Party is expected to gain its vote share but this gain may not translate into party's seat share, with party projected to win anything between 25-31 seats. Congress is likely to win 3-5 seats, down from 8 seats it won in December 2013 poll, and Others between 0-2 seats, as per the latest round of the India Today Group-Cicero opinion poll.

BIGGEST POLL ISSUES
The issues remains the same as they were during the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. Though Narendra Modi's government has made many announcement on women security front yet the issue remains a key issue with 20 percent of respondents giving it maximum weightage. The NDA government in centre came to power on the plank of corruption yet 17 percent of Delhiete polled still feel that it remains an important issue. 12 percent of the respondents felt that water scarcity is the most important issue while 10 percent feel it's the price rise.

CHALLENGES FOR THE NEW GOVT

On being asked as to what will be the biggest challenge for the new government, 39 percent of the respondents of the India Today Group-Cicero opinion poll feel basic civic issues like electricity, road and water will be the most difficult task for the incoming government. 33 percent feel, it will be on the law & order front while 15 percent feel it will be health and education. Only 6 percent of the respondents surveyed feel Narendra Modi's flagship mission cleanliness is an important issue in Delhi, and transport facilities coming last with just 3 percent of the respondents feel that it will be a challenge for whoever comes to power in Delhi.

MOST PREFERRED CM

Even after facing allegations of running away rather than running the government after just 49 days, AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal remains the most-preferred choice for chief ministerial candidate, with 35 percent respondents rooting for him. BJP’s Harsh Vardhan is a distant runner up with 23 percent support. Only 6% of the respondents of the India Today- Cicero Opinion poll expressed their confidence in former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, followed by Arvinder Lovely (5 percent) of the Congress. Delhi BJP president finished fifth with just 5 percent votes, followed by Congress' Ajay Maken and BJP's Jagdish Mukhi, 4 percent each.


PERFORMANCE OF MODI GOVT.

The performance of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre is expected to have more impact on the polls in Delhi than anywhere else in the country. Asked to rate the performance of the Narendra Modi-led government, 36 percent felt it was performing beyond expectations while 30 percent felt it was meeting their expectations. However, as many as 25 percent felt the central government was underperforming.

PERFORMANCE OF 49 DAY AAP RULE
Even though the AAP did not emerge as the first choice to form the government in Delhi, about 36 percent of respondents surveyed felt its debut attempt at running the government in the national capital exceeded expectations. This may be the reason why he is still favoured for the CM’s post. Around 35 percent people felt that the 49-day-long government ruled as per expectations, while 20 percent felt they were let down by Kejriwal.

METHODOLOGY:-

The opinion poll was conducted by India Today- Cicero between Jan 2-6, 2015. Sampling size achieved was 4459 respondents in 70 assembly constituencies and 210 polling stations.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Who are the Yazidis and why is Isis hunting them?

Unjustly regarded as 'devil worshippers' on account of their unusual beliefs, the Yazidi have for centuries been one of the most persecuted minorities of the Middle East. 

Islamic extremists regard them as infidels, worthy only of being killed.

They are an ethnic Kurdish people who tend to have fairer complexions than many in the Middle East.

They regard wearing blue as sacrilege, they never eat cabbage or lettuce and their men often have long beards and wear their hair in plaits – which make them resemble the cartoon characters of ancient Gaul, Asterix and Obelix.

They adhere to a 4,000-year-old faith passed down and adapted through the generations by word of mouth and composed of elements of several religions.

Their reverence for fire and light derives from the ancient faith called Zoroastrianism, the religion of Persia long before Islam arrived. 

They combine such Christian practices as baptism with Jewish or Islamic circumcision. Like Buddhists they believe in perpetual reincarnation.

But it is the central tenet of their religion that has led others to brand them devil worshippers.

They believe in one God who illuminated seven angels with his light. 

The greatest of the seven is the Peacock Angel, known as Malak Taus, who is dressed in blue (which is why the Yazidi refuse to wear the colour). 

His other name is Shaytan, Arabic for the devil or Satan.

The Yazidi believe that God left the Earth in the care of the seven angels and told them to obey Adam. 

The Peacock Angel refused, stating that Adam was created from the soil, and God’s light could never be at the mercy of the soil.

He was cast out for his disobedience, but was quickly reconciled with God who respected his argument – which proved he was, in fact, the most loyal angel of all.

This is why the idea that he was akin to Lucifer is so misleading.

Tragically, the Yazidi are also victims of another misunderstanding, over their name.

Sunni extremists believe it derives from a deeply unpopular seventh century caliph – or leader – Yazid ibn Muawiya.

In fact, it comes from the Persian word for angel or deity, 'Ized'. Their name simply means ‘worshippers of God’.

Yet no such theological distinction interests Islamic State fighters in a Middle East where minor divergences between Sunni and Shia Muslims are a matter of life and death, and the region's 12million Christians are diminishing by the day.

In such a murderous atmosphere, ‘Satan worshippers’ are inevitably the targets of genocidal fanatics.

Even to ordinary Iraqis, they are seen as bogeymen to frighten children with.

The Yazidi once lived in a wide area across Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia.

But successive waves of persecution - they claim to have survived 72 genocides - by the Ottoman Turkish rulers of what is now Iraq, by Saddam Hussein and now by Islamic militants, have reduced the number of Yazidi from millions to an estimated 700,000.

In recent years, some 70,000 have fled to Europe, where 40,000 live in western Germany. 

This is not surprising. Since the Yazidi welcomed the US invasion of Iraq after 2003 and admire Israel, they attracted the malevolence of Al Qaeda and other jihadists before the Islamic State came on the scene; in 2007 massive truck bombs killed 500.

What makes the Yazidi still more vulnerable is the insular nature of their community. No one can convert to their religion, you have to be born into it. They also practice endogamy – that is, they only marry members of the same faith.

They believe that when someone dies, their soul passes into a new member of the community and that purification of the soul is only possible through continual rebirth. 
The worst possible fate, therefore, is to be expelled from the community because the soul can never then be purified or saved.

Equally, anyone who voluntarily leaves the religion risks death. In 2007, it was reported that Du’a Khalil Aswad, a Yazidi woman, was stoned to death for converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim man.

Feared, villified and slaughtered for centuries, it is in many ways remarkable such a strong community of Yazidis still exists at all. But now, with the Islamic State’s determination to wipe them out, they perhaps face their greatest test of all.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

BJP all set to form govt. in Delhi, says India Today-Ciesaro Opinion poll

Rajiv Kumar
New Delhi: It seems as if the people of Delhi are in no mood to give Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) a second chance. This is revealed in a India Today- Ciesaro Opinion poll. According to it BJP with 39% of votes will get anything between 34 to 40 seats in the 70-member Assembly.

With 36% votes Aam Aadmi Party is projected to have a tally of anything between 25 to 31 seats. Congress comes a poor third and is predicted to garner 16% of the votes and win 3-5 seats, down three from the polls held last year. Others are projected to bag 0 to 2 seats with 9% of the vote share.


CHOICE AMONG DEMOGRAPHIES
BJP is the first choice for 39% of the under 25 year voters while 38% of them prefers the Aam Aadmi Party. Only 16% respondents up to 25 years prefer the Congress.

Among female respondents 39% are likely to vote for the BJP while for 36% Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party will be the first choice. Only 17% would like to vote for the Congress.

While 39% of the (all age) male respondents of the India Today- Ciesaro Opinion poll preferred BJP to lead the next government in the national capital, 36% prefer Aam Aadmi Party. Only 16% male respondents looked forward to vote for the Congress party.

AREA-WISE TREND
In rural areas of Delhi both BJP and AAP are going neck-and-neck with 34% of the respondents preferring the BJP and 33% the Aam Aadmi Party. Congress lags at third with 16% people's choice.

The survey finding shows more affinity for the BJP in Delhi's upper/upper-middle class localities with 45% of the respondents preferring the party while 39% of the people in these areas may go for the Aam Aadmi Party.

ISSUES
The issues remains the same as they were during the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year. Even after six months of Narendra Modi led NDA government coming to power in Delhi on the plank of corruption, the issue remains on the top of electorate's mind with 21% still feeling that is the single most important issue. Announcements on women's security have failed to secure the fairer sex and failed to comfort the Delhi's voters with 17% feeling women's  safety remains a key issue. 15% of the respondents felt that water scarcity is the most important issue while 12% feel it's the price rise. Only 10% of the respondent feel that electricity supply is a major poll issue.

MOST PREFFERED CM
Even after facing allegations of running away rather than running the government after just 49 days AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal remains the most-preferred choice for chief ministerial candidate, with 35% respondents rooting for him. BJP’s Harsh Vardhan is a distant runner up with 19% support. Only 9% of the respondents of the India Today- Ciesaro Opinion poll expressed their confidence in former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, followed by Arvinder Lovely (8%) of the Congress.

PERFORMANCE OF MODI SARKAR
As per this opinion poll, 34% of the respondents surveyed believe that Modi sarkar has ushered in acche din and his government's performance so far has exceeded their expectations while 33% believe Narendra Modi government has performed as per their expectations. Only 22% of the respondents believe BJP government at the centre has so far not met their expectations.

AAP GOVT PERFORMANCE
About two-third (67%) respondents of the India Today- Ciesaro Opinion poll said they were satisfied with the work done by Arvind Kejriwal during his 49-day tenure. This may be the reason why he is still favoured for the CM’s post. While 35% of them felt Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party government's performance exceeded expectations, 32% felt his government did fine. Just 22% felt let down by the 49 days of Kejriwal's rule in Delhi.

PUBLIC OPINION ON MODI
About three-fourth (74%) of the of the respondents of this poll give credit to prime minister Narendra Modi for energising the otherwise snail paced administration at the same time 48% say Modi has failed to keep his promises. On the diplomacy front 62% of the respondent surveyed gave full marks to PM Modi diplomatic efforts and feel Narendra Modi as PM has lifted the status of India across the world.

While 56% of the respondents see Narendra Modi as a strong and decisive leader who is fulfilling the promises he made, 35% feel he is self-centred and is not bothered about the country.

With much fanfare Narendra Modi launched his flagship national level campaign Swachh Bharat on October 2 this year with an aim to accomplish the vision of 'Clean India' by 2 October 2019, 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. But about half i.e. 46% of the respondents of the India Today- Ciesaro Opinion poll don't see it as a genuine effort to clean India and believe it is just a show-off.

PUBLIC OPINION ON AAP
The allegation and commonly held belief that Aam Aadmi Party isn't yet ready to run a government reflects in this opinion poll as well with more than half (53%) of the respondents agreeing that Kejriwal led AAP hasn't matured enough to govern. While 60 % of the respondent surveyed agreed to what AAP is claiming - that corruption declined during its 49-days rule, 51% feel AAP cheated people by fleeing from responsibility of running the government.

While 55% of the respondents of this poll want to give Arvind Kejriwal led AAP party government another chance, 54% believe Arvind Kejriwal was more interested in protests rather than governing. 60% of the people of agree to what Arvind Kejriwal is claiming - that AAP government brought down rates of water and power.

Corruption was the main poll plank of BJP in the Lok Sabha polls and the ITG-CICERO poll outcome says it is still there to nail Congress with 70% of the respondents saying Congress is the most corrupt party. On other most nagging issues for Congress, nepotism and internal divisions, the situation is no better either. 51% of the respondents feel Congress promotes nepotism while 37% see it as a divided faction-ridden house.

On the question of developing Delhi, 39% of the respondents say AAP can deliver better in providing electricity, water and ensuring good roads while BJP is close second to AAP on overall development of Delhi with 36% of the respondents going with AAP than 35% staying with BJP. On keeping inflation in check, 44% of the respondents chose AAP while 40% of them felt AAP was best equipped to ensure women safety, the most important social issue that has given Delhi a negative name globally, crime against women.

On 'who should form the next government in Delhi', 42% favoured a BJP government but, on the flip side, 44% said BJP should not be given the chance. According to the ITG-CICERO poll, AAP should form the next government in Delhi with 47% respondents opting to give the Kejriwal party a chance. Here also, the misery for Congress continues, with a huge 63% of the respondents saying the party doesn't stand a chance to form the next government in the Indian Capital.

METHODOLOGY:-

The opinion poll was conducted by India Today- Ciesaro. Sampling size achieved was 4273 respondents in 70 assembly constituencies and 210 polling stations.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ISIS vs. AL QAEDA: Which is more dangerous?


LEADERSHIP
Al Qaeda
-          Scattered & often confusing leadership with Ayman al-Zawahiri at the core.
ISIS
-          Tightly-knit military council under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that makes all the group's strategic decisions

MANPOWER
Al Qaeda
-          Is facing dwindling manpower resource and believes in guerilla warfare. Left with few thousand fighters.

ISIS
-          Has more than 1 lakh active fighters and growing

SHIA MUSLIMS
Al Qaeda
-          Believes killing Shia Muslims could be counterproductive
ISIS
-          Have targeted Shiite Muslims

TACTICS
Al Qaeda
-          Relatively less brutal than ISIS
ISIS
-          Very brutal to be repulsive

ISLAMIC CALIPHATE

Al Qaeda
-          Ledership believes caliphate will emerge only after the wider Muslim world has been purified, and that establishing it requires social consensus.

ISIS
-          Believes in sectarian divides

FINANCES

Al Qaeda
-          Dwindling fast after killing of Osama Bin Laden.

ISIS
-          As per Iraqi intelligence the organization had assets worth US$2 billion making it richest jihadist group in the world

EQUIPMENTS
Al Qaeda
-          Mainly small ammunitions like AKs rifles, bombs, machine guns, sniper rifles, mortar shells, mines etc.

ISIS
-          Has acquired many mainstream heavy battle machines including battle tanks, rockets, short range anti-tank missiles.

MEDIA

Al Qaeda
-          Believes in traditional medium to reach people; occasionally uses social media

ISIS

-          More media savvy. Advertises its projects on social media. Never forget to chronicle its brutality.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Why Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi may have a long life

Three quotes explaining why #AAP government in Delhi may have a long life:

1.    “Upon gaining a vote of confidence on the floor of the House, the AAP would not have to confront another trust vote for the next six months.”

2.    “And secondly, if it were to start investigating corruption cases against the Congress, it would be imprudent to expect the BJP to vote against it in such a scenario.”

3.  "From an organisational point of view, the Congress needs the AAP to shed its image of a corrupt government. If they do withdraw support, it won’t be good for them at all. They need to repair their image before they move on into the general Lok Sabha elections."