Friday, May 31, 2019

The Cabinet of PM Narenda Modi.

The Cabinet of PM Narenda Modi.

On 20th May in my blog " The General Election of India " I wrote that Arun Jaitley might be ousted and that Amit Shah could be Deputy Prime Minister cum BJP President / Deputy Prime Minister cum Home Minister ".

Well Jaitley is out. Seeing the writing on the wall, he asked not to be included in the new team. Nirmala Sitharaman who replaced Jaitley as Defence Minister after Doklam, has now replaced Jaitley as Finance Minister who leaves behind a legacy of highest unemployment figure in 45 years and much slower growth rate.

And Amit Shah has become all I said. His title is not Deputy Prime Minister but he is now the number 2 in the Indian government. He and Modi chose the Ministers. I guess he is superstitious about the Deputy Prime Minister title considering the fate of Shri Advaniji. But Amit Shah is the undisputed no: 2 + Home Minister and as of now he still is the BJP Party President.

I feel sorry for Madam Sushma Swaraj. I felt she would go but I could not bring myself to write so. She seems to be a great person and I liked her for the way she conducted herself with our Royals during her visit to Bhutan. But it was Jaishankar the foreign Secretary whose tenure was extended and trusted by Modi to handle external crisis especially the Doklam fiasco even whilst Shushma was the Minister. So the political signal was very clear.

The new External.Minister Jaishankar is praised by all. He is an experienced diplomat and a seasoned trouble shooter. But he did cause the biggest Indian blunder with Nepal. I kind of recall that it was Jaishankar who went to give Nepal the ultimatum about Nepal's new constitution followed up with Nepal blockade by India which pushed Nepal towards China. Maybe, he was only executing the bidding of the PM Modi and Ajit Doval at that time. He visited Bhutan during the height of Doklam crisis. So our respected Kings would know how feriously impactful the new External.Affairs Minister of India can be.

Ajit Doval the National Security Adviser who advocated the anti-Nepal and anti-Bhutan policies i.e. economic blokade of Nepal and Indian military trangession on Bhutan side of Doklam on false pretext of protecting Bhutan, may be on his way out. His policies backfired badly. He angered China, pushed away Nepal and shocked Bhutan numb.  And now in any case with Jaishankar as External Minister and Amit Shah in Home Ministry, Ajit Doval is hemmed in to suffocation by two figures who enjoy much more personal rapport and trust with PM Modi. I just hope that Bhutan has a leader who can fare better during this 2nd Modi term.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

What Age of Consent means.

Looks like some view the lowering of age of consent from 18 to 16 a grievous error. Maybe if you are only looking at it from a narrow perspective of sex. Try not have have your minds clouded by sex and rape emotions unless you were born into such a life. There is more to life than sex. Life is not about sex though it is part of it. Life is about living. And age of consent is the right to self determination. Yes, " Self Determination " is what is being ultimately. decided upon  when lawmakers are discussing " the age of consent ".

1. There is the critical biological factor. How developed a human body is when one completes the 16th birthday and begin the age of 17. And then the factor of mental maturity and the stage to take responsibilities.

2. By the 16th birthday, a student would have captained a team, house and school. Helped teachers to manage over one thousand fellow students. In fact young boys and girls as school captains would have helped school authorities to run the school,  handled responsibilities in class, in school, at home and in communities. They would have gone out of home and schools on assignments or just social gatherings. They takeover responsibilities to manage their lives. They decide what profession to go for and what they wish to do in life.

3. The young people are ready to define and dictate about what matters to them. They are old enough to make decisions about their life and likewise own properties. Why should they be treated as helpless adolescents and totally subject to the whims of teachers or parents?

4. None of us even at old age can perfectly decide about life and love. So there just does not exist a line in our life when we can be a perfect human being. Life is a journey of trials, errors, triumps and failures. A lot of our adult likes and dislikes, wants and yearns are in fact sown into our self being at an early age. Once you have completed the 16th birthday, you are as prepared as one can be. As you turn the age of 17, you better be able to participate in life as a wholesome individual. Sure you may not be in position to  support your livelihood. But you are in position to make choice based upon  rational reasonings.

5. I agree that citizens who have completed their 16th birthdays should be declared as adults. They must have right to consent, right to vote, right to have properties registered in their names, right to open and operate bank account and right to work to lead a self supported livelihood. And ofcourse the right to love and have sex to their individual liking.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The coming of the much promised pay raise.

In reference to an article on Pay raise by The Bhutanese, I find the Cabinet decision quite sound.

Also this should be a Money Bill as decided by the Speaker. DNT Party as a whole must be given the credit of getting the Cabinet the Party nominated to give the pay raise as committed during election campaign. Neither NC nor Opposition can be allowed to dilute or take credit/ blame for the Pay raise. But as usual both the Oppositon MPs and NC MPs will equally benefit along with all others covered by the pay raise.

The Cabinet is very sensibly considerate in enhancing lower pay raise percentage and not reducing the mileage rate.

I cannot help suspecting that the Pay Commission designed the drastic reduction in mileage rate and introduced the Nu: 10, 000 for red scarfs as a dagger to stab DNT Party's future aspirations.

Further, leaving aside the quota entitlements of elected MPs, it would benefit both the recipients and the nation if vehicle quota is monetised. The government will have no resource problem for quota monetization. In fact government will get more income from duties levied on otherwise duty free imports under quota.  Right now poor civil servants are forced to sell quota to get some benefit out of the entitlement. The number of vehicles imported could also be reduced.

I guess there will be still dissatisfactions expressed. There is no end to both envy and greed of we people. . Non-civil servants do not want civil servants to get pay raise. Many do not want elected people to get more despite inflations. And some want national honours that they received subsidised further with life long exorbitant  monthly payments. I guess it is also a GNH pillar albiet a sad one.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Indian politics without Gandhi Dynasty.

Rahul Gandhi has learnt in a very regrettable way that whilst it was easy tearing off an Ordinance proposed by Prime Minister ManMohan Singh Cabinet, time has past for him to make good the damage he had inflicted upon the Congess Party.  There was a spurt of glow last December but it turned out to be a candle flicker.

I do not think Gandhi Family should leave politics. But Rahul must share authority and spotlight with a fresh figure in the forefront. Perhaps Shashi Tharoor's calling has come. Maybe few others should be given a free hand  to reshape and revamp Congress. Not necessarily young hot bloods. But seasoned experienced hands to chalk out strategy now for the next election.

Congress Working Committee needs to have open positive environment and not be dominated restrictively  by Gandhi personalities. Party  Politics cannot progress without adequate money.  And Congress needs fund therefore a number of well heeled patrons is most desirable. Most importantly, Congress needs fresh members and not just youths but all ages and gender irrespective of race, religion or political colours.

Name calling is not an election strategy. And worse was addressing PM Modi as chowkidar thus endearing him to the masses who are in chowkidar position both financially and socially. And last minute rabbit from the hat such as NYAY cannot replace sound and tested manifesto formulated over the years.

Raghuram Rajan should have been brought in 2 years before to work under the supervision of former PM ManMohan Singh on this NAYA Scheme. Everything smacked of hurried reactive response and thus had no substantive impact. There was never the time to promote NAYA to the grass root.

A political Party must have money to attract cadres in the field. A Political Party must have innovative ways to sell new relevant ideas to attract the masses. Congress has to start from the start. So must many of the regional political parties of India. From Trinamol, SP, BSF, CPI, CPM etc. The leaders must not desperately yearn for PM Post for their individual glory. But rather think of the Party and national interest. The Opposition Parties could not unite mainly because each and every Party Leader harboured PM ambition. Maybe they should all start from the tea stall and thereafter spent decades to understand and also.recognise the common people.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

War drums once again in Middle East.

United States have issued ultimatum to Iran and the British Government has once again blindly sided with United States as she did in conducting the Iraq war upon  the fabricated allegation of Iraq possessing Weapon of Mass Destruction. And Israel the spearhead of American war column and Policeman in Middle East must be rearing to receive the goahead to bombard Iran.

For sure a super power United States  can destroy a regime in Iran. But at what cost? United States interests and her allies in Middle East too will suffer in proportion. Israeli and American forces can inflict maximum damages upon Iran but still the nation Iran will survive though the regime would not. Regimes have been toppled along with thousands of citizens  killed and precious national assets and infrastructures destroyed.  But despite suffering unimaginable devastations, nations like Iraq and Libya still stand. In like manner so will stand Iran. And Americans and Israelis will never be free of survival anxiety.

American multinational corporations may be making money out of oil fields in Iraq and Libya but American people in general have not benefitted. Instead they lost their sons in the battle fields of Middle East. In case of Iran too, the shale oil companies of America would benefit from wider world market if Iranian oil export is frozen by American imposed sanctions.

But illgotten wealth will not end American woes. Because wealth and dream of better life attracts deprived and the destitute. Already both Western Europe and United States are facing unprecedented invasion by refugees. There are more than 500,000 people gathered at the border of United States and Mexico struggling to get into the richest and most powerful nation of the world. Unlike refugees swarming Western Europe, these people may not be direct result of wars.  But for sure all regions of the world are affected in mostly adverse ways when parts of the world forever up  in inferno all the time because of American hegemonic conquests.

If America continues to raise hell in other countries, America herself will be inundated with more hungry and distraught people seeking sanctuary. Rich and the powerful can never enjoy their life in peace unless and until the minimum needs of less fortunate are met.

I hope America and her allies will not make it impossible for Iranians to survive  in their own nation. The source of refugees and origins of diehards are created when circumstances make it uttertly difficult to live a normal life in a particular social and political environment. And ripple effects from Iran war will multiply disasters in different regions of the world. Even United States, Britain and Israel will not be celebrating victories they initial would win.

Wars will lead to more wars.  What Israel and America  should realise is that there is no war to end all wars. No religion that can supersede all other beliefs and no race ointed to rule all other races.

There is only peace to end all wars. And harmony to counter all unrests.

Monday, May 20, 2019

General Election of India.

Whoever comes to power in India, the fundamental policy of India towards Bhutan will not change. Our Kingdom will be treated as a " Protectorate " though less aggressively by non-Congress Indian government. It is up to Bhutanese leadership to define our national priority in our national sovereign interest. 

Yes, Doklam transgression under a non- congress Indian government is fresh on my mind. But no Indian government will repeat the ill advised Doklam blunder again. In the Indian mis-venture, Bhutan suffered deeply partly because we had our share of misplaced faith in India. It is never ok to presume that our national interests aligns with that of another nation including India.

Who comes to power in India is not as important to Bhutanese as how our own leaders proceed, hereafter. It is for Bhutan to have our own " Jinnah " Wangchuck who can lead the Kingdom to  develop and preserve our nation as a proactive relevant  buffer state  between India and China and have sovereign relationship with both of our south and north neighbours.

The exit polls in India shows BJP back in power. I guess it was kind of foregone conclusion though the win may not be as solid as predicted. I remember calling Amit Shah an election wizard. He has not lost his magic.  Modi is King Arthur and Amit Shah is Merlin the genius wizard. I am just wondering what would  Amit Shah's portfolio be in the 2nd inning. Will he be Deputy Prime Minister cum Party President or Deputy PM with Home Ministry portfolio. Will Jaitley be ousted? Not important to an outsider but just playing a game of speculation.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Distress Call to Education Ministry.

1. Rule was there regarding minimum age for PP admission. One reason for the rule was pressure of admission in government schools prior to Private School comings. Another reason was young children demanded more attention therefore more teachers which government schools could not afford. But now Private schools charge the fees and provide the needed care in PP classes.

2. The former Cabinets, education Mimisters and Secretaries did not strictly enforce  the rule on PP admission age for valid reasons and circumstances. Thus  restriction rather than complete ban was exercised.

3. What proven exercises and practices  made education ministry decide that the children of 5 years age are unfit for PP standard?  I think it is based on old fashion thoughts. The children of today are far more savy at 5 years age than we were at age 8 during those feudal rural era in Bhutan. Are we referring to international standards?  Well there was an incident in an  American school where a gun wielding 13 year student shot down several colleagues. That is the product of the most  developed nation's schooling standard. Bhutan can do without such standards.

Do not think our 5 years old are too young or retarded to begin PP standard. Wake up! We have as elected MPs and Cabinet Ministers who are just few year old graduates. Please repay in same terms that trust and confidence you received from your country men to our 5 year old children to qualify them for PP standard.

Dear Education Minister and Secretary,  in what standard would our beloved Gyalsey be upon completion of 6 years of age. In PP? I read private tutoring began at three and half. Apart from man made social and political hierachy differences, inborn natural talent is not differenciated by birth. We are all human whether born a  prince or a pauper.

4. Please conduct a field study/  research of student progress in the past years. How have these supposed early PP students fared in schools ( primary, junior and high schools) . Study Police delinquency records and examine if any at all among early PP students are among the lists of Primary, Junior, High or even college delinquents. It is very unlikely that such early PP students  had brush with laws in their academic years.

In fact this stupid blind sighted education policy of age 6 and above only  admissions in PP have caused mainly over aged poor children into the goonda culture . This sick education policy is responsible for most of the ill  fates of many of our have-not-youth population today.

5. At one time,  it was a necessity to administer institutions based on adhoc rules. But now such rules based on presumptions, assumptions, temporary respite, anti- poor, whims and arbitarial idea must give way to substantive reasoning and public need basis.

This Education Ministry is into appointing teacher teams set to sexually abuse  students and Inspector teams to victimise PP students already at home in their education environment. Pray what is it that make you people at Education Ministry act so violently towards your wards?

National social crisis highlighted recently by Kuensel needs patient study and through examination and corrective institutional overhaul.

1. The culture of Police Terrorism of students.

A class XI student was terrorised by police team to the extent of being driven to hang himself to death. It seems that the young student tried to escape a follow up ( repeated )  interrogations by running away from the room he was detained in.  But he was chased by Police and others into the forest nearby the school which probably caused him to hang himself as the only way to escape his tormenters. How horrifying!

The Police Chief and the Authority above him ( Home Minister/ Prime Minister even  the Supreme Commander of RBP )  may already have  noted that the Police Team had  over- reacted beyond all measures and necessities. The triangle relationship between the School Principal- the Canteen Woman- Police OC seems very firm. Otherwise the physically absent  Principal who issued directives to his Deputy or the Police OC could have contained the incident within reasonable limit.

i) According to Kuensel, the case was an attempted theft from a school canteen. The purported thief/ thieves stole nothing but left behind a bag and a footwear. The bag suggests the intent was to steal some edibles by some hungry person/ persons. By all accounts, it was a minor incident that was blown out of proportion by what seems to be a well connected influential woman who was the canteen owner.

ii) The ( very influential) canteen woman had the school management take attendance of all students in the hostel in the dead of the night after the incident. All students were found present.

iii) Then in the morning, she had the Police people round up all students from Classes IX to XII. Must have been over thousand students who were humilated and terrified by the Police for a purported incident that had caused no material loss and no personnel injury. Highly uncalled for aggravated response from law enforcement Police Body.

iv) Next, further interrogations of selected possible suspect students one by one. Then narrowed down to further interrogations of two students.  Such terrorising by Police of innocent fragible minds finally caused the fatal act of  suicide.

My God! It was a minor incident of a failed attempt to steal some edibles from a school canteen. It was not an act of terrorism that Police Team was called upon to deal.

Why such heavy handling by law officers?

All I can conclude is that the Police Chief must have received more graphic detailed report from his Crime Division. The case was hushed up until it was out there in the social media. Only then it seems Police shared it with Kuensel. Sad Kingdom.

Please note our high school students may look tall and strong but they are very young in age of 13-15 years old  and at  susceptible immature stage. They cannot mentally survive without suffering fatal damage such Police Terrorism Interrogation methods.

2. The other social crisis is the sex scandal in a college run by a monk Director. The unnerving  fear is that this could be happening in several colleges and even in few Central Schools. The education culture and system has been guinea pigs for political managers for quite sometime. 

The immediate identified culprits are very bad but the education environment seems to have turned into an evil nest.  Too many high flying official visits and loud and varied  lectures on Tsawa Sum disciplines and no meaningful educational contributions. Varieties of culture activities and "Chadies" ( VIP welcome arrangements) have led to excessive  physical and social interactions among students and teaching staffs which results in unhealthy intimacy. And often the Directors of such education Institutions are engaged in other out of institute activities or responsibilities.

A sad nation we have become  in so many aspects with Police terrorising fragible minds to suicide and teachers and students seducing each other for fringe benefits of sexual favours  for teachers and possibly  pocket money plus exam question paper for students. Those involved individuals are bad but the system and top administrators are worse for causing the  creation of such vile environment.  Time to examine our self conscience.