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Janata March 10_2013 (2)

Janata March 10_2013 (2)

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Published by Vibhuti Patel
It is important to understand the the political context in which social sector budgetary provisions are made in the Union budget, 2013-14.
It is important to understand the the political context in which social sector budgetary provisions are made in the Union budget, 2013-14.

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Published by: Vibhuti Patel on Mar 15, 2013
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03/15/2013

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Vol. 68 No. 7
March 10, 2013
Editor :
G. G. Parikh
Managing Editor : GuddiD-15, Ganesh Prasad, Naushir Bharucha Marg,Mumbai - 400 007.
Email : janataweekly@gmail.com
Dissolve the High Command
Price : Rupees Five
Established 1946
Who do I vote for:Modi or Rahul?
Kuldip Nayar 
Union Budget 2013-14through Gender Lens
Vibhuti Patel
Foreign InvestmentsCan’t be the Bedrock of Indian Economy
Medha Patkar 
Clever Attempt
Rajindar Sachar 
Invisible and Voiceless
Kalpana Sharma
Kishor Pawar:Socialist Pilgrim
Subhash Ware
Babu Jagjivan Ram :Nation Builder
Mastram Kapoor 
Let us think like Socialists
Bapu Heddurshetti
S. Viswam
One has got so used to hearing banalities from the newly-promotedCongress Party Vice-President RahulGandhi that it was difcult to takehim as a serious politician to whomthe country’s governance could beentrusted. Like his father, he hasacquired an image of a reluctant politician who was catapulted intothe Prime Minister’s post in spite of his own desires in the matter. For thelast several years Rahul Gandhi hascome off as a politician unwilling toshoulder any kind of responsibilitywithin his party or in the government.Dr. Manmohan Singh has asked himoften enough to enter the governmentas a cabinet minister. Each time youngRahul rebuffed the offer.In view of this, his latest pronouncements make for asurprisingly pleasant reading. He hasreiterated that he is not interested inthe prime minister-ship but his priorityis the revitalization of the Congress.This is a welcome statement evenif there is no guarantee that RahulGandhi will refuse to become the prime minister when the occasionforces him to yield to the temptation.Like his father, he is interested inrevitalizing the Congress. Indeed,Rajiv Gandhi promised to make theobjective of revamping the party amatter of high priority but somewherealong the way he left that objective behind and fell into the many trapswhich Congress “powerbrokers”kept setting for him. The irony wasthat Rajiv Gandhi had declaredwar on these same powerbrokers atthe historic 1995 centenary of theIndian National Congress in Mumbai.Power brokers still control the partydespite the overarching power thatthe Congress High Command, aneuphemism for party president SoniaGandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi,commands. Now, for a refreshing change,Rahul declares that he is interested instrengthening the party by breaking(nullifying) the “high commandsystem” that has sustained the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in power all throughthe post-Nehru era in the party.Fortunately it is the son of Sonia andvice-president of the party that hastalked openly of breaking the highcommand system. Any other leader or rank would have been “hungand quartered” for uttering such blasphemy. The high command hascontrolled all thought and action in theCongress for the last several decadesand anyone who talks of doing away
 
2
 JANATA, March 10, 2013
(Continued on Page 6)
Who do I vote for: Modi or Rahul?
Kuldip Nayar
with it is inviting trouble. However,now that Rahul has hinted that thesystem can be made vulnerable, the possibilities should be probed. It isdoubtful if present-day leaders in the party will throw open the theme for a public debate.Rahul is right in saying that the“high command culture” beganin the 1970s when Indira Gandhi began her long innings as primeminister and Congress president. No other prime minister after her of has wielded the kind of power whichthat “Empress of India” did. Rahul isalso reecting realities when he saysthat this peculiar culture has afictedalmost all other parties. All political parties in India, the fact remains,are “top heavy” but not on the samescale as the Congress. Inner-partydiscipline (and democracy) is ascarce commodity in Indian politics,and even in the two communist parties, a single or a clique of rulersis not a strange phenomenon. “ Iwant to change the high commandsystem,” Rahul has said. Thestatement is bound to sound likemusic to the ordinary citizens butcertainly not to the politicians in all parties who have got used to obeythe modern-day political czars.Should the high commandsystem be replaced by some other mechanism? Rahul Gandhi’s desireis to empower middle level leadersand create a structure which willgive them a say in governance andorganization. As an earnest of hiscommitment to create a democraticstructure in place of the Congressand his wish to end the system of  political dynasty he is even willingto stay a bachelor so that he will notrun the risk of turning a status-quoistwanting his children to benet fromhis status in the party!I am apprehending a situationwhere I might have no option exceptto vote for either Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi or Congressvice-president Rahul Gandhi. Bothhave thrown their hats in the ring.True, neither the BJP has announcedModi ofcially as its candidate for Prime Ministership in the 2014 parliament elections, nor has theCongress nominated Rahul for the position. Yet, it is clear who the two parties have in mind.My predicament is that I do notconsider either of them the primeministerial timber. They may besuitable for the ofces they occupy, but do not deserve to be elevated.However, both have made their  presentation speeches as Modi didat New Delhi this week and Rahul before the Congress conclave atJaipur. The two are not similar in any way. Yet both left none indoubt about what they seek whenthey exhorted the people to preparethemselves for the new India whichthe two foresaw as a fresh, dynamiccountry that would take them over the green mountains into a sunnyvalley.The comparison ends here. Theyare so different and so distant fromeach other that they do not comeanywhere in either character or comportment. Modi hides his anti-minority stance behind the ourishfor development. He is still involvedin some court cases arising out of the ethnic cleansing carried outin Gujarat in 2002 and may find
Between the lines 
him involved in the days to come.Therefore, it would be unfair toregard him as the right person for thehighest executive position.Rahul is a babe in the woods,lionized by the Congress whichhis mother, Sonia Gandhi heads.He is found out of depth whenever he is asked questions on seriousmatters. He was not interested inthe budget speech and left in themiddle even though he was lateto arrive. His knowledge about policies is rudimentary and reactionsoff the mark. For example, on theliberation of Bangladesh Rahul saidthat whenever his dynasty decidedto do something, it had come outwith flying colours. He shouldhave realized that East Pakistanwas liberated by the Bangladeshisthemselves. India did help, but itsrole was secondary.Leave Rahul and Modi apart, theominous part of the forthcomingelections is that they would be probably the dirtiest, divisive andmost violent polls ever held in India.The nation would be arrayed on thelines of religion and caste. A countrywhich is already ill at ease becauseof never-ending corrupt cases andscams might have to go through a phase where no method would beconsidered mean enough by thecontestants to win votes.The BJP seems to have concludedthat the country has already veeredtowards Hindutva. Otherwise, BJP president Raj Nath Singh would
 
 JANATA, March 10, 2013
3
not have gone to attend a meetingat Haridwar during the Kumb Melawhere the Sangh parivar and theextremist sadhus chalked out thestrategy to revive the demand for  building Ram temple, the symbolof Hindutva.Understandably, the conclaveof Sangh parivar does not bother about the cases pending againstthe BJP leaders for demolition of the Babri masjid. The Congress-led government does not want toaccelerate the pace of disposal of such cases. It looks as if the partywants to ride two horses at the sametime. It does not want to followa clear-cut policy on secularism,fearing that if it were to do so, itwould alienate the wavering Hindus.On the other hand, the party iscertain that the liberals would haveno option except to vote for it if and when Modi becomes the BJP’scandidate.The Congress, particularly theBJP, is not assessing the country’smood correctly. An average personor the
aam admi
is secular intemperament and does not want to join issue with the fanatics when helabours under the impression thathe can defeat them at the polls. Ithappened that way in 2004 whenthe BJP thought that its slogan of ‘India Shining’ was sure to returnit to power. In fact, the adoption of Hindutva by the BJP may help theCongress since a Hindu does notfeel insecure about his religion inIndia. Had it been so, he would havefounded the Hindu Rashtra long ago because 80 per cent of the country’s population is Hindu.It is clear from the current politicalsituation that no party is in a positionto get a majority—the minimumIt is important to understand thecontext in which gender budgetinghas acquired great attention in theUnion Budget 2013-14. India’srecord for achieving the MillenniumDevelopment Goals has beenextremely poor as compared toseveral African, Latin Americanand Asian Counties. In internationalforums a “Shining India” Indiahas been named and shamedcontinuously for not being able toreduce maternal mortality rate andchild mortality rate, wide spreadanaemia and malnutrition amongwomen and children, starvationdeaths in certain pockets and skyrocketing prices of essential goodsfor the poor, namely food, water andcooking fuel.In this context, the allocation of Rs. 97134 crore for gender budget(less than 6 percent of the total budget) and Rs. 77236 crore for child budget has been made in theUnion budget 2013-14. Last year the allocation for gender budget wasRs 18,878.5 crore. Due to sustained pressure from the women’s groupsand gender economists, separate budgets for women and child aregiven.Financial allocation of Rs. 200crore for most vulnerable groupsincluding single women andwidows is an eye wash. Such paltryamount cannot support schemeslike Swadhar, working women’shostels, one-stop crisis centre, anational helpline and effectiveimplementation of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and recently passed Sexual Harassment at Work 
Union Budget 2013-14through Gender Lens
Vibhuti Patel
Place Act.
Anti-poverty Programmes
The budget has enhancedallocation for anti-poverty programmes such as MahatmaGandhi National Rural EmploymentGuarantee Scheme (Rs. 33000crores) and centrally sponsoredagship scheme for public health - National Health Mission (Rs. 21239)whose principal beneficiaries arewomen as they are the poorest of the poor. Allocation for women specicschemes for economics services,welfare services and social defensehave been increased up to 8500crores.It was announced last year that multi-sectoral programme for reducing maternal and childmalnutrition would be implementedin 100 districts during 2013-14. It
 
has been allocated Rs. 300 toscaleup to cover 200 districts the year after. This is grossly inadequate fundallocation to address 40 percent of children and 55 percent women of India who are malnourished.
Integrated Child DevelopmentScheme
The scheme gets Rs. Rs 17,700crores for this scal year. In responseto galloping ination, the amountis quite inadequate. Successfulimplementation of ICDS requiresnearly Rs 3 lakh crore over the 12
th
  plan period as per an estimate made by nutrition experts while allocationhas been for Rs 1.23 lakh crore.Financial provision social securityand additional remuneration for 
(Continued on Page 4)

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