Citizens' Issues
Bharat Ratna, Padma awards conferred on prominent people
India's high civilian honours - the Bharat Ratna and Padma awards - were on Monday conferred by President Pranab Mukherjee on a galaxy of prominent people who have done the country proud.
 
Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, was bestowed posthumously on freedom fighter and eminent educationist Madan Mohan Malaviya at an investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday evening.
 
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who too was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, was presented the medallion and the scroll of the award last week at his residence because of his ill health.
 
President Mukherjee, in a simple yet elegant ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, presented the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri to a host of leaders and prominent people from various walks of life.
 
The awards, which are announced on the eve of the Republic Day every year, this year included two Bharat Ratnas, three Padma Vibhushans, 12 Padma Bhushans and 34 Padma Shris.
 
BJP leader and former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Jagadguru Swami Rambhadracharya received the Padma Vibhushan.
 
Journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Rajat Sharma, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates were awarded the Padma Bhushan.
 
The Gates couple, however, could not come to personally receive their awards.
 
Poet-lyricist Prasoon Joshi, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and playwright Tarak Janubhai Mehta were some of the well-known people who received the Padma Shri.
 
Rajat Sharma shook hands with Prime Minister narendra Modi as he stood to receive Padma Bhushan.
 
People from the sports world included well-known wrestler Satpal, who received the Padma Bhushan for his outstanding performance in various international tournaments.
 
Renowned badminton player P.V. Sindhu and Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh both received the Padma Shri.
 
The Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan was overcrowded as relatives and friends of the recipients occupied most of the chairs.
 
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many cabinet ministers and government officials were present.
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also present at the awards ceremony. He was seen interacting with the media freely after the function.
 
Relatives and friends of the recipients cheered when the names of their loved ones were announced to receive the awards.
 
Some of them put their hands up while clapping and were seen pointing at the recipients of the honour.
 
On March 27, President Mukherjee made a break with protocol to drive down to Vajpayee's Krishna Menon Marg residence to confer the highest honour on the nonagenarian Bharatiya Janata Party leader who has been keeping ill health.
 
Ansari, Modi as well as former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Advani were among those who attended the presentation on that day.
 
Modi expressed his gratitude to Mukherjee for going to Vajpayee's home to personally hand over the award.
 
A photograph of the president presenting the medallion to Vajpayee was released later.

User

Goa civil society threatens protest if official transferred
A young civil servant has captured the minds and hearts of people in this south Goa town, so much so that civil society activists have threatened to protest if the official is transferred.
 
Posted as chief officer of the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) four months back, 2012 batch Indian Administrastive Service (IAS) officer Naveen S.L. took many steps to simplify government rules and mechanisms for the common citizen and taking on vested interests.
 
In a matter of a week, he inspired two protests: one demanding his transfer by 16 out of 20 councillors and another demanding that he stay put, by civil society and young political activists.
 
Those supporting Naveen, a trained computer engineer, said while the pro-public and transparent mechanisms initiated by the 33-year-old officer have irked the councillors, the real reason why they want him ousted was a notice Naveen issued on Monday, ordering demolition of an illegal construction belonging to Mayor Gonzaco Rebello.
 
Rajashri Nagarcekar, a Margao dweller, told IANS: "The councillors of Margao have been holding a protest against the officer on grounds that they cannot function under him and other issues.
 
"But we know that the main reason is because the chief officer has ordered the demolition of an illegal structure which belongs to the mayor."
 
She is one of the many dozen activists who held the 16 councillors, including Rebello, to siege on Friday, demanding Naveen should not be transferred.
 
As a quasi judicial officer, Naveen in his order on March 24 said: "The court feels that having considered all the arguments, the structure (in question) has indeed been gifted to MMC in 2013 and thus forms (a part of) municipal property."
 
"As such, Section 174 (of the Goa Municipalities Act) rightfully applies to this structure which, as per transgress report, belongs to one Julio Rebello, and is occupied by Gonzaco Rebello. As such, the court deems it fit to issue a demolition order without notice as per Section 174 of Goa Municipalities Act."
 
Mayor Rebello and the councillors, who are demanding the officer's ouster, however claimed that their demand has nothing to do with the demolition order.
 
"We cannot work with him that is all. He has lost our confidence," the mayor said, not preferring to comment on the demolition notice.
 
His aide Damodar Shirodkar, who along with his colleagues had staged a protest against Naveen on March 25, alleged that he has proof of corruption by the officer.
 
Shirodkar could however produce no evidence, after civil society activists demanded an explanation from him during their siege of the elected representatives on Friday.
 
"Margao will see an agitation if Naveen is transferred. We, as citizens instead want the council itself dissolved," says prominent city lawyer-activist Rajiv Gomes, who spearheaded the civil society agitation in favour of the officer.
 
The reasons for popular adulation of the officer are the series of public welfare and transparent systems initiated in his short four-month tenure as chief officer.
 
These include a toll-free helpline for municipality-related queries and civic grievances, an aggressive tax recovery drive, prompt action against illegalities and a single-window system for construction licences with minimum red tape, which keeps contact between the applicant and the MMC officials, councillors to the minimum.
 
"After years we have an honest officer, who is putting the city first. We want him to continue, despite what the councillors say," said another activist Dickson Vaz.
 
Margao, 35 km from Panaji, is known as the commercial capital of the small coastal state.

User

Kejriwal chose Perfect Victory over Perfect Party
From the happenings of recent weeks, it will be tempting to deduce that Arvind Kejriwal is a Stalinist who, like all autocrats, hates democracy and dissension and loves yes-men. That's what Prashant Bhushan will want us to believe. But the stormy story of the Aam Aadmi Party's internal crisis is far more complicated than such a black-and-white narrative.
 
The most curious case in the entire episode is that of Prashant Bhushan, who now finds himself virtually out of a party that he and Yogendra Yadav helped Kejriwal to set up amid trying circumstances in 2012.
 
When the Mahabharata for Delhi's assembly was on, Prashant Bhushan's father, Shanti Bhushan, yet another co-founder of AAP, shockingly trashed Kejriwal, the party's best-known face. Shanti Bhushan had declared that his first two choices as Delhi's chief minister would be Kiran Bedi of BJP and Ajay Maken of Congress (in that order) -- while Kejriwal would be his last option.
 
The electorate didn't agree. That, of course, is another story.
 
But when the campaign for the make-or-break Delhi election was on, Prashant Bhushan was conspicuously absent. At one point it wasn't clear to even journalists if he was still in the AAP or not.
 
For an articulate lawyer who was so silent during those crucial days, he became hyper active within days after Kejriwal, virtually rising from the dead, became the chief minister of Delhi. Along with Yadav, Prashant Bhushan suddenly began denouncing what he said was the lack of internal democracy in the AAP. As he came under fire from Kejriwal supporters, he became more and more bitter.
 
Even if we assume that all the allegations hurled by Yadav and Bhushan against Kejriwal are true, it defies logic why they were not ready to give the chief minister even six months of peace. Whether one likes it or not, the fact is no one in Delhi voted for Manish Sisodia or the Bhushans or Yadav. It was Kejriwal who defeated Narendra Modi.
 
The AAP had made electoral history. No institution (AAP included) or individual is perfect. But Kejriwal should have been given a grace period before taking up issues related to the party, that too publicly.
 
Sadly, Prashant Bhushan and Yadav turned out to be the counterparts of those in the BJP who have tripped Modi with their loud talk on 'Love Jihad', 'Ghar Wapsi' programmes as well as verbal and other attacks on minorities.
 
Modi paid a price for this in Delhi. The AAP may or may not pay a similar price in the elections it may contest in the months and years to come.
 
From his revelations at the National Executive in Delhi on Saturday, it is evident that Kejriwal chose to keep quiet all through the elections. But the volcano burst once the battle got over. Kejriwal had only one choice before him: lead a Perfect Party to the liking of Prashant Bhushan and Yadav or aim for a Perfect Victory in Delhi so that the AAP rises from the ashes. He opted for the latter.
 
Kejriwal, however, has not come out of this mess unscathed. Rightly or wrongly, he is being seen as one who cannot tolerate dissent and who won't accept people who think differently. Booting out Bhushan or Yadav is one thing but easing out former Indian Navy chief L. Ramdas, the AAP Lokpal, without even the courtesy of letting him know that he is being replaced is another matter.
 
If the AAP has to do alternate politics, it cannot treat every dissident as a foe. If Kejriwal is ready, as he said at Ramlila Maidan, to consult Kiran Bedi and Ajay Maken for the sake of Delhi, surely he must be more considerate to Ramdas. Courtesy is a two-way traffic.

User

COMMENTS

Pradeep Kumar

2 years ago

You have perfectly caught my thinking, thanks for giving form to my mental state
I believe a stink was inevitable, so instead of protecting his personal image, he did best for the party, the stink was inevitable.

rajivahuja

2 years ago

AAP is slowly turning into Congress.

manoharlalsharma

2 years ago

AAM admi party like a newer shop or a newer child admitted in a school and at the day first old boys take on a new boy.so the news channel doing.

vswami

2 years ago

"Kejriwal chose Perfect Victory over Perfect Party"
Or should it be better said that was what he expected (not chose. To believe that, be it 'victory' or 'party'(political at that), could ever be expected to be 'perfect' is tantamount or bound to turn out to be a self deceptive even in a short run, as has really happened. For, after all, 'politics', if not a dirty game, is one in which the twin human weaknesses of pride and prejudice have a predominant and disgusting role to play.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)