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July 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         June 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:May' 2018


Need for Vigilance

The June issue of your highly prestigious think-tank news magazine did well to highlight how our honourable Supreme Court constructively intervened in the murky game certain notorious politicians seemed to be playing to capture political power in Karnataka . It would, however, be too much to expect that our Court could come to rescue every time such a situation arose in the country.

We citizens must play our well-defined constitutional role in preserving and strengthening our political institutions. We must be vigilant to elect right representatives at the Centre , state and local levels. Such representatives alone , in turn, would be guided by the interests of the people and make our governments really serve the nation.

In the present case of Karnataka, the Congress Party has extended its support to the state Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumarswamy who has since taken over as the new Chief Minister of state. But one does not know how long the Kumarswamy government would last. The history of the Congress Party in this matter is not assuring . One also does not know if the Opposition parties that are today united against the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre would remain so to face the Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2019. Our present-day politicians are too self-centred to stand by any moral principles.

K. J. Vishnu

Inner Line Permit is colonial !

It is unfortunate that even citizens of India need to possess the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter the frontier States of northeastern India: Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. The ILP is valid initially for a week to be extended. People who work in the region can opt for a special ILP renewable annually. The ILP is not applicable in Dimapur. This colonial policy has no use in independent India. All Indians must be free to move throughout the country.

The sister States of Arunachal Pradesh Mizoram and Nagaland often blame Assam for their problems with “illegal migrants.” Nagaland has a term for them — IBI, (Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrant). Organisations such as the Naga Students’ Federation conduct a ‘census’ to keep a record on the number of non-Nagas as well as IBIs. In 2008, several Bengali-speaking Muslims were driven out of Nagaland’s Mokokchung town. This triggered vigilantism against “demography-changing” migrants. A similar drive happened in 2015. In October 2017, residents of Chumukedima town adopted a resolution to keep IBIs out. This is not good for our Republic.

Madhavi Vora

All eyes on Pakistan election

After Pakistan’s President dissolved its National Assembly , former Pakistani Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, took over as the country’s caretaker Prime Minister for an interim period of two months. He will run the government pending results of July 25 parliamentary elections.

I am sure Mulk would do fine job of supervising the July elections. Mulk served as Pakistan’s Chief Justice from 2014 to 2015. He has a reputation as a defender of democratic institutions. During his time in the Supreme Court, Justice Mulk heard several contentious constitutional matters, including one in which a sitting Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, was summoned on contempt charges. He was also on the seven-judge bench that issued a restraining order against the then all-powerful President Pervez Musharraf in 2007. In 2013-14 he served as the acting Chief Election Commissioner.

Shamshul Haq

Designs in Gilgit-Baltista

The Pakistan Cabinet on May 21 approved ‘Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018.’ It was endorsed by the assembly for the region. The order is part of Pakistan’s efforts towards incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province. Pakistan continues to claim that “Jammu and Kashmir is “a disputed territory”. Pakistan has bifurcated the part of Kashmir under its occupation into two parts — Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistanoccupied Kashmir. China’s concerns about the unsettled status — as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through the region — seem to have prompted Pakistan to change its status. New Delhi must remain cautious.

Parikshit Dhar

All eyes on Pakistan election

Recent reports on the state of affairs in Jammu & Kashmir are very alarming . According to one report, more than 200 militants were killed in the period after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, which had set off a wave of violence in the Valley. However, 230 more young men picked up the gun during that time, many of them at funerals of militants. The Governments at the Centre and in the State must do something meaningful.

Recently, the Union Government authorised an interlocutor to speak with “all sections of society” in the Valley. The Centre has backed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on a wide range of political issues, including in replacing the Deputy Chief Minister, a post held by a BJP legislator. The Centre must also give relative autonomy to our security forces to nab the miscreants .The security forces must be alert to all attempts at subverting New Delhi’s cease-ops initiative. This could come from Pakistan or from vested interests within J&K. The governments must be strict in dealing with them in the Valley.

Kavya Chatterjee