Prohibition - The New Fad

It all started with election gimmicks, leading to electoral promises. It is premised on the rather foolish notion that women don't want the husbands to drink and hence parties that subscribe to prohibition will garner women's votes.

Prohibition has never worked anywhere except in fundamentalist religious countries, largely dictatorships of varying kinds. 

USA tried prohibition from 1920 (even amending the Constitution) to 1933 when the amendment was repealed. Prohibition was introduced in USA under pressure from relegious (pietist protestant groups). It was discarded as a result of the realisation that it led to large scale organised crime. (Who has not heard of Al Capone?). In general all types of crimes showed increased rates. Not only there was huge loss of government revenue, but also, additional cost of enforcing prohibition. 

Bismarck said, "Fools learn from experience. I learn from other's experience."

When Indian became independent many states introduced prohibition. It resulted in illicit liquor and deaths due to "hooch tragedies". Already such deaths have occured in Bihar. 

What would one call fools who refuse to learn from their own experiences? 

Instead of prohibition, The Fifth Estate would suggest that government legislate for companies engaged in the liquor business compulsorily set apart a specified sum of money, to be spent as part of their CSR activities in promoting responsible drinking, orgainse family counselling and de-addiction clinics. All liquor bottles may by law ordered to carry pictorial advertisements on the evils of drinking as in the case of ciggarettes.

In this context one may look at the irony of the juxtaposition of two news reports in the same newspaper today. 

'The Hindu' (22 Sep 2016, Bangalore edition) carried a news report on page 7, headlined, "Dance bars without liquor is absurd: Supreme Court"

The link to the article is here.

Just below it was another headline, "Plea in SC for nationwide ban on liquor"  

The link to the second news report is here.

Will good sense prevail?



 

What is an Independent Judiciary?

Independent of whom? Of what?

In India, many (almost and fourth) members of Parliament have criminal cases registered against them. 

Should the executive which is selected from amongst these have any say at all in the selection and promotion of judges? 

In some countries, like the United States (of America), judges to the highest court are appointed by the excutive, the president or governors. They are political appointees and the judgements of the courts there do reflect the political bias of their patrons.

Should India follow suit? 

You decide.

Here is an article in 'Deccan Herald' (Bangalore edition) datelined 21 Aug 2016 titled, "No judges, no justice" that is relevant to the issue.

Refer Link

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/565936/no-judges-no-justice.html

No judges, no justice


In the absence of any explanation from the Union government for not giving its assent to the 75 names recommended for appointment as high court judges, forwarded in February this year by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), one may presume that the Centre is not interested in processing the appointments quickly. Maybe, the government is unable to reconcile itself with the judgement striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and the 99th amendment to the Constitution last year. The government is yet to revise the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) in consultation with the CJI and the Collegium. Media reports stated that the government wants to retain power to veto a recommendation on the grounds of national security.

Are there "Fake" and "Ghost" BPL Ration Cards, as Frequently Claimed?

Let's Find Out through the RTI given below

Please await the reply which, would be published in this page when received.

 

 

File No: RTI-GOK-PDS-Investigation

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

 

APPLICATION UNDER SECTION 6(1)

OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

To: The CPIO, Food and Civil Supplies Department, Government of Karnataka

 

  1. Please quote our file reference in all your replies
  2. Please Reply in English – the language of the application
  3. Please permit me to inspect files held by you relevant to the subject matter of this RTI application

 

1. Full name of the applicant

 

Mathew Thomas

2.  Address

 

 

 

18 A, Adarsh Vista, Basavanagar, Marathahalli P O, Bangalore 560037

3.  Details of the information/ documents required:

  1. Estimated or detected quantity (weight in KGs) and value in Rupees (₹) of PDS food items lost and / or pilfered during each of the past 3 years, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  2. Copy of any document giving details of any investigation carried out to determine how the PDS food was lost / pilfered
  3. Total number of each category, namely, “Fake”, “Ghost”, cases of multiple BPL (Below Poverty Line) ration cards detected during each of the past two years, including current year i.e. 2015 and 2016. [Please note: 1. A “Fake” ration card is defined here as one where the ration card holder exists, but the details, like, address etc. are incorrect. 2. A “Ghost” ration card is one where the card holder does not exist, that is, there is no such person. 3. Multiple ration cards are defined as ration cards of the same person at same address or different addresses with minor changes in details, such as initials of name etc. changed in order to make believe that the card holders are different persons.]
  4. Copy of any document showing how and when the “Fake”, “Ghost” and “Multiple ration cards” were found out and action taken against erring officials responsible for the issue of the same

 

 

4. Year to which the document pertains

2013 to 2016

5. Designation and address of the Public Information Officer

 

 

 

PIO, Department of Food and Civil Supplies, Government of Karnataka, Vikas Soudha, Ambedkar Veedhi, Bengaluru, 560001

Particulars of initial fee of ₹  10 paid

Indian Postal Order Number:

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANGALORE

DATE: Tuesday, June 14, 2016                                            SIGNATURE OF THE APPLICANT

Please click the link to download Sample RTI application Template click here

UIDAI, The Deceit Continues

In an advertisement in the 'Deccan Herald' - Page 20 of its Bangalore Edition of 07 Aug 2016 - UIDAI says, "Aadhaar makes availing Government scholarships easy".

UIDAI's Misleading Advertisement on Scholarships

How diabolical can this be? UIDAI does not say, "Aadhaar is compulsory or mandatory for availing scholarships:, but says that it is "easy". 

And there is the smiling face of a girl child holding an "Aadhaar" acknowledgement letter. UIDAI has no scruples in using the innocent, ignorant (about UID / "Aadhaar") child to hoax the public and parents of these children.

Why does UIDAI want to link transferring of scholarships to bank accounts need linkage to the so-called "Aadhaar" number? What mystical powers does this number have?

Scholarships are meant for eligible students. Possession of UID / "Aadhaar" number, which is not even proof of citizenship, does NOT make a student eligible for scholarships.

Addresses in UID database are un-verified. Possession of UID / "Aadhaar" number does not prove that the its possessor is a genuine student of any instutution.

 

 

Do the Supreme Court's Orders make any difference to our Government?

The RTI query seeks to find out.

It has been filed now. Please await the reply.

File No: RTI-DAVP-UID-Voluntary-Advertisements

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

 

APPLICATION UNDER SECTION 6(1)

OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

 

To: The CPIO, Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, Room No. 748, ‘A’ Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi 110001

 

  1. Please quote our file reference in all your replies
  2. Please Reply in English – the language of the application
  3. Please permit me to inspect files held by you relevant to the subject matter of this RTI application

 

1. Full name of the applicant

 

Mathew Thomas

2.  Address

 

 

 

18 A, Adarsh Vista, Basavanagar, Marathahalli P O, Bangalore 560037

3.  Details of the information/ documents required:

  1. Number of advertisements published in major national newspapers and visual media (major national TV channels) from 2014 to 2016 in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders to give wide publicity that UID / "Aadhaar" is voluntary
  2. Total cost of all such advertisements from 2014 to 2016
  3. Any document showing advertisements of FM radio and transcripts of the same together with the name of the radio channel and number of times and periods when the advertisement clips were played over the radio
  4. Copy of last 10 advertisements in each media, namely, major national newspapers, major national TV channels and radio with dates of the advertisements and the names of the newspapers, TV and radio channels where these were published
  5. Name and URL of any government websites, other than UIDAI website, of departments which, use UID / "Aadhaar" for targeting beneficiaries, wherein the fact that UID / "Aadhaar" is voluntary has been published

 

4. Year to which the document pertains

2014 to 2016

5. Designation and address of the Public Information Officer

 

 

 

The CPIO, Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, Room No. 748, ‘A’ Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi 110001

Phone: 011-23384853

 

Particulars of initial fee of ₹  10 paid

Indian Postal Order Number:

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANGALORE

DATE: Tuesday, June 14, 2016                                            SIGNATURE OF THE APPLICANT