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M.F. HUSAIN SURELY WOULDN’T HAVE USED HIS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION WITH ISLAM, BUT LET’S STILL GIVE HIM THE FREEDOM TO EXPRESS

It is absurd to portray M.F. Husain as a martyr and a fearless fighter of artistic freedom This whole controversy about M.F. Husain, his exile and his citizenship of Qatar has been so convoluted that ordinary Indians are confused. One big reason for this confusion is that the whole debate around M.F. Husain and his paintings has raised so many questions about Hinduism, Islam, tolerance and secularism that simple facts are being ignored. Let me start by pointing out some things our so called liberal journalists and intellectuals are afraid to admit. The fact is: many Hindus have, and will fi nd some of the paintings of M.F. Husain quite offensive. Showing grotesquely nude portraits of Hindu deities is bound to offend many Hindus. And I think, so called intellectuals who call these offended Hindus bigoted and intolerant are actually even more blindly bigoted and intolerant. How can you defend the right of M.F. Husain to offend and deny the equal right of some people to feel offended?

IT IS THE HEIGHT OF HYPOCRISY, THAT AT ONE HAND THE GOVERNMENT IS HELL BENT TO PASS THE WOMEN RESERVATION BILL,

AND ON THE OTHER, VIOLATING THEIR RIGHTS BLATANTLY!! It is the women of the country who have been in the news for the first few days in the month of March. What started with the passing of one of the most contentious bill (women reservation) in the Rajya Sabha, ended up with another equally controversial, yet favourable judgment passed by the high court, with respect to women officers. The court granted permanent commission to interested women officers of the forces serving under the short service commission. As was expected, the government has been silent so far on the issue and again as expected the top brass of the Army and the Air Force have reacted against the high court’s stance. The high court passed this judgment with a view that few women officers who were assured eligibility for a permanent commission during the time of recruitment were denied of the same later. In fact, the denial was only meted out to them while their male counterparts were moved from the short service co

FOR MEANINGFUL AND COMPETENT REPRESENTATION IN PARLIAMENT, WOMEN NEED EDUCATION AND EMPOWERMENT, AND NOT RESERVATION!

So, the women’s reservation bill, which was first drafted by H. D. Gowda government in 1996, finally got cleared in the Rajya Sabha on the 8th of March, 2010. Of all the pending bills, this one in particular was the most contentious as most political parties could neither accept nor reject it, owing to vote-bank politics. Finally, amidst some ugly chaos and commotion, the bill got passed on the 8th of March in the Rajya Sabha. As expected, what followed was customary celebration, wherein all media houses projected the passing of the bill as one of the landmark moments in the history of independent India. No doubt, the celebrations are too early, as the real test is yet to come; and that is when it goes through the Lok Sabha. Going by the precedence set in the Rajya Sabha, things do not look that simple. From the very beginning the Congress, along with the BJP and the Left , have been in support of the bill; whereas most other political parties have been opposing the bill in its curren

AN ‘OBJECTIVELESS’ AND TIMID BUDGET

Shortage of a hundred and fifty million rural employment jobs. Shortage of twenty five million urban employment jobs… Additional Rs 1 lakh crore required to replace urban slums… And Rs 10,000 crore required every year for five years to give justice to every Indian by ramping up the judiciary… Another Rs 20,000 crore required every year to make universal primary education a reality and have equality in education opportunities… And additional Rs 10,000 crore required annually to give some basic access to health facilities… Welcome to India. A country where the hospital beds to population ratio is 1:1422, ranked 161 alongside sub-Saharan African countries, against an ideal ratio of 1:333 prescribed by the United Nations. A country with 2.4 million temples but only 1.4 million temples of education i.e. schools… A country with 30 million cases pending in courts, making life hell for the common man who wants justice, because our courts have only 12 judges per million population compared to 1