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Government needs to be an active participant in disaster research

In the wake of the recent Uttarakhand floods, the government needs to hold the hands of researchers and local communities, and encourage open and honest fieldwork and research.

Amita Singh



The Uttarakhand disaster has once again driven our attention towards the disaster management capacity, understanding and adeptness of the National Disaster Management Authority which is the apex institution one looks up to during such times. The Disaster Management Act 2005 says that NDMA “shall have the responsibility of laying down the policies, plans and guidelines for ensuring timely and effective response to disaster”.It is also responsible for “laying down guidelines to be followed by state authorities in drawing up their plans”. Under Section 6 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, NDMA coordinates the enforcement and implementation of disaster mitigation plans, recommends provision of funds and lays down broad policies and guidelines for the National Institute of Disaster Management which is the apex training body for capacity building in handling disasters in the country. 

However, a legitimate disaster management initiative in India lies in Sec 6 (i) of the Act which says that the NDMA should “take such measures for the prevention of disasters, or mitigation or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with a threatening disaster situation or disaster as it may consider necessary”. The NDMA ought to take this section with greater seriousness and commitment notwithstanding the many challenges it ought to encounter such as an understanding of local environmental and ecological resilience, alertness to law and effective agency coordination from the Centre to the State and local levels. It has been 16 years now since the Disaster Management Act (DMA 2005) was formulated. It has been quite successful in giving visibility to its institutional domain but has repeatedly failed in delivering substantive mitigation.

One would like to seek answers to the manifest deficits of an institution which is headed by none other than the Prime Minister himself and currently by a personality that has not only proved to be an able leader with a large fanbase across the world but who also has exceptional communication skills and makes overt emotional appeals to entice citizens into his policy theatrics like a Pied Piper. At a cursory look, these deficits seem not so much in the intentions or a lack of resources but in institutional failings to match with the spirit of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA 2005) in the first place, and as a consequence of it, deviating from the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR, 2015-30). The former was brought in immediately after the devastating 2004 tsunami and therefore waded through many philosophical arguments related to man’s existence and the value of progress. It was debated and accepted in the United Nations with a shared concern for human progress and the developmental goals pursued by countries. The HFA demanded that nations focus on preparedness rather than the erstwhile rescue and relief operations. It had a visionary insistence on the fact that an investment in preparedness was an investment in development, as every disaster drains out a substantial percentage of developmental gains in terms of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the market value of all the goods and services produced by a country, over and above the lives lost and delays in bouncing back to normal. This loss is roughly estimated at more than 2% of the GDP but can be much higher if the continuous externalities of environmental impact related losses are added to it, such as pollution, water loss, climate change related phenomena or a reduction in flora and fauna. The HFA clarified that preparedness builds resilience and incorporates sustainability into developmental policies and plans. If a country’s disaster management authorities and institutions do not value preparedness then they trap the country’s progress into an irretrievable retreat or fait accompli to accepting ruin as an ‘Act of God’.

The spirit of this trendsetting global meeting on disaster management was expressed as the potentially powerful location of DRR (disaster risk reduction) in a nation’s ability “to promote a strategic and systematic approach to reducing vulnerabilities and risks to hazards.” “Reducing vulnerabilities” indicates that communities should not be habiting fragile ecological zones and have good health, education and livelihood to become more resilient to the economic downturns that a disaster brings. Secondly, “reducing risks to hazards” indicates that developmental plans of construction, electricity generation, tourism, mining, oil drilling and port building should not be undertaken at locations which have a well-established scientific and geo-physical finding about a hazard. So, two facts become obviously clear: first, that it is impossible to work against nature, and second, any such policy obduracy may lead to the destruction of development. For implementing this spirit, governments should have focused on ‘communities’, (local governments, local institutions and local culture) and on annual plans based on the identification of ‘red zones’ or hazards which prohibit human trespassing in a particular location. Nonetheless, research is needed continuously for meaningful and cost-effective disaster management and achieving the Hyogo spirit.

SFDRR recognised this immense need for research by indicating it as “understanding disaster risk”, the first of four priority areas. The other three, i.e., strengthening disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction and enhancing disaster preparedness, are all located in governance and law. The need for research was passionately recognised as a starting point for DRR by former Minister of State for Disaster Management at the Ministry of Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju who encouraged disaster research as a starting point to divert policies from their dependence on western literature. By locating this research at the country’s premier multi-disciplinary research institution, Jawaharlal Nehru University, he could confidently vouch for capacity building percolation effect upon its own training institute as well. As research took off, reputed international publishers lined up to document its findings. The vibrant energy-filled environment with the young, the seniors, the uniformed forces and the local communities could not hide its inductive inclusivity in the country’s pessimistic periphery. As research teams marched to the fragile eco zones of the Sundarbans bordering Bangladesh or to Manipur’s Churachandpur, Chandel and Thaubal and further to the Teesta catchments of Kalimpong in West Bengal, Munnar hills in Kerala or waded through the flood waters of Alappuzha, local communities continued to join them, learn what they could have done and share what they needed. One evening, as researchers were explaining their day’s field work in the Sundarbans to the team leader, a former Chief Secretary, the West Bengal State Minister of Environment walked into the room to participate and share his knowledge on the subject. He was surprised to see that the State Disaster Secretary was absent. The next day, as news of this spread, not only the Secretary but other Secretaries heading other State Disaster Management Authorities were on high alert. Such was the participatory pull of this research.

While the field-based files were turning pages, parallel documentation was done by young, energetic research teams from universities and government training institutes across the country, which was later published as five continuous international volumes in a famous Palgrave-Macmillan series by Springer Nature. This unmatched information, available at one place for all prospective policymakers not just in India but the whole of South Asia, is indeed a lighthouse with the potential to crack through JNU’s academic council and establish the first trans-disciplinary centre for disaster research and make India a hub for training prospective Asian disaster managers. So strong was the Minister’s commitment to disaster management that he once publicly surprised many by asking the NDMA why they have not asked JNU experts to be part of the committee working to amend the DMA 2005. The young faculty and students still cannot forget their deep thought-provoking discussion with this minister on the DMA 2005 in the lawns of JNU one cold evening. It is worth recollecting that despite a show of willingness by the Secretary and the NDMA members in public, the official invite never came. But a day before the submission of their report, the NIDM-ED did call for expert inputs from the JNU experts, which was regretted. This community spirit displayed by MoS-DM was the key to mutual learning. Alas, both the Minister and the JNU team of researchers were soon replaced and the much-needed continuity in DRR work was lost to black letter office orders.

Wherever there is a lack of understanding of policy, the incapable ones in decision making compensate through a media display of traits other than disciplinary competence, such as charity, ideology, tears, religion and overtime work. It then becomes indispensable for their survival to steer clear of those who question. Therefore, the recent judgement of a Delhi Court in Disha Ravi’s case clarifies the perspective that the government needs to adopt. It says that “citizens are the conscience keepers of the government in any democratic nation” and further opens up the spirit of the Constitution when it uses the words, “…wounded vanity of governments”. Only an incompetent person is wounded, as the competent brightens up every department they touch. It is high time that the government looks at the norms of openness and research, rather than dubbing it as suspicious activity in preparation of overthrowing the government. By relying on such abysmal thinking, the government and academic institutions would only be piled up with incompetent opportunists making the government the biggest obstruction in its own policies. Disaster management needs openness and, more than anything else, to be liberated from the fortress of the NDMA and hold the hands of communities and researchers.

The writer is president, NAPSIPAG Disaster Research Group and a former Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. The views expressed are personal.

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Priya Sahgal



As Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government goes from crisis to ICU mode, there is a larger lesson here on coalition politics. At the very outset, the alliance was termed as an unnatural one that saw ideologically opposite parties like the Congress-NCP join hands with the radical right wing Shiv Sena. For the coalition to tango, one side had to give in and interestingly it was the Sena that took most of the backward steps. It compromised on its hardcore Hindutva ideology, toned down its rhetoric and tried an image makeover under the aegis of Uddhav Thackeray and his heir apparent Aaditya Thackeray. The politics of both Uddhav and Aaditya were progressive, they talked new age concerns like environment and sent the right feelers on governance from the financial capital of the country. The one mistake they made perhaps was not to involve all the stakeholders, it is now clear by Eknath Shinde’s comments that they felt left out of the governance pie and also resented the hold that individuals like Sanjay Raut, Sharad Pawar and even a first time MLA Aaditya himself had over the party. (An interesting factoid is that in 2019 Aditya was the first Thackeray to contest polls and his father the first Thackeray to sit on the CMs chair. Usually Bal Thackeray preferred to appoint a nominee as CM and run the state by remote control from Matoshree.) Whatever the reasons, if the government topples, it would set the Sena back on the path of regressive, chest thumping hardline politics and that would be a tragedy. But that’s another column.

To come back to the topic of unnatural alliances, the first sign of rebellion from Shinde and his men was regarding the MLC elections when they were not happy with the party dictat to support a Congress candidate. The hold of the NCP over governance and powerful ministerial portfolios was another grouse. In the end, it was not so much about ideology about power. But then, that’s how it always is.

Take a look at the Mahagathbandan in Bihar, where again, two political foes—Lalu Yadav’s RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U)—came together on one platform. That did not last long with Nitish soon finding his way back to the BJP. Or even the not so unnatual alliance between two UP Ke Ladke that had Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi contesting from the same platform in the 2017 state assembly polls. When one side did not pull its weight in the ballot boxes that alliance broke with the two taking pot shots at each other. Ditto for the alliance between the SP and Mayawati’s BSP in the 2019 Lok Sabha where the cadres on ground found it difficult to canvass for a party they had spent a lifetime taking pot shots at.

This brings us to the larger issue at play—while on paper, it is all very well for strategists like Prashant Kishor to talk about bringing the entire opposition on one platform to take on the BJP in the Lok Sahba polls, the reality on ground is very different where the Congress and various regional parties are fighting each other at the state level. Bringing diverse parties and egos on one platform post polls is also not easy as Dr Manmohan Singh found out when he tried to run a coalition with both Mamata and the CPM. Which brings another twist in the BJP vs The Rest version of the Game of Thrones, and again, as with most political turns these days, it’s one that works in Modi’s favour.

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‘Bad Bank’ must succeed to have good banks

Non-performing assets have been beleaguering the banking sector in India for a long time, but have worsened lately. Designed policies often fail to deliver desired results due to implementation challenges. In this case, time is of the essence and delays could be detrimental.



‘Exact predictions of policy outcomes are routine. Expressions of uncertainty are rare. Predictions and estimates often are fragile, resting on unsupported assumptions. So the expressed certitude is incredible,” states Charles F. Manski, an eminent economist, renowned for his work on judgement and decisions, and policy analysis in an uncertain world.

The quote could guide the progress of the recently established National Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (NARCL) dubbed as “Bad Bank“. It is a potent mechanism for tackling the mounting Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of commercial banks. Taking them off their balance sheets may help them fulfil regulatory compliance and also enhance their lending capacity. But to serve the purpose, it must act with speed.

Announced in September 2021, NARCL is to take the big-ticket defaults of the commercial banks off their balance sheet, identified to be worth Rs 2 lakh crore. As per plans, 38 NPA accounts worth Rs 82,845 crore were expected to be transferred to the NARCL in the first phase out of which 15 accounts worth Rs 50,000 crore were to be transferred by the end of the fiscal year 2022.

NARCL is supposed to acquire these assets by paying 15% in cash and 85% in tradable Security Receipts (SRs), and redeemable on the resolution of the distressed assets. The government guarantee is expected to provide liquidity to SRs and can be invoked to make up for the shortfall in case of resale failure or sales at a discount of those assets by the bad bank. The target could not be achieved due to procedural delays and the deadline stands extended to July 2022.

Designed policies often fail to deliver desired results due to the implementation challenges. In this case, time is of the essence and delays could be detrimental. NPAs have been beleaguering the banking sector in India for a long time, but have worsened lately. Gross NPAs of the Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) have steadily increased from Rs 59,373 crore in 2005 to Rs 2.63 lakh crore in 2014 and further to Rs 8.35 lakh crore in 2021. In between, they had peaked at Rs 10.36 lakh crore as of March 2018. Gross NPAs of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have been no exception, as they too jumped up from Rs 47,621 crore to Rs 2.27 lakh crore and Rs 6.17 lakh crore during the corresponding period.

The pandemic has further exacerbated the situation. The RBI’s financial stability report estimates that the gross NPA ratio might rise from 6.9% in September 2021 to 8.1% in the best-case scenario. In the worst case, they could rise to 9.5% by September 2022. The recent hikes in repo rate by 40 and 50 basis points to restrain the deteriorating inflation outlook is expected to make repayment of the loans more difficult putting further stress on NPAs in the coming months.

Bad Banks have been tested in an assortment of countries with variable success. Assets Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) have been generally successful where NPAs were caused due to delay and default on account of real estate lending, presumably because the mortgage assets for such lending are easier to identify, evaluate and sell. Will it work in case of the big-ticket bad loans each worth Rs 500 crore or more, particularly when they are accumulated over time due to the bad lending decision for unviable projects or restructuring of previous loans or where money could have been siphoned off?

Design-wise, the NARCL is structured well with built-in checks and balances. The PSBs being a 51% equity stakeholders in it will have a vested interest in the speedy resolution of bad debts acquired by NARCL. The government guarantee for the Security Receipt (SRs) issued by it against the bad debt of banks gives it grit.

Though the extent of the guarantee is stated to be Rs 30,600 crore, the actual outflow is expected to be much less as it is to be restricted to the shortfall between the face value of the SRs and the actual realisation by way of resolution or liquidation. The liability could be further contained by the provision that it could be invoked only if the resolution and realisation of the toxic assets happen within 5 years.

Additionally, to discourage the resolution of assets from being prolonged, NARCL would be required to pay to the banks a guarantee fee of 0.25% of the outstanding amount, from the second year onward, which would increase to 0.5%, 1% and 2% in the third, fourth and fifth year. Besides, the NPAs identified to be acquired in the first phase are fully provisioned as per the prudential norms.

The success of the Bad Bank idea could hinge on two factors: Firstly, the objectivity and transparency in the valuation of NPAs and their fair resolution; and secondly, the expertise of the debt resolution company. As far as the valuation and resolution of NPAs are concerned, these have been lying in the books of the banks for years, despite their best efforts to realise them, but in vain. Most would be compelled to sell their toxic assets at discount ranging between 40-70% of the book value minus accumulated interest.

As regards expertise, India should not have a dearth of knowledge and as regards experience, Indians are known to have a steep learning curve. The real challenge would, however, be to find the buyers of the bad debt. All the more critically, will the market have the appetite for such Assets? Protecting the process from the vested interests, who often use their acumen to circumvent the prescribed procedure for personal profit is all the more difficult to gauge and forestall.

A study by the Bank of International Settlements in 2020 highlighted that bad banks work best if supported by a recapitalisation. It further pointed out that a capable, effective and robust regulatory system is a sine qua non for the desired results. It was a good sign that the Union budget 2021-22 had provided Rs 20,000 crores for recapitalisation of PSBs, though the amount was reduced to Rs 15,000 crore in the revised estimate. Sadly, no fresh provision has been made for capital infusion into PSBs in the 2022-23 budget. However, many experts regard the government guarantee for SRs as an indirect form of recapitalisation. Still, given the magnitude of NPAs, the provision may seem scanty.

The banking sector is the backbone of a robust economy. A large number of small savers and risk-averse investors trust banks with their hard-earned savings in the hope that their deposits would be safe and earn a positive real return. This can be possible only if banks are able to lend in productive investments that are realisable in time as per the loan arrangements. NPAs bleed banks, impinge on their profitability and efficiency and shake the confidence of crores of savers and investors. The Bad Bank must succeed in letter and spirit.

Furqan Qamar, a Professor in the Faculty of Management Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, is a former Advisor (Education) in the Planning Commission of India. Taufeeque Ahmad Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia.

Bad Banks have been tested in an assortment of countries with variable success. Assets Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) have been generally successful where NPAs were caused due to delay and default on account of real estate lending, presumably because the mortgage assets for such lending are easier to identify, evaluate and sell. Will it work in case of the big-ticket bad loans each worth Rs 500 crore or more, particularly when they are accumulated over time due to the bad lending decision for unviable projects or restructuring of previous loans or where money could have been siphoned off?

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das announces to increase the policy repo rate by 50 basic points, in New Delhi on 8 June 2022. The RBI’s financial stability report estimates that the gross NPA ratio might rise from 6.9% in September 2021 to 8.1% in the best-case scenario. In the worst case, they could rise to 9.5% by September 2022. ANI

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Joyeeta Basu



At the core of the Maharashtra crisis is the dynasty problem, where the not-so-competent son of an illustrious leader is trying to secure his own son’s future on the advice of his “kitchen cabinet”. Word has it that the reason Uddhav Thackeray became Chief Minister of Maharashtra was because of Maha Vikas Aghadi partners’ refusal to have a young Aaditya Thackeray as Chief Minister, and that Uddhav Thackeray became Chief Minister because he was more acceptable than his son to his MVA allies, even though he had zero administrative experience and had not fought an election in his life. Even if this is dismissed as political gossip at best, the fact is, it was Uddhav’s personal ambition and his desire to secure his son’s future that made him take the turn that he did—of joining hands with the enemy. BJP’s ascendance in Maharashtra was a major problem, as the Sena resented being the junior partner and the nearly three-decade-old alliance fell apart on the matter of Shiv Sena wanting the Chief Minister’s post despite having around 50% seats fewer than the BJP. However, Uddhav’s track record as Chief Minister has been less than illustrious, with charges rampant of him going the Congress-NCP way by abandoning the Sena’s “Hindutva” ideology, and seeking more validation from social media and a certain class of “left-liberals” than being effective on the ground. There was also report of Aaditya Thackeray acting as the de facto Chief Minister much of the time. Whatever be the reason or reasons for the turmoil in Sena, the fact is, among the rank and file of the party, there is immense unhappiness with the party’s top leadership. It would be lazy to blame the current impasse on money power. Lure of money cannot explain the exodus; the Sena is fracturing, in Shinde’s favour, right down to the grassroots. The letter of Aurangabad MLA, Sanjay Shirsat to Uddhav, where he accuses the latter of being inaccessible, is quite an eyeopener. Apparently, most Sena MLAs did not get to enter the Chief Minister’s Office or even the Mantralaya, the state secretariat, even once in the last two and a half years. There was no communication, as Thackeray had surrounded himself with a handful of people without grassroots presence. When Congress and NCP leaders have access to the CM and get funds cleared, Sena MLAs do not have any such luck and it is only Shinde who has been with them. Even if some of these allegations are true, it’s appalling and reminds one of the Congress situation, where leaders such as Himanta Biswa Sarma and others quit the party accusing Rahul Gandhi of inaccessibility, of not listening to the ground. In Congress too the problem is the dynasty, it’s just that the Congress manages the rumblings in its ranks better than the Sena.

Think of people like Akhilesh Yadav and Jayant Chaudhry, their family name is not helping them win elections. Jayant Chaudhry came a cropper in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections earlier this year. And even though Akhilesh managed to cross 100 seats in a 403-member Assembly, on Sunday, he ended up gifting his own erstwhile Lok Sabha seat, Azamgarh—apparently a Yadav family bastion—to the BJP. His cousin Dharmendra Yadav lost to the BJP’s Nirahua, in a huge setback for Akhilesh. What our dynasts do not realise is that voter loyalty to a particular family is a thing of the past. Unless there is performance, unless there is inspiring leadership, delivery on the ground, there is no loyalty—and that is the way it should be. Just being a Thackeray or a Yadav should not be a guarantee to success. The template has changed. It’s the age of perform or perish. It’s the age of cracking the glass ceiling. And for the non-dynasts in political parties, capable of leading from the front, the dynasts are the glass ceiling.

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Sorry is the least Modi baiters need to say now

Narendra Modi never condoned riots. But he was not ready to oblige the media by taking the blame for the riots. He always said if he was guilty he should be punished. ‘Hang me if I am guilty’, was his challenge. He knew for sure that he was right and tried his best to save the situation.



The Supreme Court verdict on 24 June was a moment of vindication and triumph for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all those who believed in him. After being vilified by critics and opponents for a crime he had not committed, the minimum that Modi deserves after 20 years of pain is a common statement signed by all those who targeted him saying: “We Are Sorry”.

The Supreme Court verdict has clarified that there is nothing left to be discussed. The narrative created by anti-Modi forces was based on fiction and was “politically motivated”. The court gave all the avenues and platforms to them to prove their case, but they failed. Facts stood against insinuations, logic against assumptions and scientific evidence against lies. The doomsayers stand exposed crestfallen and completely maligned. Their narrative has fallen “like a pack of cards” when confronted with reality.

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal against the clean chit given by the SIT to Gujarat administration and then chief minister of Gujarat and final acceptance of the closure report by the Metropolitan Magistrate (2103) and the Gujarat High Court (2017). The Court pointed out that the proceedings were pursued for 16 years, and several applications were filed to “keep the pot boiling, for ulterior design”.

“The argument of the appellant was bordering on undermining the integrity and sincerity of the members of the SIT,” the court observed while pointing out that the SIT was set up specifically by the Supreme Court. The court noted that no new findings had come up and the submissions by Jafri were “far-fetched and an attempt to undo and undermine the integrity of the SIT”.

The issue of the anti-Modi camp, often subsumed in the garb of elites of Lutyens’ Delhi, was not riots. Much worse riots had taken place in Gujarat during the Congress regime as for example in 1969. The broad daylight killing of Sikhs in Delhi by Congress goons after assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 is known to one and all. Compared to the Gujarat riots, the killing of Sikhs was pogrom.

The problem was that they were looking for a villain and wanted to nail someone for the riots. They tried their best to create a narrative to bring down Narendra Modi from the post of the chief minister of Gujarat. They took affront that the man was standing tall and trying to give solution, rather than going to Delhi to save his post. Lutyen’s media have always prided that they are the ones who make or mar governments in Delhi. They had completely failed in the case of Modi.

Nobody denied that riots had taken place in Gujarat in February-March 2002. Nobody denied that both Hindus and Muslims were killed in the riots. This is also true that the riots were an offshoot of the burning of 59 Kar Sevaks in Coach S6 of the ill-fated Sabarmati Express that was returning from Ayodhya. Large mass of people had gathered at Signal Fadia at Godhra and identified and targeted Ram Sewaks and burnt the S6 coach. Even women and children were not allowed to come out of the train by the blood thirsty mob. This happened on 27 February 2002. The next day angry mobs sought to avenge the killings. Police tried to stop rioters, but in most cases here were outnumbered. Record said that more than 200 people were killed in police firing.

One more insinuation was why the dead bodies of those charred to death in S6 coach was taken to Ahmedabad. The Modi-baiters alleged that this was done deliberately to instigate people. The SIT has accepted the government’s contention that the decision to take the bodies to Ahmedabad was unanimous. When a meeting took place on the issue at Godhra, none of the officials suggested any other way and they all suggested ways to facilitate transportation of the dead bodies. There were two considerations: one that the relatives of the deceased would find it tough to come to Godhra and identity the victims; and two, the small town of Godhra had no facility to conduct autopsy on so many bodies.

Narendra Modi never condoned riots. But he was not ready to oblige the media by taking the blame for the riots. He always said if he was guilty he should be punished. “Hang me if I am guilty”, was his challenge. He knew for sure that he was right and tried his best to save the situation. He called for the army within 24 hours which was a record in the country for any riot situation.

The hostile media started digging stories to create a narrative that there was a larger conspiracy at the top (meaning at the level of the chief minister) to allow Hindus to vent their anger on Muslims. The Special Investigation Team (SIT), looking into specific cases during riots, was asked to look into “allegation of larger criminal conspiracy at the highest level resulting in mass violence across the state during the relevant period.”

It was alleged that the chief minister, while chairing an emergency meeting to review the security situation after the Godhra incident on 27 February, had instructed senior officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger. This allegation stood on the testimony of minister of state for revenue Haren Pandya, former ADGP Intelligence R.B. Sreekumar and the DCI Security Sanjiv Bhat. The SIT found out that all the officials present at the meeting denied the presence of Bhat at the meeting. This was not proven even by his phone records. About Sreekumar, the SIT said that he was “a disgruntled officer and his testimony was not reliable”. On Pandya, the SIT observed that the phone record of Pandya did not establish that he was present at the said meeting. It was the chief minister’s meeting with top officials and even cabinet ministers were not present at the meeting.

The Supreme Court it its judgment held: “We find force in the argument of the respondent-State that the testimony of Mr Sanjiv Bhatt, Mr Haren Pandya and also of Mr R.B. Sreekumar was only to sensationalize and politicize the matters in issue, although, replete with falsehood. For, persons not privy to the stated meeting, where utterance were allegedly made by the then Chief Minister, falsely claimed themselves to be eye-witnesses and after thorough investigation by the SIT, it has become clear that their claim of being present in the meeting was itself false to their knowledge. On such false claim, the structure of larger criminal conspiracy at the highest level has been erected. The same stands collapsed like a house of cards, aftermath thorough investigation by the SIT […]”

Giving a clean chit to the Gujarat administration and the investigation conducted by the SIT, the bench noted that there was “no material worth the name to even create a suspicion” of criminal conspiracy. The Supreme Court further endorsed the SIT for collecting materials that indicated the hard work and planning of State functionaries to control the spontaneous evolving situation of mass violence across the State of Gujarat. It noted that the police force was inadequate and the State replenished this with Central Forces/Army, which were called without loss of time. It also noted the SIT’s observation that the then Chief Minister publicly made repeated appeals to maintain peace.

This nails the narrative that the state authorities did not act in time. The fact that the army was called within 24 hours and the country’s then Defence Minister George Fernandes was in Gandhinagar to take care of any eventualities. The state police was grossly outnumbered when mob of 5000-1000 or even more were on the rampage. The state tried to get police force from adjoining Congress-ruled states, but that was not coming. The army was in Gandhinagar on the evening of 28 February 2002.

The third basis for creating the narrative was a report in Times of India that had quoted the chief minister on the action reaction theory. The fact is that the newspaper had not even spoken to the chief minister and had tried to pick up threads from the interview Modi gave to Zee News television channel anchor Sudhir Chaudhary. The story published by Times of India was denied, but it appeared in a non-descript way in a remote corner of the same newspaper.

The Supreme Court has noted Chaudhary’s statement that Modi had rejected violence and did not justify the action-reaction theory. Modi had said that violence cannot be a reply to violence, Modi had said in the interview. The reporter’s attempt to sensationalize could not be taken as a proof of endorsement or complicity by the chief minister. Modi never justified violence.

After the verdict, it appears that a section of intelligentsia, including media, was in cahoots with the Congress and the Left and against the nationalist ideology represented by the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party that prides of cultural nationalism. They have been the biggest beneficiaries of the government and its system. They had complete monopoly on the country’s narrative whether history or it understanding. The rise of the nationalist forces so strongly would mean a challenge to their narrative.

Modi as an RSS pracharak who joined the BJP had the potential to do extremely well. He had shown his mettle during earthquake rehabilitation in Gujarat even when he was the general secretary of the partyb. As Chief Minister he evolved a model of good governance in the State that could do any chief minister proud.

Sonia Gandhi and her United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government tried their best to fix Modi and Amit Shah raking up Gujarat every now and then. Agencies were let loose,, but they could not do anything. The oppose Modi camp knew, unless they were defamed, nothing could prevent Modi from coming to power at the Centre. The pliant media played handmaiden.

All these could not prevent Modi from becoming the Prime Minister, but they kept on with their smear Modi campaign. Modi kept winning elections one after the other. People of the country never trusted the smear campaign. But the anti-Modi camp had a far greater design; keep defaming him so that he does not become an indisputable world leader.

The issue of the anti-Modi camp, often subsumed in the garb of elites of Lutyens’ Delhi, was not riots. Much worse riots had taken place in Gujarat during the Congress regime as for example in 1969. The broad daylight killing of Sikhs in Delhi by Congress goons after assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 is known to one and all. Compared to the Gujarat riots, the killing of Sikhs was pogrom. The problem was that they were looking for a villain and wanted to nail someone for the riots. They tried their best to create a narrative to bring down Narendra Modi from the post of the Chief Minister of Gujarat. They took affront that the man was standing tall and trying to give solution, rather than going to Delhi to save his post.

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Importance of Essay Writing for Students



Every student is required to write essays in high school or college. It is the most frequent type of assignment for homework. What’s the reason why tutors are so enthusiastic about this type of assignment? There are many motives. Essay writing is a method to test students’ analytical, research, and persuasive abilities, which are essential to adulthood. Keep reading for those who wish to try their hand at writing and get the answer to, “what is the purpose of writing? “Why are writing skills that are well-developed essential?”

1. Develops the writing abilities

It’s an excellent way to improve your writing skills. Make sure to study as much as you can to enhance your writing abilities and quickly write top-quality essays. It can assist you in achieving better marks in college and allow you to write an engaging and well-thought-out essay with ease.

2. Thinking on your own

It’s easy for you to spot an educated person from the very beginning of their essay. If you’re trying to look professional and establish your name, having the ability to write an excellent essay is crucial. Learn how to write essays of high quality which demonstrate that you’re professional and proficient in your future career opportunities.

3. Gains research skills

It’s hard to get an A+ grade without doing an extensive amount of research. In the current technological age, research skills are essential. There are plenty of sources available on the Internet. Pick up your phone, type in your question, and receive an answer within a matter of minutes. But, not all articles or articles online on WEB are reliable. Writing essays will help you find accurate information, then analyze it, and confirm it.

4. Increase your knowledge in different niches

When doing research, we always come across something that is new. In writing papers on different themes, students go through many sources and gather numerous data. So, they find something new that they did not know before.

5. Job opportunities

Do you want to get the best and most lucrative job upon your graduation? If so, do not put off writing your essay. Everybody knows that you need to send your resume and application letter in order to be considered for a position. A professionally designed CV will showcase your abilities and capabilities as an educated person.

Professional cover letters are a great way to impress your prospective employer to highlight your skills and abilities as a professional.

6. Writing skills are essential to advance

Do you want to remain in the same place throughout your life? The answer is obviously no. If you’re hoping to be granted an increment in rank, you must prove that you’re well-educated and knowledgeable.

Imagine that you have to write an email to your boss or prepare your annual reports, or even present. If your email, document, or slideshow has common mistakes in spelling, grammar, or grammar mistakes, It’s unlikely you’ll get promoted.

Always make sure to check your writing using the online writing program. Also, ensure that you read your essay thoroughly. If your documents and emails are top-quality, then you’ll be an ideal candidate to be promoted. Studycrumb is a perfect service to make sure that your writing is more than excellent!

7. Critical thinking skills

What are the motives behind why writing is essential in today’s world? Writing essays isn’t only a way to exercise your brain. That requires you to study various sources and write down your thoughts. Writing essays for your college is an opportunity to reflect and evaluate the data you’ve gathered. It is vital to take deep into the subject in order to collect data and ensure that you don’t miss any meaningful details.

8. Learn how to share ideas

Students are expected to share their personal opinions. If you’re looking to learn how to express your opinion, essay writing is among the most effective ways to learn the art of communicating using ideas.

Essay writing can help in learning to engage readers using phrases that transition and provide a continuous flow of information and thoughts.

9. Improves persuasive abilities

Certain people might not appreciate your ideas, even though they’re fantastic. To help students improve their ability to convince, teachers frequently offer persuasive essays. This type of essay requires students to convince readers by providing evidence-based arguments and facts.

Many students struggle with writing essays and need help. In this case, they can visit websites that allow them to create assignments online to receive top-quality essay writing by professionals.

10. It is helpful to create interesting posts and articles.

Do you want your blog’s posts to attract a huge number of people? Learn how to create captivating pieces of writing while creating college essays. When writing college essays, Learn to write books that make readers want to read more about the blog and make use of statistics and citations to grab the attention of readers.

11. Improves communication skills

Humans are social creatures. This implies that we’ve participated in a collective from the beginning. If you want to be successful in your local community, you should have strong communication skills. One of the best ways to develop your writing skills is to practice writing essays. Writing for academic reasons requires students to share their thoughts and interact with readers with only words.

In short, you need to be able to dive deep into the subject you’ve chosen and study the subject thoroughly. Then, you must share your thoughts and back up the argument using factual data. Be aware that you must write a piece that has errors in grammar and spelling for the chance to get an A for your writing. Studycrumb is a perfect service to make sure that your writing is more than excellent!

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Pankaj Vohra



Former IPS officer and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) leader, Simranjit Singh Mann wrested the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat from the Aam Aadmi Party thus paving the way for his entry into Parliament for the third time. The Sangrur constituency was represented earlier by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, who won from there both in 2014 and 2019. In fact, the loss so soon after the AAP’s massive Assembly victory indicates that there is disillusionment that has set in the State over the style of functioning of the government. S.S. Mann’s victory is being attributed to the perception that the AAP dispensation in the state was being remote controlled from Delhi and the Chief Minister was a mere puppet who had little time for governance but was busy with the campaigning both in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. Therefore, it would be very essential for AAP to correct this perception which would go against them in the long run. Punjab has always been a unique province and does not like interference from any quarter. The impression that the government was spending more on publicity rather on core issues is another factor that has contributed to the outcome. Simranjit Singh Mann, who is a maverick politician exploited the sentiments which have emerged in the rural belt over the deaths of both Sidhu Moosewala and Deep Sidhu. He also contested the polls on the plank of getting Sikh prisoners who have been overstaying in jails released. His victory can further be interpreted as the assertion of the Panthic agenda though the Shiromani Akali Dal owing allegiance to the Badals also took up the same issues but this time polled lesser votes than even the BJP candidate, Kewal Singh Dhillon. Simranjit Singh Mann had won his maiden election from Tarn Taran in 1989 after he had been jailed for being a sympathizer of the Khalistan movement and had gone underground after Operation Blue Star and other events of 1984. Simla born Mann is the son of former Punjab Speaker Joginder Singh Mann and is married to Captain Amarinder Singh’s sister-in-law, Geetinder Kaur. An avid follower of western classical music, Simranjit Singh Mann had refused to take oath as the Lok Sabha member in 1989 after being disallowed to go with a sword inside the Parliament house premises. He had won the second time from Sangrur in 1999. Political observers of Punjab were also hoping that his victory would be viewed merely as the rejection of the AAP model of governance and not as the re-emergence of radical politics. The selection of candidates for the seven Rajya Sabha seats in the State has also gone against the AAP and therefore corrective measures to re-set the agenda for the region shall also have to be taken by Bhagwant Mann and Arvind Kejriwal. Punjab is a border state and its politics has huge ramifications in other parts of the country as well. The outcome has several lessons for the Akalis (Badal), the Congress and the BJP besides AAP. In Sangrur it is not just one Mann replacing another Mann but the narrative appears to be changing.  

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