ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Archive for July 2018

Access leads to Success

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acessThailand cave rescue of kids and their coach is something the world needed right now. Given all the negativity in media and politics right now, it came like a wind of fresh air. Whole world rooted for their survival and safe rescue.

It makes me wonder, how technically novice we are. We strive to reach the vast stretches of the galaxy but struggle with rescuing people out of a mere cave. Not questioning the rescuers here, just raising the issue that we still have too much to learn and far to go.

The recent internet and technology boom has given hope that our progress on such fronts will be exponential. And it has much to do with the accessibility and awareness. Internet boom in developing economies like India has connected the disconnected and bring the people in rural areas to the mainstream.

We now have a much more significant number of people who can contribute to the progress of humanity. Earlier it was limited to big cities and universities alone. Today, a child in a small village can learn from videos of youtube, take online courses and build anything, research anything.

The government should work towards providing access to people. They will find a way toward success. A government should create roads and infrastructure, and it will lead to jobs and progress by itself. Connect the small towns and villages to the mainstream; more trains, more roads, more highways. Make it much more affordable.

For people who say that railways run on a loss and justify increasing the ticket prices, you just don’t get it. Affordable commute adds adds a lot to economy. A nations produces more than it loses on the ticket prices.

 

Same goes for running metro trains and bullet trains. Any money spent on it will be recouped with interest. Access leads to success without fail.

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Written by arpitgarg

July 14, 2018 at 4:35 am

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with ,

How Supreme Court nomination is different in US and India

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courtIf you follow the global news, you would have come across two major stories this past week, Thailand Cave Rescue and US Supreme Court Justice nomination. For Indians, it is tough to comprehend the reason behind the protests and rallies in the US just for a Supreme Court Justice nomination. The system in India and the US works a lot differently. Let me explain how.

To begin with, you might recall a recent press conference by four Supreme Court justices in India against the case allotment by CJI. In my opinion, the four Justices didn’t do an outstanding job; they didn’t explain the reasons to the common public clearly if that is what they wanted to do. Most people remained confused as to what the justices were aiming to do. They were protesting against CJI for assigning cases to benches according to his preference, which I might add has been going on since inception. But it brought out the murky workings of the highest court. Please indulge me for a moment; it’s not so simple.

The constitution is a written document, which can be interpreted by different people differently. Political, religious and social beliefs of justice come into play. Most lawyers know which way a Justice has opined in the past and hence these top lawyers try to get their case heard by a particular bench, called “bench shopping.” If you are able to get your case heard by a particular bench, work is mostly done as you know that the bench leans ideologically on your side. Let me add, it’s not a question of corruption, against the common misconception. It’s about ideological, political and religious leanings of different judges. There is no limitation or penalty on justices for “interpreting the constitution” as they so, please. Also, the system that we have, these interpretations becomes written law (called precedent) for the future. Take for example article 377 (criminalizes same-sex relations), it was in the past struck down by Delhi HC and the verdict later overturned by SC (different interpretations).

In India this is not a significant issue mostly because Justices have a limited tenure; they retire at the age of 65. Any CJI does not hold office for more than 2-3 years (they reach the age of 65 and retire). So even if a CJI leans say liberal or conservative on an issue, next one might lean differently. The turnover is high. It is in stark difference to the US. Here Supreme Court justices are appointed for life; they can occupy office until their death. Hence turnover is low. Last year Justice Gorsuch was appointed because Justice Scalia died in office. And the current nomination is happening as Justice Kennedy chose to retire at the age of 80. He could have gone on as long as he wanted to.

In the US, justices hold more powers than anyone else. They are mightier than the legislature (Congress/Senate) and the executive (President). Also, the appointment process is political. President nominates a person of his choice and Senate confirms him/her. In India, since 1993, justices of Supreme Court (collegium) had taken over this duty (having learned from the dark chapter of emergency, when SC cowed down to Indira Gandhi). Thus, political interference is kept to a minimum.

Hence we see less public interest in SC appointments in India than in the US. Here it’s a matter of life and death. Given that the Constitution in the US is around 230 years old, it does not qualify the issues of the day, giving way to multiple interpretations. The political ideology of the Justices becomes all too important. A large number of cases are decided by 5-4 majority (along partisan lines). It reflects the society in most ways.

Complicated business!

Written by arpitgarg

July 11, 2018 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Political

The real failure of Kejriwal

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kejriwal.jpegAAP rejoiced in the Supreme Court victory this week. But is it anything to cheer? I don’t think so. Agreed that BJP has not let AAP function in Delhi but what else did they expect? That BJP will lay roses? It is politics and a cut throat one at that. What BJP did was as expected.

The real failure of Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party has not been the governance in Delhi; it has been that they haven’t grown beyond Delhi in last three years. They tried in Punjab and Goa but went nowhere. They tried to punch much above their weight and hence the failure. In hindsight, they know what they should have done. There is still time to do things right. Instead of targeting state elections, which require vast sums of money and a large number of party workers, and AAP fell short on both front in Punjab and Goa.

They know the should have targeted municipal elections in metro cities where they had a good following. They forte is door-to-door campaigning, and the small electorate would have helped with that. There is still time. Target one city at a time. Build your base, build your political capital. Keep fighting in Delhi, but time is running out for you. You have to grow beyond the city.
Put your head together, start fighting municipal elections. Prove yourself with excellent results. Metros are where rich people live, and they will contribute money if you give them good infrastructure and living conditions. I am not sure what your game plan is. It looks like you will go big in 2019 general elections. I would advise against that.

Time to realize that BJP has not been your biggest enemy, your vision has been. The real failure of Kejriwal lies in not being able to show the right direction to the party and hence not able to grow beyond Delhi.

Written by arpitgarg

July 6, 2018 at 2:34 am

Posted in Political

Tagged with , ,

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