Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rahul Gandhi – A Game Changer

I wrote about Rahul Gandhi, as a Game Changer in August, 2011, when he spoke in the parliament on the Lokpal Bill, in the aftermath of Anna Hazare’s agitation. Ever since, the stature of Rahul Gandhi both in the Congress Party and national politics has gone up and strong over the years. He is one of the rising stars on the national firmament.

Now again Rahul is in the news on account of yet another stroke of his with regard to the controversial ordinance designed to protect convicted lawmakers from disqualification. The ordinance approved by the Government of PM Manmohan Singh is awaiting signature of President Pranab Mukherjee. The main opposition BJP is against the ordinance and has petitioned the President not to sign it. In a dramatic move on September 27, Rahul Gandhi openly came out against the ordinance and said “My opinion of the ordinance is that it is complete nonsense and should be torn up and thrown away.” It is a strong statement amounting to an indictment of the Government led by his own party. It is all the more intriguing that both PM Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi are out of the country.  Rahul Gandhi not only negated the ordinance but also added that it was high time that political parties stopped taking decisions based on political considerations. Rahul Gandhi’s outburst has created problems for PM Manmohan Singh’s Government on one side and on the other some new thinking on the functioning of the parliamentary democracy. Rahul Gandhi tends to become assertive as a Game Changer. But only time will tell where it would lead the country and its polity.

Post script: The controversial ordinance overturns a Supreme Court ruling stipulating disqualification of convicted law makers. I recently read a well researched book ‘Making of the Constitution – Myth and Reality’. The book contains a speech made in the Rajya Sabha by the father of the Indian constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on the frequent amendments to the law and the constitution in the wake of adverse or unpleasant judgments by the courts. Dr. Ambedkar was not supportive of such tendencies. He was of the view that such judgments shall not be taken as  an affront to the Government. The relevance of Dr. Ambedkar remains. May be Rahul Gandhi and his young associates have revisited Dr. Ambedkar.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Career Coaching Fair

SPEED – Society for Poor’s Education & Economic Development, an outfit of socially alive, educated and well to do persons of the community, organized a one day Career Coaching Fair on September 22, 2013 at Jalandhar.  The Fair was hosted by Canadian Career ITC at the premises of their Institute in Basti Danishmandan. Canadian Career ITC is one of the established institutions of Sarangal Education Trust which is managed under the Chairmanship of one of my old friends Shri Anant Ram Sarangal. The Fair was a success and was well attended by the educated sections of the society. SPEED, under the leadership of Dr. Ram Lubhaya, IPS, Retired Additional Director General of Police of J&K and Shri Janak Chauhan, a Senior Bank Officer in Canara Bank and also Shri Ajay Sarangal and his wife Smt. Kiran Sarangal of Canadian Career ITC did their every best in making the function and the fair all success.

I was very kindly invited not only as a Guest Speaker but also to present my newly launched Jalandhar School of Careers & Opportunities at the Fair.  I take this opportunity to thank SPEED, particularly my friend Janak Chauhan and also our hosts at Canadian Career ITC Ajay Sarangal and his vivacious wife Kiran for extending all cooperation and hospitality to me and my School team.

Minister Bhagat Chunni Lal was expected to inaugurate the Fair but he could not make it. The honours fell on Dr. R.L. Bassan, Civil Surgeon of Jalandhar who is quite a popular personality not only in his professional and official circles but also in the social circles of the society. He spoke with conviction and confidence, as always, and cajoled the educated class of the socially weaker sections of the society to re-pay the debt of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar by doing some good to the society and negate the stigma created by Dr. Ambedkar’s remarks that the educated class of dalits had failed him. Municipal Councillor Sushil Rinku, Dr. B.K. Tiwari a renowned educationist and Shri Ram Lal Kainth, a community activist, also spoke at the function.

Dr. R.L. Bassan declared open a Computer Centre at Canadian Career ITC which will be sponsored by SPEED to provide free coaching classes to the young and interested students. Representing Jalandhar School of Careers & Opportunities, Shri Rupesh Chander screened a small video film and power point presentation on the mission and philosophy and also facilities at Jalandhar School of Careers & Opportunities.

I must say that such educational activities and engagements are very useful for the benefit of the younger generation, particularly of the weaker segments of the society, as these tend to provide much needed counseling on careers and opportunities. SPEED deserves all appreciation and support in this regard.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations is an outfit of SC/ST organizations both in public and private sectors with its headquarters in New Delhi. The Punjab Chapter of the Confederation was launched on September 8, 2013 at an impressive function at Red Cross Bhawan in Jalandhar. The organizers, particularly Shri Jiwan Singh of LIC, invited me to the function as Guest of Honour along with other dignitaries like Shri Rajesh Bagha, Chairman of Punjab State SC Commission, Shri Surinder Mahey, Ex. Mayor of Jalandhar, Shri R.L. Bassan, Civil Surgeon of Jalandhar and Shri Paramjit Mahey, President BSNL SC/ST Employees Association. Shri K.P. Chaudhary, Secretary General of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations presided over the inaugural function.

The Punjab Chapter of the Confederation was launched successfully with presence and support of various SC/ST outfits. I was impressed by the sizeable gathering of the employees of various offices, an educated class of the dalit community. Shri K.P. Chaudhary’s presidential address was good, informative and motivative. I found Chaudhary a knowledgeable person with good personality and oratorical skills. Shri Chaudhary, inter alia, said that Reservation of SC/STs should be restored in promotions. The reservation provisions should be made statutory and kept in the 9th Schedule of the constitution. He also demanded that since the job opportunities in the public sector were shrinking reservation should be provided in the private sector too.

The underlying current of the function was the need of unity in the community to face the upcoming challenges of the fast changing ground realities both in the society and polity. All the speakers stressed that it will be advisable to get united and stand under the umbrella of the Ambedkar Mission and Thought. The divisive tendencies, on the basis of religion and sects,  shall not be allowed to overtake the situation. I think that it is the only correct way to get united. And without getting united, the community is bound to suffer.

The Working Committee of the Punjab Chapter of the Confederation will be headed by Shri Amrik Singh Bungar of PWD supported by Working President Shri Jiwan Singh of LIC, Vice President Shri Paramjit Mahey of BSNL, General Secretary Shri Prem Pal Domeli.

 I wish the leaders of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations all success in the years to come.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

TEACHER’S Day – September 5

We in India celebrate, since 1962, September 5 (birthday of President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan) as Teacher’s Day. It is a solemn occasion not only to remember President Radhakrishnan but also to honour and recognize the sterling role of teachers in the development and progress of the society at large. I have been writing on the subject before in this blog with a sense of gratitude to my teachers. Some of my teachers, right from the primary school to the college, left a definite mark in the shaping of my career and personality. I fondly recall Shiela Behanji at the primary school in Bootan Mandi, Master Dwarka Dass at Sain Dass High School in Basti Nau, Prof. K.C. Mahendru and Prof K.K. Ghai and also Prof. B.S. Bahl at D.A.V. College in Jalandhar. Prof. Bahl did not teach me. He was the Principal of D.A.V. College. I found him a great educational administrator and planner. I benefited a lot from my teachers. Somebody has rightly said “a learned man informs, an intellectual man instructs, but a teacher transforms and inspires”. I salute all my teachers on the Teacher’s Day.

This year, Teacher’s Day, is special for me. I have joined the system by launching Jalandhar School of Careers & Opportunities at Jalandhar. After a four decade long diplomatic career, I have decided to repay my debt of gratitude, in a humble way, to the society I belong to. I interact with students and teachers every day. I feel good. It is a rewarding and educative experience. Apart from the routine functioning of Jalandhar School of Careers & Opportunities, my personal contribution is to prepare the young students to become dignified members of the society based on the wisdom imparted by some great teacher “ I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework”.

Sant Baba Malkit Singh and Management of Sant Baba Bhag Singh Educational Complex were kind enough to take me on the Board of Governors of the great educational hub in the rural areas of the Doaba region of Punjab. It is an honour which I would like to acknowledge on the solemn occasion of Teacher’s Day. My greetings to all the teachers and students.