Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The outgoing President Pratibha Patil has shown us how dangerous it is to have a Sonia Gandhi family sycophant as President of the country.

Another of her sycophants, Pranab Mukherjee is now a candidate for the highest office in India, to be elected by the sitting representatives of the people in the Central as well as the State Legislatures.

But it would be a wrong against India if the said representatives vote for him.

It is:

not because, he is a Sonia Gandhi family sycophant that the President of India should not be;

not because, he is habituated in working under the pleasure of the present Prime Minister and hence may stay a habitually subdued President;

not because, as a minister for many years under Dr. Manmohan Singh, the present PM knows where, how and to what extent he has willfully erred in administration and may use the same to keep him tamed and thereby he may at best be a puppet President;

not because, he was under spy-cam by unknown persons while in office as Finance Minister, which, despite his intimation to the PM not being solved, will keep him in constant discomfort so as to deter him from using his conscience against any bad decision of the government needing Presidential approval;

not because, he has been avoiding a debate to establish his suitability for the top-most post despite stress laid thereupon by his rival Mr. Sangma;

not because, Mr. Sangma, who not only is a flawless former Speaker of the Loksabha, but also a man that made a monumental mark of distinction as the perfect-most central labor minister, is personification of aspirations of majority of Indians – tribals and the working class – is a better presidential candidate;

but because, he is the man, who, sabotaged India’s constitutional resolve and sovereignty by subjecting the country to GATT behind back of the Parliament.

In 1993-94, when the country had very strongly protested against this treachery, he had, with Rao as Prime Minister, even subjected the Parliament to the ignominy of being a mere instrument of paving the way for implementation of the treaty so unauthorizedly signed behind the people, a tactics which he again used in the matter of the Hyde Act with Singh as the Prime Minister.

Instead of trying to enhance Parliament’s supremacy in matters of such international treaties, as the concerned minister in both the regimes of Rao and Singh, he had tried to exploit the weak points of Indian Constitution to justify the government’s executive powers to sign the treaties sans permission or approval of the Parliament, though thereby the country was to be drastically affected in all fronts of interest of the people of this country. In eagerness to serve the interest of foreigners than Indians, specifically in consonance with American design, he had even ignored the advice of Indian Parliament, as witnessed in signing of the TRIPs agreement.

The ‘draft agreement’ on TRIPs, pushed mainly by multinational medicine manufacturers, had ignored every major matter mentioned in the background paper India had submitted to the ‘Negotiating Committee’ on 27 July 1989. The entire country showing serious concern over this, the government had to place the matter before the Parliament, as a result of which the the ‘draft agreement’ was forwarded to the Standing Committee of the Parliament attached to the Commerce Ministry for its consideration, opinion and direction. The Standing Committee, comprised of 40 eminent MPs drawn from all political parties, after intense examination, had decided to disagree with all the major terms and conditions and stipulations spelt out in the ‘draft agreement’. In its report submitted on 13 November 1993, the Standing Committee opposed the ‘product patent system’ stipulated in the ‘draft agreement’ as it would lead to steep increase in prices of medicines. It was not proper for India, in the opinion of the Standing Committee, to accept the ‘draft agreement’ that, as it pointed out, would be of drastic negative impact on manufacture of drugs and medicines in the country, essential for health of its people and affordable health care. It suggested several amendments whereby Indian interest should not be compromised. But, Mukherjee signed the draft agreement in total disregard to the report and recommendations of the Standing Committee of the Parliament, rendering the Parliament absolutely irrelevant.

Dishonoring the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report and recommendations is dishonoring the Parliament of India itself.

It is an offense against India that Pranab committed by misusing his position as the Minister-in-charge.

But it was not the sole offense against India. Offense was committed against the people of India in several fronts by signing the GATT behind back of the Parliament that has disadvantaged the people in matter of economy involving agriculture, business and industry as well as impinged seriously upon the country’s eco-systems.

The same modus operandi of rendering the Parliament irrelevant was also employed in signing of the Hyde Act and 123 agreement that subjected India to American nuke hegemony. In pushing the Hyde Act, the US Congress had even made it clear that Indian Parliament must “approve the text of the Act” before signing it. But the “text” of the said Act was never placed before the Parliament.

In both these mischiefs played against the people, Mukherjee was the main collaborator of the two instruments of USA, Rao and Singh, in the two most relevant phases. Before signing these treaties that so severely affect the life of our present and future generation, neither the people of India nor the Parliament were taken to confidence by the two Prime Ministers and their common tahalia, Pranab Mukherjee, who had the role next only to the Prime Minister in signing treaties so devastative to India.

His steps in the name of globalization, ever since the dark acts of signing the said treaties behind back of the Parliament, have thrown the country into the labyrinth of disadvantages for majority of Indians, forcing them to suffer continuous price rise and economic instability while facilitating concentration of the country’s wealth in hands of the favored few, over and above which, the country has been forced to serve the trade-interest of foreign nuke dealers at the peril of India’s environment and indigenous expertise in use of its own raw materials for its own safety and prosperity.

To keep the Parliament powerless in matter of signing international deals or treaties in foreign interest, the team that included Mukherjee, has ignored the necessity of making the necessary law to regulate the procedure of signing such instruments. Nothing can be more severe a treachery against the country by its government, be it of Rao or of Singh where saboteurs of Indian Constitution like Mukherjee have served as relevant ministers. They have entered into international treaties disadvantageous to India under the umbrage of executive powers, though making of such treaties is not within the expressed exclusive competence of the Executive.

And, when the Indian Parliament has tried to take stock of the state action, Pranab has always steadfastly defended the executive powers of the government while denigrating the demands for making Parliamentary permission a prerequisite for signing the treaties. As for example, when a private member’s bill to amend the Constitution, introduced in February 1992 by M.A.Baby, was taken up for consideration in Rajyasabha in March 1997, requiring Parliament’s approval before signing any international treaty, Pranab had stressed on undesirability of restricting the executive to Parliament’s permission in signing treaties, which, in opinion of the executive were beneficial to people. In this, his aptitude against parliamentary democracy is discernible inasmuch as it emphasizes on keeping parliamentary sovereignty subservient to state sovereignty executed by a political government enjoying its power through the often questionable number game. This aptitude is dangerous to democracy.

On this premise alone, it would be wrong on parts of the members of the houses of people’s representatives to vote for Pranab in the presidential election. Of course, it depends upon whether or not the present MPs and MLAs consider India’s Parliamentary sovereignty more important than freedom of the executive to treat India as its fee simple.

President Should No More Remain Pratibha Patil

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Every human being has a name. But every human being is not a President of a Republic. In public life, therefore, the name does not matter. Position matters. After occupying a position, the person is required to act as the position calls for, not according to habits practiced under the name.

When Smt. Pratibha Patil was chosen President of the Republic, we had opined that she should leave behind her loyalty to the Congress Party run by Sonia-Singh combine and act in the manner befitting the dignity of the highest office.

Sadly, she has failed.

Double standard

Her double standard in dealing with cases of flagitious offenses makes a mockery of national faith the founding fathers had bestowed upon the President. If she is delaying for years her decisions on mercy petitions, oblivious of how that frustrates the judicial wisdom even of the Supreme Court, she is seen to have acted with extraordinary promptness to shatter the business of the Parliament so that impeachment proceedings against a judicial black sheep could be stopped.

Her protection to enemies of India

It is not that it is not known that there are enemies of Indian Republic amongst the convicted criminals that have, behind them, the support of foreign countries, when in Sonia-Singh power horizon, eagerness to serve foreign interests is not indiscernible.

Why the President is sleeping over petitions of criminals convicted with death sentences for years and keeping judicial orders inoperative by not disposing them off in the quickest possible time is not being explained to public even though their crime against the country, established through approval of the death sentences by the Supreme Court, calls for immediate execution of the death penalty.

The role of Smt. Patil in this matter is so gravely anti-nation that it is essential to amend the Constitution to ensure that after capital punishment awarded or approved by the Supreme Court, the clemency power should vest in a larger bench of the apex court, not in the President, who supposedly has no expertise in weighing whether or not the final judicial verdict is as per the laws of the land; and who, moreover, is a person nominated by the ruling party on the basis of his/her loyalty to the ruling coterie.

Her susceptibility to wishes of ruling coterie

She is so much susceptible to secret orders from the ruling coterie that she acted super-expeditiously to protect justice Soumitra Sen – a corrupt judge of Kolkata High Court, just when he was going to be removed through impeachment. She made a farce of her powers and position and did not hesitate to frustrate the Parliament. In her eagerness to please the political coterie that helped her occupy the top office, she showed unprecedented promptness in attending to Sen’s requirement to preempt the impeachment. She even did not hesitate to accept Sen’s resignation on a holiday like Sunday despite knowing that Monday was fixed by the Parliament to take up the impeachment motion against the judge. The tainted judge was even given the chance to make corrections in his application for resignation, without rejecting the defective document received originally. It is unthinkable that a President played such tricks on the Parliament. Had she not acted according to secret instructions from the people who run the government and whose nominee she was for the office, the government should have taken steps to impeach her for having rendered the pending business of the house inconsequential. So, it is clear that in derailing the parliament business, she had carried out secret orders of the ruling coterie.

The government led by Dr. Manmohan Singh has the history of succumbing to lobby in specific cases and in preempting the impeachment of justice Sen, his lobby succeeded. No other reason comes to our mind for the President accepting the defective resignation of justice Soumitra Sen, on a Sunday when the Loksabha was in midst of impeaching him on Monday.

Instead of acting as the President of India, sadly, the President has acted the Sonia-Singh loyal Pratibha Patil in this case. That she is more loyal to Sonia-Singh coterie than to India, as observed in her conduct in Sen’s matter, makes it clear that despite being the President, she has remained Pratibha Patil.

We have no reason to think otherwise.

Conduct of Salman Khursid confirms our fear

Justice Sen had faxed his resignation to the President on Thursday. It was known to the Government. It was known to the government that if the President accepts the resignation, the Loksabha will have to abort its motion for impeachment. Being the law minister, Salman Khurshid should have then rushed to the President to apprise her of the illegality of acceptance of the resignation in view of pendency of the motion in the Loksabha. But he did not. After the resignation was notified, on September 6, 2011, in the afternoon, the same Salman Khurshid moved the motion to drop the impeachment in Loksabha, which was declared accepted by the Speaker on the basis of the “sense of the House”.

Patil protects Khurshid

Now the Election Commission of India has found Khurshid guilty of willful contravention of the model code and the President has been moved by the EC to take necessary action against Khurshid.

But the expeditiousness the President displayed in Sen’s case is conspicuous by its absence in the EC case against Khurshid.

She has tried to delay the matter through the Prime Minister. The trick has helped Khurshid to write to the EC to convey his respect to the election authority. If the letter satisfies the EC in matter of its ego, and resultantly it develops a lenient view, what should the President do? Will she then hold that, with the EC being satisfied over the apology tendered by Khurshid, there was no offense in existence?

Be it clear that ego satisfaction of the EC is not the issue. Issue is: willful contravention of election laws by the law minister of the country while electioneering in a State.

Offense against democracy continues

In such an offense against democracy, the minimum action expected of the President, is that, she should instruct the PM to save democracy from being derailed by enemies of democracy like Salman Khurshid.

But, for this, the country needs a President, not a Pratibha Patil.