on abolition of Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha should be abolished. In recent pasts I have heard or read this argument especially from people belonging to right wing. the reason put forward is that loksabha which consists of directly elected members of parliament are real representatives and if a party has majority in loksabha, it should be allowed to pass certain bills successfully without being obstructed by rajya sabha (in which ruling party doesnt have sufficient majority) whose members are indirectly elected. The article I read says that the argument is flawed. firstly because the very purpose of creating another house of parliament is prevent the hasty legislation and secondly because in a first-past-the post-system, lok sabha members cant claim themselves to be only real and true representatives of majority.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/parliament-proceedings-misdiagnosis-of-the-rajya-sabha-malfunction/article8018736.ece?ref=relatedNews



UP Saw Highest Number of Deaths in Communal Unrest: US Report

Well accordi[]g to a US report i.e. ‘International Religious Freedom Report’ for 2013- “Uttar Pradesh, the largest state (in India), experienced the highest number of deaths in communal unrest for the second consecutive year, including the 65 killed in Hindu-Muslim communal violence in Muzaffarnagar.”  Readi[]g this what immediately came to my mi[]d was the questio[] whether there is a[]y li[]k []etwee[] the viole[]ce i] U.P. i[] rece[]t past a[]d []JP’s electoral victory i[] lok sa[]ha electio[]

source: http://www.outlookindia.com/news/article/UP-Saw-Highest-Number-of-Deaths-in-Communal-Unrest-US-Report/852007

Court nixes push for ‘Israeli nationality’

A court decision this month that rejected Israelis’ right to a shared nationality. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, authorities have refused to recognise such a nationality, instead classifying Israelis according to the ethnic group to which each belongs. The overwhelming majority are registered as either “Jewish” or “Arab” nationals, though there are more than 130 such categories in total. The “I am an Israeli” movement objects to Israel’s system of laws that separate citizenship from nationality. While Israelis enjoy a common citizenship, they have separate nationalities based on their ethnic identity. Only the Jewish majority has been awarded national rights, meaning that Palestinian citizens face institutionalised discrimination, said Uzi Ornan, a retired linguist from northern Israel. Others view the ruling more positively. Anita Shapira, a professor emeritus of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, said creating a new category of “Israeli national” would undermine the Jewish essence of the state and alienate Jews from other countries who felt a connection to Israel through a shared religion.


Hassan Jabareen, the director of Adalah – a legal rights group for the Arab minority in Israel – said the state’s refusal to recognise a shared nationality stripped Palestinians inside Israel of equality in most areas of their lives, including access to land, housing, education and employment. “It is also disturbing that Israeli law treats Israel as the Jewish homeland for Jews everywhere, even those who are not citizens of Israel,” he said.

Jabareen said this was achieved through the 1950 Law of Return, which allows Jews anywhere in the world to come to Israel and gain automatic citizenship. Israel used another law – the Citizenship Law of 1952 – to belatedly confer citizenship on the Palestinians who remained on their land following the 1948 war that established Israel. Under the terms of the Citizenship Law, only a few dozen non-Jews – those who marry an Israeli citizen – qualify for naturalisation every year. Israel passed another law in 2003 that bars most Palestinians from the occupied territories and Arabs from neighbouring states from being eligible to naturalise, even if they marry an Israeli.

Adalah has established an online database showing that Israel has more than 55 laws that explicitly discriminate between Jewish and Palestinian citizens. This number has grown rapidly in recent years, said Jabareen, as the Israeli right-wing has been forced to legislate many established but uncodified discriminatory practices that were under threat of being ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

In recent years, the Israeli right-wing has grown increasingly concerned about challenges to the state’s Jewishness. The Yisrael Beiteinu party – led by Avigdor Lieberman, a former foreign affairs minister and a political ally of Netanyahu – has lobbied for loyalty laws to restrict the Palestinian minority’s political activities. In the past two general elections, Lieberman has campaigned under the slogan, “No citizenship without loyalty”.

Over the summer it was announced that members of Netanyahu’s coalition government were drafting a basic law that would formally define Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people”. According to reports in the Israeli media, the bill would allow only Jews the right to national self-determination, Hebrew would be the only recognised language, and Jewish religious law would be used as guidance in Israeli courts. Haaretz has argued that the bill would institute “apartheid” in Israel and turn the state into what it called a “Jewish and racist state”.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/court-nixes-push-israeli-nationality-20131017115755321289.html



A capital test for Muslim candidate defying vote bank politics

In this season of stoking of communal passions, it is incredible that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) should have fielded Shazia Ilmi to contest the December 4 Delhi Assembly election from the R.K. Puram constituency, where Muslims are barely 4.5 per cent of the electorate. Now, when was the last time you heard a candidate bearing a Muslim name contesting and winning from a constituency, Assembly or parliamentary, which has a negligible Muslim presence? Is the AAP trying to challenge the politics of identity, or is it mistaking Delhi for a cuckooland, or afflicted with a death-wish?

“I wanted to break away from identity politics. You have Hindu politics, Muslim politics, Jat politics… So, I said why not gender politics, why not fight for gender justice? I want to be in politics as a citizen of this country, not as a Muslim.” Ilmi laughed

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-capital-test-for-muslim-candidate-defying-vote-bank-politics/article5201866.ece