Maharashtra's Criminal Chief Minister & His Criminal MLAs.

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Maharashtra's Criminal Chief Minister & His Criminal MLAs.


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:55 pm

Devendra Fadnavis faces 22 riot cases, crime accused pack state assembly

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to select its leader in the legislature today, after having jettisoned its partner, the Shiv Sena, and emerging the single largest player in state politics, marking a significant change in the assembly. But what has changed little is the criminality tethered to those holding public office.

A report by New Delhi based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) states that out of 2,336 candidates of various parties, 798 had criminal cases against them.

An IndiaSpend analysis shows that out of the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, 165 members have criminal cases against them, which is 57 percent. The results of this election have presented the highest percentage of MLAs with declared criminal charges, as against 52 percent in 2009 and 46 percent in 2004. Of 165 MLAs facing criminal charges, nearly 70 percent (115 MLAs) have serious criminal charges against them. Serious criminal charges include murder and attempt to murder, kidnapping, forgery and rioting.

Over the last few elections there has been an increase in the number of MLAs with serious charges, from 54 MLAs in 2004 to 115 in 2014. ... 957959.cms

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:54 pm

Shooting of social reformer lengthens list of attacks on activists in Maharashtra

The murderous attack on Govind Pansare a political veteran, soft spoken reformer, a moderate, concentrating on social, secular and local issues in and around the district of Kohlapur and on his wife, is evidence of the proliferation of criminal mafias who have taken over the political and social space in Maharashtra , emboldened by the criminalization of the political and social space and the impunity conferred by several political parties and formations on a mafia of contractors, builders , companies, benefiting from government contracts and in their own turn suitably enriching the political class as a quid pro quo from these contracts .

The brutality of the encounter and custodial deaths in the State of Maharashtra, the recurrence of suspicious bomb blasts after which successively the innocent were framed in many instances (excluding the March 1993 bomb blasts where convictions were secured) with impunity for the real perpetrators ; the criminalized campaigns conducted against
minorities and migrant workers from North India into Mumbai ; the assassination of the late Jt.Commissioner of Police Shri Hemant Karkare along with two other officials and 11 constables with more than 160 killed on 26/11 with several questions unanswered; the failure of the investigating machinery of the State to arrest those responsible for the
Dabholkar murder or to investigate elements who were aggrieved by the movement against religious superstition and obscurantism, emboldened those who may have viewed the anti toll agitation led by Govind Pansare as directly affecting their financial accumulation, in a State where the toll is now resorted to for most privatized road projects in particular which cover the national highways .

On the other hand the constant strains and stresses over political claims to lucrative portfolios by partners in coalitions, with each party with it bandwagon of contractors , builders, companies ,and their sense of financial and political entitlement , has created a situation where there is limited day to day accountability and responsibility , creating a vacuum
in which powerful criminal elements with financial and economic clout operate without fear or favour

A former Judge of the Bombay High Court whose state of origin was Jammu and Kashmir , while delivering a lecture at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences a few years ago, highlighted that while presiding over Benches hearing Criminal Appeals and Petitions in the Bombay High Court , he was shocked to find more cases of encounter deaths in Maharashtra than in Jammu and Kashmir.

However impunity from the operations of a "Deep State" within a State , who plot crimes against honest citizens and the most mild mannered of activists and keep them under covert and criminal surveillance , because they are aggrieved at the exposure of the truth of the economic, financial or social reality or because they desire to divert attention from critical issues which surface from time to time, despite the frantic attempts to conceal the shenanigans of the financial, economic and social system increasingly in disarray with evidence of criminality surfacing from time to time ; is not confined to Maharashtra though there are far more such attacks in this State, than probably in any other State or region on those who have led public, social and political protests.

It is reported in a section of the media that Govind Pansare had received death threats , this once again reminds us of the death threats received by no less a person than the late martyr Shri Hemant Karkare that he would meet the fate of Mahatma Gandhi , which was never probed by a government he served. That Hemant Karkare, before his Mumbai assignment was on a deputation with RAW, at Vienna in Austria , reflects on the ability of Intelligence Agencies to protect the officers of the highest moral and professional integrity. That along with him two other officials were killed including Mr. Kamte , the grandson of the late Inspector General of Police of the bilingual state of Bombay , tells its own story. That not a single Police official or political party asked for a Judicial Inquiry into the killings of three police officials, twelve policemen, and scores of innocent citizens and accepted a limited administrative inquiry is evidence of institutional failure to stand up to protect police officials in the line of duty .These failures have increasingly created a climate of impunity for the criminalized in the financial , economic and political system of Maharashtra, once famous for its administration and "Rule of Law ", and the steady descent in the other parts of the country.

With the political stand off between parties of coalitions and the tension to stake their claims over vital or lucrative departments, the citizen is the worst affected. The vast sums required for national and state elections require huge and swift recoveries and reimbursement to those who have made the funds available . Where does this leave a democratic political system and even mild political dissenters leading local agitations in support of public and political grievances, leave alone the protection of the parliamentary system and the Constitution of the Indian Republic , which requires much stronger political dissent and mobilization ?

Even as there is crisis of the political system we term "democracy" all over the world , it is a time for citizens, political parties and officials to reflect , is this the society we desire , where anyone and everyone is the target ?

Niloufer Bhagwat

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:08 pm


Sea memorial for Shivaji gets formal green nod

MUMBAI: The gazette notification allowing monuments/memorials in CRZ IV areas has been issued by the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). This formalises the go-ahead for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial in the Arabian sea.

A 190 metre statue of Shivaji Maharaj will be installed on a rocky outcrop spread over 16 hectares 1.2 kms from Raj Bhavan and 2.6 kms from Nariman Point. The construction of the memorial will cost Rs 1,900 crore and will be ready by 2019.

We had set up a website for the public to lodge their objections and suggestions. Many of these suggestions have already been incorporated. For instance to avoid traffic jams we have asked the BMC to set up multi-level car parks. Visitors will park their cars here and board designated buses to the jetty from where they will be taken by boat to the memorial,'' said C P Joshi, chief engineer, incharge of the project. While earlier there was a proposal to build a sea-link from NCPA-Gateway of India to the memorial, it was shelved after the government decided to build the coastal road.

Joshi said the number of visitors to the memorial has been restricted to 10,000 per day.

There are long-term plans to build a cargo jetty for the upcoming airport at Navi Mumbai which can also cater to visitors to the monument. Another jetty is proposed at Versova to handle the increase in crowds that is expected over the years. But for the first ten years, the jetty at Gateway of India will ferry visitors to the memorial.

Activists are angry that the Centre and state have thought it fit to do away with the public hearing.

D Stalin, director, NGO Vanashakti said the environmental safeguards are mere tokenism. ''The project has already been approved so what Environment Impact Assessment are they talking about?" he said.

Advocate Godfrey Pimenta said the 2009 Supreme Court order has banned monuments/memorials on public land and the sea, he said is public land accessed daily by fishermen. ``Since they will not hold a public hearing we have no option but to approach the courts,'' he said. ... 317842.cms

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:46 pm

Devendra Fadnavis government scraps quota for Muslims in education

The BJP-led government in Maharashtra has scrapped an ordinance providing reservation for Muslims, despite the Bombay High Court allowing quota for the community in educational institutions.

In the run up to the Assembly polls last year, the previous Congress-NCP government had issued an ordinance on July 11, 2014 allowing 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and five per cent for Muslims in government-run schools and colleges as well as jobs.

The previous government had decided to provide a five per cent reservation to 50 Muslims communities by including them under a newly formed category — Special Backward Category-A.

The decision was challenged in the Bombay High Court which, in a judgment on November 14, struck down reservation for Marathas, but allowed five per cent quota for Muslims in educational institutions, but not jobs. Meanwhile, a new government came to power in the state.

The new government challenged the overturning of quota for Marathas and appointed a committee to suggest potential solutions, but did not make a similar move to examine the HC order on Muslim reservation in jobs.

The state government also allowed the ordinance to lapse on December 23 and chose not to extend it, thus forfeiting a chance for Muslims to obtain reservations in the education sector as allowed by the High Court.

The government’s move, meanwhile, came under fire with former minority development minister Arif Naseem Khan branding the government “communal”.

The previous government had decided to provide reservations to Muslims based on the recommendations of the Mehmood-ur-Rahman committee, formed to assess the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in Maharashtra.

The committee, which took five years to come to a conclusion, had recommended eight per cent reservation in the state, education and housing — both public and private. It had also asked for an anti-discrimination Act for Muslims on the lines of the Atrocity Act. ... education/

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:20 pm

135 farmer suicide cases in 58 days from Aurangabad division in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has reported 135 cases of farmers’ suicide in the Aurangabad division during a short period of the first 58 days in 2015 due to successive natural calamities and scarcity situation.

“In the last three years i.e. 2012, 2013 and 2014, there were 662 cases of farmers’ suicide which were eligible for compensation of Rs 1 lakh as per policy of the state government.”

In reply to a separate question, Minister said that as per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the number of suicides by persons self-employed in farming in 2012 and 2013 were 13,754 and 11,772 respectively. ... harashtra/

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:16 pm

Maharashtra activist-author Patankar gets death threats

With Maharashtra’s secular fabric ripped by the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and Communist leader Govind Pansare, noted activist-writer Dr. Bharat Patankar on Tuesday revealed that he too had received death threats in the form of hate letters.

The letters accused Dr. Patankar of adopting ‘a conciliatory attitude’ towards Muslims and castigated him for accepting the leadership of the ‘Vidrohi Sammelan’ – an alternative cultural forum in the State running parallel to the Sahitya Sammelan.

“I had previously received letters warning me not to go the Dabholkar-Pansare way. The recent letters said after Dr. Dabholkar and Comrade Pansare, it would be my turn next,” Dr. Patankar said.

“The letters said that after Dabholkar & Pansare, it would be my turn next” ... 004902.ece

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:33 pm

Mumbai's Municipal Schools to Teach 'Bhagwad Gita' to Students

All municipal schools in the city and suburbs would teach Bhagwad Gita to students in order to make them more focused, boost their morale and impart them knowledge about spiritualism, a civic official has said.

"We shall impart the knowledge of Bhagwad Gita to students to make them independent and sharpen their power in decision making," Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai's (MCGM) Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ramdas Bhausaheb said.

Ramdas said MCGM has 1,200 schools with a total strength of 4,78,000 students where the corporation spends over Rs 3,500 crore every year to impart free education to children in nine regional languages, a press release here said.

The Gita Champions League written contest was held in January this year by ISKCON. Nearly 4,617 students belonging to various religions from 105 schools all over Mumbai participated in the contest and answered questions related to the sacred scripture. ... nts/886579

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:37 pm

International Financial Centre? Forget it, says Percy Mistry

The “absurd actions” of the BJP-Sena government in Maharashtra to promote a “regressive faux-Hindutva agenda” are turning Mumbai into a city that is “anything but global or cosmopolitan in its outlook.” It is threatening its prospects to emerge as a successful International Financial Centre, or IFC, according to Percy Mistry, who headed the expert committee which first recommended that the IFC be promoted in India’s financial capital.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Mistry said that issues such as the beef-ban or political inclination toward violence and actions of the two factions of the Sena, and the current governments at city and state levels, will prevent the city from attracting top-flight talent to a globally competitive financial sector.

“They will ensure that Mumbai will never become an IFC of any note or utility to India or the world. But they will also ensure that the most talented, entrepreneurial people (of whatever race, religion, persuasion) who have contributed to making Mumbai what it once was, will feel obliged to leave over time and abandon it to a much worse fate,” Mistry said.

Mistry, based in the UK, was appointed by former finance minister P Chidambaram in 2005 to work on a blueprint for a global financial centre in Mumbai which could compete with London, Tokyo and Singapore. The reason why Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo are not as successful IFCs as London is, he said, because they are not as global.

“It is a great pity that the kind of mean spirited narrow-mindedness, portraying the most offensive, intolerant kind of Hindutva, and now even intolerant Jainism, riding on the back of the BJP-led government, have turned these religions into paradoxical parodies of themselves and what they stand for. They are betraying everything — especially the all-embracing, large hearted tolerance that Hinduism and Jainism were once famous around the world for — that India stood for, exemplified and admired by the world for, at independence,” Mistry said. ... 00146.html

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:10 pm

Four problems Maharashtra can't wish away by chanting 'Bharat Mata ki jai'

Drought. Child malnutrition. Gender inequality. Air pollution. What happened to Devendra Fadnavis's promise of better governance?

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has joined the chorus of voices demanding that every Indian stand up and shout, “Bharat Mata ki jai!” to prove their loyalty to the country. Like his fellow believers, he suggests that those who refuse should leave India.

The daily dose of exhortations about BMKJ is not just tiring and boring but utterly irrelevant. Let me spell out for our chief minister, who assumed office promising governance and action, that shouting BMKJ has limited value for the residents of his state.

Even if all the struggling farmers of Vidarbha and Marathwada, who are staring at the prospect of another long and desperate season of drought, united to shout BMKJ every single day from now until the monsoon breaks, it would make no difference to their plight. In any case, few of them will be in the mood to shout celebratory slogans.

An estimated 90 lakh farmers in this state are in dire straits. They are indebted, their crops are failing, there is no water and no real respite in sight. Out of Maharashtra’s 43,000 villages, an estimated 27,723 are affected by drought.

Relief measures

Recognising that a village is drought-affected means that the government is compelled to intervene. It has to provide relief in various ways ̶ such as 33% waiver of school fees, discount on power bills, waiver of land revenue and no stoppage of electric supply on account of non-payment of bills. Given the burden on the state’s finances, there is a tendency to delay until pushed.

In Maharashtra, the Fadnavis government was pushed by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court to recognise that drought was affecting not just farmers in Marathwada, who had been recognised, but also in Vidarbha. On March 18, the bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and Prasanna Varale stated: “We find the approach of authorities sitting in AC offices in Mantralaya totally callous, without taking into consideration hardships faced by poor farmers.” This nudge finally pushed the state government to declare additional villages in Vidarbha as drought affected.

The monsoon is still some months away. But water stress in the state’s rural and urban areas has already reached a crisis point. The water table has dropped perilously in many parts, dams are running dry and even in larger cities like Latur, municipal water is supplied only once every 6-8 days. What will happen by May if this is the state of affairs at the beginning of April?

Cane crushing

Meanwhile, there is no policy to restrict water use for the much-favoured sugar industry. Despite the water shortage, cane crushing has continued in factories in water-starved Marathwada. An average of 25 lakh litres per day are needed to crush cane. These are not easy choices to make but is anyone looking at this? Or will this too require an intervention by the court?

Of course, even if the court directs, there is no guarantee that the government will meekly oblige and implement the court’s orders. We have seen an instance of this over this last weekend. On April 1, the Bombay High Court reminded the representatives of the Maharashtra government that they ought to implement their own law, the Hindu Places of Public Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act 1956 that guarantees women entry into any temple. The government promised the court that it would do so and reiterated that it was against any form of gender discrimination.

Yet a day later, when the Bhumata Brigade led by the determined Trupti Desai attempted to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar, she and her group were physically stopped. When Desai went to the police station to register an FIR against the Chief Minister for not following the High Court’s orders, she was once again stopped. “The court has clearly said that anyone who stops women from entering a place of worship should be arrested,” she told the press. “However, the police and district officials remained mute spectators even as we were beaten up and dragged inhumanly.”

Broken promises

So where is the promise of better governance? Why does the Fadnavis government need the court to remind it about the definition of drought, or to explain the contents of a law that are already on the statute?

Meanwhile, even as the chief minister urges people to shout BMKJ, his minions in Mantralaya are busy devising a way to defy another court order. The Supreme Court has ruled that dance bars are not illegal and that the women who work in them have a right to earn a livelihood. But Maharashtra’s lawmakers are busy trying to figure out how to define obscenity in the rules governing the registration of dance bars so that, in effect, they cannot exist. In a state where there is a water crisis of enormous proportions, where farmers are killing themselves in despair, is preventing dance bars from operating so important?

And while the Mantralaya mandarins worry about dance bars, Mumbai’s residents are breathing in foul air every day from the unstoppable fires at the Deonar landfill. Mumbai has earned the unenviable distinction of being more polluted than Delhi on some days. This is a competition that Mumbaikars certainly had no desire to win.

Instead of figuring out what to do about this, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally Shiv Sena are busy squabbling over who is to blame. And while they do this, and the fires continue to burn, and the foul air continues to choke Mumbai’s residents, a team has been dispatched from the Union Ministry of Environment to share its “wisdom”. Given that ministry’s record, Mumbai’s residents are advised not to hold their breath.

And finally, or rather despairingly, while the chief minister obsesses over BMKJ, tribal children continue to die of malnutrition a few kilometres outside Mumbai, a city that hosts some of the richest men in the world.

According to recent newspapers reports, in the last 10 months there have been 1,274 recorded child malnutrition deaths in three districts. As with all such data, this is bound to be a gross underestimate. The definition of a malnutrition death excludes many more children who succumb to simple diseases because their starved bodies are just not capable of fighting any disease.

Tribal rights

The three districts are Nandurbar (662 deaths), Palghar (418 deaths) and 194 deaths in Thane, on the outskirts of Mumbai. These are all tribal areas, where basic health care is missing, where families live at abysmal levels of poverty and often survive on what they can get from receding forests. Here is a simple test of good governance that successive governments continue to fail spectacularly. Slogans will not save starving children.

The chief minister was quoted as saying in Nashik: “Some people say we will not say Bharat Mata ki jai. Then what? Pakistan ki jai or China ki ai?”

No, Mr Chief Minister. No one “ki jai” if your farmers are killing themselves, your children are dying, there is no water in thousands of villages and towns, women have to fight to enter temples and courts have to remind you how to govern. ... ng-drought

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:57 pm

Day after Uddhav’s barb, BJP targets another ‘scam’ in BMC

The party, which has already targeted the Shiv Sena over corruption in roads, drains, and solid waste management contracts in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in the legislative assembly on Thursday demanded a high-level probe into ‘corruption’ in the civic Building Proposals and Development Plan departments.

Alleging that ‘scams’ in these departments totalled Rs 50,000 crore or more, BJP’s Amit Satam demanded that the Chief Minister constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe them. Naming senior civic officials, including two serving deputy municipal commissioners, as alleged masterminds of the scam, Satam demanded a parallel inquiry into personal assets amassed by officials.

Satam also recounted instances of disappearance of 3,500 building proposal files from offices in Andheri and Bandra. ... 00391.html

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu May 19, 2016 5:41 pm

Hema Malini got Rs 70 crore land for Rs 1.75 lakh, reveals RTI query

Documents accessed by RTI activist Anil Galgali show the government has allotted a 2,000 square metre prime plot to the BJP Lok Sabha for Rs 87.50 per square metre for construction of a dance academy.

Bollywood actress and lawmaker Hema Malini has been alloted land worth Rs 70 crore for just Rs 1.75 lakh for a dance academy in upmarket Oshiwara in Mumbai under a revised policy of Maharashtra government, an RTI query has revealed.

Documents accessed by RTI activist Anil Galgali from the Suburban Collector’s office shows the government has allotted a 2,000 square metre prime plot to the BJP Lok Sabha MP for Rs 1.75 lakh at a rate of Rs 87.50 per square metre for construction of a dance academy.

An RTI plea filed earlier by Galgali had revealed the actress was allotted the land at a rate of Rs 35 per square metre (costing Rs 70,000). After the issue generated a controversy in February this year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a revision of the policy of allotting land to private trusts and artists.

“The land having a market value of Rs 70 crore has been given to Hema Maliniji for a paltry Rs 1.75 lakh. The state government would have to return Rs 8.75 lakh to her as she gave Rs 10 lakh as advance in 1997,” he said.

“This would be a major embarrassment for the government,” he said.

According to the documents, the land in question is reserved for a garden, and allotment has been done on the basis of valuation prevailing as on February 1, 1976, which was Rs 350 per square metre.

“Since a government resolution stipulates that the land allotment in such cases would be done at 25 per cent of the valuation, Hema Malini has got the prime piece of land at the one fourth of Rs 350 per square metre – that is Rs 87.50 per square metre,” said Galgali.

- See more at: ... WFBYH.dpuf

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:52 pm

I am an Allahabadi goonda, says Justice Markandey Katju

Jumping into the controversy about permitting Pakistani artistes to perform in India, retired Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju on Wednesday sharply targeted the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which is stalling the release of Karan Johar's upcoming film "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil".

"Why does MNS attack helpless people? If u are brave, come to me. I've a danda (stick) waiting for u and is getting impatient," Katju said in twin tweets this evening.

He added: "MNS people are goondas who have drunk the salt water of the Arabian Sea. I am an Allahabadi goonda who has drunk the water of the Sangam."

Katju also headed the Press Council of India and is known for his forthright views on many issues.

Making his own contribution, former Indian cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar also hit out at the MNS for issuing threats to vandalise cinemas and multiplexes which plan to screen Johar's film which features Pakistani star Fawad Khan, slated for release next Friday.

"One MLA party, MNS, not learning their lessons. With threats of vandalism, etc. they are certain to be a zero-MLA party next elections," Manjrekar tweeted, entering the field of MNS-bashers.

Surprised by the sudden assault, the MNS reacted by questioning Manjrekar's credentials to speak on the issue.

"At least we have one MLA ... On what basis is he talking like this," MNS Vice-President Vageesh Saraswat asked even as President of the MNS-affiliated Chitrapat Sena Amey Khopkar criticised Manjrekar's comments on the issue. ... 29646.html

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:23 pm

Maharashtra needs a Nitish Kumar to read the Riot Act to law-breakers patronised by Thackerays

In the same way that Bal Thackeray had declared that he would not allow a cricket match with Pakistan take place in Mumbai, Raj Thackeray now says that he would not allow films with Pakistani actors to be screened in theaters in Maharashtra. His threat elicited a video message of abject surrender by Karan Johar, the producer, whose film with a Pakistani actor is set to be released on 28 October. Now a compromise has been worked out: Johar will contribute Rs 5 crore to the Army Relief Fund and give an undertaking that he would not employ Pakistani artistes in future.

The Maharashtra chief minister, instead of coming down hard on the MNS hoodlums who have been threatening to take law into their hands, has brokered this compromise to appease Raj Thackeray.

The reality is: no Congress chief minister could make the older Thackeray see the long arm of the law. As it is increasingly becoming obvious, no BJP chief minister is likely to succeed in bearding the younger Thackeray lion in his den.

The question is: why is it that no leader in Maharashtra has the spine of a Nitish Kumar to read the Riot Act to the law-breakers patronised by two generations of Thackerays?

FULL ARTICLE :- ... 67582.html

Some snippets from another article :-

1) What does it say about the state’s inability, or unwillingness, to stand up to extra-constitutional threats?
2) Should the Chief Minister’s office be used to broker a deal between two parties, instead of asserting its authority and standing up to hooliganism and ensuring law and order?
3) And, what does it tell us about Mumbai’s fading status as a hub for liberal, progressive political discourse when the Chief Minister plays mute spectator to what many would term political extortion?
4) Why was the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s office — irrespective of who occupies it — used to mediate and broker a
deal between a film producer and a political party? In fact, why did Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio, not stand up to MNS hooliganism by assuring adequate protection to Karan Johar for the screening of his film?

How the MNS (or any political party, for that matter) can presume, and be allowed, extra-constitutional power to enforce
a ban on cultural expression, be it films, books, plays, cartoons, paintings, stand-up comedy, etc, solely because it does not cohere to its ideology, or because it allegedly hurts nationalist sentiments.

With his inability to stand up for the politically weak and succumbing to threats of violence, the Chief Minister has set a precedent for similar protests in the future. It is a dangerous template, and enough vigilante groups will see the terrain to be easy for political pickings. Thackeray’s party, which has negligible clout in the State legislature or in policy making, has been trying to retain its public relevance by consistently using threats of violence against chosen communities (migrant workers from north India, the film industry, etc), threats that are eventually ignored by the state.

Silence, in such cases, is complicity, and let’s not pull our punches, the Chief Minister’s silence speaks volumes.

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Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:26 pm

Mumbai: State decides to name new train station in Oshiwara 'Ram Mandir'

BJP leader Vidya Thakur and Shiv Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar had led a campaign to name the station, which will be between Jogeshwari and Goregaon.

The Maharashtra government on Friday announced that a new station on the Western Railway route between Jogeshwari and Goregaon in Mumbai will be called Ram Mandir. The new station in the city’s Oshiwara suburb will reportedly be inaugurated by Union Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on November 27.

The naming of the station is the result of a campaign led by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vidya Thakur who is part of the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government. Shiv Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar was also part of the campaign.

Thakur dismissed speculation that the name was a reference to the contentious Ram Mandir issue in Ayodhya that led to deadly communal clashes in the 1990s. In 1992, the Babri Masjid was destroyed by Hindu extremists who claimed that the mosque was built over the birthplace of Lord Ram. ... ram-mandir