Abdul Khaliq (for Info only, not official)

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Abdul Khaliq

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    ... As we approach our 71st Independence Day, one cannot help but reflect on where we stand as a nation. I can think of no better way to assess our progress than to measure it against the noble aspirations enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution which spells out our resolve to secure justice, liberty, equality for every citizen and promote fraternity among all. How far have we progressed on this commitment? Our Constitution should have helped us create a truly egalitarian society but the power elite has failed miserably in ensuring equality and justice for all. Despite impressive economic growth in the last two decades, inequalities and injustices are pervasive. According to World Bank estimates (2015), there has been a decline in India’s poverty rate but this is cold comfort — 172 million citizens still live below the poverty line and constitute 24.5 per cent of the world’s poor. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 10, 2017, 12:05 a.m.

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    ...Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has voiced what the majority of her countrymen believe — that only the prime minister can resolve the Kashmir issue. This is because he is arguably the most charismatic and decisive leader this country has ever seen. There was a period in the 1970s when the country resonated with the slogan, “Indira is India, India is Indira”. But her aura stemmed from the Emergency, whereas Narendra Modi has not required coercive state apparatus to invoke the adulation of millions. Whether his opponents admit it or not, today’s India is Modi and Modi is India. Hence this appeal from a deeply troubled Indian Muslim, who lives in mortal dread of what the future portends for us all. The PM’s slogan “sabka saath, sabka vikas” captures the essence of this nation’s foremost mission of fostering social solidarity premised on the doctrine that every human being matters. It was a message lapped up by the minorities. ...

    Indian Express on May 27, 2017, 12:05 a.m.

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    ... Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister in the 1960s, had famously observed that a week is a long time in politics. By that reckoning, six years in the politics of a nation would be an eternity. Six years ago, in April 2011, Anna Hazare began a hunger strike to establish a strong Jan Lokpal Bill to fight all-pervasive corruption. Thereafter, for more than two years until the 2013 elections, the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement of Team Anna, riding the wave of popular discontent and anger against the governing class, brought a weak government to its knees and governance to a standstill. A revealing snapshot of those tumultuous months of countrywide protests was the then-finance minister and now our president receiving Baba Ramdev, a Team Anna partisan, at Delhi airport. Caving in to enormous public pressure, Parliament passed the Lokpal Act in 2013. Four years down the line, this act, perhaps the only one enacted post-Independence due to direct “people power”, stagnates in the statute books, ignored by the civil society that earlier vigorously rooted for its implementation. ...

    Indian Express on April 29, 2017, 12:02 a.m.

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    ... So inured to injustice have we become as a society that the Mumbai High Court’s outrageous judgment in the Mohsin Shaikh murder case has been largely ignored. The honourable judge has granted bail to three of the accused in the gruesome killing of the young IT professional on the extenuating grounds that the victim belonged to a different religion which provoked the killers to murder him. The short point made is that being a Muslim is sufficient provocation and justification for inviting retribution and death. I cringe but am not surprised at this mindset, which I believe is pervasive in every walk of life. I have a dear friend — a God-fearing, educated Hindu, who would put his life on the line to protect me from harm. ...

    Indian Express on Jan. 26, 2017, midnight

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    ...With more anti-corruption measures promised, they believe that, among other things, the coercive corruption hawkers, tea shop vendors, rickshaw pullers and shanty dwellers have had to put up with will end, as also the socially debilitating system of bribing when seeking a train reservation, a driving license or a ration card. Their dreams have been fanned by economists supporting demonetisation. The latter envision a digital India with universal education and healthcare, full employment, low direct taxes, elimination of funding for terrorism, a booming economy, et al. Expectations are higher than when Indira Gandhi beguiled the nation with her “garibi hatao” slogan. ...

    Indian Express on Dec. 17, 2016, 12:31 a.m.

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    ...While the communalism of one group feeds on the communalism of the other, it is axiomatic that majority communalism can alter the nature of the Indian polity, subverting democracy and secularism.Jawaharlal Nehru had cautioned that by virtue of numbers "it is the responsibility of the dominant community not to use its position in any way which might prejudice the secular ideal of the nation."Another incontrovertible truth about communalism is that the weaker group invariably bears the brunt of the killing, maiming, rape, destruction of property and exile. ...

    Indian Express on Dec. 16, 2013, 1:33 a.m.