My Adi kailash trek photos

September 3, 2012

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4475660657905.184459.1481625663&type=1&l=a4c0b80235

vacation alert and VIRUS ALERT

August 1, 2012

Dear All,

I am leaving for trekking to Adi kailash on 4th August,2012 and returning to office only on 26th instant. For a brief period during this trip, I am not reachable by any means. I shall inform you on my return.

URGENT!!!

PLEASE CIRCULATE

to your friends, family and contacts.

In the coming days, DO NOT open any message with an attachment called: BLACK MUSLIM IN THE WHITE HOUSE , regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus that opens an Olympics torch that burns the whole hard disk C of your computer. This virus comes from a known person who you have in your list.
Directions: You should send this message to all of your contacts. It is better to receive this e-mail 25 times than to receive the virus and open it. If you receive a message called BLACK MUSLIM IN THE WHITE HOUSE even if sent by a friend, do not open, and shut down your machine immediately. It is the worst virus announced by CNN. This new virus has been discovered recently it has been classified by Microsoft as the virus most destructive ever.

This virus was discovered yesterday afternoon by McAfee.. There is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the hard disk, where vital information function is stored.

16 July, 2012 06:54

July 16, 2012

STUDY ON DIVORCE RATE IN INDIA

Though there has been claims by many that divorce is on the rise in India – sometimes accompanied by hand-wringing about the egos and inflexibility of younger couples, who seem less willing than their parents to stay in marriages they are not happy with.

There is no national statistics available on divorce in India, some local records do show a rise. Still, some experts say the divorce rate in India continues to be artificially low, because of how biased the system is against women, who can be left financially destitute even if their husband is wealthy.

“ Divorce rates have not increased alarmingly as it is protrayed,” said V.P.Sarathi, who practices family and property law in India.

Amendments have been made regularly in the marriage laws in India applicable to Hindus and Christians. A new proposal seeks to introduce the irretrievable breakdown of marriage, as a basis for couples to seek divorce. It also proposes to waive or reduce the “cooling-off period,” or mandatory waiting period before divorce can be granted, which can be six to 18 months. The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 was first introduced in the upper house of Parliament, or Rajya Sabha, in August 2010.

Mr. Sarathi, has fought “thousands” of divorce cases in his 22-year practice, is part of a group that proposes even more significant changes to India’s marital laws, including the introduction of a new legislation which will give women the right to marital property. If this legislation is passed, “women will become equal owners of property,” she said. “Within the existing system there is no such option for women.”

Women in India stay in failing marriages for many reasons, Mr. Sarathi said. Most of these emanate from the social and financial pressures that divorced women are left to face. The courts can take several years to settle a case and often women cannot afford the several rounds of litigation involved. Even if a woman does go to the court, in most cases it is an “uneven fight” between a man and a woman, she said.

“Men always have more access” to the legal remedies in India, Mr. Sarathi said.

Under the Indian legal system, a separation or divorce entitles a woman to “maintenance” from her spouse, in the form of financial support based on the income of the man. But it is the woman who has to produce evidence of her spouse’s earnings before the court which will pass an order.

In India, where tax authorities estimate just 3 percent of the population pays personal income tax, and “black money” or under-the-table cash is common, the man’s actual earnings are often hidden, Mr.Sarathi says. Additionally, the wife may not have access to documents that prove what her husband earns, Mr.Sarathi says. Even if she does, the maintenance amounts are tiny.

Citing courtroom experience, Mr.Sarathi says judges generally fix a share of 5 percent to 15 percent of the husband’s annual earnings for maintenance amounts.

When a woman leaves a marriage, unless she is very well to do, “there is very little left to her,” to be able to sustain herself, and the property goes to the person in whose name it is, and in most cases assets are in the name of a man, Mr.Sarathi points out.

While most recent media reports have focused on changing social values behind most divorces, a study authored by one Ms. Kirti Singh to be published later this year finds more than 80 percent of the more than 400 separated or divorced women surveyed blame “cruelty or domestic violence in their marital homes,” for their split. Two-thirds of the women surveyed suffered from physical violence.

The most common reasons for domestic violence were “dowry demands, extra-marital affairs or a second marriage of the spouse and the suspicious nature of the spouse,” the report states. The violence took place even though 87.92 percent of the women lived in extended families.

The study, called “The Economic Rights & Entitlements of Separated and Divorced Women India,” was conducted by a team of researchers, women’s rights activists and lawyers, for the Economic Research Foundation of India between October 2008 and September 2009. It surveyed 405 Indian women who were either separated or divorced or deserted. The women were randomly selected from cities, towns and villages in north, east, south and west of India in an attempt to understand what happens to women when marriages fail.

Most women surveyed “did not want a divorce even if they have faced violence in their marital homes as they feel both financially and socially insecure outside the marriage,” the study finds.

A large number of women “live at the mercy of their husbands during the subsistence of marriage” and even after a separation or divorce they are financially dependent on their natal family, the report states.

The study points out : “Not giving a divorce is also the only tool that separated women have to negotiate terms of settlement with their spouse as their legal rights are insignificant.” This is corroborated by the statistic, which shows that only 73 out of 405, or 18 percent women surveyed were divorced while 81.7 precent were separated.

In more than 60 percent of the cases, women claimed that marriage affected their career opportunities, because they either could not work after marriage or were able to work in a limited capacity. In about 85 percent of the cases, separated women “bear the burden of looking after their children single-handed.”

But the fact remains that most of the Indian women prefer to stay in the failed marriages fearing social ostracisation because divorce carries a stigma more for women than for the men.

January 12, 2010

RTI APPLICABLE FOR SUPREME COURT TOO: DELHI HIGH COURT

NEW DELHI – The Delhi High Court Tuesday upheld its single bench order that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) comes within the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and details of judges assets should be revealed under that.

A bench comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justices S. Muralidhar and Vikramjeet Sen said: The subordinate judiciary is already declaring their assets. So when they are accountable so are we. Thus, higher the judiciary, higher is the accountability towards the public at large.

During the pronouncement of the judgement, the judges assured that they too would declare their assets next week.

Emphasising the importance of RTI, the bench said: RTI has over-reaching impact. Citizens who require such information should not misuse the information, thus saving the independence of (the) judiciary.

Income tax returns and medical records will not be revealed under the RTI but if public interest is attached with it then it also needs to be disclosed, the bench said in a voluminous judgement.

Two resolutions in 1997 and 1999 had said this declaration of assets was not binding on judges but could be done voluntarily.

Regarding them, the court said: This resolution is made for accountability of judges and we should all follow the same.

The bench had reserved its order in November 2009.

Attorney General Goolam E. Vahanvati, appearing for the apex court registry, had contended that the resolution regarding declaration of assets by judges was non-statutory, non-binding and it could not force a judge to declare assets to the Chief Justice of India.

The attorney general said the high court single-judge bench had erred in declaring that the office of CJI comes within the ambit of the RTI Act and had interpreted the provisions of the legislation too broadly, which was unnecessary and illogical.

The high court in its Sep 2, 2009 verdict on the controversial issue held that the CJI was a public authority and his office came within the purview of the transparency law.

The judgment was contrary to the stand taken by CJI K.G. Balakrishnan, who has consistently maintained that his office is beyond the purview of the RTI law.

December 1, 2009

Legislative Reform Initiative

Harmonizing National Legislation with International Human Rights Instruments

While virtually every country in the world has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), children’s rights are frequently not realised. One important aspect of creating an environment within which children’s rights will be realised is the creation of an appropriate legislative framework which enshrines their rights. While this is not sufficient to guarantee their rights, and implementation of the law remains a major challenge around the world, getting laws and the mechanisms and institutions for their implementation right is one of the most essential steps to realising children’s rights.

UNICEF’s Legislative Reform Initiative (LRI) supports efforts for the realisation of the rights enshrined in the CRC and in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It recognises that legislative reform must go beyond the letter of law to address polices and programming in order to make the laws effective and enforceable. The LRI includes papers and tools which can inform legislative reform efforts and share global experience.

The LRI is divided into four sections:

Thematic Papers: These provide in-depth analysis of legislative reform on specific issues by UNICEF and external experts. The papers cover a broad range of issues such as child marriage, child domestic labour, the right to food and trafficking.

Legislative/ Policy Papers: These address broader issues of legislative reform, including approach, assessing national legislations compliance with international human rights laws, including child rights in constitutional reform, and supportive policies and practices for the implementation of law.

Tools: These are designed specifically for practitioners, covering various aspects of legislative reform.

Reports: These are reports of UNICEF-organised expert-level events, consultations, roundtables and meetings to on the harmonization of national legislations with international human rights instruments and standards.

November 21, 2009

The importance of women in Indian society and their role in development of nation building
A feature article by Pragya Khanna,

Summary:
Teach a man and you have taught only one, but teach a woman and you have taught a family goes a famous saying. There is a lot of truth in this saying. A woman influences every member of the family in her role as mother. This powerful influence on the part of the woman has existed since ancient times. Lets look at the position of women in Indian society.

The worth of a civilization can be judged by the place given to women in the society. One of several factors that justify the greatness of India’s ancient culture is the honorable place granted to women. The Constitution of the Republic of India ensures equality for women and men in every sphere of life and activity. The fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution specifically mentions: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them”. Women in India have been given equality of opportunity in all matters relating to education, employment, and legal status, and they can aspire to grace the highest office of the State. However, this is truly not indicative of the existing position of women in general in the country, as yet. Though, legally and constitutionally, all women have equal access to and right to venture in every walk of life, a vast majority of them are still illiterate and uneducated. This is a paradoxical situation, which must be understood and seen in its historical perspective. Lets begin from the Vedic period where women from higher sections of society were given equal rights in the field of religion, and they attained distinction in the realm of theological studies and philosophy. Distinguished women such as Gargi and Maitrayee are well known names of this period, who excelled as scholars in their own right. During the ancient period, there were icons such as Sita, Damayanti, Draupadi and three of the Panchkanyas, Ahilya, Tara, Mandodari, who are still remembered with great reverence in Indian society. It was in the later period, approximately 500 BC, that the status of women gradually declined with the Smritis and other religious texts giving diktats which adversely affected women’s freedom and rights. With the rise of Brahaminism and due to conflicting religious and social thoughts, the place of women remained subordinate and unsatisfactory. Buddhism and Jainism, however, continued to give a place of honour to women. Women were eligible for admission to the religious order in both Buddhism and Jainism. Bhikshuni Sanghamitra was one of the main proponents of Buddhism of her time. The medieval period saw further deterioration in women’s position in society and their subjugation in the religious and legal spheres. This was a period when important scriptures propagated the idea that women were unfit for freedom and deserved no Independence. They should be kept under the authority of men in all stages of life. During the early ADs due to foreign invasions and later in the early years of British rule in India there was further set back in the position of Indian women. The purdah system, which was not practiced as a rule in the Indian society, became prevalent due to uncertain socio-political reasons. The growing incidence of female infanticide, the custom of child marriage, and the inhuman practice of sati became a part of the social culture, along with the religious ban on widow remarriage. Though there are conflicting opinions about the status of women in this period, it was in this period that India saw the floodgates open to social reforms. Inspite of many handicaps the medieval period also had its share of great women in the fields of politics, literature, education and religion. Women were equally eminent in the field of administration and state crafts. Razia Sultana, Empress Noorjahan, Chand Bibi, Maharani Jija Bai, Rani Padmini are some women with exemplary achievements. The Princesses of the Mughal courts and women from

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higher social circles were well educated and pursued many cultural activities. Jahanara Begum and Princess Zebunnissa were well-known poetesses and they also influenced the ruling administration. The Bhakti movement brought many women poet saints from different social and economic classes to join Vaishnav and other traditions of devotion, and also the sufi traditions in different parts of India. Akkamadevi, Mirabai, Rami Janabai, Lal Ded, etc. are well known names in the field of devotion and poetry. In the modern period, the status of Indian women can be divided into two distinct periods, the British Rule, i.e. Pre-Independence India and Post-Independence India. The British Rule in the 18th Century brought in some degree of political orderliness, but the social structure, customs and practices remained unchanged. It was mainly during the 19th Century that the reform movement undertaken by enlightened thinkers and leaders of Indian society understood the importance of women’s participation that the status of Indian women started changing for the better. Though initially all the leaders were men, women gradually came into the scene and played their role not only in changing history but also the society as a whole, through their efforts in different areas of work such as education, politics and freedom movement, women’s movement and social welfare. Mrs. Annie Besant, Dr. Sarojini Naidu, Kamladevi Chattopadhyay, Mrs. Nellie Sengupta, and many others gave a direction to Indian womanhood towards change and betterment. Indian women actively participated in the freedom movement, which also had different thrusts and ideologies. The founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885 and Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent movement not only led to political emancipation but also was a step in the right direction for social and national reconstruction. Women took equal initiatives and participated in all types of struggle for freedom, i.e. non-violent movement advocated by Mahatma Gandhi and the National Congress, as well as in the violent and armed movements advocated by other leaders in different parts of the country. Women’s enthusiasm in participating in the armed revolution helped Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to set up the Rani of Jhansi Regiment of the Indian National Army. Women’s participation in the freedom movement was so extensive that the achievers are many in number. Some names of great significance are Smt. Kasturba Gandhi, Madam Bhikaji Cama, Sarla Devi, Muthu Lakshmi Reddy, Aruna Asaf Ali, Sucheta Kriplani, Durga Bai Deshmukh, Priti Lata Waddedar, Captain Lakshmi and Janaki Davar of INA, Jahanara Shahnawaz, Randhabai Subbarayan. In 1947, India won freedom from foreign rule. In 1949 a Constitution was drafted which gave equal rights and status to all Indian citizens. Independent India has seen various reforms and programmes for the uplift of women of all communities. Indian women have played an important role from the very beginning of Independence in different walks of life. Women have taken bold steps in all nation building activities, which started with education and has now blossomed into women’s involvement in every activity of India. They have participated in all activities such as education, politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, science and technology, etc. In the end I would like to quote the words of Arundhati Roy We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half

November 19, 2009

Madras High Court reserves order in Dinakaran case

Chennai, Nov 17, DHNS:

The Madras High Court on Tuesday reserved its orders on a crucial batch of writ petitions by some villagers of Kaverirajapuram in Tamil Nadus Thiruvallur district, which could have a vital bearing on the ”land grab” charges against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, adjoining his native village there. After conclusion of arguments on the writ petitions by the villagers, reclaiming ownership of anadheenam (special category of once-private lands later abandoned due to non-payment of kist or land tax), adjacent to Justice P D Dinakarans lands, allegedly encroached upon by the Judge there, Justice K Suguna reserved orders in this keenly watched case. Earlier, State counsel submitted a report to the court on the details sought by it, on whether the survey numbers of anadheenam lands, mentioned by the petitioners seeking to re-invoke their ownership on the plea they are willing to pay the land tax arrears, have been covered in the Thiruvallur district collectors report to the Supreme Court Collegium. The collector in his confidential report to the apex court had listed the total extent of Poromboke (government) lands (a little over 199 acres) allegedly encroached by Justice Dinakaran over a period of years at Kaverirajapuram. The lands constitute different types of Poromboke lands, including those that are termed as anadheenam lands. At one stage of the arguments on Friday last, when the government advocate had mentioned in the Court that the Thiruvallur district collectors report to the Supreme Court was confidential, the judge asked: After publication in the press, is it confidential? Ever since the controversy broke, Justice Dinakarans elevation to the apex court has been put on hold. Interestingly, the claimants of anadheenam lands at Kaverirajapuram approached the High Court to reassert their ownership rights over those parcels of land, close to Justice Dinakarans property, shortly after the CPI(M)-affiliated Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam queered the pitch for the DMK regime demanding that all excess lands declared Poromboke in that village should be redistributed to the landless dalits under the States free-distribution-of-two-acres scheme to turn wastelands into arable ones.Soon after the villagers got an interim order from the court directing that status quo be maintained in the village till their petitions were fully heard, two NGOs the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation and Peoples Watch sought to implead themselves in those petitions. R Vaigai, counsel for the two NGOs, had argued in the court that the villagers claiming those (anadheeham) lands now had made no reference to any legal right. Those lands were unfit for cultivation even by the claimants own admission, she pointed out, adding: They (villagers) had not stated what their right to those properties was. The judgment in this case could have a crucial bearing on the encroachment charges being faced by Justice Dinakaran if the total extent of anadheenam lands being reclaimed by some villagers of Kaverirajapuram, now on the ground that they are all our ancestral property, is restored to them

November 19, 2009

Madras High Court reserves order in Dinakaran case

Chennai, Nov 17, DHNS:

The Madras High Court on Tuesday reserved its orders on a crucial batch of writ petitions by some villagers of Kaverirajapuram in Tamil Nadus Thiruvallur district, which could have a vital bearing on the ”land grab” charges against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, adjoining his native village there. After conclusion of arguments on the writ petitions by the villagers, reclaiming ownership of anadheenam (special category of once-private lands later abandoned due to non-payment of kist or land tax), adjacent to Justice P D Dinakarans lands, allegedly encroached upon by the Judge there, Justice K Suguna reserved orders in this keenly watched case. Earlier, State counsel submitted a report to the court on the details sought by it, on whether the survey numbers of anadheenam lands, mentioned by the petitioners seeking to re-invoke their ownership on the plea they are willing to pay the land tax arrears, have been covered in the Thiruvallur district collectors report to the Supreme Court Collegium. The collector in his confidential report to the apex court had listed the total extent of Poromboke (government) lands (a little over 199 acres) allegedly encroached by Justice Dinakaran over a period of years at Kaverirajapuram. The lands constitute different types of Poromboke lands, including those that are termed as anadheenam lands. At one stage of the arguments on Friday last, when the government advocate had mentioned in the Court that the Thiruvallur district collectors report to the Supreme Court was confidential, the judge asked: After publication in the press, is it confidential? Ever since the controversy broke, Justice Dinakarans elevation to the apex court has been put on hold. Interestingly, the claimants of anadheenam lands at Kaverirajapuram approached the High Court to reassert their ownership rights over those parcels of land, close to Justice Dinakarans property, shortly after the CPI(M)-affiliated Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam queered the pitch for the DMK regime demanding that all excess lands declared Poromboke in that village should be redistributed to the landless dalits under the States free-distribution-of-two-acres scheme to turn wastelands into arable ones.Soon after the villagers got an interim order from the court directing that status quo be maintained in the village till their petitions were fully heard, two NGOs the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation and Peoples Watch sought to implead themselves in those petitions. R Vaigai, counsel for the two NGOs, had argued in the court that the villagers claiming those (anadheeham) lands now had made no reference to any legal right. Those lands were unfit for cultivation even by the claimants own admission, she pointed out, adding: They (villagers) had not stated what their right to those properties was. The judgment in this case could have a crucial bearing on the encroachment charges being faced by Justice Dinakaran if the total extent of anadheenam lands being reclaimed by some villagers of Kaverirajapuram, now on the ground that they are all our ancestral property, is restored to them

November 19, 2009

Madras High Court reserves order in Dinakaran case

Chennai, Nov 17, DHNS:

The Madras High Court on Tuesday reserved its orders on a crucial batch of writ petitions by some villagers of Kaverirajapuram in Tamil Nadus Thiruvallur district, which could have a vital bearing on the ”land grab” charges against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, adjoining his native village there. After conclusion of arguments on the writ petitions by the villagers, reclaiming ownership of anadheenam (special category of once-private lands later abandoned due to non-payment of kist or land tax), adjacent to Justice P D Dinakarans lands, allegedly encroached upon by the Judge there, Justice K Suguna reserved orders in this keenly watched case. Earlier, State counsel submitted a report to the court on the details sought by it, on whether the survey numbers of anadheenam lands, mentioned by the petitioners seeking to re-invoke their ownership on the plea they are willing to pay the land tax arrears, have been covered in the Thiruvallur district collectors report to the Supreme Court Collegium. The collector in his confidential report to the apex court had listed the total extent of Poromboke (government) lands (a little over 199 acres) allegedly encroached by Justice Dinakaran over a period of years at Kaverirajapuram. The lands constitute different types of Poromboke lands, including those that are termed as anadheenam lands. At one stage of the arguments on Friday last, when the government advocate had mentioned in the Court that the Thiruvallur district collectors report to the Supreme Court was confidential, the judge asked: After publication in the press, is it confidential? Ever since the controversy broke, Justice Dinakarans elevation to the apex court has been put on hold. Interestingly, the claimants of anadheenam lands at Kaverirajapuram approached the High Court to reassert their ownership rights over those parcels of land, close to Justice Dinakarans property, shortly after the CPI(M)-affiliated Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam queered the pitch for the DMK regime demanding that all excess lands declared Poromboke in that village should be redistributed to the landless dalits under the States free-distribution-of-two-acres scheme to turn wastelands into arable ones.Soon after the villagers got an interim order from the court directing that status quo be maintained in the village till their petitions were fully heard, two NGOs the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation and Peoples Watch sought to implead themselves in those petitions. R Vaigai, counsel for the two NGOs, had argued in the court that the villagers claiming those (anadheeham) lands now had made no reference to any legal right. Those lands were unfit for cultivation even by the claimants own admission, she pointed out, adding: They (villagers) had not stated what their right to those properties was. The judgment in this case could have a crucial bearing on the encroachment charges being faced by Justice Dinakaran if the total extent of anadheenam lands being reclaimed by some villagers of Kaverirajapuram, now on the ground that they are all our ancestral property, is restored to them

November 7, 2009

Congress cannot clear Indira’s name

Former prime minister’s cardinal sin was the elimination of morality from politics

If all the sponsored publicity arranged by the Congress-ruled central and state governments could efface the stigma attached to Indira Gandhi, it would have happened long ago. It makes no sense, 25 years after her death, for the exercise to be repeated all over again, with tens of millions of rupees going down the drain. The effort failed because there was no introspection, no regret.

Gandhi’s cardinal sin was not the imposition of a state of emergency but the elimination of morality from politics. She rubbed out the thin line that differentiates right from wrong, moral from immoral. She did this so thoroughly that the line remains blurred, even today.

In the first 19 years after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru and his successor, Lal Bahadur Shastri, saved the nation from falling prey to power politics. They used their office to serve the nation. Never did pettiness or vindictiveness cross their minds. But Gandhi was different. She had no qualms about making power an end in itself. She should have resigned on moral grounds when she was disqualified by the Allahabad High Court for a poll offence. But how could she follow the rule of law when she was a law unto herself?

Instead of resigning, she imposed a state of emergency to overturn the entire system and save her skin. She had parliament pass legislation to overturn her disqualification and did not think it appropriate to consult even the Cabinet, which was summoned in the morning to endorse the proclamation which the president had “signed” the night before.

Gandhi was never happy with the press; her first order was to gag it. The media have still not regained their equilibrium, even after 34 years. They now seek to stay on the right side of whichever party is in power. That is why newspaper articles on the 25th anniversary of her death hardly mentioned her misdeeds.

Return of fear

Mahatma Gandhi taught the nation to shed fear. Indira Gandhi recreated fear in the minds of people. Whether it was the press, the judiciary or the bureaucracy, they compromised because of fear. The nation was at first in a state of shock over her actions. When she split the Congress party in 1969, giving a sense of unity to the country, people did not realise the full implications of her actions. By the time the nation woke up to the import of her desperate policies, the virus had spread into the body politic and freedom was lost.

She decimated what had been an impartial bureaucracy. It caved in under pressure. Desire for self-preservation became the sole motivation for government servants’ actions and behaviour. The fear generated by the mere threat made them pliable. They carried out her orders without questioning them. Ethical considerations or traditional values became beyond the mental grasp of bureaucrats. They became a tool of tyranny in her hands.

Gandhi used the word “commitment”, long before the state of emergency, to assess the loyalty of bureaucrats towards her. Some of them said that their commitment was to the Constitution of India. But they were either ignored at the time of promotion or put in an unimportant position.

The poison she injected continues to run in the veins of bureaucrats who administer the system at the whim of those who come to power. They change their loyalty and colour when a new regime takes over.

The judiciary also felt the pressure as she superseded three Supreme Court judges to appoint her own Chief Justice of India. He came in handy when the case of the imposition of a state of emergency was before him. The Supreme Court judgment was 11 to 1. The lone dissenter, the most senior judge, was passed over for promotion.

The biggest damage she did in her 18-year-rule was to the institutions which her father, Nehru, had put in place. She manipulated even the parliament when she lost the majority in the Lok Sabha in the wake of the party’s split. She weakened the Congress and its ideological stance to such an extent that the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.

Gandhi certainly began her political life with a remarkable mix of talents: a capacity to listen, to comprehend at different levels, to communicate with the common man. But these qualities diminished as time went by.

Later, another problem arose as Indira Gandhi’s son, Sanjay Gandhi, became the extra-Constitutional authority. He opened the door to lumpen youth. One can see his legacy in Indian governance even today.

Indira Gandhi used all methods at her disposal to break those who opposed her. I wonder if she deserves even a footnote in history. If she does get a mention, it would be because of Operation Blue Star against the Sikhs’ Golden Temple.

She paid a heavy price for this, as her Sikh bodyguards killed her to avenge the attack on the Golden Temple. The government’s retaliation was criminal, as it stood by for three days while 3,000 Sikhs were butchered at Delhi in broad daylight. So the Sikhs also had something to commemorate this week the 25th anniversary of the massacre.

Kuldip Nayar is a former Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and a former Rajya Sabha member.