It was on 23rd March 1940, Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution demanding a separate country for them.
In this context it will be worth reading the following part from Freedom at Midnight.
*The Butterfly effect*
“Sometimes a very small and insignificant event can lead to a huge effect later on.
It’s called *Butterfly Effect*.
It can also lead to the creation of (i) a new country; (ii) the displacement of twelve million people; (iii) the loss of around two million lives; and (iv) permanent animosity amongs people who used to share their bread and ancestry at one point of time.
If we study the *life of Muhammed Ali Jinnah*, the founder of Pakistan, we will find *three incidents* which led to the *butterfly effect*, resulting into one of the most significant and bloodiest midnights in the world history.
To know these three small events, we will have to start with *Jinnah’s Grandfather, Premjibhai Meghji Thakkar*, who was a prosperous Hindu Merchant from Kathiawar, Gujarat. He had made his fortune in the fish business, but he was ostracized from his vegetarian Lohana caste because of their strong religious beliefs.
When he discontinued his fish business and tried to come back to his caste, he was not allowed to do so because of the huge egos of the self-proclaimed protectors of Hindu religion.
Resultantly, his *son, Punjalal Thakkar* (the father of Jinnah), was so angry with the humiliation that he changed his and his four sons’ religion, and converted to Islam.
This was not the first incident when a Hindu had tried to come back to his religion and they was not allowed to do so by the priest class.
When Islamic invasion began in India in 12th century, many Hindus had lost their religion because of petty rules like drinking the water poured by a Muslim in their ponds, being forcibly converted to Islam or going to places outside India.
When they tried to reconvert to Hinduism, the stubborn priests blocked their path and branded them as permanent dharmabhrashta.
This led to animosity in them for Hindus, and they converted to Islam and taught a lesson to those priests by killing them mercilessly.
Today, a lot of Indian Muslims don’t want to accept their Hindu ancestry, and the humiliation their ancestors felt centuries ago could be the reason behind it.
That’s the *first butterfly effect*.
If Jinnah’s grandfather were allowed to come back to his caste and religion, Jinnah would have remained a Hindu, and he won’t have used his genius in creating a new country for Muslims.
In 1929, *Jinnah’s wife, Rattanbai Petit*, died due to a digestive disorder. He was so devastated at her death that he moved to London. He led a very private life, lived in a large house, played billiards and attended theatre.
But things took a drastic turn when he heard a comment made by his arch-rival, Jawahar Lal Nehru.
In a private dinner party, Nehru had remarked that Jinnah was *‘finished’*. It made Jinnah so furious that he packed up and headed back to India with the intent to *‘show Nehru’*. He fired up the Muslim League, and transformed it from a scattered band of eccentrics to the *second most powerful political party of India*.
That’s the *second butterfly effect*.
If Nehu hadn’t made that remark, Jinnah would have stayed in London, Muslim League won’t have become so powerful and India might have stayed united.
Just *one year before the partition* and independence of India, Jinnah’s doctor, Dr. J.A.L. Patel, discovered something in the X-ray report of Jinnah which could have destroyed the *gigantic efforts* to create Pakistan. Dr. Patel discovered two dark circles in the report which could have upset the Indian political equation and would have almost changed the course of history.
Jinnah was suffering from *Tuberculosis*, which left him only two or three years to live at most.
He pushed Mountbatten for a speedy freedom and partition of India to make sure he made the mark in history before he died.
The secret of Jinnah’s disease and imminent death stayed between him and his doctor, ensuring the bloody historical event.
That’s the *third butterfly effect*.
That grey film had the secret to block the partition, and it was stopped from coming out by a Hindu doctor who thought *his professional ethics* was more important than the lives of millions.
Had this report become public knowledge, Gandhi and Mountbatten might have delayed the independence of India to let the gentleman die and avoid the partition.
In the movie, *Gladiator*, the main character, Maximus says, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”
We have no idea what eternal effect can come from something insignificant we are doing today.
Jinnah’s Grandfather would have never thought that his decision to *go into fish business* would have impacted the lives of millions one century later.
SOURCE: *Freedom at Midnight* (Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins)
All you need to know about One Year, One Election
After the proposal of a simultaneous election in the country, the Election Commission has proposed one year one election.
As national and regional parties gear up for the election season, BJP has started pushing forward the need for simultaneous elections in the country. The proposal which was put forward in 2016 has started to gain momentum as we inch closer to the Lok Sabha elections. The proposal entailed that the whole country goes for elections in one year and simultaneously. Prime minister, Narendra Modi spoke, “At a ‘closed door’ meeting of the BJP’s national office bearers … just before the party’s national executive meet was kicked off … in laudatory terms for simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and state assemblies.” In spite of the meeting being ‘closed door’, the content was reported by The Hindu on March 31, 2016. The simultaneous elections, the BJP government believed would curb a lot of problems like every election being a costly affair and could save time and manual labour that is needed for contesting these elections.
While responding to PM’s suggestion, the Election Commission proposed One Year, One Election. The election commission also pointed out obvious setbacks in simultaneous elections that could possibly revolve around national issues and side-track issues of a particular state. The Commission further pointed out that politicians would stop worrying about regular elections where they will be held accountable for their work.
The idea behind simultaneous elections
BJP’s idea behind proposing simultaneous elections was to conduct nation-wide parallel Assembly and General election. This, they hoped could provide the government with stability which was also mentioned in the 117th report on Reform and Electoral Laws (1999) by the Law Commission of India. Along the same lines, they also hoped that the cost of elections which in the recent years has shot up to Rs 4500 crore could be cut down by a drastic margin. Thirdly, elections in states led to the imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) puts on hold the entire development programme and activities. If all elections are held in one particular year, it will give a clear five years to the political parties to focus on good governance. Fourth, the continuous election has an impact on the functioning of essential services considering the rallies do cause traffic problems as well as loss of productivity. Lastly, the simultaneous election would reduce the type of manpower and resource deployment necessary for the conduct of elections.
Election commission retorted this by saying India has a multi-party democracy where elections are held for State Assemblies and the Lok Sabha separately. The voters are in a better position to express their voting choices keeping in mind the two different governments which they would be electing. This distinction gets distorted when voters are made to vote for electing two types of government at the same time, at the same polling booth, and on the same day.
The Election Commission asserted that Assembly elections are contested on local issues and, parties and leaders are judged on the basis of their work done in the state. Joining them with the general election could lead to a situation where the national narrative overshadows the regional story.
However, the biggest challenge to simultaneous polls lies in getting the party political consensus needed to bring an amendment in the law.
Proposal of One Year, One Election
The election commission while writing back to Narendra Modi on 24th April devised a plan B, on the lines of One Nation, One Election. The Election Commission suggested that all the elections that are to be held in one year should be contested in a span of a fixed time rather than being contested all year round. The Election Commission further added that with the implementation of One Year, One Election the incumbent government would be given the opportunity to complete its term since the time of completion of a term could be different in every state.
The EC wrote, clubbing elections that are scheduled in a year would be less stressful than holding simultaneous polls as it does not require five constitutional amendments.
The Law Commission had asked the poll panel to elucidate its position on five constitutional matters and 15 socio-political and economic questions that need to be addressed before simultaneous elections can be organised.
At present, the commission conducts elections at the same time for states where the term of Assemblies end within a few months of each other. Section 15 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, excludes it from informing elections more than six months before the term of a state assembly terminates. In 2017, the poll panel conducted the elections in five states – Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa – at the same time, and the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh later in the year since the terms of their Assemblies ended at different times.
Which way will the plan go?
The Narendra Modi government has been pushing for simultaneous elections, but not everyone is convinced it is a good idea.
“The party will welcome Election Commission’s any decision that makes the poll process easy. But One Year One Election poses several challenges- certain governments are short-lived, sometimes the mandate can be fractured. In such situations, there will be confusion. The party high command will discuss about this.” said a Congress spokesperson.
As the election fever reaches new highs every day, it will be interesting to see how One Year, One Election’s idea fans out. We will get to witness if Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand go to contesting elections along with General Assembly or will they contest elections state wise.
Citizenship cannot be given on the basis of religion
Citizenship of a country is granted to people on the basis of the ancestry of the person. It has never got anything to do with your religion.
The North-Eastern state of Assam is facing the biggest uprising of agitators it has seen in the last six years. Since yesterday, the people of Assam have taken to the streets in order to oppose the amendment in the Citizenship Bill of 2016. As many as 28 Student Unions and citizen groups have come together to join hands in the protest. People of Assam are so against the amendment that even the Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal’s alma mater, Dibrugarh University has stopped his entry in the premise till the time the bill isn’t withdrawn.
This opposition towards the Bill has emanated from the dire fear of being reduced to a minority.
But what is Assam Accord?
The Assam Accord, signed between the agitators and the government marked mid-night of 24th March 1971 as the cut-off date for granting citizenship to people who have come illegally to India from Bangladesh. People, who are originally Bangladeshi and have been staying in India illegally should be detected and deported to Bangladesh. The central government also promised to provide ‘legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social, and linguistic identity and heritage’ of the Assamese people.
Even though the agitation was brought to an end after the accord was signed but a lot of key clauses are yet to be implemented by the government.
What have the past governments been doing?
For the last 33 years, this issue has been a prominent political topic during elections in the state but the people of Assam feel nothing has been successfully implemented till now. According to the data, till now only a few thousands of people have been either pushed back or deported with or without the Bangladeshi government’s notice.
Ever since the implementation of the bill, from 1985 till February 2018, a total of only 29,738 foreigners have been “pushed back and deported”. However, out of this number, only 75 illegal migrants have been “deported” to Bangladesh from Assam post March 2013.
Now, the people’s anger is building as the feeling has grown that all successive governments in Assam and the Centre failed miserably to detect and expel illegal Bangladeshi migrants from Assam and the rest of the Northeast. For so long, the Congress had faced the charge of turning a blind eye to the attendance of migrants in Assam. Not only the opposition, but even the people on the ground felt that Congress was using the illegal migrants as a bloc vote bank.
Why are people upset with BJP?
After a let down from Congress, Assamese people thought that BJP after coming to power will address their concerns and quicken the deportation process. However, they had to face disappointment at the hands of NDA government in the state. Leave aside speeding the deportation process, BJP on the other hand just brought in an amendment to the already existing Citizenship Bill. This amendment proposed stay rights for religious minorities from neighbouring countries Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This has created a massive uproar in the North Eastern states.
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
In 2016, Narendra Modi government proposed amending the original citizenship bill of 1955. It suggested a proposal granting of citizenship or stay rights to Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists, Jains and Christians from neighbouring countries. The NDA government’s argument was that these minorities, particularly Hindus from these countries, have only India to turn to in the event of discrimination, therefore, must be helped. The centre took into account the fact that people from these communities who arrived in India either without valid travel documents or travel documents that have expired are considered illegal migrants, and hence not eligible to apply for Indian citizenship. The new idea was to allow such people to apply for Indian citizenship.
The rise of AIUDF
The rise of AIUDF in North East India has been quite controversial. In 2005, perfume baron Maulana Badruddin Ajmal launched the All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). The party was instantaneously seen as the one to bank a chunk of votes and supporters, namely Bengali-speaking Muslims of Bangladesh or East Bengal origin.
Expressing concern over the growth of the party and its supporters, Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat had also said that “the influx of Muslim migrants in the northeast is part of a “proxy game” being executed by “our western neighbour (Pakistan)”, with support from across the “northern border (China).”
How easy will it be to become a citizen now?
If the amendment comes to play, all the people whose identification was not known since 1985 due to failure to produce legit papers will try finding ways to get authentication. With the technological boom, and corruption in hindsight, it has already become very easy to forge documents.
Last year, in December, the UIDAI arrested seven persons, including six Bangladeshi nationals, who had obtained Aadhaar cards by forging documents to secure jobs in IT firms in and around Bengaluru. This isn’t the sole incident of illegal migrants forging documents.
However, people’s opinion on the Bill stands divided. Assam’s two broad geographical bodies — Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys — have been severely divided over this issue. The Assamese-dominated Brahmaputra Valley is against the proposed bill, whereas the Bengali-majority Barak Valley has generally welcomed the idea because the category of people who are seeking to be granted citizenship are Bengalis. Politicians in the Barak Valley seem to be happy because this category of people would comprise a big chunk of the electorate.
Now it is to be seen how the government resolves the issue.
Karnataka floor test: Everything you need to know
Four days after the people of Karnataka witnessed a hung assembly with no party winning the clear majority, the cliff-hanger, that is BJP leader Yeddyurappa’s fate will be put to test. The result of 224 seats Karnataka assembly election came out on 15th May. The elections were contested in 222 out of the 224 since two constituencies- Jayanagara and Rajeshwari Nagara elections have been postponed due to fake voter id cards scam. The elections of these constituencies are to be held later this month.
After the results came out, Karnataka governor- Vajubhai Vala invited BJP to form the government as the single largest party. However, the post-poll partners: Congress-JD(S) filed a petition against the order in the Supreme Court. The Court, in its hearing on Friday cut short the 15-day period given by the governor and asked Yeddyurappa to go through a floor test on Saturday at 4 PM. The Court also ruled out the secret ballot method for floor test since the rumours of horse trading have surfaced. Below we explain how the floor test will be conducted:
- Appointment of Pro-tem speaker:
In order to conduct the floor test, the governor of a state first has to appoint a pro-tem speaker. The governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Vala appointed BJP MLA KG Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker for this session. Though Congress went to Supreme Court to challenge the appointment of Bopaiah as the pro-tem speaker alleging his credentials don’t fit the role, the Apex Court turned it down.
- Role of Pro-tem speaker:
Pro-tem speaker is a temporary speaker appointed for a limited time period to conduct the works in Lok Sabha or in state legislatures. When the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies have been elected, but the vote for the speaker and deputy speaker has not taken place, the pro-tem speaker is chosen for the conduct of the house.
For Karnataka Assembly floor test, KG Bopaiah will take over as the pro-tem speaker. Since the Constitution says that no MLA can take any administrative decisions, the first task in hand for Bopaiah would be to swear in the elected MLAs before they proceed with their executive duty of voting today. Bopaiah will then call BJP leader- Yeddyurappa for the floor test to prove their majority in the House.
The pro tem speaker is free to conduct the vote of confidence in one of the three ways other than secret ballot.
Here are the options other than secret ballot that could happen
Since the court ruled out secret ballot as a means of voting and the Karnataka Assembly doesn’t have electronic voting system, there are only three options most feasible when the vote of confidence would be conducted:
- Voice vote
The first option in front of Bopaiah is voice vote. In a voice vote, he will ask those in favour of the motion to say ‘Aye’, and those against the motion to say ‘No’. The Speaker then decides whether the ‘Ayes have it’ or the ‘Nos have it’.
While the voice vote is considered to be the simplest and quickest voting method, is known to be controversial, especially in cases where the majority is not clear.
- Head count
Counting of heads is the method that the Bopaiah is most likely to employ. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Murthy, the Secretary of the Legislature Secretariat, said that the members of the House would be asked to physically stand up. Those in favour and against the motion when asked, will stand up, with a manual counting of heads.
- Roll call method
The pro-tem Speaker could also employ the roll call method. Here, the House is divided into blocks. The Assembly Secretary then does a roll call of members, block by block, recording each vote. The Secretary also records those MLAs who choose to remain neutral.
Though the roll call is not used too often, it was used recently in 2017. In February, last year, vote trust against the Edappadi Palaniswami government which the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister went on to win.
The decision of the pro-tem speaker is final in the House. Members of the House can however challenge the decision of the pro-tem speaker in the Supreme Court.
The state of Karnataka had in past witnessed one such incident. In 2010, during a No Confidence Motion passed against Yeddyurappa, the then pro-tem speaker, KG Bopaiah chose to take a voice vote. It was criticised by many MLAs. Though, Yeddyurappa won the motion, the matter was taken to Supreme Court. The Court struck down the original decision and asked Yeddyurappa to go through another floor test.
The conduct of KG Bopaiah was highly criticised by Supreme Court.
- The two-way street of fate
If Yeddyurappa wins the vote of confidence, he will continue as Chief Minister and will go on to form his cabinet. The swearing-in ceremony of Yeddyurappa’s cabinet is most likely to be an ostentatious affair, given the fact that his own swearing-in was kept low-key.
If Yeddyurappa loses the floor test, there are two things that can happen.
-Governor Vajubhai Vala will invite post-poll allies JD(S) and Congress to form the government. HD Kumaraswamy, then will have to take a floor test to prove his majority.
-Governor Vajubhai Vala can also choose to declare President’s rule and the state will go to elections in six months.
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