Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cartoon-o-scope # 2

How many of you reader still remember that Arunachal Diary had earlier started a series called Cartoon-o-scope? Not many I guess.

So, here is another cartoon to continue the series. Enjoy!

The above cartoon is part of the series of caricature of the LS Election candidates, that I'm trying to do based on my observation of poll campaign speech and the candidates themselves. Watch out for this space for rest of the series.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shopping online

I don't know how many of you are comfortable with shopping online? I never had.

Though the advent of online stores has given consumers the convenience to shop for product/s from the comfort of their homes and with a mouse click, I had never preferred shopping online but rather always preferred the conventional way of shopping. The reason may be because I was and am apprehensive that my account would be compromised while transacting online, that I don't get chance to see and feel the product before making purchase as in conventional way, that I would not be delivered with the same quality product that I ordered for or that the product may not be delivered to you safely.

However, putting aside my apprehensions, I thought of finally to give online shopping a try-at least for experimental sake. So I Googled for online stores. Apart from plethora of online stores thrown at by Google to me, I quite liked this site, which though basically not an online store, but nevertheless which helped me in carrying out my first purchase online.

Now you would ask how's that so? Well, apart from listings of online stores ShopWiki has an user or rather consumer generated product guides on plethora of products like cameras, kitchen appliances, books, clothing, movies and music, food processors, consumer electronics, hand mixers, stand mixers, memorablia, dinnerware, flatware, appliances, computers and softwares, and so on. And the product buying guide listed over the site helped me in selection of products to buy.

Now that I have carried out my maiden online shopping, let's see if the experience will wash away all my apprehension about online shopping or would it embolden my apprehensions.

And coming to you, share with us how was your online shopping experience?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Is the freedom of speech and expression being challenged?

Article 19 clause (1) sub-clause (a) of the Constitution of India guarantees to its citizen the right to freedom of speech and expression subject to reasonable restrictions (as laid down in Article 19, Clause (2)) on the exercise of this right relating to:

  1. defamation;
  2. contempt of Court;
  3. decency or morality;
  4. public order;
  5. incitement to an offense;
  6. security of the state;
  7. friendly relation with foreign state;
  8. maintenance of sovereignty and integrity of India.

But recently when Nabam Tuki, Minister PWD and UD and APCC President threatened to lodge an FIR against one Tana Takang for expressing his views in a popular local press media, it made me wonder if the 'Freedom of Speech and Expression' conferred to its' citizen by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution has been challenged.

A brief history of the issue

In it's April, 08 edition, The Arunachal Times published a letter of one Tana Takang in its' 'Readers' Forum' column, wherein the author, apparently fed up with the political rhetoric dished out by the political parties and their candidates; allegations and counter-allegations during their campaign for LS polls appearing in the local dailies, had asked both the parties-ruling and opposition (read INC and BJP) to debate it out in a common platform in line of Presidential elections of US of A, so that the common masses could decide better and select the right candidate to represent them in the parliament. Well, this seem the core of the letter to me.

The letter, however, did not go down well with the ruling Congress Party and a press statement appeared the next day where APCC President Nabam Tuki threatened to lodge an FIR against the said person terming the letter was written with the intend to malign the area.

"Tuki further referring to a Readers' Forum published in this daily by one Tana Takang said that as per their observation, there is no such person residing in the said locality. He said that whoever is behind the letter was doing it with intend to malign the area and it needed to be punished as per law. The party will lodge an FIR against the said person to trace out the reality, he added."
-The Arunachal Times, 09-04-09 issue
under heading 'Sonia to address Itanagar rally'

After going through the statement of the Minister in the paper, my first reaction was how could anyone try to curb one's 'Freedom of Speech and Expression' by threatening. However, instead of reacting to the statement instantly, I decided to put aside my emotional outburst and try to see if the author had put reasonable restrictions as laid down in Article 19, Clause 2 while expressing his views or not. So I went through the said letter again, and I could not come up with anything objectionable that could have suggested that the author have not put 'reasonable restrictions' while expressing his views. Or have I missed something that others may find objectionable in the letter that might suggest that the author had not put reasonable restrictions? Go through the letter (reproduced below) for yourself and put in your comments if the letter was objectionable to attract the ire of APCC President and an FIR threat.

Letter of Tana Takang

Was the letter intended to malign the area as put by the Minister?

Now coming to the Ministers' allegation that said person does not reside in the locality and that the letter was written with the intend to malign the area, in which case I guess the area under question is Chimpu, Itanagar, I could not quite comprehend how the letter was intended to malign Chimpu. Apart from mentioning Chimpu, Itanagar in the address, there is no mention of Chimpu, not even once in the body of the letter itself, whether with good intend or bad intend. :) And on their observation that letter was written by a person not 'physically' residing in the locality; does it really matter? In fact, I found the allegation quite flimsy and childish. The charge seem more of to bully the person who quite openly appreciated the opposition candidate through his letter.

So, is it the case of curbing one's freedom of speech and expression by bullying tactic or indeed the author of the letter has not put restraint while expressing his views?

Arunachal goes for re-poll

This was expected.

In a state where the Lok Sabha seats are almost always secured by the candidates of a ruling government and with a candidate, whose popularity amongst the masses rose to an extent that it threatened to crumble the 60 member team, it was expected that there would be instances of poll rigging, booth capturing and damage of EVM's during this Lok Sabha polls in the interiors of the 1-Arunachal West Parliamentary Constituency considering the fact that the security would be lax at the polling stations due to logistical problems owing to difficult terrain.

But it came as a surprise when majority of the polling stations, where re-polling was ordered owing to instances of booth capturing and damage of EVM's was from the polling stations situated in and around the state Capital and not from the interiors as was expected. Where was the security arrangement? It was reported that at each polling stations only 2 to 3 security personnel's were deployed. Did the administration thought that this arrangement would be enough to thwart any attempt of disturbing the poll process? Or was there shortage of security personnel to be deployed? But then, why additional para-military forces was not asked for, if that was the case?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Predictions for Lok Sabha Polls in Arunachal???

Sinlung has predicted that both the seats in Arunachal would be swept by BJP in this Lok Sabha polls.

But, what's the basis of their post and prediction?

Wished they had given the basis of their poll prediction...Sigh.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Awareness and Change is the need of hour says Rijiju

Kiren Rijiju addressing the rally at ZiroQuite frankly I had never attended or rather never tried to attend any election rallies in the state for I expected that there would be the same political rhetoric of development that the party has brought about which in actuality wouldn’t have been achieved; for there would be same political bashing of the opponent whether truth or cooked up; for we have known all the time that the contesting candidates are the same sheep in different garbs (read different political parties) and for they would be promising us stars which would vanish as soon as their sun shines.

But having heard so much about one particular candidate who had been named one of the most powerful debater in the opposition bench of the parliament earlier, who didn’t change his garb but stuck to his garb even when tempted to and who have been designated as ‘one man army’ in his quest for re-election to the same seat by the oh-so powerful party in the state having cent percent majority in the state assembly, I couldn’t stop myself from attending his rally to hear him live, what he has to offer/say. And yes, I’m talking about Kiren Rijiju, the BJP candidate from Arunachal (West) constituency who brought his campaigning trail to Ziro-Hapoli yesterday. And here I must tell you that I didn’t attended the rally because I’m staunch follower of BJP or it’s ideology or I’m a huge admirer of Kiren Rijiju, though I’ve said earlier that off late he is gaining appreciation from me, but because I wanted to hear an Arunachalee and not a BJP member, who has brought Arunachal Pradesh to national attention by his oratory or his debating prowess, whatever you may say.

Ziro Rally
And to my amazement and delight, he didn’t resorted to making sky high promises that could never be achieved but rather his speech was more or less concentrated on his performance during his tenure as an opposition MP and what he did to highlight the issues of the people in the parliament and to bring Arunachal Pradesh to national attention and why one should elect him as their representative. For instance, he explained how he brought about nomenclature change of Nyishi from Dafla, an issue pending since 1978, by coaxing the member of parliaments to the 2/3 majority to pass the Bill.

But as expected, he however, didn't fail to utilize the opportunity to take a dig at the Congress either. He questioned, when the Congress government is not able to enhance the GB honorarium, enhance the minimum wages of the labor which is apparently lowest in the country and when they are not able to implement 6th Pay Commission Recommendation due to fund crunch, from where did they generated INR 3 billion to be distributed to the voters to defeat him in this Lok Sabha Election? And why the Congress is so afraid of this ‘one man army’ so as to utilize money and muscle power when they say that peoples’ support is there for the party and the party is backed by 60 MLA’s? “Let’s fight the election in a democratic way by winning the peoples’ heart with one’s performance and not with money and muscle power”, said Rijiju.

It was soothing to ears to hear him say that it’s time that people become aware, aware of their rights and challenge the government when the funds are misappropriated and make them accountable. It’s time people distance themselves from petty ‘money’ politics and elect the right representatives. It’s time people bring about change and reverse the attitude that government is above the people. Only when people are able to make government realize that it is for the people, of the people and by the people then only we would be able to see the development in Arunachal in a true sense.

Rightly said Mr. Rijiju. It’s indeed right time that we became aware. Time to introspect and see who would be the right candidate to represent us in the parliament irrespective of the party affiliation. It’s the right time we bring about change by exercising our rights and electing the right candidate. If we are able to send the right candidate to the parliament, it would be one step towards change, towards taking Arunachal in a developmental path.

So guys, have you decided your right candidate?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Provision for online processing and application for ILP to enter Arunachal Pradesh, soon

Apart from poor infrastructure and lack of knowledge about the region it was always thought that one of the major deterrents to tourists intending to visit Arunachal Pradesh has been the cumbersome and complex entry formalities.

The other day one of the readers of AD commented why not provision for applying and processing ILP be made online? And as if his thought had been heard, the Government is contemplating putting into place the online processing and application of ILP just after the Lok Sabha elections.

State tourism department sources said the Central government has given the go-ahead to it for setting up an online system to process and clear permits, a move, they said, will bring rich dividends to the state known for its mountains and monasteries. Visitors entering Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram need the inner-line permit issued by the respective State governments.

The permits were presently being obtained after filling up necessary formalities at designated offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati besides others. The department has already made a blue-print for the project and the real work on the schem e will start soon after the Lok Sabha elections, sources said. (Source: The Hindu Business Line)

Hope the blue-print of this scheme includes online tracking of the application too, which would help the potential visitors to finalize their itinerary. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Election Agenda of BJP Candidate from Arunachal for Lok Sabha Polls

I was quite appreciative of the initiative of 'The Arunachal Times' to let the citizen know about their candidates for better decision making this Lok Sabha Election, when they started a series called 'Know your Candidate'. However, after carrying a series on INC candidates namely, Takam Sanjoy and Ninong Ering who are in the fray for LS seats from Arunachal (West) and Arunachal (East) constituency respectively, they altogether discontinued their series; well, this was what I felt having waited...waited and still waiting for the article on other party candidates vying for the 2 LS seats, in their 'Know your Candidate' series. This has made me wonder if this local daily is affiliated to particular political party and is not unbiased in their reporting as was thought of earlier. But then, this didn't come as a surprise either considering the fact that most of the major national media are affiliated to one political party or the other.

Now, having gone through the election agenda of INC candidates for Lok Sabha seats from Arunachal earlier, let's see what BJP candidates has to offer if they are elected to represent us in the parliament.

In an advertorial appearing in 'Arunachal Front' Kiren Rijiju, the BJP candidate from Arunachal (West) has to say:

Vote NDA to Power and I assure the following commitments for Arunachal Pradesh:
  1. Complete payment of 36 months arrears for Government Employees as per 6th pay commission recommendation.
  2. Regularisation of services under SSA.
  3. Creation of Labour Welfare Fund.
  4. Declaration of special status for Arunachal Pradesh for fast development.
  5. Enhancement of Gaon Burah Honorarium
  6. Enhancement of Student's stipend.
After the discontentment of state employees over the implementation of 6th Pay Commission recommendation, this issue seem to have become 'hot cake' among various political parties with each party trying to make the most out of this issue by promising to implement the 6th Pay Commission Recommendation in toto, if voted to power. And with more than 85,000 state workforce along with their family members and relatives (which equates to a large chunk of votes), no wonder if prospective candidates are trying to woo them with their promise.

Like INC agenda, it appears that the agenda of BJP is also more of a political rhetoric than that can be achieved or fulfilled in reality with no logical instances on how they are going to achieve it.

For instance, how's BJP going to implement 6th CPC recommendation in toto if they are voted to power? Considering the financial crunch the state is in, are they planning to divert 'Peace and Green Bonus' to pay the arrears? But then, would the people allow it?

No doubt the services of the SSA teachers are required and indeed calls for their regularization but, how they are going to pay for the regularized SSA teachers? How they are going to mitigate the 90% funding from Center for this initiative when SSA teachers' are regularized? Is there any action plan?

I only wished if the politicians instead of giving their political rhetoric convince us with proper action plan that they are going to adopt if voted to power, to make Arunachal Pradesh developed, self-reliant and prosperous.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tawang Monastery named 'The Spiritual Wonder of India'

Tawang Monastery has been named 'The Spiritual Wonder of India' along with Taj Mahal and Golden Temple which has been named 'The Wonder of India' and 'Peace and Harmony Wonder of India' respectively in the finals of '7 Wonders of India'

The year long campaign initiated by NDTV in association with Union Tourism Ministry to unravel the 7 best natural and man-made marvels in the country came to an end with the announcement of 7 Wonders of India at a gala ceremony held at Delhi on Monday, the 30th of March.

The '7 Wonders of India' chosen through nationwide poll are:

  1. Sun Temple, Konark
  2. Khajuraho
  3. Red Fort, Delhi
  4. Jaisalmer Fort
  5. Meenakshi Temple
  6. Nalanda University
  7. Dholavira site.

Arunachal Diary thank all it's reader who had voted for Tawang Monastery in the race for '7 Wonders of India'.

Eight candidates in fray for two LS seats in Arunachal

Here is the (final) list of candidates who would be vying for 2 LS seats in Arunachal, (that is if they don't withdraw their nominations by tomorrow):

Arunachal (West)
  1. Kiren Rijiju (BJP)
  2. Takam Sanjay (INC)
  3. Taba Taku (Lok Bharati)
  4. Subu Kechi (Independent)

Arunachal (East)

  1. Tapir Gao (BJP)
  2. Ninong Ering (INC)
  3. Lowangcha Wanglat (AC)
  4. Dr. Samson Borang (PPA)