Tuesday, February 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



VHP carrying out hidden BJP agenda

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) unreasonably claims to have become the sole representative of the Hindu elites (who constitute a thin minority in Hindu society) who wish to revive the Brahminical hegemony and the dominance of the upper castes in the present-day India in the name of Lord Rama and the Ram temple. The VHP intends to conscript all Hindus into its religious campaigns.

A senior VHP leader, Mr Giriraj Kishore, has said: “We are ready to sacrifice even 10 governments. But no compromise on the Ram temple issue”. Many speakers at the rally told the people: “Adalat, adalat mat bako”.

Actually they plan to occupy the site on which the Babri mosque once stood and render any future court verdict infructuous. In response to the VHP rally, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, has asked the Law Minister, Mr Arun Kumar Jaitley, to study “the legal and constitutional aspects” of handing over the land acquired by the government in 1993 to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad controlled trust.

This ill-thought and hasty response lends a sort of legitimacy to the undemocratic and objectionable demands of the VHP. Doesn’t the VHP have time to think about the burning problems of the masses like rising prices, poverty and unemployment? The BJP leadership also has indulged in double-speak and useless rhetoric on the issue. The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, has asserted that the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya “was very much on the agenda of the BJP “but it has been kept on the back-burner keeping in view the sentiments of the NDA allies.


This categorical statement has boosted the morale of the organisers of the “Sant-chetavani (warning) yatra” to a great extent. In fact, the BJP is trying to get its hidden agenda implemented through the backdoor. The VHP has a deep contempt towards the law of the land and the Constitution. It is hell-bent upon tearing apart the secular and democratic structure of the country. If the so-called “sants” (who are actually the VHP activists) are, in no mood, to respect the court verdict, then other highly aggrieved sections of the Indian populace (particularly the have-nots and dalits) will also lose their faith in the Supreme Court. This sort of utter contempt towards the established institutions of democracy will certainly create an atmosphere of anarchy and instability throughout the country. It will weaken our national unity also.


Befooling voters

The election campaign in Punjab has come to be focused on a single question: which party is most corrupt — the Congress, the BJP or SAD?

It is interesting to note that the BJP government has not convicted a single Congress politician all these years. This issue of corruption will be forgotten once these elections are over, just as it was forgotten after the last election.

Of course, to be revived at the next elections.

In the meantime, people’s attention stands diverted from the real issues. Why is Punjab, the most prosperous of the states till recently, on the verge of bankruptcy? Not to speak of milk and eggs, why even after 50 plus years of democracy, are the people not getting safe drinking water? Why is every village, every city, every mohalla and every home short of electric power in every season of the year? Why are industries closing down while industrialists prosper?

The tomato-processing factory at Zahura in Hoshiarpur owned by Hindustan Lever is the latest example. HIL will continue to earn profit in hundreds of crores while the tomato-growing farmers will suffer losses. Why is the government not able to pay the committed dues to its employees and pensioners?

Elections are not being fought on these issues because the government, the present one or the one that emerges after the elections, is incapable of solving these problems. Nor are they interested in trying to do that. Their one-item agenda is: befool the electorate.

L. R. SHARMA, Jalandhar

Income tax penalty

Mr R.N. Lakhotia has rightly suggested that the penalty for non-filing of return of income within the prescribed date should be Rs 1,000 (retrospectively as from the Ay: 2002-03). There will be controversies for many as to whether a person is liable to file return of income, particularly those falling under the 1/6 scheme. There will be many persons who have been allotted PAN, and they are ignorent enough to understand that they have to file return of income relating to Ay: 2002-03 for which the last date is 31.03.2002 without the penalty of Rs 5,000 as fixed in the Income Tax Act. The penalty should be Rs 2,000 for each delay where there is a second and subsequent delay. Many persons opt to file returns of earlier years. The number of such persons is increasing every year. The penalty @ Rs 5,000 per year of delay will be too much after 01.04.2004 when they decide to file their earlier returns.

The minimum amount of tax should be fixed at Rs. 1,000 per year. Assessable income up to Rs 60,000/-should be fully exempt.

For T.D.S. (u/s 196H) on the commission paid by airlines, travel agents have to apply for a lower deduction of income tax. They should be exempted from these provisions or T.D.S. @ 1% be fixed as against the prescribed rate of 10% which is far more than their assessable income. Huge sums by way of T.D.S. @ 10% will be locked up in their accounts. The department’s workload increases at the time of refunds.

Exporters should continue to avail deduction u/s 80HHC as relevant to Ay: 2001-02.

S. K. HANS, Jalandhar


I heard this on the mobile phone:

“Bush karenge nikah,

Dulhan hogi Osama bin Laden,

Dahej hoga Afghanistan,

Kanyadan karega Pakistan,

Barati hoga Hindustan,

Royega Taliban.”

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepur

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