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The Guarantee Card

We citizens are all too familiar with the manifestos brought out by the various political parties during the elections.  However, most of these party manifestos appear to have one thing in common – after a particular party wins the election, the party manifesto is forgotten all together. The Aam Admi Party (AAP) has come up with a novel way to make the government answerable to the electorate which has elected it. Instead of the usual party manifesto, the AAP released a ‘guarantee card’ in the run up to the Delhi Assembly elections. The ‘Kejriwal ka Guarantee Card’ has ten guarantees mentioned in it which includes uninterrupted power supply and other basic facilities including a promise to reduce Delhi’s air pollution by three times. It is understood that immediately after assuming power, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with his cabinet colleagues and top officers to discuss the implementation of the ‘10 guarantees.’ Other political parties need to follow in the footsteps of the AAP and replace their party manifestos announced during elections with ‘guarantee cards.’ According to the Oxford dictionary  ‘guarantee card’ is a written promise that something will be done or happen, while a manifesto is a written statement of aims and beliefs of a political party.              


Injustice to Wriddhiman Saha

While making a comeback to the Test eleven after a gap of more than one and half year,  Wriddhiman Saha had excelled himself as wicketkeeper in the 5 home Tests. Be it in Vishakapatnam or Pune Test against South Africa or in the historic Test at Eden Gardens versus Bangladesh while negotiating the highly mysterious pink ball, Saha had excelled himself behind the stumps with superman resembling acrobatics, drawing deluge of praise from the Who’s Who of the cricketing world – most of them terming him as currently the best wicketkeeper of the world. When there should have been no question of thinking anybody other than Saha in white clothing, again he has been made to sit out in dressing room for the Wellington Test against New Zealand (just as happened during 2019 Caribbean tour) on the pretext that Rishav Pant is a ‘better batsman’ than him. What a scandalous excuse furnished in order to award step-motherly treatment to the consistently proven performer! What an insult and psychological assault heaped upon Saha despite delivering his best in all circumstances! Apart from cracking three Test centuries and number of half centuries in home as well as in alien conditions that too most often coming up with match-winning or match-saving knocks, Saha averages more than 30 which is absolute satisfactory for a wicketkeeper, especially, when most often the time he is made to bat so lower down the order at No 7 or 8. And, in recent times, either innings is being declared before Saha comes out to bat or he is stranded not out with all the tailenders gone back to pavilion.  So, how can Saha succeed in constructing a long innings?  Yet if consistent big scores are demanded from Saha, then the team management should at least promote him to the position of three-down! And, this batting obsession directly implies that the team management takes the highly crucial skill of wicket-keeping for granted which is nothing but a highly suicidal line of thinking! When Saha should have been convincingly assured of his place in the Test eleven for a long time to come just for his specialisation in wicket-keeping skills, this casual attitude on the part of management will only make him always wary of his place in the team.

Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkatta

Striking The ‘Right’ Balance

Quite unlike the resolve shown by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team to ignore the resolute demands from various quarters for repealing the CAA, the regularity with which the Chief Minister of Goa has been withdrawing ‘promulgations’ made by him under pressure from the Opposition parties does indeed come as a big surprise. The North Goa district administration has withdrawn Section 144 of the CrPC banning unlawful assembly of people which was imposed earlier after intelligence inputs about possible terror threat along the western coast. Although the Opposition parties were right in questioning the security restrictions ordered by the state administration on large gatherings ahead of the Carnival festivities as it would adversely affect the tourism industry, it is astonishing to have the CM wilting under pressure so easily. Despite the overwhelming ‘majority’ that he enjoys in the House, would a handful of Opposition legislators and their ‘histrionics’ actually unsettle him! Just recently, following a strong objection from the civil society, VPs and opposition parties, the Sawant-led government hurriedly withdrew the controversial order notifying urban status to 56 villages under the Goa Land Revenue Code, 1968. To add further to the unease; the Archbishop of Goa has urged the central government to ‘immediately and unconditionally revoke the CAA and desist from implementing the NCR and the NPR’, and stop quashing ‘the right to dissent’. Although the divide in the cabinet on this issue is quite obvious, the Church’s stand will severely dent the political fortunes of the eight Congress turncoats who joined the BJP in July last year. Hence the urgent meeting sought by the CM with the Archbishop appears to be the reactions of a harried leader who senses matters slipping out of his hands. And now, the state government’s ‘technical ground’ explanation notwithstanding; the CM’s critics claim the nod by the SC allowing the Karnataka government plea that the Mhadei tribunal award be notified by the central government is a definite setback for the government. Succumbing to pressure from the Centre, he stands accused of compromising on the contentious issue. PACHU MENON, Margao

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