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Supreme Court judges: Democracy is in danger pointing to partisan behaviour of Chief Justice of India



Supreme Court Judges

In an unprecedented move, four top Supreme Court judges have come out in open sharply criticising the way in which the judicial appointments are being made and selective distribution of cases is being done in a skewed fashion and when they intimated their grievances to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, he acted in a partisan manner.

In the first ever new conference by sitting judges, They warned that democracy is under threat.

The Supreme Court’s four senior-most judges – Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph – said that the administration of the Apex court ” is  not in order”

In a letter to the Chief Justice that was made public, the four judges underlined that an independent judiciary is essential for a functioning democracy. “We don’t want wise men saying 20 years from now that Justice Chelameswar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph sold their souls and didn’t do the right thing by our Constitution,” Justice Chelameswar said.

The most significant thing in their grievances was the selective assignment of cases in the Supreme Court to the benches of their preference without any rational basis for such assignment. The Honnourable judges even went on to record in their letter that there are other matters which they will raise later.

Their main aim is to preserve the independence and integrity of Judiciary which is the pillar of the democracy. In other words, the doctrine of Separation of Powers has been implicitly recognised by the Indian Constitution. .They has also pointed out that this debate is being addressed to the nation and not the government. This comes as a big embarrassment to the BJP ruled government at the centre. The Honourable Judges have also specifically highlighted  The long silence of the Government of India to the Memorandum of Procedure that was finalised by the Supreme Court.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 27 failed to comprehend the spirit of the Constitution while “describing the  Legislature, Judiciary and Executive as the members of the same family.”

Congress President Rahul Gandhi stated “important issues have been raised by the four Supreme Court judges. This has never happened before…Even Justice Loya’s death needs to be investigated properly by the apex court judges. All citizens who love the idea of justice are looking at this issue and it needs to be addressed.”

Meanwhile, the Honourable Judges referred to the PIL concerning the death of Judge Loya, which the family of Judge Loya believes was under suspicious circumstances. judge B. Loya, who died in December 2014 who was hearing case that accused Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah of ordering extrajudicial killings when he served as home minister under Modi in the state of Gujarat. Shah has since been acquitted of those charges.

In September  Justice Jayant Patel resigned as a judge of the Karnataka high court .Justice Patel directed a CBI investigation into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case (when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat)when he was the acting chief justice of the Gujarat high court. Another Justice CS Karnan was the first sitting high court judge in India to face a jail term.The former judge was found guilty of making allegations against fellow judges

The incident will have far reaching consequences as it will damage the reputation of India as a functioning democracy.


Afghan government’s peace offer to Taliban

China and the European Union believe the Taliban should accept Ghani’s offer to recognize the movement as a legitimate political group.



Ashraf Ghani

US is concerned over the increasing number of high-profile attacks in Kabul orchestrated by Taliban that is aimed at undermining the Afghan government and international resolve to bring peace to war-torn Afghanistan after 16 years of war as Jakarta is preparing to host a trilateral conference where religious scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia would seek to establish peace and security, and the end of terrorism.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has assured unconditional talks to the Taliban and offered to recognize the group as a political party. The president also offered to provide passports to Taliban members and their families, along with an office in Kabul, but the Afghan Taliban remains skeptical about the Indonesia conference.

Kabul is our main effort. To harden Kabul, to protect the people of Kabul and the international community that are here,” US General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan stated.

To defeat ISIS and Taliban, Washington has shifted resources from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan by adopting the regional approach, Considering the complexities of political realities in Afghanistan, US is working to achieve a reconciliation, a political reconciliation, not a military victory.

As regards with strategic framework of U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s South Asia strategy unveiled in August 2017, it was hoped that Ghani would embark on a path toward more inclusive politics by shaping a broad-based consensus to prepare the grounds for the success of the new U.S. strategy.

General John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan said the United States held a series of private talks with Pakistani officials about the elimination of insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan.

US asserted that the recent pressure applied to Pakistan has not resulted in the reduction of violence in Afghanistan and reiterated that Washington will take steps to cut the aid coming from Pakistan to the Taliban and other groups.

Meanwhile, Head of Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has called on the Taliban to accept government’s peace offer.Hekmatyar said he has sent a peace outline to government and to the Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada and asked him to use the opportunity and join the peace process.

According to Hekmatyar, war is of no benefit to anyone and only the Afghan people are victims of the ongoing conflict. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO’s support of an Afghan-led peace deal. “I commend President Ghani for his courageous leadership. His offer to the Taliban is the clearest invitation to peace yet. So I call on the Taliban to come to the negotiating table. There is an opportunity now to end the conflict”, he added.

China and the European Union believe the Taliban should accept Ghani’s offer to recognize the movement as a legitimate political group.

Arti Bali

Sr Journalist

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Congress plenary sets stage for keen, bitter contest with BJP in 2019

The Congress has suffered a string of reverses after its debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but its performance in Guajarat assembly polls and victory in Lok Sabha bypolls in Rajasthan has boosted the morale of party workers.



Rahul Sonia

The Congress made a strenuous effort to energise its workers for the electoral battles ahead at the party plenary that concluded on Sunday, pitching itself as the real alternative to BJP while also expressing its willingness to cooperate with like-minded parties to unseat the Modi government in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The session, with fiery speeches of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, gave an inkling that the 2019 battle will be keenly fought and the campaign could get bitter as the election approaches.

The Congress gave indications that it will run a relentless campaign, try to set the agenda for the polls ahead and seek to put the Modi government on the defensive on various issues.

Amid calls for sustained hard work to make Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister in 2019, the party signalled it would not shirking from a presidential-style contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Image result for congress plenary

Much will depend on the outcome of the verdict in states going to the polls this year — Karanataka first and Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh later this year. Except for Karnataka, the Congress and BJP are locked in a direct contest in the three other states.

The three-day plenary took place at a time when efforts are underway to forge a third front of parties opposed to BJP as also the Congress.

The speeches and the resolutions adopted at the plenary were a reaffirmation of the Congress claim of being the natural leader of the grouping of anti-BJP parties.

The Congress faces a stupendous challenge of building a counter-narrative against Modi to weaken his credibility among the people, win back sections that have drifted away and match the BJP’s deftness as a poll-fighting machine.

But it also has a natural advantage as a challenger to the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and to the Modi government in 2019. In these battles, the BJP will be tasked with defending performance of its governments and beat anti-incumbency.

Image result for congress plenary

The Congress is also keen to make Modi’s 2014 pitch of “acche din” an albatross around the BJP’s neck.

Rahul Gandhi, who took over as party chief in December from his mother Sonia Gandhi, sought to energise the party rank and file and promised to address their grouse that well-connected within the party often “parachute” down at the time of ticket allocation at the cost of genuine, dedicated workers.

He also promised to make party leaders more accessible to workers by breaking the “walls” and giving more tickets to the youth.

With several state units plagued by factionalism, Gandhi indicated that he would enforce discipline so that party’s effort at winning elections is not wrecked in any way.

He framed the 2019 battle as a fight for truth by the Congress and for power by the BJP — likening it to the clash between the Pandavas and the Kauravas during the Mahabharata battle.

The “worker-centric” gathering was held in a different format than the past plenaries with leaders were not seated on the stage.

Image result for congress plenary

Rahul Gandhi said he had kept the stage empty for talented youth from within the party and outside.

Sonia Gandhi exhorted party rank and file not to think of personal egos and ambitions and work with determination to face challenges that are not ordinary.

While the party’s political resolution talked of adopting a pragmatic approach for cooperation with all like-minded parties and evolving a common workable programme to defeat the BJP-RSS in the 2019 elections, its leaders, in their speeches, exhorted workers to work for party’s victory in the general elections.

They also said that Congress was the only party that can reverse the “ill-effects” of BJP’s economic policies.

There was hope that Rahul Gandhi would unfurl the Tricolour from the Red Fort in 2019.
There was also hope that Congress will “once again” become a party that represents the aspirations and expectations of all the communities and is the anchor of the political and social dialogue.

While the party’s four comprehensive resolutions – political, economic, foreign affairs and on `agriculture, unemployment and poverty alleviation’ sought to address concerns of various sections of society, Rahul Gandhi, in his concluding speech, focused on youth and farmers – two sections that are perceived to be getting disenchanted with the Modi government and represent a vast section of population.

More than half of country’s population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood and almost two-third of population is below the age of 35.

The Congress has suffered a string of reverses after its debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but its performance in Guajarat assembly polls and victory in Lok Sabha bypolls in Rajasthan has boosted the morale of party workers.

By : Prashant Sood

(Prashant Sood can be contacted at [email protected])

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5 Spaces in your home that could do with great art



Home decoration plants


Your home is an expression of your own self. It reflects your taste, likes and personality. It speaks for you even when you’re not there. And when it comes to making a statement, nothing works better than a set of carefully curated artworks. Here’s a brief rundown on what works best for different areas of your home.


The most intimate of spaces, your bedroom is where you head to after calling it a day. A zone of comfort, tranquility and relaxation, the artworks you choose should evoke the same. Go for gentle colours, abstract forms or beautiful landscapes that will soothe your senses and put you at ease.

Living Room

The space for gatherings, celebrations, parties and movie marathons. In short, the liveliest space in your entire home. Go with pop art if you want to maintain a fun or irreverent vibe. Or a limited edition abstract piece if you want to intrigue guests and start conversations. And if you’re a traveler, a cluster of your dream destinations taking up an entire wall can work out great too. This is the space where you can let your imagination run wild. So go for it, we say!

Kids’ Room

Art plays an important role in developing the imagination of children and introducing them to ideas like beauty and aesthetics. While cartoon characters are an obvious choice for most, themes like wildlife, landscapes and colorful patterns open up a whole new range of options. And if nothing, framing your kids’ doodles and sketches is always a winning idea.

Dining room

After the living room, this is that one space where your family ends up spending time together every day. While the most popular option is photos or paintings of fruits and other food items, it has also become somewhat of a cliché. Instead, try going for something that symbolizes togetherness, well-being and family. Can be pieces of beautiful typography, portraits, graphic design or a play on colours.

Guest Room

There’s one cardinal rule when choosing art for this space: it should make your guests feel cozy, comfortable and at home. Go for warm colours and pick a theme that is universal, like music or nature. Bottomline is, it should feel welcoming instead of confusing or intimidating, all the while feeling like an integral part of your home.

So how to get hold of all this art?

Now that you have an idea of what you need, the question is how to go about sourcing them. You can always pay the galleries in your town a visit to see if they have something that suits your needs. You can even go online to check out various online outlets that sell various kinds of artworks. If there’s any specific artist or photographer you like, you can try looking for works on their websites. A lot of artists have their own online stores nowadays. Apart from these, there are new services like art-on-subscription that let you explore and experience different artworks for a small subscription amount every month. “Homes should be as vibrant and dynamic as those who live in them. When you don’t have to invest in buying an artwork but can instead keep refreshing them at regular intervals, the possibilities are endless,” says Rahul Singh Yadav, Head of Designat Floating Canvas Company, India’s first art-on-subscription service.

All set then? Get started!

About Floating Canvas Company

Floating Canvas Company ( is India’s first art-on-subscription service. Based in Mumbai, it was founded by Aagam Mehta, Shakti Swarup Sahu and Rahul Singh Yadav with one simple aim: to redefine the way art is discovered, experienced and shared.

No one actually hates the idea of exploring and experiencing good art. In fact, most people appreciate the positive effects of being surrounded by them – be it at home or work.

But there were two roadblocks:

1. The significant investment involved in buying a piece of art

2. The fear of growing out of it in a year or two. And then being stuck with it.

And that’s how to idea of merging art and subscription came about.

Select. Subscribe. Switch.

With Floating Canvas Company, exploring and experiencing quality art is now just 3 easy steps away.

1. Select what you like from their curated collection of paintings, limited edition prints, digital art, photographs and mixed media artworks.

2. Subscribe for as little as Rs. 90/month

3. Switch it six months down the line if you feel like exploring something else.

Floating Canvas Company just launched their website that lets consumers subscribe to their favourite works in an easy, hassle-free manner. Though they are currently serving only Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmadabad and Kolkata, they plan to expand operations and serve pan-India in the coming months.

Apart from individual consumers, Floating Canvas Company is also focusing on catering to enterprises. With studies highlighting a host of positive effects that art has on employees and patrons, they believe they have a compelling proposition in place for verticals like hospitality, real estate, healthcare, corporate workspaces and more. From art consultants and managers to assist with everything from curation and installation to subscription management, it’s an offering that enterprises should definitely consider to enliven their spaces.

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