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SY QURAISHI- RIGHT TO RECALL IS IMPRACTICAL

S.Y Quraishi is a former Chief Election Eommissioner (CEC) of India. He speaks to Ambreen Zaidi on elections, youth affairs and much more. Few excerpts:

AZ: You championed the cause of putting a stop to paid news, so far nothing major has happened, what do you have to say to it?
SYQ: It is not as if nothing has happened, a lot constructive steps have been taken. A Media Monitoring Committee has been set up. Notices have been served to those found guilty. In the process a lot of confessions also came forward. Action was taken against the 70 to 80% of candidates who admitted that they paid for the news to be published against them. It is a 2 years imprisonment proposal, which has been suggested to the government
AZ: In the process you made quite a number of enemies?
SYQ: Not really. All are victims of paid news, including the members of ruling party.
AZ: How can we curb the menace of use of Black money during elections?
SYQ: An Expenditure Monitoring Commissioner has been appointed, who is Director General of Commission of Income Tax. He will be keeping a tab on this along with his team. But to tell you honestly, black money s not easy to eliminate. But this step will surely make a difference.
AZ: You were quite against the Right to Recall and Right to Reject, why?
SYQ: Right to Recall is impractical. The way Indian laws are abused, this will pave way for more chaos, cheating and harassment. Every loser is bitter, so he will immediately start a hate campaign and start Right to Recall against the winner. Imagine, You won a Member of Parliament election with 4 Lakh votes and your rival got only 3.5 Lakh votes. So he starts a signature campaign against you and gets, say, 25,000 signatures against you, what will you do and who will verify those signatures?
Right to Reject can be considered. I met Anna Hazare also regarding these issues, a couple of times. But then again there is a possibility of its misuse is also pretty high. You elect a candidate, rival party convinces you to reject him, you impose Right to Recall, there’ll be more election and then again the cycle will be repeated. For example, a candidate has put in 10 crore rupees for his election campaign, he wins too, but after few months he is rejected what will he do? There will be more and more elections and who is at loss, the common Indian citizen, the tax payer.
AZ: You have worked on a lot of Youth development programs, today’s youth is quite confused and disoriented, what can we do about it?
SYQ: They need to be guided, in a proper way. We need to hold seminars, spread awareness and tell them that they have the power and control as a voter. Once you reach the age of 18years, come out and vote. Don’t be cynical. Don’t think that ‘Sab Chor Hain’. They need participate in the political process ethically.

AZ: As a first Muslim CEC of India, you motivated a lot of Muslim youth, why do you think they lack more active participation in each field?
SYZ: Our education base is weak, we have a large number of illiterate youth, there are so many government schemes and services but they have no idea. They need to recognize their potential and educated and aware Muslims should come forward to inspire them, create awareness. There is a fear amongst them that they’ll be rejected etc. But they should look at the good examples also. For this we all need to come together. And help them rather force them not to become inactive.

AZ: Lastly, Sir your message for the people of India.
SYZ: They should know the difference between the facts and the hate campaigns, which divide the nation on the basis of religion. It’s not good for people to live in fear it will burn you from inside. It will harm you more than your object of hate. Any two communities living with hatred against each other is not good for the children who are the future of the nation, citizens and also India as a country.
S.Y Quraishi is a former Chief Election Eommissioner (CEC) of India. He speaks to Ambreen Zaidi on elections, youth affairs and much more. Few excerpts:

AZ: You championed the cause of putting a stop to paid news, so far nothing major has happened, what do you have to say to it?
SYQ: It is not as if nothing has happened, a lot constructive steps have been taken. A Media Monitoring Committee has been set up. Notices have been served to those found guilty. In the process a lot of confessions also came forward. Action was taken against the 70 to 80% of candidates who admitted that they paid for the news to be published against them. It is a 2 years imprisonment proposal, which has been suggested to the government
AZ: In the process you made quite a number of enemies?
SYQ: Not really. All are victims of paid news, including the members of ruling party.
AZ: How can we curb the menace of use of Black money during elections?
SYQ: An Expenditure Monitoring Commissioner has been appointed, who is Director General of Commission of Income Tax. He will be keeping a tab on this along with his team. But to tell you honestly, black money s not easy to eliminate. But this step will surely make a difference.
AZ: You were quite against the Right to Recall and Right to Reject, why?
SYQ: Right to Recall is impractical. The way Indian laws are abused, this will pave way for more chaos, cheating and harassment. Every loser is bitter, so he will immediately start a hate campaign and start Right to Recall against the winner. Imagine, You won a Member of Parliament election with 4 Lakh votes and your rival got only 3.5 Lakh votes. So he starts a signature campaign against you and gets, say, 25,000 signatures against you, what will you do and who will verify those signatures?
Right to Reject can be considered. I met Anna Hazare also regarding these issues, a couple of times. But then again there is a possibility of its misuse is also pretty high. You elect a candidate, rival party convinces you to reject him, you impose Right to Recall, there’ll be more election and then again the cycle will be repeated. For example, a candidate has put in 10 crore rupees for his election campaign, he wins too, but after few months he is rejected what will he do? There will be more and more elections and who is at loss, the common Indian citizen, the tax payer.
AZ: You have worked on a lot of Youth development programs, today’s youth is quite confused and disoriented, what can we do about it?
SYQ: They need to be guided, in a proper way. We need to hold seminars, spread awareness and tell them that they have the power and control as a voter. Once you reach the age of 18years, come out and vote. Don’t be cynical. Don’t think that ‘Sab Chor Hain’. They need participate in the political process ethically.

AZ: As a first Muslim CEC of India, you motivated a lot of Muslim youth, why do you think they lack more active participation in each field?
SYZ: Our education base is weak, we have a large number of illiterate youth, there are so many government schemes and services but they have no idea. They need to recognize their potential and educated and aware Muslims should come forward to inspire them, create awareness. There is a fear amongst them that they’ll be rejected etc. But they should look at the good examples also. For this we all need to come together. And help them rather force them not to become inactive.

AZ: Lastly, Sir your message for the people of India.
SYZ: They should know the difference between the facts and the hate campaigns, which divide the nation on the basis of religion. It’s not good for people to live in fear it will burn you from inside. It will harm you more than your object of hate. Any two communities living with hatred against each other is not good for the children who are the future of the nation, citizens and also India as a country.

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Ambreen Zaidi

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Maharashtra ,  INDIA

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