The government's May Day function in the national capital began with Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar asking a gathering to take an oath of cleanliness, in line with the government's pet Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programme. The audience stood up to read out from a piece of paper, kept on each seat, with the oath written in Hindi. The audience pledged to devote two hours to cleanliness-related work every week and also convince 100 other people to take the same oath. As the crowd dispersed at the end of the event, the oath papers were found lying here and there — and on some of the seats just vacated.
The autobiographical work of former Supreme Court judge, Markandey Katju, has just hit the stands with a teasing title, Whither Indian Judiciary. He has anecdotes for all seasons, especially for now. Here are two: When he wrote a judgment on reservation while he was in the Allahabad High Court, the SC/ST were incensed, his effigies were burnt, and president of Lok Janshakti Party Ram Vilas Paswan initiated an impeachment motion with his supporting MPs. The family of the judge was scared and he himself stopped his walks and was tied to his house till the storm blew over. He also quotes former Supreme Court judge, Ruma Pal, who listed seven sins of the judiciary. The third one is the “best kept secret in the country”: The process of selecting high court judges and their elevation to the Supreme Court.
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On May Day, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, offered a peek into his role as a trade union leader. During a function to mark the International Workers' Day, Gadkari told a gathering that he had set up a labour union when he was the Bharatiya Janata Party president. The union has over 200,000 members and Gadkari is still associated with it. He also confessed that he had once represented textile workers as part of the Congress-affiliated Indian National Trade Union Congress. “It became controversial after some objected to the fact that a BJP leader had joined a Congress trade union,” he said.