Sunday, 22 January 2017

Deaths in Jallikattu
Some people are making a hue and cry because two people were allegedly killed in a Jallikattu.
Deaths are unfortunate, but happen in many activities. Should Diwali be banned because sometimes people die by fire due to the lamps or crackers ? Should boxing be banned because boxers are frequently injured and sometimes die. Should trucks, buses, motor cars, motor cycles or scooters be banned because sometimes people are killed or injured ? Should trains be banned In Orissa many people died recently because a train was derailed. Should flying on planes be banned. because sometimes aircrashes take place killing people on board? Should cricket, horse riding, etc be banned because sometimes people are injured, and occasionally even killed ?  People have sometimes been killed in stampedes during Kumbh Mela, Haj, etc. Should Kumbh Mela, Haj, etc be banned ? Where is the end to all this ?
My prediction of the coming years in India
Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav has formed an alliance with Congress, giving Congress 105 of the 403 U.P. Assembly seats.
This Alliance will probably win two third seats in the coming U.P. Assembly elections. I have already given my reasons in an earlier post.
Thereafter, by being routed in U.P. and Bihar, two big states in India, the graph of BJP will rapidly decline.
And as for the Superman who catapulted BJP into power in... 2014 by his superb dramatics and demagoguery, it will be appropriately said : " Punah mooshak bhav ". ( become a mouse again ).
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP will be decimated, and a mahagathbandhan consisting of several parties will come into power. But these constituent parties in the mahagathbandhan will all fight with each other for a bigger share of the pie or loaf, and chaos will follow.
Then a vacuum will be created, which will be filled in by an army coup. But the army, too, cannot solve the massive economic problems of unemployment, price rise, healthcare, etc in India, and more chaos will follow.
This is my prediction of the coming few years in India.
The Next Step Forward
Tamilians,
As I mentioned in an earlier fb post and blog ' Historical significance of the Jallikattu agitation ', you are showing the whole of India the correct path, and are giving leadership to the whole nation. Therefore a heavy responsibility falls on your shoulders.
You have achieved a glorious victory in the Jallikattu agitation, whose historical significance I have already pointed out. Its significance is that perhaps the first time after Independence a popular movement has cut through the barriers of caste and religion, and achieved victory.
Some people say that the Jallikattu Ordinance is only a temporary measure. It is true that an Ordinance issued by the Governor is only temporary, vide Article 213(2) of the Constitution of India. But the Tamilnadu Legislature is meeting tomorrow ( Monday, 23rd January ) and will replace the Ordinance by an Act, which will be permanent.
It is true that this Act may be challenged in the Court, but this challenge is unlikely to succeed, since the assent of the President has been obtained under Article 254(2). So the apprehensions of some people are really unfounded.
Now the question before you is what will be the next step you will take. As I said before, the whole Indian nation looks upto Tamilnadu for guidance, and therefore a heavy responsibility lies on you Tamilians. You must therefore not get carried away by your great victory, but should reflect carefully and soberly what should be your next step forward, because the whole of India is looking upto you, and may follow in your footsteps.
In this connection I may here present my own ideas for your consideration.
In my opinion, the time has now come in this country for Jansamitis (people's committees) to be formed in all cities and rural areas in India. People must now solve their own problems themselves, instead of depending on the government. Tamilnadu can lead the way in this connection.
First a Jansamiti should be formed in the cities of Tamilnadu by the people of those cities themselves. The method for doing so can be that every Mohalla in every city in Tamilnadu should elect a mohalla Jansamiti democratically which will have a term of six months only, after which a fresh election will be held, so that those who do not perform will not be re-elected.
This mohalla committee should nominate two of its members to the city Jansamiti, which will also have a term of six months only.
Presently most MPs and MLAs are elected for five years, but after getting elected, they forget about the problems of their constituencies and get busy in making money. So the term should be much shorter for the Jansamiti, with a right in the voters and mechanism to recall the elected representative for any misdeed even before his 6 month term is over
The Jansamitis or Mohalla Samitis should advise the ministers and officials of the Government to do what is needed to solve the people's problems. If the ministers or officials do not respond, the members of the Jansamitis and Mohalla Samitis should tell the people to hold peaceful demonstrations at the offices and residences of the ministers, MLAs and officials, and publicise it in the media. This is legally permissible, vide Article 19(1)(b) of the Constitution.
This will exercise immediate pressure on the ministers, MLAs and the officers.
Following the example of Tamilnadu, Jansamitis should be formed in all cities in In India.
If the government and its officers do not respond, the people should also stop paying taxes. After all, taxes are taken to be used for the people's welfare, not to be pilfered and looted by the politicians
Details about the manner of election and functioning of these jan samities should be worked out by the people themselves using their creativity.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Historical significance of the Jallikattu agitation
Most people in India, and perhaps even Tamilians, would not be realizing the historical significance of the victory of the Tamil people over the Jallikattu issue. They may think it was a matter confined to Jallikattu and confined to Tamilnadu. They may think it has nothing to do with the massive challenges India faces of abolishing poverty, unemployment, lack of healthcare, nutrition, good education, etc. .
But in fact the popular Jallikattu agitation or uprising, and the victory of the Tamil people, has significance for the whole of india and is far beyond bull taming ( or bull embracing ). It is a spark which will light the flame which will spread throughout the country, and is the first step in solving all our major problems.
The victory of the Jallikattu agitation shows that when hundreds of thousands of people rise unitedly like a typhoon or tornado it becomes a force so powerful and so swift that no power on earth can resist it.
I myself used to often get pessimistic seeing our people divided on the lines of caste, religion, region, etc. I wondered whether the Indian people can or will ever unite, rising above caste, religion, region,etc to face our huge challenges. The significance of the Jallikattu agitation is that it cut through caste and religious barriers. In fact it even cut through the the national border as Indians in many parts of the world supported it.
Thus the victory of the Tamil people is a victory for all Indians. It has shown that we Indians can unite, as we must, if we are to solve our massive problems.
The Jallikattu agitation has thus shown the path which we Indians must follow. We must unite, and not remain divided ( though our enemies will make every effort to divide us on caste, religious and regional lines ), if we are to ever solve India's problems.
The Jallikattu agitation was a spontaneous uprising. The agitators rightly refused to allow politicians to intervene, as most of our present politicians are utterly selfish and unpatriotic. In many places the police was unleashed on them, but they were undeterred, undaunted and resolute..
The Tamil people have thus given leadership to the whole country, and have shown the correct path to the whole nation that we must unite to face our massive challenges.
Long live the Tamil people !
Tamil makkal vazhga !

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Proposed speech at Hindu College, Delhi on 19th January---Part 3
 A question arises what is a Constitution, why have a Constitution, and what is its purpose ?
A Constitution is the fundamental law of the land. It is a social countract by which a country is governed.
 Every society must have a system of governance. Since man is a gregarious creature, and cannot survive alone,  every community of men and women had to have an organization with a system of governance, e.g. leaders, advisers, etc. Even ancient tribal societies had a system of governance, i.e. a Constitution, with tribal chiefs, etc, though these were unwritten Constitutions, created by custom. Ancient and medieval communities all had unwritten Constitutions, and even today England has a largely unwritten Constitution..
 The first and main purpose of a Constitution is to set up the organs of power. Today these organs are the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the army, police, bureaucracy, etc.That is why a Constitution is sometimes called the organic law of the land. The Constitution defines the powers and duties of these organs,e.g. the power of taxation in Parliament
 We may consider the historical growth of the English Constitution in modern times, since many of our Constitutional principles have been derived from England.
The Tudor monarchs, from Henry the Seventh, who became King of England in 1485, till the death of Elizabeth 1 who died in 1603. were absolute rulers. The struggle between King and Parliament was in reign of the subsequent Stuart Kings, the first Stuart King being James 1 who became King in 1603. It is not necessary to mention here about these struggles between King and Parliament, and suffice it to say that eventually in this struggle the Glorious Revolution of 1688 established that it was Parliament which was supreme, not the King. In the Bill of Rights of 1689, which was assented to by the new King William, it was laid down that the King could not violate the law and raise taxes or troops without the consent of Parliament. The precedent of 1688 established that Parliament could even transfer the Crown from one head to another, something inconceivable earlier.
 But the Bill of Rights of 1689 only transferred sovereignty from King to Parliament. It did not give any rights to the people. It was John Locke's ' Second Treatise of Civil Government ' of 1689 which for the first time in history said that there were certain ' natural rights ' of citizens, which citizens had by the very fact of being born citizens, and which even the King could not violate.
 This theory of John Locke was in contrast to the earlier theory of Thomas Hobbes ( in his book 'Leviathan' ) which said that the King's sovereignty was absolute. Locke, on the other hand, said that the King's sovereignty was not absolute but  limited. Limited by what ? Limited by the natural rights of citizens which even the king could not violate.
 It was this theory of natural rights of John Locke which became the basis of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution of 1791, the Declaration of the Rights of Man passed by the French National Assembly in 1789 during the French Revolution, and our own Part 3 of the Indian Constitution, the Part which lays down certain Fundamental Rights of citizens which even Parliament cannot violate, e.g. right to life, freedom of speech, equality, liberty, freedom of religion, etc.
What was the need for providing such fundamental rights in the Constitution ? The need was because it was realized by the Constitution makers that though Parliament was elected by the people, and was therefore expected to represent the interests of the people, yet there may be occasions when Parliament itself may become despotic, oppressive and anti people. Hence the people had to be safeguarded against such eventualities.
  Thus, while the first purpose of a Constitution was to set up the organs of power, the second purpose was to place checks on these organs by incorporating certain fundamental rights of the people, so that the state organs may not become despotic. This was also done by incorporating Montesquiu's theory of separation of powers.
  But who would enforce these rights and checks and balances? Obviously the legislature and executive could not be entrusted to do so, because these rights were to check the powers of the legislature and executive. Hence it was the judiciary which became the guardian of the people’s rights and liberties, either expressly vide Articles 32 and 226 of the Indian Constitution, or by judicial interpretation vide judgment of the U.S. Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison
  Many feudal Kings, e.g. the Bourbons in France, and the Romanovs in Russia, fiercely resisted any attempt to set up a written Constitution, as they thought this would diminish their absolute powers. It was only after promulgation of the U.S. Constitution in 1791 that written Constitutions came into vogue, and now almost every country has one.
 A third purpose in certain Constitutions, like ours, was to lay down what a welfare state should do.This was mentioned in part 4, which are the Directive Principles of State Policy, though by Article 37 these have been made unenforcible.

The Indian Constitution in its historical context
We may now discuss the Indian Constitution in its historical context. To do so we have to first understand what is India.

As discussed in great detail in my judgment in Kailas v. The State of Maharashtra, and in my article ' What is India ? ' on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in, India is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America. About 92% people living in India today are descendants of immigrants. The original inhabitants of India are not the Dravidians (who were also outsiders) but the pre- Dravidian tribals e.g. bhils, santhals, gonds, todas, etc. (i.e. the Scheduled Tribes). These comprise only about 7% to 8% of the Indian population today (for details see the above mentioned judgment online).

This explains the tremendous diversity in India – so many races, castes, religions, languages, cultures etc. China is larger than India, both in population and in land area, but there is broad (though not absolute) homogeneity in China. All Chinese have Mongoloid faces, 95% belong to one ethnic group called the Han, there is one written script mandarin etc. On the other hand India is characterized by its tremendous diversity, which is broadly due to the fact that it is largely a country of immigrants.

Hence to bring the country together it is essential that all the communities, regions, lingual groups etc., be given equal respect and to be treated equally, and this the Constitution does through Articles 14 to 18 (the equality provisions), Article 25 (freedom of religion), etc.

When India became independent in 1947 Partitions riots were taking place, and large parts of the country were engulfed in religious madness. Pakistan had declared itself an Islamic state, and there must have been tremendous pressure on Pandit Nehru and our leaders to declare India a Hindu state. When passions are inflamed, it is difficult to keep a cool head. It is the greatness of Pandit Nehru and our other leaders that they kept a cool head and resisted the pressure of declaring India a Hindu state. They declared India as a secular state, which was the correct decision in a sub continent of such tremendous diversity. This becomes evident when we see what is happening in our neighbouring country. In Hinsa Virodhak Sangh vs. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh Jamat (2008) the Supreme Court elaborately discussed our secularism.

The Indian Constitution sets up a federal form of a government. Federalism caters to regional aspirations. In a country of such tremendous diversity federalism is absolutely essential. Thus, the Naga people have their own government and so do the Tamil people, the people of Punjab, of Orissa, Assam, Bengal etc. There is also a central government which is for all. The jurisdiction of the Centre and the States is demarcated by Articles 245 to 248 and the Seventh Schedule.

Unity amongst diversity is a basic theme of the Indian Constitution. Article 301 which states that trade and commerce shall be free throughout the territory of India, provides for economic unity of India, and political unity depends upon economic unity. Article 301 in effect implies that India is one economic unit, and the various states are not separate units. Thus a manufacturer having his factory in Tamil Nadu can freely sell his goods in North India, West India or East India.

India must remain united because only a united India can provide the huge market which a modern industry must have, and it is only modern industry which can generate the wealth required to lift our people out of poverty and other social evils like unemployment, lack of healthcare, etc and give them a decent life. The Indian Constitution is an important mechanism for maintaining the unity of India, a country with tremendous diversity.
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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Beware of the Dragon
In my opinion, the Chinese are the most dangerous threat to world peace today, just at one time Hitler was the most dangerous threat to world peace.
At Davos the Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech recently which was bristling with equivocations and prevarications.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpRnurfMkrQ
This speech sounded like Ribbentrop who often spoke in favour of peace while the Nazis were preparing for war.
Why do I say that China is today the biggest threat to world peace ? It is because it has a huge 3.2 trillion dollar foreign exchange reserve which is hungrily seeking foreign avenues for investment, foreign markets, and raw materials for its huge industry. China today is not the China earlier. Today it has become an imperialist power, seeking domination over many countries and their markets It has already largely grabbed Pakistan economically, and has also penetrated into Africa and other countries, including India..
A rising power is usually more dangerous than an established one, because it is more aggressive. Thus, Nazi Germany was more dangerous than the other Western countries.
Everyone should see through the smiling face of Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders, and all their false rhetoric of peace, reconciliation and stability, when in fact they are on the path of neo colonialism and economic expansionism. Of course the Chinese may not fight directly because of nuclear weapons, but they will certainly fight through their proxies.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Proposed speech at Hindu College, Delhi on 19.1.2017 at 2 p.m. ---Part 2
In the first part of my proposed speech at Hindu College which was posted on fb earlier I had stated at the end that The Indian Constitution, 1950 has exhausted itself, the state institutions in India have largely become hollow and empty shells, while the people's distress and discontent is rising steadily, and there will be a revolution in India, though that may take several years.
After this revolution a new Constitution will have to be framed, which guarantees the Indian people the economic rights mentioned in the speech of American President Franklin Roosevelt ' The Second Bill of Rights ' ( see online and in Youtube ), i.e. employment with good incomes, healthcare, nutritious food, good education. housing, etc.to all.
But providing these rights on paper alone will be meaningless. They have to be provided in reality. How can that be done ? We have to provide employment, free healthcare, free education, free housing, etc to over 1.25 billion people. Where will the money for all this come from ? Money does not fall from the sky. Even setting up one primary school costs a lot of money, for land, building, etc and recurring salaries to teachers and other staff. For higher educational institutions we also need libraries, laboratories with scientific apparatus and equipment, etc. And we have set up tens of thousands of such schools, colleges, engineering and medical colleges, hospitals, scientific institutes, etc.
This will require a huge amount of money, and this money can only be generated by a highly developed industry. In other words, we have to industrialize on a massive scale.
Now industrialization on a large scale is no problem. India today has a huge pool of competent engineers, managers, technicians and scientists. We have also huge natural resources ( India is not a small country like England or Japan, but is amost a continent. )
The problem, however, is this : how will the goods produced be sold ? Our people are mostly poor and have very little purchasing power.
Therefore the real problem is not how to increase production ( that can easily be done with our huge technical talent and natural resources ) but how to increase the purchasing power of our masses ?
In socialist countries the method of raising the purchasing power of the masses, and thereby rapidly expanding the economy and consequently abolishing unemployment, was broadly this :
1. Prices of commodities were fixed by the government.
2. These prices were reduced by 5-10% every 2 years or so
3. This resulted in steadily increasing the purchasing power of the masses, because with the same income people could buy more goods. In other words, the real income of the masses went up, even if nominally it remained the same ( since real wage is relative to the price index ).
4. Simultaneously, production was stepped up, and this increased production could be sold in the domestic market, as the purchasing power of people was steadily rising.
5. This led to rapid expansion of the economy, leading to creation of millions of jobs and thereby abolition of unemployment.
During the Great Depression which hit the Western economies in 1929 after the Wall Street Crash ( it continued till the breakout of the Second World War in 1939 ) when about one third or more people in Western countries were unemployed and factories were shutting down, the Soviet economy was rapidly expanding and unemployed abolished by following the above methodology.
Of course this was only possible in a socialist economy, where the problem was solved by state action.
I am not saying that we must necessarily follow the method adopted by socialist countries. We can adopt any other method if thereby we can raise the purchasing power of the Indian masses and thereby rapidly expand the Indian economy, which is the only way of abolishing unemployment in India and generate the wealth we need for the welfare of our people
The central point, and therefore the main problem before India, is how to raise the purchasing power of the masses ? Unless we solve that problem, our new Constitution guaranteeing economic rights to the Indian people will be illusory

Monday, 16 January 2017

Punjab elections
My prediction about the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections is based on reason, not emotion. If Punjab elections had been held an year back, AAP would have got a majority. But in the past year its image has been sullied by many scandals, involving even Ministers in the Delhi Govt.. On the other hand, Capt. Amrinder Singh enjoys a good image, and he is a Punjabi. AAP has projected Kejriwal, a non Punjabi, as its Chief Minister ( though I wonder how he can be C.M. of 2 states ?). Why should Punjabis want a non Punjabi as their Chief Minister ? So I believe Congress will get a majority and form the next govt. in Punjab
Proposed speech in Hindu College on the 19th
I have to speak on ' 67 years of the working of the Indian Constitution ' on 19th January at the Hindu College auditorium in Delhi at 2 p.m. It must be a serious, well thought out talk, so I thought of jotting down some points for my speech, and these are the ideas which have occurred to me ;
India became independent in August 1947, and promulgated a Constitution on 26th January, 1950. Within this period the Constituent Assembly met and deliberated..
Many of the Comstituent Assembly members like Jawaharlal Nehru were modern minded men. Nehru himself had spent many years in England ( studying in Harrow and Cambridge ) and had seen how British society and institutions functioned. Many others were lawyers in High Courts in India, which were patterned on the British High Court.
Under British rule, Indian society was largely feudal and backward, with the zamindari system prevalent in many parts of India. The British policy was not to allow india to become industrialized, because if it did, Indian industry could become a powerful rival to British industry. So the Britishers did not allow setting up heavy industries in India, but only allowed setting up some light industries like textiles and plantations, which too were initially under British ownership. India was kept largely as an agricultural country, and its people largely illiterate, feudal minded and backward.
Since our Founding Fathers were patriotic people, they decided to set up a modern Constitution, which they thought would pull up our backward society into the modern age. Hence they borrowed from Western Constitutions e.g. Parliamentary system of democracy, independent judiciary, non political bureucracy, etc from England, a Bill of Rights and federal system from the U.S. Constitution, etc.
In England, the modern institutions, e.g. Parliament, Cabinet system with a Prime Minister as its head, independent judiciary, etc and the modern principles, e.g. liberty, equality, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc were created only after arduous, historical struggles by the people in the 17th and 18th centuries.The Tudor sovereigns ( who ruled from 1485 to 1603 ) were absolute monarchs. It was only with the coming of the Stuarts on the death of Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1603 and the ascent of James 1 as King of England that the struggle between King and Parliament began, which culminated in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which established the sovereignty of Parliament. Thereafter, too, long struggles went on, which ultimately resulted in creation of a modern ( though unwritten ) Constitution, and modern principles in England.
Thus the modern Constitution and modern principles were a result of long historical struggles of the English people.
In India, on the other hand, the modern institutions and modern principles which our Founding Fathers set up in our Constitution were not a result of our own struggles, but were borrowed from the Western countries, and transplanted from above on our backward, feudal society.
No doubt the intention of our Founding Fathers was that a modern Constitution, with modern institutions ( e.g.a democratically elected Parliament, Cabinet system of govt., independent judiciary, etc ), and modern principles ( in Part 3 of the Constitution which laid down the Fundamental Rights ), would pull up our backward, feudal society into the modern age, which to some extent it indeed did.
But the problem was that our Constitution and our society did not correspond to each other. The Constitution was modern, while our society was backward ( unlike in England, America, etc where both were modern ).
The Constitution no doubt provided for democracy. But democracy is a feature of a modern industrial society, it is not a feature of a feudal society. The result in India has been ( as everyone knows ), that in most places people vote largely on the basis of caste and religion as vote banks, and do not see the merit of the candidate, whether he is a good man or not, whether he is educated or not, etc.. Was democracy meant to be run in this manner ? That is why there are so many persons with a criminal background in our legislatures.
Our national aim must be to destroy feudalism ( casteism, communalism, etc ) so as to make.India a modern, powerful industrial state with our people enjoying a high standard of living.
But our political leaders' aim is only to win the next elections, and for that they have to rely on caste and communal vote banks i.e. feudal forces. So, far from destroying feudalism they seek to perpetuate it.
So our national interest is diametrically opposite to the interest of our politicians. How can the country progress in this situation ?
We no doubt made some progress after independence. A heavy industrial base ( iron and steel plants etc ) was erected, girls started to go to school, the number of educational institutions( including technical institutions ) was greatly increased, etc.
But now our economy has become stagnant, rather it is in recession, while unemplyment has become massive ( for a single peon's or constable's post there are thousands of applications, many of the applicants being postgraduates or engineers ), besides other massive problems like lack of healthcare and good education for the masses, enormous child malnutrition ( about 50% of our children suffer from it ), lacs of farmers suicides ( as farming has become largely uneconomical due to the escalating cost of inputs ), price rise, corruption, etc.
President Franklin Roosevelt of America gave a speech in 1944 called ' The Second Bill of Rights ' ( it can be seen online and on Youtube ) in which he said that the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution ( which guarantees freedom of speech, equality, liberty, freedom of religion, etc ) has been found to be inadequate. What is the use of telling a poor and/or hungry man that he has liberty, equality and freedom of speech when what he wants is food and a job ? The latter becomes illusory. and hence there is need of a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing to everyone a job with a good income, nutritious food, healthcare, good education, housusing, etc.
In the Indian Constitution no doubt the Directive Principles of State Policy mention these socio-economic rights, but Article 37 has specifically made them unenforceable. Hence they are only ornamental.
I submit that these socio-economic rights cannot be obtained within the framework of our present Constitution. The Constitution no doubt did some good, but now it has exhausted itself. The solutions to our basic and massive problems now lie outside the system---which means by a revolution
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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Soldiers' grievances
The army chief has said that soldiers should not make complaints about their conditions to the social media, but should make them to him directly.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/…/story-XsQncHZHQthAXf47gKZcS…
This raises some important questions :...
1. Under British rule of course an Indian soldier could not vent his complaint publicly. But after India became independent, has the position not changed ?
2. In a democracy, does the army belong to the army chief, or even to the President of India ( the supreme commander ), or does it belong to the people ?
3. In a democracy, are the people supreme, or are the state authorities ( the President, Prime Minister, etc ) and army chief supreme ?
4. If the army belongs to the people, and if the people are supreme, as I believe they are, then are the people not entitled to know the conditions and welfare of soldiers ? After all, soldiers, and even the army chief, get salaries out of the taxes people pay.
5. How else will people know about the conditions of soldiers except through the media ? The media acts as an agent of the people.
6. The army chief must have served in the army for 30-35 years. Can it be believed that he did know till now what was going on in the Indian army, and the conditions of soldiers . If he did, why did he not take, or recommend ,correctional steps till now?